NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
7:13 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Book News: Museum, Kelly Clarkson Vie For Jane Austen's Ring

Kelly Clarkson bought a ring once owned by Jane Austen at auction, but the U.K. is trying to keep it in the country.
Harper Smith

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Shots - Health News
4:07 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Obamacare: People With Disabilities Face Complex Choices

Speech-language pathologists Jill Tullman (left) and Mendi Carroll (right) work with Bryce Vernon at Talking with Technology Camp in Empire, Colo., on July 25.
Kristen Kidd KCFR News

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

The Affordable Care Act has set new standards — called essential health benefits — outlining what health insurance companies must now cover. But there's a catch: Insurance firms can still pick and choose, to some degree, which specific therapies they'll cover within some categories of benefit.

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The Salt
3:02 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Colorado Vault Is Fort Knox For The World's Seeds

Dave Dierig, research leader at the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation, stands among the ceiling-high shelves that hold the 600,000 seed packets in this cold storage vault.
Grace Hood KUNC

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

When unapproved genetically modified wheat was found growing in Oregon earlier this year, it didn't take long for accusations to start flying. A flurry of initial finger-pointing cast potential blame on a federal seed vault in Fort Collins, Colo., which housed the same strain of wheat, developed by Monsanto Corp., for about seven years up until late 2011.

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Shots - Health News
3:00 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Patients Can Pay A High Price For ER Convenience

In case of emergency, go to the strip mall or the hospital?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 7:59 am

Medical entrepreneurs are remaking the emergency room experience. They're pulling the emergency room out of the hospital and planting it in the strip mall.

It's called a "free-standing ER," and some 400 of them have opened across the country in the past four years.

The trend is hot around Houston, where there are already 41 free-standing ERs and 10 more in the works.

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The Two-Way
1:15 am
Tue August 13, 2013

North Carolina Governor Signs Controversial Voter ID Bill

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory delivers the State of the State address in February in Raleigh.
Ted Richardson AP

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 2:59 pm

North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law Monday a controversial measure that overhauls the state's election laws. It requires government-issued photo IDs at the polls, reduces the early voting period by one week and ends same day registration.

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The Two-Way
7:24 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Judge Throws Out Discrimination Claims Against Paula Deen

Will Paula Deen's admission of using a racial slur crumble her empire?
Courtesy of Food Network AP

A federal judge in Georgia threw out the discrimination claims against Paula Deen on Monday in a lawsuit that sparked widespread criticism, led sponsors to jump ship and the Food Network to drop her show.

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The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Veteran And Service Dog Told To Leave N.J. Boardwalk

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:38 pm

A 19-year Army veteran was given a summons and told to leave the oceanside boardwalk in North Wildwood, N.J., Thursday, after a police officer refused to accept the presence of the veteran's service dog. Jared Goering says it was the first vacation for him and his wife, Sally, in years.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Dementia Test Tweaked For Gen X: Hirohito Out, Oprah In

Is Oprah Winfrey a celebrity for the ages?
Surian Soosay Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:56 am

It's bad enough to have to be tested for dementia. It's even worse if the test isn't fair. Researchers in Chicago found they needed to update the screening test for a type of early onset dementia so that the measure would more accurately pick up symptoms among a new wave of patients — baby boomers and Gen Xers.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Smartphone Give-Away Goes Wrong; 20 Reported Hurt

A promotional stunt went awry Friday in Seoul, where LG Electronics promised to give away 100 advance models of its upcoming G2 phone to anyone who caught a balloon holding a coupon for the $850 device. Members of the crowd reportedly used BB guns and other means to get an edge; about 20 people were injured.

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The Salt
4:04 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Three Ways Cooking Has Changed Over The Last 300 Years

Maids at work in a large kitchen, circa 1890.
W. and D. Downey Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:56 pm

Cooking with calf's head and cow heel may not sound like the most palatable way to spend an afternoon, but it's all in a day's work for librarian Judith Finnamore of London's Westminster Archive Centre.

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The Two-Way
3:34 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

'Ocean's 16' Powerball Winners Claim Share Of Jackpot

The winners of the Aug. 7 Powerball jackpot pose with a check for their share of the $448 million grand prize.
Sam Fromkin New Jersey Lottery

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:19 pm

The 16 women and men who won more than $86 million in last week's Powerball drawing validated their ticket and posed with a gigantic check Monday. The group, which calls itself "Ocean's 16," famously worked at the Ocean County Vehicle Maintenance Department the day after they learned they would become millionaires.

"Lottery officials say each will get about $3.8 million after taxes," the AP reports.

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Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Brains Of Dying Rats Yield Clues About Near-Death Experiences

Could the images common in accounts of near-death experiences be explained by a rush of electrical activity in the brain?
Odina iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 7:57 am

A burst of brain activity just after the heart stops may be the cause of so-called near-death experiences, scientists say.

The insight comes from research involving nine lab rats whose brains were analyzed as they were being euthanized. Researchers discovered what appears to be a momentary increase in electrical activity in the brain associated with consciousness.

Although the experiment relied on animals, the results could apply to humans, too, the researchers say.

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The Two-Way
2:06 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

James 'Whitey' Bulger Guilty Of Murder, Racketeering

A courtroom sketch of James "Whitey" Bulger (left) and defense attorney J.W. Carney, Jr.
Margaret Small AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 4:38 pm

James 'Whitey' Bulger, the notorious Boston gangster who spent 16 years on the lam before being captured in June of 2011, was found guilty of multiple murders and racketeering by a federal jury in Boston on Monday.

Facing 32 charges, Bulger was convicted on most of them, including 11 murders that date back to the '70s and multiple counts of extortion and money laundering.

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The Two-Way
1:51 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Iconic Butter Cow In Iowa Doused With Red Paint

This photo provided by Iowans for Animal Liberation shows the 2013 butter cow at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa. Authorities confirmed Monday that people had gained access to the display, poured red paint over the butter sculpture and scrawled, "Freedom for all," on a display window.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:43 pm

The iconic butter cow, sculpted meticulously every year at the Iowa State Fair, was doused with red paint early Sunday. Vandals also used the paint to scrawl "Freedom For All" on its glass enclosure.

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Jim Shoe

Behold.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 2:20 pm

The Chicago sandwich containing gyro meat, roast beef and corned beef goes by many names. This is one of many ways in which it's like the devil, and Sean Combs. People call it the Gym Shoe, the Jim Shoe or the Jim Shoo.

Ian: With a name this unappetizing, the sandwich had no choice but to be so delicious no one would mess with it. It's like A Boy Named Shoe.

Blythe: I thought I'd need my Reebok Stomach Pumps for this.

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