NPR Blogs

Krulwich Wonders...
6:05 am
Sat March 16, 2013

The Naming Of The Shrew

Carl Buell

It looks kinda like a squirrel, except its ears are too small, its tail is ratty, then bushy, and its mouth? Definitely un-squirrel. More like a shrew, a fox, or a dog. And the teeth? Strange. What is it?

It's an act of edited, elegant imagination.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:43 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Now A Politician, Aung San Suu Kyi Is The Object Of Protesters

Aung San Suu Kyi (right) faced protesters when she traveled to a village in northern Myanmar on Thursday to discuss a Chinese-backed copper mine project. Suu Kyi, a Nobel laureate and a member of Parliament, urged protesters to support the project, which was the scene of a violent crackdown last year. She said opposing the project would risk hurting the country's economy.
Soe Than Win AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 1:51 pm

Last year, Myanmar's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi was greeted by adoring crowds during triumphant tours of Asia, the U.S. and Europe. She eclipsed President Thein Sein, who remained in Burma, as the country is also known, and managed a series of domestic crises.

Read more
The Salt
5:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Wine Revolution: As Drinkers And Growers, U.S. Declares Independence

The vineyard at Round Pond Estate in Rutherford, Calif. Napa Valley is just one of wine-growing regions across the country.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 12:46 pm

A curious shift has happened in global wine-drinking trends: Americans have overtaken the French and Italians, Europe's traditional lovers of the fruits of the vine, as the world's top wine market.

And it's not just wine drinking that's taken off stateside: U.S. wine production is also on the rise.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:55 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

North Dakota Legislature OKs Bill Banning Abortions After Heartbeat Is Found

Rep. Bette Grande, R-Fargo, talks to reporters at the state Capitol in Bismarck, N.D. on Friday.
James MacPherson AP

A week after the Arkansas legislature passed the strictest measure in the country on abortion, North Dakota's legislature passed a bill that goes further and would ban abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected.

Arkansas' bill banned abortions after 12 weeks; North Dakota's could ban them as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.

Read more
Shots - Health News
6:42 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Is Your Medicine Vegan? Probably Not

Heparin is an anticoagulant and the prescription version is made from pig, raising concerns for vegans.
Rob Kim Landov

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 9:25 pm

Go looking for animal products, and apparently you will find them everywhere.

That's the takeaway from the book Veganissimo A to Z, recently translated into English for the first time. What's veganissimo? It's veganism of the highest order, according to the German authors Reuben Proctor and Lars Thomsen, who call themselves "professional vegans." (Is veganism a healthful way to eat? Sorry, we're not going there in this post.)

Read more
The Two-Way
6:29 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

FBI's 'National Security Letters' Demands Ruled Unconstitutional

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, right, and FBI Director Robert Mueller.
Win McNamee Getty Images

A federal judge in California ruled today that the FBI cannot secretly demand data from banks and phone companies in national security cases. The judge said orders that keep those requests secret violate the First Amendment.

NPR's Carrie Johnson filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"The demands known as 'national security letters' became a quick and popular tool for the FBI to gather information without a judge's pre-approval in the years after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

The Man Who Coined 'The God Particle' Explains: It Was A Joke!

This is what researchers at the ATLAS detector at the Large Hadron Collider expect a Higgs boson to look like. The Higgs boson is the subatomic particle that scientists say gives everything in the universe mass.
ATLAS Experiment/CERN

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 6:02 pm

We've explained it many times: Physicists are irked when we in the media call the Higgs Boson, "The God Particle."

Read more
Shots - Health News
4:34 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Matchmaker, Er, Match Week, Make Me A Doctor

Match day at Georgetown University School of Medicine on March 15.
Eric Stern for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 6:16 pm

Match week is the nail-biting time of year that haunts and tantalizes fourth-year medical students with dreams of residency programs. It culminates with the students learning at Friday at 1 p.m. if — and where — a hospital wants to train them to become full-fledged doctors.

Kristin Huntoon, 34, at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, tells Shots the past few months have been nerve-wracking. The fourth-year medical student would notice herself thinking about residency programs while she was in class, or during clinical rotations.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Record $614 Million In Penalties Levied As Insider Trading Cases Are Settled

Connecticut-based hedge fund CR Intrinsic Investors "has agreed to pay more than $600 million to settle SEC charges that it participated in an insider trading scheme involving a clinical trial for an Alzheimer's drug," the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Friday.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:59 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Runway Scare: Driverless Van Crosses Path Of Passenger Jet At Toronto Airport

A van that had been left running and in gear crossed an active runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, seen here in a 2012 photo. The incident, which occurred late Monday, is under investigation.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Canadian officials are investigating an incident in which a driverless van traveled across the runway at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, at the same time an Air Canada flight was landing late Monday night. After the plane's pilots reportedly ignored commands to pull up, the jet "narrowly missed" the van, investigators say.

From the CBC:

Read more
The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

With General Assembly Approval, Maryland Poised To Repeal Death Penalty

With a vote today in the House of Delegates, Maryland's General Assembly has approved a bill that abolishes the death penalty in the state.

If signed into law by Gov. Martin O'Malley, which is expected, Maryland will become the 18th state to end capital punishment.

The Baltimore Sun reports:

"The 82-56 vote came after an impassioned debate. The legislation cleared the state Senate last week 27-20.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:34 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

In Response To North Korea And Iran, U.S. Will Beef Up Missile Defenses

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 5:19 pm

Update at 3:09 p.m. ET. 14 Additional Interceptors:

The United States will deploy 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors (GBIs) to combat the nuclear attack threats from North Korea and Iran, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said today during a press briefing.

"The United States stands firm against aggression," Hagel said.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

VIDEO: See Comet Pan-STARRS Dragging Its Tail Through Space

Comet PanSTARRS, as viewed by NASA's orbiting STEREO (Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory).
NASA

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 3:03 pm

Comet Pan-STARRS is putting on a bit of a show for those in the Northern Hemisphere through the end of this month. We're seeing some beautiful photos, such as those taken this week by AFP/Getty's Stan Honda. He pointed his camera skyward near Magdalena, N.M.

The best viewing came earlier this week, but Forbes writes that if you're in the Northern Hemisphere you're not too late to see Pan-STARRS. It offers some tips:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

To Mark 10th Anniversary Of Iraq Invasion, Researchers Assess The Cost

Members of the US Army's Old Guard carry team lift the remains of U.S. Army Specialist Israel Candelaria Mejias from San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico, as his body is returned on a C-17 to the U.S. from Iraq on April 7, 2009.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Nearly ten years since the United States invaded Iraq, researchers at Brown University are assessing the cost of the war.

The report, from Brown's Watson Institute for International Studies, is comprehensive, taking a look at the direct and indirect costs of war, but from the university's press release, here is bottom line:

Read more
The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

A Peek Into Exoplanet's Atmosphere Offers Clues To How It Was Formed

The 10-meter Keck II (right), a twin of the world's largest optical telescope, was used to study the atmosphere of HR 8799c.
Richard Wainscoat AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 3:06 pm

Scientists peering into the atmosphere of a giant planet 130 light years away believe their findings bolster one theory of how solar systems form.

The planet, orbiting the star HR 8799, is part of a solar system containing at least three other "super-Jupiters" weighing in at between five and 10 times the mass of our own Jupiter. The nearby system features a brash, young 30-million-year-old star (by contrast, our Sun is in midlife at about 4.5 billion years old).

Read more

Pages