NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
9:50 am
Sun June 30, 2013

13 Years In Jail For Writing On A Sidewalk With Chalk?

Sidewalk chalk: The tools of a criminal?
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 2:37 pm

There's no evidence that he wrote anything obscene.

His messages could be easily erased.

And they don't seem to have upset many, if any, people.

But in San Diego, 40-year-old Jeffrey Olson is on trial for expressing his opinions on sidewalks outside three Bank of America branches. He's charged with 13 counts of vandalism. Jury deliberations began Friday, our colleagues at KPBS say. If convicted on all counts, they add, he faces up to 13 years in prison.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Egypt: Morsi Rejects Calls To Step Aside As Protests Build

Thousands of protesters who oppose Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday.
Mohamed Abd El Ghany Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 7:14 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reports from Cairo
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The Salt
5:30 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:45 pm

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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Monkey See
5:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 9:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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The Two-Way
5:09 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Biden Asks Ecuador To Deny Snowden Asylum

Vice President Joe Biden.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said on Saturday the United States had asked him not to grant asylum for former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden in a 'cordial' telephone conversation he held with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden," Reuters writes.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:37 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

A Video Illusion For A Summer Day

YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 8:24 am

My dad sent me a link to the video below several months ago.

Since then, Illusion Chasers Susana Martinez-Conde and Stephen L. Macknik have singled it out for attention on their Scientific American blog.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Crashes, Chaos During Stage 1 Of Tour De France

Riders and bicycles were spread across the road after one of the crashes Saturday during Stage 1 of the Tour de France, which began in Corsica.
Joel Saget/pool EPA/LANDOV

There were pileups on the race course and a bus got stuck at the finish line as the Tour de France began Saturday with "chaos and crashes," as The Guardian puts it.

When Stage 1 was over on Corsica, The Associated Press writes, "German rider Marcel Kittel was first to arrive, after dodging all sorts of mayhem."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

It's 'Wedding Weekend In San Francisco' After Prop 8 Ruling

U.S. Army Captain Michael Potoczniak (right) embraced his partner of 10 years Todd Saunders as they obtained their marriage license at City Hall in San Francisco on Saturday.
Stephen Lam Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 6:59 am

"A long line of fiancés and their families snaked out of the clerk's office" in San Francisco on Saturday, the Chronicle reports, as couples lined up to be among the first to be married now that it's legal again for same-sex couples to be get hitched in California.

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The Two-Way
3:04 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

3 Things To Know About Edward Snowden's Passenger Purgatory

Edward Snowden's home, for now: Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

"NSA leaker" Edward Snowden is reportedly still in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he arrived June 23 on a flight from Hong Kong.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Bird On Rare Visit To U.K. Killed As Dismayed Twitchers Watch

The white-throated needletail, after it was found below the wind turbine it hit on an island off the northwest coast of Scotland.
Courtesy of David Campbell

One of only a handful of a type of small bird from Asia to have been spotted in the U.K. in the past two centuries was thrilling twitchers off the northwest coast of Scotland earlier this week.

Then, tragedy struck. It flew into the blade of a wind turbine and was killed.

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The Two-Way
11:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Paula Deen's Next Cookbook Is Canceled

Celebrity cook Paula Deen during an appearance last Wednesday on NBC-TV's The Today Show.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:12 pm

Pre-publication orders had made it No. 1 on Amazon, but now Paula Deen's publisher has said it won't be putting out her next cookbook this fall.

As Publishers Weekly says:

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The Two-Way
9:48 am
Sat June 29, 2013

American Killed At Protest In Egypt ID'd As Kenyon Student

Andrew Pochter.
Courtesy of the Pochter family

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:05 pm

Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student from Chevy Chase, Md., is the American who was killed Friday in Alexandria, Egypt, when violence broke out during a protest against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, the college says. He was one of at least three people who died from injuries they suffered.

Citing U.S. Embassy officials as its source for that news, the Ohio school adds that:

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The Two-Way
9:06 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Will Death Valley Top 130 Degrees? Here's Where To Watch

If you're in the red or orange zones, try to stay cool.
National Weather Service

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 4:33 pm

We can't do anything about the oppressive heat wave that's cooking states across the nation's Southwest.

We can, though, wish everyone the best and point to the always-important tips and guidance for how to stay safe when temperatures soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Those include:

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The Salt
8:08 am
Sat June 29, 2013

Preserving The Season's Fruits With A Canning Evangelist

For the sweetest, smoothest strawberry jam, author Kevin West suggests staying as far away as possible from what he calls "Pamela Anderson fruit": the big strawberries found in regular supermarkets. He prefers picking small, red berries from farm stands, instead.
Kevin West Knopf

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 3:44 pm

Shopping at a farmers market on a weekend morning can turn bittersweet if your eye for just-picked summer fruit is bigger than your refrigerator and appetite.

That's a crisis first-time cookbook author Kevin West found himself in a few years back. After one particular farmers market spree, West's buyer's remorse came from a big package of fresh strawberries.

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