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Krulwich Wonders...
12:14 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Neuroscientists Battle Furiously Over Jennifer Aniston

Stephen Lovekin, Carlos Alvarez, Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 2:54 pm

Think of Jennifer, or as we like to call her, "Jen." Jen of the dazzling smile, Jen of the gorgeous chin, Jen with her hair down, Jen tousled, Jen as Rachel, Jen with Brad; Jen without Brad, Jen with Vince, Jen at the Oscars, and, of course, Jen as a neuron in the medial part of the temporal lobe.

Maybe you missed that last Jen.

A few years ago, a UCLA neurosurgeon named Itzhak Fried, while operating on patients who suffer from debilitating epileptic seizures, discovered what he now calls the "Jennifer Aniston Neuron."

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Why Don't Spiders Get Stuck In Their Webs?

This mystery has plagued arachnologists for decades. William Eberhard and Daniel Briceno untangle the web question in a paper in the journal Naturwissenschaften. The answer has to do with spiders' oily, hairy legs.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Half A Century Later, A Return To Challenger Deep

The film director James Cameron has just completed a dive to Challenger Deep, the deepest point on Earth at nearly 36,000 feet under the sea. His manned descent is the first in 52 years, since the oceanographers Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard explored the Mariana Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste.

Games & Humor
12:00 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

No Joke: Science Is A Laughing Matter

Want to hear a joke about sodium hypobromite? NaBrO! Can science be the butt of a good joke? Ira Flatow and guests test the hypothesis in an annual April Fools' joke-a-thon. They share the best gags in the business. Sidesplitting or groan-worthy? You decide.

Arts & Life
12:00 pm
Fri March 30, 2012

Art, Mind And Brain Intersect In Kandel's Vienna

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. My next guest won the Nobel Prize in 2000 for his work on learning and memory, and he really needs no introduction as a neuroscientist. But there is another side to Eric Kandel that you may not know. He is an art collector, an historian of early 20th-century art in Germany and Austria, and he says he could have seen that passion as an alternate career path.

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The Two-Way
11:55 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Some Go Far For Their Mega Millions Tickets

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

With $540 million (wait — it just went up to $640 million!) on the line, it's not surprising that Alabama resident Lance Larka is willing to drive across the state line for a chance to win the record Mega Millions jackpot.

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The Two-Way
11:43 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Court Orders Egyptian Government To Censor Internet Porn

Supporters of an Egyptian Islamist candidate hold his posters as they drive through Cairo on Friday. If Abu Ismail is elected he plans to apply a strict interpretation of Islamic law.
Amro Maraghi AFP/Getty Images

In the sign of the bigger cultural struggle in a post-Mubarak Egypt, a court has ordered the government to ban pornographic Internet sites.

One of the big questions facing Egypt now that Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule has ended is what kind of role religion will play in the new government. Some of the Islamists who control parliament have expressed that they would like the country ruled by sharia.

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Politics
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Co-Author Defends GOP Budget Plan

Republican Congressman Todd Young helped draft Rep. Paul Ryan's 2013 budget that passed in the House of Representatives on Thursday. Congressman Young speaks with guest host Jacki Lyden about the budget plan and Democrats' opposition to it, including calls that the plan would hurt programs like food stamps and Medicaid.

Politics
11:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Parties Ready To Take Budget To Campaign Trail?

Guest host Jacki Lyden continues the conversation about the passage of Congressman Paul Ryan's budget plan in the House of Representatives. Lyden speaks with NPR Washington Editor S.V. Date about what the vote means and whether the plan's passage may signal long budget battles ahead.

The Two-Way
10:55 am
Fri March 30, 2012

FBI's Outgoing Cyber Cop Says Americans Don't See Size Of Threat

Outgoing FBI Executive Assistant Director Shawn Henry.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:17 pm

The FBI's top cyber cop retires today after nearly a quarter century in federal law enforcement.

Shawn Henry started looking into computer issues in the run up to Y2K (the arrival of the year 2000). He says that experience left him hungry to learn more about the way electronics were changing the way we live — and the way criminals operate.The movement of so much sensitive information online poses an "existential threat," according to Henry.

