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StoryCorps
12:49 am
Fri April 26, 2013

From Poor Beginnings To A Wealth Of Knowledge

Herman Blake, left, and Sidney Blake at StoryCorps in New York.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 11:14 am

Herman Blake grew up with his mother and six siblings just outside New York City. It was the early 1940s and the family was poor. This shaped their outlook on life.

"When I was growing up the great emphasis was on being able to get a job because we were on welfare, and it was so humiliating," Herman tells his brother Sidney, who is an Episcopal deacon, during a visit to StoryCorps in New York.

One of the Blake brothers, Henry, who wanted the family to stop depending on welfare, decided to drop out of school so he could help take care of their mother.

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The Salt
12:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee

In an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee called "Larry Eats A Pancake," Jerry Seinfeld has coffee with Larry David.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

According to Jerry Seinfeld's publicist, the comedian was listening to Coffee Week on Morning Edition and decided he had something to add. So he called up host Steve Inskeep. Here's what he shared, edited for brevity.

On his new coffee habit

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Around the Nation
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Thousands Attend Memorial For Plant Explosion Victims

President Obama visited Waco, Texas, on Thursday day to take part in a memorial for those killed in the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last week.

Music Reviews
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Jonny Fritz: A Country Jester Gets Personal

Jonny Fritz's third solo album, after two under the alias Jonny Corndawg, is called Dad Country.
Josh Hedley Courtesy of the artist

Dad Country is the ersatz debut of Jonny Fritz, but it's actually his third album: He recorded the first two under the name Jonny Corndawg. I enjoyed his 2011 album Down on the Bikini Line, but it's so much slighter, so much sillier and more risqué, that at first I didn't connect the two. From the new album's first seconds, Jonny Fritz sounds more intense and pained.

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Around the Nation
6:16 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Illinois River Crests To All-Time High Near Peoria

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

In Peoria, Illinois, down the middle of Water Street, 30,000 sandbags are stacked on top of barriers. This is Peoria's new floodwall, its first ever. People started building the wall last week to hold back water from the Illinois River. This week, the river crested at an all time high.

From members station WCBU in Peoria, Tanya Koonce reports.

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It's All Politics
4:10 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Obama's Bush Library Speech Leaves Iraq And More Unspoken

President Obama and former President George W. Bush at the dedication of the George W. Bush library in Dallas.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:36 pm

Imagine having to deliver a tribute for someone you've openly excoriated for years.

That was essentially the task President Obama had before him Thursday in his speech at the dedication ceremony for former President George W. Bush's Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas.

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Business
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Regulators Warn Banks On Direct-Deposit Loans

Regulators are warning some of the nation's largest banks to stop offering loans that are hard to distinguish from those given out by storefront payday lenders.
CX Matiash AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Consumer advocates call them "debt" traps. The banks that offer them call them direct-deposit advances and describe them as available funds for short-term emergencies.

But the cash advances have many of the negative characteristics of payday loans. And on Thursday, U.S. bank regulators took a step toward protecting consumers from the risks they pose. The regulators proposed standards for "deposit-advance products."

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Making Room: Can Smaller Apartments Help New York City Grow?

Some housing experts say New York's zoning code has discouraged the building of affordable housing by requiring that all apartments be at least 400 square feet. The city is interested in finding ways to rewrite the rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

New York City is notoriously crowded, and it's only getting more so. The city estimates it will have 1 million more people by the year 2030, many of them single. Where to place all these newcomers is a major challenge.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg has announced plans to put up an experimental building of micro-apartments that could be replicated throughout the city. And the Museum of the City of New York is looking at ways to make better use of the city's housing stock.

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It's All Politics
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Max Baucus Says He Was Montana's 'Hired Hand' On Gun Vote

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., is trailed by reporters Monday on Capitol Hill after announcing that he'll retire in 2014.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Longtime Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana announced this week that he would not seek re-election next year, ending four decades in Congress and leaving as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee.

NPR's Robert Siegel spoke with Baucus Thursday about his recent vote against expanded gun background checks, his role in negotiations over President Obama's health care legislation, efforts to remake tax policy, and the legions of his former staffers now populating lobbying shops.

