NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Somali Militants Claim To Have Shot Down U.S. Drone

A 2007 file photo released by the Department of Defense, An MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle.
Larry E. Reid Jr. Associated Press

A suspected U.S. reconnaissance drone has crashed in a region of southern Somalia controlled by the al-Shabab militant group, a governor of the region says.

Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, the governor of the Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters that al-Shabab had shot down the aircraft over the coastal town of Bulamareer, south of the capital, Mogadishu.

"Finally they hit it and the drone crashed," he said.

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The Two-Way
1:56 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Nike Is Cutting Ties To The Livestrong Charity

Lance Armstrong in 2009, wearing some of Nike's Livestrong apparel. Nike will stop manufacturing that line after the 2013 holiday season. And it is ending its support of the Livestrong charity.
Nicolas Bouvy EPA /LANDOV

A 9-year relationship is ending between athletic apparel giant Nike and Livestrong, the cancer charity founded by cyclist Lance Armstrong before his career imploded because of evidence that he had been doping for more than a decade.

The Livestrong foundation confirmed Tuesday that its "partnership with Nike" is being dissolved.

News reports say it was Nike that wanted to break things off.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:30 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

The 'Brilliant Blunders' Of Science: Success Through Failure

William Thomson Kelvin (1824 - 1907) who proposed the absolute or Kelvin temperature scale. He also established the second law of thermo-dynamics. He was brilliant. But he wasn't perfect.
W. & D. Downey Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 4:03 pm

"Experience is the name everyone gives their mistakes" said Oscar Wilde and it is true that, hopefully, we all learn from our mistakes. But what about science?

In school we learn about the scientific method and its emphasis on observation, hypothesis and experiments. Clearly mistakes are an important part of the process. It has even been said that the point of science is to make as many mistakes as possible as fast as possible. Still, what about the really big mistakes?

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Liberty Reserve Charged In $6 Billion Money-Laundering Conspiracy

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 4:39 pm

Saying it was the world's largest international money laundering prosecution in history, authorities announced charges against the operators of Liberty Reserve, an online currency exchange that prosecutors say enabled more than a million people worldwide to launder about $6 billion.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

No Delay In Trial Of Man Who Says He Killed Trayvon Martin

George Zimmerman, defendant in the killing of Trayvon Martin, at an April 30 court hearing in Sanford, Fla.
Joe Burbank/pool Getty Images

Jury selection will begin June 10 in the trial of George Zimmerman, the Florida man accused of second-degree murder in the February 2012 death of African-American teenager Trayvon Martin.

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Monkey See
12:50 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

A Parade Of Goobers: 17 Actual People Presented To 'The Bachelorette'

Desiree's parade of goobers. You'll notice the one without the shirt on. And the fact that many of them are the same guy.
Kevin Foley ABC

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 1:49 pm

Last night brought the premiere of the new season of The Bachelorette, in which Desiree, who was rejected by Sean on the last season of The Bachelor, was presented with 25 men from whom to choose. The theory is that if television producers choose 25 guys for you to pick from, surely one of them is your soul mate. Makes sense!

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The Two-Way
12:22 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Gallup Nears Settlement Deal With DOJ In Overbilling Case

The Gallup Organization has reached "an agreement in principle" with the Justice Department to settle civil allegations that the polling company overbilled the U.S. government by providing inflated estimates for federal contracts, according to a new court filing.

A deal could be announced by mid-June, the court filing says, bringing an end to a costly and embarrassing episode that first came to light when a Gallup insider blew the whistle.

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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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