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Television
10:54 am
Fri March 30, 2012

'Thrones,' 'Killing' Return ... And Revert To Old Habits

Game of Throne's Peter Dinklage returns to the Lannister kingdom more influential than ever, thanks to a scroll that gives him power by proxy.
Paul Schiraldi Paul Schiraldi Photography

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 12:36 pm

AMC's The Killing started strong, with raves from critics and an impressively loyal core of viewers. But in the final episode of the year, when it left its season-long murder mystery intentionally unresolved, most fans felt angry, even betrayed. HBO's Game of Thrones, on the other hand, took a bit longer to get established, and to get as much attention. But thanks to some strong performances and a few bold strokes of plot, Game of Thrones — based on the George R. R.

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The Two-Way
10:40 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Recall Elections Set For June

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 10:42 am

In Wisconsin, "state elections officials ordered a set of historic recall elections Friday, making [Republican] Scott Walker the third governor in the nation to face a recall and Rebecca Kleefisch [R] the first lieutenant governor to face one," Milwaukee's Journal Sentinel reports.

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History
10:17 am
Fri March 30, 2012

1940 Census Release Is 'Super Bowl For Genealogists'

In 1940, the federal government sent 120,000 census takers across America to ask questions like, "Do you live on a farm?" and "Where were you living on April 1, 1935?"
Hansel Mieth/Time Life Pictures Getty Images

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The Salt
9:59 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Feds To Decide On Banning BPA From Food And Other Products

." href="/post/feds-decide-banning-bpa-food-and-other-products" class="noexit lightbox">
Environmental groups say a ban would protect consumers from the health effects of BPA that leaches from products including some soup cans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 4:26 pm

UPDATE 4:23 p.m.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has denied a call to ban the plastic additive BPA from food packaging. The action comes after government scientists found little reason to think people are being harmed by the chemical.

The FDA was responding to a petition from the Natural Resources Defense Council, which called for the ban on BPA, also known as bisphenol A, from any use where it comes in contact with food.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Bin Laden Fathered 4 Children, Hid In 5 Safe Houses While On Run, Wife Says

During the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, a video showing the al-Qaida leader watching television was discovered.
AFP/Getty Images

During nine years on the run in Pakistan, Osama bin Laden used at least five safe houses and fathered four children, the youngest of his three wives has told Pakistani investigators, according to The New York Times.

Amal Ahmad Abdul Fateh, now 30, married bin Laden in 2000.

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Shots - Health Blog
9:29 am
Fri March 30, 2012

New York Bans 'Synthetic Marijuana'

A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals sometimes called synthetic marijuana. New York moved to ban a wide range of products like these this week.
Kelley McCall AP

There will be no more "Mr. Nice Guy" in New York. No more "K2," "Skunk" or "Zohai" either.

The New York State Health Department banned the sale of synthetic marijuana products like those on Thursday. So all kinds of wacky stuff that's made to get people high — but is often disguised as potpourri, incense or some mixture of herbs — is now verboten.

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Author Interviews
9:02 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Harry Crews On Writing And Feeling Like A 'Freak'

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:20 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 23, 1988.

Writer Harry Crews had a hard life and didn't made it any easier for the characters in his novels. He died Wednesday at age 76.

Crews' novels were filled with freaks and losers with unusual gifts. In Naked in Garden Hills, there was the 600-pound man with a penchant for dietary supplements. The Gospel Singer featured lunatics and carnival characters. Car showcased a man who literally ate a Ford Maverick, several ounces at a time.

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It's All Politics
8:33 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Friday Political Grab Bag: Rep. Paul Ryan Endorses Mitt Romney Etc

Rep. Paul Ryan gave Mitt Romney the thumbs up Friday. Photo is of Ryan on Thursday, March 29, 2012 on Capitol Hill.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 9:21 am

Rep. Paul Ryan's endorsed Mitt Romney Friday just ahead of Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Ryan said: "I think he deserves to be the nominee. I think he earned it. He has emerged as the best candidate." Ryan, a rising star in the party who many wanted to run for president and who is seen as a vice presidential possibility, said a further protracted primary would weaken the party's chances of beating President Obama in November.

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The Two-Way
8:25 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Brother: George Zimmerman Would Be Dead If He Hadn't Defended Himself

Robert Zimmerman Jr., brother of George Zimmerman, during his interview with CNN's Piers Morgan.Â
CNN.com

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 8:31 am

"There would have been George dead had he not acted decisively and instantaneously in that moment when he was being disarmed," the brother of George Zimmerman told CNN's Piers Morgan last night in one of the most extensive interviews yet with someone from the family of the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26.

