National

Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free

Martin Pistorius sometime between 1990 and 1994, when he was unable to communicate.
Courtesy of Martin Pistorius

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 10:43 am

What would you do if you were locked in your body, your brain intact but with no way to communicate? How do you survive emotionally when you are invisible to everyone you know and love?

That's the first question asked by NPR's new program on human behavior, Invisibilia.

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Monkey See
3:27 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

C'mon, 'Glee': Bring It Home

Rachel (Lea Michele) seeks advice from Will (Matthew Morrison) in the first part of the two-hour Glee season premiere, airing Friday night.
Tyler Golden Fox

It's wrong, I think, to say that Fox's Glee was only good at the beginning. It's certainly been inconsistent. It's certainly struggled with new cast members once the original group moved on.

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The Salt
3:09 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Is 'Cook At Home' Always Good Health Advice?

One reason cooking at home might be linked to poor health? Researchers say it could be because there are too many unhealthful baked goods coming out of the oven.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 4:48 pm

Author Michael Pollan called home cooking the "single most important thing we could do as a family to improve our health and general well-being" in his 2013 book Cooked.

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Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Are Teenagers Capable Of Making Life-Or-Death Decisions?

Cassandra, age 17, is in a Hartford, Conn., hospital where the state is compelling her to undergo cancer treatment.
Cassandra AP

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 9:53 am

The Connecticut Supreme Court's ruling that 17-year-old Cassandra could be forced to undergo cancer treatment sparked thousands of impassioned comments on NPR.org and Facebook.

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Goats and Soda
2:17 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Ebola Vaccine Will Soon Be Tested In West Africa

The windows at Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, where Ebola cases are treated, are streaked with chlorinated water as a disinfectant.
Tommy Trenchard for NPR

Ebola vaccine developers are on track to start testing their products in West Africa in about a month, the World Health Organization said at a press conference today.

And it's a race against the clock — testing will become more challenging if the number of new Ebola cases continues to drop.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Senator Asks Red Cross To Explain Its Finances

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 3:38 pm

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, is asking the American Red Cross to explain inaccuracies in how it has said it uses public donations, citing questions raised by an NPR and ProPublica investigation.

Grassley called into question how much of the charity's donations actually go to disaster services.

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The Salt
1:31 pm
Fri January 9, 2015

Vintage Beer? Aficionados Say Some Brews Taste Better With Age

A stash of vintage beers at Dogfish Head Brewery in Delaware.
Courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 2:39 pm

In the late 1970s, a young Southern California beer enthusiast named Bill Sysak began doing something quite novel at the time. He bought cases of beer and stashed the bottles in his basement to age like wine. Over several years, Sysak discovered that some beers could develop rich flavors — like toffee and caramel — not present in their youth. Excited by what he found, Sysak ramped up his cellaring program and made it a full-time hobby.

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Poll: Most Americans Would Share Health Data For Research

Older people were less inclined to share anonymized health data, an NPR-Truven Health Analytics poll found.
NPR

Americans, by and large, don't seem all that worried about what happens to the information in their medical records.

A NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll found that data privacy didn't appear to bother most respondents. Privacy worries ran highest for information held by health insurers, but even then only 16 percent of people expressed concern.

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The Two-Way
9:49 am
Fri January 9, 2015

House OKs Keystone XL Pipeline Despite Obama Veto Threat

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 5:53 pm

Updated at 1:08 p.m. ET.

The GOP-controlled House of Representatives has voted 266-153 to approve the Keystone XL pipeline despite a presidential veto threat, just hours after Nebraska's Supreme Court, in a split decision, cleared the way for the controversial project.

The Senate, which also has a Republican majority, is considering similar legislation.

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Monkey See
9:27 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: In One Year And Out The Other 2015

NPR

Sure, lots of people make predictions at the beginning of every year. And lots of people make resolutions. But how many people are willing to go back, play tape of themselves making those predictions and resolutions, and evaluate their own rightness or, more often, wrongness?

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Unemployment Dips To 5.6 Percent As Economy Adds 252K Jobs

Former student Nathaniel Simmons operates a crane during a day of training at Georgia College of Construction. The Department of Labor says construction was one of several sectors that showed job gains in December.
Branden Camp AP

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 10:29 am

Updated at 9:50 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy added 252,000 jobs in December, capping a 12-month stretch of job growth unmatched since 1999, according to the Labor Department. In a separate survey, the department says that the unemployment rate dipped to 5.6 percent from 5.8 percent the previous month.

