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Science
2:38 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Bird, Plane, Bacteria? Microbes Thrive In Storm Clouds

The eye of Hurricane Earl in the Atlantic Ocean, seen from a NASA research aircraft on Aug. 30, 2010. This flight through the eyewall caught Earl just as it was intensifying from a Category 2 to a Category 4 hurricane. Researchers collected air samples on this flight from about 30,000 feet over both land and sea and close to 100 different species of bacteria.
Jane Peterson NASA

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Microbes are known to be able to thrive in extreme environments, from inside fiery volcanoes to down on the bottom of the ocean. Now scientists have found a surprising number of them living in storm clouds tens of thousands of feet above the Earth. And those airborne microbes could play a role in global climate.

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Around the Nation
5:23 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Unbridled Kentuckians Decide It's Time For A Kick-Ass New Slogan

Whit Hiler (left) and Griffin VanMeter are spearheading the campaign to change Kentucky's slogan from Unbridled Spirit to Kentucky Kicks Ass.
KentuckyForKentucky

Kentucky is known for horse racing, bourbon and college basketball. And if a couple of creative advertising professionals have any say in the matter, the Bluegrass State will be world renowned for something else.

They want the state to replace its current slogan, Unbridled Spirit, with a new one — Kentucky Kicks Ass.

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Environment
4:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

The Silver Lining In Drought: 5 Upsides To Rain-Free Weather

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Drought is mostly seen as a bad thing — and for good reason. It dries up crops, destroys landscaping and stops ships from moving. But even the lack of rain clouds has a bright side.

Good For Grapes

Last summer it seemed like all Midwestern farmers were upset over the lack of rain. But not all of them were; those growing grapes were embracing the drought.

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Around the Nation
4:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

New Gold Rush Has Little Luster For Some In The Golden State

Miner Steve Ator cleans a drill bit inside the Lincoln Project Mine, in Sutter Creek, Calif.
Lauren Sommer KQED

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Gold mines are reopening in California, some dating all the way back to the Gold Rush. Soaring gold prices are drawing mining companies back into the Sierra Nevada foothills. But some communities fear the effect on local environments.

Dan Boitano, a fifth-generation miner, has been working as a tour guide in the Golden State's historic gold country. His family has been around since the Gold Rush.

Up until a few years ago, he was still guiding tours for visitors.

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World Cafe
3:26 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Next: Hey Marseilles

Hey Marseilles.
Martin Watson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 12:33 pm

The Seattle septet Hey Marseilles integrates symphonic cello, drumbourine, accordion and viola into a standard lineup of guitar, bass and drums for a warm, distinctive sound.

Nick Ward and Matt Bishop formed Hey Marseilles while students at the University of Washington, and independently released their first album, To Travels & Trunks, at the end of 2008. The band has since given the album a nationwide reissue and performed at festivals like SXSW and Bumbershoot.

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All Tech Considered
3:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

Data gleaned from e-readers gives writers a new kind of feedback to take into consideration — or ignore.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.

Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."

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Afghanistan
3:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Women In Combat: What Do Troops In Afghanistan Think?

U.S. troops in Afghanistan appear to have mixed feelings about the decision lifting the ban on women in combat positions. Some women already operate in combat zones. Hospital Corpsman Shannon Crowley is shown here with her Marine Corps team in Musa Qala, Afghanistan, in November 2010.
Paula Bronstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 7:17 pm

The new U.S. military policy on women serving in combat roles was crafted in Washington, but it will play out in places like Afghanistan.

And sitting outside at the military base at the Kabul airport, male and female troops offered their thoughts on what the new policy might mean.

"I wasn't completely surprised with it. It's not anything we haven't discussed before," said Capt. Monica Paden, a military intelligence officer from San Diego. "We have been slowly being integrated into combat arms and into units in support roles."

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All Tech Considered
2:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

As Developing World Goes Mobile, Can Apple Make The Sale?

A salesperson demonstrates the Apple iPhone 4 in New Delhi, India. While mobile device use is growing rapidly in emerging markets, Apple's current product line may prove prohibitively expensive for many consumers.
Manish Swarup AP

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

With the majority of adults in the U.S. and Europe walking around with smartphones in their pockets, the idea of having a high-powered computer at your beck and call may seem like old news.

But globally, the smartphone revolution is just beginning.

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The Opinion Page
1:13 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

A 'Permatemp' Economy: The Idea Of The Expendable Employee

According to the American Staffing Association, the U.S. temp industry has added more jobs than any other over the past three years.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:00 pm

As lawmakers in Washington debate job creation, and unemployment rates remain high, the temporary labor workforce continues to grow.

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Asia
1:09 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

North Korea's Rhetoric And Nuclear Capabilities

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Late last week, North Korea responded to new U.N. sanctions with hyperbolic language. A statement described the new measures as a declaration of war. Pyongyang deserves special vitriol for the United States, our sworn enemy, it said. A new nuclear weapons test would target the United States, and it described its new long-range missile as designed to strike U.S. territory.

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