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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

No Joke

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

Why Even Tragedy Gets A Laugh — When comedian Tig Notaro found out she had breast cancer, she incorporated the grim news into her stand-up routine--and got quite a few laughs from the audience. Notaro and neuroscientist Robert Provine discuss the origins of laughter, what separates the amusing from the truly funny, and why even tragedy sometimes gets a laugh.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Blue Whale Barrel Roll Caught On Camera

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: We're ending this hour into the sea, Ira. Could you tell?

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Ooh, yeah. I like it.

LICHTMAN: The noise you're hearing comes from a blue whale; that's an animal that can reach 90 feet in length, which is longer than a tennis court. Biologist...

JEREMY GOLDBOGEN: Hands down, these are largest animals of all time. And so one of the questions we're interested in is how do they sustain such an extreme body mass and why don't we see anything bigger than a blue whale?

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Curiosity 2.0? NASA Announces New Mars Rover Plans

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Up next, more spacey news.

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

All right.

All right. Can't get enough?

Mm-hmm.

LICHTMAN: Earlier this week, NASA announced plans to launch another rover to Mars in the year 2020. And there's some buzz, there's some speculation that this one could have a wheel up on Curiosity. Maybe it wouldn't just analyze samples there but could shift them back to Earth.

FLATOW: You know, I've heard that before.

LICHTMAN: Don't be downer, Ira.

(LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Ask an Astronaut: NASA Spaceflyers Open Up

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next up, who didn't, at one time or another, now think about it, who didn't want to be an astronaut when they were growing up, especially those of us, the children of the space-age space race? Well, for those of us whose lives are a bit more Earthbound, we've got a fun edition to our Ask an Expert series. How about Ask an Astronaut? Everything you wanted to ever ask an astronaut, Flora.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri December 7, 2012

(for scifri) Unlocking A Lake's Bacterial Secrets, Beneath 20 Meters Of Ice

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:03 pm

What does life truly need to survive? Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Alison Murray and colleagues describe a community of unusual bacteria that survive under 20 meters of ice in the dark, salty, sub-freezing waters of Lake Vida, Antarctica.

The Salt
10:49 am
Fri December 7, 2012

When It Comes To Boxed Wine, The Cooler, The Better

If you're picking a boxed wine for your party this season, be aware that temperature is everything.
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 12:22 pm

Bag-in-the-box wine doesn't have the classiest of reputations. It's usually cheap and in the past at least, has been aimed at less sophisticated consumers. But in recent years, boxed wine has tried to buck the stereotype, whether by gussying up the product packaging or simply putting higher-quality wine in the box.

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The Two-Way
10:24 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Nurse Who Transferred Prank Call About Pregnant Kate Middleton Is Found Dead

Two Police Officers stand guard in the early morning at the King Edward VII Private Hospital in London, England.
Chris Jackson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 2:11 pm

A prank call by two Australian DJs pretending to be Queen Elizabeth has ended in tragedy this morning: The nurse who transferred the call that led to the divulging of information about a pregnant Kate Middleton was found dead in an apartment today.

The Guardian reports that the woman, Jacintha Saldanha, worked at the King Edward VII hospital, where Middleton was admitted, suffering from severe morning sickness.

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The Two-Way
10:17 am
Fri December 7, 2012

George Zimmerman Sues NBC, Says He's A Victim Of 'Yellow Journalism'

George Zimmerman, who is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, at a court hearing last June in Seminole County, Fla.
Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/pool Getty Images

Former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman says NBC Universal's editorial decisions made him look like a racist when the network covered the shooting and killing of teenager Trayvon Martin.

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The Two-Way
9:45 am
Fri December 7, 2012

PHOTO: Obama Receives Concession Call From Mitt Romney

President Barack Obama talks on the phone with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.
Pete Souza The White House

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:19 am

The White House just released a picture by Pete Souza that shows President Obama taking a concession call from Gov. Mitt Romney on election day.

It shows Obama taking the call on a cellphone from the Presidential Suite at the Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.

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Economy
9:43 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Why A 'Fiscal Cliff' Failure Could Help The Economy

If President Obama and Congress fail to reach a deal on tax and spending changes, the nation would feel a lot of fiscal pain. But it also may benefit from the long-term fiscal restraint that would come from keeping tax hikes and spending cuts in place.
Getty Creative Images

Originally published on Fri December 7, 2012 11:11 am

It wouldn't be the worst thing that could happen to the country.

If President Obama and Congress can't come to agreement on new tax and spending policies by the end of year, the U.S. could slip into recession, defense and domestic programs will see damaging cuts, and the American people may become convinced that Washington can't govern the nation.

On the other hand, the lack of a deal would do a lot to help erase the federal deficit.

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