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5:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Marilyn Monroe As An 'All-Around' Comedian

Marilyn Monroe died 50 years ago Sunday at the age of 36. Host Linda Wertheimer speaks with film expert Murray Horwitz about Monroe's film legacy and her comedic skills.

NPR Story
5:28 am
Sun August 5, 2012

British Elbow Into An Exclusive Medals Podium

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

There is still a week to go at the Olympics, but it's a good bet that after all the drama ends, Britons will look back on last night as the moment the Games turned in their favor - maybe not in the overall medal count but the host country got a huge psychological lift as Team Great Britain snagged three track and field gold medals on the Games' biggest stage. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

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NPR Story
5:28 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Runner With Artificial Legs Sprints Past Barrier

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And if there weren't enough excitement at the Olympics, another kind of record was made yesterday at the Olympic Stadium. A double amputee with artificial legs raced for the first time ever in the Olympics. South African Oscar Pistorious qualified for the semifinals tonight in the 400-meter sprint.

NPR's Howard Berkes reports from London.

HOWARD BERKES, BYLINE: The first heat of the Olympic 400 sounded like any other race.

(SOUNDBITE OF STARTING GUN)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: From the inside...

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NPR Story
5:28 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Murderous 'Thugs' From India To London

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:34 am

Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Tabish Khair about The Thing About Thugs, his new novel about the myths of murderous Indian cult of "thugees."

Participation Nation
5:26 am
Sun August 5, 2012

The People's Boutique In Washington, D.C.

Zaniyah sleeps while her mom shops at the Bread for the City boutique.
Courtesy of Caroline Lacey

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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It's All Politics
5:16 am
Sun August 5, 2012

The Youth Vote 2012: Once Again, With Enthusiasm?

Aubrey Marks (left) helps a University of Central Florida student to register to vote in Orlando, Fla., on July 31.
John Raoux AP

Christina Sanders, who organizes young voters, has a message for those under-30 with political grievances: "There is no Superman coming."

Trying to convince members of the notoriously non-voting age-group to head to the polls on Nov. 6 for the presidential election, she tells them: "You are a part of the American system."

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Animals
4:11 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Bat Calls Make Eerie Comeback As Techno-Like Beats

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region Flickr

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:04 am

For the past five years, bats have been disappearing at an alarming rate, falling prey to a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. But they're making an eerie comeback in a new audio exhibit at a national park in Vermont. The exhibit features manipulated recordings of bat calls that are funneled through glass vessels hanging from a studio ceiling.

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Joe's Big Idea
4:11 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Scientists Look To Martian Rocks For History Of Life

Mmm, nice rock! This rover's looking for secrets to the history of life on Mars.
Photo Illustration Courtesy NASA

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 9:41 am

NASA has sent rovers to explore Mars before. But three words explain what makes this latest mission to Mars so different: location, location, location.

The rover Curiosity is slated to land late Sunday in Gale Crater, near the base of a 3-mile-high mountain with layers like the Grand Canyon. Scientists think those rocks could harbor secrets about the history of water — and life — on the Red Planet.

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Presidential Race
4:10 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Back Scratch? Romney Has An Ally In Indiana

U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, right, applauds as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event at Stepto's Bar-B-Q Shack in Evansville, Ind., Saturday.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:48 pm

Republican Mitt Romney campaigned this weekend in a state that has not seen much of either presidential candidate. Nobody considers Indiana a toss-up in the presidential race.

But the Senate contest there is a different story. It's a very close race, and the result could determine which party controls the Senate next year. So Romney showed up at a barbecue shack in Evansville to give the conservative Republican candidate a boost.

'Help Me Elect This Guy'

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Books News & Features
4:10 am
Sun August 5, 2012

In The E-Book World, Are Book Covers A Dying Art?

Designed by Chip Kidd, the book jacket for Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, when removed, reveals a woman's face.
Courtesy of Chip Kidd/Alfred A. Knopf

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 3:01 pm

In the olden days, a reader might pick up a book because the cover was exciting, intriguing, maybe even beautiful. But in the brave new world of e-books and e-readers, the days when an artist named Chip Kidd could make us reach for a book may be gone.

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Alt.Latino
12:03 am
Sun August 5, 2012

From Mexico With Love (And Beats)

3Ball MTY is DJ Otto, Erick Rincon and Sheeqo Beat.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 12:03 pm

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Billy Edd Wheeler: 'I Can't Rock Anymore, But I Can Still Roll'

At his peak in the 1960s, Billy Edd Wheeler was writing songs for the likes of Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Elvis Presley and Hazel Dickens.
GAB Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 5:34 am

Even if you've never heard of Billy Edd Wheeler, you might recognize "Jackson," a song he wrote with the help of songwriting heavyweights Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller back in 1963. It was a Top 20 pop hit for Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra in 1967, and got to No. 2 on the country charts that same year in a version by Johnny Cash and June Carter.

" 'Jackson' is a fun song," Wheeler says. "It's been my most famous and most lucrative song. It helped build our house."

