The Torch
1:40 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

A Medal And Marmite For Team Kiwi

Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Here's a curious little bit of news from the BBC:

"New Zealand competitors who win medals at the London Olympics have been offered an unusual reward — food parcels containing jars of Marmite."

"The spread has been in short supply since March, after the manufacturer was forced to close its only factory because of earthquake damage."

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The Torch
1:32 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Flag-Bearer Zagunis Fails To Medal In Sabre

American fencer Mariel Zagunis (left), the two-time gold medal winner in sabre, shakes hands after losing to Ukraine's Olga Kharlan in their bronze medal match at London's ExCel Center.
Alberto Pizzoli AFP/Getty Images

Decorated fencer Mariel Zagunis, who carried the U.S. flag into Olympic Stadium as part of the London 2012 opening ceremony, lost in the bronze medal match in the sabre Wednesday afternoon, falling to Olga Kharlan of Ukraine, 15-10.

The loss means that Zagunis, 27, will leave London without a medal — there is no team sabre medal at this year's Olympics (we'll post more about that situation soon).

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The Torch
12:16 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Wins Bronze In All-Around

Gymnast Danell Leyva of the United States celebrates after his final rotation in the men's individual all-around final.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 1:07 pm

U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva has won the bronze medal in the men's all-around competition in London. The gold was taken by Japanese star Kohei Uchimura, while the silver medal went to Marcel Nguyen of Germany.

With a final score of 92.690, Uchimura was nearly 2 points ahead of Leyva, at 90.698. And with his win, Uchimura vanquished the disappointments of his 2008 Beijing, when his struggles on the pommel horse cost him a gold medal.

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NPR Story
12:07 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Crustacean Adventures — Love at First Crack

"Beware the green stuff," says Maggie Shipstead.
Daniel Gilbey

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:53 pm

Maggie Shipstead just published her first novel, Seating Arrangements.

There haven't been very many. I started late. Until I was 21, I thought I didn't like seafood. Then I got tipsy and ate a whole lobster, and my life changed.

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The Two-Way
12:00 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Once In A Blue Moon: August Will Bring Two Full Moons

A waxing moon in the background of a fairground attraction in London on Sunday.
Andrew Cowie AFP/Getty Images

In astronomical terms, a blue moon really doesn't denote that long a time span. In fact, a blue moon happens once every 2.7 years on average.

Still, it's a special event that, at least using its modern definition, happens when there are two full moons in a single month.

Today (Aug. 1) we'll see a full-moon and that is a prelude to the blue moon of Aug. 31. As Space.com reports, the Aug. 31 moon will reach its full phase during the day.

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Planet Money
11:57 am
Wed August 1, 2012

The Endlessly Disappointing Jobs Recovery

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:39 pm

Three years into the economic recovery, the unemployment rate is still disastrously high. So today's big economic question is whether the Federal Reserve will announce new measures to bring down unemployment when it releases its policy statement this afternoon.

Update: The new statement is out. The Fed isn't doing anything new right now.

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The Torch
11:26 am
Wed August 1, 2012

What's A Gold Medal Really Worth?

Plenty To Smile About: Weightlifter Maiya Maneza of Kazakhstan celebrates on the podium with her new 400-gram gold medal, matching the feat of her compatriot Zulfiya Chinshanlo. The Kazakh Olympians will each receive a $250,000 bonus.
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

Weighing 400 grams, the Olympic gold medals that are being doled out at the London 2012 Summer Games are the heaviest ever, according to reports. But that doesn't mean they're the most valuable: at an estimated $620.82, they're nearly $590 short of the $1,207.86 value held by a gold medal from the Stockholm Games of 1912.

The discrepancy stems from the fact that the 2012 gold medals contain only 6 grams of gold; the rest is silver and copper. In fact, the London bling contains more copper than gold, which is only used to coat the medals with a plating layer.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:25 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Lab Findings Support Provocative Theory On Cancer 'Enemy' Within

The white arrows in these two tumor samples point to a subset of tumor cells that are in a resting state.
Nature

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 3:54 pm

Scientists reported new evidence Wednesday that supports a provocative theory about cancer.

Three separate teams of scientists said they had, for the first time, shown that so-called cancer stem cells can be found naturally in brain tumors and early forms of skin and colon cancer.

Evidence has been mounting in recent years for the existence of these cells, which would be especially insidious. They are believed to resist standard chemotherapy and radiation and fuel the growth of tumors and relapses.

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Participation Nation
10:53 am
Wed August 1, 2012

Homeless Kids At Play In Washington, D.C.

A volunteer reads a book with a visitor at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project.
Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:58 am

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:51 am
Wed August 1, 2012

You Think Beauty Is Skin Deep? You're Not A Chiropractor

Contestants Marianne Baba (left), Lois Conway and Ruth Swenson stand next to plates of their X-Rays during a chiropractor-judged beauty contest.
Wallace Kirkland Time

When the nation's chiropractors descended on Chicago for a weeklong convention in May 1956, they threw a beauty contest.

The judges crowned Lois Conway, 18, Miss Correct Posture. Second place went to Marianne Caba, 16, according to an account in the Chicago Tribune. Ruth Swenson, 26, came in third.

But this was no ordinary pageant.

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