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1:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:37 pm

When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.

But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.

Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.

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The Salt
1:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:14 am

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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Shots - Health News
12:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:19 pm

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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Around the Nation
12:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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The Two-Way
12:02 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

U.S. Calls On Venezuela 'To Respect ... Free Speech' Of Its Citizens

A woman walks past a message painted on a wall in the streets of Caracas reading "Fraud. Maduro Illegitimate."
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:29 pm

The United States called on the Venezuelan government to be transparent in its effort to "audit the ballots" of the presidential election held this weekend.

If you missed it, the news that Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro had won by a razor-thin margin unleashed protests in the streets of Caracas.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Updated: Glitch Delays Antares Rocket Launch

Antares ready for liftoff.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility NASA

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:06 pm

Update at 6:21 p.m. ET. Launch Delayed:

Space.com reports that the Antares rocket launch has been delayed for two days, "after an unexpected glitch."

Space.com reports:

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The Two-Way
11:10 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

This photo, produced by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Boston, shows the remains of an explosive device at the Boston Marathon bomb scene.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:19 pm

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

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U.S.
10:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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National Security
10:01 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Guantanamo Bay, One Piece Of Torturous Puzzle?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.

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Krulwich Wonders...
9:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

A 'Whom Do You Hang With?' Map Of America

MIT Senseable City - "The Connected States of America"
MIT Senseable City Lab

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 11:31 am

Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent To Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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Shots - Health News
8:36 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Blasts A Reminder Of 'The Fragility Of Life'

Jillian Blenis, 30, of Boston reacts while stopping at a makeshift memorial to marathon bombing victims Wednesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:33 pm

From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.

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The Salt
8:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 2:25 pm

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texas Prosecutor Murder: Wife Of Jailed Ex-Justice Arrested

A wreath of flowers in honor of slain District Attorney Mike McClelland at the Kaufman County [Texas] Courthouse in early April.
Richard Rodriguez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:44 am

"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

American: 'Near Normal' Flights After Day Of Delays

American Airlines passengers wait in line for a flight at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:53 am

American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.

American Airlines and American Eagle scuttled 970 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others Tuesday, The Associated Press said, citing flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Pat Summerall Was The 'Voice Of Football,' Says John Madden

Pat Summerall in 1989, when he was broadcasting for CBS Sports.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:49 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Richard Gonzales reports on Pat Summerall

Pat Summerall was the "voice of football and always will be," longtime broadcasting partner John Madden said Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Book News: Pulitzer 'Winner' Takes on A Whole New Meaning

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:27 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Thatcher, 'A Great Calm' After A Life Of Controversy

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Christopher Furlong EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."

With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

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Around the Nation
5:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Napster Billionaire Spends Big On Upcoming Wedding

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep, with good luck to Sean Parker and his bride-to-be. She's a singer; he's a Facebook billionaire and founder of Napster. Mr. Parker committed $10 million to their wedding. He paid for waterfalls, bridges and ancient ruins created for the occasion. Guests will wear outfits created by the costume designer from "Lord of the Rings."

Europe
5:02 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Resignation Letter Is Good Enough To Eat

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

Chris Holmes worked at a London airport, but his true love was always making cakes. So Holmes decided to quit his job to run his own bake shop, which brings us to his resignation letter. He wrote it on a cake with icing. He said he wanted more time with his family. He wished his colleagues well. It took two hours, more time than he had ever spent on a birthday message or anniversary wish. A photo of his work went viral, publicity that he really felt was icing on the cake.

The Two-Way
4:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

Flowers, flags and balloons at a memorial in Boston near the site of Monday's explosions.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:50 am

(Note at 7:50 a.m. ET, April 18: We've begun a new post to track Thursday's developments.)

Investigators made progress Wednesday, as they tried to determine who planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injuring about 180.

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NPR Story
2:28 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Adding Security Along Marathons Would Be Herculean Task

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, the twin bombings at the Boston Marathon struck at a very special type of sporting event. Marathons have been called the most democratic of sports, with the fewest physical barriers between athlete and spectator.

