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Education
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Is The SAT Creating A Generation Of Bad Writers?

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

Want to do well on the essay portion of the SAT? Just make it up! Or at least that's one professor's view. Host Scott Simon speaks to English professor Anne Ruggles Gere of the University of Michigan, who says that the college entrance exam is turning out a generation of bad writers who are fast and loose with the facts.

Health Care
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

'Loyal Soldier' Sebelius Vows To Stay Put, Fix HealthCare.gov

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks Thursday in Phoenix.
Laura Segall Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

This has not been an easy month for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas — who learned the political ropes working for Sebelius' father-in-law, then a Kansas congressman — called for her to step down over the debut of HealthCare.gov, the problem-plagued website where people are supposed to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

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Music Interviews
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Los Campesinos! Lighten Up With 'No Blues'

The new Los Campesinos! album, No Blues, comes out Oct. 29.
Kirsten McTernan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

The Welsh sextet Los Campesinos! has put out five albums since 2006, many of them with titles that don't seem destined to soar to the top of pop's generally lighthearted charts; We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed and Hello Sadness are just a couple of the band's record names. Lead singer Gareth David says the tone of the band's new album, No Blues, reflects a step in a more optimistic direction.

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Music Interviews
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Katy Perry, Through A 'Prism'

Perry, perhaps the biggest pop star in the world, joins host Scott Simon (on her birthday, no less) to talk about her new album.

Politics
7:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Pondering A Presidential Run? Cruz Dines In Iowa

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) speaks on Friday during the Republican Party of Iowa's Reagan Dinner in Des Moines.
Scott Morgan AP

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

Sen. Ted Cruz, the Texas Republican and Tea-Party darling, was in Iowa Friday headlining a fundraising dinner for the state Republican Party. It was Cruz's third visit to Iowa in as many months, but this time was different.

It was his first time back since the government shutdown and his 21-hour, anti-Obamacare talkathon that preceded it — events that catapulted him from junior senator to a conservative hero and household name.

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The Salt
4:25 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Fish Sauce: An Ancient Roman Condiment Rises Again

Ava Gene's, a Roman-inspired restaurant in Portland, Ore., incorporates colatura, a modern descendant of ancient Roman fish sauce, into several of its dishes.
Deena Prichep NPR

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 10:19 am

Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
4:12 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Typhoon: Tiny Desk Concert

Typhoon performs a Tiny Desk Concert in October 2013.
Meredith Rizzo Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 2:57 pm

The appropriately named Typhoon is a sprawling band with an epic sound. The group from Portland, Ore. crafts rock anthems like emotional tidal waves, propelled by the stories of frontman Kyle Morton. His deeply personal tales are often full of grief and loss. But just as often they celebrate and praise life's simple wonders. Morton himself is a very grateful (and lucky) man who writes songs as if he were living on borrowed time.

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Parallels
4:12 am
Sat October 26, 2013

'Little Maria' A Symbol Of The Many Missing Kids In Europe

A woman holds up a picture of a 5-year-old girl who disappeared in May in Clermont-Ferrand, in central France. As estimated 250,00 kids go missing each year in Europe, according to the European Union. Many are runaways that are later found, though there are also cases involving small children who are abducted.
Thierry Zoccolan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 7:13 am

For the last week, a blond girl named Maria became the poster child for missing children in Europe. Police took her from a Roma camp in Northern Greece during a raid while they searched for guns and drugs.

She was hiding under a dirty blanket, they said. Greek media openly suggested the Roma couple caring for her had snatched her from a northern or eastern European family.

One Greek newspaper called her the Blonde Angel. Who would claim her?

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Book Reviews
4:07 am
Sat October 26, 2013

Norman Mailer, Warts And All, In 'A Double Life'

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:59 pm

When Norman Mailer spoke, you paid attention. Whether he was standing on a stage and speaking for an hour — without notes — on writing, or art, or politics, or in a manic monologue around a dinner table, or in a chance encounter on the sidewalks of New York or in an airport, you listened. Especially if you grew up idolizing him, as many of us did.

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All Tech Considered
4:04 am
Sat October 26, 2013

No Seat Belts Required: Drone Hobbyists Talk Safety

Christopher Vo pilots his aircraft as local drone enthusiasts gather for a Maryland fly-in at an airport in Laytonsville, Md.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:38 pm

Last month, I got hit by a drone. No, it was not a giant surveillance robot, or a sinister armed device. It was a cute little quadcopter about the size of a coconut, operated by a professor who built it for fun.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:49 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Not My Job: What Does John Lithgow Know About Flops?

