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2:48 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

An Unusual Way To Teach Math: Miming

Tim and Tanya Chartier present a classic mime stance. They have found a way to teach math through miming. (Ari Daniel)

According to the latest data from the Program for International Student Assessment, the U.S. ranks 26th in the world in math attainment.

Not so great for the world’s richest country, especially when you consider that 46 percent of all jobs require at least level 3 math skills — enough so that you can make change.

About 36 percent of all jobs require a level 4 math proficiency to do simple averages — something about 76 percent of Americans can do.

Beyond that, math skills drop off quickly.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

What The US Can Learn From Canada Ending Door-To-Door Mail Delivery

Canadian Stamps on mail. (Flооd/Flickr)

The financially-strapped Canada Post is phasing out home mail delivery over the next five years, replacing the door-to-door service with community mail boxes in central locations.

Canada Post will also cut 6,000 to 8,000 jobs in the postal industry, and raise the price of the postage stamp by 22 cents.

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NPR Story
2:48 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Tech Giants Invest In Internet Infrastructure

Google, Facebook and other major technology companies are boosting their efforts to control Internet transmission networks. They’re building private fiber-optic cables across the world, rivaling telecom companies like Verizon and Sprint.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google began to build its network in 2008, long before the National Security Agency data mining scandal broke.

Tech executives say they’re building their own cable fiber networks to keep costs down and improve services as online traffic continues to grow.

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It's All Politics
2:47 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Bridge Controversy Could Take Toll On Chris Christie's Future

The George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., on Sept. 2, just days before lanes were closed under mysterious circumstances.
Mel Evans AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 4:17 pm

Were access lanes to the George Washington Bridge, the nation's busiest span, closed as political retribution against a mayor who didn't publicly endorse New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's re-election?

The governor denies that politics played a role in the traffic-snarling decision, but the controversy has put an ever-growing stain on Christie's glossy November re-election victory. And the episode could have an impact on Christie's White House ambitions.

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Best Music Of 2013
2:09 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Ken Tucker's Top 10 Albums Of 2013

Jason Isbell's Southeastern was Fresh Air critic Ken Tucker's favorite album of 2013.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:21 pm

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The Two-Way
2:05 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Pope Francis Shakes Up Important Congregation For Bishops

Bishop Raymond Leo Burke.
Anonymous ASSOCIATED PRESS

Pope Francis continues to shake up the Vatican establishment. This time, in what observers are calling a major move, he reshuffled the membership of the Congregation for Bishops, one of the most important organizations in the Vatican.

In the biggest shakeup announced on Monday, Francis removed Cardinal Raymond L. Burke from the group and replaced him with another American, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C..

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All Tech Considered
1:40 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Brothers: A Grand Adventure With An Emotional Punch

The titular brothers of the game encounter a troll, one of the many colorful characters they meet on their grand adventure.
Starbreeze Studios

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:59 pm

If ever a video game sought to mimic the experience of sitting down and reading a simple and emotional fairy tale, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons by Starbreeze Studios would be that game. And it's in that context that the game knocks it out of the park.

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It's All Politics
1:37 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Obama's Year Of Disappointing The Liberal Base

President Obama talks about drones and national security earlier this year at the National Defense University in Washington.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:56 am

It's been a long, disappointing year for many of President Obama's most ardent supporters.

From drones and Syria to immigration and the Keystone XL pipeline, the list of issues on which the president has induced frustration and disillusionment is not a short one.

And fallout from that restive base is reflected in Obama's dismal year-end poll numbers.

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Movie Interviews
1:36 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

The Coen Bros. On Writing, 'Lebowski' And Literally Herding Cats

Joel (left) and Ethan Coen wrote and directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit. Their latest film is Inside Llewyn Davis.
Stuart C. Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 11:21 pm

If you ask the Coen brothers about how they write their films, you might not get a straight answer. "It's mostly napping," Ethan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

"We go to the office, we're there, we're in a room together," Joel adds. "We take naps, but, you know, the important thing is that we're at the office, should we be inspired to actually write something."

The brothers don't split up writing responsibilities — they "talk through" the dialogue and "work it out together," Joel explains.

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Shots - Health News
1:08 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Concussion Research Slowed By Shortage Of Donated Brains

Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher's body has been exhumed more than a year after he killed his girlfriend and himself so that his brain can be examined for signs of a degenerative condition linked to repeated concussions.
Seth Perlman AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 3:08 pm

Former NFL linebacker Jovan Belcher's body was exhumed last week so doctors can perform tests on the remains of his brain. The family hopes to find out if a degenerative brain disease played a role in Kansas City Chiefs veteran's death last year, when he shot his girlfriend then killed himself.

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