Our Series this week on guns in America have sent many of you to your keyboards. And every day, a new batch of stories sparked conversation and some heated debate at our website. Some listeners complained that our coverage was pro gun control, some that it was pro National Rifle Association.
Doctors and hospital administrators in parts of the country that are heavy Medicare spenders can relax their grips on their prescription pads and billing computers.
An influential panel on Friday panned the idea raised in Congress to pay them less for Medicare services if their regions are heavy users of medical services.
The idea is an outgrowth of decades of research into why Medicare spends more per beneficiary in some places such as New York City, Florida and McAllen, Texas, and significantly less in parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
A woman who moves from Boston to be near the grave of her lover; the widow of a judge who keeps a scrapbook of murder and crime; an 85-year-old who has always seen the sunnier side of life; an old man feigning dementia. In the fictional Pine Haven retirement center, together and separately, these characters face the ends of their lives. They're the stars of Jill McCorkle's new novel, Life After Life, which balances humor and sorrow as it explores the moment of death.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:30 pm
Chinua Achebe, the prominent Nigerian novelist and essayist who died on Thursday, said in a 1994 interview with the Paris Review, "There is that great proverb — that until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter."
In his book Grand Central: How A Train Station Transformed America, New York Times urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts writes of the scientific innovations pioneered at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, such as electric commuter trains and standardized time.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. Ira Flatow is out this week. Last December, Steven Coughlin, an epidemiologist at the Veterans Affairs Office of Public Health, resigned his position. And last week he told a congressional subcommittee why. He had serious ethical concerns about the research being done on Gulf War Illness at the VA.
What surprises me about the ongoing discussion of violence in cinema and whether it influences violence in the real world is how people fail to engage with the male fantasy behind these films. There's a template for them, a theme; it hinges on violation and vengeance. A seminal action picture of the last 50 years is 1988's Die Hard, in which a lone male cop operates behind the scenes after an ingeniously orchestrated foreign attack on American soil. He's symbolically emasculated — he has no gun or even shoes, his wife is now going by her maiden name.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm John Dankosky. It sounds like something from a science fiction movie, researchers using cutting-edge biotech methods to bring an extinct species back to life. As a matter of fact, I think I saw that one. It was called "Jurassic Park."
Yes the 2012 elections have been combed over a thousand times. But what's one more detail, right?
Today, Bloomberg reports that were it not for egos, Mitt Romney could have been toppled by a conservative "unity ticket" featuring Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum. Had the two united, there would have been a real possibility that Romney wouldn't have made it past the primary process and 2012 would have been truly different race.
Babies as young as nine months appear to approve of people who like what they like — and approve of being mean to those who don't share their tastes. Kiley Hamlin, lead author of a study in the journal Psychological Science, discusses the importance of similarity to young children.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:46 pm
Feeding toddlers can be a challenge, so it's easy to see the lure of prepackaged favorites like mac and cheese. But many of those foods deliver startlingly high amounts of sodium, some with three times more than recommended in a single serving, according to a new survey.
The offenders include not just savory snacks but also healthful-sounding foods like pasta and chicken, according to Joyce Maalouf, a fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:21 pm
HBO CEO Richard Plepler is saying something a lot of the television network's fans have been waiting to hear — that its content could be offered to customers directly through their Internet service providers instead of a cable company.
Right now, HBO must be purchased through a cable provider. Plepler tells Reuters that HBO Go, an online streaming service launched by the network in 2010 (but still only available as an extra to your cable TV) might also be sold through ISPs.
Zachariah Long (left) and Edward Ritchie protested last year against a gay marriage bill in Maryland. In 1973, Maryland became the <a href="http://www.npr.org/2013/03/21/174732431/timeline-gay-marriage-in-law-pop-culture-and-the-courts">first state</a> to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman. Voters there legalized gay marriage in 2012.
Credit Patrick Semansky / AP
Same-sex wedding rings are engraved with triangles, a symbol of gay pride. Detractors say extending recognition to same-sex couples will weaken a bedrock institution meant to protect women and children.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 12:07 pm
Drug-sniffing dogs, those cute bellwethers of illegal activity, are dropping Marijuana from their repertoire in Washington state.
