NPR News



Tue August 4, 2015
Shots - Health News

Women, There's A Reason Why You're Shivering In The Office

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 4:44 pm

It may be August, but in the office it feels like January. And there's a mysterious man to blame.
Neil Webb Getty Images/Ikon Images

He was probably about 40 years old, 155 pounds, white and wearing a suit. And he's the reason why women are shivering at their desks in air-conditioned buildings.

At some point in the 1930s, someone defined "metabolic equivalents" — how much energy a body requires while sitting, walking and running. Almost a century later, the back-of-the-envelope calculations are considered a standard for many things, including air conditioning.

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Tue August 4, 2015
The Two-Way

Your Pill Is Printing: FDA Approves First 3-D-Printed Drug

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 1:49 pm

A product image provided by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals shows Spritam 750 mg (foreground) and 1,000 mg tablets. The 3-D-printed pills have been approved by the FDA.

In a first, the Food and Drug Administration has given approval to a drug that is produced on a 3-D printer. The pill, produced by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals, treats seizures. It's expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2016.

NPR's Rob Stein reports for our Newscast unit:

"The drug is called Spritam and is designed to treat seizures in people suffering from epilepsy. It's a new version of a seizure medication that's been on the market for years.

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Tue August 4, 2015
The Two-Way

Did Beijing's Olympics Song Lift Parts Of 'Let It Go'?

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 12:02 pm

Fireworks explode behind a skiing sculpture to celebrate Beijing being chosen to host the 2022 Winter Olympics last week.
Jason Lee Reuters /Landov


Tue August 4, 2015
Goats and Soda

In The Fight Against Tsetse Flies, Blue Is The New Black

If you were a tsetse fly, you would be irresistibly attracted to these blue flags.
Courtesy of J.Esterhuizen/LSTM Tsetse Project

Walk along one of the many streams and rivers in the West Nile region of Uganda, and you'll notice something funny. All along the riverbanks, you'll see small pieces of blue cloth, attached to wooden stakes in the ground. There's one every 50 yards or so.

No, this isn't some half-baked public art project. These dinky contraptions are actually flytraps, designed to lure and kill tsetse flies, whose bites transmit a parasitic disease called sleeping sickness, which, like rabies, drives victims mad before it kills them.

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Tue August 4, 2015
Book Reviews

'Fifth Season' Embraces The Scale And Complexity Of Fantasy

Courtesy of Orbit Books

There are two ways to look at the kind of fantasy novels that come with big glossaries at the end. Negatively, they're self-indulgent exercises in building fictional worlds, with the author fixating on the sheer quantity of settings and characters to the exclusion of all else. Positively, fantasy-novel glossaries help the reader keep track of an intricate clockwork of imaginary peoples, places, and things — and that intricacy actually pays off.

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Tue August 4, 2015
The Two-Way

Circus Tent Collapse Kills 2 During Storm In New Hampshire

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:03 am

Officials are investigating the cause of a tent collapse that killed two people and injured more than a dozen others.
Chris Jensen NHPR

A man and a girl were killed while watching a traveling circus show Monday evening, after a strong storm dislodged the circus tent's poles and caused a collapse. Officials are now working to find out more about what went wrong at the fairgrounds in Lancaster, N.H.

"We lost two lives — a father and a daughter — at an event that was supposed to be fun," Gov. Maggie Hassan told local TV station WMUR.

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Tue August 4, 2015

Play Hard, Live Free: Where Wild Play Still Rules

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 10:32 am

Joseph Straus, 6, rides a zip line at the Berkeley Adventure Playground, where kids can "play wild" in a half-acre park that has a junkyard feel.
David Gilkey/NPR

Braden Swenson wanders into a semi-rickety wooden shed on his search for gold, treasure and riches.

"Is there any treasure in here?" he asks in the endearing dialect of a 4-year-old. "I've been looking everywhere for them. I can't find any." The proto-pirate toddler conducts a quick search, then wanders away to continue his quest elsewhere.

Not far away, Ethan Lipsie, age 9, clutches a framing hammer and a nine-penny nail. He's ready to hang his freshly painted sign on a wooden "fort" he's been hammering away on. It says, "Ethan, Hudson and William were here."

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Tue August 4, 2015
Code Switch

So You Flunked A Racism Test. Now What?

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 11:07 am

Mary McLain NPR

You're probably at least a little bit racist and sexist and homophobic. Most of us are.

Before you get all indignant, try taking one of the popular implicit-association tests. Created by sociologists at Harvard, the University of Washington, and the University of Virginia, they measure people's unconscious prejudice by testing how easy — or difficult — it is for the test-takers to associate words like "good" and "bad" with images of black people versus white people, or "scientist" and "lab" with men versus women.

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Tue August 4, 2015
The Two-Way

Monsoon Flooding Kills Dozens In Myanmar, Prompting Calls For Help

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 6:24 pm

A boy paddles a makeshift raft in flooded Kalay township, in the Sagaing region of Myanmar. Heavy monsoon rains have affected more than 210,000 people in 12 out of Myanmar's 14 states and regions since June.
Ko Thaung Xinhua /Landov

At least 46 deaths have been blamed on flooding and landslides in Myanmar, where monsoon rains have forced disaster declarations in four regions. More than 1 million acres of farmland have been flooded, the government says.

Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is appealing for international aid to help it cope with the flooding. Officials also say that because water has blocked travel between some areas, they don't yet know the full extent of the crisis.

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Tue August 4, 2015
13.7: Cosmos And Culture

The Epic Battle Of Science Vs. Malarkey

Originally published on Tue August 4, 2015 3:10 pm

Science does a lot of things for us. It creates astonishing technologies transforming our lives for the better. It reveals unseen dimensions of wonder, from the grandeur of spinning galaxies to the marvels of microscopic cells.

But for all that wonder and all those game-changing technologies, sometimes science just turns out to be the best way to call "BS."

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