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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

WATCH: Breathtaking New Video Of Felix Baumgartner's Record Jump

Felix Baumgartner taking the plunge from 24 miles up in his record-breaking 2012 jump.
Felix Baumgartner

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:21 am

You might recall Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump from a 24-mile-high balloon capsule, a height of 127,852 feet. He broke not only an altitude record, formerly set by a U.S. Air Force pilot, Col. Joe Kittinger, in 1960, but also a record for speed of descent, breaking the sound barrier on his plummet to the New Mexico desert.

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The Sunday Conversation
12:55 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

There's 'More To Life Than Sports': Lineman On Leaving NFL

John Moffitt, #74, protects Seattle Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst in a 2011 game versus the Cincinnati Bengals.
Otto Greule Jr Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 1:35 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

John Moffitt started playing football when he was 8 years old, and made it all the way to the top of the game. He played offensive lineman for the Seattle Seahawks for two seasons, then got traded to another powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos.

Incidentally, those two teams are playing in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Moffitt won't be on the field; he quit midway through this season.

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The Two-Way
12:55 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Christie's Office Blasts Latest Bridgegate Accusations

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie waves to guests as he attends the Super Bowl Hand-Off Ceremony in New York on Saturday.
Eduardo Munoz Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:17 am

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's political team is going on the offensive against charges that he knew more than he admits about a plan to use lane closures on the George Washington Bridge as part of a political vendetta.

In an email to donors and journalists headlined "5 Things You Should Know about the Bombshell That's Not a Bombshell," on Saturday, political aides to the governor pushed back on accusations by David Wildstein, a former Port Authority official who oversaw the lane closures.

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Shots - Health News
12:54 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Poll: Support For High School Football, Despite Concussion Risks

Most Americans are aware that football carries a risk of concussions. An NPR poll found a large proportion of people believe safety improvements are needed for football to remain a high school sport.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:26 am

Making sure that children are active often means getting them interested in sports. But parents have to weigh the health risks of those sports, including hits that can cause concussions.

Concussions are brain injuries. Most people, including kids, recover from a concussion. But concussions, particularly repeated ones, can lead to serious, lasting health problems.

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Books News & Features
12:54 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Amazon Plunges Into Christian Publishing With Waterfall Imprint

Amazon Publishing

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:13 am

The online superstore Amazon got its start selling books — and it's been getting into the publishing business as well, with imprints for genres like science fiction, romance and mystery.

Until now, though, it hasn't had its fingers in one of the biggest slices of the publishing pie: Christian books. That changed this past week, with the introduction of the Waterfall Press imprint.

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All Tech Considered
12:53 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Should Uber Be Responsible For Driver Recklessness?

The transportation app Uber matches ride-seekers with drivers. Drivers must keep checking their phones to catch customers, and critics say that may have dangerous consequences on the road. Is Uber responsible for the risk?
Lucy Nicholson Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 8:04 am

A man named Syed Muzaffar drove for Uber, the San Francisco-based company that makes money selling car rides. He lives in a suburb of San Francisco and on New Year's Eve, he says, he was in the city for the sole purpose of picking up partygoers who needed a ride.

His night ended early and tragically, around 8 p.m., when he turned a corner and hit a family in a crosswalk.

"The mother sustained facial fractures," says Police Sgt. Eric Mahoney, who is investigating the case. "The 4-year-old boy suffered abrasions on his face, and the 6-year-old girl was fatally injured."

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The Salt
12:53 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Sap Discovery Could Turn Syrup-Making Upside Down

Buckets collect sap on maple trees in Vermont. A new discovery means that sap doesn't have to be collected from mature trees out in the wild.
Toby Talbot AP

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 9:51 am

Last year researchers at the University of Vermont announced something that could change the way we think about Vermont — or at least how it produces its famous maple syrup.

The time-honored method calls for inserting a tap near the bottom of a tall, mature maple tree. At the end of February, the tree thaws, and voila: Sap starts flowing out the spigot at the bottom.

But in 2010, these researchers were testing ways to gather sap from mature trees when they noticed something unusual.

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It's All Politics
12:52 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Super Bowl XLVIII: A Political Guide

New York and national politicians join the NFL Super Bowl host committee in New York's Times Square Saturday. When it comes to political contributions, the owners of Sunday's Super Bowl contenders are plenty active.
Christopher Gregory Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 9:43 am

Pro football prognosticators are divided over who's the favorite to win Sunday's Super Bowl. Some give the edge to Peyton Manning and the high-flying Denver Broncos. Others believe the stifling Seattle Seahawks defense will carry them to victory.

