NPR Blogs

Krulwich Wonders...
6:28 am
Sat May 25, 2013

What If There's No Internet?

Vimeo

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 3:38 pm

I email. I search. I shop. I Facebook. I stream. I Skype. Every year I seem to do these things a little bit more. Stroke by stroke, as I slip deeper into the Internet's embrace, I find myself wondering:

"What would happen if the Internet went away?"

Can it? It was famously built to be indestructible, with no center, no hub, no "off" or "on" switch. It is, after all, a creature of the U.S. Defense Department, designed, supposedly, to survive a global war.

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The Two-Way
5:55 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Gnomes Crash Distinguished Garden Show In England

Despite the change in policy, some gardens maintained a more traditional appearance this year, such as the East Village display.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 25, 2013 1:19 pm

Gnomes marched their way into one of England's most prestigious gardening events this year. The 100th annual Chelsea Flower Show, which ends Saturday, opened its gates to the flower-friendly creatures for the first time.

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The Two-Way
7:36 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Court Rules That Arizona Sheriff Engages In Racial Profiling

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio (right) attends a rally for the Tea Party Express in 2010.
Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 8:29 pm

A U.S. district court has ruled that Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio's department has violated the rights of Latino drivers by racially profiling them as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration and issued an injunction to halt the practice.

The decision on Friday marks the first time that the hard-line Maricopa County sheriff's office has been found to be engaging in systematic racial profiling.

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The Two-Way
7:25 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Toronto Mayor: 'I Do Not Use Crack Cocaine'

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford at a city council meeting on Tuesday.
Nathan Denette Associated Press

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford says he doesn't smoke crack cocaine and isn't an addict, in response to a video that surfaced recently purporting to show him using the illegal drug.

Last week Ford called the cellphone video obtained by The Toronto Star "ridiculous" and blamed the newspaper for "going after me."

Friday's comments from Ford were more emphatic.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Hedge Fund Manager Apologizes For Comments On Female Traders

Paul Tudor Jones (left) at an National Audubon Society function in January.
Diane Bondareff Invision for the National Audubon Society

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:51 pm

Billionaire Paul Tudor Jones is back-peddling from remarks he made at a symposium last month that motherhood causes women to lose the necessary focus to be successful traders.

"As soon as that baby's lips touched that girl's bosom, forget it," Jones told an audience at the University of Virginia on April 26.

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The Two-Way
5:13 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

'Four Little Girls' Awarded Congressional Gold Medal

The Congressional Gold Medal has been posthumously awarded to four girls killed in the 1963 bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church. President Obama signed the legislation Friday, as (from left) Birmingham Mayor William Bell, Dr. Sharon Malone Holder, Attorney General Eric Holder, Rep. Terri Sewell, and relatives of Denise McNair and Carole Robertson look on.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 5:59 pm

They were just little girls when they were killed in 1963, in what came to be known as the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing. And now Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, nearly 50 years after the attack in Birmingham, Ala.

President Obama signed the legislation Friday to award the girls — all of them 14, except for McNair, who was 11 — with the highest honor Congress can bestow upon a civilian.

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Shots - Health News
5:11 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

A Token Gift May Encourage Gift Of Life

A stamp can build awareness, but broader use of incentives could help boost blood donations.
Michael Rega iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 8:08 am

There are two things you can always count on: public radio pledge drives and the local blood bank asking for a donation of a very different sort.

Both kinds of giving can fill you with a sense of goodwill. But, let's be honest, the tote bags help, too.

When it comes to blood donations, though, ethical concerns and risk have led to limits on incentives for donors in many places. The World Health Organization has set a goal for governments around the world to reach completely voluntary and nonremunerated donations of blood by 2020.

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Shots - Health News
4:12 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Heart Failure Treatment Improves, But Death Rate Remains High

Heart with congestive heart failure showing an enlarged left ventricle.
Brian Evans Science Source

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 4:31 pm

This is one of those "good news, but" medical stories.

New treatments for heart failure have made it much less likely that people with this chronic condition will die suddenly.

But an analysis by researchers at UCLA finds that the death rate for people with advanced heart failure remains stubbornly high, with 30 percent of people dying within three years.

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The Two-Way
4:08 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Ring Nebula Is More Like A Jelly Doughnut, NASA Says

The famous Ring Nebula is shown here in striking detail, in a composite image made from images from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and infrared data from telescopes on Earth.
NASA, ESA, C.R. Robert O'Dell, G.J. Ferland, W.J. Henney and M. Peimbert

The Ring Nebula, whose iconic shape and large size make it a favorite of amateur astronomers, can now be seen in new detail, after NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a sharp image of the nebula. Researchers say the new clarity reveals details that were previously unseen, and a structure that's more complex than scientists had believed.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
4:08 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Who Defines Who We Are?

Istanbul
Mustafa Ozer AFP/Getty Images

In The Third Chimpanzee, Jared Diamond offers a clever — if speculative — theory of the origins of race. After first dismissing the idea that racial differences are functional adaptations to different climates, he proposes that the tendency for certain people to look alike in respect of facial features, skin color, body type, etc., is a consequence of the fact that people mostly choose to reproduce with people like themselves.

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The Two-Way
3:42 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Ex-Guatemalan President Extradited To U.S.

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo speaks with journalists in Guatemala City before boarding a plane for the U.S. on Friday.
AFP/Getty Images

Former Guatemalan President Alfonso Portillo has been extradited to the United States, where he faces charges of laundering tens of millions of dollars through U.S. banks.

Portillo, who served as president from 2000 to 2004, was snatched from a hospital bed in Guatemala City, where he was recovering from liver surgery. He was placed on an airplane bound for New York, according to his lawyer, Mauricio Berreondo.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

The Great Charcoal Debate: Briquettes Or Lumps?

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 4:30 pm

A lot of things about grilling can ignite a fight, including the meaning of "barbecue." And with the proliferation of fancy equipment — from gas grills to pellet smokers to ceramic charcoal cookers — amateur cooks are growing more knowledgeable, and opinionated, about how to best cook food outdoors.

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Monkey See
2:37 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Are Women Really Missing From Film Criticism?

iStockphoto.com

A new study from the Center for the Study of Women in Television & Film has led to headlines claiming that women are missing from film criticism. "Female Movie Critics' Influence Shrinking, Says Study," reads the headline in the Chicago Tribune.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

Google Reportedly Faces Antitrust Probe Over Display Ads

Originally published on Fri May 24, 2013 2:52 pm

The Federal Trade Commission is in the early stages of opening an antitrust probe into how Google runs its online display advertising business, according to a report by Bloomberg News, citing sources who want to remain anonymous because the FTC has not announced the probe.

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The Two-Way
2:12 pm
Fri May 24, 2013

News Corp. Board Approves Company Split

The head of News Corp., Rupert Murdoch, arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party in February.
Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

Media empire News Corp., parent of Fox and The Wall Street Journal, will be cleaved into two businesses starting June 28: a publishing arm and one for entertainment.

The plan was first announced a year ago. As we reported at the time:

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