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It's All Politics
7:56 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Wisconsin Voters Face Onslaught Of 'Negative, Negative, Negative' Ads

Supporters listen to Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum at The Ravine in Bellevue, Wis., on March 24. Some voters in the state are complaining about a barrage of negative ads in advance of Tuesday's primary.
Darren Hauck Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 3:03 pm

  • Listen to the Story on Morning Edition

With a GOP presidential primary coming up on April 3, Wisconsin voters have found themselves besieged by political ads, reports NPR's David Schaper on Friday's Morning Edition.

Talking to voters in La Crosse, Schaper found that residents have grown weary of the onslaught. It has been massive: The Red, White And Blue Fund — the superPAC supporting Rick Santorum — has so far spent almost a half-million dollars on ads attacking front-runner Mitt Romney.

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The Two-Way
7:42 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Consumer Spending Jumped Up In February, Incomes Rose Just A Little

There was a 0.8 percent rise in personal spending in February from January, the Bureau of Economic Analysis just reported. It was the strongest gain in seven months, according to The Associated Press.

But personal income rose just 0.2 percent, the bureau adds. And "disposable personal income," what's left after personal taxes, also rose only 0.2 percent.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rep. Ryan Endorses Romney

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., at NPR headquarters in May 2011.
Erin Schwartz NPR

Originally published on Mon April 2, 2012 2:10 pm

One day after fellow Republicans in the House ensured passage of his version of a 2013 federal budget, there are reports that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is about to endorse Mitt Romney's bid for the GOP presidential nomination.

The Associated Press says it has been told by two Republican officials that "Ryan's endorsement could come as soon as Friday, when Romney is scheduled to give an economic speech in Appleton, Wis."

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The Two-Way
6:45 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Mega Millions Mania: What If You Win? Then What Do You Do?

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 11:27 am

Everybody, it seems, is talking about tonight's Mega Millions lottery drawing because the jackpot's up to a record $640 million. (Update at 12:15 p.m. ET: Officials just increased the estimated jackpot, which began today at an already record $540 million.)

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Animals
6:29 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Elephant Escapes From Traveling Circus In Ireland

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 6:30 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Europe
6:22 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Rome Drives Away Photogenic Gladiators

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne with bad news for gladiators. Nowadays performers in Rome who dress like those ancient combatants earn money by posing in photos with tourists. As of today, they've been driven away from the Coliseum. Roman officials say gladiators will no longer be able to peddle pictures outside their classic arena. The no-pay rule only applies around the Coliseum. Still, it's not hard to tell how gladiators will react - thumbs down. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.

Movies
3:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

'Bully' Examines Students Targeted By Their Peers

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene.

A documentary that has been stirring up headlines for weeks finally opens today. "Bully," from producer Harvey Weinstein, has made news for its controversial R rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Weinstein argues the R rating prevents the movie's intended audience - children - from seeing it, and so he decided to release "Bully" unrated.

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Asia
3:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Apple, Foxconn To Improve Factory Conditions

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:53 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Apple has been under scrutiny for working conditions in factories in China, factories that make its iPhones and iPads. And it responded by enlisting a workers' rights group. Now, the Fair Labor Association has released its audit of Apple's largest supplier, Foxconn. It found more than 50 violations of both its code of conduct and Chinese labor laws, at three Foxconn factories. NPR's Steve Henn reports.

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Movies
3:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Bullying Movie Is Released With No Rating

The Motion Picture Association of America was going to give Bully an R rating for language, but the movie's producer decided to send it out with no rating. The nation's second-largest cinema chain AMC will show it, but Cinemark, the third-largest chain will not.

Business
3:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

BlackBerry Maker To Focus On Corporate Customers

Originally published on Fri March 30, 2012 5:57 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with BlackBerry backpedaling.

Research in Motion, the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, says it's turning its focus back to corporate customers. This follows its failure to break into consumer markets dominated by iPhones and androids. Last quarter, the company lost $125 million. Analysts say BlackBerry's main problem is its trouble running third-party applications. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Business
3:00 am
Fri March 30, 2012

Stopgap Bill Keeps Transportation Construction Projects Going

President Obama is expected to sign another stopgap funding bill that avoids a weekend shutdown of thousands of transportation construction projects. The measure gives a 90-day funding extension for road, bridge and rail construction projects.

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