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Shots - Health News
9:37 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Fake Morning-After Pills Found In Peru May Hint At Bigger Problem

Fake morning-after pills are often indistinguishable from the real ones.
Rob Felt Georgia Tech

Originally published on

A survey of emergency contraceptives in Lima, Peru, turned up worrying results: More than a quarter were either counterfeit or defective.

Some of the morning-after pills tested contained too little of the active ingredient, or none at all. Other pills contained another drug altogether, researchers reported Friday in the journal PLOS ONE.

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The Two-Way
9:36 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

China Admits That One-Fifth Of Its Farmland Is Contaminated

Xiang Zhengming plants rice seedlings in a field in southeast China's Fujian Province earlier this month. A newly released report says nearly 20 percent of the country's farmland is contaminated.
Lin Shanchuan Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:43 pm

Unbridled industrialization with almost no environmental regulation has resulted in the toxic contamination of one-fifth of China's farmland, the Communist Party has acknowledged for the first time.

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Code Switch
9:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Baseball's Demographic Shifts Bring Cultural Complexities

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Cuban player Yasiel Puig has often been criticized for lacking discipline and for his "energetic" approach to the game. His fascinating journey to the U.S. was recently chronicled by LA Magazine and ESPN.
Scott Cunningham Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 12:32 pm

This week, baseball fans celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, 67 years after Robinson became the first black player to participate in a Major League Baseball game. Coincidentally (or not), the racial, ethnic and cultural dynamics of the sport today are the topics of much discussion in this week's news.

Decline In Percentage Of Black Players

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:34 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

How Do We Explain The Evolution Of Religion?

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:56 am

Religion is a cross-cultural universal, even though not every human being professes faith in God or some other supernatural being. Those of us who are atheist or agnostic make up 6 percent of the American population. A further 14 percent say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.

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Monkey See
9:33 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Orphan Black' And Dream Sequences

We're all in agreement that Alison (Tatiana Maslany) is our favorite Orphan Black character. Here, she hangs out with Felix (Jordan Gavaris) and Donnie (Kristian Bruun).
BBC America

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 8:16 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

First things first: It's hard to figure out exactly how to talk about the BBC America series Orphan Black in any way that's remotely meaningful without revealing at least the premise, which takes a couple of episodes to develop in the first season. So while we — including Petra Mayer of NPR Books — did our best not to spoil you on the season that's past, and while we say nothing at all about the opening of the second season (which we watched in preparation), understand that the basic What's Going On? question that arises in the pilot is the premise of our conversation.

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The Two-Way
9:33 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Book News: The Celebrity Of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez appeared in public during a celebration marking his 87th birthday on March 6 in Mexico City. He died Thursday.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 6:40 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
9:32 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

'During The Reign,' A Dissolving Family Retells Its History

Joan Chase is the author of two novels and a collection of short stories.
Alexander Solomita Courtesy of Joan Chase

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:55 am

A meditation on the lives of one multigenerational family in rural 1950s Ohio, Joan Chase's 1983 debut During the Reign of the Queen of Persia — just reissued — opens up a typical pastoral story with the inventiveness of four young girls, the novel's narrators. Directed by sisters Anne and Katie, and their cousins Celia and Jenny, the narration traces the gradual dissolution of the Krauss family from their grandmother's childhood to the end of their own, after a lifetime on their Ohio farm.

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Author Interviews
9:31 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Writes Of A Worldview Shaped In Youth

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:10 am

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren became an unlikely media star following the 2008 financial crisis.

She was a plainspoken law professor from Harvard who advocated on behalf of families and consumers affected by the Wall Street meltdown.

Warren was brought to Washington to help monitor the multibillion-dollar bank bailout package.

As part of that work, Warren helped to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — a watchdog agency that oversees and enforces consumer finance laws.

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Monkey See
9:29 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Tatiana Maslany On Looking Herself In The Eye

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah, as well as some other characters, on BBC America's Orphan Black.
Steve Wilkie BBC America

Originally published on Fri April 18, 2014 10:10 am

Tatiana Maslany plays Sarah — and some other people — on BBC America's sci-fi show Orphan Black. On Friday's Morning Edition, she speaks to Kelly McEvers about how she manages to play all those different women from different cultural backgrounds, not to mention women with different mixes of malevolence and likability. Technically, it's no picnic: Just ask the tennis ball that sometimes plays her head.

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Parallels
6:13 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

A Journey Of Pain And Beauty: On Becoming Transgender In India

Abhina Aher was born a boy biologically and is now a hijra, a member of an ancient transgender community in India. Of her painful physical and psychological transformation, Aher remembers now: "I just wanted to become a beautiful butterfly."
Julie McCarthy NPR

Originally published on Sat April 19, 2014 11:44 am

The signs came early that Abhina Aher was different.

Born a boy biologically and given the male name Abhijit, Aher grew up in a middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India. The son of a single mother who nurtured a love of dance, Aher would watch enthralled as she performed.

"I used to love to wear the clothes that my mother used to wear — her jewelry, her makeup," Aher, now 37, recalls. "That is something which used to extremely fascinate me."

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