National News

How One Company Reinvented The Hand Dryer

Feb 4, 2013

There's a lot of talk in politics about the desirability of American manufacturing and "green" jobs. President Obama talks about both often, especially wind turbines and long-lasting batteries that are made on U.S. soil.

Robert Siegel, host of All Things Considered, recently visited a Massachusetts factory that makes a product that hits those same parameters. It's arguably a force for sustainability, nearly 40 Americans assemble it, and it's an interesting case study in innovation: the high-speed hand dryer.

'We Had A Product People Hated To Use'

Baby boomers have a reputation for being addicted to exercise and obsessed with eating well.

But that story didn't jibe with what physician Dana E. King and his colleagues see walking through the door of their family practice every day in Morgantown, W.Va.

An expanded version of Fleetwood Mac's 1977 album Rumours comes out this week, to mark the 35th anniversary of one of the top-selling albums of the '70s. The deluxe set includes demos, outtakes from the recording sessions, live recordings and a documentary DVD, along with a vinyl pressing of the original album.

When Iran's supreme leader got a Facebook page in December, Iranians sat up and blinked.

Some thought it was a fake, finding it hard to believe that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei would be using a technology that his own government blocks. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman skeptically wondered how many "likes" it would attract.

But some of Khamenei's supporters quickly rallied behind the move, which first came to light in a reference on — you guessed it — the ayatollah's Twitter account.

Remains found under what's now a parking lot in the English city of Leicester have been confirmed to be those of King Richard III, researchers at the University of Leicester announced Monday.

When Private Actions Go Very Public

Feb 4, 2013

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee.

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Chemotherapy can be a painful and disruptive experience that can affect almost every aspect of a cancer patient's life. We hear most often about things like nausea and hair loss, of course, but people aren't necessarily prepared to lose, say, the taste of their favorite food, or develop insomnia.

Civil rights activist Rosa Parks would have been 100 years old today. NPR's Celeste Headlee talks with listeners about the first time they learned about Parks and what she signifies today.

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

Government agencies do not often acknowledge their own errors, but the CIA has done just that with the declassification of intelligence memoranda on the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

The documents show that agency analysts, down to the last minute before the outbreak of fighting, were assuring President Nixon, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and other policymakers that Egypt and Syria were unlikely to attack Israel.

Yo La Tengo wouldn't seem to be very rock 'n' roll, given that it's a very stable and long-lasting operation. Since 1991, the lineup has consisted of a married couple — drummer Georgia Hubley and guitarist Ira Kaplan, along with bassist James McNew — and all three play additional instruments as needed. Yo La Tengo has been with the same label, Matador, since 1993. But if the band lacks rock dramatics, I would argue that it knows as much about the modes and manners of rock 'n' roll as anyone who has ever played the music.

Greeks are feeling the squeeze. The social repercussions of three years of austerity measures imposed by international lenders are hitting hard. Thousands of businesses have shut down, unemployment is nearly 27 percent and rising, and the once dependable safety net of welfare benefits is being pulled in.

With further cutbacks and tax hikes about to kick in, Greece's social fabric is being torn apart.

Nowhere are cutbacks more visible and painful than in health care.

Twitter Lit Up When Superdome Lost Power

Feb 4, 2013

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning, I'm David Greene.

If you can imagine, Twitter was on fire during the Super Bowl. But the Twitterverse really lit up when the lights went out at the Superdome. Predictably, someone created a Twitter account named SuperBowlLights, and there were tweets like this: Only need half the lights anyway, as only half the teams are playing - that's just mean. Many people tweeted that it must have been Beyonce who knocked out the lights with her electric half-time show

Canadian Government Retires Its Penny

Feb 4, 2013

The Canadian mint stops distributing pennies on Monday. Canada stopped making one-cent coins last year to cut costs, since each penny cost 1.6 cents to make. Most stores will round out change to the nearest five cents.

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