NPR Blogs

The Salt
1:20 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

France Aims To Net New Drinkers With Cola-Flavored Wine

Fancy some soda with your wine?
Courtesy Haussmann Famille

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 9:56 am

Brace yourselves, Francophiles.

First, we broke the news about fast food overtaking restaurants in France. Then we reported the shocker that more than a third of French restaurants serve frozen meals. If these revelations ruin your impression of France as a bastion of culinary tradition, you may not want to read further.

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Shots - Health News
1:06 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Doctors' Questions About Guns Spark A Constitutional Fight

When does a gun become a personal health issue?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:13 am

To pediatricians, guns are a health issue.

Firearms remain a leading cause of death and injury for young people. The doctors say the evidence shows that homes are safer for kids, and adults for that matter, when guns aren't around.

Pediatricians say doctors should ask their patients — or their parents, in the case of very young children — if there is a gun in the house.

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Monkey See
12:39 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

In Which We Consider 'Turbo,' But Do Not Quite Write A Review Of It

Turbo, center, is the hero of an unlikely adventure involving six or seven talking mollusks, a similar number of humans willing to gamble large sums of money on them, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And they say Hollywood doesn't have any new ideas.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:27 pm

When I was passing out assignments for this week's movie reviews, I noticed that none of my critics had raised a hand to bid for Turbo -- you know, the DreamWorks animated comedy about a sheltered suburban garden snail who dreams of racing in the Indy 500, and the scrappy squad of Van Nuys strip-mall snails who, with the help of an ethnically diverse array of down-on-their-luck shopkeepers, help him make that dream come true.

Wait, I think I've just figured out why I ended up with this assignment my own self.

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The Two-Way
12:32 pm
Fri July 19, 2013

Birds Teach The Air Force A Better Way To Fly

A pair of C-17 Globemaster IIIs on the ground at Edwards Air Force Base in California, where "vortex surfing" is being tested.
U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 2:36 pm

More than a century after the invention of powered flight, birds are still teaching us something about how to fly airplanes, with the Air Force studying the V-shaped formation of airborne geese as a way to save fuel.

The technical term is "vortex surfing" and it's already well-known — NASCAR drivers and Tour de France cyclists use it to "draft" off competitors.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Just Like Van Gogh, Ocean Waves Paint Clouds In The Sky

YouTube

If you can't get to a beach this weekend, you can still see waves. Just look up.

Clouds, after all, are sculpted by waves of air. These clouds, in Birmingham, Ala., were formed when two layers of air — one fast, the other slow — collided at just the right speed to create rises and dips that caused the clouds to curl in on themselves and crash, just like waves on a beach.

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The Two-Way
10:48 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Thirsty? 'Sweat Machine' Turns Perspiration Into Drinking Water

The Sweat Machine was unveiled as part of a UNICEF campaign promoting safe drinking water.
UNICEF

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 11:53 am

Thomas Edison famously said that genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration — words that could well apply to a new machine promoted by UNICEF that turns human sweat into drinking water.

The Sweat Machine extracts moisture from worn clothes by spinning and heating them, then filters the resulting liquid so that only pure water remains. It was built by Swedish engineer and TV personality Andreas Hammar, and uses a technology developed by Sweden's Royal Institute of Technology and the water purification company HVR.

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Monkey See
10:18 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Hey, Kid: Thoughts For The Young Oddballs We Need So Badly

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 3:21 pm

Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed films including Looper and Brick, not to mention directing a few episodes of Breaking Bad, tweeted early this morning: "To me the great hope is one day some little fat girl in Ohio is going to make a summer movie where skyscrapers don't fall over like dominoes."

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Shots - Health News
9:58 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Medicines To Fight White Plague Are Losing Their Punch

Children with tuberculosis sleep outside at Springfield House Open Air School in London in 1932. Like sanatoriums, these schools offered TB sufferers a place to receive the top treatment of the day: fresh air and sunshine.
Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 12:28 pm

You probably don't think about tuberculosis much. Why would you? The number of cases in the U.S. is at an all-time low.

But TB has returned with a vengeance in some parts of world, and there have been some troubling outbreaks here at home, too.

Many of the cases come with a deadly twist. They're resistant to standard drugs and can take years of painstaking treatment to bring under control.

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The Two-Way
9:41 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Top Stories: Russian Opposition Leader Freed; Kerry Flies To West Bank

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:00 am

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Monkey See
9:28 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'The New Black' And Secret Names

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

With host Linda Holmes taking the week off to focus on suffering and nose-blowing, we needed only to ask our beloved producer Jess Gitner into the room with us to complete a full Pop Culture Happy Hour lineup. (In historic Studio 44, Jess is usually sealed in an adjacent room, where she watches us through glass the way one might observe a cage of unruly chimps at the zoo.)

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The Two-Way
8:59 am
Fri July 19, 2013

China Scraps Some Controls On Lending Interest Rates

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 10:00 am

China's central bank announced that it was removing some controls on the interest rates charged by banks for the loans it issues clients.

Reuters explains that the People's Bank of China said in a statement that it was removing the floor "on lending rates for commercial banks, meaning that banks will now be able to cut rates as much as they see fit to attract borrowers."

Reuters adds:

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The Salt
8:35 am
Fri July 19, 2013

The Ramadan Challenge: Shop And Cook While Hungry And Thirsty

Jehad Outteineh shops at a market near the Damascus gate in the Muslim quarter of Jerusalem's Old City. Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset during Ramadan. Outteineh is shopping for the family's iftar, the meal that breaks the fast.
Emily Harris/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 11:31 am

Around the world, hundreds of millions of Muslims are fasting from sunrise to sunset. The Muslim holy month of Ramadan began last week and continues until Aug. 7. That's 30 days of avoiding food and drink all day. But in many families, someone still has to prepare a hearty, and sometimes festive, dinner every night.

"Ramadan is a big change in routine," says Jehad Outteneh, a Palestinian in Jerusalem who shops and cooks for her family of eight.

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The Two-Way
8:13 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Trying To Restart Peace Talks, Kerry Will Fly To West Bank

Secretary of State John Kerry speaks on the phone at Mafraq Air Base before boarding a helicopter to Amman on Thursday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 8:45 am

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced a last-minute trip to the West Bank this morning that's intended to jump-start stalled peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians.

The trip comes just hours after the Palestinians said they would not return to the negotiating table unless Israel agreed to begin talks using the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.

The Associated Press reports:

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The Two-Way
7:40 am
Fri July 19, 2013

Book News: J.K. Rowling 'Very Angry' That Law Firm Leaked Her Name

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 2:26 pm

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

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Shots - Health News
3:23 am
Fri July 19, 2013

White House Muddles Obamacare Messaging — Again

President Obama walks off the stage after speaking about the Affordable Care Act during an event in the East Room of the White House on Thursday. Obama argued that the law is holding insurance companies accountable and putting money back into the pockets of consumers.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 6:13 am

This summer was supposed to be a time to reintroduce the public to the Affordable Care Act and teach people how to sign up for benefits this fall.

But that's not what's happening.

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