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Put Two Up Front For Two New Words

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat August 11, 2012 4:26 pm

On-air challenge: You are given two five-letter words. Put the same pair of letters in front of each of them to complete two familiar seven-letter words. The letters that go in front will never be a standard prefix, like "re-." For example, given "quire" and "tress," the answer would be "ac" to make "acquire" and "actress."

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Around the Nation
4:06 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

How America's Losing The War On Poverty

Members of the Dolan family walk home with bags of food from the Southern Tier Mobile Food Pantry in Oswego, N.Y., in June. Food banks across the nation are reporting giant spikes in demand.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:53 am

While President Obama and Gov. Romney battle for the hearts and minds of the middle class this election season, there's a huge swath of Americans that are largely ignored. It's the poor, and their ranks are growing.

According to a recent survey by The Associated Press, the number of Americans living at or below the poverty line will reach its highest point since President Johnson made his famous declaration of war on poverty in 1964.

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Sports
2:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

That's No Swimsuit, That's A Racing System

Gold medalist Ryan Lochte swims in Speedo's Fastskin3 system, which incorporates two caps and custom-fitted goggles.
Courtesy Speedo

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 4:24 am

In 2008, Speedo got too good at making swimsuits.

Ninety-eight percent of medal winners that year wore the company's LZR Racer, a zip-sealed full-body suit that carried many top athletes — including Michael Phelps — to gold.

But after those games, the sport's international governing body changed the rules to outlaw the LZR by banning zippers and restricting mens' suit coverage from the navel to the knees. So Speedo went back to the drawing board and spent years developing what's now known as the Fastskin3 system.

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Analysis
2:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Week In News: Presidential Race

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:30 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF POLITICAL AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: He tried. You tried. It's OK to make a change.

RAZ: Part of a TV ad paid for by the Republican National Committee co-opting the theme of change from Barack Obama's 2008 campaign and using it against him. James Fallows of The Atlantic joins us now as he does most Saturdays. Hello, Jim.

JAMES FALLOWS: Hello, Guy.

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Sports
2:52 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Phelps Picks Up Gold In 'Final' Race Of His Career

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:30 pm

Michael Phelps swam what he says was his last Olympic race: the men's 4x100 medley relay. NPR's Howard Berkes, who was in London, tells host Guy Raz about the race.

Author Interviews
2:42 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

The Thomas Eagleton Affair Haunts Candidates Today

Sens. Thomas Eagleton (left) and George McGovern celebrate their candidacy for vice president and president, respectively, at the Democratic National Convention in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:51 am

Sometime before the end of the month, when Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, Fla., Mitt Romney will announce his vice presidential running mate.

There's a good chance the finalists for that spot are wading through mountains of paperwork, and answering deeply personal questions about finances, past statements, friendships — and medical history.

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The Torch
2:13 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Phelps Wins His 18th Gold Medal, As His Olympic Career Ends

One more time: American swimmer Michael Phelps dives in to swim the butterfly leg of the men's medley relay Saturday. Phelps' team won the Olympic gold medal, giving him 22 overall and 18 gold when he leaves the London Games.
Christophe Simon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 2:32 pm

Swimming the final race of his Olympic career, Michael Phelps gilded his resume just a bit more, helping the U.S. men's 4x100m medley relay team claim the gold medal at London's aquatic center. Phelps turned away a surprising challenge from the Japanese team, which had the lead when he went into the water to swim butterfly, the relay's third leg.

It was the 18th gold medal of Phelps' record-setting Olympic career. He leaves the London 2012 Games with 22 Olympic medals overall.

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The Torch
1:41 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Swimming: U.S. Women Set A World Record As They Take Gold

U.S. gold medallists (L-R) Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni, Dana Volmer, and Allison Schmitt pose on the podium after their world-record 4x100m medley relay final.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 2:30 pm

Swimming in London's Aquatic Center, the U.S. women's 4x100m medley relay team set a new world record in winning a gold medal, with Allison Schmitt swimming freestyle to anchor a relay that finished two seconds ahead of the competition, at 3:52.05.

All four members of the women's relay team had previously won gold in their events: Dana Vollmer (butterfly), Missy Franklin (backstroke), Rebecca Soni (breaststroke), and Schmitt.

The victory gave Franklin, 17, four gold medals and one bronze in the London 2012 Games.

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The Torch
1:21 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Williams Sisters Advance To Gold Medal Game In London

It's been a big day for Serena Williams. First, she started the day by winning her first individual Olympic gold medal. Then she earned a chance for another gold in the women's doubles match, playing with her sister, Venus. The pair defeated the Russian team of Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko, 7-5, 6-4.

The Americans will next face the Czech team of Hlavackova and Kradecka in the Olympic final, Sunday at 7 a.m. ET.

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Religion
12:11 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Jewish 'Super Bowl' Praises Years Of Talmudic Study

Orthodox Jews celebrate Siyum HaShas by dancing and singing at MetLife stadium in New Jersey on Wednesday.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 4:30 pm

For almost seven and a half years straight, Orthodox Jews around the world have been reading their holy book, the Talmud, cover to cover. Day by day, they read the more than 2,000 pages, and last week, they all celebrated finishing the last page, in an event called Siyum HaShas.

