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Shots - Health Blog
2:43 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Calif.'s Prescription-Drug Monitoring System Feels Pain From Budget Cuts

At Universal Pain Management, Dr. Francis Riegler confers with Trudy Roberts, the clinic's nurse practitioner, over a patient's record of prescription drug purchases.
Sarah Varney KQED

This is a story about what can happen when no one is looking. For the patients at Universal Pain Management, a medical clinic in northern Los Angeles County, Dr. Francis Riegler is always looking.

Riegler huddles with the clinic's nurse practitioner over a computer printout. The one-page report from the state's drug-tracking system shows that a patient was on the hunt for more Vicodin, a powerful pain reliever that he was already getting from Riegler's clinic.

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Business
2:42 am
Tue April 10, 2012

For Freelancers, Landing A Workspace Gets Harder

Workers share office space at Grind, a co-working company in New York City. Those who want to use Grind's facilities are vetted through a competitive application process.
JaegerSloan

The recession brought widespread unemployment across the U.S., but it also prompted a spike in the number of freelance or independent workers.

More than 30 percent of the nation's workers now work on their own, and the research firm IDC projects the number of nontraditional office workers — telecommuters, freelancers and contractors — will reach 1.3 billion worldwide by 2015.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:40 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Bird Flu Studies Mired In Export Control Law Limbo

An electron microscope view of the bird flu virus.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 6:50 am

Scientists who created mutant forms of bird flu want to see their research published, and an influential advisory committee recently gave them the green light after a debate that lasted for months.

But one of the manuscripts is now being blocked from publication because of Dutch legal controls on the export of technology that could potentially be used for weapons.

It's just the latest example of how complicated international export control laws have affected the debate over what to do about two studies on bird flu.

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Europe
2:39 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Unemployed Greeks Look To Create Their Own Jobs

Panos Papadopoulos, 28, is the co-founder of BugSense, which makes a service to track bugs in mobile phone applications. He also mentors other young entrepreneurs at CoLab, a business incubator in Greece.
Joanna Kakissis NPR

In Greece, more than 21 percent of the working-age population is jobless. For Greeks under age 25, the rate is more than double that.

Some young Greeks are frightened that the economy, now in free fall, will take years to recover, so they're leaving for jobs abroad. A few entrepreneurs, however, are trying to start businesses during the worst recession in decades.

A magnet for these young entrepreneurs is CoLab, a business incubator in a weathered building near the Athens Cathedral in the city center. CoLab opened in 2009, with just one occupant — a Spanish travel writer.

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Law
2:38 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Federal Court To Weigh Graphic Cigarette Labels

This image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows one of nine new warning labels it wants cigarette makers to use. Tobacco companies have sued, claiming the mandate is unconstitutional.
AP

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 7:09 am

The question of how far the government can go in forcing a business — in this case cigarette makers — to warn consumers about its product is before a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

The Food and Drug Administration wants large, graphic warning labels to scare smokers, but tobacco companies say that violates their right to free speech.

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Books News & Features
2:25 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Best Books (And Surprising Insights) On Lincoln

iStockPhoto.com

In a 24-hour, Internet-fueled news cycle, political campaign reporters often seem to be focused on what just happened, and only what just happened. But presidential candidates profess to take a longer view: They consciously link their critiques and promises to the influential figures and debates of the past.

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Author Interviews
2:24 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Carole King, From Doo-Wopper To Chart Topper

Carole King was in a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines when she was a teenager.
Jim McCrary

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 6:16 am

Carole King has an armful of Grammy Awards and countless Top 10 hits, both under her own name and as a songwriter for artists from Little Eva to the Monkees to Aretha Franklin.

Her solo album Tapestry spent 15 weeks at the top of the charts, becoming one of the biggest-selling records of all time. King managed to fit in all those hits by starting very, very young. She tells NPR's Renee Montagne that she was just 15 when she and some classmates formed a doo-wop group called the Co-Sines.

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Planet Money
2:16 am
Tue April 10, 2012

Why Matzo Makers Love Regulation

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz at the Manischewitz factory in 2007
Mike Derer AP

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 10:06 am

For more, see our video, Inside The Matzo Factory, and see Adam Davdson's latest NYT Magazine column

The matzo business may be the most heavily regulated business in the world.

