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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
5:36 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

An Atheist Monument Rises In Florida

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:10 pm

As NPR reported over the weekend, the first monument to atheism erected on government property in the United States has been dedicated in Florida.

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Planet Money
5:32 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

An MIT Project That Lets You Spy On Yourself

This is my (Gmail) life.
immersion.mit.media.edu

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:54 am

Of all the stuff on metadata I've seen in the past few weeks, this is my favorite:

It's my favorite in large part because it's my metadata. It comes from my Gmail account. The relationships it maps are, more or less, my life — orange circles for Planet Money, purple for Brooklyn, brown for college. The big red circle that gets cut off at the bottom of the screengrab is my mom.

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Author Interviews
5:30 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Tragic Story Of 'Traviata' Muse Marie Duplessis

Ross MacGibbon Collection of Musee de la Dame aux Camellias

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 7:12 pm

You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.

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National Security
5:29 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Leak Case Highlights Troubles With Security Clearance Checks

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:53 pm

The case of Edward Snowden has put a spotlight on the large number of people who have security clearances: 5 million people in the United States have been granted the authority to look at classified information.

And 1.4 million of them have top-secret clearances, the highest classification.

Everyone with a security clearance has to undergo a background check. Those investigations are overseen by the federal Office of Personnel Management, but they are often conducted by outside contractors.

The biggest of those contractors is now under investigation.

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It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Will Texas Become A Presidential Battleground?

Texas was decidedly red on the electoral map in NBC News' "Election Plaza" in New York's Rockefeller Center in 2008. Do Democrats really have a chance to turn it blue in the future?
Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:11 pm

All this week, NPR is taking a look at the demographic changes that could reshape the political landscape in Texas over the next decade — and what that could mean for the rest of the country.

With the two parties in Washington gridlocked on immigration, the budget and other issues, it's easy to forget that when it comes to winning presidential elections, one party has a distinct advantage.

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Digital Life
5:27 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Kids Unplugged: Summer Camps Ban Electronics

Camp Sloane director Andrew Keener, staff and campers gather for an end of the year campfire last year.
Courtesy of Camp Sloane

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:31 pm

A decade ago, many summer camps nationwide started instituting a no-tech policy, banning cellphones, pagers and electronic games.

Camp Manitou-Lin in Middleville, Mich., had just started banning electronics at the start of summer in 2003.

Back then, 11-year-old Michael Lake of Grand Rapids was not so enthusiastic about the new policy. "I live on my Game Boy. When I get home, I'm going to need two packs of batteries," he said.

Cut to 2013, and the Xbox, Instagram, iPhone and iPad. Technology has dramatically changed, and yet some things have stayed the same.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
5:24 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Laura Mvula: Tiny Desk Concert

Laura Mvula performs a Tiny Desk Concert on May 15, 2013.
Marie McGrory NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 5:24 pm

Listen to Laura Mvula's terrific full-length debut, Sing to the Moon, and you'll hear soulful pop music in Technicolor. The U.K. singer's sonic ambition is boundless: Her intricately layered songs straddle genres, locations and eras in ways that sound entirely original.

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Krulwich Wonders...
5:19 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

A Beautiful Notion: That Caterpillars Killed Off The Dinosaurs

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 10:52 am

For the last hundred years, scientists have been wondering why the dinosaurs disappeared so quickly. Was there one key reason, or several?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
5:11 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Chest Hair, Breast Milk And Human Disgust

Commissioned by Wing-Co. for an ad campaign, the maker of this coat says it contains over one million strands of male chest hair.
Wing-Co.

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 12:09 pm

Would you wear a coat made entirely of male chest hair?

As part of an advertising campaign to cast a new chocolate milk drink as a "manly" beverage, the British branch of an international dairy company commissioned the "Man-Fur Coat," created from chest hair donated by 300 male volunteers.

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It's All Politics
5:06 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry Will Keep Texas Guessing. Until Monday

Texas Gov. Rick Perry addresses the Conservative Political Action Committee in February 2012.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:36 pm

Will he or won't he?

The Texas political class has been abuzz this week about more than just Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' abortion bill filibuster-heard-round-the-nation.

The other occupying parlor game: Whether three-term Republican Gov. Rick Perry intends to seek an unprecedented fourth full term.

CNN and other news organizations reported Tuesday afternoon that Perry, a failed 2012 GOP presidential candidate, plans an announcement Monday about his "exciting future plans."

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