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NPR science
1:46 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Scientists uncover millions of black holes

With its all-sky infrared survey, NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has identified millions of quasar candidates. This image zooms in on one small region of the WISE sky, covering an area about three times larger than the moon. The WISE quasar candidates are highlighted with yellow circles.
NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 12:35 pm

This paragraph from NASA worried us:

"In one study, astronomers used WISE to identify about 2.5 million actively feeding supermassive black holes across the full sky, stretching back to distances more than 10 billion light-years away. About two-thirds of these objects never had been detected before because dust blocks their visible light. WISE easily sees these monsters because their powerful, accreting black holes warm the dust, causing it to glow in infrared light."

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2012 elections
10:05 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Wash. Gov. Debate: Sparring Over Taxes, Tiff Over Tax Returns, Light Moments

Rob McKenna (L) and Jay Inslee sparred in their second official debate Wednesday night at WSU's Vancouver campus. Image via KATU.

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 7:53 am

The candidates for Washington governor sparred over taxes and personal tax returns in their second official debate Wednesday night. The face-off took place on the Vancouver campus of Washington State University.

On stage, Democrat Jay Inslee and Republican Rob McKenna stood elbow-to-elbow at podiums. But on the issues they were far apart.

Early in the debate they were asked to critique each other’s plans for getting Washington’s economy going again. McKenna said business owners aren’t buying Inslee’s proposed Research and Development tax credit.

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NPR Health
9:46 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Does Mother's Abortion History Affect Baby's Birth Weight?

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 am

Women who had multiple abortions before giving birth to a first child were more likely to have that child very prematurely or to deliver a child with a low birth weight, according to one of the first large-scale studies to look at the issue.

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NPR Food
9:05 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than everyone else?

Asparagus and tofu
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 8:58 am

Do vegetarians and vegans think they are better than the rest of us? Judging from personal experience, a good number of people who aren't vegetarian or vegan would offer a resounding "Yes" to this question.

Those individuals who publicly tout eating no meat, especially when their stated reason has to do with caring about animals, are thought to be telegraphing a message of superiority: My dietary choices make me a better person than you.

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Hanford Nuclear Reservation
7:52 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Questions linger over piping Hanford's nuclear waste to treatment plant

The Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant is located on the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford site. Photo courtesy of Bechtel

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 4:47 pm

RICHLAND, Wash. -- This week we heard that yet another top-level government engineer has serious concerns about the design and construction of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation’s waste treatment plant. If that wasn’t enough of a headache for the U.S. Department of Energy, there’s more. A new report from the investigative arm of that department is raising concerns about the design and construction of the system that’s intended to carry the waste to the treatment plant.

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npr health
7:12 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Subtracting Calories May Not Add Years To Life

A rhesus monkey eats watermelon, provided by zookeepers, at the Kamla Nehru Zoological Gardens in India in May 2012.
Sam Panthaky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:34 am

Scientists have known for decades that lab rats and mice will live far longer than normal if they're fed a super-low-calorie diet, and that's led some people to eat a near-starvation diet in the hopes that it will extend the human life span, too.

But a new study in monkeys suggests they may be disappointed.

The long-awaited results of this study, which started back in 1987, show that rhesus monkeys fed a diet with 30 percent fewer calories than normal did not live unusually long lives.

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The Two-Way
7:07 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Secret Service Agent Left Loaded Handgun In Bathroom Of Romney Plane

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:59 am

A secret service agent accidentally left her gun inside the lavatory of Mitt Romney's campaign plane.

CBS News reports that the loaded gun was found by one of its reporters who was travelling with the Republican presidential nominee from Tampa to Indianapolis, Ind., where Romney was scheduled to deliver a speech.

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2012 elections
11:51 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Five takeaways from Wednesday at the Republican convention

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan and his wife, Janna (at right), along with two of their children and his mother, Betty, on stage Wednesday in Tampa.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:38 am

If you missed some of Wednesday's action at the Republican National Convention, when Rep. Paul Ryan accepted his party's vice presidential nomination, we were live blogging here and you can always read through it to see how the day and evening went.

