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Deceptive Cadence
3:36 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Madame Mao's Hollywood Fantasies

A Chinese and a North Korean embrace in a pledge of everlasting (political) love. From Raid on the White Tiger Regiment, 1971.
Zhang Yaxin Courtesy of the see+ Gallery, Beijing, and the Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto.

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:56 pm

During the chaos and oppression of China's Cultural Revolution, one curious new theatrical genre was born — and it was the child of the Communist Party. Jiang Qing (a.ka. Madame Mao), a former stage and screen actress and the notorious wife of Mao Zedong, led the creation of yang ban xi: "model works" that were meant, in words attributed to Chairman Mao, to "serve the interests of the workers, peasants, and soldiers and [conforming] to proletarian ideology."

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Shots - Health News
3:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freaky Friday: Autonomous Tissue Grabbers Are On Their Way

A miniature ninja throwing star or a surgical device? The microgripper, shown here coming out of a catheter tube, is activated by body heat. The sharp appendages fold up when the device warms up.
Evin Gultepe, Gracias Lab, Johns Hopkins University.

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 10:54 am

When we first heard about researchers using tiny freely floating tools to grab tissue samples deep inside the body, we were scared.

But our fears quickly turned to fascination.

Johns Hopkins engineers are testing out what they call "untethered microgrippers" as a better way to investigate hard-to-reach places. They have launched hundreds of these things, which look like miniature ninja throwing stars, inside the body of animal to retrieve tiny pieces of tissue for biopsies.

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Monkey See
3:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: Documentary Roundup

A group of young women pose for a picture in a still from the documentary Teenage, a film that explores the evolution of young adulthood in America and abroad.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.

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The Record
2:40 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

The Tyler Interview: Silly, But With A Purpose

Elliott Wilson (left) and Tyler The Creator Tuesday night at the Highline Ballroom.
Johnny Nunez WireImage

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:42 pm

Interviewing Odd Future visionary Tyler, the Creator is a crapshoot.

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It's All Politics
2:40 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Obama Says New Abortion Laws Turn Back The Clock

President Obama addresses the Planned Parenthood national conference in Washington on Friday.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 3:33 pm

President Obama on Friday became the first sitting president to address Planned Parenthood's annual meeting, delivering a strongly worded speech defending the embattled organization.

"We shouldn't have to remind people that when it comes to women's health, no politician should get to decide what's best for you," said Obama, who was greeted by sustained applause when he took the stage.

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All Songs Considered
2:35 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

First Watch: One Man's Dream Turns Into A 'Sea Of Dreams'

Rudolph Bekker Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 9:13 pm

My dreams are never like Chris Kittrell's "Sea Of Dreams," but I wish they were. Watching this animation will be as close as I get. Chris Kittrell is a founding member of the band Baby Alpaca, the director of the video for the band's song, "Sea of Dreams," and the source of the video's concept — or at least his unconscious mind was.

"I got the idea from a dream I had," Chris Kittrell writes. "The whole scene was very Dada-rock. Stage set out to sea. Time and objects drifting by. Guitar riffing in the air. I love how nonsense and intuition can lead to invention."

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Planet Money
2:13 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Nervous Parents In One Country Clear Supermarket Shelves In Another

A sign limiting the purchase of baby formula powder hangs on a shelf in a London supermarket April 10.
Kirsty Wigglesworth AP

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:47 pm

Liyan Chen, a grad student in New York, was chatting online recently with her cousin in China.

"He said, 'I want Abbott milk powder,' " Chen told me. " 'I want you to buy it and ship it back.' "

Her cousin wanted her to buy three boxes of Abbott baby formula, sold under the brand name Similac, and ship it to him in China. She did some research and found out the shipping alone could cost $80. "They're not from a very well-off family, and that really surprised me," she said — especially because they can buy Abbott baby formula in stores in China.

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Dutch Authorities Nab Suspect In 'Unprecedented' Cyberattack

Authorities say they have arrested a Dutch national in Spain in connection with a March cyberattack widely described as the largest in Internet history.

According to The Associated Press, Dutch prosecutors say the 35-year-old suspect, who is identified only by his initials, S.K., was taken into custody on Thursday.

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The Sequester: Cuts And Consequences
1:53 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Flight Delays Push Congress To End Controller Furloughs

Travelers stand in line at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday. Congress moved quickly this week to give the Federal Aviation Administration flexibility to end air traffic controller furloughs that resulted in flight delays at several airports.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The U.S. Congress — a body not exactly known for its swift feet — raced Friday to complete legislation to help travelers avoid delays at airports.

The House voted 361-41 to approve legislation that the Senate passed without objection late Thursday. The bill gives the Federal Aviation Administration more spending flexibility to cut its budget while avoiding furloughs of air traffic controllers.

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Middle East
1:52 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

U.S. Wary As Qatar Ramps Up Support Of Syrian Rebels

President Obama meets with the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, in the Oval Office on Tuesday. The emir is among a series of visiting Middle East leaders urging the U.S. to take a greater role in the Syrian conflict.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 4:47 pm

President Obama has been hosting a series of visitors from the Middle East, and all of them have been urging the U.S. to get more involved in Syria.

They have included the emir of Qatar, Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, whose country has been arming rebel forces in Syria. Obama wants to see such aid go to moderates — but that requires more cooperation with partners like Qatar. Problem is, they don't always see eye to eye.

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