We've all seen those bathtub refinishing ads that promise a glossy new surface on the dingy old tub.
But a solvent used to make that transformation has killed at least 13 people who used it to strip bathtubs from 2006 to 2011, according to a new study. The chemical, methylene chloride, is sold as a solvent and paint stripper both to professionals and in dozens of do-it-yourself products sold at home improvement stores.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 4:01 pm
Last night at midnight, Nike released a pair of expensive glow-in-the-dark basketball shoes. And as has happened before for big shoe releases, a melee broke out among the hundreds of people who waited outside of an Orlando, Fla. mall to buy them.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that the release of the shoes was timed with Orlando's hosting of the NBA All-Star Game and by 9:45 p.m., police in riot gear were called in to control the crowd.
Computer chip makers have long struggled to build ever-smaller transistors to allow faster, more powerful computers. Writing in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists describes what may be the ultimate limit of that struggle — a transistor made of a single atom. Michelle Simmons, a physicist at the University of New South Wales in Australia and leader of the project, discusses the work.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:01 pm
Connie Johnson is not afraid to be outrageous. The Democratic state senator from Oklahoma has watched in frustration for several years now as colleagues have rammed through bills limiting women's reproductive rights.
She tried debating and making speeches. Finally, earlier this month, she thought of something that made her point more clearly, or at least more graphically.
She introduced an amendment that would define life as beginning not at conception, but at "ejaculation."
The news that some rice-based foods are surprisingly high in arsenic has left rice lovers wondering how the heck we're to know what's safe to eat.
Since Dartmouth College researchers reported last week that a toddler formula and energy bars sweetened with organic brown rice syrup tested high for arsenic, readers of The Salt have had lots of questions about how one might find out the arsenic content of rice-based foods, and figure out what's safe.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe filed a $500 million lawsuit against brewers and retailers, claiming they're responsible for the reservation's alcohol-related problems. The tribe lives on a dry reservation, but they claim nearby towns unlawfully sell alcohol to residents. Host Michel Martin speaks to a reporter and the tribe's attorney.
A new case taking on affirmative action in higher education is set to be heard in the Supreme Court this fall. In 2003, the court ruled that universities could consider racial diversity in admissions. But today the make-up of the court is very different. Host Michel Martin discusses the case with two law school deans.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 10:45 am
After the explosion of the rocket-propelled grenade on a road in Fallujah, Oscar Canon saw the white of his own thigh bone. At the medical unit, the young Marine sergeant grabbed the doctor by his collar and yelled, "Don't cut off my f***ing leg." That was in October of 2004 and the first of dozens of surgeries — 72 separate operations, by a family member's count — that saved his leg.
Last week, Staff Sgt. Oscar Canon, 29, died. A Marine Corps spokesman at Camp Pendleton says the death is still being investigated.
For patients in nursing homes, treatment with antipsychotic medicines is pretty much routine.
Though the drugs were developed to treat schizophrenia, they're also used to manage the dementia-related behavior of elderly patients. Up to a third of patients in nursing homes get the drugs, despite their risks.
Originally published on Fri February 24, 2012 2:53 pm
One of science fiction's jobs is to give humanity a map of where we're headed. From Jules Verne to William Gibson, sci-fi authors have described their versions of the future, and how people might live in it.
Those ideas came up in a recent conversation I had with Brian David Johnson, who works for Intel as a futurist — a title that gives him one of the tech world's cooler business cards.
Campaigning in Michigan on Thursday night, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney reached out to Tea Party voters — a segment of the party that he has had a hard time winning over in previous states this primary season.
As Syrian security forces continue to pound the city of Homs and surrounding areas, "the United States, Europe and Arab countries were set Friday to back a proposal for Syria's president to step aside and allow in humanitarian assistance to end a brutal crackdown against opponents," The Associated Press writes.
Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep with a story of a man caught in a sting operation. Somebody stole from an office fridge - drinks, lunches, 60 pounds of deer sausage disappeared. What made the fridge of special interest to police was its location in a police station in Deer Park, Texas. Police placed a hidden video camera in the ceiling and caught an officer - Kevin Yang. TV station KTRK says that when caught, Mr. Yang said he was just cleaning the fridge. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Sears says it is spinning off outlet, hometown and hardware stores. The deal is expected to help the company raise up to $500 million. It's also selling some of its other properties in a separate deal.
This comes after Sears said in December it would close about 100 stores after an abysmal holiday shopping season. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.
President Obama put tax reform back on the table this week. He called for changes to the corporate tax system. Tax rates would go down for companies, deductions would go away - many of them, and companies with overseas operations would find it a little harder not to pay.
New Hampshire, one of the least religious states in the nation, has become the latest front in the political battle over contraception. State GOP leaders oppose the new federal rule compelling insurers to provide birth control to employees of religious organizations. They want to change a 12-year-old state law that requires contraceptive coverage under insurers' prescription drug policies.
It's hard to miss the politics fueling state House Speaker William O'Brien's push to carve out a religious exemption from the contraception mandate.
Philadelphia's financially troubled newspapers — the jointly owned Inquirer and Daily News — may be sold for the fourth time in six years. Circulation and advertising are down. A new set of layoffs has been announced, and the papers' newsrooms are about to be combined with the news site Philly.com.
But reporters and editors there are outraged by something else: the actions of their own publisher to influence their coverage of the company's sale.
Yemen has become the latest Arab country to depose its dictator.
On Monday, the country's longtime president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, is set to hand power to his vice president, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, as part of an agreement reached late last year. The agreement was backed by the U.S., Europe and Yemen's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors. It was ratified by more than 60 percent of Yemen's voters earlier this week.