NPR News

Pages

Shots - Health News
10:44 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Want To Feel 5 Years Older? Just Take A Memory Test

Playing this game won't make you feel older, unless you're already getting up there in age.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:11 pm

Researchers in a memory lab at Texas A&M University noticed that all the older people coming in as volunteers were really worried about how they'd do.

So the scientists decided to measure how taking a memory test affects a person's subjective sense of age.

Before the test, the 22 participants felt pretty darned good. Even though their average age was 75, they said they felt about 58.

Then they were given a list of 30 nouns, told to study them for two minutes, and then asked to recall as many of them as they could in three minutes.

Read more
Book Reviews
10:13 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Meet Ben's Sister Jane, History's Forgotten Franklin

Quill pen and ink
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:32 am

"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.

Read more
The Salt
10:09 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Salmonella Shutdown? USDA Threatens Closure Of Major Chicken Plants

Foster Farms, the chicken processor at the center of a major salmonella outbreak, now faces the threat of a shutdown at its facilities.
PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 8:17 am

Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:

At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.

"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:01 am
Thu October 10, 2013

From Child Actor To Artist: Radcliffe Reflects On Post-Potter Life

Daniel Radcliffe tells Fresh Air that his parents were initially hesitant about letting him play Harry Potter.
Warwick Saint

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:11 am

Many child stars find themselves washed up by the time they reach adulthood, but Daniel Radcliffe's career is going strong — and that's no accident.

"There is never a moment's doubt in my mind that this is what I want to do," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "If I die on a film set when I'm 80, I'll be happy with that."

Read more
The Two-Way
10:00 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Report: Parks Shutdown Saps $750 Million In Visitor Spending

A hiker gazes 3,000 feet down to the Colorado River at Toroweap Overlook in Grand Canyon National Park. A parks advocacy group says the Grand Canyon region has lost 120,000 visitors and $11 million in visitor spending since the government shutdown began.
Courtesy of Wanda Gayle

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:28 am

An estimated 7 million people have been shut out at 12 of the busiest and biggest U.S. national parks, costing parks and nearby communities about $76 million in lost visitor spending for each day the partial government shutdown drags on.

Read more
Shots - Health News
9:32 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Our Skin's Sense Of Time Helps Protect Against UV Damage

Your skin knows the time.
iStockphoto.com

We all feel the biological master clock, ticking deep within our brains, that tells us when to sleep and when to wake.

Well, it turns out that our skin cells have a circadian rhythm of their own. Researchers have found that depending on the time of day, our skin's stem cells busy themselves with different types of tasks.

Read more
More from KUOW
9:25 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Alice Munro, 'Master' Of The Short Story, Wins Literature Nobel

Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing." href="/post/alice-munro-master-short-story-wins-literature-nobel" class="noexit lightbox">
Canadian author Alice Munro has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:31 pm

Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."

Read more
Nuclear Waste
9:18 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Radioactive Hanford Sludge Ages as Feds To Miss More Deadlines

A tank farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation
US Department of Energy

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 11:56 am

Washington officials say they’re disappointed but not surprised by news that the federal government likely will miss several more cleanup deadlines at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. 

At Hanford, radioactive sludge stews in aging underground tanks not far from the Columbia River. A 1989 agreement created the timeline for treating that caustic gunk. But the task has proven extremely difficult: A waste treatment plant has been plagued by whistleblowers, critical federal investigations, cost overruns and delays.

Read more
Gun Regulation
9:17 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Wash. Gun Background Check Supporters Submit Petitions

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 4:16 pm

Sponsors of an initiative to require universal background checks for gun sales in Washington have submitted 250,000 petition signatures. That’s the minimum needed to put the measure before the legislature in January.

If lawmakers fail to act, voters would see it on the ballot a year from now.

Supporters of Initiative 594 cheered as boxes of petitions were rolled into the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

Wheeling the cart was Cheryl Stumbo. She’s a survivor of the 2006 Jewish Federation shooting in Seattle.

Read more
Swimming With Fishes
9:17 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Tacoma Aquarium Lets Visitors Dive With Sharks

Scuba divers rest on the bottom of the South Pacific exhibit at Point Defiance Zoo
Ingrid Barrentine Point Defiance Zoo

Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:39 pm

Beginning this Friday, an aquarium in Tacoma, Wash., will let paying visitors dive in a shark-infested tank. That's right. The Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium has built a dive cage in a tank that is home to 17 sharks. Experienced scuba divers can even swim out into the center of the pool. We sent correspondent Tom Banse to get to the bottom of this story.

Ah, the things you might question there's high demand for. Well, more than four hundred people have already made reservations to take a dip in a tank full of sharks. 

Read more
Nobel Prize
9:16 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Book News: Alice Munro Wins Nobel Prize In Literature

The Nobel Prize committee called Canadian author Alice Munro, seen in 2009, a "master of the contemporary short story."
Peter Muhly AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:42 am

This post was updated at 9:30 a.m.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Border To Border Drugs, Part Four
8:56 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Law Enforcement, Truckers Try To Keep Ahead Of Smugglers

Nicholas McVicker

Originally published on Tue September 17, 2013 3:31 pm

For drug smugglers, getting a truckload of illegal narcotics past border authorities means potentially huge profits.

Read more
Shots - Health News
8:54 am
Thu October 10, 2013

As Health Insurance Choices Multiply, Buyers Face Challenges

Sizing up insurance options can be tricky.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 8:55 am

The state health insurance marketplaces that opened Oct. 1 give consumers who are looking for coverage on the individual market a whole new way to shop for health plans. At the same time, health insurance brokers and insurers will also continue to sell plans directly to customers. Sorting out who's selling what can be a challenge.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:54 am
Thu October 10, 2013

After White House Meeting, Both Sides Agree To Keep Talking

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio arrives on Capitol Hill on Thursday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 4:48 pm

This post was last updated at 7:19 p.m. ET.

After an hour-long meeting with President Obama, Republicans said they have agreed to keep talking, in hopes of bridging a gulf that has already led to a government shutdown and is threatening the first default in U.S. history.

Read more
Author Interviews
8:52 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Rep. Gutierrez: I Am A Product Of The Civil Rights Movement

Rep. Luis Gutierrez at NPR's Washington DC studios.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:03 am

The nation is in the 10th day of a government shutdown, and the deadline over raising the debt limit is quickly approaching. But all that might seem like a day at the park for Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). He explains why in his new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.

He speaks with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about his political journey and the fight for immigration reform.

Read more

Pages