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9:16 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Song Premiere: Portal, 'The Back Wards'

Portal's vocalist, The Curator.
Dijana Krv Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 11, 2013 5:49 pm

I once made the mistake of listening to Portal with the lights off before bed. Other than the night following my near-victory at a fried-chicken-eating contest, I'd never had such messed-up dreams in my life.

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World Cafe's Sense Of Place: Memphis
7:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Star & Micey On World Cafe

Star & Micey perform a special set for the World Cafe crew.
Courtesy of Andy Modla

Star & Micey brings a fresh perspective on the Memphis music scene, where the band currently thrives; it was listed at No. 1 on Paste magazine's list of "12 Tennessee Bands You Should Listen to Now," and it was also our World Cafe: Next artist this week.

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World Cafe
7:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

American Sound Studio On World Cafe

American Sound Studio in Memphis, Tenn.
World Cafe

"Suspicious Minds" by Elvis Presley. "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" by Aretha Franklin. "Son of a Preacher Man" by Dusty Springfield. "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. All of these legendary songs were recorded at Memphis' American Sound Studio, the last of the five studios we're featuring in our trip to Memphis as part of the quarterly "Sense of Place" series.

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Around the Nation
5:14 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Stink Bug's Resurfacing May Squash Farmers' Hopes For A Strong 2013

The stink bug population is six times larger this year than last.
Matt Rourke AP

If you live along the East Coast, there's a pretty good chance that stink bugs may be lurking in your attic or even behind your curtains. The invasive insects from Asia, which exude a rubber-like stench when you crush them, are a nuisance for you, but a serious pest for farmers.

Crop producers received a reprieve from the bugs in 2012, but the insects may be coming back and with a greater spread of attack.

Bob Black says he was not in a good place in 2010.

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Food
4:50 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Mixed Pickle: The Sweet And Sour Legacy Of Dutch Trade

Pickles and herring, Amsterdam-style.
albertstraub Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:36 am

In Amsterdam, a popular street snack of brined herring comes with chopped onions and a side of sour pickle. The history of Dutch trade, too, is buried under those onions.

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Food
4:40 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Chicken With Gatorade: The Oddball Pleasures Of 'Chopped'

Ted Allen addresses the chefs competing on the Chopped Holiday Special.
David Lang Food Network

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 11:44 am

There's no shortage of food shows on television, from serene instructional content to tourist eye candy to kooky competitions where chefs cook in the desert. There's also The Great Food Truck Race, which is mostly about the finer points of where you should park a food truck.

But while my favorite was once Bravo's Top Chef, with its clearly skilled chefs and terrific judging panels, my new favorite is the Food Network competition Chopped.

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News
4:37 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

More Tears For Notre Dame's 'Fake Tragedy' Than A Real Girl's Death?

Lizzy Seeberg, in a family photo broadcast by ABC News.
ABCNews.go.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 6:03 pm

The bizarre story of Notre Dame star linebacker Manti Te'o and the girlfriend he now says never existed has exploded on to news sites and TV channels this week.

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Middle East
4:37 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

U.S., Iran Running Low On Options Over Nuclear Program

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:09 pm

With time running out on efforts to monitor Iran's nuclear program, 2013 could well be the year when the United States must decide whether to take military action to block Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

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News
4:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong, Tragic Hero? Not Exactly

Lance Armstrong admits to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs. The first part of the interview aired Thursday night.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 11:44 am

Annalisa Quinn is a freelance writer for NPR Books.

Lance Armstrong, in the interview Thursday night with Oprah Winfrey in which he admitted to doping, understood the role that storytelling played in his fall: "You win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. It's just this mythic, perfect story. And it wasn't true."

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Opinion
4:33 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Lance Armstrong, Tragic Hero? Not Exactly

Lance Armstrong admits to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs. The first part of the interview aired Thursday night.
Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 11:44 am

Annalisa Quinn is a freelance writer for NPR Books.

Lance Armstrong, in the interview Thursday night with Oprah Winfrey in which he admitted to doping, understood the role that storytelling played in his fall: "You win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. It's just this mythic, perfect story. And it wasn't true."

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Around the Nation
4:30 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

12 Half-Truths We Live With

Koalas aren't really bears, but we don't seem to mind.
Gabriella Garcia-Pardo NPR

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 1:12 pm

Say it isn't so. Various news organizations have recently reported that on occasion the Subway sandwich chain's $5 footlong measures 11 inches instead of 12 — as advertised. Sure enough, the bacon, lettuce and tomato jewel we bought Friday fell a little short.

