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Planet Money
12:09 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

3-D Printing Is (Kind Of) A Big Deal

The printed cup.
via Shapeways

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:15 pm

The first key to thinking about 3-D printers is this: Do not think printer. Think magic box that creates any object you can imagine.

In the box, razor-thin layers of powdered material (acrylic, nylon, silver, whatever) pile one on top of the other, and then, voila — you've got a shoe, or a cup, or a ring, or an iPhone case.

It's miraculous to see. Press a button, make anything you want. But just how important is 3-D printing? Unlike earlier big-deal technologies (like, say, the tractor) 3-D printing won't really replace what came before.

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The Two-Way
12:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Now You Don't See Them, Now You Do: Pelosi Defends Doctored Photo

The four lawmakers who were, but weren't, there at the time. (We put the oval around them to make them easier to see.)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:12 pm

Calling it a "historic record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi today defended the move by her office to alter a photo taken Thursday on the steps of the Capitol so that four female lawmakers who were late could be "seen" with their colleagues.

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Asia
11:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

South Korea Prepares The Young For A Rapidly Aging Population

South Korean men play games at a downtown park in Seoul on Nov. 1. Recent data suggest that South Korea is now the fastest-aging country on Earth.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:43 am

At a clean and sunny community center in Seoul, the South Korean capital, senior citizens make clay models of their own faces in an arts class. Some of the faces are vivid and lifelike. Others are expressionless and indistinct. The project is intended to help the seniors remember what they look like.

This is the Gangseo District Center for Dementia. Since 2006, Seoul has opened a dementia center in each of the city's 25 urban districts.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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Science
11:33 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Negative Temperatures That Are Hotter Than The Sun

Scientists have cooled potassium gas to one billionth of a degree below absolute zero. But in the quantum world, that's actually hotter than the Sun. It's hotter, even, than infinity degrees Kelvin. Vladan Vuletić, a quantum physicist at MIT, talks about this 'Bizarro World' temperature.

Shots - Health News
11:11 am
Fri January 4, 2013

As Norovirus Rages, A Robot Named 'Vomiting Larry' Gets A Closeup

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:06 am

The lab robot affectionately called "Vomiting Larry" has gone viral. His image and videoed vomiting for science are all over the Web.

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The Two-Way
10:15 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Olympic Cyclist Dies After Being Hit By Taxi In South Africa

South African cyclist Burry Stander, seen here riding in the cross-country mountain bike race at the London Olympics, was killed during a training ride Thursday in South Africa.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Burry Stander, one of the world's elite mountain bikers, was killed Thursday as he rode his bike in his native South Africa. Stander, 25, a two-time Olympian who placed fifth in his event at the London 2012 Olympics, was reportedly struck by a taxi van as he trained near his home in Shelley Beach, on South Africa's southeastern coast.

The close proximity of the accident to his childhood home apparently allowed Stander's family members, reportedly including his wife, mother and father, to arrive at the scene quickly.

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Book Reviews
10:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'A Grain Of Truth' About Memory And Modern Poland

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:26 am

My mother is Polish, which meant that during the holidays when I was a kid, we broke out the polka records and kielbasa for special occasion meals from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Certainly, nostalgia for those belch-y festivities of yore led me to A Grain of Truth by Zygmunt Miloszewski, a Polish mystery novel that unexpectedly turns out to be as hard-boiled as the skin around a circlet of that ubiquitous holiday kielbasa.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

One of the "ghost gums," which fell to the ground after being set afire.
Northern Territory Govt., Dept. of Attorney General & Justice

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:47 am

Two "ghost gum" trees that were revered by many in Australia after being made famous by Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira have been found toppled over and burned — victims of a suspected arsonist.

The trees, in the outback near Alice Springs, were due to soon be put on Australia's national heritage register, The Guardian says. It adds that:

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Economy
9:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

After Outsourcing Boom, An 'Insourcing' Comeback?

Following years of moving jobs overseas, some companies are deciding there are benefits to manufacturing products here at home. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the latest jobs numbers and the new trend called "insourcing." Headlee talks with Wall Street Journal reporter Sudeep Reddy and journalist Charles Fishman.

