NPR Blogs

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:31 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Feeling The Economic Impact Of Climate Change

A farmer sifts through the drought-stricken topsoil of his Logan, Kansas, land in August 2012.
John Moore Getty Images

Everyone knows that the weather this summer in the United States was a disaster. Temperature records fell faster than knickknacks off a broken bookshelf across much of the country. Vast swaths of the nation were facing "extreme" or "exceptional" drought conditions. And while it is impossible to say with certainty if any particular weather event is caused by climate change, the events of the summer are pretty much exactly what climate scientists have been predicting for decades.

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The Two-Way
1:16 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

House Committee: Washington Denied More Security For Libyan Consulate

The U.S. Consulate in Benghazi after an attack by an armed group.
Esam Omran Al-Fetori Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 2:00 pm

Before the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans, the U.S. mission had made "repeated requests" for more security at the compound.

According to the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform those requests by U.S. mission in Libya were denied by "officials in Washington."

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Weather Channel Will Start Naming Winter Storms

A person uses cross country skis to get up 26th Street NW near P Street in the snow in Washington in 2010.
Alex Brandon AP

For a long time now, winter storms that cause significant headaches are named posthumously. Think about the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, which got its name after it collapsed the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater in Washington, D.C, or the School House Blizzard of 1888, which killed hundreds, including many students making their way to school.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Some Good Legal News For Former IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn

Former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Zacharie Scheurer AP

French prosecutors dropped a gang rape charge today against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the former International Monetary Fund leader. He's been embroiled in sexual assault charges that began last year when a maid at a New York hotel claimed he raped her.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Week Later, No Word About Cause Of Oregon Hog Farmer's Death

What happened in Oregon?
David Gray Reuters /Landov
Suggestion: Don't read further if you're squeamish.

This gruesome story has captured folks' attention. It's the most-shared and most-read item on the BBC's website this hour and seems to be popping up on newssites all over:

"Oregon Farmer Eaten By His Pigs."

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Shots - Health Blog
10:59 am
Tue October 2, 2012

How Some Parents Could Learn Adult Daughters' Birth Control Habits

An insurer's note could tip parents to their adult daughter's use of the pill.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 9:53 am

The 2010 health law removes one of the big barriers to contraception for many young women: cost. But if they don't feel confident that the care they will receive is confidential, these women may not take advantage of it.

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The Salt
10:16 am
Tue October 2, 2012

High Food Prices Forecast More Global Riots Ahead, Researchers Say

A Tunisian protester holds a baguette while taking to riot police in January 2011.
Martin Bureau AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 10:34 am

When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry.

From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely to break out?

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Monkey See
9:24 am
Tue October 2, 2012

When It Comes To Character Detail, 'Pitch Perfect' Nails It

Anna Kendrick in Pitch Perfect.
Peter Iovino Universal Pictures

Pitch Perfect, the new comedy that opened in some cities last Friday and goes wider this Friday, is set in a world very close to my own heart: college a cappella.

I know, I know — it's dorky, it's silly, you hated those people at your school — I get it. But I loved it when I did it, and even now, I carry around a few of these compilations on my phone.

But as much as I enjoyed all the singing (and I did), it's not how the film won me over. What won me over was Beca's raggedy manicure.

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The Two-Way
8:47 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Women Erased From IKEA's Saudi Catalog; Company Apologizes

She's gone: One example of how women disappeared from IKEA's catalog. In the U.S. version, she's standing at a sink. In the Saudi version, she's missing.
IKEA

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 8:54 am

Click through Swedish furniture giant IKEA's U.S. (online here) and Saudi (online here) catalogs.

You'll find all the same stuff.

But you won't find women in the Saudi catalog.

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The Two-Way
7:19 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Report: U.S. Discussing 'Unilateral Strikes' On Terrorist Groups In Africa

Sept. 11, 2012: A blaze erupted during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
AFP/Getty Images

During a "series of secret meetings in recent months," the White House began to "consider for the first time whether to prepare for unilateral strikes" aimed at terrorist groups operating in North Africa, The Washington Post writes this morning.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:31 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Will Low-Cost Genome Sequencing Open 'Pandora's Box'?

The Proton Semiconductor Sequencer from Ion Torrent Systems Inc. is a new DNA sequencing machine designed to sequence the entire human genome in about eight hours for $1,000.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 10:54 am

Beau Gunderson's fascinated by what he might learn from his DNA.

"I'm curious about what makes me tick, essentially," says Gunderson, 29, who writes code for a Silicon Valley startup.

So Gunderson has signed up for every genetic test he's been able to afford. And he can't wait for the price of getting his entire genetic code — his genome — to drop to about $1,000, as many are predicting is imminent.

"Yeah, if the price does drop — to a thousand bucks for example — I might pay that. That's a good personal price point for me," Gunderson said.

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The Two-Way
7:38 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

New York Sues JPMorgan Over Mortgage-Backed Securities

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 8:42 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Jim Zarroli reports

New York's attorney general has sued JPMorgan Chase, alleging that a unit now owned by the banking giant fraudulently sold mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

The civil lawsuit filed Monday by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is the first to be brought by the RMBS Working Group – the task force formed by President Obama in January to pursue alleged wrongdoing at the time of the financial crisis.

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The Two-Way
7:22 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Mandolinist Chris Thile, Novelist Junot Díaz Among 2012 MacArthur 'Geniuses'

Junot Diaz won a Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Nina Subin Penguin Group

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 6:14 pm

The mandolinist Chris Thile, better known for his work with the bluegrass band Nickel Creek, and the novelist Junot Díaz, who won a Pulitzer for his novel The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, are among those awarded 2012 "genius" grants from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

The 23 MacArthur fellows will receive $500,000 over the next five years. They are allowed to do whatever they wish with the money, whether that's continue their work or change fields.

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