NPR Blogs

The Salt
10:59 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Maybe It's Time To Swap Burgers For Bugs, Says U.N.

A vendor sells edible insects at Talad Thai market on the outskirts of Bangkok. The most popular method of preparation is to deep-fry crickets in oil and then sprinkle them with lemongrass slivers and chilis.
NARONG SANGNAK EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 5:49 pm

Yes, we talk a lot about eating bugs here at The Salt. We know, because some of you have complained about it.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Angelina Jolie And The Rise Of Preventive Mastectomies

In sharing her decision to have a double mastectomy, Angelina Jolie has given voice to a dilemma more women are facing.
Carlo Allegri AP

Originally published on Wed May 15, 2013 1:03 pm

Angelina Jolie just became part of a medical trend: More women are deciding to have their breasts removed to reduce the risk of cancer.

Over the past decade, doctors have noticed a big increase in the number of women choosing prophylactic, or preventive, mastectomies.

Some, like Jolie, have a genetic mutation that makes it much more likely that they will have breast cancer. Her mother died of the disease at age 56. Jolie is 37. She wrote about her decision in The New York Times.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:51 am
Tue May 14, 2013

What Is It About Bees And Hexagons?

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 1:26 pm

Solved! A bee-buzzing, honey-licking 2,000-year-old mystery that begins here, with this beehive. Look at the honeycomb in the photo and ask yourself: (I know you've been wondering this all your life, but have been too shy to ask out loud ... ) Why is every cell in this honeycomb a hexagon?

Bees, after all, could build honeycombs from rectangles or squares or triangles ...

But for some reason, bees choose hexagons. Always hexagons.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Russian Security Service Claims To Have Uncovered CIA Agent

In Moscow's Red Square, people still line up to visit Lenin's tomb. Though the Cold War is over, Russia and the U.S. keep watchful eyes on each other. Tuesday, Russian officials claimed to have uncovered a CIA spy.
Sergei Ilnitsky EPA /Landov

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:09 pm

From Russia Today:

"Russia's counterintelligence agency has detained a CIA agent in Moscow trying to recruit an officer of the Russian secret service, the Federal Security Service (FSB) announced. The agent was operating under guise of career diplomat."

According to Reuters, the Russian foreign ministry has summoned U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul for a discussion.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Tue May 14, 2013

She's No Diva: Unruly Flier Sings 'I Will Always Love You'

As she was led off the plane the singer (with bag) was recorded by at least one passenger.
YouTube.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 10:46 am

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Shots - Health News
8:55 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Even After Overhaul, Gaps In Coverage For Young, Pregnant Women

The baby's going to be fine, but what about your pocketbook?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:29 am

The federal health care overhaul makes some notable improvements in insurance coverage for young adults.

They can now stay on their parents' health plans until they turn 26. Next year they can also look for subsidized coverage on the state-based insurance marketplaces, also called exchanges. And they may qualify for Medicaid, if their income are less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($15,856 in 2013).

So far, so good.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Afghan Taxes Weigh Heavily On U.S. Contractors, Report Says

Since 2008, the Afghan government has assessed nearly $1 billion dollars in taxes — sometimes erroneously — on U.S. contractors working in the country, according to a new report from the Pentagon's Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, NPR's Tom Bowman tells our Newscast Desk.

John Sopko, the special inspector general, says the tax confusion has led to the arrest of contractors for nonpayment, increased costs to the U.S. government and interruptions to American military operations.

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The Two-Way
8:03 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Book News: Amazon Debuts Its Virtual Currency

Amazon Coins are making some people in the publishing world a little uncomfortable." href="/post/book-news-amazon-debuts-its-virtual-currency" class="noexit lightbox">
The new Amazon Coins are making some people in the publishing world a little uncomfortable.
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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

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The Salt
3:27 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Michigan Apple Orchards Blossom After A Devastating Year

Apple Blossoms
Amy Irish-Brown

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 8:20 pm

Last year, almost the entire Michigan apple crop was lost because of 80-degree days in March and then some freezing April nights. This year, the apples are back, but everything always depends on the weather. The state was under a freeze warning Sunday night — a scary prospect if you're an apple grower and your trees have just come into bloom.

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The Two-Way
6:35 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Associated Press: Feds Secretly Obtained Reporter Phone Logs

Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 7:04 am

The Associated Press news agency says that the Department of Justice secretly obtained two months of telephone records on 20 lines used by its reporters and editors.

The records covered April and May 2012, and according to the AP:

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The Two-Way
6:33 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

TV Psychologist Dr. Joyce Brothers Dies At 85

Dr. Joyce Brothers in a January 16, 2004 in New York City.
Peter Kramer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 6:08 am

Dr. Joyce Brothers, whose long-running television show dispensed advice on life and relationships to her viewers, has died in New York at age 85, according to her publicist.

She died on Monday of natural causes, Sanford Brokaw said.

Brothers, who was a pioneer of the television advice show, first gained fame as a winning contestant on the television game show "The $64,000 Question" in 1955, becoming the only woman ever to win the top prize. The AP says:

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The Salt
6:00 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Why Humans Took Up Farming: They Like To Own Stuff

Prehistoric "pantries": This illustration is based on archaeological findings in Jordan of structures built to store extra grain some 11,000-12,000 years ago.
Illustration by E. Carlson Courtesy of Dr. Ian Kuijt/University of Notre Dame

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 11:06 am

For decades, scientists have believed our ancestors took up farming some 12,000 years ago because it was a more efficient way of getting food. But a growing body of research suggests that wasn't the case at all.

"We know that the first farmers were shorter, they were more prone to disease than the hunter-gatherers," says Samuel Bowles, the director of the Behavioral Sciences Program at the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico, describing recent archaeological research.

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The Two-Way
5:48 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Poll: Americans Split Over Benghazi Issue

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 7:17 pm

Americans appear to be split over the Obama administration's handling of the aftermath from the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three others, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Mon May 13, 2013

Card-Carrying Cajuns? Louisiana Lawmakers Weigh ID Change

Louisiana drivers would be able to add the message "I'm a Cajun" on their licenses, under a bill making its way through the statehouse. Here, shrimp fisherman Merlin Boudreaux holds up part of his catch in Morgan City, St. Mary Parish, La.
Sean Gardner Getty Images

A bill making its way through the Louisiana Legislature would let Cajun citizens celebrate their ancestry by customizing their driver's license, adding the phrase "I'm a Cajun" below their photograph.

It would cost $5 to add the message; the money would go toward "scholarships distributed by the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana, a program promoting French language and culture in the state," reports NOLA.com.

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