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Energy
5:52 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Rio environment meeting focuses on 'energy for all'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks during a news conference on June 7 at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Ban wants to focus on making energy available to the poorest populations of the world.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 6:48 am

Diplomats and activists from around the world are meeting in Rio de Janeiro this week to talk about how the planet's growing population can live better lives without damaging the environment. The Rio+20 meeting marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Earth Summit in Rio, a watershed meeting to address topics as diverse as climate change and biodiversity.

At this follow-up meeting, delegates hope to highlight an issue that was almost absent from the Earth Summit: making energy available to everyone in the world.

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NPR tech news
2:14 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

You know you want one, but personal robots not ready yet

Research scientist Leila Takayama poses with a PR2 robot at Willow Garage, a robotics company in Menlo Park, Calif., that produces programmable robots.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 8:06 pm

Meet Jake. At 500 pounds, he stands 4 feet 4 four inches tall, with a spine that stretches another foot. He has white urethane skin, a flat head sporting an array of camera lenses, and a laser scanner in his throat.

And he may be coming to a home near you.

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Microsoft plans
10:16 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Microsoft promises a 'major' announcement; What will it be?

Microsoft's Surface.
Microsoft

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 6:01 pm

Update at 7:23 p.m. ET. The Surface:

Saying that Microsoft wanted to give its new operating system "its own hardware," CEO Steve Ballmer announced "Surface," Microsoft's foray into the tablet world.

The Verge reports:

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health care
11:37 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Insurers wait for verdict on health care law and their bottom line

Demonstrators both for and against the health care law turned out on the steps of the Supreme Court on March 27, the second day of oral arguments before the court.
John Rose NPR

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:25 pm

All eyes these days are trained on the U.S. Supreme Court, which is expected to rule sometime this month on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

But some people are waiting more anxiously for the court to rule than others. Among them are those with a major financial stake in whether the law goes forward or not and if so, in what form.

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The Two-Way
11:35 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Rodney King, Whose Police Beating Led To L.A. Riots, Dies At 47

Rodney King attends a book festival in Los Angeles in April. King was found unconscious in a swimming pool Sunday and later pronounced dead.
Katy Winn AP

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 3:38 am

Rodney King was found dead in the swimming pool at his home in Rialto, Calif., on Sunday, police said. He was 47.

King's beating by police in 1991 was caught on videotape and then sparked riots in Los Angeles when police accused of excessive force were acquitted.

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Theater
10:17 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

The stage on which Juliet first called out for Romeo - the Curtain unearthed

Archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology recently excavated the site of the 16th-century Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare staged some of his plays.
Museum of London Archaeology AP

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 12:05 pm

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Bard's old stomping grounds — ruins of a famous 16th-century theater, buried below the streets of modern London. Known in its heyday as the Curtain Theatre, it's often been eclipsed by its more famous younger sibling, the Globe.

But the Curtain is a big deal in its own right. Some of Shakespeare's most famous works premiered there — Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, just to name a couple. NPR's Rachel Martin talked to the archaeologist who dug up the theater, Chris Thomas of the Museum of London.

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NPR Music Interviews
4:59 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Bonnie Raitt: A Brand-New Model For A Classic Sound

Bonnie Raitt's latest album, Slipstream, is the first release on her own Redwing Records label.
Marina Chavez

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:24 pm

This April, roots-rock singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in seven years, Slipstream. It's classic Raitt, mixing bluesy slide-guitar riffs with her soulful voice and a pop-friendly sensibility.

The delivery system, however, is brand-new. After years of working with the majors, Raitt decided to start her own label, Redwing Records. Raitt runs Redwing with the help of a tiny staff; Slipstream is the first release in its catalog.

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Diversions
9:41 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Famous Oregon Coach And Star Protégé Are A Study In Contrasts

Portland's Galen Rupp (center, all-black uniform) tuned up for the Olympic Trials with a 5000 meter race in Eugene on June 2nd. Photo by Tom Banse

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 2:22 pm

PORTLAND - Forty-eight years have passed since an American has won an Olympic medal in the men's 10,000 meter run. The USA’s best hope for the upcoming London Games is Portland distance runner Galen Rupp.

You can watch Rupp attempt to qualify for the Olympics next Friday night. Rupp is coached by a running legend from the 1980s, Oregon marathoner Alberto Salazar. Salazar is trying to help the younger runner avoid mistakes he made.

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Environment
9:40 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Energy Secretary Might Get Hands-On With Hanford Plant

Energy Secretary Steven Chu speaks in Richland, Wash. Photo courtesy of CH2MHill

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:45 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. – U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu fielded questions about safety at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation Friday. He assured hundreds of workers listening in a Richland park that challenges in the massive cleanup of radioactive waste are getting attention at the highest level.

Secretary Chu said he’s really serious about wanting safety at Hanford. He’s particularly focused on the site’s $12 billion waste treatment plant, now under construction. It’s meant to stabilize 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

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Tech news
9:39 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Mobile emergency alert capability coming to cell phones

Emergency managers and National Weather Service forecasters can now issue warnings and alerts by text message. Photo by Alex Ragone via Flickr

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:09 pm

Emergency managers and National Weather Service forecasters have a new way to alert you to imminent danger. They've teamed up with all of the Northwest's major cellular providers on a system to broadcast emergency alerts to mobile devices. You don't need to sign up for anything; it's automatic.

In the Northwest, the National Weather Service is first to get the capability to issue warnings to all cell phones in the path of danger.

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Immigration law
9:37 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Northwesterners cheer, jeer Obama's immigration announcement

President Barack Obama addresses the new Department of Homeland Security’s immigration policy. Photo via the White House

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 2:59 pm

President Obama's announcement Friday that some young adults who came to this country illegally as children will get a reprieve from deportation has sparked strong reactions here in the Northwest.

Oregon and Washington groups opposed to illegal immigration strongly criticized the President's announcement. They said it was politically motivated. But those in the region who support an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws cheered.

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Monkey See
6:41 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 11:22 am

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:13 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Know The Enemy: Scientists Use Genetics To Get Ahead Of Malaria

A micrograph shows red blood cells infected by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
John C. Tan AP

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 11:20 am

Like the proverbial mosquito that buzzes in your ear but won't die, a lasting solution to malaria has been maddeningly elusive to health experts.

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The Impact of War
9:55 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Twelve JBLM soldiers killed in Afghanistan since January

Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb is the 12th Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year.

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 4:50 pm

An Army combat engineer has become the 12th Washington-based soldier to die in Afghanistan this year. The pace of deaths has picked up in recent weeks as the summer fighting season begins.

The Army says Sgt. 1st Class Barett McNabb was killed by an improvised explosive device. He was on his fourth deployment, but his first to Afghanistan.

McNabb is just the latest soldier from Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord to die in Afghanistan. May was the deadliest month so far this year with six soldier deaths.

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NPR Science
9:09 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Famous Cave Paintings Might Not Be From Humans

The Panel of Hands in the Cave of El Castillo in Spain. New dating methods suggest the paintings could have been drawn by Neanderthals, not humans, as previously thought.
Pedro Saura AAAS/Science

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 6:33 am

The famous paintings on the walls of caves in Europe mark the beginning of figurative art and a great leap forward for human culture.

But now a novel method of determining the age of some of those cave paintings questions their provenance. Not that they're fakes — only that it might not have been modern humans who made them.

The first European cave paintings are thought to have been made over 30,000 years ago. Most depict animals and hunters. Some of the eeriest are stencils of human hands, apparently made by blowing a spray of pigment over a hand held up to a wall.

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