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The Two-Way
7:00 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Paintball Journalism? Ex-Army Ranger, Journalists Trade Shots With Hezbollah

Meeting Hezbollah on the paintball playing field.
vice.com

"Paintballing With Hezbollah Is The Path Straight To Their Hearts," says the headline at the Vice.com newssite.

In a quest to get to better know members of the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon, four Western journalists and a former U.S. Army Ranger last year arranged to play paintball in Beirut with some men who said they were among the group's fighters.

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All Tech Considered
6:17 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Jack Tramiel, Man Behind Commodore 64, Has Died

Jack Tramiel, the man behind the Commodore 64 computer, died Sunday, according to reports. Tramiel, who was 83, came to America after World War II. He was a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp in his native Poland.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect Tramiel's liberation from the Ahlem work camp, after his time in Auschwitz.

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The Two-Way
6:16 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Jack Tramiel, Father Of Commodore 64 And An Auschwitz Survivor, Dies At 83

Jack Tramiel, seen in 1984, founded Commodore International as well as Atari Corp.
Sal Veder AP

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 5:35 am

Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore International, whose iconic Commodore 64 was one of the best-selling computers of all time, has died. He was 83.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Maryland Says Mega Millions Winner Has Come Forward

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:31 pm

The second of three winning tickets in last month's $656 million record-breaking Mega Millions lottery has been turned in, officials at the Maryland Lottery just announced.

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The Two-Way
4:35 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Obama's Off His Game — Basketball, That Is

Presidential pique at a missed shot.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Four years ago, then-candidate Barack Obama famously sank a 3-point shot when he visited U.S. troops in Kuwait who had gathered in a gym to hear from the Democratic senator. The video was a cable TV favorite for a day or two.

Today, the first hoopster's shot wasn't dropping, as Politico reports.

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All Tech Considered
4:23 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Like The Instagram-Facebook Deal? Depends On Your Filter

A photo illustration shows the photo-sharing app Instagram's fan page on Facebook's website. Facebook is acquiring Instagram for some $1 billion.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:00 pm

Facebook's decision to acquire Instagram for $1 billion set off strong reactions among Instagram users Monday, when the deal was announced. And if any users of Instagram's photo-sharing service were in love with the deal, they seemed to be keeping pretty quiet about it.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Now On The Menu For Hungry Kids: Supper At School

Students at Garfield Elementary School eat dinner as part of an after-school program in Kansas City, Mo. In the past few years, a federally subsidized school dinner program has spread from six to all 50 states.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Tue April 10, 2012 12:34 pm

Not long after the start of the school year, Monique Sanders, a teacher at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Manchester, Conn., realized many of her students were going to bed hungry.

"It was very bad. I had parents calling me several times a week, asking did I know of any other way that they could get food because they had already gone to a food pantry," Sanders says. "The food pantry only allows you to go twice per month, so if you are running low on your food stamps or you didn't get what you needed and you're not able to feed your family, that's very stressful."

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Technology
4:03 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

The Key To Keeping Lice At Bay? A Lot Of Hot Air

The LouseBuster uses heated air to dry lice out and kill them, along with their eggs.
Courtesy of LouseBuster

When your kids are infested with head lice, a certain amount of panic — even desperation — can spread through the house. But one biologist has made it his mission to find a better way to rid his home of a common household pest.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:54 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Colon Cancer Screening More Likely When People Are Given A Choice

Kristen Miller talks over the risks and benefits of colonoscopy with Stephen Hanauer, chief of gastroenterology at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Brian Kersey AP

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 5:14 pm

One-third of people over age 50 aren't getting screened for colon cancer, despite a big push from the medical establishment. But what if all those people needed was to be given a choice?

People whose doctors let them choose between a colonoscopy or a fecal occult blood test were much more likely to get screened than were people whose doctors told them to go get a colonoscopy.

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The Record
3:30 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

How To Succeed In The Music Business (By Trying Really, Really Hard)

Raka Dun (left) and Raka Rich of the Oakland, Calif., duo Los Rakas.
Laura Sydell via Instagram NPR

Originally published on Wed April 11, 2012 1:43 pm

It's never been easy to make a living as a musician. But there was always a dream: to become a star on the strength of your talent and your music. The Internet is a rude sandman, however, and today that dream is a lot more convoluted.

