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World Cafe
4:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Yukon Blonde on World Cafe

Yukon Blonde.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 5:24 pm

The physical environment surrounding a band can have a pronounced influence on the songs said band produces, whether it's a sunny beach in Malibu or a craggy, wind-swept hillside in Scotland.

Given that Yukon Blonde calls Vancouver home, it wouldn't be surprising if the group's music took some cues from the perpetually rainy skies that settle over the city every winter. Perhaps as escapism, though, the songs written by Jeff Innes, Brandon Scott, Graham Jones and John Jeffrey have an inherently sunny quality to them, drawing heavily from 1970s American radio-rock.

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Research News
4:57 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Land Creatures Might Not Have Come From The Sea

The fossil remains of Dickinsonia, an Ediacaran organism that's long been extinct. Scientists have long assumed these early life forms lived in the sea, but a new study argues they emerged on land.
G. Retallack Nature

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

Cartoonists have found many clever ways to depict the conventional wisdom that complex life evolved in the sea and then crawled up onto land. But a provocative new study suggests that the procession might be drawn in the wrong direction. The earliest large life forms may have appeared on land long before the oceans filled with creatures that swam and crawled and burrowed in the mud.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Georgia Town Makes Claim For Fruitcake Capital Of The World

The Claxton Bakery in Georgia makes millions of pounds of fruitcake each year.
Stephen Morton AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:29 pm

In the small town of Claxton, Ga., two bakeries make more than 4 million pounds of fruitcake each year. Both bakeries say Claxton is the fruitcake capital of the world, despite a similar claim made by a company in Corsicana, Texas.

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The Two-Way
4:03 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Syrian Military Fired Scud Missiles At Rebels, Pentagon Says

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles on rebel positions in northern Syria this week, a Pentagon source says. Here, a rebel fighter takes a position last month in the northern city of Aleppo, the scene of heavy fighting in recent months.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:58 pm

The Syrian military fired Scud missiles at rebel forces this week, launching them from near the capital Damascus and targeting opposition fighters in the north of the country, Pentagon sources tell NPR's Tom Bowman.

The development comes at a time when the fighting has been intensifying and the rebels appear to be gaining momentum in a nearly two-year-old battle against President Bashar Assad.

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The Two-Way
3:51 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

What North Korea's Rocket Launch Means — And What It Doesn't

This image from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency shows the long-range rocket Unha-3 as seen at a satellite control center prior to Wednesday's successful launch.
KCNA via KNS AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:31 pm

North Korea's successful rocket launch may conjure up visions of nuclear missiles in the hands of one of the planet's least predictable regimes. But building a satellite launch vehicle doesn't directly translate into an ability to rain warheads on distant enemies.

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Best Music Of 2012
3:47 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Listener Picks: Your Favorite Albums Of 2012

NPR listeners picked Mumford And Sons' Babel as their favorite record for 2012.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:47 pm

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The Two-Way
2:58 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Flying High: Cannon Fires Cans Filled With Marijuana Across Mexican Border

They flew in from Mexico: Cans of marijuana found in a field near Yuma, Ariz.
Customs and Border Protection

Last year, smugglers tried using a catapult to get pot into the U.S.

Now, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say they recently discovered 30 large cans of marijuana in a field near Yuma, Ariz., — and that the barrels apparently landed there after being fired from a pneumatic-powered cannon 500 feet away in Mexico.

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Remembrances
2:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Sitar Player Remembers The Legendary Ravi Shankar

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 4:04 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

As you probably heard by now, the great sitar player Ravi Shankar died yesterday at the age of 92. His music arrived in most American ears thanks to George Harrison and the Beatles, whose interest triggered something of a sitar craze back in the late '60s. Harrison played the exotic instrument on a couple of tracks. The Rolling Stones followed suit on "Paint It Black." The electric sitar soon followed. But Ravi Shankar remained the unchallenged master. But what do I know? He's the only Indian-born sitar player I ever heard.

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It's All Politics
2:56 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

When It Comes To Entitlements, Obama Feels Heat From Left And Right

A protester at a fiscal cliff rally on Monday in Doral, Fla.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 3:12 pm

Despite his re-election and more Democratic seats in Congress, President Obama has far from a free hand to make the kind of comprehensive deal House Speaker John Boehner and other Republicans are demanding — one that includes cuts to entitlement programs.

Strong resistance to that notion is coming from the political left, including warnings that while Obama won't have another re-election, most of his allies on Capitol Hill will be facing voters again.

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Wednesdays Become Eclectic
2:50 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

KCRW Presents: The Afghan Whigs

The Afghan Whigs on KCRW.
KCRW

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 9:06 am

When news spread about an Afghan Whigs reunion tour, we knew we had to have the band on KCRW. The group showed no signs of rust from a 10-year hiatus, playing powerful soul ballads propelled by straight-up rock 'n' roll riffs. It was an honor and a real pleasure to host Greg Dulli and company as they performed a set covering a wide range of their catalog, including "Fountain and Fairfax" from the band's widely worshiped 1993 album Gentlemen.

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