NPR Blogs

The Torch
11:08 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Mustafina Wins Gold In Uneven Bars, As 'Drained' Douglas Struggles

Aliya Mustafina of Russia won gold in the women's uneven bars final at the London 2012 Olympics Monday. American Gabby Douglas came in eighth.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Gymnast Aliya Mustafina of Russia has won the 2012 Olympic gold medal in the uneven bars, standing atop the podium in a highly competitive event that also featured American star Gabby Douglas, defending medalist He Kexin of China, and British favorite Beth Tweddle.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
11:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Curiosity And Those 7 Minutes Of Terror: Once More With Feeling

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 12:19 pm

OK. Sure. You have seen this video before. Maybe once. Maybe 10 times (that would be me).

Now, however, the outrageous bit of engineering behind Curiosity's landing has proven its worth. That means you can watch this Hollywood-worthy piece of CGI one more time with a new piece of understanding.

It worked. The dang thing worked!

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The Torch
10:21 am
Mon August 6, 2012

American Sees Silver Slip Away In Rifle Event's Final Shot

Matthew Emmons of America (right) celebrates his bronze medal, along with Italy's Niccolo Campriani (center) and South Korea's Kim Jonghyun, after the men's 50m rifle 3 positions final.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

U.S. rifle shooter Matthew Emmons has won a bronze medal in the 50-meter three positions rifle event. That may sound like a slight let-down for the man who had been poised to win silver — a horrible final shot of 7.6 dropped him into third place — but it's far better than Emmons' earlier Olympic experiences.

First there was Athens 2004, when he inadvertently fired upon the wrong target.

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The Two-Way
9:42 am
Mon August 6, 2012

At Sikh Temple, Leader Attacked Gunman; Died Trying To Protect Others

Satwant Singh Kaleka, in an image broadcast by Milwaukee's TMJ4-TV.
TMJ4

As happened after last month's shooting rampage in Aurora, Colo., we're starting to hear stories of courage and sacrifice about victims of another mass shooting.

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The Torch
9:35 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Coming Up: Today's Highlights Include Gymnastics, Track, And Soccer

It's Day 10 of the London 2012 Games, and athletes are competing in 20 different sports today. The highlights include three gymnastics finals, the men's 400-meter race, and a semifinal in women's soccer.

Here's a list of events we're watching today. All times refer to the Eastern time zone:

Gymnastics

  • 9:00a Men's Rings Final
  • 9:50a Women's Uneven Bars Final
  • 10:41a Men's Vault Final

Soccer

  • 2:45p U.S. women vs. Canada (Semifinal)

Athletics

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The Torch
9:24 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Women's Basketball Blowout, And Maroney's Vault Woes

American Diana Taurasi drives to the basket past Xiaoyun Song #5 of China during their preliminary round match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

As we enter the final week of the 2012 Summer Olympics, and athletes from the United States have won a total of 60 medals. That's just behind China, at 61. The two countries have stayed in lock-step with one another all through the London Games. Here's a quick rundown of other news out there:

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Monkey See
9:21 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Morning Shots: Comedy Minus Time, New Podcast Networks, And Nick Jonas

The comedians I love most tend to be the ones whose work is funny and strange and sometimes dark, and yet shot through with a real richness of ... humanity, for lack of a better term. Tig Notaro is exactly like that, and while it's sad that she's in the news in part because she's been diagnosed with cancer, it's great to see her doing what she does in a way that seems to be meaningful to both her and everybody else. [Vulture]

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The Two-Way
7:58 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Syrian Prime Minister Defects In Major Blow To Assad Regime

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 12:53 pm

Syria's recently appointed prime minister has defected to Jordan and joined the opposition to President Bashar Assad, the highest-level departure to date from the embattled regime.

Prime Minister Riyad Hijab fled with his family just two months after assuming his post in the Cabinet. In a statement read to Al-Jazeera television, Hijab rejected a claim from Syrian state media that he had been fired.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Sikh Temple Shooting Suspect's Ties To White Supremacists Being Probed

Wade Michael Page, in a photo released by police.
Oak Creek Police

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:54 pm

The latest developments related to Sunday's shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., in which six people were killed and three injured before, authorities say, the gunman was killed by police:

Update at 3:47 p.m. ET. Obama Says Events Should Lead To "Soul Searching":

President Obama gave televised statements about the shooting which he called "terrible, tragic."

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Shots - Health Blog
3:29 am
Mon August 6, 2012

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

Amateur comedian Robert Lynch takes the mic at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on July 21. Lynch is also an evolutionary anthropologist who is studying what laughter reveals about us.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:26 pm

It's Saturday night at the Metropolitan Room, a comedy club in New York City. Host Jimmy Failla is warming up the crowd.

"Where you guys from?" he asks one group in the audience. "Boston? Home of the Red Sox. Personally, we'd prefer you rooted for the Taliban!"

There are 50 or 60 people in the audience, sipping cocktails. Failla has a system. He asks people where they're from. Most are locals. He then hits them with something they can relate to.

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The Two-Way
12:02 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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The Torch
4:04 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Usain Bolt Will Defend His Title As 'World's Fastest Man'

Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates after winning the men's 100m final at the London Games on Sunday.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:31 am

Usain Bolt is still the "world's fastest man."

The Jamaican sprinter has won the men's 100-meter race in an Olympic record time of 9.63 seconds. Just after 4:50 p.m. ET, he successfully defended the gold medal he won four years ago in Beijing.

Jamaica's Yohan Blake came in second today, giving him the silver medal. American Justin Gatlin was third, meaning he gets the bronze.

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The Two-Way
1:31 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Breaking News: Shots Fired At Sikh Temple In Wisconsin

A woman waits outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, Wis, where a gunman opened fire and killed six people. The gunman was killed by police.
Jeffrey Phelps AP

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 8:47 am

A shooting at a Sikh Temple in a suburb of Milwaukee today has left at least seven people dead, including the gunman, police say.

The crime is being treated as a "domestic terrorist-type incident," authorities say.

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The Torch
12:18 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Oscar Pistorius, The 'Blade Runner,' Faces Another Huge Challenge

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa leaving the starting blocks in Saturday's round 1 of the men's 400-meters race.
Michael Steele Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 3:58 pm

South Africa's Oscar Pistorius, the "Blade Runner" who has has artificial legs below the knees but overcame that challenge to become a world class runner, will not be in the finals of the men's 400-meters.

The results of Heat 2 in the semifinals were posted at 3:55 p.m. ET. Pistorius finished last out of eight competitors, nearly two seconds behind winner James Kirani of Grenada.

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