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The Salt
2:22 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Group Files Suit Against Sweetener For Claiming It's 'Essential'

Spenda Essentials
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:06 am

Ok guys, reality check here: Nutella is not really a health food, POM Wonderful may be wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily prevent heart disease and... eating Splenda Essentials doesn't single-handedly make the pounds drop off.

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Remembrances
2:14 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff: 'There Is No Answer As To Why Me'

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 7:28 am

Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life.

Rakoff developed a devoted following as a regular contributor to the public radio program This American Life. His books of essays include Fraud and Don't Get Too Comfortable. Rakoff's most recent book, Half Empty, won the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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The Two-Way
1:32 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

California's Baking And The Power Grid's Being Tested

Will there be too much demand? Power lines near Redondo Beach, Calif.
Gerard Burkhart AFP/Getty Images

Southern California will be broiling through the weekend, as a heat wave that has brought record-breaking temperatures continues, the Los Angeles Times says.

That's why the managers of California's power grid have issued a "flex alert" to customers.

They're asking that residents:

-- "Turn off all unnecessary lights."

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The Torch
1:24 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Year Of The Woman At The London Games? For Americans, It's True

The U.S. women's soccer team won gold Thursday, in a victory that also kept the American women far ahead of the men in the number of medals won at the London Games: 100 to 59.
Martin Bernetti AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 6:27 pm

Every nation that sent a delegation to the London Games sent at least one female athlete — a first for the Olympics. This year's Team USA has more female than male athletes — and the women have won nearly twice as many medals: 100 total medals, by my count, to 59 for the men.

So yes, it looks like this is the Year of the Woman at the Olympics, particularly for the United States.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Wave Of Violence Leaves Dozens Dead Across Mexico

Police officers and soldiers stand around a white van containing the dead bodies of several man while it is being hauled onto a tow truck in San Luis Potosi on Thursday.
Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 2:39 pm

While the exact number of dead seems to be in flux, there is no question that the last few days have been incredibly bloody across Mexico.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:39 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Yoga On Commission: More Employers Pay For Good Health Habits

Health risk questionnaires and other wellness programs are becoming a popular way for employers to encourage employee health and, ultimately, reduce health care costs.
grandaded/iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 6:31 pm

If you feel like your employer is more interested in your health lately, you're probably right.

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Participation Nation
12:33 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Running For Others In Richmond, Ky.

Afsi and Lindsey use Skype to make plans for Eastern Further.
Colin Reusch Courtesy of Eastern Further

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:59 pm

There is something special about Eastern Kentucky University: We call it "the Power of Maroon."

Eastern Further, a group of Eastern alumnae who recognize the positive impact that EKU has had on our lives, has organized a running team to compete in the Disney Princesses Half Marathon in February 2013.

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The Two-Way
12:23 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Bears With Taste For Beer Have Quite A Night In Norway

Don't get between a beer and a bear.
London Express Getty Images

"Drunk Bear Family Downs Over 100 Beers During Bear Rager."

Given our fondness for stories about pick-a-nicking bears, we couldn't resist that Gawker headline.

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

FTC Finalizes Privacy Settlement With Facebook

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg talks about history of Facebook during the f/8 conference in San Francisco.
Paul Sakuma AP

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Facebook in which the social media leader agrees to get users' approval before making any privacy changes and agrees to periodic third-party audits for the next 20 years on how it handles user privacy.

We told you about this settlement back in November, but today, Reuters reports, after a period of public comment, the settlement has become official.

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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
12:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

It's All Politics, Aug. 9, 2012

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 8:01 pm

In what could be the last podcast before GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney's V.P. announcement, NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin once again review the finalists. Plus: A look at the latest Obama and Romney ads, more battleground state polls, primary results in Missouri and elsewhere, and a look ahead to the next Tea Party target: U.S. Senate candidate Tommy Thompson in Wisconsin on Aug. 14.

Election 2012
12:00 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Voter ID Laws: Necessity Or Burden?

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, if you thought the Tea Party a passing political fad with a catchy name, our next guest would urge you to reconsider. He's written a new book about the Tea Party and what he believes is the source of its influence in today's politics. We'll talk about that in just a few minutes.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:28 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Why Is The World's Largest Foundation Buying Fake Poop?

