Music

Music Reviews
3:52 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Personal Space': Relics From Synth Soul's Early Days

Electronic soul artist Jeff Phelps with his synthesizers.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

Early synthesizers were supposed to imitate or re-create other existing sounds, but as anyone can tell you, they mostly sounded like synthesizers. That distinctive whine and wheeze captivated all manner of pop artists, from prog-rockers to classical composers to soul musicians. However, back then, synthesizers were so expensive and bulky, you needed a major-label budget and an entire studio wall to install them.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

California's Top-Two Primary System Faces First Statewide Test

Abel Maldonado, a former California state senator and current congressional candidate, pushed for the change to the top-two primary system. He says he thinks the system will lead to "more open-minded and more reasonable" officials.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:45 pm

When voters go to the polls in California's primary on Tuesday, instead of only being able to vote for candidates in their own party, they will be able to vote for anyone they please.

Tuesday will be the first statewide test of California's new open primary system, where the top two candidates move on to the general election, regardless of party. Backers hope this system will favor moderates.

In California, there aren't very many purple areas. The state has strongly Democratic regions and strongly Republican regions — and the Democrats dominate.

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It's All Politics
3:51 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Romney Rekindles Conservative Doubts With Pick To Lead White House Transition

Mitt and Ann Romney sit behind Michael Leavitt and his wife Jacqueline at the February 2008 funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Romney reportedly has chosen Leavitt to lead his transition team.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:42 pm

With many conservatives already suspecting that he is a conservative of convenience, Mitt Romney apparently hasn't done himself any favors in their eyes with the man he chose to lead his presidential transition.

Politico broke the story Sunday that Romney has chosen Michael Leavitt to oversee the creation of an executive branch in waiting.

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Planet Money
3:48 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Today,' 'Tomorrow,' and Nine Other Words You Can't Search For In China

A Chinese protester, calling for an end to the violence against pro-democracy demonstrators at Tiananmen Square, blocks a line of tanks on June 5, 1989.
Jeff Widner AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 5:20 pm

A weird coincidence has led the Chinese government to block certain Internet searches for "Shanghai Composite Index," the country's big stock exchange.

Twenty-three years ago today — June 4, 1989 — the Chinese government began its violent crackdown on protesters in Tiananmen Square. The Shanghai Stock Exchange fell by 64.89 points on Monday — a number that evokes 6/4/89, the date of the crackdown.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:48 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Potty Talk For The Greater Good

A makeshift latrine hangs over the water at the edge of Cite de Dieu, a slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
John W. Poole / NPR

How do you get people interested in the difference something as simple as a toilet can make for health?

If you're the head of the World Toilet Organization (yes, there is one), or the author of a page-turner about sanitation, or you're part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, you talk toilets up. A lot.

And, it turns out, if you're in Seattle, which considers itself the home for new ideas on global health, talking about poop and toilets will pack an 842-seat theater on a Friday night.

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It's All Politics
3:33 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Supreme Court Backs Secret Service Agents In Dick Cheney Case

Vice President Dick Cheney speaks at a 2006 Republican rally in Idaho.
Jason Hunt AP

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:36 pm

In a case involving then-Vice President Dick Cheney's Secret Service detail, the Supreme Court ruled Monday that agents accused of a politically motivated arrest are immune from suit. But the court's unanimous ruling did little more than resolve this particular case.

The decision stems from an incident in 2006 in the Colorado resort town of Beaver Creek, where Cheney was shaking hands at a shopping mall. Steven Howards got in line and when his turn came, he told the vice president that the Bush administration's Iraq policies were "disgusting."

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All Tech Considered
3:22 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Do These Pants Make Me Look ... ? Body Scans For A Better Fit

OptiTex creates digital models of clothes for department stores like Target and Kohl's. These computer designs let stores create or tweak new styles without actually stitching prototype garments.
OptiTex

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 7:44 pm

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A Blog Supreme
3:18 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

One Of The Best Things Ever Written About Jazz Writing

J.R. Taylor's observations about jazz writing in 1983 remain relevant today.
iStockPhoto

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:39 pm

Is also one of the saddest. Here's the first paragraph:

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

This Past May Is The First Since 2005 Without A Tornado Fatality

Storm clouds pass over the devastated Greenbriar Nursing Home in Joplin, Mo. on May 25, 2011. Eleven residents of the facility died when an EF-5 tornado tore through much of the city.
Charlie Riedel AP

This tweet from Justin Kenney, of the Pew Environment Group, caught our attention:

"This was the first May without a #tornado fatality in US since 2005"

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Report: Facebook Weighing Access For The Under 13 Crowd

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 3:14 pm

Perhaps in a effort to widen its reach, Facebook is exploring ways in which to officially open up its services to kids younger than 13.

That's what The Wall Street Journal reported today adding that Facebook is already used by millions of kids who lie about their age.

The Journal reports:

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