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Nickel Tour: Get To Know Great Tour Guides
1:03 am
Wed August 14, 2013

The Vintage Cadillac With The Memphis Soundtrack

American Safari tour guide Tad Pierson stands beside his 1955 pink Cadillac. Visitors to Memphis can get a personalized tour that highlights the city's rich music heritage.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 8:16 am

In the town where I grew up — Memphis, Tenn. — Tad Pierson has made a career out of his love for cars and American music by working as a tour guide. We meet in the grand lobby of the Peabody Hotel, the downtown landmark famous for its ducks and Southern elegance. But it's also considered the starting point of the Mississippi Delta, a region steeped in the blues.

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Sweetness And Light
12:55 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Pete Rose Should Enter The Hall Of Fame With Ichiro Suzuki

Former baseball player Pete Rose at a boxing event in Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 8, 2012.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 8:16 am

In Japan, a noren is a short curtain that hangs to the entrance of a little teahouse or restaurant. It is not solid, but made of strips, and so when you go through it, your hand goes first, then your arm, and the rest of you, but quickly the strips fall back into place, and it is as if a wisp, a ghost, a sprite has passed through.

I always visualized Ichiro Suzuki that way, slipping from Japanese baseball to our major leagues so effortlessly, barely stirring the air.

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The Two-Way
5:46 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Columbine High School Principal Says He Will Retire

Columbine High School Principal Frank DeAngelis at a candlelight vigil at the Columbine Memorial at Clement Park near Littleton, Colo., in April of 2009.
Chris Schneider AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 6:13 am

Frank DeAngelis, the Columbine High School principal who helped usher students to safety during the 1999 shootings, announced he will retire at the end of the 2013-14 school year.

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The Salt
5:31 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

In Iraq, Laying Claim To The Kebab

Many different Middle Eastern cultures claim to have invented the kebab.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 13, 2013 8:54 pm

When you hear the word "kebab" in America, you might think of skewers with chunks of chicken or beef and vegetables, marinated and grilled on coals or gas. But say "kebab" in the Middle East, and it means a lot of things — chunks of lamb or liver on skewers, or the more popular version of grilled ground meat logs found in Turkey, Iran and much of the Arab world.

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The Two-Way
4:57 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Air Force Nuclear Unit Fails Inspection

The 341st Missile Wing at the Malmstrom Airforce Base in Montana handles one-third of the United States' land-based nuclear missiles.

Today, it failed an inspection after making "tactical-level errors during one of several exercises," the Air Force's Global Strike Command said in a statement.

The AP reports this is the second setback in a year for the unit. The news service adds:

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All Tech Considered
4:44 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Hacking Real Things Becomes Child's Play At This Camp

Owen Chilcoat hacking his tablet. "I am just messing around ... trying to break it," he says.
Steve Henn NPR

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 7:56 am

At r00tz, a camp that takes place each year during the Def Con convention in Las Vegas, children learn to pick locks, hack smart TVs and, most important, how to take apart and understand the technology that surrounds them.

The scene inside the camp a couple weeks ago was a bit of a madhouse — controlled chaos. Little kids everywhere. Brendan Herman was trying to program a machine to draw pictures on ping-pong balls, wearing a tinfoil hat.

"To protect me from aliens," he said.

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Code Switch
4:33 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

For a Stop-And-Frisk Plaintiff, A 'Heartbreaking' Birthday

Nicholas Peart, far left, was stopped by police on his 18th birthday.
Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 12:54 pm

Not long ago, we wrote about The Talk, the conversation that many young men of color get from their parents about how to manage being seen as suspicious and navigate fraught encounters with police officers. It's why Nicholas Peart's story resonated with us. Peart, who lives in Harlem, was one of the plaintiffs in New York City's big stop-and-frisk case.

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Business
4:28 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

DOJ Suit Seen Delaying, Not Killing Big Airline Merger

A United Airlines jet takes off behind a US Airways jet at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on Tuesday.
Win McNamee Getty Images

The government's decision Tuesday to oppose the merger of US Airways and American Airlines stunned airline analysts, but many predicted the deal eventually will win go through.

"Given that other airline mergers were approved, this was a surprise," University of Richmond transportation economist George Hoffer said. Other major carriers already have been allowed to combine forces, so "it's illogical to oppose this merger. This move comes a day late and a dollar short," he said.

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NPR Story
4:13 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Holder Scales Back Use Of Harsh Drug Sentences

Prisoners reach through the bars at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., Jan. 18, 2008. Sometimes they use small mirrors to get a glimpse of their neighbors and the correctional officers. (AP)

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:29 pm

Attorney General Eric Holder says low-level, nonviolent drug offenders who have no link with gangs or organized crime will no longer be charged with crimes that impose harsh mandatory minimum sentences.

The U.S. prison population has increased by about one-third since the 1980s, when legislation was passed to get tough on the use of marijuana and crack cocaine.

Holder also announced that older, non-violent inmates will be released if it’s determined they pose no threat to the public.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:13 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

This Pulsing Earth

John Nelson IDV Solutions

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 11:00 am

It's breathing, he thought. "All of a sudden I see a thing with a heartbeat."

John Nelson is a designer, well known for tracing complex weather patterns or cultural information on maps, so considering what he usually does, this was easy. NASA's Visible Earth team publishes pictures of our planet every month of the year, so John thought, why not stitch them together, and see what the seasons look like from outer space?

So he stitched, and then looked.

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