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The Salt
7:12 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig's single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they're not recyclable. And that's created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally.

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The Two-Way
6:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Charles Townes, Laser Inventor, Black Hole Discoverer, Dies At 99

Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles Townes was single-minded about a lot of things, colleagues say. And also a very nice guy.
Julian Wasser The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

Charles Townes, a physicist who won the Nobel Prize for his part in the invention of the laser died Tuesday at 99.

Townes is best remembered for thinking up the basic principles of the laser while sitting on a park bench. Later in life he helped advise the U.S. government and helped uncover the secrets of our Milky Way galaxy.

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U.S.
6:11 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Beefed-Up Border Security Proposal Unsettles Texas Business Leaders

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:10 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

McDonald's CEO Don Thompson Steps Down

McDonald's President and CEO Don Thompson is retiring and will be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, the fast-food giant said in a statement.

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Television
6:02 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

In 'The Americans,' Art Imitates Real Life Lies

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:01 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Back From The Dead: A Cat Returns Home 5 Days After His Burial

Lori Piper, right, and Aleks Gramza treat Bart on Tuesday at the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Bart was hit by a car, buried and seemingly crawled back to his owner five days later.
Danyelle Ho AP

We wrote about dogs today and so, in the interest of bipartisanship, this story is about cats – one cat in particular: Bart.

Bart's owner, Ellis Hutson, 52, of Tampa, Fla., said he found the 1 ½-year-old feline last week in the middle of the street. The cat was lifeless and lying in a pool of blood after apparently being struck by a car.

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All Tech Considered
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

'Maker Space' Allows Kids To Innovate, Learn In The Hospital

Emily Neblett, a patient at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn., demonstrates circuit pieces from the mobile maker space that are connected by magnets.
Noah Nelson Youth Radio

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

All around the country, computer hackers, artists, and other do-it-yourselfers are meeting up in "maker spaces," to share tools and build cool stuff together, such as robots or musical instruments. Maker spaces are popping up in all sorts of places: school auditoriums, libraries, under tents at community festivals, and now, even at the hospital.

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World
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Israeli Soldiers Killed In Renewed Fighting With Hezbollah

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Florida Health Officials Hope To Test GMO Mosquitoes This Spring

A couple of male, genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes take flight.
Dr Derric Nimmo/Oxitec

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:40 pm

The FDA is considering whether to approve the experimental use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys to help stop the spread of dengue fever and other diseases. Mosquito control officials in the region say they hope to get approval to begin releasing the insects in the Keys as soon as this spring.

There are few places in the United States where mosquito control is as critical as the Florida Keys. In this southernmost county of the continental U.S., mosquitoes are a year-round public health problem and controlling them is a top priority.

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Parallels
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Amid Fighting In Donetsk, On Edge And Seeking Safety Underground

A woman sits inside a bomb shelter in Donetsk on Wednesday. Some local residents have lived in bomb shelters and basements for more than a month, looking for cover from artillery strikes.
Alexander Ermochenko Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

As war rages in eastern Ukraine, European Union foreign ministers are preparing to meet Thursday to consider drastic new sanctions against Russia.

The EU and the United States say Moscow's troops and weapons are directly involved in an offensive by anti-government militias in Ukraine's eastern provinces.

The offensive is the latest phase in a war that has racked the region since last April — and it's grinding hard on the civilians who are caught in the middle.

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Sports
6:00 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Super Bowl Coaches More Alike Than You Might Think

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Middle East
5:11 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Jordan Tests Coalition Against ISIS With Offer To Negotiate

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

All Tech Considered
5:06 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Remaking The U.S. Government's Online Image, One Website At A Time

Leah Bannon (sitting) works on her laptop at 18F, a GSA project that aims to make government websites more user friendly and change the way government buys IT systems.
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:35 pm

When you think of the federal government and computers, these days, the image that likely comes to mind is the botched rollout of the HealthCare.gov website.

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Business
5:06 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Yes, Your Toilet Paper Squares And Rolls Are Shrinking

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:00 pm

Robert Siegel talks to Steven Chercover, a research analyst who studies the paper and forest industries, about the trend of shrinking toilet paper rolls. The old standard square sheet of 4.5 inches wide by 4.5 inches long has been getting increasingly smaller.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Ad Fumble: GoDaddy Pulls Super Bowl Puppy Commercial Amid Outrage

A still from the GoDaddy Super Bowl ad that the company has now pulled.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
4:41 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Supreme Court Tells Oklahoma To Put Off Executions, Citing Drug Dispute

The execution of three inmates has been put on hold, as the Supreme Court intervenes in a case that involves the controversy over the drugs states use to put people to death. The justices cited the sedative midazolam, which has been used in three executions that did not go smoothly.

