NPR Story
6:03 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Ravens Are Super Bowl Underdogs, But Are Stats On Their Side?

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The Baltimore Ravens are the underdogs in this Sunday's Super Bowl, going up against the San Francisco 49ers. Now, there have been bigger underdogs. And yes, the Ravens are not the lowest-seeded team to make it to the Super Bowl. But the Ravens have beaten the odds in another way. NPR's Mike Pesca talked to some football numbers guys and has this report.

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NPR Story
6:03 am
Fri February 1, 2013

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now to Google, which is looking for some hackers to ride to the top in an unusual competition. Our last word in business is: pi contest, as in 3.14.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Three point one four, that's the amount in millions of dollars that Google is offering in what its Podium Hacking Contest. The challenge here is to hack the Google Chrome operating system and expose security flaws.

Travis McCoy is the product manager for Chrome and we asked him why pi.

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Author Interviews
3:47 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Netflix Moves Back Into Content Production With 'Cards'

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Netflix customers will soon have a new option: Along with the company's usual offerings, viewers will be able to watch a new show called House of Cards, a political drama adapted from a British show, and starring Kevin Spacey. David Fincher (known for The Social Network and Seven) will direct the first two episodes. But what's new about House of Cards is that all 13 episodes will be available at once — and they were financed by Netflix itself.

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It's All Politics
3:44 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Hillary Clinton Leaving The Stage — At Least For Now — And On A High Note

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a town hall meeting on Tuesday in Washington, D.C. She officially leaves her post on Friday.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Hillary Clinton leaves her job Friday as secretary of state with sky-high approval ratings, and there's already a superPAC established urging her to run for president in 2016.

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History
3:40 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Grand Central, A Cathedral For Commuters, Celebrates 100

Originally published on

Friday marks the day that 100 years ago, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors for business for the very first time. The largest railroad terminal in the world, the magnificent Beaux-Arts building is in the heart of New York City on 42nd St. And while it no longer serves long-distance trains, it's still a vibrant part of the city's eco-system.

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Science
12:57 am
Fri February 1, 2013

When Crime Pays: Prison Can Teach Some To Be Better Criminals

Prison provides an opportunity for networking with more seasoned criminals.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

In popular lore — movies, books and blogs — criminals who go to prison don't come out reformed. They come out worse.

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U.S.
10:03 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Relentless, Despite Losses: Congressman's Climb To The Hill

U.S. Rep. James Clyburn explains the hope he carries along with him in his career to his granddaughter Sydney Reed.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:09 pm

It took years for Democratic Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina to become who he is today: the highest-ranking African-American in Congress.

And those years included many failures. During a visit to StoryCorps, his granddaughter Sydney Reed, who was 10 at the time of the recording, asks Clyburn a personal question: "Have you ever felt you wanted to quit?"

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9:09 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Pfizer taking its Animal Health unit Zoetis public

Lead in text: 
Animal Health employs about people in Kalamazoo and Richland.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI - Pfizer Inc. is taking its animal health unit, Zoetis Inc., to the stock market Thursday in the biggest U.S. initial public offering since Facebook Inc. Pfizer's Zoetis plans to sell 86.1 million shares at $22 to $25 in an initial public offering that could value the animal health business at as much as $12.5 billion.
6:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Grand Rapids group looks to put gay marriage proposal on 2014 Michigan ballot

Lead in text: 
Michigan Voters approved amendment to the state Constitution in 2004 to ban same-sex marriage.
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Grand Rapids
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - A Grand Rapids-based group has formed to put a gay marriage proposal up for a statewide vote in November 2014. Marriage Michigan PAC aims to collect more than 300,000 signatures to get a same-sex marriage initiative on the Michigan ballot, and raise $10 million to help it pass.
6:44 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

WMU names new men's soccer coach

Lead in text: 
Chad Wiseman has spent the last four seasons as head coach at Olivet College
  • Source: Mlive
  • | Via: Kalamazoo Gazette
KALAMAZOO, MI - A four-year letterwinner for Western Michigan University's soccer team who also served as an assistant coach for seven seasons has been named the squad's new head coach. Chad Wiseman replaces Stu Riddle, who left the post this month to become head coach of the University of Buffalo soccer team.
6:26 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Enbridge gets approval for replacing 160 miles of pipeline through Michigan

Lead in text: 
Pipeline to pass through Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Saint Joseph, Cass and Berrien Counties
LANSING, MI - Enbridge Energy received state regulatory approval to replace about 160 miles of its crude oil and petroleum pipeline through 10 counties in Michigan. The company says the project is necessary to increase capacity and address the long-term integrity of the 6B pipeline, which ruptured near Marshall in July 2010, spilling more than 800,000 gallons of heavy crude into Talmadge Creek and the Kalamazoo River.
Latin America
5:59 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

The Mexico-Canada Guest Worker Program: A Model For The U.S.?

