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Around the Nation
5:20 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Would-Be Robber Rejects Victim's Flip Phone

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

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."

The Two-Way
4:32 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Michael Schumacher Showing 'Surprising' Improvement

Race car driver Michael Schumacher in November 2012.
Mark Thompson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:25 am

Racing car legend Michael Schumacher is not out of danger, but is showing "surprising" improvement as doctors in France continue to treat him for the severe head injury he suffered Sunday while skiing, The Associated Press reports from Grenoble.

That improvement has allowed surgeons to operate for a second time, doctors said Tuesday.

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Business
4:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Local Brewery Has Starbucks Frothing Over Stout's Name

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

The giant coffee chain sent a cease-and-desist letter to the owner of Exit 6 Pub and Brewery in Missouri. Starbucks told the pub to stop referring to one of its dark, frothy beers as "the frappicino." Starbucks noted it sounds a lot like its trademarked frozen coffee drink.

NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

American Dialect Society To Vote On Word Of The Year

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's that time again, the American Dialect Society will soon vote on its Word of the Year. Last year it was hashtag. For this year's words that popped, we reached the society's new words guy, linguist Ben Zimmer.

Good morning.

BEN ZIMMER: Good morning.

MONTAGNE: So this year it seems that everyone is coalescing around one word. That word is selfie. It's so ubiquitous that I wonder if that is one of your top words.

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NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

10,000 Year Clock Challenges Approach To Time

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:56 am

In this final interview in our series of conversations about the future, Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Danny Hillis, a scientist and engineer and the inventor of a clock designed to last 10,000 years. The clock is meant to encourage people to think about the long-range future; the "long now" as Hillis calls it.

NPR Story
3:04 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Syria To Miss Deadline To Remove Chemical Weapons Stockpile

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:44 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne. This New Year's Eve is also a deadline in one of the year's biggest stories. Syria is due to turn over more than 500 tons of some its most deadly materials in its stockpile of chemical weapons. That was part of the deal brokered with the Assad regime by the U.S. and Russia, after a chemical attack outside Damascus killed many hundreds of civilians. But the Syrian government will not meet today's deadline.

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Middle East
1:31 am
Tue December 31, 2013

What Israel's Release Of Palestinian Prisoners Means For Peace

Freed Palestinian prisoner Omar Masoud served 20 years of a minimum 90-year sentence for killing Ian Feinberg, an Israeli, in 1993. Israel freed Masoud in October as part of a political deal to restart peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 8:17 am

On Tuesday, Israel released another two-dozen Palestinian prisoners convicted of violent crimes against Israelis.

It's the third of four groups to be released before their sentences are up, part of a confidence-building deal that helped restart peace negotiations in July.

Palestinian Omar Masoud was a prisoner freed in one of the previous releases. He says that when he agreed to kill an Israeli working in the Gaza Strip, he expected consequences.

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Around the Nation
1:30 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Despite The Headlines, Chicago's Crime Rate Fell In 2013

Pictures of Chicago residents who have died by gunfire are posted on the city's South Side.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 6:01 am

In 2013, Chicago newspapers and television stations kept a daily deadly count, listing those slain each day, most by gun violence. One of the most noted occurred early in the year when Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was shot and killed about a week after performing at inauguration events in Washington, D.C., with her high school band.

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Shots - Health News
1:27 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Nothing Focuses The Mind Like The Ultimate Deadline: Death

Could a countdown to death help you lead a more ecstatic life?
Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:38 pm

Ticktock. Ticktock. Ticktock.

The seconds left in 2013 are slipping away. And you know what else is slipping away? The seconds left in your life.

Luckily for you, there's a new product called Tikker, a wristwatch that counts down your life, so you can watch on a large, dot-matrix display as the seconds you have left on Earth disappear down a black hole.

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Space
1:26 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Bon Voyage, Voyager: Old Friends Take Stock

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 7:37 am

For the scientists who have emotionally traveled with NASA's Voyager mission for decades, 2013 will be remembered as the year they knew Voyager 1 had finally become the first explorer from Earth to enter the mysterious realm of interstellar space.

Voyager 1 and its twin, Voyager 2, both blasted off in 1977, more than 35 years ago. Voyager 1 flew by Jupiter, then Saturn — and then on toward the unknown region that lies between stars.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Other 'F Word': Brewer Responds To Starbucks Over Beer Name

After being told that one of his products infringed on a Starbucks trademark, brewpub owner Jeff Britton wrote the coffee company a check.
Exit 6 Brewery

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 5:51 pm

In general, getting a cease-and-desist letter from a big corporation isn't the mark of a good day. But after a brewery owner got a letter from a law firm representing Starbucks, he saw a chance to draw distinctions between the businesses — and to be funny.

