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Health
10:04 am
Fri July 24, 2015

The Teen Who Didn't Make It — And The Nurses He Moved Along The Way

Stephen Wright, on his front porch in fall 2000.
Courtesy of the Wright family

For more than a decade, Wilson Matthews and Jeanne Yeatman worked together as flight nurses on emergency response helicopters. Over that time, they cared for countless patients as they were being transported to hospitals. One flight in particular, though, remains impossible for them to forget.

They had been trying to save a 13-year-old named Stephen. He'd been riding his bicycle over a dirt jump when he fell and suffered severe head trauma.

By the time he made it into the helicopter, nothing that Wilson or Jeanne tried was doing any good.

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Sports
7:20 am
Tue July 21, 2015

A Lifelong Surfer Explains Why There's No Such Thing As A 'Perfect' Wave

William Finnegan surfs Cloudbreak, off the island of Tavarua in Fiji, in 2005.
Scott Winer

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 2:24 pm

William Finnegan is a New Yorker journalist, but his new memoir doesn't focus on the wars or controversies he's covered. It's about surfing.

Finnegan traces his love of surfing back to his childhood, when he used to watch surfers in Ventura, Calif. He remembers being 10 years old, sitting with his family in a diner, watching waves break on the coast.

It seemed "like they were arriving from some celestial workshop ... carved by ocean angels," he writes. "I wanted to be out there, learning to dance on water."

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Science + Technology
6:16 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

The rise of ad blockers threatens the business model that drives much of the Internet economy.
Danae Munoz Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 1:56 pm

Advertising is the basic business model of the Internet. It's one reason we can view online content free of charge.

Millions of Web surfers already download software to block ads online, and that number is growing. Soon, Apple could be making mobile ad blocking easier.

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Arts + Life
6:28 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

PETA Says Undercover SeaWorld Employee Posed As Animal Rights Activist

During the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, SeaWorld's float was accompanied by police in Pasadena, Calif. PETA supporters were arrested for protesting the float that day, and PETA claims that a SeaWorld employee posing as a PETA volunteer tipped police off to the protest.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 10:28 am

In recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has waged a protest campaign against SeaWorld, saying that the U.S. theme parks' treatment of trained orcas is cruel. Now, PETA says it has identified a SeaWorld "agent" in its midst.

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Science + Technology
6:33 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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Education
5:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

They're No. 1: U.S. Wins Math Olympiad For First Time In 21 Years

Head coach Po-Shen Loh (far left) and assistant coaches John Berman and Alex Zhai (far right) flank the members of the winning squad: Shyam Narayanan, David Stoner, Michael Kural, Ryan Alweiss, Yang Liu and Allen Liu.
Courtesy of Po-Shen Loh

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 1:26 pm

In one of this year's most intense international competitions, the United States has come out as best in the world — and this time, we're not talking about soccer.

This week, the top-ranked math students from high schools around the country went head-to-head with competitors from more than 100 countries at the International Mathematical Olympiad in Chiang Mai, Thailand. And, for the first time in more than two decades, they won.

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World
5:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

In Northern Ireland, 'Terror Gets Old,' But Divisions Linger

Courtesy of Corinne Purtill and Mark Oltmanns

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 9:00 pm

In Northern Ireland, "the Troubles" — the long and bloody conflict between Catholic Irish nationalists and pro-British Protestants — formally came to an end with a peace agreement in 1998.

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Music Interviews
5:10 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Leaving Los Angeles: Rickie Lee Jones Turns A Decade Into An Album

The new album The Other Side of Desire marks Jones' first original material in years, spurred on by a life-changing move to New Orleans.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed July 22, 2015 2:51 pm

If you turned on a radio in 1979, there was very good chance you'd hear the music of Rickie Lee Jones. At only 24, she leapt onto the world stage with her big single "Chuck E.'s in Love." Rolling Stone called her "the dutchess of coolsville."

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Middle East
8:43 am
Sat July 18, 2015

Former Hostage: Under Deal, Iran Has Less Incentive To Hold Americans

Shourd and fellow hikers Shane Bauer (center) and Josh Fattal held a press conference shortly after Bauer and Fattal were released in 2011. Shourd was released in 2010.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Sat July 18, 2015 10:33 am

President Obama responded sharply this week when a reporter asked if he was "content" to celebrate the nuclear deal with Iran when at least three and possibly four Americans are being held in Iranian jails.

"Nobody's content," he said, "and our diplomats and our teams are working diligently to try to get them out."

At least one former American hostage thinks the deal is worth signing, despite the remaining hostages.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:48 pm
Fri July 17, 2015

The Rifleman Who Fiddled For Truman, Churchill And Stalin

Photo from The Rifleman's Violin, directed by Sam Ball, Copyright Citizen Film 2015.
Citizen Film

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 7:39 pm

Seventy years ago, shortly after defeating Nazi Germany, three victorious leaders met in Potsdam, just outside Berlin. President Harry Truman was there with British and Soviet leaders Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin. Stuart Canin was also there — he was a 19-year-old GI from New York City who played the violin.

