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Deceptive Cadence
1:03 am
Sat December 28, 2013

Chopin's Favorite Piano Factory Plays Its Final Chord

The Pleyel piano factory, which once supplied instruments to Frederic Chopin, will close its doors at the end of the year.
Francois Guillot AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 2:47 pm

One of the world's oldest and most iconic piano makers, Pleyel, will close its factory doors in Paris at the end of 2013.

The French press characterized the bankruptcy as inevitable in the face of cheaper competition from China. But many disagree: They say Pleyel could have survived by adapting better to the times.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:52 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: Sometimes fiction is stranger than truth. Now that seems to have happened with a game you wanted to hear again. It's from August of 2008 with panelists Roxanne Roberts, Charlie Pierce, Paula Poundstone and guest judge and scorekeeper Corey Flintoff.

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Hi, you're on WAIT, WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!

JIM STAUTS: Hey there, Peter.

SAGAL: Hey, who's this?

STAUTS: This is Jim Stauts from Conroe, Texas.

SAGAL: Conroe, Texas. Where the heck is that?

STAUTS: That is one county north of Houston.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:52 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Bluff The Listener

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell, and here's your host at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl, thanks everybody. So to produce this week's show, we reached out to you on Twitter, on Facebook and on the street, which by the way we hereby promise never to do again, and we absolutely swear we didn't mean anything by it.

(LAUGHTER)

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:52 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Clippy And Paula

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 10:03 am

Transcript

CARL KASELL: From NPR and WBEZ Chicago, this is WAIT WAIT...DON'T TELL ME!, the NPR news quiz. I'm Carl Kasell. And here's your host, at the Chase Bank Auditorium in downtown Chicago, Peter Sagal.

(APPLAUSE)

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

Thank you, Carl, thank you everybody. Thank you so much. Listen, for many years now this show has completely been ignoring our listeners' tastes, preferences and good judgment, and frankly it's worked out pretty well.

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Parallels
6:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

U.N. Refuge Prepares For Possible Attack In South Sudan

South Sudanese seek refuge at the United Nations compound in the capital, Juba, on Sunday. Though Juba is mostly peaceful now, growing numbers are seeking shelter at the compound in fear the ethnic killings will resume.
Tony Karumba AFP/Getty Images

The president of South Sudan spent Friday in a peace summit with regional heads of state, discussing the crisis that erupted last weekend after an alleged coup attempt. At the same time, the government warned of a shadowy rebel army, covered with white ash, marching through the jungle to re-attack the northern city of Bor.

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The Two-Way
5:15 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Newtown Report Offers Few Insights Into School Shooting

This undated photo released Friday by the Connecticut State Police shows the scene inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:19 pm

Connecticut State Police have released an exhaustive report on last year's Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, offering some new details on the massacre that left 20 first-graders and six educators dead.

Photographs taken by investigators of the home that 20-year-old shooter Adam Lanza shared with his mother show "numerous rounds of ammunition, gun magazines, shot-up paper targets, gun cases, shooting earplugs and a gun safe with a rifle in it," The Associated Press writes.

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The Salt
3:43 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges

Ripening fruit in a grove in Plant City, Fla., this month. Florida citrus growers are worried about citrus greening, which causes bacteria to grow on the leaf and fruit, eventually killing the tree.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

It's not been a good year for Florida's citrus industry. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that, for the second year running, the orange crop is expected to be almost 10 percent lower than the previous year.

The culprit is citrus greening, a disease that has devastated Florida's oranges and grapefruits, and has now begun to spread in Texas and California.

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Science
3:36 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Stretch Or Splat? How A Black Hole Kills You Matters ... A Lot

Never mind holiday stress. Steer clear of black holes, or risk "spaghettification" — or worse.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

It could rightly be called the most massive debate of the year: Physicists are locked in an argument over what happens if you fall into a black hole.

On one side are those who support the traditional view from Albert Einstein. On the other, backers of a radical new theory that preserves the very core of modern physics by destroying space itself.

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This Week's Must Read
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

As Winter Rolls In, One Critic Recalls 'The Wind In The Willows'

Paul Bransom's illustration from a 1913 edition of The Wind in the Willows shows Otter traveling through the snowy woods.
Public Domain

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

We want simple things from books in winter — or at least I do. I want a vindication of my desire to loaf, laze, retreat from the world, the assurances, in short, of The Wind in the Willows, whose edicts are sane and just: "No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter."

