National

Economy
3:00 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Movin' On Up? That May Depend On Your Last Name

New research suggests that success in life may be determined by ancestors from hundreds of years ago. The research finds that your chance of making it into the elite is the same in the United States as it is in South America, no matter when you were born.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 7:06 pm

Here is a question that social scientists have been pondering for years: How much of your success in life is tied to your parents, and how much do you control?

The academic term used for this is "social mobility." And a striking new finding from economic historian Gregory Clark of the University of California, Davis claims your success in life may actually be determined by ancestors who lived hundreds of years ago. That means improving opportunities across generations might be a lot harder than anyone imagined.

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Presidential Race
2:27 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Speechwriters Compare The 2012 Stump Speeches

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:26 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney speak almost every day throughout the campaign season, sometimes two or three times a day. They deliver everything from commencement addresses to foreign policy analyses. But at rallies and union halls, high school auditoriums, at county fairs and a thousand other venues, they offer slight variations on a set of standard remarks known as the stump speech.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Shots - Health News
1:38 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Feds Seek Comments On Bird Flu Safety Fears

An electron microscope view of the bird flu virus.
PR Newswire

Here's your chance to weigh in on mutant forms of bird flu that have been in the news — the U.S. government wants to know just how scary you think these new viruses are.

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Monkey See
1:33 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

'You Can't Do That On Film': A Performance Documentary Without Performance Footage

Shout! Factory

You Can't Do That On Film, an independently made 2004 documentary about Nickelodeon's '80s-afternoon staple You Can't Do That On Television, comes out today on DVD. It's got a treasure trove of interviews from an impressive number of the show's kid stars (Alasdair! Hey, Moose!), now adults who, almost to a person, look back on the sketch show with nothing but affection.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
1:15 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Should We Ration End-Of-Life Care?

Intelligence Squared U.S. debate." href="/post/should-we-ration-end-life-care" class="noexit lightbox">
Sally Pipes and Ken Connor argue against the motion "Ration End-of-Life Care" in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:19 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
  • Listen To The Broadcast Version Of The Debate

As the presidential candidates make their cases to the nation, health care is taking up a lot of talking points. But one subject that's less likely to be debated forthrightly is end-of-life care.

A big driver of U.S. health care expenditure is what's spent in the last year of life. Those who argue in favor of rationing that care say the country cannot afford to provide unlimited health care — either the government or insurance companies have to ration end-of-life care as a policy response.

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Monkey See
12:48 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: Alan Cumming's Suit Is Why Suits Were Invented

Alan Cumming attends the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 11th Annual An Enduring Vision Benefit on Monday night.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

"Hi, this is Alan Cumming's Suit. No, I'm not one of those obnoxious inanimate objects with a Twitter feed. I'm just a suit. Just one brightly colored suit against the world. Sometimes, Alan Cumming's Hair and I get together on Skype and talk about what kind of look we're going for, but sometimes, we just show up and see what happens.

I am Alan Cumming's Suit. That is all."

Parenting
12:00 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Has Teen Courtship Gone Wild?

A Virginia teenager recently had a pilot fly a helicopter over his high school to ask a girl to a dance. Some say these spectacles are out of control but others ask, "why not?" Host Michel Martin leads a parenting panel on the costs of teen courtship with TV critic Eric Deggans, psychologist John Duffy, and blogger Carol Cain Alvarez.

It's All Politics
11:57 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Town Hall Format Could Make Things Tough On Obama

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:46 pm

It was Bill Clinton who made the town hall-style debate famous, and looking back to his performance in the first such fall faceoff in 1992, it's easy to see why.

Clinton commanded the stage and used the format — in which voters, not journalists, ask the questions — to "feel the pain" of the audience. Now, President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney get a shot at the same format.

However, it's the president who comes at it from a distinct disadvantage, says Chris Arterton, a professor of political management at George Washington University.

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Election 2012
11:56 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The Tea Party: Cooled Down, Or As Strong As Ever?

The Tea Party may have took the 2010 midterm elections by storm, but many analysts are now asking if the party's influence has cooled off. Host Michel Martin looks at the Tea Party's prospects for this election with NPR's Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving and Shelby Blakely, journalist coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots.

It's All Politics
11:55 am
Tue October 16, 2012

As Debate Stakes Rise, Both Candidates Must Walk A Fine Line

Banners hang inside the media center amid preparations for tonight's presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y.
Stan Honda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:46 pm

Tonight's presidential debate in New York is shaping up like an episode of the old game show To Tell the Truth: Will the real Barack Obama/Mitt Romney please stand up?

There are a lot of questions about what personas and strategies the two candidates will choose to adopt. Partisans on both sides argue that their man's opponent is a shape-shifter.

Democrats are convinced that part of the reason Romney won their first debate earlier this month is that he shamelessly lied about his own positions in tacking to the center.

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Economy
11:54 am
Tue October 16, 2012

5 Questions 'Real' People Might Ask At The Debate

An audience member holds up his hand at a Mitt Romney town hall meeting in Dayton, Ohio, in March. Audience members will be allowed to ask questions at the second presidential debate, being held Tuesday night in Hempstead, N.Y.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 11:30 am

As this election year began, political pundits insisted the No. 1 issue would be the economy. They expected the candidates to offer voters detailed plans for encouraging job growth.

Now, with the election just three weeks away, many Americans are still scratching their heads, wondering what exactly President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney would do to improve the economy.

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Monkey See
11:44 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Best Friends And Broken Hearts

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 4:43 pm

This week at Monkey See, we're looking at friendship in pop culture.

In the 1997 film My Best Friend's Wedding, Julianne (Julia Roberts) rushes to stop the wedding of her best friend Michael (Dermot Mulroney) to the adorable Kimmy (Cameron Diaz). (Spoilers follow, so if you haven't been paying attention to cable for the last 15 years, take heed.)

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Shots - Health News
10:38 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Teenage Brains Are Malleable And Vulnerable, Researchers Say

Brain scans are showing researchers why it's important to treat problems like depression in teens.
iStockphoto.com

Adolescent brains have gotten a bad rap, according to neuroscientists.

It's true that teenage brains can be impulsive, scientists reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans. But adolescent brains are also vulnerable, dynamic and highly responsive to positive feedback, they say.

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Monkey See
7:34 am
Tue October 16, 2012

A Judge Dismisses 'The Bachelor' Discrimination Lawsuit, But Not Its Concerns

Seen here in April 2012, Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks sued over the casting of The Bachelor.
Mark Humphrey AP

Yesterday, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by Christopher Johnson and Nathaniel Claybrooks, two black men who had auditioned for The Bachelor, who claimed that the show discriminates against people of color both in choosing the primary bachelor/ette and in choosing the people he or she will have to choose from.

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Election 2012
5:53 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Obama, Romney To Meet In Town Hall-Style Debate

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 10:45 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne, good morning.

Presidential candidates play a game before debates, each lowers expectations that he'll do well, then tries to beat expectations. The last part didn't work out for President Obama this last time, so he tries again tonight.

INSKEEP: The president meets Mitt Romney with their contest effectively tied. They hold a town hall meeting with about 80 uncommitted voters.

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