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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Our Magnum Opus

In this Ask Me Another final round, puzzle guru Art Chung quizzes the remaining contestants on phrases and proper nouns that contain the name of a musical instrument. For example, a narrow type of stemware that you might drink your Dom Perignon out of is a "champagne flute."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Freaks Shall Inherit The Earth

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:16 pm

For those who came of age in the 90s, or went to high school in the 80s, Freaks and Geeks is a cultural touchstone. Not only because it so perfectly captured the pains and joys of adolescence, but also because its young cast would go on to do amazing things. We quiz the show's creator, Paul Feig, about what everyone in the cast has been up to since their roles in Freaks and Geeks.

Plus, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" (also the Freaks and Geeks theme song) his own nerd-rock treatment.

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

First Name Basis

We live in an informal society — no one's introduced as Mr. Coulton or Ms. Eisenberg anymore. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg talks about celebrities on a first name basis, and asks contestants to give her the full name of a famous person by combining the first names of two other famous people.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

As Easy As B-C-D

If we asked you to name a side dish that combines onion, celery, butter, and bread cubes stuck inside of a turkey--the answer would be "stuffing," which begins with the letters "s-t-u." Host Ophira Eisenberg leads this game in which every correct answer will begin with a string of three consecutive letters of the alphabet, like "d-e-f," or "h-I-j."

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

The Meow Mix

Cats! We can't get enough of their cute, fuzzy faces and fickle personalities. Neither can musicians, apparently. In this game, Jonathan Coulton delivers some musical clues to songs that have cats in their title, or were performed by musical acts with a feline name. One song is even performed entirely in "meow."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Put A Bjork In It

Yes, we're talking about the quirky Icelandic singer Björk, but you don't need to know anything about her. Jonathan Coulton delivers clues to words, phrases, and proper names into which you must cleverly insert "Björk." For example, a small dog that was bred to catch rats is a "Björkshire terrier." Life is just more fun when you put a Björk in it.

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Paul Feig: Le Geek, C'est Chic

Paul Feig, dapper as ever.
David Dettmann

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 11:12 am

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The Two-Way
8:16 am
Thu November 7, 2013

VIDEO: Louisville Basketball Player Who Broke His Leg Returns, Hits Shot

Louisville's Kevin Ware, in the white uniform, was back in action Wednesday night. He returned to the court for the first time since breaking his leg last spring.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:37 am

Our good news of the morning:

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It's All Politics
7:59 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Thursday Political Mix: Obama, Insurers Need Each Other

President Obama visited Dallas Wednesday partly to cheer up volunteers who help people enroll in Obamacare.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:58 pm

Good morning, fellow political junkies.

The assessments of the meaning of the 2013 off-year elections continue, with both parties trying to draw lessons from Election Day's outcomes, with the likely overinterpretation of some of them, though it wasn't always clear which.

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The Two-Way
7:27 am
Thu November 7, 2013

At First Glance, Economy Grew More Than Expected In 3Q

Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in Emeryville, Calif., last month.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 9:37 am

This post was updated at 8:40 a.m. ET

The U.S. economy grew at a better-than-expected 2.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday morning.

That's a bit faster than the 2.5 percent pace of the second quarter. According to the BEA, consumer spending, inventory investment and exports helped fuel slightly stronger growth.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Thu November 7, 2013

KCRW Presents: White Denim

White Denim performed live on KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic.
Rob LaFond KCRW

When the down-and-dirty Austin rock band White Denim stopped by the KCRW studios on the day of its album release, its members had one goal in mind: Put as much pressure on our studio equipment as possible before total collapse. They nothing held back, even sweating through their shirts on a crisp fall morning. From blues to prog-rock, soul and psychedelia, there's plenty to like about White Denim's album Corsicana Lemonade — including this song, "Cheer Up/Blues Ending."

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It's All Politics
7:03 am
Thu November 7, 2013

With Three Years Left To Go, Obama Remains On Defense

President Obama waves as he departs Love Field Airport after shaking hands with supporters Wednesday in Dallas.
Tony Gutierrez AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 12:13 pm

Just a year after he won re-election, President Obama's second term is already feeling long and fairly fruitless.

It could get worse.

