NPR Blogs

The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Women's Rights Group Protests Facebook's All-Male Board

A group of women's rights activists are descending on Facebook's New York offices, today, to deliver what it says is an online petition from 53,000 people that demands Facebook add a woman to its board of directors before the company goes public.

In its petition, UltraViolet says that 58 percent of Facebook users are women, yet "despite the fact that women are responsible for most of Facebook's revenue and activity there currently is not a single woman on their board."

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Justices Signal Support For Arizona Immigration Law

The U.S. Supreme Court building.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

The early analyses of this morning's Supreme Court hearing on parts of Arizona's controversial immigration law are in, and the consensus is that the majority of justices will likely uphold the state's effort to reduce the number of people within its borders who may be there illegally.

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Al Gore Put In Internet Hall Of Fame

Former Vice President Al Gore.
Joe Kohen Getty Images for Current TV

We're sorry to be a day late — you'd think in the Internet age we would have been more on top of this.

Former Vice President Al Gore (D) is among the inaugural inductees in the Internet Hall of Fame.

He's been lauded by the Internet Society for being "a key proponent [as a senator and vice president] of sponsoring legislation that funded the expansion of and greater public access to the Internet."

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The Two-Way
12:31 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

U.K. Back In Recession, After First Quarter Contraction

After its economy shrunk by 0.2 percent in the first three months of the year, Britain was officially dragged backed into recession. As the AP reports, " two consecutive quarters of negative growth are required for a country to be officially deemed to be in recession."

What does this mean? It depends on which economist you talk to.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:10 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

The Crooked Way To Knowledge

Looking for signs of Dark Matter at the ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.
Iztok Bončina ESO

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 12:22 pm

The way science is usually taught in schools, one would think that knowledge grows at a linear rate, always accumulating, always going forward. However, a cursory look at the history of science shows that the truth couldn't be more different: the road toward knowledge is crooked and, sometimes, may even go backward when a wrongheaded notion persists well beyond its time.

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Two Videos, Two Amazing Basketball Shots

Armands Skele (at bottom, in the center of this screen grab) flipped the ball backhand toward the basket. And in it went.
BCKalevCramo TV

For fans of incredible feats:

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The Salt
11:34 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Buying Sustainable Fish Is Getting Easier, But It's Still Hard

Fish on display at a Whole Foods Market in Hillsboro, Ore., in 2010.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:20 pm

This week, Whole Foods, the upscale grocer, said it is eliminating 12 wild fish species from its seafood section as part of its commitment to ocean conservation. The fish, rated "red" by conservation groups that evaluate overfishing and other problems, include popular choices like Atlantic halibut, octopus, and some tuna.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Wed April 25, 2012

He's 'Never Asked A Prime Minister For Anything,' Rupert Murdoch Says

This video grab from pooled footage shows Rupert Murdoch testifying earlier today in London.
AFP/Getty Images

Among the highlights so far today during Rupert Murdoch's testimony in London before an inquiry into the ethics of the British news media, and his News Corp. tabloids in particular, is this quote from the media mogul:

"I've never asked a prime minister for anything."

NPR's David Folkenflik, who is live-tweeting, and NPR's Philip Reeves, who has been filing radio reports, will have more as the inquiry continues.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Wed April 25, 2012

Orders For Durable Goods Drop Sharply

Orders for equipment, appliances, aircraft and other so-called durable goods fell 4.2 percent in March from February, the Census Bureau reports.

It's the second decline in the past three months and the biggest monthly dip in three years. Much of the drop in March was due to a decline in orders for aircraft. "But companies also ordered less machinery and other equipment, a sign manufacturing output may slow," The Associated Press writes.

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The Two-Way
8:40 am
Wed April 25, 2012

NBA's World Peace Gets Seven-Game Suspension For Elbowing Opponent

After Metta World Peace's elbow connected with James Harden's head, the Oklahoma City Thunder guard (behind World Peace) crumpled to the floor. He was later able to walk off on his own power.
Reed Saxon AP

The basketball player formerly known as Ron Artest has been suspended for seven games for swinging his left elbow hard into the head of an opponent on Sunday.

