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2:08 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

These 'Miracle Cures' Are Absurd And Delightful

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

César Aira's The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira is only 80 pages long, but, like many of his books, it reads with the intensity and fullness of a much longer novel. In it you'll find an eccentric flaneur, an evil archenemy, a vicious guard dog, an ambulance that goes only in a straight line.

Dr. Aira, the main character, likes to wander the streets of a town called Pringles. That this happens to be the name of the author's hometown in Argentina may or may not be significant. As he walks, he thinks up theoretical miracle cures to imagined illnesses.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Man Arrested For Allegedly Trying To Bomb N.Y. Federal Reserve

A cornerstone at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in Manhattan.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 3:50 pm

"Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested this morning in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan's financial district," the FBI confirms an email just sent to reporters.

It adds that:

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Test Your Food IQ: Do We Need More Farms To Grow Fruits And Veggies For All?

Orchards like this one in Adams County, PA, and other U.S. farms face worldwide competition for their apples and apple products due to imports.
Brad C. Bower AP

Think you're part of the food-literati? True or false: 13 million more acres of farmland would be required to produce enough fruit and vegetables for the daily diets of all Americans to meet U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition guidelines.

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Television
1:34 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Jessica Lange, Back In Black For 'Horror Story'

Jessica Lange plays Sister Jude, a stern nun running an insane asylum, in the second season of American Horror Story.
FX

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

To speak with Ryan Murphy about his show American Horror Story is to hear this declaration repeatedly: "She classes up the joint."

Murphy is referring to his star, Jessica Lange, who recently won an Emmy for her role in the show's first season. If you've been a fan of Lange's film career, from Tootsie to Frances to Blue Sky, you might wonder why this treasure of the American theater, this two-time Oscar winner, is slumming in a lurid cable TV horror show.

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Shots - Health News
1:32 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Loss Of Balance Is Leading Cause Of Elderly Falls

A recent study of people in a nursing home found that only 20 percent of falls occurred while the patient was using a walker or wheelchair.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 4:19 pm

Accidental falls are one of the leading causes of injury death in people over 65 worldwide, but for a long time researchers have struggled to understand just how they happen.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Livestrong CEO: 'We're Proud' Lance Armstrong Founded Organization

Lance Armstrong in 2010.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 5:09 pm

  • Livestrong's Doug Ulman on being proud of Armstrong
  • Livestrong's Doug Ulman on the charity's mission

The CEO of the Lance Armstrong-founded cancer charity Livestrong tells NPR his organization remains proud that the cyclist and cancer survivor founded Livestrong in 1997 and wants him to remain involved in its work.

"He's our founder. He's been the inspiration for our work for so many years," Doug Ulman told All Things Considered host Melissa Block this afternoon.

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The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Australian PM's Fiery Speech, Prompts Change In Definition Of 'Misogyny'

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivering her verbal takedown of the opposition.
ABCNews (of Australia)

Mark pointed out the fiery, unrelenting verbal beat down that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard delivered to the leader of the opposition on the floor of Parliament.

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Author Interviews
12:57 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:49 pm

Long before singer and pianist Michael Feinstein became famous in his own right, he had the privilege of working closely with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, as his archivist and cataloger. In his new book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs, Feinstein writes firsthand about the musical world of the American composers and brothers, George and Ira Gershwin.

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Presidential Race
12:14 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

The Town Hall Debate's Best Moments And Memes

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Binders full of women, Benghazi blame and ancient history now, there was a vice presidential debate last week. It's Wednesday and time for a...

VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: Bunch of malarkey...

CONAN: Edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

VICE PRESIDENT WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad: Where's the beef?

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The Two-Way
12:05 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

U.N. Envoy To Syria Heads To Damascus To Discuss Cease-Fire

Syrian rebels head towards the frontline in Albab, 30 kilometres from the northeastern Syrian city of Aleppo, on Wednesday.
Tauseef Mustafa AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations' special envoy for Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, is on his way to Syria's capital, Damascus, where he will hold talks with Syrian leaders about a proposal to call a cease-fire between government troops and rebel fighters. Brahimi has said he hopes the cease-fire will start next week, for the Eid al Adha holiday.

