NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
3:21 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Why Science And Values Can't Be Untangled

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:38 pm

Facts and values are entangled in science. It's not because scientists are biased, not because they are partial or influenced by other kinds of interests, but because of a commitment to reason, consistency, coherence, plausibility and replicability. These are value commitments.

One way to bring this out: we don't do more science to prove we should be reasonable. Doing science presupposes being reasonable. Being reasonable isn't one of the facts. It's a value.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

New Jersey Judge Rules State Must Allow Gay Couples To Marry

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 3:31 pm

A New Jersey judge says the state must allow gay couples to marry, because the current system of civil unions is unconstitutional.

To deny couples the right to marry runs afoul the New Jersey constitution and the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution, the court found.

Reuters reports:

"Judge Mary Jacobson in Mercer County Superior Court in Trenton issued the order as part of long-running litigation brought by a group of gay couples against the state.

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Win Seed Money To Make Flour From Insects

MBA students from McGill University in Montreal are building a company to mass produce grasshoppers, seen here at a market in Oaxaca, Mexico.
William Neuheisel Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:55 pm

Mohammed Ashour has a big order to fill: By March 2014, he has to deliver 10 tons of grasshoppers to customers in Mexico.

He and four other MBA students at McGill University in Montreal have a plan to farm insects in poor countries and turn them into flour that can be used in everything from bread to corn tortillas. And on Monday, former President Bill Clinton handed them $1 million to make it happen.

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Will Qatar's World Cup Games Be Played Over Workers' Bodies?

Will Qatar get a red card (a soccer official's way of signaling a player has been ejected) for labor practices at World Cup-related construction sites?
Alessandro Di Marco EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 5:17 pm

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The Two-Way
1:45 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Freighter Makes First-Of-Its-Kind Transit Of Northwest Passage

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:17 pm

A Danish shipping company announced Friday the first-ever voyage of a large commercial freighter through the Northwest Passage — a journey made possible by the disappearance of Arctic ice due to global warming.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Kenyan Mall Attack Update: 3 Who Were Suspects Are Released

Friends and relatives of Mbugua Mwangi and his fiancee Rosemary Wahito attended their funeral service Friday in Nairobi, Kenya. Mwangi, who was Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's nephew, and Wahito died in the Westgate Mall attack.
Jerome Delay AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:27 pm

Here are some of the latest developments in the aftermath of last weekend's attack by terrorists on a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya:

-- Suspects. Kenyan police are now holding eight people, Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku told reporters Friday. "Three others were interrogated and released," he said, according to Reuters.

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The Two-Way
11:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

House Republicans have insisted that a spending bill contain language defunding Obamacare.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

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Shots - Health News
11:34 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Lessons About Insurance In The Obamacare Data Dump

Chicago insurance broker Sean Whaley told The Associated Press earlier this month that his self-employed clients were frustrated that didn't have the information to plan ahead for their families' health care costs in 2014.
M. Spencer Green AP

This week the Department of Health and Human Services released a ton of information about how insurance sold in 36 states under the Affordable Care Act will work.

Most of it came in the form of data showing the number of carriers and their premium prices in hundreds of regions.

Until now we've seen information on subsidized policies to be sold through online marketplaces released in trickles by states that are creating their own online portals.

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Monkey See
11:08 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Who Are You Calling A One-Hit Wonder?

Seen here in 2005: Ladies and gentlemen, The Click Five.
Brad Barket Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:53 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we start by breaking down last weekend's very somber Emmy ceremony, from the repeated death announcements to the perplexing dance routines to a couple of welcome victories that put a more positive spin on the whole thing. Did the host impress? What about poor Shemar Moore? And who will defend interpretive dance?

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The Two-Way
10:44 am
Fri September 27, 2013

VIDEO: Yankees Great Mariano Rivera Bids A Tearful Goodbye

New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera tips his cap in the ninth inning of his final appearance in a baseball game at Yankee Stadium, against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Kathy Willens ap

The announcers kept quiet, so we won't say much either.

There's video here of what it was like Thursday night at Yankee Stadium when pitcher Mariano Rivera, considered by most experts to be the greatest "closer" in Major League Baseball history, threw his final pitch before heading off into retirement. He shed several tears, as you'll see.

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The Two-Way
10:01 am
Fri September 27, 2013

U.N. Team Looking At Attacks Assad Blamed On Rebels

A convoy of U.N. vehicles with chemical weapons experts on board head out on Friday to do more work as the investigate allegations of chemical weapons use in near Damascus.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:57 am

After the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus that reportedly killed more than 1,000 people and has been blamed on Bashar Assad's regime, the Syrian president's ambassador to the U.N. claimed that opposition forces had used such weapons at least three times in the days immediately after.

As Russia's RT.com reported on Aug. 28:

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Jewels Found In Alps May Be From Decades-Old Plane Crash

What treasures lie buried here? Three climbers traversed part of the Mont Blanc massif earlier this month.
Jean-Pierre Clatot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:58 am

A French mountain climber came upon an unexpected treasure earlier this month near Mont Blanc in the French Alps, The Guardian writes.

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Monkey See
7:49 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Point Of View: How So Many Rooted For 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White

How could you not feel sorry for this guy? Vince Gilligan even admitted that he loaded up the Breaking Bad pilot with "reasons to give a damn about" Walter White.
Doug Hyun Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 10:13 am

If you were still cheering for Walter White at the start of the sixth season (or, as AMC contracts call it, the second half of the fifth season), a mustard stain on a doctor's jacket might be one reason why.

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The Two-Way
7:46 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Ctrl-Alt-Delete Defenders Tell Bill Gates It Wasn't A Mistake

Those are the hands of David Bradley, an original member of the IBM PC team and the inventor of the control-alt-delete function, hitting the right keys.
Bob Jordan AP

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:33 am

The news that Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates now says it was a mistake to long ago force Windows PC users to type "Ctrl-Alt-Delete" at start-up is getting tons of attention because his public mea culpas are rather rare.

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