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Energy
3:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Drilling For Facts Under The 'Promised Land' Fiction

Matt Damon's character in the movie Promised Land comes to town to convince a landowner to allow a gas company to drill on his property.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:41 am

There is plenty in the movie Promised Land that will prompt energy industry insiders to roll their eyes. But the overall issues explored in the film, which is being widely released in theaters Friday, are very real.

A process called hydraulic fracturing has led to drilling booms that are transforming rural communities into industrial zones. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground. But first, gas companies have to convince landowners to allow them to drill.

The Natural Gas Pitch

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StoryCorps
3:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Single Mom's Toughness Pays Off

Reginald Mason, 47, says he owes his successes to his mother, who kept him disciplined during a financially tough upbringing.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:46 am

Reginald Mason was 11 when his father died, so his mother raised him in Harlem by herself.

"She made me and shaped me as a man," Mason, now 47, told StoryCorps, "which, to me, was very difficult for a woman to do without a father being around."

She did a good job, Mason said — despite her toughness.

"The first time my mother told me that she actually loved me, I was 32," he said.

Mason recalls watching his mother struggle financially.

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Shots - Health News
6:17 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

You Can't See It, But You'll Be A Different Person In 10 Years

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:06 am

No matter how old people are, they seem to believe that who they are today is essentially who they'll be tomorrow.

That's according to fresh research that suggests that people generally fail to appreciate how much their personality and values will change in the years ahead — even though they recognize that they have changed in the past.

Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues, says that he's no exception to this rule.

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The Two-Way
6:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Kansas Presses Sperm Donor To Pay Child Support

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:36 pm

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

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Energy
5:31 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:29 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

After Sandy, Can The Jersey Shore Come Home Again?

A woman walks past a cabana complex pulled off its foundations by Superstorm Sandy in Sea Bright, N.J., in November.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 8:25 pm

Think about it and you'll start to realize how important the Jersey shore is to American culture. Sure there's the television show Jersey Shore, but there are more enduring signs. Consider the board game Monopoly; properties are named after Atlantic City locations. And during a television fundraiser for Superstorm Sandy victims in November, comedian Jimmy Fallon talked specifically about the Jersey Shore.

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Movies
5:19 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

E-Vote Hiccups Delay Oscar Balloting

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers prepare ballots for last year's Oscars mailing. Glitches in a new online voting system have prompted organizers to push back this year's balloting deadline.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

Voting for this year's Oscar nominations was supposed to have closed today — but it's been bumped a day, in the wake of complaints about the new online voting system put in place by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hollywood Reporter analyst Scott Feinberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the system was supposed to make life easier for academy members.

"Going to e-voting would allow voters to vote from anywhere in the world, if they're on vacation or whatever during the holidays, and just make the process itself more streamlined and efficient."

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Deceptive Cadence
4:57 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

In January's Drought, Three Albums Worth Waiting For

Classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt have an album coming out in March.
Sony Classical

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 9:17 am

In high season, as many as two dozen albums appear in my mail bin each week. But in the first weeks of any new year, new releases are a rarity. That means patiently waiting for 2013's first intriguing albums to arrive. As a sort of appetizer, we offer three tracks from albums I'm really looking forward to. These artists (and their record companies) have generously allowed us these tantalizing tastes of what's to come.

Any releases you're impatiently awaiting? Let us know in the comments section.

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Law
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Father Or Sperm Donor? Kansas Case Says Distinction Comes From A Doctor

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 6:10 pm

A Kansas man who donated his sperm to a lesbian couple is now being pressed by the state to pay child support. Robert Siegel talks to Tim Hrenchir of the Topeka Capital-Journal, about the case. He has been covering it for the newspaper.

Technology
4:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

FTC Closes Google Anti-Trust Investigation Without Penalties

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 9:02 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Federal Trade Commission has closed its long-running antitrust investigation of Google. The search giant avoided any financial penalties, and the FTC's move is widely seen as a victory for Google. NPR's Steve Henn has been following the story and joins us now to fill us in on the details. And, Steve, this investigation has been going on for years. And now that it's over, I mean, how big a victory is it really for Google?

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