Here at the It's All Politics blog, we can't help with any game-day analysis or offer any insights into how the two teams match up against each other.

But we can tell you a little about the politics surrounding each team.

The Denver Broncos

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Oscar-Winner, Found Dead At 46

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:51 am

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who won a best actor Oscar for the title role in the 2005 film Capote, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment at the age of 46.

A New York Police Department spokesman tells NPR that authorities are "investigating Hoffman's death as a possible drug overdose."

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Book Reviews
2:56 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

'Hang Wire' Is A Love Letter To Weird America

Hang Wire is Adam Christopher's fourth novel.
Courtesy of Angry Robot

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 4:03 am

The New Zealand-bred, England-based author Adam Christopher has a thing for America. He's built a name for himself over the past couple years spinning fanciful yarns full of superheroes, shifts in time, and a refined pulp pop, starting with his New York City-set debut Empire State. His fourth and latest novel, the standalone urban fantasy Hang Wire, fiddles with that formula a bit without omitting a single element. If anything, Christopher amps up the mash-up on Hang Wire, combining everything from ancient deities to arcade carnies to serial killers.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Punxsutawney Phil Vs. The Farmers' Almanac: Whom Do You Trust?

Turns out that Phil's only 39 percent accurate, about the same as The Farmers' Almanac and its rival, The Old Farmer's Almanac.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 7:16 am

Punxsutawney Phil, the weather forecasting groundhog, will be rudely rustled from his winter slumber Sunday morning to answer the question of the day: shadow or no shadow? Six more weeks of winter or an early spring?

Why this fascination with Phil? Well, scientifically speaking, long-range forecasting is at best a crapshoot.

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All Tech Considered
2:55 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Wheels On The Bike Go Round And Round (To Make Music)

Sound designer and composer Steven Baber used state-of-the-art recording equipment to get gorgeous sounds from his bikes.
Devin Whetstone

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:45 pm

Steven Baber knows sound. And chances are, you know his work.

The sound designer and composer, who works under the name Johnnyrandom, produces advertisements for companies from Google to Adidas. In fact, he's the mastermind behind the larger-than-life "crunch" sound that caps off the Doritos commercials (How did he do it? Ate two bags of chips into a microphone and layered the audio).

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Energy
2:55 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

'A Global Bathtub': Rethinking The U.S. Oil Export Ban

A pipeline carries oil at the federal Strategic Petroleum Reserve facility near Beaumont, Texas. U.S. oil companies are urging an end to a 1970s-era ban on oil exports.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 7:00 am

When oil supplies ran short and gasoline prices spiked four decades ago, angry drivers demanded relief. Congress responded in 1975 by banning most exports of U.S. crude oil.

Today, domestic oil production is booming, prompting U.S. energy companies to call for a resumption of exporting. Many economists agree.

But would that bring back the bad old days of shortages? Would you end up paying more at the pump?

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

At Least 14 Dead In Eruption Of Indonesian Volcano

Indonesian villagers flee as Mt. Sinabung spews volcanic materials in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, on Saturday.
Chairaly EPA/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 3:34 pm

An Indonesian volcano that had been rumbling for months finally unleashed a deadly cloud of poisonous gas and gray ash, killing at least 14 people only a day after authorities had allowed thousands of evacuated villagers to return to their homes.

A series of huge blasts came from Mount Sinabung, a 8,530-foot-high volcano in western Sumatra, on Saturday, sending lava and pyroclastic flows down its slope into nearby settlements.

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The Two-Way
2:54 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Maximilian Schell, Oscar-Winning Austrian Actor, Dies At 83

Maximilian Schell, in a photo taken in 2009. Schell, who died Saturday at the age of 83, won an best actor Oscar for his role as a defense attorney in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg.
Volker Hartmann dapd

Originally published on Sat February 1, 2014 2:03 pm

Maximilian Schell, who won a best actor Oscar for his role in the 1961 film Judgment at Nuremberg, has died in his native Austria after what doctors describe as a sudden illness. He was 83.

He was also nominated for best actor for the 1975 The Man in the Glass Booth and for best supporting actor in Julia in 1977, The Associated Press says.

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