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Joe's Big Idea
2:38 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 4:21 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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World Cafe
2:08 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

James Cotton On World Cafe

James Cotton
Christopher Durst Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:30 pm

Harmonica master James Cotton is a giant of the blues. Born in 1935 on a cotton plantation in Tunica, Miss., he learned the instrument from Sonny Boy Williamson, who had a radio program right across the river in West Helena, Ark. After listening to the show and imitating him on a harmonica, Cotton met Williamson, who took him under his wing.

At 15, Cotton met and played with Howlin' Wolf, who took him to record at Sun Studios in Memphis. Later, while on tour, Muddy Waters asked Cotton to replace Junior Wells in his band; Cotton stayed on the road with Waters for a dozen years.

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The Two-Way
1:16 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 1:03 pm

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

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

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Music Reviews
12:46 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 12:53 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
12:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

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

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 5:43 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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Music
10:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Pfister Sisters Bring Fun To Old Jazz Standard

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And we are moving into fall, so we are leaving you today with one final summer song. For the last several weeks, Gwen Thompkins has been bringing us wonderful musical nuggets from guests on her program, Music Inside Out. That's heard on WWNO in New Orleans. They're current artists who're bringing back old classics. Today, Gwen joins us for a listen to the Pfister Sisters.

GWEN THOMPKINS, BYLINE: The Pfister Sisters are a girl group that's been around for 30 years, so I don't know if it really is fair to call them a girl group.

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Education
10:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Ranking Schools Based On What Matters

President Obama recently proposed a new college ranking system, based on more than test scores. The Washington Monthly has been doing that for years. Host Michel Martin finds out more.

Movies
10:56 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Autism: Film Shows Education Challenges For Young Adults And Families

Best Kept Secret is a film that follows a group of young adults with autism during their last year of high school. Host Michel Martin speaks with filmmaker Samantha Buck and Janet Mino, a special education teacher.

Around the Nation
6:10 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Patient Not Amused At Drawings On Her Face

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep. Maybe you did something like this at summer camp - drawing a mustache on somebody sleeping. But it was different for a patient at California's Torrance Memorial Medical Center. She was a hospital employee and when she checked in for treatment, an anesthesiologist allegedly drew a mustache and teardrops on her face.

That may have seemed fun until she woke up. The LA Times says the doctor now faces an investigation, and a lawsuit.

Digital Life
5:58 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Mainstay In Picture Books Is Going Digital

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

I meant what I said, and I said what I meant; a tablet is faithful 100 percent. A mainstay in the world of picture books is going digital. Almost all of Dr. Seuss's best-selling children's books will be released as e-books this year, starting with 15 titles near the end of this month.

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