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Shots - Health News
7:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Saving Babies' Lives Starts With Aquarium Pumps And Ingenuity

Neonatal nurse Florence Mwenifumbo monitors a newborn receiving bubble CPAP treatment in Blantyre, Malawi. The device was developed by students at Rice University in Houston.
Rice 360/Rice University

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 8:59 am

Good ideas don't only come from experts. An innovative engineering program in Texas has been proving that college undergraduates can tackle — and solve — vexing health challenges in developing countries.

Two engineers at Rice University in Houston are tapping the potential of bright young minds to change the world.

Big Problems, Simple Solutions

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Research News
7:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Want Perfect Pitch? You Might Be Able To Pop A Pill For That

Jazz singer Ella Fitzergerald was said to have perfect pitch.
Klaus Frings AP

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 9:13 am

In the world of music, there is no more remarkable gift than having perfect pitch. As the story goes, Ella Fitzgerald's band would use her perfect pitch to tune their instruments.

Although it has a genetic component, most believe that perfect pitch — or absolute pitch — is a primarily a function of early life exposure and training in music, says Takao Hensch, professor of molecular and cellular biology at Harvard.

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Law
7:52 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Transgender Issues Follow Path Blazed By Gay Rights

Laverne Cox, left, plays Sophia, a transgender character in Netflix's Orange is the New Black.
Eric Leibowitz AP

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 1:38 pm

It may have been "the gayest year ever," as some gay and lesbian activists put it — 2013 saw the Defense of Marriage Act struck down by the Supreme Court and the number of states offering marriage rights to same-sex couples doubled, to a total of 18.

But as 2014 begins, another issue is gaining traction: transgender rights.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Sat January 4, 2014

'Cheers And Jeers' As Boeing Machinists Narrowly OK Contract

Many of the machinists were not happy late Friday when it was announced that Seattle-area workers had approved a new contract with Boeing.
David Ryder Reuters/Landov

There were "cheers and jeers" from rank-and-file union members late Friday when it was announced that a key new contract with aircraft maker Boeing had been approved by a bare majority vote, our colleagues at Seattle's KPLU report.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:33 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Billboards That Drop Angels On Your Head

YouTube

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 9:57 pm

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Code Switch
7:03 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Comic Artist Yumi Sakugawa On Friend-Love, Identity And Art

Yumi Sakugawa's book I Think I Am In Friend Love With You helps define the joys of modern friendships.
Yumi Sakugawa

About a month ago, I asked my followers on Twitter if they had any recommendations for a comic artist whose work I should check out. Person after person brought up Yumi Sakugawa, a California-based artist. And I was familiar with her work: she's the brains behind the ever-nostalgic strip, "Claudia Kishi: My Asian-American Female Role Model Of The 90s."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Phil Everly Dies; Transformed Rock 'N' Roll With Brother Don

The Everly Brothers (Phil on the left, Don on the right) singing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1957.
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 2:58 pm

  • A bit of 'Bye Bye Love'
  • Don Everly talking with NPR's Noah Adams in April 1986

One half of one of the most influential duos in rock 'n' roll history has died.

Phil Everly, 74, died Friday in a Burbank, Calif., hospital. His son Jason tells The Associated Press, NPR and other news outlets that the legendary singer suffered from chronic pulmonary disease.

Everly's brother Don, now 76, is among the other survivors.

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Around the Nation
6:08 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Boeing Machinists Approve Contract To Secure 777X Work

Boeing workers cry after learning that the Boeing machinists union voted to accept the company's latest contract offer to keep the assembly of the Boeing 777X airplane in Washington state.
Ted S. Warren AP

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

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Science
4:53 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Tree-Incarnation: Christmas Trees Return To Nature (A Poem)

Alexandra Jones-Twaddell and Malley Chertkov add a Christmas tree to the growing line in Island Beach State Park in February 2013. Similar dune restoration projects — using trees as a foundation to trap sand — will be carried out this year all along the Atlantic Coast.
Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 1:38 pm

There are lots of creative Christmas tree recycling programs around the country, and in keeping with the holiday spirit, here are a few of them — set to verse.

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Author Interviews
4:53 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Lovebirds + String + Watering Can + Dog = Rube Goldberg Magic

Rube Goldberg drew many of his devices, like this one for a machine that disposes of cigarette ashes, for his series, "The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G. Butts, A.K," published in Colliers magazine between 1929 and 1931.
Copyright Heirs of Rube Goldberg Abrams ComicArts

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 1:38 pm

Many people know Rube Goldberg as an adjective — a shorthand description for a convoluted device or contraption. But Rube Goldberg was a real person — one who earned a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning and who captivated imaginations with drawings of complex chain reactions that completed the simplest of tasks.

Goldberg died in 1970, but Jennifer George, his granddaughter, has collected the zany world he created in a coffee table book, The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius.

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