A New Hampshire girl learned the hard way: Don't lick anything metal. Maddie Gilmartin, 12, wondered what would happen if she touched her tongue to the flagpole in her front yard. Anyone who has seen A Christmas Story knows how that turned out.
OK. Our last word in business is: ski tweeting. Is that really a thing?
Well, the Australian Olympic Committee has placed a social media ban on its athletes at the Sochi Winter Games coming up in Russia. Tweeting, Facebooking and Snap-chatting join partying as officially forbidden activities.
Winter athletes can thank their summer colleagues for the new social media ban. The country's Olympic committee came up with the rule after a disappointing showing by the Australian swim team during the London Summer Games.
Fans will not be complaining, at least not about the weather tonight, as Florida State and Auburn face off in a very important game. They're playing in tonight's college football championship in warm and sunny Pasadena, California. And there's even better news for the many college football fans who've grown to loathe the Bowl Championship Series, known as the BCS. Tonight marks the end of it. It's being replaced next season by a playoff that will decide the national champion.
Here's news many of you know already: It's cold, really cold, even dangerously so in much of the United States, and another Arctic blast is expected. We are talking about temperatures 25-below zero in North Dakota. And the South isn't being spared, its single digits in some spots in Georgia and Alabama.
Chuck Quirmbach from Wisconsin Public Radio reports.
We've known for some time, that having more education usually leads to higher pay. Well, now a study suggests that the advantage persists even into retirement years, in part because those with more education tend to stay in the workforce longer.
NPR's Ina Jaffe covers aging and she has this story.
INA JAFFE, BYLINE: For people in their late 60's or 70's or beyond, college might seem like a long time ago. But the impact persists, says study co-author Heidi Hartmann.
A very cold winter storm is engulfing much of the Northeast, dumping more than 20 inches of snow in some areas and bringing strong winds along with it. Schools are closed in Boston and New York City. Thousands of flights have been canceled. Officials around the region are asking people to stay home and let road crews do their work.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. For most fans, meeting the cast of your favorite show is enough. Apparently, not Ryan Carroll. Last September, the 26-year-old fan of "Breaking Bad" won a trip to Hollywood to watch the series finale with the cast. He told Florida's Naples News that the show was highly addictive, just like the meth they make.
This week, he was arrested for running his own drug operation and seized in the raid, a Hazmat suit signed by the "Breaking Bad" actors.
On a snowy day, kids are desperate to know if they'll have school. So why not ask someone with good sources, like Dante de Blasio, the teenage son of New York City's new mayor? A screenshot of a chat, reportedly from his Facebook page, went viral. A friend asked if school would be canceled. Dante replied, quote, "I'm trying to convince my dad." His mom kept people guessing, tweeting a picture of a snow shovel and the caption: What Dante will be doing if he does not go to school.
And let's turn our attention now to Iraq, where there's been a new bout of violence. The government there is fighting Al Qaida-linked militants who have reportedly overrun police stations and jails. Government forces have responded to this with missile strikes and ground troops. This fighting is in the country's western Anbar Province, which borders Syria.
Turkey's government is defending itself against a corruption scandal. That scandal has shaken a nation often described as the model for moderate Islamic democracy. The scandal reaches the highest levels of the government, and has sparked a strong backlash by Turkey's ruling party.
We reached NPR's correspondent in Istanbul, Peter Kenyon, to learn more about what's going on.
The Quantified Self movement promotes something called life logging. That means tracking all kinds of details of your life in order to improve it. To find out more about the topic, David Greene talks to two people involved with life logging: Kitty Ireland, who works for a life logging app called Saga, and to David Goldstein, who turned to life logging with the help of a coach.
OK. We've gotten through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year's. But if you're an NFL fan, the next holiday up is Wild Card Weekend. There is football on Saturday and Sunday. Four wild card teams facing four teams that won their divisions. And there are some pretty interesting storylines to cover. Let's cover them with NPR's Mike Pesca. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Storyline number one - not all the teams playing are wild cards. It is called that but they get to play divisional leaders, don't they?
In 1968, Susan Mello Souza and Mary Moran Murphy were teenagers — and both were pregnant. To keep that a secret, their families sent them to St. Mary's Home for Unwed Mothers in Massachusetts, where they lived until they gave birth.
This famous bet — between a biologist and an economist — was over population growth. It started three decades ago, but it helped set the tone for environmental debates that are still happening today.