Remembrances
9:38 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Remembering 'Rescue Me' Singer Fontella Bass

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:04 am

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Soul and gospel singer Fontella Bass, whose 1965 hit "Rescue Me" endures as one of the most recognizable soul records of the '60s, died last week on the day after Christmas. She was 72 years old. Despite the success of "Rescue Me," it was the number one R&B single for four weeks, it took years of litigation before Bass could claim her share of songwriting credit and royalties. In 1993, she sued American Express for using the song in a commercial and received what she said was a significant settlement.

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Author Interviews
9:33 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Frank Calabrese Jr. On Opening His 'Family Secrets'

Defendants in the "Operation Family Secrets" trial included Frank Calabrese Sr. (clockwise from left), Joey Lombardo, Anthony Doyle, Paul Shiro and James Marcello. The men are pictured during an Aug. 15, 2007, court hearing in Chicago.
Verna Sadock AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:04 am

This interview was originally broadcast on March 14, 2011. Frank Calabrese's father, the Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., died on Christmas Day.

When Frank Calabrese Jr. was a teenager, his father came home one night and took him into the bathroom for a chat.

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The Two-Way
9:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Update: Senate Joins House In Passing Sandy Aid Bill

Superstorm Sandy swept through the Breezy Point neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., in late October. In late November, this sign symbolized the hope of homeowners that help would be coming soon.
Eric Thayer Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:27 pm

Update at 2:17 p.m. ET. Passage In The Senate:

The Senate just passed, by unanimous agreement, a bill that injects more than $9 billion into the insurance program that will assist those hit hard by Superstorm Sandy last October.

President Obama had urged passage and is expected to quickly sign the bill.

Our original post:

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The Salt
9:02 am
Fri January 4, 2013

FDA Releases Rules To Strengthen Safety Of Food Supply

Farmworkers like these in California picking produce may soon be required by the FDA to take more precautions against spreading foodborne illness.
Heather Craig iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 1:10 pm

UPDATED: 4:50 p.m. Looking for a little weekend reading? The Food and Drug Administration has just the thing. On Friday, the agency released two proposed rules designed to boost the safety of the nation's food supply, encompassing hundreds of pages.

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NPR Story
8:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Science Looked Good In 2012

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 10:23 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

And now joining us is Flora Lichtman. Hi, Flora.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira.

FLATOW: Multimedia editor with our Video Pick of the Week, and it's topical, of course.

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NPR Story
8:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Cold-Water Fish Break The Ice With Antifreeze

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:33 am

Cold-water fish, snow-dwelling bugs and some grasses have evolved natural antifreeze proteins to avoid turning to ice cubes. Peter Davies, a biologist at Queen's University in Ontario, discusses how these antifreeze substances work, and their applications for human problems--like keeping the ice out of ice cream.

NPR Story
8:50 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'Full Planet, Empty Plates'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:33 am

In Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity, Lester Brown says the world's food supply is tightening, and the reasons are many. People in developing countries are eating more meat, a grain-intensive food; farmers are overpumping, causing water tables to fall; and crop yields have plateaued, despite technological advances.

The Two-Way
7:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Secretary Clinton Now Expected Back In Her Office Next Week

Wednesday: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (in sunglasses) as she left New York Presbyterian Hospital with her husband, former president Bill Clinton (top right), and their daughter, Chelsea.
Joshua Lott Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:00 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is "looking forward to coming back to work next week," spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says.

Clinton, 65, was discharged from New York Presbyterian Hospital on Wednesday.

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In NFL Football, As In Hollywood, Does Anybody Know Anything?

Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during a game against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 23, 2012 in Philadelphia.
Alex Trautwig Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:30 am

Baseball: The San Francisco Giants, in winning the 2012 World Series, participated in 16 playoff games — and they'd have had more, had they not swept Detroit 4-0 in the World Series itself.

Football: The San Francisco 49ers played 16 games in their entire regular season. Three more wins would make them Super Bowl champions.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Fri January 4, 2013

155,000 Jobs Added In December, Jobless Rate At 7.8 Percent

Looking for work: The scene at a "diversity job fair" in Manhattan last month.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:00 am

There were 155,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.

That's right in line with economists' expectations and is another sign of steady, though modest, growth in employment. In November, employers added an estimated 161,000 jobs. The average monthly gain in 2012 was 153,000 jobs, BLS says. That's the same average as in 2011.

