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The Two-Way
11:04 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Odin's Beard! Marvel Announces A New Thor — And She's A Woman

The new Thor.
Marvel

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:47 am

The Mighty Thor, the Son of Odin, the God of Thunder, the comic book god with the hammer is a woman.

Not quite — but here's the tweet announcing the new Thor:

"No longer is the classic Thunder God able to hold the mighty hammer, Mjölnir, and a brand new female hero will emerge worthy of the name THOR," Marvel said in a statement.

The new Thor will be written by Jason Aaron with art by Russell Dauterman.

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Research News
10:36 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Why Smartphone Breaks At Work Aren't Such A Bad Idea

A little bit of this at work might make for more productive employees.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 6:00 am

In that cubicle by the water cooler you see him: your employee, on your dime, tilted back in that pricey Herman Miller chair, his personal smartphone in hand. Judging by the furrowed brow, you'd guess it's a hot game of Words With Friends.

Which do you do?

1. Chastise him.
2. Ignore him.
3. Give him a smile and a thumbs-up, and suggest he keep playing.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
10:31 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Watch And Learn: Wave-Particle Quantum Weirdness

Anthia Cumming iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:51 am

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The Two-Way
10:29 am
Tue July 15, 2014

In Response To Dwindling Applications, Peace Corps Makes Big Changes

In this 2011 photo, more than 100 Peace Corps volunteers are sworn in before heading to villages in southern Cambodia.
Heng Sinith AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 10:49 am

In a bid to shore up sagging numbers, the Peace Corps on Tuesday announced significant changes to its application process.

Sixty-page forms that used to take more than eight hours to fill out have now been shortened and streamlined and can be completed online in less than an hour, Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet said on NPR's Here and Now.

The number of people who actually complete the application process has fallen by more than a third from its peak in 2009.

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Business
10:27 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Citigroup Settlement Offers Former Homeowners 'Cold Comfort'

The Citigroup Center is viewed in midtown Manhattan. Critics say the U.S. settlement with the banking giant will do nothing for those hurt most by the foreclosure crisis: people who lost their homes.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:10 am

Should you be watching your mailbox for a check from Citigroup?

The banking giant says it will pay out $2.5 billion to provide "consumer relief" to help settle charges brought against it by the U.S. Justice Department. The government said Monday that "defects" in Citi's mortgage securities had fueled the financial crisis that triggered the Great Recession.

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Shots - Health News
9:54 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Most Employers See A Benefit In Covering Contraceptives

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:32 am

Despite questions raised by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case, women in most health plans will still be able to get their birth control covered with no out-of-pocket expenses.

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Code Switch
9:54 am
Tue July 15, 2014

The George Zimmerman Trial, One Year Later

George Zimmerman's trial became the locus of heated debate about racial profiling, gun laws and the criminal justice system.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 8:25 am

George Zimmerman's trial for killing Trayvon Martin became a flashpoint for raucous, heated debates — conversations about racial profiling, gun laws and the criminal justice system. Zimmerman's acquittal was seen by many as an outrage, but any outcome would have been unsatisfying for many people, since criminal trials are horrible proxies for the resolutions of big, thorny social issues.

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The Salt
9:53 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Will Camu Camu Be The Next Amazonian 'It' Fruit?

Camu camu berries grow wild on trees alongside flooded rivers in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil and Peru.
Ronaldo Rosa Courtesy of EMBRAPA

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 1:13 pm

Editor's Note: Here at The Salt we get a lot of pitches from companies extolling the virtues of a new "superfood."

Recently, a company called Amazon Origins wrote to us about its supplement made with camu camu berry, "the Amazon's latest superfruit." According to Amazon Origins, World Cup fans were discovering the berry in Brazil and getting hooked. Camu camu, they claimed, would soon dethrone açai — another Amazonian berry that's earned a place in the crowded U.S. health food market.

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All Tech Considered
9:41 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Comcast 'Embarrassed' By The Service Call Making Internet Rounds

Comcast is the largest cable company and home Internet service provider in the United States.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:38 am

When a customer service call is described as "Kafkaesque" and "hellish," you pretty much know how it's going to go down before even taking a listen. But in case you haven't heard the condescending, tedious call that's lit up the Internet, here it is:

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The Salt
9:40 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Calorie Counting Machine May Make Dieting Easier In The Future

A model of General Electric's automatic calorie counter, fitted over a plate of food.
Courtesy of GE

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 9:51 am

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

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Men In America
4:35 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear

Joe Ehrmann, shown in 1975, was a defensive lineman with the Baltimore Colts for much of the '70s. He says that as a child, he was taught that being a man meant dominating people and circumstances — a lesson that served him well on the football field, but less so in real life.
Neil Leifer Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:24 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

It's rare that a man makes it through life without being told, at least once, "Be a man." To Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman and now a pastor, those are the three scariest words that a boy can hear.

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Shots - Health News
2:19 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

This Is Your Stressed-Out Brain On Scarcity

Josh Neufeld for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 3:24 pm

Being poor is stressful. That's no big surprise.

In a poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 1 in 3 people making less than $20,000 a year said they'd experienced "a great deal of stress" in the previous month. And of those very stressed-out people, 70 percent said that money problems were to blame.

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Shots - Health News
12:13 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

Do We Choose Our Friends Because They Share Our Genes?

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:15 am

People often talk about how their friends feel like family. Well, there's some new research out that suggests there's more to that than just a feeling. People appear to be more like their friends genetically than they are to strangers, the research found.

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The Two-Way
11:45 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Sweet Deal? Chocolatier Lindt Buys Russell Stover

A store manager arranges merchandise in a Russell Stover Candy store in Overland Park, Kan., in this file photo. The candy maker is being bought by Swiss company Lindt & Spruengli.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:07 am

In a push for greater prominence in the American market, Swiss chocolate company Lindt & Sprungli has reached a deal to acquire Russell Stover, the company whose products include the time-tested Whitman's Sampler box of chocolates, a product featured in the 1994 film Forrest Gump.

The deal would make the combined company the No. 3 chocolate maker in North America, Lindt says in a news release announcing the deal. The company says the acquisition is the "biggest and most important strategic acquisition" in its history.

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Shots - Health News
11:43 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Why A Spoonful Of Medicine Can Be A Big Safety Risk For Kids

Ordinary spoons vary widely in size and shape. Confusing regular spoons for accurate measurements of teaspoons and tablespoons can lead to accidental overdoses.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 2:15 pm

We've all done it. The bottle of Pepto-Bismol says to take two tablespoons, so you grab the nearest spoon from the silverware drawer and drink down two of those. It's probably pretty close, right?

Maybe not. With all the different sizes and shapes of spoons out there — soup spoons, dessert spoons, grapefruit spoons and coffee spoons, to name just a few — who knows if the spoon you chose is actually close to a tablespoon.

And when it comes to children, that lack of precision can be dangerous.

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