4:31pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Election 2012

A Closer Look: Beyond the Buzzwords

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:19 pm

A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.

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4:28pm

Thu October 11, 2012
It's All Politics

B-I-D-E-N Or R-Y-A-N? It's Debate Bingo

WNYC's vice presidential debate game
WNYC

If you're looking for something else to do while watching or listening to tonight's 90-minute vice presidential debate, there's always debate bingo.

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2:48pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Solve This

Obama, Romney On Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

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2:48pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Around the Nation

To Survive A Shooting, Students Learn To Fight Back

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 2:30 pm

Many schools advise students and staff to lock doors and stay in place during a shooting threat. But others are adopting an approach that includes fighting back if escape is impossible.
iStockphoto.com

The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put.

The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting.

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2:03pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Movie Reviews

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

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1:57pm

Thu October 11, 2012
The Two-Way

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 7:41 am

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

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1:51pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Among Disciplined Nurse Aides, Criminal Records Turn Up

HHS found that 19 percent of nurse aides who'd been disciplined had a prior conviction that would have shown up on a background check.
Matt Rourke AP

There are two ways to look at results of a recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both are pretty disturbing.

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1:23pm

Thu October 11, 2012
The Salt

How A Sleepy Pennsylvania Town Grew Into America's Mushroom Capital

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 2:13 pm

Four hundred million pounds of mushrooms come from farms in Chester County, Pa.
Eliza Barclay NPR

Here's an astonishing fact: Half of America's mushrooms are grown in one tiny corner of southeastern Pennsylvania, near the town of Kennett Square.

But why? It's not as though this place has some special advantage of climate or soil, the kind of thing that led to strawberry fields in Watsonville, Calif., or peach orchards in Georgia. Mushrooms can grow indoors. They could come from anywhere.

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1:00pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Arts & Culture

Today's Local Music: Ty Segall

According to Ty Segall, his third album, Melted, sounds like “cherry cola, Sno-Cones and taffy.” Segall uses acoustic and electric sounds, distortion and memorable choruses in order to make time “melt” away. He’s playing Sunday, October 14th, at the Treasure Island Music Festival. We don’t know the time, but the music starts at noon and goes until 9pm. The festival has a no re-entry policy, so just show up!

12:58pm

Thu October 11, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

How Cellphones Helped Researchers Track Malaria In Kenya

More than 90 percent of Kenyans use mobile phones, giving scientists a powerful tool to track how diseases spread.
Simon Maina AFP/Getty Images

Cellphones are popping up all over in health care these days. They're monitoring our blood sugar, tracking the flu season and even mapping the junk food we eat at night.

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