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Around the Nation
7:00 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Ex-Miami Dolphins Player Swims To Safety

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 9:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Around the Nation
6:42 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Dog Gets His Mouth On A Remote; Trouble Ensues

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 9:31 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Economy
5:57 am
Fri January 9, 2015

Economists Expect Strong Job Growth In December

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 5:44 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:56 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Honda Fined $70 Million For Underreporting Deaths And Injuries

A man walks past a Honda on display at Honda Motor Co. headquarters in Tokyo. The Obama administration on Thursday, said it will fine Honda $70 million — the largest civil penalty leveled against an automaker --- for not reporting to regulators over 1,700 complaints that its vehicles caused deaths and injuries and not reporting warranty claims.
Koji Sasahara AP

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has fined Honda $70 million, for according to NHTSA, "failing to report deaths, injuries, and certain warranty claims to the federal government." NHTSA says Honda failed to report 1,729 death and injury claims tied to their vehicles between 2003 and 2014, and that the company failed to submit "early warning reports identifying potential or actual safety issues." The NHTSA also claims Honda underreported warranty and customer dissatisfactio

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All Tech Considered
6:29 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Look Out, This Poker-Playing Computer Is Unbeatable

Dealer Omar Abu-Eid adjusts a stack of chips before the first day of the World Series of Poker's main event in Las Vegas last July. Humans still reign in most versions of poker. Whew.
John Locher AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 9:00 pm

Researchers have developed a computer program they say can beat any human on the planet at a particular variant of Texas Hold'em poker.

The scientists aren't planning to clean up with their powerful poker bot. Instead, they hope it can help computers become better decision-makers in the face of uncertainty. The work is published Thursday in the journal Science.

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Around the Nation
6:29 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

When Morale Dips, Some Cops Walk The Beat — But Do The Minimum

There's been a sharp decline in the number of arrests and tickets and summonses issued in New York City. Police sometimes use work slowdowns to show dissatisfaction with policies, workloads or contract disputes.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Police officers in New York City are not working as hard as usual.

For the past two weeks, the number of arrests, summonses and tickets issued has dropped dramatically, and many consider it a purposeful slowdown by officers who are angry at Mayor Bill de Blasio.

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The Salt
5:30 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

On His 80th Birthday, Shake It Like Elvis With A Milkshake

A still-trim Elvis Presley enjoys a sandwich in 1958. His love of fatty foods hadn't caught up to him yet.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:29 pm

Elvis Presley was better known for his music than his gourmet tastes. But he did have a famous affinity for the fried goodness of the American South — and he had the waistline to prove it.

In honor of what would have been the King of Rock 'n' Roll's 80th birthday, let's take a look at some of his legendary eating habits.

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Around the Nation
5:30 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Boston Bombing Survivor Readies For Testimony

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:29 pm

Melissa Block talks with Boston bombing survivor Rebekah Gregory-DiMartino. Her left leg was amputated last November after multiple surgeries to save it. She says she has to testify at the trial and is apprehensive about it.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Pop Culture
5:30 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

And The Moral Of The Story Is ... Kids Don't Always Understand The Moral

In the "Winter's Gift" episode of Sofia the First, Disney Princess Tiana (left) from The Princess and the Frog makes a special appearance to help Princess Sofia learn that a true gift comes from the heart.
Disney Junior

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 6:28 pm

"Slow and steady wins the race."

"What's right for one may be wrong for another."

"Treat others the way you'd like to be treated."

Morals have long been the conclusion of fables and fairy tales aimed at kids. And today's TV shows and movies are no different — they often weave lessons for the younger generation into their narratives. But do children actually absorb these messages, or do these endings just help parents feel better about the media their kids consume?

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The Salt
5:07 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Out Of the Shadows And Onto Menus: Foie Gras Is Back In California

A foie gras dish is prepared at Hot's Kitchen during a "Farewell Fois Gras" event in June 2012 in Hermosa Beach, Calif. The restaurant was one of three plaintiffs that filed suit after the ban went into effect, and it has been serving free foie gras to guests ever since.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Foie gras, the luxe delicacy made from fatty duck or goose livers, is no longer contraband on California menus.

A federal judge on Wednesday lifted a statewide ban on the sale of foie gras, which is made from the engorged liver of ducks or geese that have been force-fed to create the food's signature rich, creamy taste.

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Television
4:59 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Why I Asked Tina Fey About 'Charlie Hebdo' At The TV Critics Press Tour

Tina Fey speaks at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour Wednesday in Pasadena, Calif.
Mark Davis Getty Images

When I asked Tina Fey how she felt about the attack at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, I wasn't aiming for a big headline — though that's exactly what her answer produced.

She was facing a roomful of journalists at the TV Critics Association's winter press tour Wednesday, talking up her latest television series — an eccentric comedy, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that was developed for NBC but will be unveiled to the world on Netflix.

