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All Tech Considered
2:01 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

How To Make Your Face (Digitally) Unforgettable

What makes a face more memorable? The exact features differ from face to face, but it helps when the face looks kind, trustworthy, slightly distinct and already familiar.
Courtesy of MIT Researchers

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:47 pm

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

This could take selfies to a whole new level.

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Book Reviews
2:00 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Empty Nester In 'The Woods': A Modern Dantean Journey

drbimages iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:27 pm

Midway upon the journey of our life
I found myself within a forest dark,
For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Allowing for translation, those are the immortal opening lines of Dante's Divine Comedy. Here, some seven centuries later, are some of Lynn Darling's opening lines from her new memoir, Out of the Woods: "The summer my only child left home for college, I moved from an apartment in New York City, to live alone in a small house at the end of a dirt road in the woods of central Vermont."

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All Tech Considered
1:58 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Government Tech Problems: Blame The People Or The Process?

HealthCare.gov's failures are prompting a closer look at the federal government's out-of-date technology.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 3:37 pm

Thanks to epic problems with HealthCare.gov's rollout, the federal government's out-of-date technology processes have received more attention than most of us could have expected. The main doorway for millions of Americans to get health insurance was unusable for two months, but that screw-up is just one in a long line of government IT failures.

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The Two-Way
1:48 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Watson, IBM's 'Jeopardy!' Champ, Gets Its Own Business Division

Jeopardy! contestant Ken Jennings, who won a record 74 consecutive games, concedes to supercomputer opponent Watson in February 2011.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 6:06 am

Ever wonder what happens to all those Jeopardy! champions once they leave the stage? Watson, an IBM supercomputer, got its own business division.

You might recall that Watson, named after longtime CEO Thomas J. Watson, crushed its human opponents on the popular television game show back in February 2011.

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Is Sugar Addiction Why So Many January Diets Fail?

Indulge or resist? Sugar cravings can be a serious challenge.
iStock

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 2:34 pm

We've survived the stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, when rich, sweet treats come at us non-stop. Now is the season of reform, when gym memberships, cleanse books and weight-loss plans sell like gangbusters.

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The Two-Way
12:12 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Aurora Watchers 'May Be In Luck' As Solar Flare Reaches Earth

A coronal mass ejection (CME) exploding off the surface of the sun in an image captured Tuesday by the European Space Agency and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory.
Uncredited AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:32 pm

Update at 3:05 p.m. ET:

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center now reports:

"The coronal mass ejection (CME), originally expected to arrive around 0800 UTC (3:00 a.m. EST) today, January 9, was observed at the ACE spacecraft just upstream of Earth at 1932 UTC (2:32 p.m. EST)."

The SWPC goes on to say that "the original forecast continues to be for G3 (Strong) Geomagnetic Storm activity on January 9 and 10."

"Aurora watchers may be in luck for tonight."

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It's All Politics
11:41 am
Thu January 9, 2014

How Long Is Too Long? Congress Revisits Mandatory Sentences

Inmates walk around a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif., in January 2012.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:14 pm

Mandatory minimum prison sentences for drug dealers were once viewed as powerful levers in the nation's war against drugs, a way to target traffickers, and punish kingpins and masterminds.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Thu January 9, 2014

French Court Rules Controversial Comedian's Show Can Go Ahead

A French court has ruled that comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, seen here on May 13, 2009, can perform Thursday night in Nantes, France.
Remy de la Mauviniere AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:27 pm

A French comedian whose performances authorities want to ban because of the act's perceived anti-Semitism has been given the go-ahead to perform in the city of Nantes, France.

A court ruled Thursday that Dieudonne M'bala M'bala's show Thursday night that will open his nationwide tour can go ahead. About 5,000 tickets have been sold for the performance.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Thu January 9, 2014

While U.S. Shivers, Australia And Brazil Sizzle

At the Australian Bat Clinic in Queensland, 15 baby flying foxes (bats) were lined up and ready to be fed Thursday. They were brought there to get out of the extreme heat, which has killed hundreds of thousands of bats.
Trish Wimberley AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:18 pm

Temperatures across much of the U.S. are, as forecast, finally starting to get back to something close to normal after several days of dangerously cold air.

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Parallels
11:01 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Rare Horses Released In Spain As Part Of 'Rewilding' Effort

Two-dozen Retuerta horses, the second of two batches, are released into the Campanarios de Azaba Biological Reserve in western Spain. The animals' DNA closely resembles that of the ancient wild horses that once roamed this area before the Romans began domesticating them more than 2,000 years ago.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:36 pm

For the first time in two millennia, wild horses are once again galloping free in western Spain, countering what happened when the Romans moved there and domesticated the animals.

Four-dozen Retuerta horses have been released into the wild in western Spain over the past two years as part of a project by Rewilding Europe, a nonprofit group that seeks to turn the loss of rural farming life into an opportunity to boost biodiversity.

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Music
11:00 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Kenny Clarke, Inventor Of Modern Jazz Drumming, At 100

Kenny Clarke in 1971.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:50 pm

Jan. 9 marks the 100th birthday of drummer Kenny Clarke. One of the founders of bebop, Clarke is less well-known than allies like Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk, but his influence is just as deep.

