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9:37 am
Tue February 11, 2014

With An Air Bag, Help During An Avalanche Is A Cord-Yank Away

Derick Noffsinger models a deployed avalanche air bag pack made by Black Diamond at an industry market in Salt Lake City last month.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:03 am

Let's say you're skiing in the backcountry, looking for some powder — but instead, you trigger an avalanche.

If you have an avalanche air bag pack strapped to your back, you just yank the cord. That deploys the air bag, which keeps you close to the surface and easier to dig out, says Andy Wenberg with Backcountry Access, one of several companies making the devices. When deployed, his company's version of the air bag comes out like wings.

"The whole idea when you deploy that thing in an avalanche is you're avoiding burial death," he says.

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The Two-Way
9:36 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'Mind-Boggling,' Historic Ice Storm Headed For Deep South

This car was navigating a snowy road early Tuesday in Fort Payne, Ala. The wicked winter weather there is spreading across the Deep South.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:50 pm

This is not our language. It comes from the forecasters at the National Weather Service, who we have to hope do not say things such as this unless they really mean it:

"Mind-boggling if not historical" ice accumulations are expected Wednesday and Thursday across a wide swath of the Deep South that includes Atlanta, other parts of Georgia, Columbia, S.C., and up to Raleigh/Durham, N.C. The forecasters are warning of a half-inch to an inch of ice.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:35 am
Tue February 11, 2014

What Is Your Big Question?

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:55 am

Questions ... questions ... So many big questions ...

Everybody has them. We are born cute but clueless, come of age through the ignominy of high school; shoulder the burden and joys of adulthood and then — BAM — it's over. And all around us is this space of infinite beauty and sorrow and weirdness. How can you not have questions?

Here at 13.7 we spend a lot of time on big questions. Here are a few that keep us up at night.

  • What is the nature of the mind?
  • Can there be a theory of everything?
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The Two-Way
9:35 am
Tue February 11, 2014

No Change In Fed Policy, Yellen Signals

Fed Chair Janet Yellen.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 6:07 am

Since every word that the head of the Federal Reserve utters is closely watched by those in the financial markets, it's worth noting that in her first appearance before Congress since being confirmed Fed Chair Janet Yellen plans to say Tuesday that:

"I expect a great deal of continuity in the FOMC's approach to monetary policy."

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The Edge
9:34 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Female Ski Jumpers Finally Make Their Olympic Debut

Lindsey Van trains in Sochi on Sunday. Van has spent the past decade fighting for female ski jumpers to be allowed to compete at the Olympics.
Lars Baron Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:53 pm

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET: Leaping Into History

When American Sarah Hendrickson launched herself down the 90-meter jumping hill in Sochi, she flew into history, becoming the first woman to ski jump in Olympic competition. She ultimately finished in 21st place.

Carina Vogt from Germany brought home the gold. Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver, and France's Coline Mattel, 18, won bronze.

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The Edge
9:30 am
Tue February 11, 2014

U.S. And Canadian Women's Hockey Brings Plenty Of Heat To The Ice

The rival teams have already clashed during a Sochi Olympics preparation game last December. They will face each other in an early round game Wednesday.
Abelimages Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 10:28 am

Wednesday, the American women's hockey team meets its arch rival Canada on the ice in Sochi at the Winter Olympics. It's an early round game, but when it comes to these two teams, which are expected to meet in the gold medal game, there's no such thing as a low-stakes match.

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The Salt
9:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

N.Y. Immigrants Find They Can Earn Bread And Butter From Baking

Hot Bread Almacen, the retail shop of Hot Bread Kitchen, is located in the historic La Marqueta building in East Harlem, New York.
Daniel Krieger for Hot Bread Kitchen

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:31 am

In the heart of New York City's Spanish Harlem, women from Morocco to Mexico arrive before dawn to crank up the ovens at Hot Bread Kitchen.

Despite their different cultures and languages, this non-profit training bakery says most of its participants have one thing in common: they all grew up learning how to bake traditional breads.

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All Tech Considered
9:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Internet Flexes Political Muscle With Anti-NSA Protest

Thousands of websites participating in the "Day We Fight Back" will show this banner, or something similar, to site visitors.
Courtesy of Demand Progress

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 10:27 am

Reddit, Tumblr and Mozilla are among nearly 6,000 websites participating in "The Day We Fight Back," an online protest Tuesday against government surveillance.

