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The Two-Way
2:25 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Pew: Middle Class Poorer, Earning Less And Shrinking

Pew

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 3:07 pm

The researchers at Pew Social & Demographic Trends aren't holding back in their new report on the middle class. It calls the last 11 years, "the lost decade" for the country's middle class.

The highlight from the report issued today is that the middle class is poorer, earning less and shrinking.

In its press release, Pew reports:

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World
2:21 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

What Pussy Riot Ruling Means For Russian Regime

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This weekend, a court in Moscow sentenced three women from a previously obscure punk band guilty of hooliganism. They got two years in prison and made Pussy Riot an international sensation. In the Washington Post today, columnist Anne Applebaum writes that for all the attention paid to the case, Madonna's was by far the most damaging, not because she's a serious political figure, but because she isn't.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Political Junkie: Todd Akin And Negative Campaigning

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. A congressman skinny dips in holy water and still can't buy a headline because another congressman redefines rape and biology, defies his own party and stands up Piers Morgan. It's Wednesday and time for a...

PIERS MORGAN: Gutless little twerp...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL JUNKIE INTRO)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Drought Forces Ranchers Into Difficult Decisions

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Parts of the country have suffered from record heat and drought for several years in a row now, and this summer, it's been just brutal. In past programs, we talked with farmers about their crops. Today, we focus on difficult choices facing ranchers and dairy farmers.

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NPR Story
2:16 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Social Workers Help Navigate Path To Transplant

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 2:28 pm

Each year, some 2,000 heart transplants are performed in the U.S., and the number of people on the waiting list is even larger. Between finding the perfect donor to worrying about insurance, the wait can be grueling, but heart transplant social workers are here to help.

The Two-Way
1:49 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Check It Out, Yo: 'Hot Cheetohs & Takis,' This Summer's 'Truly Great Jam'

It's a summer hit.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 10:14 am

Listen and see if you can get it out of your head. There are some here at Two-Way headquarters who certainly can't.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:32 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Could Antibiotics Be A Factor In Childhood Obesity?

Childhood obesity is on the rise in many countries and overuse of antibiotics is now on the radar as a possible factor in the epidemic. Here 18-month-old twins are weighed in a nutritionist's office in Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:34 pm

There's growing evidence that the bacteria in our gut influence our health, including how much we weigh. So what happens when antibiotics knock out some of the microbes that help us?

A study, published online today in the journal Nature, finds that antibiotics make young mice fatter by changing the mix of their gut bacteria.

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It's All Politics
1:29 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

In Ad Battle, Obama Banking On Wind-Power Message In Key Swing States

Windmills in a corn field in Colo, Iowa.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 9:00 am

In Colorado and Iowa, two states considered up for grabs in the presidential race, a battle over alternative energy policy is playing a growing role in the debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney.

Both states have important wind-energy sectors, and Obama's campaign is rolling out new radio ads this week highlighting the president's support for — and Romney's opposition to — extending a tax credit on wind-energy production.

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Interviews
1:17 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, His Love Of Old Films

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:12 pm

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live performances. But he's scared to death of standup.

He says he remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

So Hader has stuck with sketch comedy — where he has been wildly successful.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

AT&T Defends Itself From Criticism Over Limits To Video-Call App

Emilie Weideman and her father, Marc Weideman, of Fremont, Calif., use FaceTime after purchasing the new device in June 2010.
Paul Sakuma AP

AT&T is on the defensive today, saying that its decision to limit the use of Apple's video-call app Facetime does not violate the FCC's net neutrality rules.

Ever since Apple introduced the application, AT&T has limited its use to Wi-fi. In other words, customers who were using the AT&T network could not make video calls using the built-in app. Last week, AT&T changed that policy, saying it would allow customers on its new "shared data plans" to use the app but that did not apply to those who are on unlimited or tiered plans.

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
12:51 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Energy Bar Sandwich

The components.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 2:42 pm

A few of us are doing a 5K tonight (burger-themed, of course), and rather than doing any training whatsoever, we're getting ready with our very own Energy Bar Sandwich. Luna Bar bread, a Clif Bar patty, topped with a Powerbar, carbohydrate goo and something called Clif Shot Bloks. It adds up to 1,200 calories, more than twice that of a Big Mac.

Ian: This sandwich tastes like exercise feels.