It's typical for second-term presidents to enter the doldrums, but in Obama's case the feeling that he can't accomplish very much set in early. The hopes he stated last year that his re-election would "break the fever" of unyielding Republican opposition to everything he proposed turned out to be misguided.

"The president is clearly at his weakest point in his presidency so far," says GOP consultant Whit Ayres.

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Parallels
7:01 am
Thu November 7, 2013

World Headlines: Guarded Optimism As Iran, West Meet Again

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton speaks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif before the start of two days of closed-door nuclear talks at the U.N. offices in Geneva, Switzerland, on Thursday.
Martial Trezzini EPA /LANDOV

Iran, Press TV

There's guarded optimism as the second round of talks between Iran and international powers over the Islamic republic's nuclear program got under way in Geneva.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif met for an hour with Catherine Ashton, the EU's foreign policy chief, ahead of Thursday's talks. A tweet from Ashton's spokesman Michael Mann described the meeting as "good."

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The Two-Way
6:50 am
Thu November 7, 2013

CIA Pays AT&T For Data On International Calls, 'Times' Says

The seal of the CIA at the agency's headquarters in Virginia.
Greg E. Mathieson Sr. MAI/Landov

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:11 pm

News keeps breaking about the alleged electronic surveillance done by U.S. spy agencies. Thursday's exclusive comes from The New York Times:

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The Two-Way
6:47 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Book News: Indie Bookstores Don't Take Kindly To Amazon's Kindle Offer

One bookseller says of the new Amazon Source program to sell Kindle e-readers: "That's not cooperation. That's being complicit in your execution."
David McNew Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Around the Nation
6:08 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Will Free Bacon Get A Crowd To Kansas State Basketball Game?

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene. The women's basketball team at Kansas State is hoping for a sizzling season. For their home opener tomorrow night they're trying a new promotion - bacon - which evidently goes great with everything, including basketball. Students will get in for free and also get a boat of bacon, something resembling the paper container nachos are served in.

Space
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Olympic Torch On Its Way To International Space Station

The Olympic torch was launched into space on Wednesday night. It will accompany astronauts on a spacewalk before returning to Earth on Nov. 10.

The Two-Way
5:56 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Twitter Pops To $44.90 A Share In Debut On Wall Street

Will it fly? The Twitter bird logo was decorating a post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:43 pm

6 p.m. ET: Twitter Shares Close At $44.90

At the end of its first day of public trading, shares of Twitter were valued at $44.90, reflecting a market value of more than $31 billion. The company sold 70 million shares of stock, raising $1.82 billion in the process.

Earlier Thursday, the company's shares soared from their initial public offering price of $26.

2:35 p.m. ET:

As you can see if you click on the player below, Twitter's stock has been trading around $47 a share in recent minutes.

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Middle East
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Suspicions Bog Down Talks On Iran's Nuclear Program

Negotiators from Iran and six world powers resume talks Thursday in Geneva on Iran's nuclear program. Iran's Supreme Leader says he's not optimistic, and U.S. officials say "no deal is better than a bad deal." Still, Iran's desire to get out from under crippling economic sanctions may drive progress forward despite the long odds.

Business
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Most Remaining Blockbusters To Close In January

Blockbuster is going to shut all of its company-owned stores. Some franchise stores will stay open. At its peak, the video rental chain had about 9,000 stores.

Around the Nation
3:54 am
Thu November 7, 2013

'Homesick Hijacker' To Appear In Miami Courtroom

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:11 am

Nearly 30 years ago, William Potts hijacked a plane to Cuba. He is scheduled to be in court in Miami on Thursday. It's the first time he's been in the U.S. for nearly three decades.

Parallels
2:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Camus' Stance On Algeria Still Stokes Debate In France

Algeria-born Albert Camus poses for a portrait in Paris following the announcement that he is being awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1957. Camus' views on his birthplace still stoke controversy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 1:56 pm

A hundred years after his birth, French writer-philosopher Albert Camus is perhaps best-remembered for novels like The Stranger and The Plague, and for his philosophy of absurdism.

But it's another aspect of his intellectual body of work that's under scrutiny as France marks the Camus centennial: his views about his native Algeria.

