National

Around the Nation
4:41 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

In Pumpkin Regatta, It's Toothy Grins All Around

Peter Geiger lines up before the start of the pumpkin race in Damariscotta, Maine.
Patty Wight Maine Public Radio

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 8:37 pm

The typical jack-o'-lanterns that don front stoops this time of year pale in comparison to their multihundred-pound brethren: the giant pumpkin. Every year in Damariscotta, Maine, people hollow them out, climb inside and race them in the annual pumpkin regatta. There are two divisions — paddleboat and powerboat — and thousands gather to see whether it will be sink or swim for the contestants.

Topher Mallory bolts a wooden frame onto the flesh of his 550-pound pumpkin powerboat. The stern is large enough to mount a 10 horsepower engine — double that of most competitors.

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Business
4:41 pm
Mon October 8, 2012

Plucky Former Poultry Farmer Goes Wild For Gators

A group of baby gators basking in the sun.
jganser iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 9:29 pm

Just outside of Camilla, Ga. — about four hours southwest of Atlanta — up a dirt road called Alligator Lane, is one of the largest alligator farms in the country.

"We've got about 20 chicken houses, and we've got about 100,000 alligators on the farm," says owner Mark Glass.

That's right, 100,000 alligators, and they are in big demand in Europe's high-fashion industry.

Right now it's hatching season.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:08 am
Mon October 8, 2012

For Families Of Medicare Recipients, Insurance Choices Are Tricky

Bruce Osterweil, 59, of San Francisco has long relied on his wife's employer-sponsored health plan for coverage, but she recently turned 65 and signed up for Medicare. She's going to retire in January and now Bruce is on his own to find a plan on the individual insurance market.
Sarah Varney KFF

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 12:23 pm

Bruce Osterweil is a lucky man to live just a short walk from where San Francisco's Golden Gate meets the cold, rough waters of the Pacific Ocean. He is also a lucky man to have married his wife, Patricia Furlong, who has long provided the family's health insurance through her job at a small financial consulting firm.

But last month, Osterweil's wife turned 65 and decided to retire, and although she may walk away with a crystal bowl or a golden watch for all those years of service, she will also walk away from her company's generous health insurance benefits.

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National Security
3:07 am
Mon October 8, 2012

Predicting The Future: Fantasy Or A Good Algorithm?

Originally published on Mon October 8, 2012 11:47 am

After failing to predict the Arab Spring, intelligence officials are now exploring whether Big Data, the combing of billions of pieces of disparate electronic information, can help them identify hot spots before they explode. The intelligence community has always been in the business of forecasting the future. The question is whether tapping into publicly available data — Twitter and news feeds and blogs among other things — can help them do that faster and more precisely.

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Presidential Race
7:38 pm
Sun October 7, 2012

Presidential Politics: Does Likeability Matter?

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event in St. Petersburg, Fla. Slate Magazine's John Dickerson says likeability doesn't matter as much in a presidential campaign as you might think.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:32 am

William Lowndes was a congressman from South Carolina who served in the early part of the 19th century. He was once asked to describe who should serve as chief executive.

"The presidency is not an office to be either solicited or declined," he said.

In 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes didn't even vote for himself. He saw it as unseemly. And in 1916, Woodrow Wilson called campaigning "a great interruption to the rational consideration of public questions."

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Economy
7:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Simpson-Bowles Re-Emerges

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Simpson, Bowles - the names flew by eight times, without explanation, during Wednesday's presidential debate. Google reported that Simpson-Bowles was among the most searched-for terms online that night. The reference was to Republican elder statesman Alan Simpson and his Democratic counterpart, Erskine Bowles. The two headed a 2010 commission on the national debt.

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Around the Nation
7:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Thousands Hold Fast To Tradition Of Oral Storytelling

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Before Twitter, radio, even electricity - in fact, going all the way back to pre-historic times, people gathered around fires to listen to stories. Even though the glow of computers has replaced the warmth of the campfire for most of us, some folks still hold fast to the tradition of oral storytelling.

As Missy Shelton reports, nearly 10,000 people have gathered this weekend for the National Storytelling Festival in northeast Tennessee to hear professional tellers weave some good yarns.

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Sports
7:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

Comparing Greatness In Sports

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIFE IS A BALLGAME")

SISTER WINONA CARR: (Singing) Life is a ball game being played each day. Life...

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's time for sports with the guy we turn to every Sunday, just because we like him and he keeps answering the phone when we call, NPR's Mike Pesca.

(LAUGHTER)

MARTIN: Hey, Mike.

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: The second thing first, right?

MARTIN: Yeah, pretty much.

PESCA: Yeah. He's there and 'cause that we like him. But he's there.

(LAUGHTER)

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Presidential Race
7:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

As N.H. Wobbles, Third Party Could Push It Over

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.

The latest national polls show the presidential race tightening in some of the all-important battleground states, with Republican Mitt Romney gaining on President Barack Obama's lead. We've been talking with political reporters in these swing states and this morning, we focus on New Hampshire. President Obama won the state back in 2008 with 54 percent of the vote to John McCain's 45 percent. The state's four electoral votes could be crucial this year.

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National Security
7:55 am
Sun October 7, 2012

After Years-Long Battles, Terrorism Suspects In U.S.

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 1:24 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Prosecutors are calling it a milestone for the U.S. justice system. A radical Islamic cleric and four other of America's most wanted terrorism suspects have finally appeared in courts in New York and Connecticut. Authorities had fought for years to extradite the men from the United Kingdom. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

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