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The Torch
12:04 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

U.S. Women Win Silver In First Team Pursuit Event

Dotsie Bausch, Jennie Reed and Sarah Hammer of the United States ride in a heat against Australia on Day 8 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Velodrome in London, England. The Americans took silver in the final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 12:17 pm

The U.S. team won the silver medal in the inaugural women's team pursuit event of the Summer Olympics, finishing behind Great Britain in the final.

The British team set a new world record of 3:14.051 as they claimed the gold medal. The Americans finished 5 seconds behind them. Canada won the bronze-medal matchup, beating Australia in London's velodrome.

The American team of Sarah Hammer, Dotsie Bausch, and Lauren Tamayo averaged a speed of 54.073 Km/h, or 33.5 mph, on the track.

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The Torch
11:18 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Bryan Brothers Win Doubles Gold At London Olympics

American doubles team Mike Bryan (top) and Bob Bryan celebrate after defeating France's Michael Llodra and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the men's doubles gold medal match of the London 2012 Olympic Games, at the All England Tennis Club.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. men's doubles team of Bob and Mike Bryan won their first Olympic gold medal Saturday, beating France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Michael Llodra, 6-1, 7-6 (6-2), in a game that was far more entertaining than its score might suggest. Both teams played creative and focused tennis, sustaining fast-paced volleys and inventing shots that delighted the crowd at Centre Court.

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The Torch
9:11 am
Sat August 4, 2012

U.S. Flag Gets Blown Away At Tennis Medal Ceremony

The U.S. flag fell from the display rod during Saturday's Olympic medal ceremony at Wimbledon, after Serena Williams' victory. The flag was collected in the stands and sent onto the court.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 9:41 am

One minute, the American flag was flying in the wind. The next, it was flying away.

That was the scene Saturday at Wimbledon, after Serena Williams won the gold medal in women's single tennis, beating Russia's Maria Sharapova.

It was a gorgeous day at Centre Court, with the sun shining on the athletes standing on the podium, and America's national anthem playing to end the medal ceremony. But then, the flag simply fell from its post.

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The Torch
8:48 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Serena Williams Wins Olympic Gold, Beating Sharapova 6-1, 6-0

Serena Williams hits a return to Russia's Maria Sharapova during their final tennis match in the 2012 London Olympic Games at the All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon. Williams won, 6-0, 6-1.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 10:21 am

American Serena Williams stormed her way to an Olympic gold medal Saturday, dominating the final against Maria Sharapova of Russia. It is the first individual gold medal for Williams, who has twice won in Olympic doubles.

Williams won the first set, 6-0, in only 30 minutes. She hit only a handful of unforced errors in each set, and feasted on Sharapova's second serve. She won the second set by 6-1, with the entire match taking only a bit more than an hour to complete.

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The Torch
8:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Let's Catch Up: U.S. Gold In Rifle Event; And A Badminton Bronze

American gold medalist Jamie Lynn Gray celebrates on the podium after winning the 50m rifle 3 positions women final at the Royal Artillery Barracks in London.
Marwan Naamani AFP/Getty Images

Good morning. As we start Day 8 of the London Olympics, big news is already happening. We posted earlier about Oscar Pistorius's historic run in the men's 400 meters, for instance. If you'd like to catch up on yesterday's events, check out our Day in Photos gallery. Here's what's been happening today:

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The Torch
7:14 am
Sat August 4, 2012

For Nigeria's Basketball Fans, U.S. Blowout Can't Dampen Spirits

Nigerian fan Ifeoluwa Akande holds his country's flag as he watches Nigeria's basketball team lose to the United States by a record 83 points.
Vickie Walton-James NPR

The American men's basketball team has faced criticism for Thursday night's 156-73 blowout victory over Nigeria at the London Olympics. At the arena, NPR editor Vickie Walton-James spoke to Nigerian fans, to learn what they thought about being on the wrong end of a record score:

The vaunted USA Dream Team scored more points Thursday than any other team in an Olympic basketball game. The previous record was set in 1988, when Brazil scored 138 points to Egypt's 85.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Feminists, Models, Roma Music

In About Face, former supermodels (including Carmen Dell'Orefice shown above) talk about what it's like to grow old in an industry that is obsessed with youth.
Mark Mahaney/Greenfield-Sanders Studio Courtesy HBO

Originally published on Sat August 4, 2012 10:36 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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The Salt
6:43 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Red Planet, Green Thumb: How A NASA Scientist Engineers His Garden

Limoncello in the making.
Rachael Porter NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:10 am

Most mornings, space engineer Adam Steltzner wakes up at about 3 a.m., and before he can coax his tired body back to sleep, his mind takes over. And he starts to worry.

Eventually Steltzner gives up on sleep and heads into his garden where, just as first light reveals the sky, all that thinking can turn into doing. And finally, a little peace.

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