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Shots - Health Blog
1:43 am
Mon June 4, 2012

What's Different About The Brains Of People With Autism?

Jeff Hudale, who is autistic, demonstrates a face recognition test at the University of Pittsburgh in 2010. Researchers use eye tracking devices to monitor and record what he is looking at.
Rebecca Droke Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Originally published on Wed June 6, 2012 12:21 pm

Like a lot of people with autism, Jeff Hudale has a brain that's really good at some things.

"I have an unusual aptitude for numbers, namely math computations," he says.

Hudale can do triple-digit multiplication in his head. That sort of ability helped him get a degree in engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. But he says his brain struggles with other subjects like literature and philosophy.

"I like working with things that are rather concrete and structured," he says. "Yeah, I like things with some logic and some rules to it."

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Science
1:42 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Summer Science: How To Build A Campfire

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 10:10 am

Summer living is supposed to be easy — school is out, the days are long, the traffic eases. But it's not all inner tubes and lemonade: Summer can throw us some curveballs, too. How can I avoid sunburn? What can I do to stave off that brain freeze? Why do my s'mores always burn?

Fear not; NPR is here to help. As part of our new Summer Science series, we'll turn to science to tackle these vexing questions, starting with how to build the perfect campfire.

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Business
8:04 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Exxon Mobil Plans Huge Chemical Facility In Texas

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a new, multibillion-dollar chemical plant.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GREENE: Exxon Mobil plans to build a huge chemical facility in Baytown, Texas. It reverses a company statement last year that said it has no plans for new chemical factories in the United States. According to Reuters, decades-low natural gas prices made the move too enticing to pass over. Natural gas is a key fuel in chemical production. By using its own natural gas, Exxon Mobil can run a chemical plant relatively cheaply.

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Politics
8:04 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Gubernatorial Recall Election Polarizes Wis. Voters

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's been more than a year since Wisconsin Democrats began talking about recalling the state's governor, Scott Walker. Next week they'll get their chance to do it. Last night, Walker and his Democratic challenger, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, traded barbs in their final debate before Tuesday's vote. Turnout is expected to be very high, as the recall is sharply dividing voters in Wisconsin, so much so, some have just stopped talking to each other. NPR's David Schaper has the latest from Milwaukee.

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Around the Nation
6:41 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Rare Double Egg Laid In Abilene, Texas

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Remembrances
6:34 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Voice Of Speedy Alka-Seltzer Dick Beals Dies At 85

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm David Greene with a remembrance of Dick Beals, the man whose voice gave lie to Gumby. A glandular condition gave Beals his small stature and youthful voice, a voice that was used in more than 3,000 commercials. Beals played a wide range of roles - babies, teenagers, chipmunks. Perhaps most notably the Speedy Alka-Seltzer character.

(SOUNDBITE OF ADVERTISEMENT)

DICK BEALS: (Singing) Alka-Seltzer, plop, plop, fizz, fizz - oh, what a relief it is.

Law
5:52 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Court Rules Against Part Of Marriage Act

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

On a Friday, it is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm David Greene.

In a unanimous ruling, a federal appeals court has struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act. The First Circuit Court of Appeals, in Boston, ruled the 1996 law unconstitutional because it denies giving gay couples the same rights afforded to heterosexual couples. As NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports, the ruling sets the stage for a potential battle at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Law
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

'Call Of Duty' Creators Settle Lawsuit Against Activision

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now to an even bigger battle that's been playing in the world of video games.

(SOUNDBITE OF VIDEO GAME)

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Law
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Fla. Judge Blocks Parts Of Voter Registration Law

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to Florida, where a federal judge has blocked portions of a new election law that was causing a lot of debate. That law had put tough restrictions on groups conducting voter registration drives. Because of the restrictions, the League of Women Voters and Rock the Vote stopped registering votes(ph) in the state. Those groups challenged the new law in court. And yesterday, Judge Robert Hinkle sided with the groups. He called the rules onerous and unconstitutional.

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Economy
4:29 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Is Michigan Rebounding? Depends Who You Ask

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 8:04 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This election year we've seen a lot of cases where different people look at the same economic situation and come to different conclusions. And that seems to be happening in Michigan. It's America's comeback state - that according to its governor, Rick Snyder. Unemployment there is dropping, as the U.S. auto industry rebounds. And the state has a budget surplus for the first time in years.

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