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Planet Money
1:18 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Remember The 14-Year-Old Who Bought A House? She Just Bought Another One

This is Willow's new house.
Shannon Moore

Originally published on Thu October 18, 2012 10:20 am

Willow Tufano became a homeowner earlier this year. This was newsworthy because Willow was 14 years old. She raised money to buy the house by selling stuff on Craigslist.

I spoke to Willow again last week and got an update. She's 15 now, and her life over the past few months was sort of surreal. She got caught up in two dramas: America's housing market and America's media circus.

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The Two-Way
1:12 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

New Regulations Aimed At Black Lung Disease Appear To Be Stalled

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 10:37 am

Reporting by the Charleston Gazette this week suggests that the Obama administration's efforts to impose tough new limits on miners' exposure to coal dust have stalled.

The United Mine Workers Union suggests election year politics may be the reason.

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The Two-Way
1:07 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Begins 12-Mile Crawl To New Los Angeles Home

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen atop the Over Land Transporter after exiting the Los Angeles International Airport on its way to its new home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles
Bull Ingalls NASA

The Shuttle Endeavour began an incredible 12-mile journey through the streets of Southern California. The trip ends at its new home at the California Science Center.

Perhaps the AP put it best: In space, the shuttle traveled at a blazing 17,500 mph. But this final victory lap through narrow Los Angeles streets will proceed at 2 mph.

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
12:37 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

If Lance Armstrong Is Stripped, No One May Get His Tour De France Titles

Lance Armstrong, in the leader's yellow jersey, during the 2001 Tour de France.
Patrick Kovarik AFP/Getty Images

Two days after the United States Anti-Doping Agency's release of the evidence it says shows that cyclist Lance Armstrong was part of "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," the head of the Tour de France has said the world's most famous race will officially have no winners of the seven Tours that Armstrong won if he is stripped of those titles.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:58 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Classroom Yoga Helps Improve Behavior Of Kids With Autism

Yoga is increasingly being used in classrooms across the U.S. to help kids behave and perform better in school.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:48 pm

Researchers have found that kids with autism spectrum disorder who did yoga at their elementary school behaved better than kids with autism who weren't doing yoga.

The researchers surveyed teachers at a school in the Bronx who said a daily yoga program reduced the kids' aggressive behavior, social withdrawal and hyperactivity.

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Space
11:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Curiosity Rover Gets the 'Scoop' on Mars

Curiosity scooped its first sample of Martian soil on Oct. 7, but activities were halted after a small, bright object — which NASA now says is likely a piece of plastic from the rover — was spotted on the ground. Mike Watkins, Curiosity's mission manager, provides an update.

Brain Candy
11:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Enter an Optical Illusion

Artist Julian Hoeber's "Demon Hill," now on view at the Harris Lieberman Gallery in New York City, is modelled after a roadside attraction called a "gravitational mystery spot" — where water runs uphill and gravity doesn't behave as expected. Science Friday talked to cognitive scientist Michael Landy about what happens to our perceptual system inside the exhibition.

Technology
11:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Fifty Years Ago, A Bright Idea

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Fifty years ago this week, a team of researchers at General Electric created something new: a solid-state device that could emit visible red light without getting hot like a light bulb. Other groups have made light-emitting devices, but this was the first practical one that could make light that a person could see, rather than invisible infrared light.

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Science
11:44 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Prehistoric 'Kennewick Man' Was All Beefcake

Forensic artists think this is what Kennewick Man looked like.
Brittney Tatchell Courtesy of Doug Owsley

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:41 pm

For nearly a decade, scientists and Northwest tribes in Washington state fought bitterly over whether to bury or study the 9,500-year-old bones known as Kennewick Man. Scientists won the battle, and now, after years of careful examination, they're releasing some of their findings.

For starters, Kennewick Man was buff. I mean, really beefcake. So says Doug Owsley, head of physical anthropology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, and the man who led the study of the ancient remains.