No longer can a would-be rock star follow the once-accepted checklist: (1) sign with a big label, (2) get a hit, (3) buy mansions and cars. The number of ways a musician can make money is now varied. The question, for many musicians still trying to make a go of it in the industry, is whether those many sources can add up to something sustainable.

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Africa
3:29 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Is The Old Regime Seeking A Comeback In Egypt?

Omar Suleiman (right), who was intelligence chief and vice president under former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, leaves the presidential elections committee headquarters in Cairo on April 7, after submitting his candidacy papers.
Khaled Elfiqi EPA /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 4:14 pm

In Egypt, next month's presidential election has undergone a wrenching several days.

First, leading Islamist candidates faced possible disqualification on legal grounds, and then, hours before the deadline to register, a leading face from the regime of Hosni Mubarak jumped into the race.

The appearance of 75-year-old Omar Suleiman, Mubarak's former intelligence chief, has sparked fears that the military council running the country is maneuvering to bring back the old regime.

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The Two-Way
3:25 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Here's How And Why Bubba Watson Hit The Shot That Won The Masters

Bubba Watson hitting the hook that effectively won the Masters Tournament.
Streeter Lecka Getty Images
  • Jaime Diaz on Watson's swing
  • Jaime Diaz on how Watson learned to do that
  • Jaime Diaz on Watson's ADD

Hours and hours of hitting little plastic golf balls and learning to make them twist and turn and bend and bounce in almost any direction.

That's one reason why golfer Bubba Watson was able to hit a shot Sunday that most duffers could never make — and do it to win this year's Masters Tournament.

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Africa
3:10 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

For The First Time, Mr. Gay World Crowned In Africa

Andreas Derleth of New Zealand was named Mr. Gay World 2012 on Sunday in Johannesburg. It marked the first time the competition was held in Africa, where being gay is a crime in many countries on the continent.
Denis Farrell AP

At a golf resort in suburban Johannesburg, a group of men lounged by the pool. They cheered as five competitors sprinted around a grassy field — in Speedo swimsuits — to the sounds of "Yellow Polka Dot Bikini."

This was sports day at Mr. Gay World 2012.

Gay men from 22 countries took part, and this year's competition was noteworthy because it was the first time it was held on African soil. It addition, it also marked the first time that black African men participated, though there were just two.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:01 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

With Cancer Care, The U.S. Spends More, But Gets More

Newer cancer treatment drugs have raised the cost of treatment even more.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 3:03 pm

By now it's hardly news that the U.S. spends more than every other industrialized country on health care. But a new study suggests that at least when it comes to cancer care, Americans may actually be getting decent value.

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Europe
2:28 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Lack Of Graduates Hampers Portugal's Recovery

A group of young Portuguese protest at Lisbon's Rossio square last month to vent their frustration at grim career prospects amid an acute economic crisis that shows no signs of abating.
Armando Franca AP

As Portugal tries to dig out of its financial mess, it's confronted with a sobering fact: Fewer than 30 percent of adult Portuguese have graduated from high school. Not college. High school.

And in a country that's been hit so hard by the economic crisis, even those with an education are struggling.

Ana Dias and Ruth Cardozo, both 27, are lifelong friends who now work together at a shoe store in Lisbon, the Portuguese capital. Cardozo dropped out of high school 10 years ago to take this job.

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Music Interviews
1:12 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

M. Ward: Sounds Of A Different Time And Place

M. Ward's latest album, A Wasteland Companion, comes out April 10.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 9, 2012 11:01 pm

M. Ward's music inspires a sense of wonder — it recalls many sounds from a different time and place.

"I get most of my inspiration from older records and older production styles," Ward says, "and that ends up rearing its head in the records that I make. One of the great things about music is that it has the capability of time travel — you smell a certain smell in the room and it takes you back to your childhood. I feel like music is able to do that, and it happens to me all the time."

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NPR Story
12:56 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

'Damn Yankees' Loved And Hated For More Than Sport

A New York Yankees hat and glove rest in the dugout before a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Rob Carr Getty Images

The New York Yankees may be the most polarizing team in the U.S. In a new collection, Damn Yankees: Twenty-Four Major League Writers on the World's Most Loved (and Hated) Team, writers share the stories behind their passions.

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