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Monkey See
1:11 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

The Beginning Of The End Of Walter White

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Gregory Peters AMC

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:06 am

CAUTION: This piece contains information about the first four seasons of Breaking Bad, as well as about the finales of The Sopranos and The Wire.

On July 15, the latest "how will it end" game begins for TV viewers — this time drawn out over two years. I'm talking, of course, about the Season 5 premiere of Breaking Bad, a show firmly placed, along with The Wire and The Sopranos, on the "TV is damn good art" podium.

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Author Interviews
12:51 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

'Hot Dog' Meets 'Bun': Famous Food Discoveries

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 12:31 pm

If you're watching a sports game at home, at a bar or at an arena, what better way to enjoy it than with some nachos, pretzels or hot dogs?

As a former baseball player, Josh Chetwynd knows a thing or two about stadium grub. His new book, How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink, features 75 short essays that trace the history of popular food and dispel common misconceptions.

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Europe
12:50 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

An Olympic Task: Finding Good Food At The Games

Vendors will serve 14 million meals during the Olympics, and critics are already panning the menu.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:43 pm

When the 2012 Summer Olympics begin in July, a culinary starting gun will go off: Fourteen million meals will be prepared for spectators and athletes during the Olympic and Paralympic games in London.

The criticism is already pouring in.

Jacquelin Magnay, the Olympics editor at The Daily Telegraph wrote a recent article calling the food to be sold at Olympic venues "bland and over-priced." In response, an Olympic caterer sent her a custom bento box of gourmet delicacies.

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The Two-Way
12:46 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

School Is 'Too Easy' Say American Students

Many American students say school is too easy.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 1:28 pm

Many students in American classrooms don't feel challenged enough. That's according to new analysis of federal data (pdf) conducted by the Washington think tank American Progress.

The organization, which promotes "progressive ideas and action," came to that conclusion when it analyzed surveys given to students by the Department of Education for its National Assessment of Educational Progress.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
12:45 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:32 am

It's an election year, and that may be good news for those of us who like our summer reading: Laura Miller of Salon.com says a lot of publishing companies don't want to release all their best books in the fall because they'll have to compete with all that presidential campaign news. And that means more great books to choose from when the weather is hot.

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Monkey See
12:44 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

How Should You Watch And Read And Listen? However You Want

Marcelo Poleze iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:40 pm

However you want to watch Breaking Bad is fine with me.

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Monkey See
12:43 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Museums And Planetariums: Two Terrific Books And Two Ways Of Reading

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 1:52 pm

When the power goes out, what can you do but read books, like it's THE PRAIRIE?

Kidding, kidding. But I'm not kidding when I say that the recent (fourth day and counting!) power outage at my house, while relieved by visits to the couches of friends and family who remain AC-enabled and taunt me with their humming refrigerators and whirring fans, also gave me the opportunity to catch up on my reading.

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Around the Nation
12:42 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Chicago Killings Spark Outrage

Transcript

MARIA HINOJOSA, HOST:

We turn now to another story that's making headlines for all the wrong reasons. It's been a bloody year in the Windy City. More than 250 people have reportedly been murdered so far this year in Chicago. That number is up about 38 percent from the same time last year, and now people are asking just what Mayor Rahm Emanuel is doing about it.

He faced reporters yesterday and said some of the old plans to stop violence weren't working now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

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Books
12:40 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

This Week's 5 Best Stories From NPR Books

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 6:15 pm

If you're like me, you probably have stacks of books sitting around your home waiting to be cracked open.

Despite my apartment's messy milieu, the piles are actually carefully curated in the order of what I plan to tackle next. Of course, the stacks tend to grow faster than I can read, but no matter.

Here are this week's five best stories from NPR Books. They'll grow your piles, but I promise, these books are worth it.

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Afghanistan
11:51 am
Tue July 10, 2012

After Troops Leave, What Happens To Afghanistan?

Afghan army soldiers, like the one pictured here, will be responsible for protecting Kabul and holding critical cities and roads together after the planned 2014 American troop withdrawal.
Anja Niedringhaus AP

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:29 pm

This past weekend brought news of more violence in Afghanistan.

Seven Western troops, five Afghan police officers and at least 18 civilians were killed in Afghanistan. The toll included six Americans killed by a single bomb in Wardak province, south of Kabul.

