fallen trees and power outages
2:39 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Storm was last week, but still affecting daily life for many

With life returning to normal across much of Puget Sound, at least 24,000 homes were still without power as of 11 o'clock this morning. Puget Sound Energy has the largest number of outages and predicts it will have nearly all its customers restored by Wednesday evening.

The clean-up job is still daunting, and it's affecting some schools and college campuses.

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Humanosphere
12:25 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

PATH named world’s 6th best NGO; Gates doesn’t make the list

All those magazine rankings out there — of the best hospitals, best doctors or best sushi bars — are popular but often highly suspect if not downright absurd due to organizations manipulating the evaluation process, weird and arbitrary criteria or just plain old sloppiness.

Nevertheless, the Global Journal, a Geneva-based magazine aimed at becoming the insider’s guide to what it describes as the “global issues” scene, published its own rankings.

It says Seattle's PATH is the 6th best NGO in the world, but left the Gates Foundation off the list. What gives?

Read more on Humanosphere.

Shots - Health Blog
12:02 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

NPR science: Your brain on psilocybin might be less depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 11:37 am

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Tue January 24, 2012

State Bill Outlaws Use Of Fetuses In Food Industry

A scientist holds a tray of stem cells in a lab, in this file photo from 2010.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 10:34 am

A bill introduced in the Oklahoma Legislature has some folks scratching their heads, as it prohibits "the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses."

Since the bill was introduced late last week by State Sen. Ralph Shortey, a Republican from Oklahoma City, corners of the Internet have been buzzing with the news, as people try to figure out two things: 1) is this real; and 2) is there any reason the bill might be needed?

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Sports
9:32 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Jon Kitna hopes to coach at high school in Tacoma, Wash.

Jon Kitna talks about his life inside and outside of the NFL with his wife Jennifer in 2007.
The Associated Press

TACOMA, Wash. — After 15 years as an NFL quarterback, Jon Kitna hopes to return to his old high school in Tacoma as a coach.

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Economy
9:20 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Laid-off, then hired back by the state of Washington

Keri-Anne Jetzer lost her job as a state researcher, but then was hired back in a different position.
Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – The number of people who are out of work in Washington is falling. It’s a sign the economy is recovering – albeit slowly. But it’s only been in the last two months that the government sector has started hiring again.

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Politics
9:10 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Is The State Of The Union Address Obsolete?

President Obama delivers last year's State of the Union Address on Jan. 25, 2011.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 2:07 pm

Given the nonstop, stereo-rock news cycle, the warp speed tempo of geopolitics and the constant to-and-fro between the media and the president, has the State of the Union address become obsolete?

Traditionally, the speech — an annual where-we-stand lecture delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress — has for decades been an opportunity for the professor in chief to issue a national report card and put current events in calm, codifiable context.

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The Two-Way
8:57 am
Tue January 24, 2012

Obama adviser Plouffe: Expect a State of the Union heavy on the economy

White House advisor David Plouffe.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:03 am

Tonight, President Obama is set to deliver the final state of the union address of his first term. Morning Edition's Renee Montagne spoke to White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe for a preview of the president's speech.

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Opinion
8:55 am
Tue January 24, 2012

New Republic: State of the Union listening guide

U.S. President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House John Boehner, addresses a Joint Session of Congress while delivering his State of the Union speech Jan. 25, 2011 in Washington, DC. Obama is expected to primarily discuss the economy in his upcoming speech.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:51 am

Jonathan Bernstein blogs at A Plain Blog About Politics.

Even with the major distraction of a Republican presidential primary, tonight's State of the Union speech will guaranteed to, however briefly, capture the undivided attention of all political junkies. They're not wrong: The annual tradition does matter. And yet the conventional wisdom about the importance of the speech tends to be almost exactly backwards.

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Author Interviews
8:51 am
Tue January 24, 2012

How The Glock Became America's Weapon Of Choice

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 12:09 pm

Today the Glock pistol has become the gun of choice for both criminals and law enforcement in the United States.

In his book Glock: The Rise of America's Gun, Paul Barrett traces how the sleek, high-capacity Austrian weapon found its way into Hollywood films and rap lyrics, not to mention two-thirds of all U.S. police departments.

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