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Digital Life
12:03 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Going Online To Outsource Your Chores

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:25 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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Election 2012
12:03 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Ballot Measures Put Hot-Button Issues To A Vote

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 12:22 pm

In many states, the tight presidential race isn't the only thing on people's minds: Ballot measures are putting some controversial social and political issues up for popular vote. Same-sex marriage and the death penalty are just two of the measures voters will weigh in on come election day.

Solve This
12:00 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Climate Politics: It's Laugh Lines Vs. 'Not A Joke'

This Sept. 16 image released by NASA shows the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic, at center in white, and the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the day shown, with the yellow line. Scientists say sea ice in the Arctic shrank to an all-time low of 1.32 million square miles on Sept. 16, smashing old records for the critical climate indicator.
NASA AP

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:11 am

Scientists view climate change as one of the world's most pressing long-term problems. But the issue has barely surfaced in the U.S. presidential race. President Obama has taken steps to address climate change during his time in office. Republican challenger Mitt Romney would not make it a priority in his administration.

In fact, as Romney stood on the stage to accept his nomination at the Republican National Convention, he used global warming as a laugh line.

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Shots - Health News
11:45 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Take Shots With You, Please

Scott Hensley, Shots host.
NPR

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:24 am

Does Shots look a little different today? You bet.

We've streamlined the design, building on what we learned from the last makeover in early 2011.

The Shots landing page will get a few more tweaks over the next couple of weeks, but the key change is that you'll be able see many more stories at a glance when you visit.

We've got more room for graphics and photos for stories, and there will be less clutter around them, too.

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The Two-Way
11:32 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Mourners Line Streets As Sihanouk's Body Comes Home To Cambodia

One of the thousands of mourners today in Phnom Penh as the body of former King Norodom Sihanouk was brought home.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Cambodians gathered in the streets of Phnom Penh today to watch as the body of former King Norodom Sihanouk returned to the nation he dominated for more than half a century.

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The Salt
11:10 am
Wed October 17, 2012

What's For Dinner? Fueling A Presidential Debate

Top: Saul Loeb/Nicole Branan, Bottom: Shy Man/Justin Sullivan Top: Getty Images/iStockphotos, Bottom: iStockphotos/Getty Images

Last night's presidential debate showed former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leaping off his barstool at the first question, and an equally charged President Obama walking purposefully around the stage and doing some strong finger waving to emphasize his remarks.

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Election 2012
11:09 am
Wed October 17, 2012

October Surmise: Predicting The Next President

Fans wear President Obama and Mitt Romney masks at the Atlanta Braves-Miami Marlins game Sept. 25 in Atlanta. One of many quirky election year predictors is based on which candidate's likeness sells better as a Halloween mask.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:07 pm

Predicting a presidential winner is one of America's favorite pastimes in an election year.

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The Two-Way
10:41 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Green Party Presidential Candidates Are Arrested Outside Debate Venue

Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:16 pm

The presidential and vice presidential candidates on the Green Party ticket were arrested yesterday when they tried to get into the site of the second presidential debate.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Wed October 17, 2012

A New Look For The Salt

Love white space? Hate the busy right rail? Want bigger art and easier access to The Salt from your mobile phone and tablet? We hear you. And as you can see, we've responded.

Welcome to the new, more streamlined look, designed for The Salt and all of NPR's blogs as we move to a responsive web design for a world that's looking to get news and information on the go, in all forms.

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Election 2012
10:06 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Speechwriters Size Up Round 2

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Was it debate night or fight night? We'll spend some time talking about that today. Later we'll ask our panel of women commentators, our Beauty Shop Roundtable, for their reactions, and we'll ask them about the latest Chanel No. 5 ad featuring - wait for it - Brad Pitt. That's later.