Boneau Bryan-Brown AP

Actor John Lithgow has won awards for performances ranging from the goofy alien patriarch in 3rd Rock from the Sun to a demonic serial killer on Dexter to dramatic and musical roles on Broadway. (And if that weren't enough, he's written best-selling children's books, too.)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Prediction

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Now panel, what will TV pitchman Barack Obama be selling next? Mo Rocca.

MO ROCCA: In his post presidency Obama will be pitching Obamacare.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: Roxanne Roberts.

ROXANNE ROBERTS: Obama's Geek Squad. Motto: We scratch the itch of your computer's glitch.

(LAUGHTER)

SAGAL: And Peter Grosz.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Lightning Fill In The Blank

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Time for our final game Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill in the blank questions as he or she can. Carl, what are the scores?

CARL KASELL: Mo Rocca has the lead. He has four points. Peter Grosz and Roxanne Roberts are tied. Both have two points.

SAGAL: All right. We have flipped a coin and Roxanne has elected to go first. Here is your first question. On Monday, Chris Christie withdrew his challenge as blank became legal in New Jersey.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:40 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Limericks

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Coming up, it's Lightning Fill In The Blank... but first it's the game where you have to listen for the rhyme. If you'd like to play on air, call or leave a message at 1-888-WAIT, WAIT...that's 1-888, 9-2-4, 8-9-2-4. Or you can click the contact us link on our website which is waitwait.npr.org. There you can find out about attending our weekly live shows back at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago Illinois and our upcoming show in Elkhart Indiana on November 21st. Tickets are still available! Hi, you're on WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

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NPR Story
5:28 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Agrees To Pay $5.1 Billion To Feds

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

JPMorgan Chase agreed pay $5.1 billion to settle litigation over mortgage assets sold during the housing bubble. The deal, announced late Friday afternoon, is to resolve claims the company misled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac before the housing market crashed. It is part of a tentative $13 billion deal the company is trying to reach with federal and state agencies over its mortgage liabilities.

Shots - Health News
5:26 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

For Obamacare To Work, It's Not Just About The Numbers

Ashley Hentze (left) gets help signing up for the Affordable Care Act from a volunteer in Florida. The government says that 40 percent of the expected enrollees for 2014 must be young and healthy for health insurance premiums to remain affordable.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 2:38 pm

Relatively few people have enrolled in new health insurance plans since the Affordable Care Act exchanges launched this month. But some health care experts say it's early days yet — and that getting the right proportion of healthy, young new enrollees is just as important as how quickly people sign up.

The Congressional Budget Office projects that 7 million people will buy health insurance for 2014 through the new exchanges, integral to the implementation of the government's new health care law.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Aging Well: Keeping Blood Sugar Low May Protect Memory

Eating right and exercise are key to controlling blood sugar. So maybe you should skip that doughnut.
Pink Sherbet Photography Flickr

There's a growing body of evidence linking elevated blood sugar to memory problems.

For instance, earlier this year, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that higher glucose may be a risk factor for dementia, even among people without type 2 diabetes.

So the question is, at what point does the risk of cognitive decline set in?

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

JPMorgan Chase Settles With Housing Regulator For $5.1 Billion

JP Morgan Chase & Company headquarters in New York.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:31 pm

JPMorgan Chase announced that it reached a $5.1 billion settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which is a conservator for the mortgage giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

The Wall Street Journal explains:

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The Two-Way
4:46 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

United Slapped With $1.1 Million Fine Over Tarmac Delays

A United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner at O'Hare International Airport.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:22 pm

The Department of Transportation has slapped United Airlines with a $1.1 million fine for lengthy tarmac delays at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in July of 2012.

In a press release, the DOT said the fine was the largest issued since it instituted a rule that penalizes U.S. carriers for holding a plane with passengers on a tarmac for more than three hours.

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Book Reviews
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Lush, Urgent Poems On Protest And Pumpkins Set Language 'On Fire'

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

I admit it — I have a tendency to feel jaded. So if someone were to tell me that Brenda Hillman spent the last 17 years writing four books of poetry, one for each of the elements — land, air, water, and fire — I might brush the work aside. I might think that the project sounded cheesy, cliché, not for me. But I would be wrong, because the lush, sidelong, textured poems in Hillman's stunning new book Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire refuse simplicity. This book — the final exploration of the fourth element, fire — dances and leaps.