The biologist at the heart of this bet was Paul Ehrlich at Stanford. He wrote a best-selling book in 1968 called The Population Bomb. It was so popular he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. If little Lorraine Begazo turns out like many big sisters, she'll lord it over her brother Brandon that she's the older one. And she was born the year before he was. The news is that they're twins. Lorraine was born two minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve 2013. Brandon came along one minute after we rang in 2014. The twins' father says they'll celebrate with two cakes and blow out the candles over two years. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Fifty years ago, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov made a series of predictions about 2014, and he was right. He foresaw gadgets that relieve mankind of tedious jobs, like machines that heat water and prepare coffee. He predicted smartphones, noting we'd be able to see and hear someone we call, and be able to look at photos on the same screen. He even knew Twitter and reality TV were coming, writing, quote: Mankind will suffer badly from the disease of boredom.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
And I'm David Greene. Good morning. President Obama says he will soon propose changes at the National Security Agency. Former contractor Edward Snowden's disclosure of NSA surveillance programs widespread criticism and prompted a review of the agency's operations by Congress, the courts, and the White House. NPR's Tom Gjelten looks at whether the country is now at a turning point, ready to rethink the security policies in place since 9/11.
Our colleague Gregory Warner was reporting in South Sudan recently and he described something ominous. As he put it, people are starting to ask who their neighbors are. It suggested that a violent political struggle in Africa's youngest country could erupt into a civil war fueled by tribal differences. Today, South Sudan's warring factions will meet for the first time in neighboring Ethiopia. This comes as fighting still rages. Here again, NPR's Gregory Warner.
Lebanon has announced Saudi Arabia will give it $3 billion to buy weapons. To explain the significance of this gift, Renee Montagne talks to Aram Nerguizian, a senior fellow with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
NPR's business news starts with Fiat and Chrysler.
The Italian automaker Fiat has paid $4.3 billion to gain complete ownership of Chrysler. The agreement announced yesterday is not a big surprise. Fiat already held a majority share of the Detroit automaker that produces Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge vehicles.
Industry analysts say this final step in the merger creates a global company that's better able to compete with the likes of General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And in this new year, Colorado is turning over a new leaf. State license retailers spent their New Year's Eve putting plant buds on shelves, stuffing baggies and rolling joints in preparation for what's being called Green Wednesday. Colorado is the first in the nation to regulate and control a recreational marijuana industry.
Sweden's icy winter leads a lot of people indoors which didn't deter one enterprising ice cream truck driver. He simply played his truck's jingle louder. So loud, that residents complained. Which led the ice cream company to come up with a quieter substitute to the traditional jingle: texting.
MONTAGNE: OK, she goes by Loke. Last fall, she began a push to get all 36 characters of her surname on her Hawaiian I.D. The state would only accept 35. Now its transportation department says it will allow 40 characters. Next challenge: Getting Loke's full name on her Social Security Card.
So how did you ring in the New Year this year: among friends with a pop of champagne and a kiss? Or did you join with the millions of celebrants in cities all around the world, who gathered in public places, to bring in 2014 with a bang. In London, a spectacular fireworks display kicked off with Big Ben chiming in the New Year.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne. Around New Year's lots of us are thinking about time and how we spend it. Yesterday we heard about an unusual wristwatch that challenged how we look at time and today we bring you a story about an alarm clock designed to help you stick to those New Year's resolutions.
The Chicago based company Fig believes the clock will help keep people motivated to meet their life goals. NPR's Alix Spiegel took a look and found the clock led her into some much deeper issues.
January 1st is the day college football fans dream about - or, at least they used to. Not too long ago, it featured the big event: the last and biggest of the bowl games. We'll have to wait until next Monday for the BCS championship, but no worry, there are still some good games on tap for today. And here with a preview is NPR's Mike Pesca. Good morning.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MONTAGNE: Six games today, Mike. Which are the big ones?
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne, with more ways to count down to 2014 tonight. In Georgia, an 800 pound peach is Atlanta's version of the Times Square crystal ball. Among the other huge items being dropped tonight: A giant ruby slipper in Key West, in Plymouth, Wisconsin, an 80 pound cheese wedge decorated for the occasion, and in Bartlesville, Oklahoma an oversized olive descends 19 stories into a martini glass. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
If you don't have a smartphone, no reason to envy those who do. Your old flip phone might be far smarter than you think. According to the New York Post, a man was being mugged in Central Park. The thief asked for his phone, then saw it was old, flip model. As the victim recalls, quote, "He looked at it like, what the bleep is this? And he gave it back to me."