Background Checks

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Environment
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

From Battle To Birds: Drones Get Second Life Counting Critters

Researchers are using small remote-controlled planes to survey the populations of the greater sage grouse.
Stephen J. Krasemann Science Source

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

The U.S. military and law enforcement agencies have seen increased public scrutiny on the domestic use of the robotically piloted planes known as drones. Working on the sidelines of this debate, the U.S. Geological Survey has been trying to find a second life for retired military drones in the areas of environmental and wildlife management. Instead of watching the battlefield, these drones are watching birds.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Mississippi River's Many 'Parents' Look To Unify

Mississippi River floodwaters in Vicksburg, Miss., in 2011.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Life on the Mississippi River is a roller coaster of highs and lows: record high floodwaters one year, a drought and near-record low water levels the next. And those are just two of the many problems faced by river stakeholders like barge operators, farmers and conservation groups.

Those stakeholders met recently in Chicago to discuss the Mississippi's most pressing needs, any common ground, and how to speak with a unified voice in advocating for the nation's largest river system.

So far, that hasn't been easy.

Critical, Crumbling Lifeline

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Controversy Brews Over Church's Hallucinogenic Tea Ritual

Ayahuasca brew used in South and Central America.
Nha Flickr

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:17 pm

A small church in Santa Fe, N.M., has grown up around a unique sacrament. Twice a month, the congregation meets in a ritualized setting to drink Brazilian huasca tea, which has psychoactive properties said to produce a trance-like state.

The Supreme Court confirmed the UDV church's right to exist in 2006. The church doesn't seek new members and prefers to keep a low profile. It did, however, agree for the first time to open up to a journalist.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Texas Town Honors Dead From Fertilizer Plant Blast

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attend a memorial service at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, on Thursday, for those killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

West, Texas, said goodbye to 14 people, including 10 firefighters and first responders, who were killed in the April 17 explosion of a fertilizer plant that leveled part of the town.

President Obama attended a memorial service on Thursday to console the grieving families. He said the "tragedy has simply revealed who you've always been."

He told the audience of about 10,000 gathered at Baylor University's Ferrell Center in Waco that the country would help the community rebuild.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Researchers Find Hormone That Grows Insulin-Producing Cells

A microscopy image of a rat pancreas shows the insulin-making cells in green.
Masur Wikimedia.org

The work is only in mice so far, but it sure is intriguing.

A newly found hormone revs up production of cells that make insulin — the very kind that people with advanced diabetes lack.

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The Salt
2:58 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Monkeys Also Want To Eat Like The Locals

The blue corn's just as tasty as the red corn, but it's not what the locals like.
Erica van de Waal Science

When you travel, do you want to drink Bellinis in Venice and yak butter tea in Tibet? Well, so do monkeys.

Monkeys will eat new, different food if they travel to a new place and want to fit in with the locals, according to a new study. But back home, they'll eat what Mama eats, shunning perfectly good food if it doesn't get her approval.

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The Salt
1:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up

Courtesy of Kazuki Yamamoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Clovers? Hearts? That's small fries, guys. It's time you met The Cat:

That 3-D creation is the work of Japanese latte artist Kazuki Yamamoto. The 26-year-old resident of Osaka creates ephemeral works of art in espresso and foam.

From whimsical monsters crafted from milk froth ...

... to adorable homages to favorite childhood cartoon characters ...

Yamamoto's art makes you regret the need to consume the canvas.

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The Two-Way
12:51 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Still In The Middle Class, But Standing On A Banana Peel

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 1:01 pm

Most U.S. workers fit snugly into the middle class, but they worry a lot about falling out of it, according to a poll released Thursday.

After years of watching home prices slide and job creation stall, 6 in 10 Americans say they fear tumbling from the middle class in the next few years, the Allstate-National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll suggests.

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The Two-Way
12:49 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Have You Seen Me? Giant Styrofoam Head Found

A floating head was discovered by the Marist College men's crew team this week in the Hudson River.
Tyler Sawyer, Marist College Facebook

Crew members from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., were out practicing on the Hudson River this week when they were surprised by a gigantic head floating toward them.

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Shots - Health News
12:04 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Why Finding A TB Test Got Hard

The skin test for tuberculosis sparks an itchy welt in people who have been exposed to the bacillus.
Greg Knobloch CDC

Hospitals and public health departments around the country are having a tough time coming up with a staple of preventive health care: the skin test for tuberculosis.

The shortage, caused by problems at a factory in Canada, is prompting suspension of routine TB testing around the country.

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Body Is ID'd As Missing Student Falsely Linked To Bombings

Sunil Tripathi.
Facebook.com

A body pulled out of the water earlier this week in Providence, R.I., has now been identified as that of 22-year-old Sunil Tripathi, a Brown University student who had been missing since March 15.