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It's All Politics
11:44 am
Fri October 12, 2012

7 Signals Stolen From The Running Mates' One-Game Playoff

Vice President Biden and Republican Paul Ryan at Thursday night's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:59 pm

You may have noticed that the vice presidential debate took place on the same day as four crucial games in this year's baseball playoffs. In case you were distracted at all by the latter, here's some of what you may have missed:

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The Two-Way
11:40 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Remembering Andrew Brimmer, First Black On Federal Reserve's Board

Andrew Brimmer in 1970, when he was a Federal Reserve Board governor.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

A life well-worth noting has caught the attention of obituary writers:

-- "Andrew F. Brimmer, a Louisiana sharecropper's son who was the first black member of the Federal Reserve Board and who led efforts to to reverse the country's balance-of-payments deficit, died on Sunday in Washington. He was 86." (The New York Times)

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Fidel Castro 'Is Fine,' His Son Tells State-Friendly Blogger

A visitor watches pictures taken by Cuban photographer and cinematographist Alex Castro, son of former Cuban president Fidel Castro.
Alfredo Estrella AFP/Getty Images

Fidel Castro's son, Alex Castro, is batting away rumors that his father, the former leader of Cuba, had died.

"The commander is fine, doing his daily things, reading, exercising," Alex Castro said.

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Science
11:03 am
Fri October 12, 2012

2012 Nobel Prizes Recognize Pioneering Science

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:45 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. The 2012 Nobel Prizes were announced this week in Stockholm, and groundbreaking research on stem cells, cloning, cell receptors and quantum optics, yeah, claimed the honors this year. The physics prize was awarded to French physicist Serge Haroche and American David Wineland of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado.

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The Two-Way
10:50 am
Fri October 12, 2012

What's All This Malarkey About Malarkey?

Vice President Biden thought much of what his opponent said Thursday night was malarkey, and his face often showed what he was thinking.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

"With all due respect, that's a bunch of malarkey," Vice President Biden said during Thursday's debate as he challenged Rep. Paul Ryan's assertion that U.S. foreign policy has unraveled under President Obama.

A little later in the debate, Biden said Ryan's criticisms were "a bunch of stuff" — and when moderator Martha Raddatz asked "what does that mean?" he said, "we Irish call it malarkey."

Biden's use of the word has many asking: Where does it come from?

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Movie Reviews
10:38 am
Fri October 12, 2012

'Argo': Too Good To Be True, Because It Isn't

CIA agents Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) and Jack O'Donnell (Bryan Cranston) plan a risky mission to save six Americans trapped in Iran.
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:01 am

Ben Affleck's Argo is two-two-TWO movies in one, and while neither is especially original, by merging them Affleck pulls off a coup. First, he gives you espionage with the You Are There zing of a documentary. Then he serves up broad showbiz satire. For his final feat, he blends the two into a pulse-pounding nail-biter of a climax. And this all really happened. Most of it. Except for that climax.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Consumer Confidence Jumps To Pre-Recession Level, Survey Shows

"Black Friday" 2011 in Manhattan: Retailers hope to see shoppers out again in force this holiday season. If confidence stays high, they may get their wish.
Michael Nagle Getty Images

"U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly rose to its highest in five years in October as consumers became more optimistic about the economy in a possible boost to President Obama's reelection hopes," Reuters reports.

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NPR Story
10:03 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Feds To Debate Marijuana As Medicine

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:45 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next Tuesday, marijuana will have its day in court because the United States Court of Appeals is set to hear arguments about the drug's therapeutic and medicinal effects. But some doctors, like one of my next guests, disagrees with the government's ban on medical use of marijuana, pointing to the drug's ability to suppress nausea, stimulate the appetite, relieve pain, improve sleep, even fight cancer cells, in test tubes at least.

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NPR Story
10:03 am
Fri October 12, 2012

The Secret To Making Ultrastrong 'Gorilla Glass'

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:45 am

Corning's Gorilla Glass isn't totally unbreakable, as anyone who's dropped a smartphone knows. But it's twice as durable as regular glass--at half the thickness. How do they do it? Dave Velasquez, director of marketing and commercial operations for Gorilla Glass, talks about the innovations that make this ultrastrong, ultralight glass possible.

NPR Story
10:03 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Tracking The Ozone Hole, As It Waxes And Wanes

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:45 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. 21 years ago this week, way back in October of 1991 on the first-ever episode of SCIENCE FRIDAY, one of our show topics was the ozone hole, that bite out of the Earth's ozone layer caused by chemicals in our refrigerators, air conditioners, cans of hairspray. Our guest that day was the late Sherwood Rowland, who would go on to win the Nobel Prize for his work on the ozone hole.

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World
9:58 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, And Now The EU?

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize and they chose the European Union.