Metta World Peace, as the Los Angeles Lakers forward is now known, will miss the team's last regular season game on Thursday. The Lakers then move into the playoffs, where each round is "best-of-seven." So he could miss most or all of the first round (if the Lakers extend that matchup beyond four games) and even a game or two in the second round (if the Lakers advance after just four or five games).

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The Two-Way
7:12 am
Wed April 25, 2012

VIDEO: Obama Slow Jammin' The News With Jimmy Fallon

President Obama took to the mic with Jimmy Fallon (at left) to slow jam the news about student loans.
LateNightWithJimmyFallon.com

President Obama took his push to keep the cost of student loans from rising to NBC-TV's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show early today, and in the latest of his crossovers into the music world was part of Jimmy's latest "slow jammin' the news" series.

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The Two-Way
6:30 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Syria Envoy Kofi Annan Says Situation In Syria 'Bleak'

International envoy to Syria Kofi Annan told the U.N. Security Council that the situation in the country is "bleak." That's according to the AP, which obtained a copy of the closed briefing.

"He echoed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in calling the current situation 'unacceptable' and called on the Syrian government to immediately implement his six-point peace-plan," the AP added.

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The Two-Way
5:23 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

VIDEO: Northern Lights Seen In Minnesota

The Northern Lights in Minnesota.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 7:02 am

Last night was pretty spectacular in some parts of Minnesota.

Fergus Falls, for example, got a rare showing of the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. Douglas Kiesling, of Storm Chasing Video, posted this video of them on YouTube:

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Obama Calls Secret Service Employees In Prostitution Scandal 'Knuckleheads'

President Barack Obama laughs with Jimmy Fallon during commercial break as he participates in a taping of the Jimmy Fallon Show on Tuesday.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 8:42 pm

In his first public comments about the prostitution scandal that has engulfed the Secret Service, President Obama praised the agency and said those implicated in the scandal should not the diminish the work of everyone else.

"The Secret Service, these guys are incredible," Obama said according to Politico. "They protect me, they protect our girls... A couple of knuckleheads shouldn't detract from what they do."

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The Two-Way
3:23 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

USDA: New Case Of Mad Cow Disease Confirmed In California

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 6:25 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it has confirmed a case of Mad Cow disease in a cow in central California. It is the fourth case found in the country in recent years.

The animal was a dairy cow and "at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health," U.S.D.A. Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford said in a statement.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cardboard Prom Dress Is Just The Right Fit For This Young Woman

Maura Pozek in her latest creation.
Steve Pozek (her dad)

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:51 am

Why did Missouri teen Maura Pozek make her prom dress out of cardboard and paper bags?

Because after fashioning the previous two years' outfits out of Doritos bags and soda can tabs, "I had to top myself somehow."

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The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

With 'Drive,' Google Joins The Cloud Storage War

Google Drive.
Google

After years of speculation and rumor, today Google announced Google Drive, a new service that allows users to store data on the cloud.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Cuban Actors, In Movie About Defecting, Appear To Have Defected

As many news outlets have put it, this might be a perfect case of life imitating art: Two Cuban actors, who star in a movie about about teenagers who decide to defect to the United States, have gone missing shortly after arriving in the United States for the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of Una Noche.

Six days later, Javier Núñez Florián and Anailín de la Rúa de la Torre are still missing and assumed to have defected.

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The Two-Way
1:43 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

George Zimmerman Has Pleaded Not Guilty In Trayvon Martin Case

George Zimmerman during his bond hearing in a Seminole County, Fla., courtroom on April 20.
Gary Green Orlando Sentinel-Pool/Getty Images

On the day after he was arrested, George Zimmerman officially entered a "not guilty" plea to the charge of second-degree murder in the Feb. 26 death of Trayvon Martin, according to court records now posted online by Florida's 18th Circuit Court.

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The Salt
12:32 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Poll: Are Your Friends Bombarding You With Food Porn?

