The Salt
2:43 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Incredibly Shrinking Avocados: Why This Year's Fruit Are So Tiny

We found lots of avocados being sold six or 10 to a $1 bag in the San Francisco area. Some weighed less than 3 ounces.
Alastair Bland for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 21, 2013 11:40 am

What's thick-skinned and leathery, about the size of an egg, essential for guacamole and sold eight for a dollar?

No, not limes. Hass avocados. This year, anyway. These pear-sized fruits usually weigh half a pound or more. In the summer of 2013, though, hundreds of thousands of trees in Southern California are sagging with the tiniest Hass avocados in local memory — some just the size of a golf ball.

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All Tech Considered
1:46 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

The End Of Buttons: The New Gesture-Control Era

BlackBerry smartphones on a table during a "BlackBerry Brunch" in June in Berlin.
Timur Emek Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

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The Two-Way
1:39 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Hurricane Sandy Task Force Urges More Resilient Construction

Damage is viewed in the Rockaway neighborhood where the historic boardwalk was washed away during Hurricane Sandy on October 31, 2012.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 4:58 pm

A task force commissioned by President Obama says that cities hit hardest by Super Storm Sandy need better construction to respond to the stronger storms spun by climate change.

In a report released today, the Hurricane Sandy Task Force lays out suggestions like building a more resilient and modern electric grid, new flood-protection and more stringent building standards in the affected areas.

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The Salt
12:53 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Sandwich Monday: PB&J Fries

Peter failed to hitch this to the back of his motorcycle and bring it back to Chicago for us.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Canadians have given us so much, from the BlackBerry, a kind of phone your parents' older friends used to use, to Leslie Hope, the lady who played Kiefer Sutherland's wife in Season 1 of 24. But perhaps towering above all is poutine, which translated from the Quebecois is "stuff poured onto french fries." Usually it's some variation of cheese, meat and gravy, but I was told that in Portland, Ore. (naturally), at a food truck (naturally), you can get peanut butter and jelly on fries. So I went, naturally.

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The Two-Way
12:48 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

No Ski Lift For You, Swiss Government Tells Kim Jong Un

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:49 pm

A multimillion-dollar deal to provide ski lifts for a resort in North Korea has been cancelled, after Switzerland's government decided the plan violated U.N. sanctions forbidding the export of luxury items to the country.

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The Two-Way
11:16 am
Mon August 19, 2013

NPR CEO Gary Knell Announces He's Leaving

NPR CEO and President Gary Knell.
Sesame Workshop

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 5:58 pm

After fewer than 21 months on the job, NPR CEO Gary Knell announced at mid-day Monday that he's leaving the organization to become president and CEO at the National Geographic Society.

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Arts & Life
11:12 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Faith Ringgold: No 'Knock Down, Drag Out Black Woman Story'

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 11:31 am

The legendary artist began her career in 1963, the same year as the March on Washington. She talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about her life, work, and why no one originally wanted to hear her story.

World Cafe
11:03 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Next: Moreland And Arbuckle

Moreland & Arbuckle.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu September 26, 2013 1:32 pm

  • Hear Two Songs From Moreland & Arbuckle

This week's World Cafe: Next artist is the Kansas band Moreland & Arbuckle, whose members play blues-drenched roots-rock. On their fifth album, 7 Cities, they've adopted the loose theme of the explorer Coronado's search for the seven cities of gold — which, not so coincidentally, took the conquistador right into their home territory.

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The Two-Way
11:02 am
Mon August 19, 2013

N.J. Gov. Christie To Sign Bill Banning Gay Conversion Therapy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, seen in 2011, signed a bill barring licensed therapists from trying to turn gay teenagers straight.
Jessica Kourkounis Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 19, 2013 12:54 pm

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie continues to eschew convention: The Associated Press reports that he will sign a bill banning therapy that seeks to turn gay teens straight.

The AP adds:

"In a signing note accompanying the bill that will be made public Monday, Christie said he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin. ...

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Education
10:58 am
Mon August 19, 2013

California Upends School Funding To Give Poor Kids A Boost

Second-grade teacher Vickie Boudouris goes over a worksheet in an English-learner summer school class at the Cordova Villa Elementary School in June, in Rancho Cordova, Calif. Under Gov. Jerry Brown's proposed budget, California schools will receive an additional $3.6 billion this year, with much of it targeted to the neediest students.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

As the school year begins, districts in cities such as Oakland, Fresno and Los Angeles have not gone on a hiring spree.

But they might soon.

California has revamped its school funding formula in ways that will send billions more dollars to districts that educate large numbers of children who are poor, disabled in some way or still learning to speak English.

It's an approach that numerous other states, from New York to Hawaii, have looked into lately. But none has matched the scale of the change now underway in the nation's largest state.

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