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Arts & Life
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Libraries' Leading Roles: On Stage, On Screen And In Song

Poor Donna Reed: Her Mary would have ended up working in a library — shudder — if not for the matrimonial intervention of Jimmy Stewart's George Bailey. Happily, 1946's It's a Wonderful Life isn't the only lens through which pop culture assesses the worth of the institution and those who make it tick.
RKO Pictures Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:04 pm

When I was 9, I spent a lot of time at a public library just down the street; I was already a theater nerd, and it had a well-stocked theater section. Not just books, but original cast albums for Broadway shows old and new. One day, an addition: The Music Man, about a salesman who was crazy about a girl named, as one song put it, "Marrrrrrrion, madam librarian."

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Space
4:31 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Black Holes One Of Space's Great Paradoxes

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:48 pm

Late summer tends to be a slow month for news. But at All Things Considered, we put on a two hour program, no matter what. So — without a trace of irony — one of our science correspondents offered to help fill some holes in the show with a series of stories about holes. In this edition: Black holes.

The Salt
4:14 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Bring Home The Bacon Or Put It In A Meat Locker?

Time for a meat locker? One Flickr user's freezer after purchasing a large share of a pig.
Cowgirl Jules via Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 9, 2013 12:44 pm

Why buy 1 pound of hamburger meat from a local farmer when you can buy 5 pounds — plus another 20 pounds of stew meat, steaks and roast — for as little as half the price of what it all goes for at the market?

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Shots - Health News
4:13 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Fix Is In For Congressional Obamacare Glitch

The new health law has left some 20,000 workers on Capitol Hill unsure of their health care options for the coming year.
Dwight Nadig iStockphoto

Finally, the federal HR department has released the health rule much of Capitol Hill has been waiting for.

There's now an explanation from the Office of Personnel Management on how members of Congress and much of their staff will get their health insurance starting next year.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Arizona Firefighter's Widow May Fight City Over Benefits

Juliann Ashcraft, wife of late firefighter Andrew Ashcraft, receives a U.S. flag during a memorial service in July. Ashcraft says the city has refused to pay full benefits for her husband's death, calling him a seasonal employee.
David Kadlubowski AP

The widow of a man who died fighting a wildfire this summer as part of a "hotshots" team based in Prescott, Ariz., says her attempts to be paid her late husband's lifetime benefits have been denied. The city's explanation is that Andrew Ashcraft, 29, was a seasonal employee, Juliann Ashcraft said Wednesday.

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Shots - Health News
3:51 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Redefining Cancer To Reduce Unnecessary Treatment

Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, explains why calling some conditions cancer creates problems.
Chris Hamilton American Cancer Society

A cancer diagnosis can be downright frightening. And after the initial shock, there can be gruelling rounds of treatment.

But sometimes treatment can be a waste, because the condition a doctor labels as cancer isn't really much of a health threat.

The National Cancer Institute convened a group of specialists last year to look at the problem of overdiagnosis and overtreatment of cancer. One idea: redefine what gets called cancer.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Bird Flu Researchers Push To Make Virus More Contagious

Flu vaccine production - Before incubation, the eggs are inoculated with the seed virus Val de Reuil - France - March 2009. (Sanofi Pasteur/Flickr)

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:05 pm

In a letter published today in the nation’s two most prestigious scientific journals — Science and Nature — bird flu researchers say they need to perform research on the H7N9 virus that would make it more dangerous.

The researchers say that’s necessary in order to prepare for its possible spread between humans, perhaps as early as this winter.

The paper comes on the heels of a new study in the British Medical Journal that shows the first probable transmission between humans of the H7N9 virus.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Bird Flu Strain May Be Transmissible Between Humans

Health workers take a blood sample from a chicken in Hong Kong Thursday, April 11, 2013. The Hong Kong government started enhanced measures to prevent a new strain of bird flu from entering the city. Starting from Thursday, the authority is taking samples of live poultry from mainland China to test for the H7N9 virus. Thirty samples are taken in every 1,000 chickens. (Vincent Yu/AP)

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:05 pm

A new study in the British Medical Journal shows the first probable transmission between humans of a new strain of avian flu — the H7N9 virus.

A 32-year-old woman in China became sick and died after caring for her father who had the H7N9 virus. The father also died.

However, the authors of the study stress this does not mean the virus has evolved to be easily transmissible between humans.

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NPR Story
3:41 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

Bezos Could Give Washington Post The Gift Of Time

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 5:05 pm

Earlier this week, online shopping pioneer Jeff Bezos said he would buy The Washington Post.

Given the sorry state of newspaper finances, some saw his move as an act of civic charity.

Others believe Bezos is a shrewd businessman who hopes to make the Post very profitable again. Maybe both views are right.

Marilyn Geewax, a senior business editor with NPR, joins us to discuss how the new philanthropy may involve giving the gift of time — time to figure out a new business model that works.

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The Salt
2:52 pm
Wed August 7, 2013

After Immigration Bust, Herb Grower Tries A New Path

Ted Andrews, CEO of HerbCo International, says the H-2A agricultural guest worker program needs improvements.
Liz Jones for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 7, 2013 10:58 pm

The ongoing immigration debate in Congress often spotlights the job market for people living in the U.S. illegally. Not long ago, that market included one of the country's top organic herb farms — until an immigration bust forced the business, based in Washington state, to clean up its payroll.

Ted Andrews, owner of HerbCo International, says he's learned some tough lessons during the transition to a legal workforce. Lesson No. 1: "There are events that can destroy a business in the snap of a finger," he says. "This was one of them."

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