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Code Switch
9:01 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

'Yo' said what?

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 1:57 pm

The Code Switch team loves thinking, talking and hearing about language and linguistics — see our launch essay, "When Our Kids Own America," and "How Code-Switching Explains The World." So we wanted to share this report from NPR's Arts Desk that's about the use of "yo" as a gender-neutral pronoun.

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Shots - Health News
4:45 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Gut Bacteria's Belch May Play A Role In Heart Disease

More than just a tenant: Enterococcus faecalis thrives in the human intestine with a varied jumble of other bacteria that help us digest food.
National Institutes of Health

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 7:38 am

Scientists have discovered what may be an important new risk factor for heart disease. And here's the surprising twist: The troublesome substance seems to be a waste product left behind by bacteria in our guts as they help us digest lecithin — a substance plentiful in red meat, eggs, liver and certain other foods.

Doctors say the research further illustrates the complicated relationship we have with the microbes living inside us, and could lead to new ways to prevent heart attacks and strokes.

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The Two-Way
1:59 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Another Boston Bombing Mystery: Who Is @Al_FirdausiA?

The twitter account of @Al_firdausiA
Twitter

Originally published on Wed April 24, 2013 5:31 pm

(Andy Carvin, NPR's senior strategist for social media, sends us this dispatch about a Twitter account that may hold clues in understanding the surviving Boston bombing suspect.)

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:14 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

Noticing: How To Take A Walk In The Woods

Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 2:41 pm

When was the last time you met someone who didn't tell you they were "crazy busy"? It seems like everyone these days is overwhelmed. From the endless tasks of maintaining home and family life to the ever-accelerating pressures of the endlessly troubled, endlessly competitive economy, it seems that all of us are running ragged.

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The Salt
9:26 pm
Tue April 23, 2013

When cheeseburger = walking, will we eat less?

Would you like that burger with a side of exercise?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:32 pm

Nutrition labeling has been required on packaged food since 1990, and the new federal food safety law will require calorie counts to be posted for restaurant food — all in an effort to get the American public to eat healthier.

But most studies on calorie count labels show they don't do much to nudge people toward better food choices. If I want that oh-so-delicious Chunky Monkey ice cream, knowing that a half-cup serving delivers 300 calories and 18 grams of fat isn't going to stop me.

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Shots - Health News
11:21 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Gynecologists Question Use Of Robotic Surgery For Hysterectomies

When does it make sense to use a da Vinci robot like this one for surgery?
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 8:14 am

Bolstered by a recent study that found doctors performing hysterectomies performed using a pricey robot didn't produce better results for patients than ordinary — and cheaper — procedures, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently threw down a latex gauntlet against the use of robots.

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The Picture Show
3:04 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

The World Is, Quite Literally, Her Canvas

Courtesy of Wendy Gold

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 2:04 pm

If the world was your canvas, how would you decorate it?

Today is Earth Day, so we decided to highlight Wendy Gold, who puts a new spin on vintage globes with fantastical applications of butterflies, fish, flowers and messages of peace.

The California-based artist previously spent 10 years decoupaging toilet seats and bathroom scales, but when she became pregnant with her daughter a few years ago, she needed a break from the smell of glue and toxic finishes.

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Planet Money
2:31 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Why Amazon supports an online sales-tax bill

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 12:10 pm

If you:

1. Live in a state that charges sales tax

and

2. Buy something from an online store that does not charge you sales tax,

then you are supposed to:

3. Calculate the sales tax yourself and add it onto your annual state tax bill.

Not surprisingly, as we reported last week, almost no one actually does this.

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Shots - Health News
1:40 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

The Warts That Bind Your Family And Friends

Warts: Easy to get and hard to get rid of.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 22, 2013 1:30 pm

There's lots of advice on the Internet about how to avoid warts, those unsightly gray lumps that speckle hands and feet, and are especially common in children.

Wash your hands. Wear flip-flops at the pool. Cover warts with bandages while swimming.

But nowhere do they say avoid your family and friends.

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The Salt
11:01 am
Mon April 22, 2013

How Coffee Brings The World Together

The best coffee comes from high altitudes with a warm climate like in Huehuetenango, Guatemala.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:51 pm

Coffee is more than a drink. For many of us — OK, for me — it's woven into the fabric of every day.

It also connects us to far corners of the globe.

For instance, every Friday, a truck pulls up to the warehouse of Counter Culture Coffee, a small roaster and coffee distributor in Durham, N.C., and unloads a bunch of heavy burlap sacks.

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Shots - Health News
12:09 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

What David Lynch And Tylenol can tell you about the brain

Researchers used a clip from the David Lynch film Rabbits to make volunteers uneasy. Afterward some people got Tylenol, which appeared to help them cope.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:41 am

Even for a hardcore David Lynch fan, the idea that a film of his would be used to weird people out in a psychology experiment is a tad weird.

But it gets much stranger than that — fast.

Imagine the experiment involved testing whether Tylenol could help people overcome the angst triggered by a four-minute dose of Lynch. A related experiment tested Tylenol's effect on people asked to write about what happens to their bodies after they die.

At the University of British Columbia, psychologists went both places.

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Shots - Health News
11:34 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Bacteria on dog lovers' skin reveal their affection

Should we say Germ-an shepherd? Mango Doucleff, of Washington, shows off the bacteria living on her tongue, which also flourish on her owner's skin.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 10:43 am

Well, it looks like there really is such as thing as a dog person.

Humans who share their homes with canines also share the similar bacterial houseguests on their skin, ecologists reported Tuesday in the journal eLIFE.

In fact, two dog owners who don't even know each other have about as many of the skin bacteria in common as a married couple living together.

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Shots - Health News
10:23 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Quality conundrum: Complications boost hospital profits

If he messes up, should the hospital profit?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:35 pm

Hospitals can make much more money when surgery goes wrong than in cases that go without a hitch.

And that presents a problem for patients. The financial incentives don't favor better care.

"The magnitude of the numbers was eye-popping," says Atul Gawande, a professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School, and an author of the study, which was just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. "It was much larger than we expected."

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Kitchen Window
11:05 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Nettles bring spring to the kitchen

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:02 am

My in-laws live in a half-wild, magical place perched along the edge of the Northern California coastline about an hour from San Francisco. On nice days — and even when it rains — my husband and I will take their black Lab for a ramble up into the woods behind the house where banana slugs carpet the narrow trail, salamanders creep shyly through the trees alongside it, and the air is full of birdsong and the good, damp smells of the growing things.

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The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston bomb victim was 'caring ... loving' 'Daddy's little girl'

Neighbors sit outside the house of Krystle Campbell's parents in Medford, Mass., on Tuesday. Campbell was killed in the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Michael Dwyer AP

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 3:08 pm

Update at 5:35 p.m. ET. 'You Couldn't Ask For A Better Daughter':

Patty Campbell read a tearful statement in front of her home in Medford, Mass., Tuesday afternoon. She said her daughter, Krystle Campbell, 29, was killed during Monday's Boston Marathon bombing.

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