Armando Tenorio at his home in Mexico last December. Tenorio spends most of the year working on a blueberry farm in Canada, on a temporary work permit, to support his family in Mexico.
Dominic Bracco II The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:29 pm

In the U.S., farmers and farm workers alike say the current system to import temporary workers, especially in agriculture, is slow and fraught with abuses.

But the shape of a new guest-worker program is still being hashed out. Some say the U.S. should import temporary workers the same way Canada does. For nearly four decades, the governments of Canada and Mexico have cooperated to fill agriculture jobs that Canadian citizens won't do, and that Mexicans are clamoring to get.

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Fine Art
5:48 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Artist Willie Cole experiments with shoes, steam irons

This work is part of Willie Cole's 'Virgin' series.
Credit www.williecole.com

At the age of 58, Willie Cole may be best known for using household items and found objects in his art. His large wall sculpture, called With a Heart of Gold is part of the exhibition now on display at the Richmond Center for Visual Arts on Western Michigan University's campus.

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Latin America
5:31 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

As U.S. Consumes Less Cocaine, Brazil Uses More

Brazilian federal police patrol the Mamore River, which separates Brazil from Bolivia. The river is used by traffickers to ferry cocaine from Bolivia into Brazil, where cocaine consumption is rising rapidly.
Juan Forero Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

As cocaine consumption falls in the United States, South American drug traffickers have begun to pioneer a new soft target for their product: big and increasingly affluent Brazil.

And the source of the cocaine is increasingly Bolivia, a landlocked country that shares a 2,100-mile border with Brazil.

As Brazilian police officers and border agents can attest, the drug often finds its way to Brazil by crossing the Mamore River, which separates the state of Rondonia from Bolivia in the heart of South America.

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Art & Design
5:14 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Graffiti Gnomes Allowed To Roam On Oakland Utility Poles

An anonymous artist started placing the hand-painted gnomes on the bases of utility poles all over Oakland.
Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Over the past year, small gnomes started springing up all around Oakland, Calif. The elfin creatures are hand-painted on wooden boards; each is about 6 inches tall, with red hat, brown boots and white beard. They're bits of urban folk art from an anonymous painter who surreptitiously screws them onto the base of utility poles.

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Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

South L.A. Teens Doubt New Laws Will Change Gun Culture

Handguns collected in South-Central Los Angeles as part of a Gun for Gift Card exchange in 2009. One teenager here says getting a gun on the streets is just "one phone call away."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 1:04 pm

On 53rd Street and Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles, violent members of at least six gangs run the streets. A landmark church is boarded up and tagged. There are liquor stores and abandoned lots. On Tuesday night, there was a drive-by shooting two blocks away, and folks are expecting retaliation. This is an area where murders, robberies and rapes are common — and so are guns.

"There's too many guns out there," says Randolph Wright, 18. "I can tell you right now, every hood has an AK[-47]. Regardless of whatever other gun they got, they have an AK."

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Tanya Ballard Brown is a Southern girl, an editor for NPR.org and a wild dreamer who laughs loudly and often.

Music Interviews
4:36 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Ron Sexsmith: At Midlife, A Songwriter Ponders Mortality

Ron Sexsmith's new album, Forever Endeavour, comes out Feb. 5.
Michael D'Amico Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Somehow, Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith makes a case of the deep blues sound sweet. The new album Forever Endeavour is his 13th, and the songs show him, at midlife, reflecting a lot on the passage of time.

"I think there's always something comforting about sad songs," Sexsmith says. "It's a shared thing that everyone can relate to."

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The Two-Way
4:21 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Dear Lawyers: Order In The &*%# Court!

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 1:33 pm

Remember the scene in the 1979 movie ... And Justice For All where Al Pacino, who is playing an attorney, loses it in court?

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You Must Read This
3:45 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

War Writ Small: Of Pushcarts And Peashooters

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:55 pm

Adam Mansbach is the author of the forthcoming novel Rage is Back.