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All Tech Considered
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

A School's iPad Initiative Brings Optimism And Skepticism

Students at Coachella Valley Unified School District use iPads during a lesson. The district's superintendent is promoting the tablet initiative as a way to individualize learning.
Coachella Valley Unified School District

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

A growing number of school districts across America are trying to weave tablet computers, like the iPad, into the classroom fabric, especially as a tool to help implement the new Common Core state standards for math and reading.

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Recipes
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Death Becomes Whimsical On Dia De Los Muertos

Melissa Block/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

On the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday, the living remember the dead. Some believe they are communing with the deceased. While it may sound morbid, Pati Jinich, a Mexican-born blogger, food show personality and author of Pati's Mexican Table, says it's a joyous occasion.

"People get ready to welcome people — those who have deceased and that presumably have license to visit just once a year," Jinich told All Things Considered host Melissa Block.

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Shots - Health News
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Pennsylvania Governor Talks Up Plan To Expand Medicaid His Way

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett speaks at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia on Wednesday. Corbett visited the hospital to promote his Healthy Pennsylvania initiative.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett may have been watching fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio who bypassed the Republican Legislature in his state this week to expand Medicaid.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, states have the option to make coverage available to low-income adults, with the federal government picking up the entire tab for the first three years.

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Music Reviews
4:30 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Arcade Fire Takes A Dancey Turn Down A Well-Trod Path

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 1:25 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The Canadian rock band Arcade Fire released their first record "Funeral" back in 2004 on a small independent label. But these days there's nothing small about them. Their third record, "The Suburbs," won a Grammy and the band's upcoming fourth album is one of the most anticipated releases of the year. It's after a much hyped appearance on "Saturday Night Live" and a half hour special on NBC. Will Hermes has this review of "Reflektor."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Mountain Stage
4:19 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

The Slide Brothers On Mountain Stage

The Slide Brothers performing live on Mountain Stage.
Brian Blauser Mountain Stage

Most people think of the steel guitar as an instrument associated with country music — from country rock and pop to alt-country. But there's another style of steel playing that dates back to African-American Pentecostal churches of the 1930s, when a handful of congregations began using steel guitars in place of organs.

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World Cafe
3:56 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Ann Delisi On World Cafe

Ann Delisi.
Courtesy of the artist

To find out about up-and-coming local bands for our Sense of Place stop in Detroit, we went straight to one of the city's best-known sources: Ann Delisi, host of Ann Delisi's Essential Music on NPR member station WDET-FM.

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World Cafe
3:55 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Mayer Hawthorne On World Cafe

Mayer Hawthorne.
Jeremy Deputat Courtesy of the artist

Mayer Hawthorne joins us on our last day of Sense of Place: Detroit to talk a bit about growing up in the Motor City. While Hawthorne began his career as a hip-hop artist, it was his retro take on soul music that caught the attention of his audience, and of record companies.

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Parallels
3:27 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Little 'Libraires' That Could: French Law Would Keep Amazon At Bay

France's government has taken legal steps to protect the country's independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it's considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
Christine Zenino Flickr

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 6:55 pm

Last year, the U.S. government took Apple to court, charging that the company illegally drove up the price of e-books. This summer, Apple lost the case.

In France, just the opposite is happening. The French government has accused Amazon of trying to push the price of physical books too low.

Limiting discounts on books is one of the ways that France is trying to ensure the survival of its independent booksellers.

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Appalachian Mountain Club Huts Turn 125

The Mizpah Spring Hut welcomes its visitors. (Chris Ballman/Here & Now)

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 3:43 pm

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NPR Story
2:55 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Blanket Of Smog In Chinese City Renews Coal Debate

The cloud of smog that smothered Harbin, China, as seen from space. (NOAA)

Cool winds are bringing relief to nearly 10 million residents of the northern Chinese city of Harbin, where thick smog caused schools, airports and businesses to shutter their doors earlier this week. Residents were ordered to remain indoors. At the pollution’s worst, visibility was only 65 feet.

The smog coincided with the first day residents fired up their heating systems in a city known for its cold temperatures and ice festivals.

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