3:40pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

New Rule: Spelling Bee Will Now Include Definitions Test

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:14 pm

Winning the National Spelling Bee, like Snigdha Nandipati, 14, of San Diego, did in 2012, will get harder.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

As if it weren't hard enough to spell "cymotrichous," now the National Spelling Bee will expect contestants to know that it means "having wavy hair."

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3:38pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Your Money

Will You Be Chained To A Smaller Check In Retirement?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 3:46 pm

Opponents of President Obama's expected proposed changes to Social Security rallied at the White House on Tuesday. Among them were lawmakers like Minnesota Democratic Rep. Rick Nolan.
J. David Ake AP

When President Obama on Wednesday unveils his blueprint for the government's 2014 budget, he'll offer lots of ideas for changes in taxes and spending.

But the proposal likely to grab the most attention will be the one dealing with cost-of-living adjustments for Social Security recipients. Many economists would applaud a change in the way Social Security officials measure inflation, but many older Americans may hiss, fearing a new formula will cut their benefits.

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2:49pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Mali Will Give France's François Hollande A New Camel, After The First Was Eaten

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:02 pm

Yep. That camel is now stew.
YouTube

As a thank you for sending French troops to repel Islamist rebels out of Mali, the government gifted President François Hollande a small camel.

As The Guardian tells the story, this was back in February and Hollande was intent on bringing the camel back to France.

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2:47pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Bitcoin Surpasses $200 Mark, Continuing 'Epic' Rise

A chart shows the sharp rise of bitcoin against the U.S. dollar in the past five days. Only two months after exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20, it surpassed $200 Tuesday.
Bitcoin Charts

Bitcoin, the digital currency that trades outside the control of central banks and international borders, reached new heights Tuesday, surpassing the $200 mark for the first time. That level comes just five days after bitcoin approached $150, a development that Mt.Gox, the largest exchange service for the currency, deemed to be "epic."

Bitcoin's rise has been sharp. It was only two months ago that exchange rates put a single bitcoin's value at around $20.

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2:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
All Tech Considered

Austin Is Latest Testbed For Google's High-Speed Experiment

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:34 pm

Matthew Marcus works at his desk in the basement of Kansas City Startup Village in Kansas City, Kan., in January. The village houses several startup companies and takes advantage of the high-speed Internet. Google announced on Tuesday it would be installing its Google Fiber network in Austin, Texas, next.
Orlin Wagner AP

Google announced Tuesday that its Google Fiber project would be hitting Austin, Texas, next. The company says Austin, famous for its South by Southwest festival, is a "mecca for creativity and entrepreneurialism, with thriving artistic and tech communities."

Google Fiber is the tech giant's blazing fast Internet service, with current rates at 1 Gpbs, about 100 times faster than your typical cable broadband Internet service. It debuted in Kansas City in 2012.

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2:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
It's All Politics

Will The Future GOP Be More Libertarian?

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:34 pm

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., shown speaking at a meeting of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce on March 19, is promoting libertarian ideas as a way the Republican Party can be more inclusive.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Republicans don't often make high-profile speeches at Howard University, one of the country's most prominent historically black schools. But on Wednesday, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will talk to Howard students about how his party can be more inclusive.

Paul believes one answer is libertarianism — and party leaders are starting to think he might be on to something.

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2:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Shots - Health News

Genetically Modified Rat Is Promising Model For Alzheimer's

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:34 pm

Scientists hope a new genetically modified rat will help them find Alzheimer's drugs that work on humans.
Ryumin Alexander ITAR-TASS/Landov

A rat with some human genes could provide a better way to test Alzheimer's drugs.

The genetically modified rat is the first rodent model to exhibit the full range of brain changes found in Alzheimer's, researchers report in The Journal of Neuroscience.

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2:34pm

Tue April 9, 2013
Sports

How Louisville Went From 'Little Brother' To Powerhouse

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:34 pm

Louisville forward Chane Behanan celebrates after defeating Michigan in the NCAA basketball championship on Monday. It was the school's first basketball title since 1986.
David J. Phillip AP

University of Louisville fans have had a lot to cheer about lately — and not just basketball.

Monday's big victory by Louisville's men's basketball team over Michigan is just the latest success for the school and for an athletic department that is quickly becoming one of the country's most admired.

In January, the football team upset fourth-ranked Florida to win the Sugar Bowl, and coach Charlie Strong turned down a lucrative offer from the University of Tennessee to continue rebuilding the Louisville program.

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2:14pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Salt

Vermont Bests The Nation In Local Chow

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 4:00 pm

A Vermont farm stand. The state excels at getting the produce to the people.
David Sucsy iStockphoto.com

Sure, it's a tiny state, but Vermont is powerful when it comes to shopping at farmers markets, ordering up veggies from a CSA, and developing distribution systems for local products.

That's why the Green Mountain State topped the 2013 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, a ranking of all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on their commitment to local food.

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1:02pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Spring Storm Brings Snow To Colo., High Winds To Wyo., Dust Storm In Ariz.

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 1:31 pm

A woman crosses the street as steam rises from a manhole cover in Denver's financial district on Tuesday.
Ed Andrieski AP

We almost feel guilty writing this post, because here in Washington, we're finally seeing some spring (the cherry blossoms have reached full bloom!): But in the Plains, a spring storm is bringing snow to Colorado and Wyoming and whipped up enough winds to cover parts of Arizona in dust.

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