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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
6:32 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Seas You Will Never Cross

An artist's imagination Saturn's orange moon Titan.
Steven Hobbs NASA

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:36 am

Your boots crunch on the icy surface as you climb the long, wind-swept dunes. You are breathing hard and your suit is having a hard time dissipating the heat you're generating. The low, diffuse clouds bathe everything in perpetual twilight. There, it's just a few more steps to the rise. The dune plateaus and, even after all the pictures and videos you've seen, the reality is still startling.

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The Two-Way
5:21 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Parents of Slain Children Share Memories At Newtown Funerals

This photo provided by the family shows Jessica Rekos. Rekos, 6, who was killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Conn.,
AP

Two more funerals were held in Newtown, Conn., Tuesday, for first-graders James Mattioli and Jessica Rekos. The two children were killed in the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School last week.

The Connecticut Post reports that James, 6, was born four weeks early — and that "his family would quip that it was because he was hungry."

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Movie Reviews
5:18 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Shedding Grim Light On A 'Dark' Story

CIA operative Joseph Bradley (Kyle Chandler) discusses a sensitive operation with Dan (Jason Clarke).
Jonathan Olley Sony Pictures

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:43 pm

With the screen pitch-black at the start of Zero Dark Thirty, we hear the confusion and alarm of Sept. 11, 2001: News reports that a plane has hit the World Trade Center, then the voices of a 911 operator reassuring a frightened trade center worker that she'll be OK, though she won't.

When the screen finally brightens, it's for a grim "black site" interrogation half a world away — a nephew of Osama bin Laden (Reda Kateb) strung up from the ceiling, bruised and bloodied, finally cut down only so that he can be waterboarded and stuffed into a tiny crate.

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Movie Reviews
5:17 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

A Touching, Tragic Look At 'Amour' In Autumn

Georges' (Jean-Louis Trintignant) love for his wife, Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), is tested in their old age when her failing health becomes a heavy burden.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 10:22 am

We know from the outset that there's a death coming in Michael Haneke's Amour, a magisterial study of mortality that carried off the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival — and currently tops best-picture lists all over the world. But when we first meet Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), retired Paris music teachers in their 80s, they're in the pink and enjoying a piano recital given by one of Anne's former pupils.

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Planet Money
5:15 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Planet Money: How Much Is A Firefighter Worth?

Caitlin Kenney NPR

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:23 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

On today's show, we visit Fire Station Six in Contra Costa County, Calif.

Firefighters don't go to fires as much as much as they used to. That's because, thanks to modern building codes, fires are much less common than they used to be. Yet the fire dept is still set up the same way: big trucks, lots of fire stations, and lots of firefighters who retire with lifetime pensions.

Rather than close fire stations, the firefighters in Contra Costa County agreed to take a pay cut a few years back. But the county still couldn't afford the fire department.

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This Is NPR
5:15 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Rob Delaney Hearts NPR

Melissa Kuypers NPR

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 4:12 pm

Rob Delaney was a stand-up comedian before extending his work to the feeds of Twitter, where his popularity (he has 670,000 followers) has translated into more ticket sales than anything else he's ever done.

In an interview on All Things Considered, Delaney spoke with NPR Host Audie Cornish about the differences between his Twitter persona (outrageous and satirical) and the role he plays as a humorist on stage (husband and father), and how the internet has given humorists like himself new ways to reach audiences.

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All Tech Considered
5:14 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

The Day Instagram Almost Lost Its Innocence

Instagram was the target of a storm of outrage on Twitter and other sites after the company announced a change in its user agreement that hinted that it might use shared photos in ads.
Karly Domb Sadof AP

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:16 pm

The wildly popular photo-sharing site Instagram nearly caused a user revolt when it revamped its terms of service and privacy policy to suggest it could allow uploaded photos to be used in ads without users' permission.

The change — which was posted in dense legalese on its website Monday — sparked users to vow to stop posting their color-filtered, tilt-shifted photos to Instagram.

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The Two-Way
5:12 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Our Pancakes Are Saved! Charges Filed In Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

Fresh maple syrup in two maple leaf-shaped bottles, with other bottles behind. Police officials have arrested three men who allegedly siphoned the sweet treat from 16,000 storage barrels stored in a Quebec warehouse.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:51 am

After months on their sticky trail, Canadian police have finally fingered the people allegedly involved in the great Canadian maple syrup caper Bill Chappell told us about in August.

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The Two-Way
5:00 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Michigan's Snyder Vetoes Bill Allowing Concealed Guns In Schools

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 5:50 am

Gov. Rick Snyder has vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed pistols to be carried in schools and other places where they had been banned. The Michigan legislature had approved the legislation when its lame-duck session ended Thursday — one day before the Newtown elementary school shootings.

As NPR's Rick Pluta reported for today's Morning Edition, Snyder has said that Friday's tragedy played a role in his consideration of the bill:

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It's All Politics
4:50 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Obama Finding Gun Control Voice, Which Had Gone Quiet In White House

President Obama attends a vigil for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims on Sunday in Newtown, Conn.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:23 pm

If President Obama takes the lead in a movement for more effective gun control now that he's been stirred to action by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it would mark a significant break from his pattern so far as chief executive.

For while Obama has dutifully served as the nation's consoler in chief in localities where the all-too-frequent mass shootings have occurred, that has seemed the extent of the official response observable to White House outsiders.

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