The Supreme Court's stay is likely to hold until April, when it will hear arguments from three inmates who say that Oklahoma's execution protocol violates the U.S. Constitution.

The court's order did not elaborate on the reasons or debate behind the move:

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Middle East
4:34 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Jordan Considers Handing Over Prisoner For Hostage Pilot

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:25 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Education
4:29 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

At 100, Dartmouth Grad Still Writing His Class Notes

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Law
4:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Judge Throws Out Convictions Of Civil Rights Pioneers, 'Friendship 9'

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

U.S.
4:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

End Of Life Care Can Be Different For Veterans

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Around the Nation
4:25 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Deal May Be In Sight For Pacific Coast Longshoremen

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Parallels
4:07 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Where Is All That Excess Oil Going?

Tankers are berthed beside the Fawley oil refinery on Jan. 7, in Southampton, England. With low oil prices, some traders are buying oil and storing it in tankers, hoping the price will rise soon so they can sell it at a profit.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:20 pm

There's a term traders use when the price of a commodity like oil has fallen because of oversupply but seems guaranteed to rise again.

It's a market that's "in contango," says Brenda Shaffer, an energy specialist at Georgetown University. "It almost sounds like a sort of great oil dance or something."

And Shaffer says that some oil speculators see an oil market that is in contango in a major way.

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The Two-Way
3:37 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Live, From Iceland: It's A Hamburger

An exhibit called "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland" now has a webcam devoted to it. The burger was purchased in 2009.
Bus Hostel Reykjavik

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:29 pm

They call it "The last McDonald's hamburger in Iceland." Purchased more than five years ago, it has been displayed in the Na­tional Mu­seum of Ice­land. Now a webcam has been devoted to the hamburger (with a side of fries), among the last sold by the American company in the country.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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The Two-Way
2:49 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

A Saint With A Mixed History: Junipero Serra's Canonization Raises Eyebrows

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 6:08 pm

The name Junípero Serra is well known in California: Schools and streets are named in his honor, and statues of the 18th century Spanish missionary still stand. But Native American activists are far less enamored with the friar, saying Serra was actually an accomplice in the brutal colonization of natives. They object to Pope Francis' recent announcement that he will canonize Serra when he travels to the U.S. this fall.

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Goats and Soda
2:43 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

India Grows, Russia Shrinks: Mapping Countries By Population

Can you find Australia and Canada? The cartogram, made by Reddit user TeaDranks, scales each country's geographic area by its population. (Click through to see the high-resolution map.)
TeaDranks via Imgur

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:32 pm

World maps distort. It's inherent in their design.

Take a spherical object (the Earth) and try to represent it on a flat plane (paper). Some parts of the sphere are going to get distorted. (On most maps, Canada and Russia get puffed up, while countries along the equator get shrunk.)

Every now and then, though, you stumble across a map that enlightens.

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Shots - Health News
2:42 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built, but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Brisket Shortage Has BBQ Lovers Gnashing Their Teeth

Drought conditions are forcing ranchers to thin their cattle herds, and that means there’s a shortage of brisket, the front-end cut of beef that’s emblematic of Texas barbecue.

Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn tells Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson that higher commodity prices have even forced one best-in-state barbecue restaurant to close down recently.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

$4.5 Million, 30 Seconds, 1 Super Bowl Ad: Priceless?

The Super Bowl ad from the glue maker Loctite involves people dancing with fanny packs. (YouTube)

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 4:45 pm

This Sunday is the Super Bowl, which means the biggest and most expensive advertising night of the year. Several of this year’s ads are already available online, in part or in full.

Television is far from the only way to advertise during the game these days, so at $4.5 million for 30 seconds, is it still worth it?

Here & Now’s media analyst John Carroll joins host Lisa Mullins to discuss that question and some of this year’s ads.

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NPR Story
2:29 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Disability Advocates Fight Disabled Governor

Texas Governor-Elect Greg Abbott listens to questions from the press after a meeting at the White House December 5, 2014 in Washington, D.C. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:18 pm

For the first time since 1987, one of the nation’s governors is in a wheelchair. Texas Governor Greg Abbott won the race by promising to fight the federal government with his literal “spine of steel,” but disability advocates are saying that he hasn’t fought for them.

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