NPR's Mike Pesca examines whether the attack could permanently damage that accessibility.

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NPR Story
2:28 am
Wed April 17, 2013

FBI Encourages Public To Turn Over What They May Know

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The special agent in charge of the FBI Boston office hopes someone somewhere heard something that will point to a suspect in the Boston Marathon attack.

(SOUNDBITE OF STATEMENT)

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Code Switch
2:26 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Seeking Oakland's Soul In The 'New Oakland'

A DJ plays for a crowded street at Oakland's Art Murmur celebration in February.
David Kashevaroff

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:17 pm

Oakland, Calif., was once a hub of African-American culture on the West Coast.

In the 1940s and '50s, Oakland was home to an entertainment corridor nicknamed The Harlem of the West. In the '60s, the city gave birth to the Black Panther Party. By the '80s, black folks made up nearly half of Oakland's population.

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Animals
12:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Lionfish Attacking Atlantic Ocean Like A Living Oil Spill

Lionfish, like this one spotted in the Bahamas, are a nonnative predatory fish that can decimate native fish populations.
Cammy Clark MCT/Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:45 am

A gluttonous predator is power-eating its way through reefs from New York to Venezuela. It's the lionfish.

And although researchers are coming up with new ways to protect some reefs from the flamboyant maroon-striped fish, they have no hope of stopping its unparalleled invasion.

Lad Akins has scuba dived in the vibrant reefs of the Bahamas for many years. But when he returned a couple years ago, he saw almost no fish smaller than his hand.

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Sweetness And Light
12:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

The Pitch For More No. 42s

Jackie Robinson during spring training at Vero Beach, Fla., in March 1956. It would be Robinson's 10th and last year with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:46 pm

Yet another movie about Jackie Robinson arrived as baseball held its annual commemorative celebration of No. 42, but officials of the game are fretting over the fact that only 8 1/2 percent of current major leaguers are black.

Given that African-Americans only constitute about 13 percent of the U.S. population, and that rarely do we have any industry or school system or community population that correlates exactly to the whole country's racial or ethnic makeup, baseball's somewhat smaller black cohort hardly seems like an issue to agonize over.

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It's All Politics
5:30 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Obama's 'Terrorism' Description Follows Cautious First Words

President Obama leaves the White House briefing room Tuesday after making a statement about the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

On Monday, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and some others made a point of highlighting President Obama's failure to use the words "terror" or "terrorism" in his first remarks following the Boston Marathon bombings.

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The Two-Way
5:22 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Maine Court Sets $25,000 Bail For 'North Pond Hermit'

Christopher Knight, 47, has been charged with stealing food and other items from a camp in Rome, Maine. Knight's years of living in isolation earned him the nickname of the North Pond Hermit.
Kennebec County Sheriff's Office AP

Christopher Knight, whose 27 years of living in near-total isolation in Maine's wilderness made him an object of fascination after he was arrested for stealing food and supplies, appeared by video for a court hearing Tuesday, when a Kennebec County judge set his bail at $25,000 cash.

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The Two-Way
4:33 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Reports: Envelope Sent To Senator's Office Tests Positive For Ricin Poision

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:45 am

Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.

"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."

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The Salt
4:21 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Stunting From Malnutrition Affects 1 In 4 Kids Worldwide

Renande Raphael, aged 16 months, is measured to check whether she is growing normally. She's part of a trial in Haiti to see if an extra daily snack of enriched peanut butter prevents stunting and malnutrition.
Alex E. Proimos via flickr

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:22 pm

Babies and toddlers in the poorest parts of the world are getting better fed.

What's the proof? Stunting in kids – a sign of poor nutrition early in life — has dropped by a third in the past two decades, UNICEF reported Monday. But there's a long way to go. Globally, a quarter of kids under the age of 5 were stunted in 2011. That's roughly 165 million children worldwide, with nearly 75 percent of them living in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the report says.

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