12:20am

Fri May 31, 2013
The Salt

Michigan Tracks Cattle From Birth To Plate

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 7:54 am

Whenever a steer or cow leaves a farm in Michigan or goes to a slaughterhouse, it passes by a tag reader, and its ID number goes to a central computer that keeps track of every animal's location.
Dan Charles NPR

When you pick up a cut of beef at the store, would you like to know that animal's life history? The technology to do this does exist — at least in Michigan, where the state requires all cattle to carry electronic ear tags. It's the only state that requires such tags.

Michigan's cattle-tracking system was forced on farmers because of a crisis. Fifteen years ago, cattle in part of the state started catching tuberculosis from wild deer.

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12:19am

Fri May 31, 2013
Parallels

Battling Deforestation In Indonesia, One Firm At A Time

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 5:57 pm

This photo shows a heavily logged concession affiliated with Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, one of the world's largest papermakers, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in 2010.
Romeo Gacad AFP/Getty Images

On the Indonesian island of Sumatra, a backhoe stacks freshly cut trees to be made into pulp and paper. Asia Pulp and Paper, or APP, is Indonesia's largest papermaker, and the company and its suppliers operate vast plantations of acacia trees here that have transformed the local landscape.

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11:22pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Critics' Lists: Summer 2013

Field Trip! 10 Books That Will Send Kids Exploring

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 5:34 am

Andrew Bannecker

When I recommend books to kids or grown-ups, I can almost always get them interested if I add "Oh, and after you read this book, you could go on a field trip to the museum/zoo/baseball stadium/library ... or just take a little road trip!" Spring 2013 has been a very good year for children's books that spark the imagination and make kids (and grownups) want to do a little more exploring.

Books like these can be the start of amazing adventures. Enjoy!

Mara Alpert is a librarian in the Children's Literature Department at the Los Angeles Public Library.

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11:20pm

Thu May 30, 2013
StoryCorps

Cherishing The Gift Of Friendship Through A Cancer Bout

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 5:34 am

Peter Obetz (left) and Jeff Jarrett met in 1998 and are still close friends. Peter was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer in 2004. He was declared cancer-free in 2009. They visited StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.
StoryCorps

In 2004, Peter Obetz was in the middle of a divorce when he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

"Food would get stuck down my throat, and it got worse and worse, so I met with my doctor. I had a tumor on my esophagus wall," says Peter, 48, during a visit to StoryCorps in Kansas City, Mo.

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5:50pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: May 30, 2013

It takes a village: when special ed works; San Francisco's only free and democratic Conservatory of Music; this week's Audiograph answer revealed!; and local singer Meredith Axelrod.

To subscribe to the Crosscurrents podcast in iTunes, click here. To use another podcasting tool, click here.

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5:48pm

Thu May 30, 2013

5:17pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Arts & Culture

Today's Local Music: Meredith Axelrod

Today's local music is Meredith Axelrod. She joins Craig Ventresco this Saturday for an afternoon performance at Atlas Cafe in San Francisco. The show is free.

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4:19pm

Thu May 30, 2013
The Two-Way

TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:40 pm

A U.S. Transportation Security Administration employee demonstrates the less intrusive Automated Target Recognition software in 2011.
Ethan Miller Getty Images

The Transportation Security Administration has told Congress that it's finished retrofitting airport scanners to blunt a widely criticized technology that shows graphic detail of a passenger's body as he or she goes through security checkpoints.

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3:32pm

Thu May 30, 2013
It's All Politics

War Zone Visit A McCain Trademark

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 4:02 pm

In this photo provided by Mouaz Moustafa and the Syrian Emergency Task Force, Sen. John McCain, accompanied by Moustafa (right) visits rebels in Syria on Monday. McCain, who slipped into the country for a surprise visit, favors providing arms to rebel forces in Syria.
Mouaz Moustafa AP

There are risks aplenty for a U.S. lawmaker who makes a surprise visit to a war zone, as Sen. John McCain recently did when he crossed the border from Turkey into Syria.

The perils to life and limb go without saying. But there are also other risks: trying to tell the good guys from the bad guys; or being victimized by disinformation from unfriendly Middle Eastern interests.

While McCain got out unscathed from Syria, where he visited rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, he may have had less success navigating the other risks.

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3:22pm

Thu May 30, 2013
Arts & Culture

San Francisco’s only free and democratic Conservatory of Music

Local jazz artists playing in San Francisco’s “Conservatory of Music” in Golden Gate Park

To me, Sunday mornings are sacred, but not for any religious reason. It’s when I head out for a weekly bike ride through Golden Gate Park west to Ocean Beach. But one weekend, I decide to go on a Saturday instead. I take my usual route – cruising through the aromatic eucalyptus trees along the Panhandle, hugging the curves of John F Kennedy Drive in Golden Gate Park. But when I arrive at the white Conservatory of Flowers, something’s different. On my left, a soothing, and out-of-place sound emerges from out of nowhere. It’s jazz.

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