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The Two-Way
6:16 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In War-Torn Northern Syria, Children 'Only Paint In Red'

Children often show signs of trauma from their experiences inside Syria. A U.N. team interviewing Syrian children in a refugee camp found that most lost a loved one in the fighting, and almost half have post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jodi Hilton for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 7:18 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': Deborah Amos on the children of Northern Syria

Shocking statistics, such as the U.N.'s estimate that more than 60,000 people have died in Syria since anti-regime protests and fighting began in March 2011, tell only part of the story.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Malala Released From Hospital; Taliban's Attack On Teen Sparked Outrage

Malala Yousafzai waved earlier today as she was released from a hospital in Birmingham, England.
University Hospitals Birmingham EPA /Landov

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:08 am

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Around the Nation
5:17 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Goodbye Casual Fridays Hello Formal Fridays

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

First, people wore suits and ties, dresses or skirts to work. Then came casual Fridays. Then the tech industry destroyed dress codes. Congress is one of the last places people dress up, and we know how that's turned out.

The Two-Way
5:14 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Did Hiring Pick Up As 2012 Ended? We'll Find Out Shortly

The scene at a job fair in San Mateo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:38 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Yuki Noguchi previews the jobs report

8:35 a.m. ET. And the answer is: 155,000 jobs added to payrolls in December; the jobless rate held at 7.8 percent. (November's rate was revised up to 7.8 percent.)

Our original post:

Here it comes — the always eagerly anticipated news about jobs and the nation's unemployment rate.

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Energy
5:01 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Drilling For Facts Under The 'Promised Land' Fiction

Matt Damon's character in the movie Promised Land comes to town to convince a landowner to allow a gas company to drill on his property.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:41 am

There is plenty in the movie Promised Land that will prompt energy industry insiders to roll their eyes. But the overall issues explored in the film, which is being widely released in theaters Friday, are very real.

A process called hydraulic fracturing has led to drilling booms that are transforming rural communities into industrial zones. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground. But first, gas companies have to convince landowners to allow them to drill.

The Natural Gas Pitch

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Latin America
4:47 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Mexican Bakers Go Big To Celebrate 3 Kings Day

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. At this point in the program we sometimes tell you about record-breaking feats. Well, this one takes the cake. Sunday is Three Kings Day and in Mexico some bakers are celebrating in a big way. Rosca de Reyes is a sweet bread with a Baby Jesus figurine baked inside.

Around the Nation
4:34 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Lot Of Drivers Are Asleep At The Wheel

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.

If you're driving, please take a moment to be sure you're awake. A survey finds one of every 24 adults admits to falling asleep at the wheel. Health officials say they suspect the true number is higher. Some people don't realize when they drop off for a second or...

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Steve. Hey, hey, hey, Steve.

INSKEEP: Anyway, drivers most likely to nod off are men, according to this survey, or people between 25 and 34.

Movies
2:41 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Technical Oscar

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And let's consider the technology behind movie-making. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has not made its Oscar nominations yet, but it has already announced some awards in the technical category.

DAVID GREENE, BYLINE: And one of the Oscars goes to Cooke Optics Limited. The Academy says the British company gets an award of merit because it helped define the look of motion pictures over the last century. Its innovations over the years have included zoom lenses for movie cameras and lenses that don't require bright light.

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Television
2:41 am
Fri January 4, 2013

'Downton Abbey': Not Much 'Hurly Burly' Upstairs

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:46 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Yesterday, we brought you into the aristocratic world of "Downton Abbey." OK, cue the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF "DOWNTON ABBEY" THEME MUSIC)

GREENE: The show returns to "Masterpiece Classic" on PBS for its third season this Sunday. The British period drama follows the family of Lord and Lady Grantham, along with their faithful servants.

JIM CARTER: Our lives are dictated by gongs and bells, and the rhythm of the day. It is dictated to us by the people upstairs. We live to serve them, and to make their world perfect.

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Author Interviews
2:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

The 'Life And Liberation' Of A Black Female Metal Fan

The singer Skin of Skunk Anansie performs at Brixton Academy in London last month. She wrote the foreword to Laina Dawes' What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.
Simone Joyner Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:15 am

Music writer Laina Dawes is a die-hard Judas Priest fan. She's all about the band's loud and fast guitars, the piercing vocals — and she loves to see the group perform live.

Now, a fact that shouldn't matter: Dawes is a black woman. This, she says, can make things uncomfortable on the metal scene. She says she's been verbally harassed and told she's not welcome.

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