10:30am

Fri October 12, 2012
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

Are The Mind And Life Natural?

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 4:12 pm

Do we really understand what's happening here?
Ian Waldie Getty Images

Science has produced no standard account of the origins of life.

We have a superb understanding of how we get biological variety from simple, living starting points. We can thank Darwin for that. And we know that life in its simplest forms is built up out of inorganic stuff. But we don't have any account of how life springs forth from the supposed primordial soup. This is an explanatory gap we have no idea how to bridge.

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10:11am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Picture Show

'Vintage Black Glamour' Exposes Little-Known Cultural History

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:03 pm

That's Bananas: "Whether [Josephine Baker's] getting a pedicure or she's walking down the street or she's relaxing in a yard somewhere, I just love the variety of pictures of her," Gainer says. "The banana skirt is a part of who she was, it's the most famous thing, but it just annoys me when that's just the only thing. ... There was a lot more to her than that."
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed a year or so ago, when I saw a photo of Joyce Bryant. The caption said she was once dubbed the "black Marilyn Monroe" and was mentioned many times in Walter Winchell's gossip column.

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9:36am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Two-Way

You Thought The VP Debate Was Feisty? Things Got Physical In California

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 10:25 am

Democratic Reps. Howard L. Berman and Brad Sherman face off in a debate.
YouTube

9:03am

Fri October 12, 2012
Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 11, 2012

Knopf

In Jo Nesbo's Phantom, Harry Hole investigates Oslo's most virulent street drug. It debuts at No. 6.

8:48am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Salt

The Secret To Genius? It Might Be More Chocolate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:13 pm

A Swiss cardiologist plots a cheeky graph that shows a country's chocolate consumption may predict its chances of winning a Nobel.
John Loo Flickr.com

Nerds, rejoice! It's Nobel season — the Oscars for lab rats, peacemakers and cognoscenti alike. Every fall, big thinkers around the world wait for a middle-of-the-night phone call from Sweden, dreaming of what they might do with the $1.2 million prize.

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8:33am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Japanese Utility Admits For First Time That Nuclear Disaster Was Avoidable

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 1:14 pm

Smoke rises from Unit No. 3 of the stricken Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Anonymous AP

In a dramatic reversal, Tokyo Electric Power Co. admitted for the first time that if it had fixed known safety issues, Japan's nuclear disaster following the March 2011 tsunami could have been avoided.

The Associated Press says the utility company made the admission in a statement released Friday. The AP reports the company said it delayed implementing the safety measures because of political, economic and legal pressures.

The AP adds:

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8:18am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Two-Way

Pakistan Arrests Three Men In Taliban Shooting Of 15-Year-Old Girl

Malala Yousafzai in March 2012.
T. Mughal EPA /LANDOV

Authorities have arrested three men suspected of having a role in the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, the 15-year-old activist who demanded an education for girls.

NBC News reports:

"Police said the suspects, aged between 17 and 22, had claimed the person who organized the attack Tuesday — in which two other young girls were shot and injured — was a man called Attaullah."

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5:24am

Fri October 12, 2012
The Two-Way

The European Union Wins The 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 6:01 am

European Union flag and Greek flag wave in front of the Acropolis, in central Athens.
Andreas Solaro AFP/Getty Images

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has bestowed its prestigious Peace Prize upon the European Union for what it says is a six decade contribution "to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe"

In its press conference, the committee said the union cemented peace between France and Germany and shows that "through well-aimed efforts and by building up mutual confidence, historical enemies can become close partners."

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4:32am

Fri October 12, 2012
Business

Pentagon Revising Cyber Rules Of Engagement

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:36 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with rules of engagement.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Last night, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta issued these words of warning: foreign cyber actors - he said - are probing America's critical infrastructure networks.

As NPR's Larry Abramson reports, Panetta says the Pentagon is revising its cyber rules of engagement, so it can respond to those attacks.

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4:23am

Fri October 12, 2012
Election 2012

Fact-Checking The Vice Presidential Debate

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 5:39 am

A team of NPR correspondents joins Renee Montagne to give Thursday night's vice presidential debate a "Close Read." The discussion will take up the foreign and domestic issues covered in the debate with analysis and fact checking. Reporters include: John Ydstie, Julie Rovner, Michele Kelemen, Larry Abramson and Tom Bowman.

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