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Science
2:08 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Time To Overhaul America's Aging Bridges?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY; I'm Ira Flatow. Five years ago this month, the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, sending a full load of rush-hour traffic into the Mississippi River. The disaster injured nearly 150 people, killed 13. The bridge was literally falling apart.

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Science
2:04 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Unwinding The Cucumber Tendril Mystery

How a cucumber creates its curling tendril has stumped scientists for centuries, including Charles Darwin and Asa Gray. With the help of time-lapse photography and prosthetic tendril fabricated in the lab, physicist Sharon Gerbode, biologist Joshua Puzey and colleagues figured out why tendrils twist, according to a new study in Science.

Participation Nation
2:03 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Hay Is For Horses In Tryon, N.C.

Dedicating hay bales to the emergency food bank for horses.
Courtesy of Libbie Johnson

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 5:16 pm

The Tryon area has been known as "Horse Country" for almost a century. People here take their equine economy seriously, it's a major source of jobs. Drought conditions and the economy have forced many horse owners into a predicament of how to feed their families and their horses.

So the Hay Pledge was born. Horse owners and hay growers "pledge" 10 bales of hay if asked — unless their supplies are too low to share. Calls for assistance are confidential. Some 500 bales have been delivered in 2012, but winter is coming and that number will go up significantly.

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Politics
1:52 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

It's All Politics, Aug. 30, 2012

Spencer Platt Getty Images
  • Listen to the Roundup

NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin discuss highlights of the Republican National Convention — the speeches, the delegates, and what it all means for this year's election. In other news, Rep. Ben Quayle loses the GOP congressional primary in Arizona. Does that signal the end of his political career?

And borrowing from the Republican convention slogan that grew out of a statement from President Obama on the campaign trail, it's the "We Built It" edition of the "It's All Politics" podcast.

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Technology
1:52 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Surveying The Mobile Landscape, Post Patent Battle

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, you might want to pay attention to this story because last week a jury in California reached a verdict in a major patent battle case between electronics makers Apple and Samsung, a fight over the way their mobile devices worked and looked.

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Planet Money
1:51 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Inside America's Most Indebted City

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg, Pa., incinerator.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 4:58 pm

Harrisburg, Pa., leads the nation in a dubious distinction: It has the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion.

The bizarre tale behind the massive debt includes a do-gooder who skipped town, an epically mismanaged incinerator, and possible criminal behavior.

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A Blog Supreme
1:48 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Around The Jazz Internet: Aug. 31, 2012

Drummer Jimmy Cobb plays at the 2012 Heineken Jazzaldia, the international jazz festival in San Sebastian, Spain.
Rafa Rivas AFP/Getty Images

Next Wednesday: Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts Live at the Village Vanguard. But first, these news:

  • Larry Blumenfeld, a very good writer, has a new jazz blog up at the ARTINFO.com site.
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Television
1:44 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Meet The Brains Behind "Bones"

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, the brains behind "Bones." If you go to the beach this weekend and check out what the other sunbathers are reading, there's a good chance you'll come across someone deep into a Temperance Brennan crime novel. Brennan is a forensic anthropologist, the person the police call when they find human remains that are, well, past their prime, if we say.

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

3 Celebrity Friendships That Weren't Meant To Be

Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon prepare to take off for a U.S. tour on Aug. 13, 1965. Fourteen days later, they'd find themselves in a much-anticipated but very awkward meeting with Elvis Presley.
Evening Standard/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 11:32 am

Years ago, when NPR's Susan Stamberg was working for the wife of an American ambassador in New Delhi, she answered the door to the ambassador's home to find the maharajah of Jaipur standing outside.

"Your highness," she said, "what gorgeous pearls you're wearing."

"Oh, thank you," the maharaja replied. "On Tuesdays I wear pearls; on Wednesdays it's emeralds; Thursday, rubies."

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Space
1:39 pm
Fri August 31, 2012

Gazing Up At A Double Sun

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

If you headed outside this Labor Day weekend, besides seeing that second blue moon of the month, just look up at the sky, would you believe that about half of those stars you see are actually two stars or more, the kind of double star system that's quite common? And this week, astronomers reported on the discovery of a planetary system orbiting such a binary star, two planets orbiting two suns. It's called Kepler-47 after the Kepler planet-hunting mission that spotted it.

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