That thing that jazz drummers do — that ching-chinga-ching beat on the ride cymbal, like sleigh bells? It gives the music a light, airy, driving pulse. Clarke came up with that, and that springy shimmer came to epitomize swinging itself.

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The Two-Way
10:39 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Pakistani Teen Dies Stopping Bomber From Striking School

Pakistani security personnel examine the site of a suicide bombing in the Ibrahimzai area of Hangu, Pakistan, on Monday. The bombing killed 15-year-old Aitizaz Hasan, who prevented the bomber from attacking a school.
Basit Shah AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:02 pm

A teenager who was killed after reportedly stopping a suicide bomber at a school in northwest Pakistan is being hailed as a hero.

Aitizaz Hasan, 15, was late for school on Monday and as a punishment wasn't allowed to attend assembly, the Express Tribune newspaper said.

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Shots - Health News
9:58 am
Thu January 9, 2014

How Medigap Coverage Turns Medicare Into A Health Care Buffet

How about back surgery, a cardiac catheterization and an MRI scan?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 3:01 pm

Restaurants know customers eat more at fixed-price buffets than when they pay a la carte. Economists have been saying for years that the same kind of behavior goes on in the federal Medicare program for seniors and the disabled.

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The Two-Way
9:56 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Case Against Clemency: Expert Says Snowden's Leaks Hurt Security

The National Security Agency headquarters building in Fort Meade, Md.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:25 am

A former NSA general counsel tells NPR's Morning Edition that Edward Snowden advertised his theft of government secrets as an act of civil disobedience and should take responsibility.

"He did the crime — he should do the time," says Stewart Baker, also a former assistant secretary of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Thu January 9, 2014

More Slow-But-Steady News: Fewer Jobless Claims Filed

Looking for work in Florida. At a November career fair in West Palm Beach, this man had a job application in hand.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:15 pm

There were 330,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment insurance last week, down 15,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

The claims data are the last bits of evidence about how the labor market is doing before Friday's scheduled release of figures on the December unemployment rate and payroll growth.

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The Two-Way
8:04 am
Thu January 9, 2014

An 'Embarrassed And Humiliated' Gov. Christie Apologizes

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie speaks Thursday during a news conference Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton, N.J.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 8:54 pm

  • On 'Morning Edition': WNYC's Matt Katz talks with Renee Montagne about the New Jersey bridge scandal
  • Gov. Christie: 'I had no knowledge'
This post was updated with the latest news at 8:45 p.m. ET.

Saying he is "embarrassed and humiliated by the conduct of some people on my team," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Thursday apologized to the people of New Jersey for his aides' role in a scheme to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee by closing lanes that lead to the George Washington Bridge.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:08 am
Thu January 9, 2014

A Rain Forest Begins With Rain, Right? Is This A Trick Question?

MinuteEarth YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:50 pm

Think of a rain forest — rich with trees, covered by clouds, wet all the time.

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The Two-Way
7:06 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Letters From 'Frankenstein' Author Found

An image of author Mary Shelley, circa 1830.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 7:40 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Thu January 9, 2014

'I Had Been Drinking,' Rodman Says In Apology For Comments

Dennis Rodman in December, during one of his previous visits to North Korea.
David Guttenfelder AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:24 pm

Saying that "I had been drinking," former NBA player Dennis Rodman has had his publicist issue an apology for the obscenity-laced rant he went on earlier this week during an interview on CNN.

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Around the Nation
6:52 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Vending Machine In L.A. Will Make Your Next Meal

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene. We've reported on this program about instant meals. We cooked scrambled eggs and macaroni and cheese in a microwave, but maybe even that's too much work. Now a vending machine in L.A. makes breakfast for you - or lunch or dinner.

Animals
6:40 am
Thu January 9, 2014

No Polar Vortex For Brazil; Instead, Sizzling Heat

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Renee Montagne.

The polar vortex chilled the U.S. so much, even a polar bear had to stay inside at Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo. In Brazil, it's been sizzling, so zookeepers in Rio brought in icy treats to help the animals beat the heat that reached 120 degrees. Primates cooled off with mango popsicles. The big cats got icy blocks of meat, and the zoo's brown bear chowed down on frozen grapes while lounging in his pool.

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

National Security
4:41 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Edward Snowden 'Did The Crime, He Should Do The Time'

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This week we've been considering the fate of Edward Snowden. The former contractor at the National Security Agency is facing charges after he leaked classified details about surveillance programs. Yesterday we heard from a legal expert who believes that Snowden deserves clemency and that his actions inspired an important public debate about privacy and security.

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NPR Story
4:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Manufacturers At CES Offer More In Home Automation

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

How would you like to be able to operate your stovetop from the comfort of anywhere in your house? Now you can, thanks to new technology unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

Tech journalist Rich Jaroslovsky is at the annual gadget extravaganza in Las Vegas. Good morning, Rich.

RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: Why don't we start with that kitchen stove?

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NPR Story
4:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Study: Mass Shootings Are On The Rise Across U.S.

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:21 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It is among the most troubling calls a police department can receive: the report of an active shooter. It could mean a domestic dispute, or a gunman on the loose. We all remember Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo. Those events - mass shootings - have spiked in the United States, in recent years.

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