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'It's All Politics': NPR's Weekly News Roundup
12:04 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

It's All Politics, Dec. 13, 2012

Win McNamee Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

Labor pains in Michigan, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner head to the cliff, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is steamed, and we're still waiting for a Senate replacement for Jim DeMint in South Carolina.

It looks like the only folks smiling in this week's podcast are Ken Rudin and Ron Elving.

The Salt
12:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise

Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? beer has been a fast seller, the company's brewmaster says.
Jazz Aldrich Great Basin Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:50 pm

The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Using Science to Care for Your Christmas Tree

Nothing beats the smell of a live Christmas tree in your home, but how can you keep the needles on your tree and off your carpet? Rick Bates, professor of horticulture at Penn State University, offers tips for how to properly care for your Christmas tree this holiday season.

NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Ask A Quantum Mechanic

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Did you know plants use quantum mechanics every day? That quantum computers can hack the encryption used in online commerce? Or that a 'quantum internet' could someday teleport your emails? MIT's Seth Lloyd discusses those and other quantum mysteries in this episode of "Ask a quantum mechanic."

NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Alan Alda's Challenge to Scientists: What is Time?

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Of course we'll be keeping you up to date this hour on the shooting spree that's been going on in Newtown, Connecticut. But first something different. When Alan Alda was 11, he asked one of his teachers: What is a flame? The answer he got back was oxidation. Accurate, yeah, but not very helpful.

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Deceptive Cadence
11:55 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Every Time Quasthoff Sings An Angel Gets His Wings

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 2:30 pm

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

The Two-Way
11:20 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: 20 Children, 6 Adults Killed At Elementary School

In this photo provided by the Newtown Bee, Connecticut State Police lead children from the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., following a shooting there Friday.
Shannon Hicks Newtown Bee/AP

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 11:36 am

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

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The Two-Way
11:15 am
Fri December 14, 2012

As Egypt Prepares To Vote, Only One Side Seems Organized

An Egyptian activist holds a banner used to spray paint graffiti on a wall urging Egyptians to vote against a draft constitution. The opposition says the constitution does not represent all Egyptians, but their efforts have not been particularly well organized. President Mohamed Morsi and his Islamist supporters support the draft constitution. Voting begins Saturday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

For three consecutive weeks, the Egyptian opposition has called mass protests against a controversial draft constitution that Egyptians are being asked to vote on beginning Saturday.

At each rally, protesters chanted against the document and its key proponents: The Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi, who was among the group's leaders before he was elected Egypt's president.

But the opposition appears to be losing momentum, while the Islamists still appear to be going strong.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:10 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Classical Crib Sheet: Top 5 Stories This Week

The late sitar master and Indian cultural legend Ravi Shankar performing in Bangalore in February 2012.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:46 am

There's no way around what a sad week it's been in music.

  • Charles Rosen, prodigious pianist, scholar and polymath, died Sunday in New York at age 85.
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The Two-Way
9:57 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'We've Got Bigger Fish To Fry' Than Going After Pot Smokers, Obama Says

A woman, identified only as "Hurricane," lights up in Seattle. Washington state's law legalizing the recreational use of marijuana went into effect on Dec. 6.
Cliff Despeaux Reuters /Landov

It looks like the feds will not be worrying much about those folks who choose to smoke pot in Colorado and Washington state, where new laws decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana.

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