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Found Recipes
11:46 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Prepare To Get Hot And Heavy With This Chicken Recipe

Jay Bentley's technique for Cast Iron Roasted Half Chicken involves cooking a whole chicken between two very hot and heavy pans.
Courtesy of Lynn Donaldson

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

If you've got a chicken, two cast iron skillets and are feeling strong, Jay Bentley has a recipe for you: Cast Iron Roasted Half Chicken. The Montana restaurateur and co-author of Open Range: Steaks, Chops and More From Big Sky Country shared it for All Things Considered's Found Recipe series.

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The Two-Way
11:09 am
Thu April 25, 2013

White House: Evidence Syria Used Chemical Weapons

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel speaks with reporters on Thursday in the United Arab Emirates after reading a statement on chemical weapon use.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:55 pm

Update at 5:45 p.m. ET. 'All Options' On The Table

A White House official reiterated much of what was in the letter sent to Capitol Hill, but added that "all options were on the table in terms of our response."

The official said that reports of the use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March was one of the incidents being examined.

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It's All Politics
11:08 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Why The Bush Library Won't Make History

Former President George W. Bush speaks alongside former first lady Laura Bush during the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on Thursday in Dallas.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:50 am

Will history judge George W. Bush more kindly than his contemporaries have?

The man himself seems fairly indifferent.

"I don't think he really cares much at all, to be honest with you," says Kevin Sullivan, who served as White House communications director during Bush's second term. "I think he cares very little about where his approval rating stands today, compared to 2005 or 2008."

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu April 25, 2013

At Bush Library Dedication, Bipartisan Praise

President Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter attend the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center on Thursday in Dallas, Texas. The Bush library, which is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University, with more than 70 million pages of paper records, 43,000 artifacts, 200 million emails and four million photographs.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:00 am

Four presidents praised another member of their exclusive club Thursday at the dedication of the George W. Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

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The Salt
10:04 am
Thu April 25, 2013

EU Embraces 'Suspended Coffee': Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe

A barista serves coffee at a cafe in Naples, Italy. The Italian city's long-standing tradition of buying a cup for a less-fortunate stranger is now spreading across Europe.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Tough economic times and growing poverty in much of Europe are reviving a humble tradition that began some one-hundred years ago in the Italian city of Naples. It's called caffè sospeso — "suspended coffee": A customer pays in advance for a person who cannot afford a cup of coffee.

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Asia
10:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Rape Of Five-Year-Old Incites Rage In India

The brutal rape of a five-year-old girl in India has caused public outcry there, and led to the arrest of two men. Host Michel Martin explores what the case says about how India handles sexual assault cases. She speaks with Anand Giridharadas, a columnist at The New York Times.

Science
10:03 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Not Your Ordinary Science Fair

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're going to switch gears now and tell you about a competition that is really about to take off - pun intended. We're talking about the nation's largest rocketry tournament, the Team America Rocketry Challenge.

If you think that making a model rocket is kids' stuff, listen to this: Teams must build a rocket that can fly as close to 800 feet as possible in about 45 seconds. The rockets have to carry two raw eggs into the air and bring them back safely. The top-ranked teams will compete in the national competition on May 11th.

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Shots - Health News
9:37 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Boston ER Doctor Finds Marathon Memories Hard To Shake

SWAT team members stand guard on the campus of Massachusetts General Hospital following the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:15 am

I have a recurring nightmare where I am performing CPR on a patient who turns out to be my husband.

Last Monday, my nightmare nearly came true.

It was 2:50 p.m., and the Massachusetts General Hospital ER was filled to capacity.

In the section where I was working, my patients were critically ill, with strokes, heart attacks and overwhelming infections. Even the hallways were packed with patients receiving emergency treatments.

A call over the loudspeakers announced that there had been two explosions. Many people were injured. That's all we knew.

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The Two-Way
9:22 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Google Agrees To Change Display Of Search Results In Europe

Google makes a deal with the EU.
Adam Berry Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:16 am

Google has agreed to modify the way it displays search results in Europe as part of a deal to end a probe by the EU's antitrust body. But rivals Microsoft, Nokia and Oracle will first have to sign off on the changes, reports say.

As ZDNet writes:

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The Two-Way
8:23 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Fire Out After Fuel Barge Explodes In Alabama

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 10:09 am

A huge fire triggered by explosions aboard two fuel barges moored in Mobile, Ala., has been put out, but three people have been left with critical burns, The Associated Press reports. The blaze forced the evacuation of a nearby cruise ship.

Mobile Fire-Rescue spokesman Steve Huffman said in a statement that the cause of the fires, which broke out Wednesday night on the east side of the Mobile River, had not been determined.

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