The coffee company's bone of contention, Missouri brewer Jeff Britton was told in a Dec. 9 letter, was the use of the name "Frappicino" to describe a stout served at Exit 6 Brewery, a brewpub in a tidy strip mall in Cottleville, northwest of St. Louis.

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The Salt
3:57 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Was 2013 Really The Year Of The Paleo Diet?

A paleo-inspired breakfast of salmon, egg, cabbage and bacon.
David Leo Veksler Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 10:52 am

Google Trends has released its annual Zeitgeist list so that we can mull over the burning questions of the day.

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All Tech Considered
3:09 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

$0 Profits Couldn't Hold Back This Year's Tech Darlings

Twitter made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange in November. Both the social media giant and the relative newcomer Snapchat are valued in the billions, but neither company has yet turned a profit.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Zero. That's the total amount of revenue created by Snapchat in 2013. It's the total profit collected by Twitter. And it's roughly how much Apple's stock price has increased between early last December and now.

Which makes you wonder: With all these zeros piling up, how are so many people in Silicon Valley making so much money from technology?

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Around the Nation
3:00 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Whale Traffic Jam Delights Visitors And Baffles Scientists

A diving whale off the coast of Southern California near the Los Angeles suburb of Palos Verdes in 2010.
Mike Nelson EPA/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:13 pm

This is one of the best times of the year to spot gray whales off the coast of Southern California as they migrate south for the winter. But recently, there have been an unusually high number of sightings of other whales.

"We've had so many whales," Dan "The Whale Man" Salas tells the guests on his boat. "This is all in the last two weeks. We've had orcas, we had a sperm whale, we've got humpback whales, blue whales, fin whales. Yesterday we had a massive pod of gray whales, so we never know what we're going to see out here."

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Sports
2:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

At Long Last, Female Ski Jumpers Can Go For Olympic Gold

First-place finisher Jessica Jerome competes in the women's ski jumping event at the U.S. Olympic trials in Park City, Utah, on Sunday.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:50 pm

In Park City, Utah, on Sunday, ski jumper Jessica Jerome, 27, became the first woman to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

But to get to this point has been a fight.

Ski jumping has been an Olympic sport since the advent of the Winter Olympics — that is, men's ski jumping. But for the women — who often soar just as far if not farther than the men — it has been a fight that took them to a Canadian courtroom and was marked with years of setbacks. They were told again and again that women's ski jumping wasn't at a high enough caliber to be in the games.

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Shots - Health News
2:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

New York City's Bloomberg Leaves Mixed Results On Health

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg holds a 64-ounce cup, as Lucky's Cafe owner Greg Anagnostopoulos stands behind him during a news conference at the cafe in New York.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:40 am

On the November day in 2001 when Michael Bloomberg was elected mayor, two things were prominent in New York City's air: fumes from the World Trade Center's smoldering remains, and tobacco smoke in the city's bars, restaurants and other public spaces.

Now they're both gone.

Bloomberg helped the city rebuild after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. And he led the charge against smoking.

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All Tech Considered
2:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Because You Liked Chemistry, We Recommend These Classes

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 4:51 pm

The same kind of technology that recommends movies on Netflix or purchases on Amazon is now helping students choose college courses.

A new program developed on a campus in Tennessee uses predictive analytics to suggest classes, and now the technology is spreading across the country and is seen as a way to make higher education more efficient.

On average, graduates take a year's worth of classes they could have done without, or they drop courses before making a bad grade. For Nashville State Community College student Jonathan Hudspeth, it was anatomy and physiology.

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Business
2:38 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Looking Ahead At The Next Top Tech IPOs

Every year, research firm CB Insights offers up a report on the fastest growing and most highly valued private companies in technology — basically, the ones most likely to go public. Audie Cornish speaks with Anand Sanwal, CB Insights' CEO, for a look at the top tech IPO's expected in 2014.

Shots - Health News
2:22 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Mapping Emotions On The Body: Love Makes Us Warm All Over

People drew maps of body locations where they feel basic emotions (top row) and more complex ones (bottom row). Hot colors show regions that people say are stimulated during the emotion. Cool colors indicate deactivated areas.
Image courtesy of Lauri Nummenmaa, Enrico Glerean, Riitta Hari, and Jari Hietanen.

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:08 am

Close your eyes and imagine the last time you fell in love. Maybe you were walking next to your sweetheart in a park or staring into each other's eyes over a latte.

Where did you feel the love? Perhaps you got butterflies in your stomach or your heart raced with excitement.

When a team of scientists in Finland asked people to map out where they felt different emotions on their bodies, they found that the results were surprisingly consistent, even across cultures.