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Movie Interviews
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

'42' Gets The Story Of Jackie Robinson Right

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) acknowledges the crowd in 42.
Warner Bros

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

As we close out 2013, we're returning to some of the year's films that were "inspired by a true story" and taking a look at the true-to-inspired ratio. Turns out, 42 — a biopic that portrays Jackie Robinson's 1947 integration of Major League Baseball — gets a lot of things right.

Arnold Rampersad, a professor of English at Stanford University who wrote a biography of Robinson, says the film really rings true.

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Shots - Health News
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

When Memories Never Fade, The Past Can Poison The Present

Having a perfect memory can put a strain on relationships, because every slight is remembered.
Katherine Streeter for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:08 am

On Feb. 21, Alexandra Wolff ate steak, mashed potatoes and broccoli for dinner. Later that night, sitting in her room, she spent 20 minutes scanning pictures in InStyle magazine.

She remembers those things, just as she remembers that on Aug. 2 she stopped at Target and bought Raisin Bran; and on April 17 she wore a white button-down shirt; and on Oct. 2 she went to TGI Fridays and spoke to the hostess, who was wearing black leather flats with small bows on them.

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The Two-Way
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Amid Political Chaos, Thailand's Army Chief Won't Rule Out Coup

Anti-government protesters enter a Bangkok stadium where election preparations were underway on Thursday.
Wason Wanichakorn AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:56 pm

Thailand's army chief on Friday called for calm amid unrest between supporters and opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, but he refused to rule out the possibility of a military coup to restore stability.

Asked whether the army would seize the government for the second time in less than a decade, Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha said: "That door is neither open nor closed ... it will be determined by the situation."

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Around the Nation
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Oil Company Looks To Great Lakes As Shipping Demand Booms

A company proposes shipping crude oil by barge across Lake Superior to keep up with the booming supply from North Dakota and Canada.
Jack Rendulich AP

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

North Dakota and western Canada are producing crude oil faster than it can be shipped to refineries.

Rail car manufacturers can't make new tank cars fast enough, and new pipeline proposals face long delays over environmental concerns. So energy companies are looking for new ways to get the heavy crude to market.

One proposed solution is to ship the oil by barge over the Great Lakes — but it's a controversial one.

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Business
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

On-The-Job Deaths Spiking As Oil Drilling Quickly Expands

Energy companies are adding workers, but fatal accidents are on the rise, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

Blue-collar workers, hit hard by automation and factory offshoring, have been struggling to find high-paying jobs.

One industry does offer opportunity: As baby boomers retire and drilling increases, oil and gas companies are hiring. They added 23 percent more workers between 2009 and 2012.

But the hiring spree has come with a terrible price: Last year, 138 workers were killed on the job — an increase of more than 100 percent since 2009.

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Animals
3:21 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

After Major Comeback, Is The Gray Wolf Still Endangered?

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 6:15 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The law that protects endangered species turns 40 tomorrow and perhaps the most controversial thing the government has done under the law is to reintroduce the gray wolf. Ranchers and hunters strongly opposed the move and now the federal government wants to take the gray wolf off the endangered species list. NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, this time, it is the scientists who are protesting loudly.

ELIZABETH SHOGREN, BYLINE: Ecologist Carlos Carroll is walking through the snow in a wide valley in Northern California.

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It's All Politics
2:06 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

5 Achievements Of The 113th Congress (So Far)

Congress managed to get a few things accomplished in 2013, with an emphasis on "few."
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

The 113th Congress, which just ended its first year, has come to be defined more by what it hasn't done than what it has. With two warring and ideologically polarized parties controlling either end of Capitol Hill, Congress has more or less become a quagmire for policy.

Still, one of the least productive Congresses of the modern era was able to accomplish a few things in 2013. Here are five of them:

1. Going Nuclear

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Environment
1:49 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Easter Island's Secret May Be Adaptation, Not Suicide

The Polynesian society of Easter Island supposedly collapsed in the late 1600s after the population razed the island of every last tree. Recent evidence suggests a different story, one that hints not at environmental suicide but at successful adaptation. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with anthropologist Mara Mulrooney about her research.

NPR Story
1:45 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

2013: A Look Back At The Year In Tech

A developer, Loic Le Meu selected for Google Glass explorer edition shows off his device. (Wikimedia Commons)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

This year started with high expectations for Google Glass and other wearable technology, but even by the end of the year those devices haven’t really reached the mainstream.

Companies like Samsung and Snapchat saw great success, while others had a few flops.

NPR technology correspondent Steve Henn joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to look at the year in technology.