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Music Reviews
11:51 am
Tue July 10, 2012

'St. Matthew Passion': A Monumental Bach Feast

Johann Sebastian Bach wrote the St. Matthew Passion in 1727 for solo voices, double choir and double orchestra.
Getty Digital

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 12:25 pm

Facing Bach's St. Matthew Passion, I often feel a combination of anticipation and dread. It's a great work, profound in its humanity and spirituality, with sublimely beautiful music. But it's a long haul, and if it's not a good performance, well, I'm stuck. And it can be not-good in various ways: either too solemnly pious or too much an exercise in musical style rather than emotional drama. A new DVD recorded in 2010 at Berlin's great concert hall, the Philharmonie, would be of major interest under any circumstances.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Even As Jobless Rate Stays High, Job Openings Continue To Grow

Applicants wait to enter a job fair in New York City last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:59 am

There were 3.6 million jobs open and ready to be filled in May if the right candidates came along, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this morning.

That was up from 3.4 million in April, was the second-most for any month so far this year and was up 16 percent from the 3.1 million in May 2011.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Listen: You Can Hear The Northern Lights, Researchers Say

The northern lights over Tromsoe, northern Norway, on Jan. 24, 2012.
Rune Stoltz Bertinussen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 11:21 am

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Shots - Health Blog
9:43 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Doctors Hesitant To Deal With Patients' Weight Problems

This happens less often than you might think.
iStockphoto.com

In 2010, there were 78 million adults classified as obese in the United States, and roughly 164,000 primary care doctors to take care of them.

It doesn't take a math wizard to figure out that doctors who handle routine care, although they may well want to help their patients lose weight, are unlikely to have the time to provide the kind of intensive coaching to that would help their patients make a lasting change.

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Tue July 10, 2012

'USA Today' Names New Editor

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 10:05 am

David Callaway, editor-in-chief at MarketWatch, was this morning named to be editor-in-chief at USA Today.

There, he will be teamed up again with Larry Kramer — the newspaper's new publisher. Kramer founded MarketWatch.

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Tue July 10, 2012

With 15-Minute Session, Egypt's Parliament Defies High Court

The scene inside the Egyptian parliament in Cairo earlier today during the lawmakers' short session.
AFP/Getty Images

The power struggle between the military leaders who have been running Egypt since the spring 2011 toppling of President Hosni Mubarak and newly elected lawmakers escalated further today.

Members of parliament's lower house met in defiance of an order from the nation's highest court to disband.

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The Two-Way
8:15 am
Tue July 10, 2012

As Annan Seeks Help From Iran, Activists Say Syrian Death Toll Exceeds 17,000

In February, these Syrians mourned over the fresh grave of a relative following a funeral for victims killed in violence in Idlib.
Bulent Kilic AFP/Getty Images

Iran must be "part of the solution" to the crisis in Syria, former U.N. Secretary-General Koffi Annan said today in Tehran.

But as Annan spoke, there was new word about how horrible things have gotten in Syria since protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad began in March 2011 and forces loyal to Assad cracked down on his opponents.

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Planet Money
8:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Scranton Workers See Pay Slashed To Minimum Wage

Roger Leonard saw his pay plunge to $340 from about $900 for two weeks' work, after Scranton's mayor unilaterally cut city-employee pay to minimum wage.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed July 11, 2012 12:02 pm

A fight between political leaders in Scranton, Pa., has left each and every city employee earning $7.25 an hour — minimum wage.

Last week Mayor Chris Doherty slashed pay, on his own, saying Scranton had run out of money. Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse issued an injunction telling the city it must recognize pay rates spelled out in union contracts. But Doherty continues to violate that court order.

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The Two-Way
7:30 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Wildfire In Southern Idaho Is Growing Quickly

The view from above: A satellite image of Idaho and western Montana, taken Monday and posted by the USDA Forest Services's Active Fire Mapping website, showing smoke and clouds.
USDA Forest Service

Though firefighters have "gained ground on a number of wildfires across the West," they're having trouble in southern Idaho, The Associated Press reports.

There, winds have "fanned a fast-moving blaze across nearly 300 square miles of sagebrush and dry grass," the wire service says. The fire began Saturday. It was apparently sparked by a lightning strike.

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Around the Nation
7:03 am
Tue July 10, 2012

Elaborate Deer Stands Draw Complaints In Minnesota

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 7:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Some forest officials in Minnesota are complaining about deer stands. Deer stands are those small platforms hunters set up in trees to get a better view. In some deer-hunting areas, they've grown into veritable tree houses with stairs, shingled roofs, windows, heaters, lounge chairs, and all on public land. One county land commissioner told the Duluth News Tribune: We're seeing mansions out there. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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