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Shots - Health News
2:03 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Doctors And Teens Both Avoid Talking About Sex And Sexuality

Almost half of high-schoolers have had sexual intercourse, but teens almost never ask their doctors about sexual health.
Nicole Young iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 3:09 pm

Many doctors aren't asking teenagers about sex or sexuality, and those who do are spending just 36 seconds on the topic, on average. That's not much time to get into sexually transmitted diseases or birth control, let alone sexual orientation, dating or other big topics.

And teenagers are so bashful when it comes to asking questions about sex and health that they won't bring it up if the doctor doesn't, researchers say.

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Code Switch
1:50 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Why Being 'Gypped' Hurts The Roma More Than It Hurts You

The Three Stooges movie Gypped In the Penthouse is one of many pieces of media that uses the pejorative.
Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:13 am

I never thought about the etymology of the verb "gypped" until the end of college, when my friend, lamenting his stolen iPod, said the word and immediately retracted it. "Isn't that offensive?" he wondered. Until that moment, I had never thought about it either. What sparked our unease was the sudden realization that "gypped" was somehow tied to "gypsy."

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All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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The Two-Way
11:58 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Official In Charge Of Creating HealthCare.gov Steps Down

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 2:28 pm

Michelle Snyder, the official who oversaw the creation of the problem-plagued HealthCare.gov website, is retiring.

In a statement on Monday, Marilyn Tavenner, the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced Snyder's departure from the agency, saying she had originally planned to retire at the end of 2012 but had stayed on at Tavenner's request to help "with the challenges facing CMS in 2013."

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Al-Qaida's Receipts: From 60-Cent Cake To A $6,800 Workshop

This receipt for groceries, which includes prices paid for tomatoes, onions, charcoal, meat and a light bulb, was retrieved from a building occupied by al-Qaida's North African branch in Timbuktu, Mali.
AP

The Associated Press has posted images of more than 100 receipts believed to have been left behind by al-Qaida operatives in Timbuktu, Mali, that show how "the extremists assiduously tracked their cash flow, recording purchases as small as a single light bulb."

According to the wire service:

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Report Details NSA's Alleged High-Tech Tricks For Snaring Data

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 1:52 pm

Intercepted packages. Custom-made cables that steal data. Towers that mimic a commercial cellphone network. Those are a few of the tricks used by elite units of the National Security Agency to monitor potential threats, according to Germany's Der Spiegel. The magazine published those revelations Sunday and Monday, detailing what it calls a catalog of the NSA's high-tech spying products and methods.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Test Sites Chosen For Commercial Drone Testing

The Federal Aviation Administration's map showing the locations of the six "unmanned aircraft systems" test sites it has chosen.
FAA.gov

The Federal Aviation Administration on Monday unveiled the names of the six applicants who have been granted the right to test the commercial uses of "unmanned aircraft systems" — drones.

The FAA's approvals were highly sought after because the test sites are expected to bring high-tech jobs and investments to the states where they're located. The six winners are:

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Interviews
10:11 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Vince Giordano: The Fresh Air Interview

Boardwalk Empire features music by Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
Abbot Genser HBO

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:39 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 06, 2013.

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Interviews
10:11 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Sales Take Center Stage: To Boost Morale, Companies Burst Into Song

Steve Young learned about industrial musicals when he started coming across compilations, like this one, in used record stores. (You definitely want to click to enlarge this.)
Courtesy of Blast Books

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:39 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Nov. 05, 2013.

Why would someone write a sentimental ballad about a bathroom? For the same reason someone would write a rousing song about tractors: So the song could be used in what's called an industrial musical.

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The Two-Way
9:37 am
Mon December 30, 2013

VIDEO: Volcano Erupts In El Salvador, Ash And Gas Soar

The Chaparrastique volcano in eastern El Salvador erupted on Sunday.
Hector Garay/Telenoticias 21 AFP/Getty Images

The first eruption of eastern El Salvador's Chaparrastique volcano in 37 years sent ash and gas soaring as much as six miles into the air on Sunday and led authorities to evacuate thousands of people from their homes.

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The Two-Way
9:19 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Billionaire Philanthropist, GOP Donor Harold Simmons Dies

Harold Simmons stands by the Dallas courthouse entrance in October 1997. Simmons, the Texas billionaire, philanthropist and GOP donor, died Saturday in Dallas. He was 82.
Flor Cordero Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 12:49 pm

Harold Simmons, the Texas billionaire, philanthropist and GOP donor, has died. He was 82.

The Dallas Morning News says Simmons died late Saturday at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. His wife, Annette, told the newspaper that Simmons was "very sick for the last two weeks" and was in Baylor's intensive care unit. The family spent Christmas at the hospital, she said.

Here's more from the Morning News:

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