The Two-Way
3:40 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour's Trip To L.A. May Cause 400 Trees To Be Cut Down

A stump remains in the median of Manchester Boulevard as workers remove trees to clear a path for the space shuttle Endeavour in Inglewood, Calif., Tuesday. Residents are upset that 400 trees might be cut down to allow the shuttle to travel from the airport to its new home at a science center.
Reed Saxon AP

The space shuttle Endeavour will make its final trip next month, to the California Science Center in Los Angeles. But while most South L.A. residents are excited to have a piece of history nearby, many are also upset that the shuttle's 12-mile transit is forcing the city to cut down about 400 trees.

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Book Reviews
3:33 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Was Zadie Smith's Novel 'NW' Worth The Wait?

British author Zadie Smith in 2005.
Sergio Dionisio AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:37 pm

Zadie Smith wrote her last novel On Beauty seven years ago — a long time in the anxious world of publishing. Her new novel NW was released in the U.S. on Monday. Critic Maureen Corrigan asks: Was it worth the wait?

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Economy
3:33 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Journalist Evaluates Obama, Romney Economic Plans

David Leonhardt, the Washington bureau chief of The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize last year for his columns about the economy.
Earl Wilson The New York Times

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:39 pm

On Monday, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a campaign rally audience in North Carolina that "the president can say a lot of things, but he can't tell you you are better off." Later that day in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden responded "America is better off today than they left us."

New York Times Washington bureau chief David Leonhardt argues that both Ryan and Biden are right: It's partly semantics.

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It's All Politics
3:26 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Conventions' Version Of Reality TV

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 3:41 pm

They've been all over the political conventions this year — not just politicians, but "real people."

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It's All Politics
3:12 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Democrats' Most Interesting Man: Bill Clinton In A Word Or Five

New Mexico delegates Priscilla Chavez (left) and Carla Arellanes.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 6:13 pm

Ever see one of those Dos Equis beer ads featuring the "Most Interesting Man in the World," the dapper fellow of a certain age who fascinates all who meet him?

The Democrats' version of that guy will be the featured speaker Wednesday at their convention in Charlotte.

Yes, we are talking about former two-term President Bill Clinton, whose life of accomplishment, scandal, statesmanship and occasional political pettiness (just ask the man he'll be vouching for tonight) are the stuff of legend and lore.

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The Two-Way
2:31 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Asia's Richest Woman Slammed After Musing About Workers Paid $2 A Day

Australian mining magnate Gina Rinehart.
Tony Ashby AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 4:12 pm

Nothing ignites controversy like having one of the world's richest women tell her fellow Australians that they need to cut labor costs in order to compete with Africans who are "willing to work for less than $2 a day."

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Racer Alex Zanardi Wins Gold Medal At London Paralympics

Alex Zanardi celebrates winning the gold medal in the men's individual H4 time trial cycling final at the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Brands Hatch circuit, in Kent, southern England. Zanardi's legs were amputated after a racecar crash in 2001.
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:33 pm

Alex Zanardi, who was a star racecar driver when he lost his legs in a 2001 crash, has won a gold medal in the London Paralympics. The Italian, 45, beat Germany's Nobert Mosandl by more than 27 seconds to win the men's handcycle time trial. The race took place at Brands Hatch, a track that Zanardi has previously tackled behind the wheel of high-powered racecars.

"Last time I was here I was going about five times faster but I still love this circuit," he said this week.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:26 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Scientists Unveil 'Google Maps' For Human Genome

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 5:56 pm

Scientists unveiled the results of a massive international project Wednesday that they say debunks the notion that most of our genetic code is made up of so-called junk DNA.

The ENCODE project, which involved hundreds of researchers in dozens of labs, also produced what some scientists are saying is like Google Maps for the human genome.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Toothbrush: It's In The Space Station's Toolbox. How About Yours?

The toothbrush/space tool.
NASA.gov

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

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Asia
12:41 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Vanishing Vultures A Grave Matter For India's Parsis

This image shows a Parsi Tower of Silence, circa 1955, near Mumbai, India. The bodies of the dead are left here to be disposed of by vultures.
Alice Schalek Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:42 pm

For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle.

Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they've had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and to not upset the neighbors.

Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects.

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