Graduate student Clement Cid sits atop the solar-powered toilet he helped to build at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. Underneath the platform, the toilet converts waste into fertilizer. The Caltech team will use fake feces to demonstrate the toilet's features next week at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices.
Courtesy of Michael Hoffmann/Caltech

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:31 pm

Last week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it's purchasing 50 pounds of fake poop.

A practical joke? No, not in the least.

Nor is this synthetic poop a plastic replica of the real thing; it's an organic version made from soybeans. The Gates Foundation will use it to test high-tech commodes at their Reinvent the Toilet Fair next week.

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The Torch
11:16 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Boxing Maths and Aftermaths: Why Similar Scores Are A Mean System

Shiming Zou of China is declared the winner over Paddy Barnes of Ireland during their men's light flyweight boxing semifinal in London. The match was scored a 15-15 tie; Zou won on the number of punches landed.
Scott Heavey Getty Images

Four years ago, Irish boxer Paddy Barnes lost to China's Zou Shiming by a score of 15-0 in Beijing. Today in London, Barnes fought his way back into their match to tie Zou at 15-15 — but he still lost. Barnes accepted the decision, but the result might confuse anyone who isn't familiar with boxing's scoring system.

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The Two-Way
10:45 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Consumer Bureau Moves To Make Mortgages Clearer, Foreclosures Fewer

A "bank owned" sign in front of a home in Miami last October.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Saying it wants "to protect homeowners from surprises and costly mistakes by their mortgage servicers," the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today proposed new rules it believes would make the home loan process simpler and give struggling homeowners more of a chance to avoid foreclosures.

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Krulwich Wonders...
10:33 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Discussing The Mars Landing With My 137-Year-Old Grandfather

Percival Lowell's drawings of "canals" on Mars.
Universal History Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:23 pm

Yes, it was an amazing landing, an engineering triumph, a 150-million-mile slam dunk, spectacular in every way, except ... I think my grandpa would be disappointed. I'm not sure of this, since he died 50 years ago, but I have a hunch.

It starts with a handwritten letter he wrote back in 1907. He was a travelling salesman. He sold men's hats, and his job was to visit retailers all over the country. "One evening," he wrote, "train riding between Chicago and Kansas City or St. Louis, sitting the club car, I read a magazine, The Century..."

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The Salt
10:12 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Smoked Chocolate, For National S'More Day And More

Chocolate chips, fresh out of the smoker at Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery in Seattle.
Florangela Davila NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:57 am

It's National S'more Day, so you've got a good reason to indulge in the gooey goodness.

But what if you're nowhere near a campfire? How can you replicate the taste of a chocolate-marshmallow-graham cracker s'more fired up and fashioned en plein air?

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The Torch
10:03 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Let's Catch Up: Taekwondo Setback, And A Spice Girls Sighting

Great Britain's Stuart Bithell leaps off the boat while teammate Luke Patience sails on as they win silver in the men's sailing 470 two-person dinghy medal race in Weymouth, England.
William West AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. The final weekend of the Summer Olympics is about to begin. In the medal count, the U.S. has jumped out to a 90-80 lead over China, with 39 golds to China's 37. And Russia has overtaken Great Britain, with 57 to the host nation's 54 medals.

Here's today's news that caught our interest:

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Drought Deepens In Hardest Hit Parts Of U.S.

Drought-stricken corn struggles to survive on a farm near Poseyville, Ind.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:36 am

The areas of the lower 48 states where this summer's drought is judged to be "severe, extreme or exceptional" (in ascending order of seriousness) increased slightly again this week, according to the experts at the federal government's National Drought Mitigation Center.

It reports that:

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Shots - Health Blog
9:46 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Yes, There's Probably A Medical App For That

With thousands of medical apps available for download, patients and physicians can instantly keep visual records of wounds and look up symptoms.
Benjamin Morris NPR

How many calories have I consumed this week? How well did I sleep last night?

What about this thing on my leg — is it infected? What does an ECG for ventricular tachycardia look like again?

Yes, you guessed it. There is an app for that.

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