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Field Recordings
12:40 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Avett Brothers: Hot Tea And Honey

The Avett Brothers Field Recordings video shoot
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:00 pm

Seth and Scott Avett spend a good chunk of their lives on one tour bus or another, so asking them to perform in one isn't all that different from asking them to perform in one of their own living rooms. They may be far away from their native North Carolina — to be exact, they're captured here in a Camden, N.J., parking lot in conjunction with the XPoNential Music Festival — but the setting is cozy enough for Seth Avett to brew tea before performing.

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Monkey See
12:37 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

'Persona 4 Arena' Digs Deep Into The Teenage Heart Of Battle

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:12 pm

Persona 4 Arena
Atlus
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

The quirky, the odd and the eerie. As a videogame publisher, Atlus has become the expert in making the strange into the popular. It released Demon's Souls, a horror-filled role playing game that was so unrepentantly unforgiving, even hard core gamers complained (even as they continued playing). Last year, Atlus' Catherine was a long meditation upon the nightmarish angst and fear that can emerge when trust fails a young relationship.

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World Cafe
12:18 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

JD McPherson On World Cafe

JD McPherson.
Samantha Franklin

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 3:57 pm

JD McPherson's "big break" came when he introduced himself to producer and bassist Jimmy Sutton of The Four Charms via MySpace. After receiving several of McPherson's demos, Sutton immediately recognized his talent, and the Oklahoma native moved to Chicago to begin recording with Sutton. The pair released a music video for "North Side Gal," which became a viral hit.

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Kitchen Window
12:03 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

The Pies Of Late Summer

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 9:50 am

My dad used to sing to me an old folk song before I went to sleep. One of my favorite verses went:

Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall.

If I can't have the one I love, I won't have none at all.

I still like that lyric for its simplicity and its assertion of seasonal eating at a time when that was unquestioned. You ate fresh apples in the fall (and probably storage apples through the winter) and peaches all summer. Love could be fleeting and unreliable, but autumn apples and summer peaches would always be there.

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Education
11:47 am
Wed August 22, 2012

College-Bound Latino Students At New High

More Latino students are enrolling in college now than ever before, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. But Latinos still lag behind other groups in preparing for and completing college. Guest host Viviana Hurtado discusses the report's findings with Richard Fry of the Pew Hispanic Center and the College Board's Jim Montoya.

The Two-Way
10:48 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sales Of Existing Homes Rose In July, Another Sign Of Stronger Market

More of these sorts of signs are popping up (November 2011 file photo from San Rafael, Calif.).
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

A 2.3 percent increase in sales of previously owned homes in July from June is the latest sign that the housing market is on the mend, Reuters reports.

The National Association of Realtors said this morning that sales of existing homes increased to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.47 million.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:33 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Sky Sighting: Is That A Thread Of Dark Matter I Spy?

A tenuous thread of dark matter is seen connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and 223.
Courtesy Jörg Dietrich/Universitäts-Sternwarte München

When astronomers survey the universe, the landmarks are galaxies, those gigantic agglomerates of stars and interstellar gas spread across the immensity of space. A typical spiral galaxy, like our own Milky Way, boasts hundreds of billions of stars grouped along hundreds of thousands of light-years. That means that it takes a beam of light all that time to go from one extreme of the galaxy to the other, traveling, as light does in a vacuum, at 186,282 miles per second.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Deficit To Be $1.1 Trillion, Unemployment To Stay Above 8 Percent, CBO Says

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:33 am

Expect to hear about this from the campaign of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney as he continues to take aim at President Obama's record on the budget and the economy:

The Congressional Budget Office reports this morning that "for fiscal year 2012 (which ends on September 30), the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion ... marking the fourth year in a row with a deficit of more than $1 trillion."

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The Salt
10:18 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Meet A Man On A Mission To Save Rare And Unusual Figs

One of Bassem Samaan's Pan e Vino fig trees, propagated from the yard of an Italian restaurant in Bethlehem, Pa.
courtesy Bassem Samaan

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:02 am

In the backyard of an unassuming suburban home in Bethlehem, Pa., is a global cornucopia of botanical heritage. Almost 300 varieties of fig grow here, most of them with roots in Europe, Asia or Africa, and each one collected and propagated by Bassem Samaan, a 34-year-old Lebanese native with an unusually green thumb and an obsession with figs.

Samaan is one of a handful of eccentric gardeners around the world whose goal is to save and preserve rare or unusual fruit varieties — trees that may never have commercial value and which may barely cling to existence.

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