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Shots - Health News
9:56 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Insurance Exchanges Can Aid Some Medicare Beneficiaries

Increasingly, companies are contracting with Medicare exchanges to try to ease the transition for their former employees.
Michael McCloskey iStockphoto.com

When D. Sloan Hill retired 20 years ago at age 65 from his job in public affairs for a major manufacturing company, his former employer provided a health insurance plan that filled in the gaps in his Medicare coverage. It was a good arrangement--until the end of last year when the company discontinued his private coverage, and Hill had to figure out what to do.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Wed October 17, 2012

June Trial For George Zimmerman, Accused In Trayvon Martin Death

George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, at a court hearing last June in Seminole County, Fla.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/pool Getty Images

"George Zimmerman's murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin was set for June 10 during a hearing in court this morning," the Orlando Sentinel reports. Attorneys expect the trial will take about three weeks, the newspaper adds.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:52 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Tough Old Lizard To Face Grave Romantic Troubles, Say Scientists

Courtesy of Piotr Naskrecki

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:44 am

Oh, dear.

First off, this lizard? It's not really a lizard. It's an almost vanished species, a reptile like no other.

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The Two-Way
8:52 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Construction Of New Homes Surges To Four-Year High

Construction worker Jim Castellano walks out of a Toll Brothers Inc. home he is working on in Boca Raton, Florida.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

The rate at which builders began work on new homes surged to a four-year high, the Commerce Department said today.

The AP reports that September clocked the fastest pace since July of 2008. The AP adds:

"The Commerce Department says builders broke ground at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000 in September. That's an increase of 15% from August.

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It's All Politics
8:51 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Debate Watchers Get A Town Brawl

Debate watchers at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, check out President Obama's performance Tuesday night.
Liz Halloran NPR

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 11:27 am

There will be blood.

Or at least a lot of aggressive walking and glaring, vigorous head-shaking and interruptions, all glazed with equal parts feigned respect and visceral distaste.

This season's presidential debates between incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, including Tuesday's engagement, have evolved into base-rousing spectacles of their dislike for each other.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Presidential Debate Spins 'Binders Full Of Women' Meme, Fact Checks

This photo of Playboy's Hugh Hefner was published on a Tumblr blog devoted to poking fun at the "women full of binders" meme.
Tumblr

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:34 pm

Answering a question about pay equity for women during last night's presidential debate, Gov. Mitt Romney said something that has become the talk of the Web.

He said that when he became governor, few women applied for cabinet jobs.

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The Two-Way
6:35 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Lance Armstrong Stepping Down As Livestrong Chairman

Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event, which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.
Steve Ruark AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 2:43 pm

Cyclist Lance Armstrong is stepping down from his role as chairman of the cancer-awareness charity Livestrong, the organization said in a press release today. (Update at 8:34 a.m. Separately, Nike dropped its sponsorship of Armstrong.)

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All Tech Considered
6:31 am
Wed October 17, 2012

The Brain Of The Beast: Google Reveals The Computers Behind The Cloud

Google's data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa, houses servers in over 115,000 square feet of space.
Connie Zhou Google

Originally published on Fri October 19, 2012 8:09 am

Behind the ephemeral "cloud" of cloud computing, the network we use for everything from checking our email to streamlining our health care system, there lies a very tangible and very big computer infrastructure.

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The Two-Way
5:59 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Rare Earthquake Rattles New England

A map from the USGS. The yellow represents the areas that felt the earthquake the most.
USGS

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 6:37 am

A rare 4.0 magnitude earthquake rattled New England, last night. While some of our readers on the West Coast would barely even blink with such a shake, it caused confusion and consternation for many around the epicenter about 30 miles outside of Portland, Maine.

The Bangor Daily News reports that the largest earthquake to strike the region measured 5.1 and it happened in 1904.

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It's All Politics
5:47 am
Wed October 17, 2012

A Stronger Showing At Hofstra, But Ghost Of Denver Still Haunts Obama

President Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney participate in the second presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., on Tuesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 10:42 am

President Obama beat at least one of his adversaries on the stage at Hofstra University last night. He easily outperformed that guy — whoever he was — who debated against former Gov. Mitt Romney two weeks ago in Denver.

That much was obvious — and necessary for the president. The question now is whether it will be sufficient to restore his momentum in the race itself.

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