Stealing my 9-year-old nephew's copy of The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill was the best thing I did last summer. I was his age the first time I read it, and twice his age the last time I went back to it. I'm twice that old again now, but as soon as I dove into this intimate, majestic tale of war writ small — of a battle between the pushcart peddlers and the truckers of New York City — I realized how timeless, and how deeply a part of me, the story was.

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Fine Art
3:21 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Diversity Art Contest paints a picture of world peace

Brandi Smith describes her favorite bird out of the many depicted in her drawings.
Rebecca Thiele, WMUK

The contest only has one rule: you have to tell the judges how your art shows diversity. In Kellogg Community College student Brandi Smith’s drawing, bird-like people sit gracefully on clouds.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

What 'The New York Times' Hack Tells Us About China

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:27 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

According to The New York Times' own investigation, Chinese hackers have been attacking the newspapers' computer system for the last four months. Infiltration happened as The Times broke a story on the vast wealth accumulated by the family of the Chinese prime minister. Officials warned The Times the story would have consequences. But hacking is not anything new in China, and they're definitely not the only country doing it today. We'll look at what China's after, who they're targeting, how they do it and why.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

'Distant Witness': Social Media's 'Journalism Revolution'

A shop in Tahrir Square is spray-painted with the word "twitter" after the government shut off Internet access in February 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 2:22 pm

When protests in Tunisia inspired a wave of revolutions known as the Arab Spring, Andy Carvin tracked the events in real time from thousands of miles away in Washington, D.C.

From the tear gas in Egypt's Tahrir Square, to the liberation of Libya, Carvin, NPR's senior strategist, used social media to gather and report the news.

In his book Distant Witness: Social Media, the Arab Spring and a Journalism Revolution, Carvin explains how he cultivated social media sources into a new form of journalism where civilians on the ground controlled the news.

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NPR Story
1:55 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

After Benghazi Attack, Improving American Security Abroad

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 2:35 pm

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News that Secretary of State Hilary Clinton "got away with murder" for her handling of the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Libya. Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who led the independent investigation into the attacks, talks about the future of diplomatic security.

WMUK News
1:02 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Michigan "Right to Work" law faces lawsuit

Anti-right to work protestors face State Police in Lansing in December (file photo)
Credit The Associated Press

Opponents of Michigan’s new “Right to Work” law have asked a judge in Lansing to throw it out. The Michigan chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed the motion in Ingham County Circuit Court Thursday. It amends a lawsuit filed early last month when Republican legislative leaders closed the Capitol Building to the public during protests against the law. This week, Governor Rick Snyder asked the Michigan Supreme Court to rule on whether or not the “Right to Work” statute is constitutional.

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SW Michigan
12:57 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Blue Cross reform on again in Lansing

Credit WMUK

State lawmakers are trying again to reform Michigan’s largest health insurer. The Gongwer News Service reports that the Senate unanimously approved a reform plan for Blue Cross Blue Shield today. It would turn it into a non-profit mutual company.

Debate in the House is not expected to go as smoothly.

Governor Snyder vetoed a similar reform plan last month. It included restrictions on abortion that are not part of the new Senate bill.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Violence In The Windy City

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We turn now to an all-too-familiar story of violence here in the U.S. In Chicago, 15-year-old honor student Hadiya Pendleton was shot and killed on Tuesday. She was the 42nd person killed in Chicago since the beginning of the year. Last year, there were more than 500 killings. And a number of these murders, particularly of young people, brought the city to tears, but Pendleton's death has brought national attention because she recently performed with her high school drill team at the president's inauguration in Washington, D.C.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Gabourey Sidibe, From 'Precious' To 'AfroPop'

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 12:04 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will pay tribute to the late Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner. The leader of the funk band, The Ohio Players, died earlier this week at the age of 69 and we will tell you more about him in a few minutes.

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NPR Story
11:56 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Is Egypt Better Or Worse Off Now?

It's been two years since Hosni Mubarak was ousted as Egypt's President. Today, there's new leadership, but the country is still in turmoil. And some Egyptians wonder if things are changing for the best. Host Michel Martin speaks with NPR Cairo Bureau Chief, Leila Fadel, to learn more about the new Egypt.

Local Music
11:52 am
Thu January 31, 2013

WMU Orchestra prepares essential Russian repertoire

Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra
Credit WMU

Interview with Lori Sims and Bruce Uchimura

Pianist Lori Sims is the soloist in Rachmaninoff’s formidable Piano Concerto No. 3, with Bruce Uchimura conducting the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra this Sunday in Chenery Auditorium.

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