NPR Blogs

Krulwich Wonders...
12:04 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Not Winging It, But Ringing It

YouTube

Humans do it with smoke.

Dolphins do it with air.

With a little snort, dolphins can produce a nearly perfect "air" rings, (sophisticated non-dolphins called them toroidal vortices) which they turn into underwater toys.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Parents Of Teen Who Defaced Egyptian Artifact Apologize

The graffiti on an Egyptian carving at the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple reads: "Ding Jinhao was here."
Weibo

The parents of a Chinese teenager are not happy. Their 15-year-old son was found to have defaced an Egyptian artifact at the 3,500-year-old Luxor Temple.

What's more, he did it using the most mundane of markings: Using what appears to be chalk, the boy wrote: "Ding Jinhao was here."

According to CNN, another Chinese tourist saw the markings and uploaded a picture to the Chinese social network Weibo.

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Shots - Health News
11:34 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Insurers Balk On Rarer Genetic Tests For Breast Cancer

Angelina Jolie's decision to have a double mastectomy after genetic testing has prompted a discussion about which other tests should be covered.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 12:10 pm

When it comes to inherited genetic mutations that increase the risk of breast cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2 get nearly all the attention.

Inherited mutations in these genes cause from 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers as well as up to 15 percent of ovarian cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute.

There are other, rarer genetic mutations that also predispose women to breast cancer.

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Monkey See
11:09 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Bad News, Men: You're Not Very Charming

I hate to break this to you, Men Of The Entire United States (Especially Actors), but The Atlantic has just run a lengthy piece pronouncing you un-charming.

At first, Benjamin Schwarz seems to mean "good conversationalist" when he says "charming." He says:

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The Two-Way
10:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Does Canada's $100 Bill Smell Like Maple Syrup? Many Say So

Canada's $100 bill. Some think it smells sweet.
Bank of Canada

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 3:31 pm

This much is true: Many Canadians apparently think their government has embedded a maple-scented scratch-and-sniff patch in the nation's $100 bills.

According to CTV, "dozens of people" contacted the Bank of Canada after the polymer bills were introduced in 2011 to say they were sure there was something fishy ... or perhaps we should say sweet ... about the money.

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Monkey See
9:52 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Don Jon'

Tony Danza and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Don Jon.
Daniel McFadden Relativity Media

I admire Joseph Gordon-Levitt a lot, both because of his mix of performances in both big movies and little movies and because he made such a good transition from kid actor to adult actor with substantially less awkwardness than most.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Baby Is Rescued From Building's Sewage Pipe In China

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:27 am

A baby boy in China has been safely rescued from a sewage pipe after the abandoned newborn had become lodged in an apartment building's public toilet system. A resident heard the infant's cries, and firefighters cut out a portion of pipe containing the boy. That section was then rushed to the hospital, where the baby was carefully removed.

Authorities are treating the disturbing incident as an attempted homicide and were still looking for the baby's parents. As for his medical condition, the boy is reportedly stable, but with severe bruising and some cuts.

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The Two-Way
9:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Book News: Not Everyone's A Fan Of Amazon's Fan Fiction Move

Seattle-based Amazon announced last week that it will begin selling fan fiction. CEO Jeff Bezos speaks at a 2009 event.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 9:57 am

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

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Top Stories: Rough Weather Ahead; U.S. Weapon Designs Hacked

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 11:18 am

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Report: An Angry Russia Will Deliver Missiles To Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin (right) and British Prime Minister David Cameron met earlier this month. Cameron said then that he was encouraged by Russia's willingness to take part in a peace conference on Syria. Now, Russia is said to be angry about the EU's decision to lift an embargo on arming the Syrian opposition.
Alexey Nikoksky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 2, 2013 8:40 am

The European Union's decision to end its embargo on arming the opposition in Syria has been followed by sharp criticism from Russia's foreign ministry and word that Russia will follow through on plans to deliver anti-aircraft missiles to President Bashar Assad's military.

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The Salt
3:49 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Why Healthful Vending Machines Might Hurt The Blind

Vending machines at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Ark., were stocked with more healthful snacks in 2006.
Danny Johnston AP

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 10:52 am

Look in any vending machine, and you can find plenty of snacks with dubious nutritional profiles. Take the ones in the state Capitol in Salem, Ore.

"We've got a lot of Cheetos and Pop-Tarts and candy bars and cookies and things like that," says state Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer.

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Shots - Health News
3:45 am
Tue May 28, 2013

Hearing Aids: A Luxury Good For Many Seniors

Basic hearing aids cost an average of $1,500 per ear.
IStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 12:07 pm

More than 30 million Americans experience significant hearing loss, but only a third of them get hearing aids.

There are a lot of reasons why someone who needs a hearing aid won't get one: Some think their hearing loss is not that bad, others are too embarrassed to use them, and many people say they are just not worth the price.

Hearing aids cost an average of $1,500 per ear for a basic model, and unlike most technology, their price has not dropped over time.

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The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

EU To End Arms Embargo On Syrian Opposition

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (left) talks with Belgium's foreign minister, Didier Reynders, during a European Union foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday.
Yves Logghe AP

The European Union plans to end its embargo on arming the Syrian opposition, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday.

The Associated Press reports: "Hague insisted that Britain had 'no immediate plans to send arms to Syria. It gives us flexibility to respond in the future if the situation continues to deteriorate.' "

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The Two-Way
5:17 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

Beneath A Glacier's White, Researchers See Green

The small patch in the middle of the image is Aulacomnium turgidum, a type of bryophyte plant. Researchers in the Canadian Arctic say they are surprised the bryophytes were still green, even after being covered by ice.
Courtesy of Caroline La Farge

Originally published on Wed May 29, 2013 8:52 am

In the news business, an evergreen is a story that doesn't have to run on a particular day, but can stay fresh for a long time.

This is an evergreen story about an evergreen. In particular, a group of plants called bryophytes. Turns out they may be evergreen quite a bit longer than most people thought.

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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Mon May 27, 2013

McCain Meets With Rebels In Syria

Sen. John McCain, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, briefly entered Syria to meet with rebel forces on Monday, according to his spokesman.
Allison Shelley Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 27, 2013 4:42 pm

Arizona Sen. John McCain spent his Memorial Day in Syria. As NPR's Jonathan Blakley reports from Beirut, McCain's spokesman says the senator crossed into northern Syria from Turkey to meet with rebels in the country, ripped apart by the 2-year conflict turned civil war.

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