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Shots - Health News
4:04 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

How The Skin Disease Psoriasis Costs Us Billions

A patch of psoriasis on an elbow.
iStockphoto

Skin disorders rarely make it on the list of big-time diseases, so when we saw a study saying that psoriasis costs the nation $52 to $63 billion a year, it was hard not to think, "Really?"

And that's just for the direct costs of health care for people with psoriasis, according to the study, published Wednesday in JAMA Dermatology.

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Code Switch
2:22 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

After Leelah Alcorn's Suicide, Trans Youth Fight Broader Bias

David G., who lives in Toronto, came out in the summer of 2014, announcing the news on Facebook. He has the support of his parents and many friends, but hasn't found complete acceptance at school.
David G.

Originally published on Fri January 9, 2015 9:42 am

In a moment many have called "the transgender tipping point," the news of Leelah Alcorn's suicide and her plea that someone "fix society" for transgender people have garnered massive attention, moving from conversations on social media to national news outlets.

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Goats and Soda
12:29 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Why Bill Gates Is Commissioning Fine Art

The birth of vaccines: Photographer Alexia Sinclair portrays Dr. Edward Jenner giving John Phipps the world's first vaccine, for smallpox, in 1796.
Courtesy of Alexia Sinclair

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:02 pm

Each year, about 6 million people die from diseases that are preventable with vaccines. And about 1 in 5 children around the world don't have access to life-saving vaccines.

But those are cold and dry statistics.

The Art of Saving A Life enlisted more than 30 artists to create images that bring those numbers to life — to spark conversations, interest and, ultimately, funding for vaccines.

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Thu January 8, 2015

Texas Abortion Case May Hinge On Definition Of 'Undue Burden'

Women with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health demonstrate Wednesday outside the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. A federal appeals court in New Orleans is considering whether a Texas law puts up an unconstitutional obstacle to women seeking abortions.
Jonathan Bachman AP

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 6:53 pm

A part of a Texas abortion law — one that requires that any clinic performing abortions meet stringent, hospital-like medical standards — is on trial this week in a U.S. appeals court.

The effect of the law has already been dramatic in Texas. Before it passed, a year and a half ago, more than 40 clinics provided abortions in the state. Now there are about 17 such facilities. If this part of the law is reinstated, about 10 facilities would close, leaving vast distances between some residents and the nearest clinic.

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The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu January 8, 2015

NASA Map Shows Just How Cold It Is In Eastern U.S.

NOAA's GOES-East satellite provided a look at the frigid eastern two-thirds of the U.S. on Wednesday that shows a blanket of northern snow, lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes and clouds behind the Arctic cold front.
NASA

There's a cold front across much of the U.S. – with temperatures in places like New Orleans at around 29 degrees and Houston about 34 degrees. This map from NASA tells us just how cold it was on Wednesday.

The image was captured at 11 a.m. EST. Here's NASA's explanation:

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Monkey See
10:46 am
Thu January 8, 2015

'Parenthood' And The Strange Case Of The Missing Family Drama

Peter Krause as Adam Braverman and Monica Potter as Kristina Braverman on NBC's Parenthood.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 4:13 pm

NBC's Parenthood, loosely based on the 1989 Steve Martin film, returns Thursday night for its final run of four episodes. Produced by Jason Katims, who's beloved by critics for helming television's version of Friday Night Lights, the show ran for six seasons and leaves a curious question behind: What happened to the network family drama?

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The Salt
10:34 am
Thu January 8, 2015

How Food Shopping Can Turn New Year's Resolutions Into 'Res-Illusions'

Researchers created the bag on the left as an example of groceries bought in December while those on the right show groceries bought in January. After the New Year, some shoppers add healthier items to their carts but end up taking home more calories than they do during the holidays, a study found.
Robyn Wishna Cornell University

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 10:49 am

It's the time of year when many of us have promised to drink less, eat less and eat better. But a new study shows that in the first few months of the New Year, families may be piling more food into the shopping cart than they do the rest of the year.

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Goats and Soda
10:14 am
Thu January 8, 2015

Weavers Turn Silk Into Diabetes Test Strips

Using a simple wooden handloom, weavers create silk strips that diabetics can use as glucose sensors. This loom is at Achira Labs in Bangalore, India.
Courtesy of Tripurari Choudhary

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 2:47 pm

It's a new way to do silk screening, that's for sure.

Bangalore-based Achira Labs has figured out a way to hand weave diabetes test strips from silk. That sounds pretty luxurious compared to the standard materials of plastic or paper. But silk turns out to have several advantages in a country like India, where weavers who can work a handloom are abundant and the material is readily available and inexpensive.

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