A 2012 ballot initiative legalized the use of marijuana in the state (although federal law still prohibits its use). Since then authorities have been working to implement the law. Part of that process is, apparently, to employ canines who don't react to the smell of marijuana. The AP explains why:
Two teens accused of rape in Steubenville, Ohio were convicted and sentenced this week. Host Michel Martin talks to the Barbershop guys about how the victim — and the perpetrators — were treated in the press. Writer Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar and Republican strategist R. Clarke Cooper discuss the week's news. ADVISORY: Please note, this conversation includes a discussion about rape and may not be suitable for all listeners.
Chinua Achebe, widely considered the grandfather of modern African literature, has died at the age of 82. His popular book, Things Fall Apart, tackled the effect of colonialism on Africa, and has sold more than 10 million copies. Host Michel Martin is joined by NPR Africa Correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton to look back on his life and work.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:42 am
Bosco Ntaganda, a notorious warlord accused of crimes against humanity during Congo's civil war, is headed to an international court after turning himself in at the U.S. Embassy in Rwanda earlier this week.
NPR's Gregory Warner reports that the surrender of Ntaganda, nicknamed "The Terminator," came as a surprise. He's been wanted by the International Criminal Court since 2006 for crimes against humanity, including conscripting child soldiers, murder, rape and sexual slavery allegedly committed in 2002 and 2003 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
British police and the volunteer group Crimestoppers are sending out more than 200,000 of these cards with the scent of a cannabis plant.
Credit Courtesy of Crimestoppers
A drug-sniffing dog checks for illegal substances at a London train station in 2007. British police are now issuing "scratch and sniff" marijuana cards in hopes of educating the public on the smell of cannabis plants.
This video image provided by the Israel Defense Force purportedly shows one of several Israeli commandos being dropped onto the Turkish-flagged ship Mavi Marmara by helicopter on May 31, 2010. A U.N. panel found that the Israeli blockade of Gaza, where the Turkish ship was headed, is legitimate, although the tactics used in the raid were "excessive and unreasonable."
Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 7:25 am
In a phone call today with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkey over the 2010 Israeli raid of a flotilla that left nine people dead. The flotilla was attempting to break an Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, when it was intercepted by Israel.
Ken Caldeira of the Carnegie Institution for Science takes a water sample during his experiment out on part of the Great Barrier Reef. The water is slightly pink because his team is using a dye to trace an acid-neutralizing chemical as it flows across the reef.
Credit Richard Harris / NPR
Caldeira (left) tosses some plastic tubing that will pipe in the antacid, mixed with nontoxic red dye, from a floating tank nearby to see whether the reef will grow faster under less-acidic conditions.
NPR Science Correspondent Richard Harris traveled to Australia's Great Barrier Reef to find out how the coral reefs are coping with increased water temperature and increasing ocean acidity, brought about by our burning of fossil fuels. Day 4: Richard catches up with one of the gurus of climate science out on the reef.
Ken Caldeira loves a challenge, and he has a big one right under his feet. He's standing on an expanse of coral reef out in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It's being washed with water as the tide streams over the reef, from a lagoon to the open sea.
Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 10:03 am
What you do while you're asleep may say something about your cognitive function later in life.
Here's why. Mayo Clinic researchers report that having a condition called REM sleep behavior disorder, in which you act out dreams in your sleep, appears to be a harbinger for something called Lewy body dementia years later — at least in men.
Siyani Chambers and Laurent Rivard of the Harvard Crimson celebrate as the Crimson defeat the New Mexico Lobos 68-62 during the the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament on Thursday in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 10:35 am
Newly installed Chinese President Xi Jinping is following in his predecessor's footsteps by making Russia his first official trip abroad.
The visits by Xi and Hu Jintao before him (in 2003), both meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, reinforce how the Cold War rivals have grown closer as they seek to counter U.S. influence in Asia and Europe.