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All Tech Considered
1:56 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Good Tidings Of Great Joy: Google Maps App Released For iPhone

A screenshot of Google Maps on an iPhone.
NPR

Google's native maps app for the iPhone finally was released Wednesday, and there was much rejoicing. Just in time for Christmas, the three wise men are able to find the manger without spilling their frankincense or myrrh.

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Shots - Health News
1:50 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Ah, Wilderness! Nature Hike Could Unlock Your Imagination

Maybe you can find that creative spark out in Zion National Park in southwestern Utah.
Jeff Turner Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Want to be more creative? Drop that iPad and head to the great outdoors.

That's the word from David Strayer, a cognitive neuroscientist who studies multitasking at the University of Utah. He knew that every time he went into the southern Utah desert, far from cellular service, he started to think more clearly.

But he wanted to know if others had the same experience.

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Food
1:28 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

A Sweet Bread, A Wash Basin And A Shot Of Whiskey

Cookbook author Marilynn Brass says eating Virginia Lima's traditional Portuguese Sweet Bread is like biting into a cloud.
Andy Ryan

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 4:45 pm

For the holidays, why not give a gift that tastes like a cloud? Portuguese Sweet Bread may be as close as you can get, according to Marilynn Brass, one-half of the cookbook duo the Brass Sisters.

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The Salt
1:25 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Many Cups Of Tea: The Business Of Sipping In Western Sahara

A high-end tea set in a Saharawi home in Western Sahara.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 3:16 pm

If you want to get anything done in Western Sahara, be prepared to drink tea — very, very sweet tea.

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Planet Money
12:58 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Why Legos Are So Expensive — And So Popular

Lego minifigures are displayed on October 18, 2012 in the newly-opened store of the Danish construction toys group at the "So Ouest" shopping center in Levallois-Perret, west of Paris.
Thomas Samson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 8:26 am

I went to Toys R Us recently to buy my son a Lego set for Hanukkah. Did you know a small box of Legos costs $60? Sixty bucks for 102 plastic blocks!

In fact, I learned, Lego sets can sell for thousands of dollars. And despite these prices, Lego has about 70 percent of the construction-toy market. Why? Why doesn't some competitor sell plastic blocks for less? Lego's patents expired a while ago. How hard could it be to make a cheap knockoff?

Luke, a 9-year-old Lego expert, set me straight.

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Books
12:47 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

'World On A String': John Pizzarelli Jazzes It Up

In a new memoir, jazz guitarist and son of jazz legend Bucky Pizzarelli tells stories from growing up in a musical household and making a name for himself as a musician.
Goldberg McDuffie Communications

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 11:13 am

Brothers John and Martin Pizzarelli were born into a family of musicians. Their father is the famed jazz guitarist, Bucky Pizzarelli, who, during the 1960s, performed in the Tonight Show Band and who worked as a session player for rock acts such as Dion and the Belmonts. Musical greats, too, were in and out of the Pizzarelli house in Paterson, New Jersey, as John and Martin were growing up. It makes perfect sense then that, eventually, Martin picked up the upright bass professionally and John found his calling with jazz guitar, singing and songwriting.

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Shots - Health News
12:19 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

We're Living Longer, But Not All That Healthier

Average life expectancy around the world has ticked up over the past twenty years. Here it's shown for men in 2009. The extremes are in dark green and dark red, which represent 78 to 82 years old and less than 66 years old, respectively.
Courtesy of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:52 pm

People around the world are living longer than they did two decades ago, but many people aren't very healthy during those extra years.

That's a key finding from a large-scale study estimating what makes people sick worldwide.

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NPR Story
11:58 am
Thu December 13, 2012

NCAA Shake-Up: The Future Of College Athletics

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:15 pm

In 2013 and 2014, there will be a number of substantial realignments in the NCAA conferences. Some believe that the realignment process will ultimately result in the creation of four "super conferences." NPR's Mike Pesca talks about how conference shifts could effect the future of college athletics.

NPR Story
11:58 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Options For Intervention In Mali's Growing Crisis

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:13 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Many of us may not be able to point to Mali on a map, but this landlocked nation in West Africa has emerged as a crisis. Here's a quick synopsis: A government once hailed as a model of democracy collapses in a coup last March. Three northern provinces, an area the size of Texas, break away and declare themselves independent.

