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5:42pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Sports

Welcome, Spring — And More Importantly, Playoff Hockey

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After the marathon, Boston sports fans will still have playoff hockey. If you pay attention to the National Hockey League, then you probably heard or maybe even said that there's nothing like the playoffs. And judging from the start of this year's playoffs, it's not an exaggeration. Here to talk more about it is sportswriter Stefan Fatsis. And, Stefan, the NHL playoffs began on Wednesday, but just how exciting have these first games been?

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5:40pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Politics

In Virginia, Politicians Fish For Support At Old-Fashioned Event

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Former Sen. George Allen (center) greets attendees at the 64th annual Wakefield Shad Planking in Wakefield, Va., in April 2012. This year's Shad Planking featured Democratic Sen. Mark Warner as the speaker.
Steve Helber AP

At a time when new technologies and social media are transforming politics, we turn to a decidedly old-fashioned campaign event. It's an annual festival known as the Shad Planking, a spring rite of Virginia politics for nearly 70 years.

It's a must-attend event for state politicians, who practice the oldest form of retail politicking among tall pine trees at a dusty campsite.

In Wakefield, about an hour southeast of Virginia's capital of Richmond, shad fish have been roasting by on an open fire since 5 a.m. They're nailed to oak planks.

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5:02pm

Fri April 18, 2014
The Two-Way

Rescue Workers Erect Memorial To Washington Mudslide Victims

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:35 pm

A memorial erected by rescue workers near the site of the March 22 mudslide that killed at least 39 people.
Martin Kaste NPR

Rescue workers still searching for bodies from the March 22 landslide that killed at least 39 people near the town of Oso, Washington, erected a simple, but moving memorial to the victims of the tragedy. Four people are still listed as missing.

NPR's Martin Kaste, who took the photo, says the rescue effort is in a "transition phase" as crews from other states are leaving and being replaced by fresh searchers.

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4:58pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Code Switch

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean Dies At 83

Courtesy of Craig Schwartz Photography

Playwright Phillip Hayes Dean died earlier this week. His family says the 83 year-old died in Los Angeles of a heart condition. He was in the midst of overseeing a production of his most famous play, "Paul Robeson."

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4:46pm

Fri April 18, 2014
It's All Politics

Obama: Your Question, Ms. Keith?

Snapshots from a NPR White House correspondent's life. That's Tamara Keith's Air Force 1 selfie (bottom left), and her asking the president a question at Thursday's press conference (upper right).
Tamara Keith NPR

I officially became NPR's White House correspondent in January. But the job didn't seem real until Thursday at 3:56 PM, when the President of the United States looked down at a white note card and said "ahhhh, Tamara Keith."

That was my cue to ask a question — my first at a presidential press conference.

Here's what the experience felt like — and how it happened.

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4:37pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Shots - Health News

One Scientist's Quest To Vanquish Epileptic Seizures

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

The dream of epilepsy research, says neurobiologist Ivan Soltesz, is to stop seizures by manipulating only some brain cells, not all.
Steve Zylius UC Irvine Communications

In the early 1990s, a young brain researcher named Ivan Soltesz heard a story that would shape his career.

His adviser told him about a school for children whose epileptic seizures were so severe and frequent that they had to wear helmets to prevent head injuries. The only exception to the helmet rule was for students who received an award.

"The big deal for them is that they can take the helmet off while they're walking across the stage," Soltesz says. "And that thing struck me as just wrong."

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4:34pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

Steely Dan On Piano Jazz

Donald Fagen (left) and Walter Becker of Steely Dan.
Danny Clinch Courtesy of the artist

In Steely Dan, guitarist Walter Becker and singer-pianist Donald Fagen are masters of irony and erudition.

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
News

Disaster On Everest Marks Deadliest Day In Mountain's History

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Just ahead of peak climbing season on Mount Everest, tragedy has struck once again. At least 12 local climbers are dead and several more or missing after a massive avalanche this morning. The climbers, Nepalese Sherpas, were setting up ropes along a dangerous stretch of slope used by adventure tourism companies. This is looking to be the deadliest day in Mount Everest's history and the worst accident since 1996 when eight climbers died in a blizzard.

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Commentary

Week In Politics: A Deal On Ukraine And Health Care Numbers

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And we're joined now by our regular Friday political observers, columnists E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Brookings Institution. Hey there, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Hey, good to be with you.

CORNISH: And David Brooks of The New York Times. Hi there, David.

DAVID BROOKS: Good to be with you.

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4:08pm

Fri April 18, 2014
Politics

Hey, Superheroes On The National Mall: Any Advice For Congress?

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 7:13 pm

People arrive on the National Mall Friday dressed as comic book characters during the kickoff of Awesome Con 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

Hundreds of people gathered on the National Mall Friday to see if they could break the Guinness World Record for the largest group dressed as comic book characters ever assembled.

It was the kickoff to Awesome Con 2014, a comic book convention that will take place in Washington, D.C., this weekend. In the end, the group came up short by several hundred people to break the world record.

But with so much superhero power concentrated next to the U.S. Capitol, NPR had to ask: Did the caped figures have any advice for Congress?

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