But if you'd like to save some time, here are five things that struck us:

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wildfires
4:34 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Campers evacuated as wildfires burn across Northwest

A view of the Cabin Parish fire in eastern Oregon. Photo by USFS

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 4:18 pm

Two hunters who were reported missing during a wildfire in eastern Oregon have been located and are safe. But Grant County Sheriff Glenn Palmer says there's new concern about a pair of hikers who are thought to be in the vicinity of the Parish Cabin Fire.

Palmer says the hikers are from Portland and aren't thought to be in immediate danger. But he says they could end up stranded if the fire continues to spread.

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NPR tech news
3:55 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Obama holds 'ask me anything' session on Reddit; site crashes

President Obama posted this photo on Twitter and Reddit to prove that he was participating in Wednesday's online chat. Some users weren't quite convinced.
via Twitter

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:39 pm

President Obama made news Wednesday by popping onto the Reddit message board site to take any questions the community's users cared to ask. And then he made a bit more news by sparking such interest that the site crashed for a brief period.

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Politics
3:50 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Oregon Revenue Picture Brightens Slightly

Photo by Gregg M. Erickson

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 2:37 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers got some short term good news Wednesday: State revenues are predicted to be a little higher than previously thought. But the long term outlook remains gloomy.

Oregon's revenue picture is $81 million brighter. That's thanks in part to a strengthening housing market. And it means lawmakers won't have to make any immediate budget cuts.

The state's overall outlook is fairly close to national trends. But long-term growth in Oregon remains slow, with weak global demand for Oregon goods.

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NPR weather
12:47 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

VIDEO: Hurricane Isaac As Seen From The International Space Station

Isaac at night.
NASA Earth Observatory

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 9:55 am

For a bit of perspective on just how big Isaac is, NASA has released a video taken from the International Space Station, yesterday.

It shows the tropical cyclone churning slowly, its outer bands stretching for 200 miles:

Update at 12:47 p.m. ET. Isaac At Night:

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Outdoor Diversions
11:16 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Getting high in the Northwest ... on zip lines

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park near Eatonville, Wash. recently added a zip line and aerial obstacle course. Photo by Tom Banse

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 2:27 pm

EATONVILLE, Wash. - Apparently Northwesterners are not afraid of heights and have a yen for adventure. We draw that conclusion because the industry of zip line tours and aerial adventure parks is booming in the Northwest right now.

Within the past couple years, fully a dozen commercial zip line attractions have opened in Oregon, Washington and Idaho... not counting at least twelve more in British Columbia and Alaska. The revenue potential has some municipal parks departments looking to add spendy zip line attractions in public parks.

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NPR national news
6:42 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Floods, Power Outages In Isaac's Wake

Rescue workers transport residents trapped by rising water from Hurricane Isaac in the River Forest subdivision on Wednesday in LaPlace, Louisiana. The large Level 1 hurricane slowly moved across southeast Louisiana, dumping huge amounts of rain and knocking out power across the Gulf Coast.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 9:04 pm

The Latest at 10:20 p.m. ET. More Than 650,000 Power Outages In La.

That tidbit emerged in a letter from gov. Bobby Jindal to President Obama in which he requested expedited major disaster declaration for the state as a result of damage caused by Isaac.

Here's more from the letter:

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The Two-Way
6:40 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Plaquemines Parish President: Damage Is Just As Bad As Katrina

A Plaquemines Parish vehicle rides through rising floodwater behind the levee as Isaac approaches on Tuesday.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 4:08 pm

The eye of Isaac made its first landfall at Plaquemines Parish, a stretch of thin land southeast of New Orleans that extends into the Gulf from Louisiana.

According to the parish president, the damage there is just as bad, perhaps even worse, than what happened during Katrina.

In an interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, Billy Nungesser said the parish's levee had been overtopped and parts of the parish that had never flooded during a hurricane were under 5 feet of water.

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