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NPR Story
11:58 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Drought Continues: Farmers, Shippers Feel Pressure

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We're in the worst drought since the 1950s, according to NOAA, and while we associated extended dry spells with summer, conditions out west have remained unchanged since the warm weather ended.

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The Two-Way
11:17 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Sales Soar In Gaza Of Fragrance Named For Rocket Fired At Israel

Bottles of M75 on sale at a shop in Gaza City. The fragrance is named for the rockets fired from Gaza into Israel.
Ashraf Amra APA /Landov

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:50 am

Before anyone else does, we'll make the "I love the smell of napalm in the morning" reference that comes to mind when you read this:

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Best Books Of 2012
11:06 am
Thu December 13, 2012

10 Books To Help You Recover From A Tense 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:48 pm

2012 has been a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." In response to these tense times, some readers seek out escape; others look to literature that directly confronts the atmospheric uncertainty of the age. I guess I'm in the latter camp, because many of my favorite books this year told stories, imagined and real, about ordinary people who felt like they didn't have a clue what hit 'em.

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Shots - Health News
10:18 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Caution: Walking Under The Influence Of Mobile Devices

He better not be talking to his mom.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:50 pm

Here's an experiment you can try. But please be the scientist and not the test subject.

Watch people cross the street and note whether they're yakking on the phone, texting or bopping to tunes while they do it. If you're really ambitious, time how long it takes them to cross.

This past summer researchers from the University of Washington did it. They watched more than 1,100 pedestrians at the 20 intersections in Seattle that racked up the most pedestrian injuries over the last three years.

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The Two-Way
10:16 am
Thu December 13, 2012

From A Life Of Crime To Designing Jewelry, All In A Nairobi Slum

Zakale Creations is a jewelry-designing operation that employs 30 young people who were previously involved in crime. The Nairobi-based operation is the brainchild of John Mucheru, himself a former mugger.
John Burnett/NPR

After covering East Africa for five months, a profound problem I encountered in every country was what will happen to the continent's exploding cities.

The U.N. predicts that by 2040, six in 10 Africans will live in cities — an estimated 1 billion people. One of the pressing questions for African leaders is how to occupy all the idle young men who turn to crime because there are no jobs.

In Nairobi's Huruma slum, I came across a point of light — one man's attempt to take in thieves and prostitutes and give them honest work, of all things, making jewelry.

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Environment
10:15 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Boom And Bust Of Fracking

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, those apps you've been downloading to keep the kids occupied during car rides and sports practices? It turns out, according to federal regulators, they are collecting all kinds of information that they aren't telling you about. So we will. In a few minutes.

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The Two-Way
10:09 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Here's Some Good News: Volunteering Is On The Rise

Nov. 22: Volunteers prepared Thanksgiving dinners for people in the Queens borough of New York City, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:23 pm

Enough of the bad news for a moment.

Smack in the middle of the holiday season, here's something that underscores how generous many Americans are:

"64.3 million Americans (more than one in four adults) volunteered through a formal organization last year, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010," the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship report.

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Remembrances
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Remembering Ravi Shankar

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And finally today, we want to take a moment to remember a legend in Indian classical music. Ravi Shankar died this week at the age of 92. He played the sitar, a long six-stringed wood instrument. He used it to communicate Indian music and culture to an American audience, and in fact audiences around the world. Shankar is known both for his own musicianship and his collaborations with Western greats like the Beatles and John Coltrane. Here's a collaboration with American violinist Yehudi Menuhin. The album is called "West Meets East."

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Technology
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Protecting Kids' Digital Privacy

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 12:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, she is Palestinian, Muslim, she has cerebral palsy and she earns a living as a stand-up comic and that is no joke. We'll meet Maysoon Zayid in just a few minutes.

But, first, we want to talk about something you may want to have on your radar if you're still shopping for holiday gifts and one of the things on your list is a mobile device, especially one that a child might use or borrow.

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Games & Humor
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Arab American Comedienne: No Apology For Jokes

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 6:50 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, the issues of Palestinians, both in the U.S. and abroad, are often in the news, but not, I think it's fair to say, because of the comedy scene, which is where Maysoon Zayid comes in.

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Music
9:49 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Miguel Tells The Secret Inspiration Of His Lyrics

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:15 am

Six-time Grammy nominee Miguel has been heating up the airwaves with his newest album, Kaleidoscope Dream. Miguel sat down with host Michel Martin to discuss his musical style and why he wants to challenge stereotypes about R&B. *Advisory: This conversation may not be suitable for all listeners.

