NPR Blogs

Monkey See
3:40 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Ann Harada, From 'Smash' To Stepsisterhood

Actress Ann Harada (in pink) returns to the stage in the Broadway premiere of Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, an update of the made-for-TV movie from 1957. Her other theater work has included Avenue Q and Les Miserables.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 4:45 pm

Ann Harada is that rare Asian-American musical theater actress who's never starred in The King and I or Miss Saigon. After a few summer stock stints as Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Harada realized if she was going to make it in theater, it would be as a character actor. In 2003, she originated the role of Christmas Eve in the irreverent puppet musical Avenue Q, a part she played on and off for six years.

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The Two-Way
2:46 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

British House Of Commons Passes Bill Legalizing Gay Marriage

Snow falls on the Houses of Parliament in London in January.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

By an overwhelming majority, the British House of Commons passed a bill that legalizes gay marriage. The bill is expected to become law because it is supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

The House passed the bill with a vote of 400 to 175.

The CBC reports:

"Same-sex civil partnerships have been allowed in the U.K. for eight years. One of the more high-profile unions is between musician Elton John and his Canadian partner, David Furnish.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Prostate Cancer Screening Is So Tricky

When is the right time to check the PSA box?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 2:56 pm

Men can be forgiven for being confused over screening for prostate cancer. Doctors are confused, too.

When it comes to figuring out if the benefits are worth the risks, the simplest solutions may not be best, a study of the options finds.

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Krulwich Wonders...
2:13 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Dinosaurs With Attitude

Courtesy of Julius T. Csotonyi

Come on, this isn't serious, is it? There was an animal that looked like this?

It's a dinosaur — scaly, fuzzy, with an oversized zebra-striped head, leopard-spotted legs, tiger stripes on the tail and two unfoldable wings permanently erect and attached to its feet. Really?

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The Two-Way
2:03 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Economy To Slow This Year As The Government Tightens, CBO Says

While the economy will benefit from continued improvement in "underlying" conditions, the federal government's push to tighten its spending will slow overall growth in 2013, the Congressional Budget Office projects.

In an updated "Budget and Economic Outlook" reported released Tuesday afternoon, the agency forecasts:

-- 1.4 percent growth in gross domestic product this year, vs. 2.3 percent in 2012.

-- 2.6 percent growth in 2014.

-- 4.1 percent growth in 2015.

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The Salt
1:23 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

First, Personalized Pez Dispensers. Next, Printed Food?

Toronto-based 3-D jewelry company Hot Pop Factory created personalized Pez dispenser heads for the employees of an architecture firm.
Hot Pop Factory

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 12:11 pm

The Pez dispenser is a cultural icon that has withstood the test of time, with Mickey Mouse, Yoda, even George Washington doling out little candy bricks through their plastic necks.

So applying the hot new technology of 3-D printing to make personalized Pez dispensers makes sense, in a weird way. It's just one of a growing number of efforts under way to print customized food products.

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The Two-Way
12:58 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Reg Presley, Who Sang 'Wild Thing' With The Troggs, Dies

Reg Presley of The Troggs in 1967.
PA Photos /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 2:07 pm

  • From the NPR Newscast: A little 'Wild Thing' and Neda Ulaby's report on Reg Presley

Grab a guitar, hit those three chords (A, D, E) and take three minutes to pay your respects:

Reg Presley, who sang Wild Thing with The Troggs in 1966, is dead. He was 71 and had suffered a series of strokes recently.

The band's website says Presley "died peacefully" on Monday, "surrounded by all of his family."

NPR's Neda Ulaby tells our Newscast Desk that:

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:14 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Super Bowl Power Loss: A PSA From The Cosmos

Things go dark in the Louisiana Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

It was a Super Bowl moment like no other. Thousands of fans packing a modern gladiatorial arena, millions more watching on TV screens across the nation and Beyoncé had just reminded us of why she is, well, Beyoncé. The second half play was just getting going.

And then the power failed.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Tue February 5, 2013

Japan Says China Locked Weapons Firing Radar On One Of Its Ships

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera speaks to reporters at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:24 pm

Marking a new escalation in tensions between countries with the world's second and third largest economies, Japan formally complained today that China had locked a military radar on one of its ships.

The Washington Post reports this was a "brief but dangerous escalation" in a continued dispute over territory. The Post adds:

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Obama Calls For Small Package Of Cuts, Tax Changes To Head Off 'Sequester'

President Obama at the White House on Tuesday.
Kevin Lamarque Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 7:02 am

(We updated the top of this post at 1:30 p.m. ET.)

Looking to head off deep, automatic spending cuts set to kick in on March 1, President Obama on Tuesday afternoon said that to avoid the negative economic effects that come with "political disfunction," Congress should move quickly to pass "a smaller package of spending cuts and tax reforms" that won't hurt the economy.

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Where In The U.S. Should You Leave 3 Hours Early For A 30-Minute Drive?

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:16 pm

This news got our attention, and not just because The Two-Way's home office is in the nation's capital:

Washington, D.C., and its surrounding suburbs are the worst place in the nation to be if you absolutely, positively have to get to an important appointment on time.

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Monkey See
11:16 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Even Balzac Had To Intern

Before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon, the young Honoré de Balzac was proofreading legal filings.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:01 pm

A young man graduates from college. At his father's insistence, he begins interning at a law firm. But when it comes time to pursue the profession, he refuses: He wants to do something more meaningful. He wants to write.

Sound like your son/cousin/roommate/best friend? It was Honoré de Balzac.

That's right – before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon ("Do not suppose," an Italian count wrote to his wife, "that the ugliness of his face will protect you from his irresistible power"), the young Balzac was proofreading legal filings.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue February 5, 2013

U.S. Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn Crashes In Austrian Event

Skier Lindsay Vonn is airlifted after crashing during the women's Super-G event in Schladming, Austria, possibly injuring her knee, on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013.
Luca Bruno AP

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 1:36 pm

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association says that American skier Lindsey Vonn crashed during the women's world Super-G competition in Austria today and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Reports indicate she may have a serious knee injury.

The gold-winning Olympian was trailing the race leader by 0.12 seconds, according to the USSA, when she crashed. She was taken for medical treatment by helicopter, which the organization says is 'standard protocol'.

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The Salt
10:48 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Why Health Officials Want You To Eat More Potassium

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 12:32 pm

It's a real bummer to be told to eat less of something. Especially when it's salt, the ubiquitous ingredient that seems to make everything taste a little better.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Tuareg Fighters In Mali Arrest Fleeing Islamist Militant Leaders

Malian troops near Hambori, northern Mali are driving toward Gao on Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.
Jerome Delay AP

Here's a turnabout in Mali: ethnic Tuareg rebels once allied with Islamist militants have captured two militant leaders in the northwestern part of the country as they tried to escape into Algeria.

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