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U.S.
4:30 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

N.Y. Governor Flexes Political Muscle To Pass Tough Gun Law

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new gun control law in Albany on Tuesday. It's the nation's first gun law enacted since the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:09 pm

On Tuesday, New York became the first state in the nation to pass a tough new gun control law. Gov. Andrew Cuomo convinced his state's Legislature to act, even before President Obama took executive action to limit access to guns.

The governor's legislative victory followed his impassioned State of the State address earlier this month, delivered the first day of the 2013 legislative session.

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It's All Politics
4:28 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

For Cartoonists Who Cover Obama: Four More Ears

For editorial cartoonists, Obama's ears are his signature. In some depictions, they've grown throughout the years, but Matt Wuerker says cartoonists have gotten lazy. "We did the same thing to George W. Bush. By the end of his administration he was just Dumbo."
Courtesy of Matt Wuerker/Politico

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:09 pm

Four years ago, when the nation's first African-American president was inaugurated, even conservative editorial cartoonists marked the moment with reverence.

As Scott Stantis, now of the Chicago Tribune, tells All Things Considered host Audie Cornish: "There are times in our history where we can just take half a step back from our partisanship and revel in the history and wonder of something."

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Science
4:26 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Powerful But Fragile: The Challenge Of Lithium Batteries

A United Airlines 787 Dreamliner arrives at O'Hare international Airport in Chicago in November. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad have grounded the planes because of problems with batteries on board.
Nam Y. Huh AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 7:58 pm

Boeing announced late Friday that it is postponing deliveries of its new 787 Dreamliner because of problems with its big batteries. Aviation authorities in the U.S. and abroad grounded the new jetliners after those batteries failed in two planes operated by Japanese airlines, including one battery that burned while the plane was on the ground.

These lithium-ion batteries are new to jetliners. They're powerful and lightweight, and, unfortunately, they're also fragile.

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Health
3:51 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

A Worm's Ovary Cells Become A Flu Vaccine Machine

The fall armyworm, a corn pest, is now also a vaccine factory.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:57 am

As the flu season grinds on from news cycle to news cycle, there's some flu news of a different sort. Federal regulators have approved a next-generation type of flu vaccine for the second time in two months.

The two new vaccines are the first fruits of a big government push to hasten and simplify the laborious production of flu vaccines.

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It's All Politics
3:40 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Speechwriters: After Bland First Inaugural, Second Is Tougher For Obama

President Obama gives his first inaugural address on Jan. 20, 2009.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 5:09 pm

A presidential inauguration is an event defined by huge, sweeping optics: the National Mall full of cheering Americans; a grandiose platform in front of the Capitol building; the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue. And the centerpiece: a speech.

On Monday, President Obama will give his second inaugural address — and he faces a challenge in crafting a speech for this moment.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Grand Jury Indicts Ray Nagin On Corruption Charges

Mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 corruption charges by a federal grand jury. They include "conspiracy to deprive citizens of honest services."
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin has been indicted on 21 counts of bribery and other corruption charges by a federal grand jury. When he became the city's mayor in 2002, Nagin, a former cable TV executive, promised to revive New Orleans' economy, and its trust in the city's government.

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News
2:15 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Republicans Offer Three-Month Increase In Debt Ceiling

As workers prepare the Capitol for Monday's inaugural ceremony, there's word that Congress might not get into another battle over the debt ceiling.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:34 pm

In a move that could head off another bruising battle over increasing the nation's debt ceiling, GOP leaders in the House plan to approve a three-month increase in the nation's borrowing authority next week, NPR's S.V. Date reports.

But, he tells our Newscast Desk, Republicans want to tie a longer-term increase to the passage of a budget that cuts spending.

His report continues:

"The plan comes from Majority Leader Eric Cantor as House Republicans wrap up a retreat in Southern Virginia.

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The Salt
2:09 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Mexican Mole Has Many Flavors, Many Mothers

Three of the six moles served at Casa Oaxaca of Washington, D.C. Some of these mole recipes were passed down to chef Alfio Blangiardo by his grandmother.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:33 am

As with so many iconic dishes in a country's culinary heritage, Mexican mole has a creation tale.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Listen Carefully Or You'll Miss It: We've Got Justice Thomas On Tape

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 3:34 pm

  • Justice Thomas' voice comes in around the 13-second mark

As it does each Friday, the Supreme Court has released audio recordings of the week's oral arguments.

Which means we can now hear what it was like when Justice Clarence Thomas broke his seven-year silence.

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