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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:13 am
Wed March 19, 2014

Is That Another Wave Of Collapse Headed Our Way?

London's financial district, known as the Square Mile. Will it be one of the first dominoes to fall when society can no longer sustain itself?
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 8:39 am

As we found out on Monday, the universe appears to be filled with the rippling remains of an early period of ultrafast expansion, a discovery that ushers a new era of observations that will take us right up to the beginning of time. (Also: read Adam's post.)

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The Two-Way
6:37 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Review Finds Navy Yard Rampage Could've Been Prevented

Aaron Alexis, whom the FBI says was responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., is shown in this handout photo released by the FBI.
FBI Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 9:57 pm

A Defense Department review of the shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard, which left 12 dead, found the shooting could have been prevented, if the Navy had properly evaluated and reported the gunman's alarming behavior leading up to the shootings.

NPR's Tom Bowman reports that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered changes in how the government screens its workers and protects its facilities. He filed this report our Newscast unit:

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It's All Politics
5:41 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Obama's Foreign Policy: More Second-Term Misses Than Hits

Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions are beyond President Obama's control, something that holds true for most of the foreign policy issues vexing the U.S. president's second term.
Sergei Ilnitsky AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:43 pm

Second-term presidents who find their ability to shape domestic affairs limited by congressional constraints often view foreign policy as the arena in which they can post some successes.

Ronald Reagan had his second-term breakthrough with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet Union's general secretary. Bill Clinton had the U.S. lead its NATO allies into taking military action against the Serbian government of Slobodan Milosevic. Much further back in time, Woodrow Wilson successfully negotiated the League of Nations Treaty (though he couldn't win Senate passage for it).

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Book Reviews
5:04 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

'Story Of The Jews' Illuminates Centuries Of Suffering

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:03 pm

In the early 1930s, an ominous, yet very familiar shadow recast itself across the continent of Europe: extreme hatred of the Jew.

This fierce loathing reached its apogee when Hitler came to power in 1933 — but just a decade earlier, Jews were considered the backbone of European culture, flourishing in the arts, science, literature, and journalism.

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The Two-Way
5:04 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Ex-Scouts Who Toppled Ancient Rock Formations Reach Plea Deal

A man topples a rock formation from the Jurassic Period.
YouTube

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:34 pm

Two former Boy Scout leaders who toppled rock formations dating back to the Jurassic Period will serve no jail time, but they will have to pay thousands in restitution.

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The Salt
5:04 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Bittersweet Goodbye: White House Pastry Chef To Move On

Among Bill Yosses' many confectionary creations for the first family: this nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House, on display in the State Dining Room in November 2012. The house featured not just Bo, the family dog, but also a vegetable garden.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 4:58 pm

The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Flu Drugs Saved Lives During 2009 Pandemic

Part of Nebraska's 2009 stockpile of the anti-viral medicine, Tamiflu.
William Wiley AP

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 10:12 am

Drugs used to treat the flu really did save the lives of seriously ill people during the influenza pandemic of 2009-2010, a study in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine suggests.

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

A Cold One For Everyone: Craft Beer Sales Surged In 2013

I'll Drink To That: Craft beer sales jumped 20 percent last year.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 5:38 am

If you think craft beer is seemingly everywhere these days, there's good reason. From bars and restaurants to supermarket aisles, the selection of locally made, often quirkily named brews has grown at an exponential rate.

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Education
3:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Q&A: A Crash Course On Common Core

Cathy Cartier, a proponent of Common Core, teaches an English class at Affton High School in Missouri last month.
Christian Gooden MCT/Landov

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.

Below is a handy FAQ about Common Core. We'll continue answering your questions in the coming months. You can post them in the comments section, or on Twitter and Facebook using #commonq.

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The Two-Way
3:05 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Oklahoma Court Delays 2 Executions Because Of Drug Shortage

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:51 pm

An Oklahoma court put the execution of two men on hold on Tuesday because a five-judge appellate panel was not sure that the state could procure the drugs used to put convicts to death.

Lawyers for the two men asked that their executions be delayed because of the uncertainty surrounding the method.

USA Today reports:

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Around the Nation
2:55 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

With Less Financial Security, Older Workers Stay On The Job

Man signing a contract in his attorney's office.
Lisa F. Young iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 2:22 pm

The laboratories at The Aerospace Corp. in El Segundo, Calif., look more like a bunch of stuff from the hardware store than the set from Star Trek. But physicist John Hurrell gazes at a nondescript collection of tubes with admiration. It's a transmission electron microscope.

"This is one of the pieces of equipment which will enable us to get down pretty well to atomic-level sensitivity," he says.

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Theater
2:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Deepwater, Center-Stage: Disaster Through Survivors' Eyes

Gary Barthelmy, Oyster Fisherman is a portrait by Reeva Wortel, used in conjunction with the production of Spill, a play that runs through March 30 at the Swine Palace in Baton Rouge.
Reeva Wortel

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Eleven died and hundreds of millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico when BP's Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in 2010. But beneath the tragedy, there's a complex story about people's relationships to oil. That's what's explored in Spill, a new play by one of the creators of The Laramie Project.

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Shots - Health News
2:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Young People Are Falling Into A Health Insurance Subsidy Gap

Ashante Thurston, John Riascos and Julieth Riascos talk with Mario Ricart, a private insurance agent, about buying health insurance at a kiosk at the Mall of the Americas in Miami last year.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 1:50 pm

Some young people seeking to buy health insurance are finding themselves falling into a subsidy gap that leaves them ineligible for financial assistance that was heavily advertised.

Subsidies in the health law were designed to lower insurance costs for people who make around $11,000 to $46,000 a year.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Study: The Chicken Didn't Cross The Pacific To South America

A Filipino chicken vendor in Quezon City, east of Manila, Philippines. Researchers say Pacific island chicken are genetically similar to the variety found in the Philippines, but different from South American chicken.
Rolex Dela Pena EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:07 pm

An analysis of DNA from chicken bones collected in the South Pacific appears to dispel a long-held theory that the ubiquitous bird first arrived in South America aboard an ancient Polynesian seafarer's ocean-going outrigger.

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Krulwich Wonders...
2:02 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

An Imaginary Town Becomes Real, Then Not. True Story

Booklist American Library Association

Originally published on Wed March 19, 2014 2:38 pm

This is the story of a totally made-up place that suddenly became real — and then, strangely, undid itself and became a fantasy again. Imagine Pinocchio becoming a real boy and then going back to being a puppet. That's what happened here — but this is a true story.

It's about a place in upstate New York called Agloe. You can see it here, circled in blue ...

... just up the road from Roscoe and Rockland.

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