6:04pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Crosscurrents

Crosscurrents: November 1, 2012

Remembering Alan Farley; Hear Here: Meet Nina Jo Smith; and Day of the Dead exhibit looks into the future by honoring the past.

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

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5:00pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Animals

Move Over, Parrot: Elephant Mimics Trainer At Zoo

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 8:43 am

Koshi, an elephant, makes sounds that imitate Korean words.
Stoeger, et. al. Current Biology

Scientists say an Asian elephant at a South Korean zoo can imitate human speech, saying five Korean words that are readily understood by people who speak the language.

The male elephant, named Koshik, invented an unusual method of sound production that involves putting his trunk in his mouth and manipulating his vocal tract.

"This is not the kind of sound that Asian elephants normally make, and it's a dead-on match of the speech of his trainers," says Tecumseh Fitch of the University of Vienna in Austria.

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3:37pm

Thu November 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Non-Partisan Research Service Pulls Tax Report After GOP Complaints

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:36 pm

According to The New York Times, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service pulled a report from its website after "after Senate Republicans raised concerns about the paper's findings and wording." The unit of the Library of Congress did so, despite objections from its economic team.

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2:10pm

Thu November 1, 2012
It's All Politics

A Campaign Map, Morphed By Money

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 1:36 pm

Adam Cole NPR

Campaign reporters spend a lot of time pointing at color-coded electoral maps like the one below, showing which states voted for Republican John McCain (in red) and Democrat Barack Obama (in blue) in 2008.

But these maps lie — visually speaking.

Red appears to be the clear winner, dominating a vast swath from the South to the Rockies. It's all geographically accurate, but electorally skewed. For example, Montana (three electoral votes) dwarfs Massachusetts (which had 12 electoral votes in 2008).

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2:03pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Ralph': An 8-Bit Hero With Plenty Of Heart

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 9:15 pm

Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) grows tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix Jr., the "good guy" star of their game, and sets off on a quest to prove he's got what it takes to be a hero.
Walt Disney Pictures

After a very long engagement that began with the original Toy Story, Disney finally made an honest woman out of Pixar in 2006, when it paid the requisite billions to move the computer animation giant into the Magic Kingdom. But Disney's spirited 2010 hit Tangled made it abundantly clear that Pixar had a say in the creative marriage: The story of Rapunzel may be standard Disney princess fare, but the whip-crack pacing and fractured-fairy tale wit felt unmistakably Pixar. From now on, it would seem, Mickey Mouse and Luxo Jr.

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1:55pm

Thu November 1, 2012
The Two-Way

China Offers Proposal For Ceasefire In Syria

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 5:37 pm

China, which along with Russia has repeatedly rejected international intervention in the civil war in Syria, issued a cease-fire proposal on Thursday.

The proposal, reports The New York Times, calls for a "phased-in truce" and the "establishment of a transitional authority," but does stop short of calling for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.

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1:47pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Arts & Culture

Day of the Dead exhibit looks into the future by honoring the past

Daniel del Solar former KALW general manager, is honored at the SOMArts Day of the Dead exhibit

There are ghosts and skeletons everywhere you look on Halloween. But for many cultures the more serious commemoration of the dead takes place the next day, November 1. It’s known as el Dia de los Muertos in Latin cultures – the Day of the Dead – when parades, elaborate skeleton costumes, and temporary altars are built to honor ancestors and those who have recently passed.

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1:42pm

Thu November 1, 2012
It's All Politics

Superstorm Sandy May Have Blown In Fresh Breeze Of Bipartisanship

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 4:02 pm

President Obama is greeted by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie upon arriving in Atlantic City, N.J., on Wednesday to visit areas hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Amid the devastation caused by Sandy, there are signs the superstorm might have blown a fresh breeze into the nation's politics. Suddenly, everyone's talking about something that seemed impossible just days before — bipartisanship.

Nothing sums that attitude up better than the actions of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Republican Christie, who has worked closely with GOP hopeful Mitt Romney's campaign and has consistently proved one of President Obama's harshest critics, put that aside in the aftermath of Sandy.

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1:39pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Around the Nation

In Flooded New Jersey, No Oversight For Levees

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:42 pm

An emergency responder helps residents of Little Ferry, N.J., after their neighborhood was flooded due to Superstorm Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.

Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."

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1:38pm

Thu November 1, 2012
Africa

Vigilantes Spray-Paint Sexual Harassers In Cairo

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:15 pm

A young Egyptian man grabs a woman crossing the street with her friends in Cairo. Vigilante groups are now taking to the streets and spray-painting the clothes of the harassers.
Ahmed Abdelatif AP

Over the recent four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, more than 1,000 sexual harassment complaints were filed in Egypt.

President Mohammed Morsi has ordered an investigation, but some are not prepared to wait for the government and the police to act.

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