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The Two-Way
2:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

New Zealand Lawmakers Pass Same-Sex Marriage Law

Jills Angus Burney, left, and Deborah Hambly, right, who hope to marry in New Zealand, watch lawmakers ahead of the vote on same-sex marriage on Thursday, April 17, 2013.
Nick Perry AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:41 am

By a vote of 77 to 44, lawmakers in New Zealand have passed a new law permitting same-sex marriage. The bill was adopted after its third reading and is to take effect in August, according to the New Zealand Herald.

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All Songs Considered
2:12 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Glenn Jones' Bittersweet 'Farewell' To A Family Home

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:03 am

It's incredibly calming to watch Glenn Jones play acoustic guitar. Whether he's appearing by the train tracks or in one of our Tiny Desk Concerts, there's nothing flashy about his style, only careful consideration as he gently hops over the frets like a lily-padding frog.

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From The NPR Bookshelves
2:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Meet America's Poets Laureate, Past And Present

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:03 am

To celebrate National Poetry Month this April, NPR Books reached into the archives for some interviews with the nation's official poets. Poets Laureate past and present have revealed their eloquence and insight in these interviews, where they discuss their inspirations, their heart-breaking memories, their confrontations with aging — and, in the case of Ted Kooser, how his wife felt about his thousands of Valentines.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

There's Trouble Brewing At The Birth Of The Universe

Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old.
Planck Collaboration ESA

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 4:59 pm

Scientists can't just agree to disagree. It's not because we are stubborn or ornery (OK, maybe we are). It's because the whole point of science is to establish "public knowledge" — an understanding of the cosmos on which we can all agree. That is why there is trouble brewing at the beginning of the Universe.

There is a number, the Hubble Constant, that's fundamental to the study of the cosmos. The problem is, different folks are finding different values for that number and no one yet knows what that means.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:14 am

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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Wisdom Watch
1:58 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Jazz Great Hugh Masekela, Fresh Because He's Fascinated

Mark Shoul Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:58 pm

"I was a good boy," South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela assures NPR's Michel Martin. But still, he says, "as a kid, I was whipped on a slow day at least three times."

Eventually, Masekela told his chaplain, "If I can get a trumpet, Father, I won't bother anybody."

His wish came true.

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Shots - Health News
1:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:19 pm

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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Around the Nation
1:15 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:49 pm

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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The Two-Way
12:52 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

U.S. Calls On Venezuela 'To Respect ... Free Speech' Of Its Citizens

A woman walks past a message painted on a wall in the streets of Caracas reading "Fraud. Maduro Illegitimate."
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 7:29 pm

The United States called on the Venezuelan government to be transparent in its effort to "audit the ballots" of the presidential election held this weekend.

If you missed it, the news that Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro had won by a razor-thin margin unleashed protests in the streets of Caracas.

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WRKF
12:22 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Bill To Prohibit Federal Gun Regulations Squeaks By State House Committee

A bill that seeks to prohibit the enforcement of federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms in Louisiana barely advanced Wednesday in the House.

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