National

Monkey See
5:58 am
Sun December 2, 2012

The High And The Low In Holiday Movies

Matchmaker Santa is only one of many cornball films in which Santa (Donovan Scott) helps a woman (Lacey Chabert) find a boyfriend (Adam Mayfield). This is the one where the vanilla extract was key.
Carin Baer Hallmark Channel

Originally published on Sun December 2, 2012 5:59 am

My well-documented weird affection for Hallmark movies brings me — along with NPR.org movies editor Trey Graham — to Weekend Edition on Sunday to talk to NPR's Rachel Martin about the high-profile theatrical holiday film as well as the corny basic-cable incarnations that are appropriate to this season.

Trey was in charge of the high parts.

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Business
3:41 pm
Sat December 1, 2012

Beauty Pageant Economics: The Sash Isn't Cheap

Jessica Bermudez, 24, models a dress at Deja Vu in Alexandria, Va. Bermudez is competing for the title of Miss District of Columbia USA, and says she regularly enters beauty pageants.
Coburn Dukehart NPR

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 10:03 am

Miss America's walk might look effortless, but her road to success probably cost more than you think.

Ten-thousand women will compete in a Miss USA-sponsored pageant this year. That organization is just one of more than 15 small circuits, each with its own local, state and national competitions. It's a big industry. From the organizers, designers and coaches, lots of people make money — except the contestants.

Twenty-four women are in the running to become the latest Miss District of Columbia USA.

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The Two-Way
11:56 am
Sat December 1, 2012

Reports: Kansas City Chiefs Player Shoots, Kills Self

Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.
Jamie Squire Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 6:45 am

A Kansas City Chiefs player shot and killed himself at Arrowhead Stadium early Saturday morning after fatally shooting his girlfriend.

Police say linebacker Jovan Belcher, 25, shot the woman at her home, then drove to a training facility at the stadium just east of Kansas City, Mo. When police arrived at the scene, according to reporter Laura Ziegler of member station KCUR, they found Belcher with a pistol to his head, thanking team coaches for everything they had done for him.

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Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

A Little Kindness Can Go A Long Way

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 10:41 am

Weekend Edition host Scott Simon brings us a story of a little bit of holiday kindness, courtesy of a New York City policeman who brought a homeless man a pair of boots, and the photo that spread the story across the Internet.

Around the Nation
6:28 am
Sat December 1, 2012

White House Holiday Spirit A 'Joy To All'

Lauren Rae (left) and Olivia Marlow look at the ornaments in the Grand Foyer during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. This year's theme is "Joy to All."
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 5:29 pm

The bows are tied, the garlands are hung, and the White House is aglow for the holidays. Volunteers from all over the country handled the decorations with care, and on Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama showed off their efforts to military families. This year's theme is "Joy to All."

Ship Capt. Pete Hall from Louisville, Ky., followed family tradition by helping with the decorations. His grandfather was the chief usher of the White House from 1938 to 1957. "So this is part of my family heritage," Hall says.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:53 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

After Sandy Outages, A Tale Of Two Utilities

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 7:01 pm

While thousands of people on the East Coast waited weeks for big utility companies to turn the lights back on after Superstorm Sandy slammed ashore, the residents of Madison, N.J., had power just days after the storm. This leafy New York City suburb operates its own municipal utility — and now some neighboring towns are asking whether they should, too.

"We were able to power up sections of town within two days," said Madison Councilman Robert Landrigan. "And then, by the weekend [after the storm], most of the town was back."

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Shots - Health News
5:11 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Weekend Vote Will Bring Controversial Changes To Psychiatrists' Bible

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 12:18 pm

This weekend, 20 people from around the country will meet in a nondescript hotel room in Arlington, Va., and take a vote. A passing stranger who stumbled on this group wouldn't see much of anything, just a bunch of graying academic types sitting around a table.

But millions of people will be touched by that vote because the graying academic types are voting to approve the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual — the bible of psychiatry.

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

SARS-Like Virus Found In Jordan, Hunt Is On For Other Cases

Originally published on Sat December 1, 2012 9:46 am

The World Health Organization says a new coronavirus has killed two people in Jordan — the third country where the novel microbe has been traced.

That brings lab-confirmed cases to nine, with five fatalities.

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Music
4:57 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Nuns Top '50 Shades' In Classical Music Smackdown

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And now to a classical takedown.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

BLOCK: That's Pachelbel's "Canon in D," and it appears on one of the hottest releases of the year, "Fifty Shades of Grey: The Classical Album."

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Yes, the classical album. It's composed of works that inspired author E.L. James while she was writing her steamy best-selling trilogy. And it has spent 11 weeks on Billboard's Classical Traditional Albums chart, 10 of those in the top slot.

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Election 2012
4:43 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

2012 Election The Most Expensive In History

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Among the many distinctions of the 2012 election season was that it was the most expensive in history. President Obama and Mitt Romney each raised around a billion dollars and outside groups spent another billion or more. We know that a lot of that money went to pay for advertising, but what about the people who placed the ads or produced them or think up the strategy behind them?

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Pop Culture
3:22 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

That's So Random: The Evolution Of An Odd Word

The use of the word random as slang found its way into Amy Heckerling's 1995 hit film, Clueless, starring Alicia Silverstone.
Paramount/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 6:44 pm

Random is a fighting word for young Spencer Thompson. The comedian posted a video to a Facebook page entitled I Hate When People Misuse the Word Random.

"The word random is the most misused word of our generation — by far," he proclaims to a tittering audience of 20-somethings. "Like, girls will say, 'Oh, God, I met this random on the way home.' First of all, it's not a noun."

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Science
2:17 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

SciFri Book Club Has 'The Right Stuff'

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 4:15 pm

This month the book club takes to the skies with the Tom Wolfe classic The Right Stuff, a behind-the-curtain look at the 20th century's most famous test pilots--including Chuck Yeager. Yeager joins the club to talk about his long career, and what he considers "the right stuff."

Health Care
2:05 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

What Obamacare Means For Patients

Originally published on Thu December 6, 2012 5:02 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Now that President Obama's been re-elected, it's clear that at least the president won't try to repeal Obamacare. But with all the political mud-slinging about the Affordable Care Act, the details sort of got lost, didn't they? Do you actually know what the law does for you, and just as importantly what it doesn't do, what changes to your health care kick in on January 1, what major changes kick in in 2014 and thereafter?

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The Salt
12:32 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Booches' Famous Burgers Seek New Buns After Hostess Plant Closes

A softly-lit Booches' burger, back in the days of the Hostess bun.
Genevieve Howard Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 2:57 pm

Twinkie hoarders, artists, and Ding Dong enthusiasts weren't the only consumers affected when Hostess started shutting down plants across America just a few weeks ago.

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Education
12:19 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Pigtails For Peace

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, bullying has been in the news a lot in recent years. Bullying has always gone on, of course, but in recent years, the issue has gotten more attention, in part because a number of these episodes have ended tragically.

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