The goal of the protest, organizers say, is partly to pass a federal bill called the USA Freedom Act, which is intended to rein in the mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency that were exposed by Edward Snowden.

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The Two-Way
9:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

China, Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949

Wang Yu-chi, head of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, left, shakes hands with Zhang Zhijun, director of China's Taiwan Affairs Office, right, before their meeting in Nanjing, China.
Alexander F. Yuan AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 8:58 am

Representatives from China and Taiwan held face-to-face meetings in Nanjing on Tuesday.

This was a historic development; the two sides haven't held direct talks since the country split after a civil war in 1949.

Reuters reports that Taiwan was represented by Mainland Affairs Minister Wang Yu-chi and China sent Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun.

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Shots - Health News
9:28 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Despite Federal Rules, Some States Deny Family Policies For Same-Sex Couples

Even after marriage, some same-sex couple can't get family health insurance policies.
Diana Lundin iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 2:11 pm

Carl Bechdel and Dan Miller started looking for a family plan on the Pennsylvania health insurance marketplace last fall.

After submitting their application for a bronze-level plan to Highmark Blue Shield in early December, the couple became concerned when the end of the month approached and they hadn't heard from the insurer.

Bechdel called customer service and finally learned the reason: The company doesn't offer family coverage to same-sex couples.

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The Two-Way
9:05 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Report Links Sprinter Tyson Gay's Doping To Anti-Aging Cream

Shortly after winning this race, Tyson Gay acknowledged failing a drug test. He is believed to have used a cream provided by an anti-aging specialist whose clients include several NFL players, reports ProPublica.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 6:45 pm

Tyson Gay, the U.S. sprinter whose comeback was derailed by failed drug tests in 2013, is believed to have used a cream containing banned substances he obtained from an Atlanta chiropractor and anti-aging specialist, according to a report by ProPublica and Sports Illustrated.

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The Edge
4:40 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

The Norwegian Athlete Who's One Medal Away From History

Ole Einar Bjoerndalen of Norway practices in Sochi on Monday.
Harry How Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:55 pm

On Monday, Norwegian Ole Einar Bjoerndalen came a ski-length away from winning a 13th Olympic medal and becoming the most decorated athlete ever at the Winter Games.

The biathlon pursuit Olympic event — cross-country skiing with rifle shooting — is a pretty devious race. The fastest man goes first, and then everyone else in the race tries to catch him before the finish line. And in Monday's competition, Bjoerndalen went first.

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The Two-Way
4:04 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Stuart Hall, 'Godfather Of Multiculturalism,' Dies

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:16 pm

Sociologist and public intellectual Stuart Hall, who helped shape conversations about race and gender in Britain and around the world, has died at 82. For decades, the Jamaican-born Hall was also a fixture in leftist politics.

Hall, who died in England on Monday, was diabetic and had been ill for some time.

NPR's Neda Ulaby filed this report for our Newscast unit:

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Politics
4:04 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

With Wallets Bulging, States Must Decide How To Spend Their Cash

During his January State of the State address, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made the case that extra money should be returned as property and income tax cuts; some Republicans say his proposal goes too far.
Andy Manis AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:55 pm

After several lean years of cutting budgets to the bone, states hit hard by the deep recession finally have good fiscal news: Many states are now projecting budget surpluses.

But in an election year for three dozen governors, these surpluses are setting up potential political battles over what to do with the extra cash.

The first salvos are coming from governors themselves, in their annual State of the State addresses, as many of them take credit for bringing budgetary warmth to states that suffered through long, bitterly cold economic winters.

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The Edge
4:03 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Slopestyle Skier Devin Logan Keeps It Cool, But She's 'All In'

Devin Logan practices during a ski slopestyle training session in Sochi on Friday. She says she doesn't stress about competing, even on a course that some have called dangerous. "What we do is scary in general," she says. "But we know how to do it."
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 4:01 pm

Much of the attention on the slopestyle events in Sochi has been focused on snowboarders like Shaun White. But Devin Logan and her other American teammates twist and soar down mountains, too — on skis.

I first met Logan at an Olympic qualifier event in Colorado back in December. We were hanging out at the base of the halfpipe watching the competition. She's 20. She smiles a lot. We bonded over Instagram and 2 Chainz. I told her I'd look for her in Sochi — but she didn't know then if she'd even make the U.S. team.

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