NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
10:42 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Send Your Haiku To Mars! NASA Seeks Poets

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this close-up of the red planet Mars in 2007, when it was just 55 million miles away.
NASA UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 1:33 pm

Galactic poet?

Here's how to become famous.

Send your work to Mars!

NASA is raising awareness for its upcoming launch of the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution spacecraft with its Going to Mars project. The MAVEN spacecraft is scheduled for launch this November, to study the Red Planet's upper atmosphere; the craft will examine why Mars lost its atmosphere, and how that catastrophe affected the history of water there.

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Monkey See
10:35 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Marc Maron On His New Show And Becoming A Good Listener

Marc Maron is both an accomplished podcaster and the star of a new show on IFC.
Larry Hirshowitz Right On PR

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 7:23 pm

Part of the appeal of podcasts is portability: You can listen at the gym, in the car, or on foot. Beyond portability, though, they offer another advantage: In a world of multimedia bombast, they return listeners to an ancient idea – people talking to other people.

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The Two-Way
9:40 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Detained U.S. Citizen Gets 15 Years Hard Labor In North Korea

Passersby watch a local television broadcast in Seoul on Thursday showing a report on the sentencing of Kenneth Bae.
Kim Jae-hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:07 am

Update at 4:05 p.m. ET:

State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell raised concerns about the lack of transparency in Kenneth Bae's trial and urged North Korea to him "amnesty and immediate release."

NPR's Michele Kelemen reports that Ventrell wouldn't say whether the U.S. was considering sending a high-level envoy to Pyongyang as it has done in the past to win the release of U.S. citizens in North Korea.

Here's our original post:

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The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Weekly Jobless Claims Drop Again, Stay Near 5-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 9:33 am

There were 324,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 18,000 from the previous week's 342,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

Claims continue to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven't been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000.

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Top Stories: Book Forthcoming On Boston Suspects; Rapper Dies

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:53 am

Good morning, here are our early stories:

-- Putin Biographer To Write Book On Tsarnaev Brothers.

-- Rapper Chris Kelly Dies, 'Jump' Was Hit For Duo Kris Kross.

And here are more early headlines:

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The Two-Way
7:17 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Book News: Putin Biographer To Write Book On Tsarnaev Brothers

This composite photo shows brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, (left) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:05 am

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

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Recovery Begins For Mother, Daughter Injured In Boston

Celeste Corcoran is transported to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital on April 28.
Ellen Webber for NPR

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 4:19 pm

The number of Boston bombing victims still in the hospital dropped to 19 as of Wednesday evening. The great majority have gone home or to a rehab facility.

That's what has happened with Celeste and Sydney Corcoran, a mother-daughter pair who ended up in the same hospital room after being struck down by the first marathon bomb blast.

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Shots - Health News
3:00 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Imagine A Flying Pig: How Words Take Shape In The Brain

Although a flying pig doesn't exist in the real world, our brains use what we know about pigs and birds — and superheroes — to create one in our mind's eye when we hear or read those words.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 6:20 pm

This is a story about a duck. More precisely, it's a story about what your brain just did when you read the word "duck."

Chances are, your brain created an image of a web-footed waterfowl. It also may have recalled the sound of quacking or the feel of feathers. And new research suggests that these mental simulations are essential to understanding language.

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The Two-Way
7:12 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

FBI Asks For Public's Help In Benghazi Investigation

The FBI is seeking information about these individuals.
FBI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is asking the public for help in finding three individuals who were on the grounds of the U.S. mission in Benghazi, the day an attack killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

"These individuals may be able to provide information to help in the investigation," the FBI said in a short release.

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The Salt
6:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bones Tell Tale Of Desperation Among The Starving At Jamestown

The four cuts at the top of this skull "are clear chops to the forehead," says Smithsonian forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley. Based on forensic evidence, researchers think the blows were made after the person died.
Donald E. Hurlbert Smithsonian

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:48 pm

"First they ate their horses, and then fed upon their dogs and cats, as well as rats, mice and snakes."

So says James Horn of the historical group Colonial Williamsburg, paraphrasing an account by colony leader George Percy of what conditions were like for the hundreds of men and women stranded in Jamestown, Va., with little food in the dead of winter in 1609.

They even ate their shoes. And, apparently, at least one person.

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The Salt
6:29 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Who Paid For Last Summer's Drought? You Did

Corn plants dry in a drought-stricken farm field near Fritchton, Ind., last summer.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:10 pm

Say the words "crop insurance" and most people start to yawn. For years, few nonfarmers knew much about these government-subsidized insurance policies, and even fewer found any fault with them. After all, who could criticize a safety net for farmers that saves them from getting wiped out by floods or drought?

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Bolivian President Evo Morales Expels USAID

Bolivian President Evo Morales sings his national anthem during the annual May Day march in La Paz on Wednesday. He announced during a speech that he was expelling the U.S. Agency for International Development from the country.
Juan Karita AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:45 pm

Bolivian President Evo Morales expelled the U.S. Agency for International Development from his country, accusing it of undermining his government.

"We have decided to expel USAID from Bolivia," Morales said in a May Day speech outside the presidential palace in La Paz.

He said he'd ordered the country's foreign minister, David Choquehuanca, to notify the U.S. Embassy of the decision.

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The Two-Way
6:08 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Mountain Dew Pulls Ad Called 'Most Racist ... In History'

A screen grab of a Mountain Dew commercial.
Mountain Dew

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 4:13 pm

PepsiCo announced today that it was pulling a Mountain Dew ad from all its online channels, after it was buffeted by criticism.

Boyce Watkins, a professor at Syracuse University and an outspoken social critic, called the commercial "arguably the most racist commercial in history."

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Shots - Health News
5:10 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Second Thoughts On Medicaid From Oregon's Unique Experiment

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 7:48 pm

Two years ago, a landmark study found that having Medicaid health insurance makes a positive difference in people's lives.

Backers of the program have pointed to that study time and again in their push to encourage states to expand the program as part of the federal health law.

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Shots - Health News
4:37 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

A Sleep Gene Has A Surprising Role In Migraines

Bates experienced migraines as a child. She made this painting to depict how they felt to her.
Courtesy of Emily Bates

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 10:33 am

Mutations on a single gene appear to increase the risk for both an unusual sleep disorder and migraines, a team reports in Science Translational Medicine.

The finding could help explain the links between sleep problems and migraines. It also should make it easier to find new drugs to treat migraines, researchers say.

And for one member of the research team, Emily Bates, the discovery represents a personal victory.

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