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The Two-Way
10:46 am
Thu February 6, 2014

NASA Probe Finds Newly Formed Crater On Mars

An enhanced image of a newly formed crater on Mars. The feature, including the ejected material, stretches more than 9 miles across.
NASA

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:42 pm

Take a close look at the stunning image above showing a newly formed impact crater on Mars: The blue streaks of material, known as ejecta, radiate 9 miles from the 100-foot crater, according to NASA.

The picture was taken from orbit by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on Nov. 19. The same area was imaged by the MRO's Context Camera in July 2010 and again in May 2012 — with no crater in the first and a telltale surface scar in the second.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Book News: Hundreds Of Writers Denounce 'Chokehold' Russian Laws

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:53 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Salt
10:04 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Woolly Mammoths' Taste For Flowers May Have Been Their Undoing

Woolly mammoths depended on tiny flowering plants for protein. Did the decline of the flowers cause their extinction?
Per Möller/Johanna Anjar

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 2:01 pm

They were some of the largest, hairiest animals ever to walk the Earth, but new research shows a big part of the woolly mammoth's diet was made up of tiny flowers.

The work is based on DNA analysis of frozen arctic soil and mammoth poop. It suggests that these early vegans depended on the flowers as a vital source of protein. And when the flowers disappeared after the last ice age, so too did the mammoths that ate them.

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Monkey See
10:02 am
Thu February 6, 2014

All Work, No Respect: Twice Pushed Out, Jay Leno Moves On From 'Tonight'

Jimmy Fallon appears with Jay Leno on one of the latter's final Tonight Shows.
Chris Haston NBC

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:45 pm

Not many people can say they got pushed out of a job twice while at the top of their game. But Jay Leno, the famously workaholic host of NBC's Tonight Show, is one who can.

By most measures, he should be one of the Peacock Network's most powerful stars; for 22 years – with one small break — he's hosted the highest-rated late-night show on television. Even as profits have sagged in recent years, the Tonight Show franchise pulls in $125 million in revenue, according to Kantar Media (that figure, however, is down from $255-million in 2007).

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Parallels
10:01 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Tijuana Prisoner: I Was Forced To Dig Drug Tunnel To San Diego

A Mexican guard at a prison in Tijuana where 17 men are being held on charges they were digging a drug-smuggling tunnel from Tijuana to the U.S. border at San Diego. The men say they were kidnapped and forced to do the work.
Special to NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:32 am

More than 75 drug-smuggling tunnels have been discovered under the U.S.-Mexico border in just the past six years, and one of the more intriguing cases involves 17 Mexican men who claim they were kidnapped and forced to carry out the work for months before Mexican authorities found them.

There's always been some mystery surrounding tunnels. Diggers were thought to be well-paid cartel loyalists or, as urban legend goes, laborers killed soon after the tunnel's completion to ensure its secrecy.

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The Salt
10:00 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns

Sandwich chain Subway has announced plans to drop the additive azodicarbonamide from its fresh-baked breads. Above, Subway founder Fred DeLuca poses carrying bread for sandwiches.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 1:19 pm

Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.

Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.

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Around the Nation
9:40 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Pussy Riot: Prison Ordeal Will Help Us Fix Russia's System

Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot at the NPR studios in New York City.
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:19 pm

Members of the punk protest band Pussy Riot were just released from jail after spending nearly two years in a penal colony for a controversial performance at a Moscow church in 2012, but they are far from done fighting. Nadezhda "Nadya" Tolokonnikova and Maria "Masha" Alyokhina continue to be outspoken against human rights abuses in Russia, bringing the band's message to the U.S. for the first time.

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Two Kinds Of Fairness, As Explained By 'Top Chef'

In the Top Chef finale, it was Nina versus Nick.
David Moir Bravo

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:46 am

Reality shows, at their best, give you little flashes of understanding, often in spite of themselves. A great example came around Wednesday night, as Top Chef crowned its winner.

[Hey: INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINALE AHEAD, in case that wasn't obvious. Stop reading if you're still planning on watching and you'd like to be surprised.]

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Monkey See
9:39 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 2: 'Her'

NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 12:04 pm

When they expanded the best picture field a few years ago, some believed that it would lead to more blockbusters being considered. But if anything, it seems to have secured spots for beloved directors of offbeat films — including, most certainly, Spike Jonze's Her.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Luxury Carmaker Aston Martin Cites Fake Chinese Plastics In Recall

An Aston Martin Rapide S, one of the models affected by the recall, is displayed outside the Aston Martin production facility in Gaydon, England, in February 2013.
Darren Staples Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:43 pm

Aston Martin, James Bond's conveyance of choice, has expanded its recall of vehicles built since 2007 because of problems with fake plastics from China.

In a letter last month to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Aston Martin said it had received reports that throttle pedal arms broke during installation, and it discovered that "initial tests on the failed pedal arm have shown that the Tier Three Supplier used counterfeit material."

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The Edge
9:39 am
Thu February 6, 2014

What Do You Want To Know About The Sochi Olympics?

For some, the chance to watch curling is a reason to be excited about the Sochi Winter Olympics. Here, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud delivers a stone during the 2012 World Men's Curling Championship.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:12 am

What are people excited about seeing at the Winter Games, which start this week? How do figure skaters spin without getting dizzy? What kind of place is Sochi? Those are some of the questions we're seeing on Quora, the question-and-answer site that calls itself "your best source of knowledge."

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The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu February 6, 2014

No Jail For Teen With 'Affluenza' Who Killed 4 In Crash

The Texas teen who was legally intoxicated last June when he caused a crash that killed four people and seriously wounded two others, was in a Fort Worth court Wednesday. Note: NPR avoids identifying minors who are prosecuted as juveniles or are victims of crimes. Other news outlets have reported his name, however.
LM Otero AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 5:00 am

A Texas judge has rejected a request from prosecutors that she send a teenager to jail for driving drunk and causing a crash last year that killed four people and seriously wounded two others.

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The Edge
9:38 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Olympic Events Kick Off Under Shadow Of Security Concerns

The morning sun shines on a different kind of Olympic rings at the games in Sochi, Russia.
Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:06 am

Olympic competition began under gorgeous blue skies Thursday in Sochi, with snowboarders soaring in a new event for the games — slopestyle. Boarders performed the remarkable tricks and twists that make slopestyle a thrill to watch. American Chas Guldemond placed fifth in the first heat, qualifying him for Saturday's semifinals.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:37 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Update: 'I Have Begun To Hear A Little Again'

Takashi Niigaki stepped forward today in Japan as the ghostwriter for popular composer Mamoru Samuragochi — and added another twist to the breaking story.
Yoshikazu Tsuno AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:50 am

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Shots - Health News
9:36 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Seeing Less Helps The Brain Hear More

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 7:23 pm

A few days in the dark can improve an animal's hearing, scientists report this week in the journal Neuron. This temporary loss of visual input seems to trigger favorable changes in areas of the brain that process auditory information, they say.

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