NPR's Becky Lettenberger freely admits she is guilty of showering her friends with her food photos.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 10:22 am

Is the "culinary paparazzi" out of control? That's the message of a parody video by musical comedians The Key of Awesome.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Diners Not Fazed By Second Collapse At 'Heart Attack Grill;' Would You Be?

One of the Heart Attack Grill's "triple bypass" burgers.
Matt York AP

Originally published on Wed April 25, 2012 5:57 am

The news that for the second time this year someone has collapsed while dining at Las Vegas' Heart Attack Grill doesn't seem to bother the restaurant's fans.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Government Files First Criminal Charges In BP Oil Spill

Fire boats battle a fire at the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in April of 2010.
U.S. Coast Guard Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 2:31 pm

"The first criminal charges in connection with the BP oil spill have been filed against a former BP engineer named Kurt Mix," NPR's Carrie Johnson reports exclusively.

Carrie just told our Newscast unit that Mix has been charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting text messages after the spill. The texts were related to the amount of oil gushing into the Gulf. Mix will make his first appearence in court today.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:17 pm
Tue April 24, 2012

Water Crisis Looms For A Thirsty Planet

Access to fresh water is not a given for many, including this Indian girl carrying bottles of drinking water filled from a municipal tap two kilometers from her village.
Indranil Mukherjee AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 1:41 pm

Twelve years ago, I was an intern working with the American Museum of Natural History on marine protected areas. One afternoon, after reading mountains of articles that documented the declining state of fisheries and reefs, I naively proclaimed that ocean conservation must be the most depressing field in the world of science.

"Not at all," countered my mentor. "It's the freshwater scientists that have it the worst." He was right.

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Consumer Confidence Held Steady This Month

After a slight decline in March, the widely watched consumer confidence index from the private Conference Board "was virtually unchanged in April," the research group reports.

"The index now stands at 69.2, down slightly from 69.5 in March," it says.

"Overall, consumers are more upbeat about the state of the economy, but they remain cautiously optimistic," Lynn Franco, director of the board's consumer research center, adds in its release.

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The Two-Way
10:53 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Teacher Of The Year 'Known For Unconventional Techniques'

President Obama gave the 2012 National Teacher of the Year trophy to Rebecca Mieliwocki this morning at the White House.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Rebecca Mieliwocki, a seventh-grade English teacher in Burbank, Calif., was just honored at the White House by being named National Teacher of the Year.

In expressing her thanks, Mieliwocki offered this thought: "I am not the best teacher in America. There isn't just one."

And she went on to talk about the hard work and dedication displayed by most American teachers.

According to Los Angeles' Daily Breeze:

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The Two-Way
10:34 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Mine The Asteroids? How About By 2020?

A picture of the Eros asteroid taken by a NASA spacecraft.
JPL/JHUAPL NASA

It's not J.J. Abrams' souped up special effects film, 'Armageddon' - there's a real effort afoot to launch rockets into space to dock with asteroids. A new company is trying to do just that, and it's won the backing of several technology leaders.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:30 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Can 'Hackstability' Save Civilization?

Nigel Treblin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:29 pm

The future looks bright, a gleaming utopia of sky-spanning cities run for us by benign, sentient machines. The future looks grim, a wasteland of failed — even hostile — technologies and the depleted resources they depended on.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Home Prices Continue Downward Drift

A sign of the times, last year in Tigard, Ore.
Don Ryan AP

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 10:17 am

"Broadly-speaking, home prices continued to decline in the early months of the year," according to economist David Blitzer, chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Indices.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:39 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Little Red Riding Hood Gets A 21st Century Attitude

Vimeo

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 11:41 am

She's been visiting grandma since 1697, when her story was first published in a French anthology of children's stories. Now we have a 21st century version, but before we go there, here's a little review:

Little Red Riding Hood — First Version

In the earliest version, she meets the wolf in the woods, the wolf scrambles to Grandma's house, eats grandma, gets into grandma's bed and when Little Red arrives, the wolf gobbles her too. Nobody survives — except the wolf. This is not the gentlest of bedtime stories.

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