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Science
3:07 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Living Gears Help This Bug Jump

An image from an electron microscope of the back legs of a planthopper insect.
Gregory Sutton

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:21 pm

Greg Sutton was closely inspecting the back legs of a planthopper nymph — a small green, flightless insect — when he noticed something odd.

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Environment
3:06 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'Rivers On Rolaids': How Acid Rain Is Changing Waterways

Gwynns Falls runs beneath Interstate 95 at Carroll Park in Baltimore. The chemistry of this river, like many across the country, is changing.
Courtesy of Sujay Kaushal

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:47 am

Something peculiar is happening to rivers and streams in large parts of the United States — the water's chemistry is changing. Scientists have found dozens of waterways that are becoming more alkaline. Alkaline is the opposite of acidic — think baking soda or Rolaids.

Research published in the current issue of Environmental Science and Technology shows this trend to be surprisingly widespread, with possibly harmful consequences.

What's especially odd about the finding is its cause: It seems that acid rain actually has been causing waterways to grow more alkaline.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Fri September 13, 2013

The Secret To Making It Through A Yom Kippur Fast? Kreplach

Kreplach, a special Jewish holiday dish that can be made essentially out of leftovers.
Courtesy of Caren Alpert

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:11 pm

To mark the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, Jews fast from sundown to sundown. But before the sun sets, friends and family gather to enjoy one final meal. And for the Jews of Eastern Europe, that meal traditionally includes kreplach.

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Shots - Health News
3:03 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Treating Kids' Cancer With Science And A Pocket Full Of Hope

Dr. Jim Olson meets with Carver Faull at Seattle Children's Hospital in August. Carver, now 12, had surgery to remove a brain tumor in 2012.
Matthew Ryan Williams for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 10:02 am

Try to imagine someone who is supremely calm while at the same time bursting with energy, and you've got a pretty good idea of what Jim Olson is like.

He's a cancer researcher, physician, cyclist, kayaker and cook, not always in that order. He approaches each activity with incredible passion.

But to really understand Olson, you have to watch him in action with patients.

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StoryCorps
3:02 am
Fri September 13, 2013

How One Man Continues To 'Just Pass It On'

Thomas Weller, 65, says he's been called an angel more times than he can count.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 7:44 am

Thomas Weller would have died in a snow bank in 1964 had a stranger not helped him. Weller, 65, has been helping strangers in the same way ever since.

"I've been called the Lone Ranger. And I've been called an angel more times than I can count," he says. "But, I'm no angel! When you help somebody else, you help yourself. And, it's ... real gratifying."

Click on the audio link above to hear Weller's story.

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Jasmyn Belcher.

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The Record
12:23 am
Fri September 13, 2013

'90s Nostalgia Revisited: 6 Musicians We Miss

P.M. Dawn, sometime in the '90s.
Mick Hutson Redferns

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 8:11 am

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Movie Reviews
7:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Meet Brandon Darby, Grass-Roots Activist (And FBI Rat)

Brandon Darby, a onetime leftist activist who eventually became an FBI informant, has had his share of both detractors and admirers — many of whom appear in a new documentary about his life and work.
Music Box Films

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:13 am

For a while in Jamie Meltzer's mesmerizing documentary Informant, I wondered whether subject Brandon Darby, the lefty activist turned FBI informer, was being played by an actor.

But no: It's Darby, and he's a handsome fellow, with haunted eyes blazing out of a bone structure to die for, and with a Montgomery Clift dimple in his chin. Staring straight into the camera, he testifies with the intense calm of a messiah or a madman, which all too often comes to the same thing. Among other things, this powerfully confused man is a study in American extremity.

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The U.S. Response To Syria
6:30 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Frenemies Forever: Why Putin And Obama Can't Get Along

Russia's President Vladimir Putin welcomes President Obama at the start of the G-20 summit on Sept. 5 in St. Petersburg. Russia.
Eric Feferburg AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:09 pm

Leaders who respect each other and have a good relationship don't mock each other.

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin do not have a good relationship.

Just as Russia and the U.S. are attempting to work out a delicate deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons, the Russian president published an op-ed in The New York Times thumbing his nose at President Obama.

Reactions to the affront have been strong.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
5:44 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

How One Unkind Moment Gave Way To 'Wonder'

Random House

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:16 pm

In Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of Auggie, a tough, sweet, 10-year-old boy, who was born with distorted facial features — a "craniofacial difference" caused by an anomaly in his DNA.

Palacio tells NPR's Michele Norris that the book was inspired by a real-life encounter with her own kids six years ago. They were at an ice cream store and sat next to a little girl with a severe facial deformity. Palacio's 3-year-old son cried in fear, so the author grabbed her kids and fled. She was trying to protect the girl but also avoid her own discomfort.

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The Record
5:44 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Taking Back 'Funkytown': Songwriters Prepare For A Custody Battle

Members of the disco group Lipps, Inc., including Steven Greenberg (far left), pose for a portrait in 1978. Greenberg, who wrote the group's hit "Funkytown," is seeking to reclaim the song's full copyright from Universal Music Group.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:48 pm

You might say Steven Greenberg is the mayor of Funkytown. Back in 1979, Greenberg was just another young musician and producer in Minneapolis. Then his group Lipps, Inc. recorded a song that would come to dominate the dance floors and airwaves in the summer of 1980, and for a long time afterward.

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