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NPR Story
4:05 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Is This The End Of The College Boom?

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:56 pm

The Census Bureau reports that the number of students pursuing college degrees has fallen for the first time since 2006.

The greatest decline happened among students age 25 and older.

Derek Thompson, business editor for The Atlantic, joins us to explain what the statistics mean.

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The Two-Way
3:48 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Rim Fire Was Started By Hunter's 'Illegal' Fire

A firefighter uses a hose to douse the flames of the Rim Fire on Saturday near Groveland, California.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The wildfire still burning north of Yosemite National Park — you know, the one that has charred 237,341 acres and was at one point one of the largest fires in recent California history — was started by a hunter's illegal fire.

The U.S. Forest Service said in a statement that its investigators had concluded that the Rim Fire "began when a hunter allowed an illegal fire to escape."

Authorities, said the Forest Service, have made no arrest and they are not releasing the name of the hunter.

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Joe's Big Idea
3:38 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Coronal Holes: The (Rarely Round) Gaps In The Sun's Atmosphere

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this picture of the sun on June 18. The dark blue area in the upper left quadrant of the sun is a huge coronal hole more than 400,000 miles across. Coronal holes are areas of the sun's outermost atmospheric layer — the corona — where the magnetic field opens up and solar material quickly flows out.
NASA/SDO

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:21 pm

There's a hole in the sun's corona. But don't worry — that happens from time to time.

"A coronal hole is just a big, dark blotch that we see on the sun in our images," says Dean Pesnell, project scientist for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. "We can only see them from space, because when we look at them [through] a regular telescope, they don't appear."

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The Record
2:56 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Innovation And Time-Honored Ways Meet On Nashville Stages

Eddie Stubbs (left), DJ at Nashville's WSM, and Alan Jackson onstage at The Station Inn last Tuesday.
Bill Thorup Courtesy of Universal Nashville

Onstage at Nashville's tiny Station Inn, the multiplatinum-selling country veteran Alan Jackson announced that he was nervous. He had reason to be, considering that the music-bizzers who'd scored one of the night's 150 tickets were sitting cheek-to-jowl with regulars, all diehard bluegrass fans. He was there to celebrate his first-ever bluegrass album (out September 24), and right away he made a point of proclaiming that he's really not very fond of dirt roads.

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Shots - Health News
2:53 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

How A Change In Gut Microbes Can Affect Weight

Dreaming of slimming gut microbes?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:56 pm

The evidence just keeps mounting that the microbes in our digestive systems are a factor in the obesity epidemic.

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The Two-Way
2:33 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Incredible Case Of The Bank Robber Who's Now A Law Clerk

After serving almost 11 years in federal prison for bank robbery, Shon Hopwood is a law student at the University of Washington. He's landed a prestigious law clerk's position with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
Sang Cho Courtesy of The Daily of the University of Washington

Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 2:03 pm

"I had no prior history with the law other than breaking it."

"I thought, 'this kid is a punk.' "

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The Two-Way
2:29 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

California Inmates Suspend Two-Month-Long Hunger Strike

Inmates at California's Chino State Prison in December 2010.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

After more than two months, 100 California inmates have suspended a hunger strike they launched to protest prison conditions, including the use of solitary confinement by the state.

In a statement, some of the prisoners said they had "collectively" decided to end the strike, despite the fact that most of their demands have not been met.

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Music Reviews
1:57 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

On Its New Album, Superchunk Makes The Downtrodden Sound Upbeat

Superchunk's new album is titled I Hate Music.
Jason Arthurs Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:53 pm

"I hate music, what is it worth? / Can't bring anyone back to this earth," the band Superchunk sings. It's the kind of sentiment you'd imagine someone blurting out with bitter spontaneity, but it's not really music the band hates; it's the despair and grief to which their music bears witness. Superchunk's new downbeat-but-upbeat album, I Hate Music, is dedicated to a close friend who died last year.

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Author Interviews
1:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:43 pm

Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us in our beds. But this relatively new arrangement is creating issues for cats and the people who live with them.

John Bradshaw has studied the history of domesticated cats and how the relationship between people and cats has changed. He's the author of the new book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, which is a follow-up to his book Dog Sense.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Senator Who Dodged The Syria Vote

President Obama and now-Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., wave during a campaign rally for Markey in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood on June 12.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 3:09 pm

It's hard to imagine a rookie senator who's better equipped to confront a complicated issue like Syria than Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey.

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