THORBJORN JAGLAND: The European Union is currently undergoing grave economic difficulties and (unintelligible) social unrest. The Norwegian Nobel Committee wishes to focus on what it sees as the EU's most important result, the successful struggle for peace and reconciliation and for democracy and human rights.

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Election 2012
9:58 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Biden Debate Coach On VP's Performance

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:46 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, President Obama honored late labor and civil rights leader Cesar Chavez earlier this week but a new book questions whether the full story of his life and legacy isn't perhaps more complicated. That's in a moment.

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U.S.
9:56 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Casinos Not An Easy Bet For Local Governments

The MGM Grand Detroit is one of three resort casinos that have opened in the city since 1999.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

More states and cities are turning to casinos to generate revenue and plug budget holes.

The latest to try its luck is Maryland, where groups are waging an expensive campaign over a ballot question that will be put to voters next month. Proponents promise jackpots of jobs and funding for public schools, but analysts say the gamble doesn't always pay off at the levels promised for public coffers.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:18 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Sun Goes Down. Up Comes A Mystery

minutephysics YouTube

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 9:53 am

Here's a question you probably didn't know was a question: Why is the sky dark at night?

My daughter asked me this about 10 years ago. We were looking up at the night sky, and she said, "There's lots of stars up there." And I said, "Yes."

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Author Interviews
8:45 am
Fri October 12, 2012

The Man Who Tracks Viruses Before They Spread

H1N1 virus virons appear in a tissue sample.

C. Goldsmith and D. Rollin CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:53 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 11, 2011. The Viral Storm will be published in paperback on Oct. 16.

The New Yorker once called virologist Nathan Wolfe "the world's most prominent virus hunter." Wolfe, the director of the Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, spends his days tracking emerging infectious diseases before they turn into deadly pandemics.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Panetta: 'Foreign Cyber-Actors Are Probing America's Critical Infrastructure'

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:14 am

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta delivered a policy speech that he said was a "clarion call" for Americans to take cyber security seriously. Attacks that can cripple a country, he said, are no longer theoretical.

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The Picture Show
8:11 am
Fri October 12, 2012

'Vintage Black Glamour' Exposes Little-Known Cultural History

That's Bananas: "Whether [Josephine Baker's] getting a pedicure or she's walking down the street or she's relaxing in a yard somewhere, I just love the variety of pictures of her," Gainer says. "The banana skirt is a part of who she was, it's the most famous thing, but it just annoys me when that's just the only thing. ... There was a lot more to her than that."
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:03 pm

I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed a year or so ago, when I saw a photo of Joyce Bryant. The caption said she was once dubbed the "black Marilyn Monroe" and was mentioned many times in Walter Winchell's gossip column.

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The Two-Way
7:36 am
Fri October 12, 2012

You Thought The VP Debate Was Feisty? Things Got Physical In California

Democratic Reps. Howard L. Berman and Brad Sherman face off in a debate.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 8:25 am

All eyes were on Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, last night. By all accounts, it was a political debate for the ages, full of barbs and fireworks.

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The Salt
6:48 am
Fri October 12, 2012

The Secret To Genius? It Might Be More Chocolate

A Swiss cardiologist plots a cheeky graph that shows a country's chocolate consumption may predict its chances of winning a Nobel.
John Loo Flickr.com

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Nerds, rejoice! It's Nobel season — the Oscars for lab rats, peacemakers and cognoscenti alike. Every fall, big thinkers around the world wait for a middle-of-the-night phone call from Sweden, dreaming of what they might do with the $1.2 million prize.

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The Two-Way
6:33 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Japanese Utility Admits For First Time That Nuclear Disaster Was Avoidable

Smoke rises from Unit No. 3 of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 11:14 am

In a dramatic reversal, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted for the first time that if it had fixed known safety issues, Japan's nuclear disaster following the March 2011 tsunami could have been avoided.

The Associated Press says the utility company made the admission in a statement released Friday. The AP reports the company said it delayed implementing the safety measures because of political, economic and legal pressures.

The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Pakistan Arrests Three Men In Taliban Shooting Of 15-Year-Old Girl

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:18 am

Authorities have arrested three men suspected of having a role in the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old activist who demanded an education for girls.

NBC News reports:

"Police said the suspects, aged between 17 and 22, had claimed the person who organized the attack Tuesday — in which two other young girls were shot and injured — was a man called Attaullah."

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