National Security
1:19 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

To Stop Cheating, Nuclear Officers Ditch The Grades

First Lt. Patrick Romanofski (center) and 2nd Lt. Andrew Beckner (left) practice the launch of nuclear weapons. Promotions are now more strongly influenced by hands-on performance in this simulator.
R.J. Oriez U.S. Air Force

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:40 pm

The young officers at F.E. Warren Air Force Base have an enormous job: to keep 150 nuclear-tipped missiles ready to launch at a moment's notice.

Understandably, they're expected to know exactly what they're doing.

Three times a month, they're tested on the weapons and the codes used to launch them. Anything less than 90 percent is a fail.

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Shots - Health News
12:41 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

With Men's Y Chromosome, Size Really May Not Matter

The human Y chromosome (left) holds the code for "maleness"; that's the X on the right.
Andrew Syred/Science Source

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:40 pm

Basic biology has it that girls are girls because they have two X chromosomes — the things inside cells that carry our genes. Boys are boys because they have one X and one Y. Recently, though, there's been a lot of debate in scientific circles about the fate of that Y chromosome — the genetic basis of maleness.

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Krulwich Wonders...
12:19 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Where The Birds Are Is Not Where You'd Think

Robert Krulwich/NPR

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 7:33 pm

This is a trick question. Where would you expect to find the greatest variety of birds?

Downtown, in a city?

Or far, far from downtown — in the fields, forests, mountains, where people are scarce?

Or in the suburbs? In backyards, lawns, parking lots and playing fields?

Not the city, right?

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Science + Technology
11:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

How Do You Lose A Half-Million Birds?

Dense flocks of martins like this filled the skies above Lake Murray, S.C., for more than two decades. This year, their traditional roost site is empty.
Adam Cole

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 3:38 am

In late July and August, something remarkable happens in the air above Lake Murray in South Carolina. Around sunset, hundreds of thousands of purple martins come streaming toward the center of the lake from every direction, swirling together in a massive flock that darkens the sky. After an hour or so, they settle down on Bomb Island in the center of the lake.

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Science + Technology
11:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Sorry, Lucy: The Myth Of The Misused Brain Is 100 Percent False

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 6:52 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

If you went to the movie theater this weekend, you might've caught the latest Scarlett Johansson action movie called "Lucy." It's about a woman who develops superpowers by harnessing the full potential of her brain.

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Arts + Life
11:40 am
Mon July 28, 2014

A Celebration Of Cheap Thrills At The Whitney

Jeff Koons poses in front of one of his sculptures during a media preview of "Jeff Koons: A Retrospective" at the Whitney Museum of American Art on June 24, 2014.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 2:54 pm

There are no chairs to rest on in the galleries at the Whitney Museum of American Art, where the first-ever New York retrospective of the work of Jeff Koons is now on display. There are some benches by the elevators and they are crowded with people studying their iPhones.

Which got me to thinking about the similarities between Steve Jobs and Jeff Koons.

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Arts + Life
11:36 am
Mon July 28, 2014

At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 11:26 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

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Games + Leisure
11:35 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Book News: The Clash Of The Comic(-)Cons

Fans dressed as stormtroopers from Star Wars attend this year's Comic-Con event in San Diego.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 8:57 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Education
11:34 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Q&A: How Is The Native College Experience Different?

Adrienne Keene, author of the popular blog "Native Appropriations"
Patricia Saxler Courtesy Adrienne Keene

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 2:05 pm

Adrienne Keene is a post-doctoral researcher at Brown University, the author of the popular blog "Native Appropriations" and a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

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The Two-Way
10:52 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Court Orders Russia To Pay Former Yukos Shareholders $50B

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 4:46 pm

In 2003, Russia arrested the country's richest man, seized his main asset, Yukos Oil, broke it up and sold it. More than a decade later, a three-judge arbitration panel in The Hague ordered Moscow to pay the shareholders of the now-defunct oil giant more than $50 billion.

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