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Music News
3:45 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Music Is Everywhere: John Cage At 100

John Cage during his 1966 concert at the opening of the National Arts Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Rowland Scherman Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:05 pm

OK, let's get the elephant out of the room right away. John Cage's most famous, or infamous, work is "4'33"," in which a musician walks onstage and sits at the piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

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Space
3:15 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

After 35 Years, Voyager Nears Edge Of Solar System

In addition to surveying the planets, the Voyager mission also spent time studying the planets' satellites, or moons. This mosaic image, taken in 1989, shows Neptune's largest satellite, Triton. Triton has the coldest surface temperature known anywhere in the solar system.
NASA/JPL

Originally published on Fri March 21, 2014 3:33 pm

The Voyager 1 spacecraft's 35th anniversary is proving to be unexpectedly exciting, as scientists gathered this week to examine new hints that the spacecraft is on the verge of leaving our solar system.

Voyager 1 is now more than 11 billion miles away from Earth. It blasted off in September 1977, on a mission to Jupiter and Saturn. But it also carried a Golden Record filled with music and the sounds of our planet, in case it encountered intelligent life as it moved out toward the stars.

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Around the Nation
3:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Plaquemines Parish Still Deluged With Stormwater

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:56 pm

Melissa Block talks with Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser about residents how in that area of Louisiana are recovering from Hurricane Isaac.

Presidential Race
3:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Michelle Obama's DNC Speech Met With Rave Reviews

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:56 pm

First Lady Michelle Obama gave a speech to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday that was met by thunderous applause, emotional tears, and rave reviews.

Shots - Health Blog
12:26 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:56 pm

Scientists unveiled the results of a massive international project Wednesday that they say debunks the notion that most of our genetic code is made up of so-called junk DNA.

The ENCODE project, which involved hundreds of researchers in dozens of labs, also produced what some scientists are saying is like Google Maps for the human genome.

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Asia
12:15 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Vanishing Vultures A Grave Matter For India's Parsis

This image shows a Parsi Tower of Silence, circa 1955, near Mumbai, India. The bodies of the dead are left here to be disposed of by vultures.
Alice Schalek Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:42 pm

For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle.

Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they've had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and to not upset the neighbors.

Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
3:35 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Bridging The Gap Between Two Neighborhoods

An illustration for a park proposed for Washington's old 11th Street Bridge. If realized, the park would span the Anacostia River, linking the Capitol Hill neighborhood with lower-income Anacostia.
Ed Estes Courtesy of D.C. Office of Planning

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 6:19 pm

Cities around the nation have tried a variety of approaches to revitalizing their urban cores. Some have turned to repurposing old infrastructure to breathe new life into neighborhoods.

One such effort is under way in the nation's capital, where the redevelopment of a bridge linking a wealthy part of the city with a lower-income one may present an opportunity — if an ambitious park plan can be brought to fruition.

A '21st Century Playground'

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Author Interviews
3:35 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

An Individualist Approach To The Hebrew Bible

Hebrew scripture is a "message in a bottle," says Yoram Hazony, and in The Philosophy of Hebrew Scripture, he tries to decipher that message. Hazony's new book makes the case for a different reading of the ancient texts — and argues that the Hebrew Bible is a work of philosophy in narrative form.

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Africa
2:34 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Decades Later, South African Miners Sue Employers

Armstrong Ngutyana (left), 55, and Dumisani Mjolwa, 65, were gold miners during the apartheid era. Both worked underground for nearly three decades. They developed lung disease and were forced to quit their jobs, but received only minimal compensation. They are now part of a class-action lawsuit against South African mining companies.
Anders Kelto for NPR

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 3:35 pm

South Africa's mining industry is under heavy scrutiny after 44 people died during protests at a platinum mine near Johannesburg. Now, the industry is facing challenges on another front: Lawyers have filed a class-action lawsuit against three of the country's biggest gold mining companies.

They're suing on behalf of miners who worked during the apartheid era and now have lung disease.

A settlement in the case — and another like it — could reach into the billions of dollars.

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Education
2:15 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Can A New Building Save A Failing School?

Research shows that students who attend school in buildings that are in disrepair score lower on state tests than students in satisfactory buildings.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 4:59 pm

When students and teachers at School 16 in Rochester, N.Y., start the new school year in a newer school building, they'll leave their old building's laundry list of infrastructure problems behind.

As teachers finish unloading boxes and setting up their new classrooms, they hope the newer, nicer digs will give students renewed pride in their school. Education experts say the move could also bring a bump to the school's flagging test scores, because better school buildings actually improve academic performance.

A Drain On Spirit And A Drain On Grades

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