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Science + Technology
5:36 am
Fri July 17, 2015

Reduce, Reuse, Remove The Cellophane: Recycling Demystified

Workers pull out plastic and trash from a conveyor belt of paper at a recycling plant in Elkridge, Md. The plant processes 1,000 tons of recyclable materials every day.
Dianna Douglas NPR

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 10:29 am

It's easy to think we're being virtuous when we fill up the blue recycling bin and put it on the curb. But it's clear we have embraced some magical thinking when it comes to what can be recycled.

Morning Edition asked its social media followers to share what puzzles them the most about the recycling process. Then, NPR's Dianna Douglas visited a waste management plant in Elkridge, Md., to get the answers from Michael Taylor, director of recycling operations for the plant.

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Parallels
8:41 am
Thu July 16, 2015

The View From Inside Syria

Saeed al-Batal, a Syrian photographer, posted this image from Douma, Syria, on his Facebook page on March 31.
Courtesy of Saeed al-Batal

Originally published on Thu July 16, 2015 3:46 pm

Syria's civil war has created the worst refugee crisis in the world, with more than 4 million people fleeing the country. Millions more have been displaced inside Syria, though we rarely hear from them.

Over the past year, NPR's Morning Edition has spoken three times with Saeed al-Batal, a photographer and filmmaker who doesn't use his real name for security reasons.

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It's All Politics
6:59 pm
Wed July 15, 2015

Logo Or No Go? When Campaign Logos Look A Little Too Familiar

@CNNPolitics tweeted a combination of Scott Walker's campaign logo with America's Best Eyeglasses logo to show the design similarities.
Via @CNNPolitics/Twitter

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 8:01 pm

The "E" in Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's newly unveiled presidential logo is a stylized American flag — as it turns out, one that looks remarkably similar to the logo for America's Best Contacts & Eyeglasses.

The company's CEO, Reade Fahs, said he doesn't mind but also that it's unlikely the governor hasn't seen the 18-year-old logo. "It's on hundreds of stores across the country. So assuming he's got good vision, he probably would have spotted it in his campaign travels. And we have lots of stores in Wisconsin too."

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All Tech Considered
3:49 pm
Mon July 13, 2015

#RaceOnTech: How An Early Love Of Math Led Her To The Role Of CEO

Dr. Lisa Dyson is the CEO of Kiverdi, a next-generation sustainable oil company that converts CO2 and waste carbon gases into oils using biotechnology.
Maurice Dean Courtesy of Lisa Dyson

Originally published on Fri July 17, 2015 10:03 am

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Race
5:11 pm
Sat July 11, 2015

He's Shared 'Every Single Word' — But It's The Silence That Rings Louder

YouTube

Originally published on Sun July 12, 2015 10:34 am

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Animals
7:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

For This Tarantula-Killing Wasp, Dinner's A Meal Best Served Living

Meal time for one species probably means sleepless nights for others.
Debbie Hall Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 10:38 am

It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.

Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.

So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.

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Arts + Life
8:10 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Babies On Display: When A Hospital Couldn't Save Them, A Sideshow Did

Dr. Martin Couney holds Beth Allen, one of his incubator babies, at Luna Park in Coney Island. This photo was taken in 1941.
Courtesy of Beth Allen

Close to a century ago, New York's Coney Island was famed for its sideshows. Loud-lettered signs crowded the island's attractions, crowing over tattooed ladies, sword swallowers — and even an exhibition of tiny babies.

The babies were premature infants kept alive in incubators pioneered by Dr. Martin Couney. The medical establishment had rejected his incubators, but Couney didn't give up on his aims. Each summer for 40 years, he funded his work by displaying the babies and charging admission — 25 cents to see the show.

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Code Switch
3:50 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Looks At The Physical Toll Of Being Black In America

Coates with his son Samori.
Random House

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 3:12 pm

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down at NPR's New York studios a few days ago, he got a little emotional.

It was the first time that Coates, who writes for The Atlantic, had held a copy of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.

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Arts + Life
5:24 pm
Thu July 9, 2015

Take A Trip To D.C.'s Indoor Beach, Where It's Always 75 And Sunny

Museumgoers play in the 10,000-square-foot exhibition called "The Beach" at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Noah Kalina National Building Museum

The nation's capital is sweaty and sweltering right now, but Washington locals and visitors can find a seaside getaway in the most unlikely of places. In the middle of downtown D.C., the National Building Museum has installed a 10,000-square-foot indoor "beach" that has attracted kids, tourists and workers looking for an out-of-the-ordinary lunch break.

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Goats and Soda
4:26 am
Thu July 9, 2015

He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

Daniel Majok Gai revisits the two-bedroom apartment in Denver where he lived with seven other Sudanese refugees in 2001.
Kevin Leahy NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 10:22 am

Daniel Majok Gai wants to go back to South Sudan.

He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.

Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.

Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.

He was 6 when a militia attacked his village.

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