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NPR Story
1:45 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Two Years After War's End, US Sends Arms To Iraq

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki meets with U.S. President Barack Obama on November 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. Al-Maliki requested additional U.S. assistance in battling a rising wave of violence in Iraq. The U.S. subsequently sent arms and surveillance equipment to Iraq. (Olivier Douliery/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

To help the Iraqi government fight the current insurgency, which is at levels not seen since the worst days of the war, the Obama administration is sending missiles and surveillance drones to the country.

The New York Times broke the story and reports that the move follows Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s request when he came to Washington last month.

Al-Maliki said Iraq needs help to fight al-Qaeda-backed militants who are gaining territory in Iraq and also in neighboring Syria.

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NPR Story
1:45 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Will Holiday Shipping Disaster Change Shopping Habits?

A UPS worker delivers packages on December 26, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. Bad weather and a higher than expected demand from online sales caused FedEx and UPS to miss many Christmas delivery deadlines. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 4:15 pm

More than a few Christmas shoppers were disappointed when their UPS and FedEx were unable to deliver their packages in time for Christmas.

Bloomberg’s Marty Schenker joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson says the failure of the two shipping giants might show that American shopping habits, including a desire to wait until the last minute for the best possible deal, are quickly becoming unsustainable.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Egypt Launches Renewed Crackdown On Muslim Brotherhood

Egyptian riot police run after Muslim Brotherhood members after a demonstration in Cairo's eastern Nasr City district on Friday.
Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

Egyptian security forces carried out widespread arrests of Muslim Brotherhood members just days after the government labeled the group, which supports ousted President Mohammed Morsi, a terrorist organization.

Three people were reported killed in Muslim Brotherhood-led protests and some 265 people were arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown, which came as the political group renewed calls for massive anti-government rallies.

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
1:13 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Gerald Wilson On Piano Jazz

Gerald Wilson.
Courtesy of the artist.

Composer and arranger Gerald Wilson has charted the course for some of the legends of jazz, including Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Stories Merge As 'Duck Dynasty' Fans Plan 'Chick-Phil-A' Day

One of Chick-Phil-A-Day's promotional images.
Facebook.com/chickphiladay

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 4:43 pm

Update at 5:40 p.m. ET. A&E Lifts Phil Robertson's Suspension:

A&E announced Friday afternoon that it was reversing its decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson from the show.

A statement from the cable channel says the decision was made after discussions with the Robertson family and "numerous advocacy groups."

Here's our original post ...

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Interviews
12:19 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

'Inside Amy Schumer': It's Not Just Sex Stuff

Amy Schumer isn't afraid to talk sexting, dirty talk or even the fine line between rape and deeply troubling sex in her comedy.
Peter Yang Comedy Central

This interview was originally broadcast on June 25, 2013.

One of Amy Schumer's comedy routines begins with the declaration, "I'm a little sluttier than the average bear. I really am."

Degrees of sluttiness may be hard to define, but Schumer does talk frankly about many subjects — including sex — that can be uncomfortable for people, both in her stand-up act and on her Comedy Central series, Inside Amy Schumer, which was recently renewed for a second season.

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Shots - Health News
12:00 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Concussions May Increase Alzheimer's Risk, But Only For Some

Researchers have only recently been able to use brain scans to detect Alzheimer's risk factors in living people.
iStockphoto

Doctors have long suspected that head trauma boosts the risk of getting Alzheimer's disease later on, but the evidence on that has been mixed.

But it looks like people who have memory problems and a history of concussion are more likely to have a buildup of plaques in the brain that are a risk factor for Alzheimer's, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

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The Two-Way
11:59 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Target: Encrypted Data Were Taken, But Not The Key To Unlock

The scene outside a Target store in Brooklyn on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Though hackers did obtain "strongly encrypted PIN data" when they got into Target's information systems, the retailer said Friday that sensitive information from customers' debit cards should not be at risk.

Target posted this explanation:

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The Two-Way
11:42 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Judge Rules That NSA Collection Of Phone Data Is Lawful

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:51 pm

A federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency's bulk gathering of the telephone records of millions of Americans is legal — less than two weeks after another federal judge ruled that the program violated the Constitution.

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NPR Story
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 Under-The-Radar Stories From The Barbershop Guys

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:26 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Architecture
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Architect's Dream House: Less Than 200 Square Feet

Macy Miller

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 12:35 pm

You might think going through a divorce and losing your home to foreclosure would be hard to bounce back from, and they are, but Tell Me More caught up with a woman who beat the odds and built a new home for herself.

Macy Miller, an architect from Idaho, built the home with her own two hands at a cost of only $11,000. The house is less than 200 square feet.


Interview Highlights

On building the home

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Economy
11:33 am
Fri December 27, 2013

2013 A Good Year For Housing And Auto Industries

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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