Humans
4:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Rosie The Robot Won't Serve Your Food, But She'll Pick It

A lettuce thinner manufactured by Ramsay Highlander removes excess seedlings from the field so that others have room to grow. Just one worker is required to operate the machine.
Rachel Estabrook

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 2:59 pm

From manufacturing to cupcake sales, companies are finding that machines can often do the job just as well, or better, than humans. But some tasks – like picking and tending to fruit and vegetable crops – have remained the territory of low-wage laborers.

But labor-starved growers are now eying machines with increasing interest.

Some 90 percent of the strawberries and 80 percent of the salad greens grown in the U.S. come from California. These crops and a lot of others have always been picked by hand because they don't ripen all at once and can bruise easily.

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Parallels
2:37 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Thanks, But No: Social Media Refuses To Share With Turkey

An anti-government protester wearing a gas mask uses a cellphone to read the news on social media as demonstrators gather at midnight in Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park on June 13.
Ozan Kose AFP/Getty Images

Turkey's battle with the Internet took a new twist on Wednesday.

A Turkish government minister said Twitter has refused to cooperate with the government, but that Facebook had responded "positively" and was "in cooperation with the state."

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Can You Be Addicted To Carbs? Scientists Are Checking That Out

Eating refined carbohydrates like bagels may stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, research suggests.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 8:33 pm

Fresh research adds weight to the notion that certain foods (think empty carbs like bagels and sweet treats) can lead to more intense hunger and overeating.

Fast-digesting carbohydrates can stimulate regions of the brain involved in cravings and addiction, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Shots - Health News
2:08 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

NIH Takes Another Step Toward Retirement Of Research Chimps

Chimpanzees play at Chimp Haven, a retirement home for former research animals, in Keithville, La.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:32 am

The National Institutes of Health says it will retire hundreds of chimpanzees that the agency had been using for research. Animal rights activists see the move as a big step towards ending the use of chimps in research, but it will be awhile before any of the research chimps find their way into retirement homes.

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Parallels
1:44 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

The U.S. Wants Snowden. Why Won't The World Cooperate?

Journalists show passengers arriving at Russia's Sheremetyevo airport on Sunday an image of Edward Snowden.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 7:53 pm

China appeared perfectly happy to let Edward Snowden slip away despite a U.S. request for his arrest. Russia appears to enjoy thumbing its nose at Washington as Snowden cools his heels at a Moscow airport. Ecuador is toying with the notion of granting him asylum.

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The Two-Way
1:42 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Black Bear Roams In D.C., Days After Red Panda's Jaunt

A black bear was captured in northwest Washington, D.C., Wednesday, two days after Rusty the red panda escaped from the National Zoo into a nearby area.
YouTube

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has now written two landmark gay rights decisions.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 3:06 pm

Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law that criminalized some sexual acts.

Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court overturned a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

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The Two-Way
1:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

WATCH: Reactions To Gay Marriage Rulings

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World Cafe
12:45 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Laura Mvula On World Cafe

Laura Mvula.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 4:15 pm

U.K. singer Laura Mvula has been well-served by her conservatory training, which helped her uncover her own unique sound: Mvula's first full-length album, Sing to the Moon, blends classic pop, jazz and soul.

With help from producer Steve Brown, Mvula's choral-like arrangements are wonderfully layered and complex. In this installment of World Cafe, the singer performs live with her band and talks to host David Dye about how she separates her roles as a songwriter and a performer.

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