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Politics
1:59 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Why Obama Shouldn't Worry About His Lousy Poll Numbers

President Obama walks with the chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, on the South Lawn of the White House on Wednesday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 10:06 am

President Obama's poll numbers have hit just about the lowest point of his presidency.

They started sinking after the Obamacare website's miserable debut last month. Now, only around 40 percent of Americans think Obama is doing a good job. More than half disapprove of his performance. (A year ago, the numbers were the opposite.)

It seems obvious to say that a high approval rating helps a president, while a low approval rating hurts him. But here are five reasons Obama's numbers might not be as troublesome as they sound.

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Business
1:58 am
Thu November 7, 2013

No Room For Erasers, As Technology Deletes Pen Businesses

In the 1800s, fountain pens were the height of writing technology, allowing writers to pen words continuously without stopping for an ink dip.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 12:09 pm

We tweet. We text. We email. But how often do we really write anymore? Not much, if you look at the business of selling pens — or "fine writing instruments," as shop owners call them. With their writing tools becoming obsolete, pen stores have folded, including a century-old shop in New York.

But despite the tech-heavy trends, a few old-fashioned pen stores are still holding on.

Wood Shelves, Ink Bottles, And Sinatra

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Monkey See
1:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Shonda Rhimes Knows Where This 'Scandal' Will End

Kerry Washington plays Olivia Pope on Shonda Rhimes' political drama Scandal, one of TV's most talked-about broadcast shows.
Danny Feld ABC

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:37 am

Shonda Rhimes says the Washington she's created for the political drama Scandal is a dark, amoral one — and "a little Shakespearean," in the way it's a place where big themes play out among powerful people who aren't afraid to make bold moves.

"In the world of the show, [our] America sees Washington as this fairy-tale-beautiful place, and everybody who works there is really helping keep that illusion alive," the series creator tells Morning Edition's Renee Montagne.

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Shots - Health News
1:57 am
Thu November 7, 2013

How The Affordable Care Act Pays For Insurance Subsidies

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:44 pm

The new health care law will provide around $1 trillion in subsidies to low- and middle-income Americans over the next decade to help them pay for health insurance.

Johanna Humbert of Galien, Mich., was pleasantly surprised to discover that she qualifies for an insurance subsidy, since her current plan is being canceled. Humbert makes about $30,000 a year, so she'll get a subsidy of about $300 a month. The new plan is similar to her current one, but it will cost $250 — about half of what she pays now.

But where will the money come from to pay for subsidies like these?

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Ecstatic Voices
1:56 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Across America, Voices Rise To Reinvent India

Kanniks with the choir at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Cincinnati in 2004.
Courtesy of Kanniks Kannikeswaran

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 3:20 pm

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U.S. Commutes: The Way We Get To Work
1:55 am
Thu November 7, 2013

To Get Around Town, Some Cities Take A Step Back In Time

Construction of the Atlanta streetcar line has hurt many businesses along the route, but there is hope that economic gains will increase once the line opens next spring.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 11:17 am

This story is part of a project on commuting in America.

Cities across the country are investing in old-fashioned streetcars to solve what's known as the "last mile" problem. The hope is that trolleys will make it easier for people to get to their final destination.

Atlanta is one of the latest, laying steel rails for a 2.6 mile line. The tracks will run downtown from Peachtree Street to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic district on the east side of the city. Some see this as a big step forward.

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All Tech Considered
4:37 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

4-D Printing Means Building Things That Build Themselves

H. Jerry Qi, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Colorado University, holds simple models printed using polymers that have "shape memory." The flat piece on the left can reshape itself into a box with the application of heat.
Glenn J. Asakawa University of Colorado

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 5:12 pm

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Education
4:31 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Michigan Works To Match Dropouts With Degrees Already Earned

At Lansing Community College in Michigan, students who've moved on to four-year schools can come back and claim their credits, and maybe even a degree.
David Shane/Flickr

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 10:15 am

There's a nationwide search underway to find former students who don't know they've already done all or most of the work needed to earn a credential that might help them land a better-paying job.

In Michigan, several hundred community college dropouts were recently surprised to learn they had enough credits to qualify for an associate degree. There are also ex-students who apparently didn't know they're just a few credits shy of a two-year degree.

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