3:35pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Politics

Will Durst: The Ken doll boogie

A few words about the Republican National Convention, or it's alternative title: Women with big hair and the men in white shoes who love them.

"White" certainly was the operable word in Tampa. I had to feel bad for the one black guy the networks kept cutting to during all the speeches. They tried everything to make him look like a crowd. Different camera angles. He probably had his own wardrobe assistant suggesting: "Put on the cowboy hat now!" and "Try the handlebar mustache! You know this poor guy had to be some prairie state legislator's driver.

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3:33pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Participation Nation

Taking Others Along In Fort Collins, Colo.

Running in an AiT event.
Courtesy of AiT

When Dick Hoyt competes in triathlons, he takes his son, Rick — who has cerebral palsy — with him in specially-designed carriers. Inspired by the Hoyts, Dennis Vanderheiden created Athletes in Tandem.

Travis Silvers, who now competes in AiT events, says, "I'm lucky to know Dennis and to be a part of something so special and I enjoy giving back to those who couldn't be out there without us."

Douglas James lives in Greeley, Colo.

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3:28pm

Fri August 31, 2012
The Two-Way

Navy Lieutenant Swims To Gold In London Paralympics, Months After Injury

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 7:33 pm

U.S. swimmer Bradley Snyder poses with his gold medal after winning the men's 100m freestyle - S11 final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

3:05pm

Fri August 31, 2012
The Salt

Urbanization Puts Farms In Africa's Cities At Risk

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:15 pm

An urban farmer waters his plants near Bamako, Mali, where the government has set aside nearly 250 acres for market gardens.
donkeycart Flickr

For many urbanites in the U.S., eating locally is getting a little easier.

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2:58pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Simon Says

Without A Career, How Do We Know Who We Are?

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 12:31 pm

Are we what we do?

A lot of Americans identify themselves by their work. It's often how we introduce ourselves or describe our friends and parents: "I'm a police officer." "I'm a spot-welder." "My dad was a druggist." "My mom was a teacher." "My wife is a pilot." "My friend is a firefighter." "I sell insurance."

Our work has been a kind of identity stamp, defining us as much as our last name or place of birth. As Studs Terkel wrote in his 1974 classic, Working, "Our jobs give us daily meaning as well as daily bread."

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2:33pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Participation Nation

Helping Hats In Reeds Spring, Mo.

Sophia Greenwalt in a hat.
Courtesy of the Greenwalts

Sophia Greenwalt, 13, is the founder of Helping Hats, a fundraising program in the Reeds Spring School District. Once a month, students and staff can wear a hat to school for a dollar donation. The money raised that day goes to a non-profit organization in the community.

In 2012, Sophia has gotten nine local businesses on board to match the money raised by the school. Helping Hats has raised more than $20,000 for organizations such as the Joplin School District (after a devastating tornado), the Humane Society and others.

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2:23pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Planet Money

Inside America's Most Indebted City

Originally published on Thu September 6, 2012 1:58 pm

A garbage truck at the Harrisburg, Pa., incinerator.
Mladen Antonov AFP/Getty Images

Harrisburg, Pa., leads the nation in a dubious distinction: It has the most debt per capita of any U.S. city. The town's 50,000 citizens are on the hook for $1.5 billion.

The bizarre tale behind the massive debt includes a do-gooder who skipped town, an epically mismanaged incinerator, and possible criminal behavior.

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1:46pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Thalidomide Maker Apologizes After More Than 50 Years

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 11:22 am

You've probably heard of thalidomide, the infamous sedative that ended up causing birth defects in the children of mothers who took it.

Back in the late 1950s, the drug was sold in 46 countries, though not the U.S., and was particularly popular in then-West Germany, the U.K. and Australia. But in 1961, the drug was taken off the market after the link to birth defects emerged.

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1:45pm

Fri August 31, 2012
The Salt

Battle Over Michigan's New Swine Rules Goes Hog Wild

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:33 pm

A Russian sow on Mark Baker's farm. Four other parties have joined Baker's lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Courtesy of Long Haul Productions

1:33pm

Fri August 31, 2012
Participation Nation

Dancing In The Dark In Nashville, Tenn.

Peggy Ivie, right, is a dancer.
Courtesy of Patricia Lefler

I had always dreamed of learning ballroom dancing. But when I lost most of my sight due to retinitis pigmentosa, the dream seemed over.

However, I joined a dance club in Nashville and began taking lessons. My instructor, Patricia Lefler, had never taught dance to a visually impaired person before, but she rose to the challenge.

One day she suggested that we volunteer to teach dancing at the Tennessee School for the Blind. In January, we taught our first group of six.

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