U.S.
9:28 am
Thu December 13, 2012

How The Rich Feel About Paying More Taxes

How much income tax should the top 2 percent of U.S. earners pay? Just about everyone has an opinion, but the opinions that count are those of President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:30 am

Stephen Prince has plenty of money, and he doesn't mind sending more of it to the federal government.

"There's nothing in history that supports the view that if you give the wealthy their money back, they'll invest it," says Prince, who owns a company based in Nolensville, Tenn., that makes gift cards. "We invest anyway — that's what the wealthy do."

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Thu December 13, 2012

On 'Fiscal Cliff,' Majority Of Public Sides With Democrats, Pew Poll Says

President Obama, with House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) behind him, delivering his State of the Union address last January.
Saul Loeb Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 6:01 pm

As the end-of-year tax increases and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff" near, "Democrats are in a strong position with the public," the Pew Research Center reports.

A new national poll Pew released this morning shows that:

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Monkey See
9:04 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The 'Calm Act' Will Quiet Down Commercials, So What Should Congress Do Next?

iStockphoto.com

COME RIGHT DOWN RIGHT NOW BUY SOME FURNITURE EVERYTHING MUST GO WE ARE LIQUIDATING MERCHANDISE FOR THE THIRD TIME SINCE LAST FEBRUARY AND THIS TIME WE REALLY MEAN IT WE ARE GOING OUT OF BUSINESS ANY REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE ACCEPTED OR MY NAME ISN'T CRAZYPANTS MCGILLICUDDY.*

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It's All Politics
8:39 am
Thu December 13, 2012

For Business Owners, Higher Taxes Could Mean Fewer New Hires — Or More

President Obama examines a K'NEX roller coaster on Nov. 30 at a Hatfield, Pa., factory that makes the toys. During the visit, Obama spoke about the economy, the middle class and his plan to raise taxes on top wage earners.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:25 am

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The Two-Way
8:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

The Late Whitney Houston Was The Year's Hottest Search

Whitney Houston in 2004.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Nurse Who Fell Victim To Royal Hoax Was Found Hanged, Authorities Say

Westminster Coroners Court in London, where the inquest into the death of Jacintha Saldanha was held.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Jacintha Saldanha, the nurse "fooled by a hoax call to the London hospital treating the Duchess of Cambridge was later found hanged," the BBC says.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Diplomatic Shift? Russia Acknowledges Assad May Be On Way Out

Northwest of Aleppo, Syria, this week, rebels were in control of this Syrian military base.
Herve Bar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:33 am

"Syria's most powerful ally, Russia, said for the first time Thursday that President Bashar Assad is losing control of his country and the rebels might win the civil war, dramatically shifting the diplomatic landscape at a time of enormous momentum for the opposition," The Associated Press writes.

Here's what Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said, according to the AP:

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Europe
5:25 am
Thu December 13, 2012

Botched Fresco Restorer Sells Original Work

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. Remember Cecilia Gimenez? She's the 80-year-old Spanish woman who gained fame for her restoration of a 19th century fresco of Jesus. The botched restoration became quite a sensation. Some describe it as looking more like a monkey. Well, now Gimenez is selling some original work. It's a painting of a house in her hometown. It's on eBay, with bidding at more than $800. It makes you wonder if that Jesus restoration was bad art or good business. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Around the Nation
5:19 am
Thu December 13, 2012

If You Can't Beat Them, Copy Them

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. Kristina Green knew she couldn't trump her next door neighbor's elaborate Christmas light display, so the Maricopa, Arizona woman decided to have some fun. Now pictured on her Facebook page is her neighbor's house covered, from driveway to roof, in 16,000 lights. And Green's house? It features a display of just 900 lights above her garage arranged to spell out the word ditto with an arrow pointing next door. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Europe
5:03 am
Thu December 13, 2012

A New Tale By Hans Christian Andersen

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 7:03 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Now to a writer whose exact words may not be remembered, but whose stories have come down through the ages. Scholars in Denmark believe they have found a new tale by Hans Christian Andersen. It's a short story called "The Tallow Candle."

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A Danish newspaper says it was discovered in a storage box near Andersen's hometown. Experts believe he wrote it as a young teenager in the 1820s.

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