Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Lyrical Portrait Of Life And Death In The Orchard

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 7:54 am

Amanda Coplin grew up in the apple-growing Wenatchee Valley, on the sunny side of Washington state's Cascade range, surrounded by her grandfather's orchards. Her glorious first novel, inspired by family history, takes you back to the days when you could buy what are now considered heirloom apples — Arkansas Blacks and Rhode Island Greenings — from the man who grew them, from bushel baskets lugged into town by mule-drawn wagon. Seattle and Tacoma were mere villages, and train travel was the new-tech way to go.

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The Picture Show
5:38 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Our Changing Forests: An 88-Year Time Lapse

1909. Facing nearly due west from ridge northeast of Como Lake. Light selection cut in open ponderosa pine. Ground cover is comprised of perennial grasses and forbs, including basalmroot. A few low-growing bitterbrush plants can be seen in the vicinity of horses and in distance on left. A group of willows can be seen behind horsemen at left center.
Photo 87357 U.S. Forest Service

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:35 pm

Intense forest fires have been raging across the western United States this summer. So far this year, nearly 43,000 wildfires have torched almost 7 million acres of land.

As NPR Science correspondent Christopher Joyce and photographer David Gilkey report from Arizona and New Mexico this week, the forests of the American Southwest have become so overgrown that they're essentially tinderboxes just waiting for a spark.

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Joe's Big Idea
3:23 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Telescope Innovator Shines His Genius On New Fields

Roger Angel, an astronomer at the University of Arizona, stands in front of his new project: a solar tracker. Angel wants to use the device to harness Arizona's abundant sunlight and turn it into usable energy.
Jason Millstein for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 12:23 pm

You may not be familiar with the name Roger Angel, but if there were ever a scientist with a creative streak a mile wide, it would be he.

Angel is an astronomer. He's famous for developing an entirely new way of making really large, incredibly precise telescope mirrors. But his creativity doesn't stop there. He's now turned his attention to solar power, hoping to use the tricks he learned from capturing distant light from stars to do a more cost-efficient job of capturing light from the Sun.

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First And Main
3:22 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Wis. Business Owner Relates To Romney's Resume

Linda Wendt is the owner of a restaurant on Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin. Republican Mitt Romney "has done what I've done, so I can relate to him," she says. "He knows what business goes through and what it takes to run a business."
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition is visiting swing counties in swing states for our series First and Main. We're listening to voters where they live — to understand what's shaping their thinking this election year.

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Planet Money
3:21 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Why Do Taxpayers Subsidize Farmers' Insurance?

Grandpa Traub — corn former and millionaire.
Chana Joffe-Walt NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:16 am

This summer's drought has hit more than half the states in the country. Crops are suffering, but farmers might not be. Most farmers have crop insurance.

U.S. taxpayers spend about $7 billion a year on crop insurance. It's our largest farm subsidy.

And this subsidy goes in part to farmers — who will tell you themselves they aren't so sure about the whole idea. "I have an aversion to it," says Jim Traub, a corn and bean farmer in Fairbury, Illinois. "But you're not going to turn it down."

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Around the Nation
3:19 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Hurricane Andrew's Legacy: 'Like A Bomb' In Florida

Florida National Guardsmen keep people in line at a food distribution center in Florida City, Fla., on Aug. 27, 1992. Many residents of the Dade County farming community lost their homes to Hurricane Andrew.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:46 am

Twenty years ago, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S. changed the face of South Florida.

Hurricane Andrew wiped out communities south of Miami, killing 15 people when it struck in 1992. Dozens more died from injuries stemming from the storm and its aftermath.

Adjusted for inflation, the 1992 storm was, after Katrina, the second costliest storm in U.S. history. It also changed how we forecast and respond to hurricanes.

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Digital Life
3:18 am
Thu August 23, 2012

In Japan, Mobile Startups Take Gaming To Next Level

According to consultant Serkan Toto, the anonymity of mobile gaming is tailor-made for the Japanese.
Koji Sasahara AP

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 8:47 pm

On the subway, in doctor's waiting rooms and during college lectures, millions of Japanese can be found glued to their smartphones. But they're not texting or making phone calls — they're playing video games.

In the U.S., video games are usually played on computers and consoles, like the PlayStation or Wii, but in Japan, gaming has migrated to smartphones.

With an ice coffee in one hand and an iPhone in the other, grad student Yoshiro Hinoki is fixated on slaying tiny cartoon monsters.

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Megafires: The New Normal In The Southwest
3:17 am
Thu August 23, 2012

How The Smokey Bear Effect Led To Raging Wildfires

Adams (left) talks with Swetnam in their laboratory, nestled under the football stadium.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 7:50 pm

First of a five-part series

The history of fire in the American Southwest is buried in a catacomb of rooms under the bleachers of the football stadium at the University of Arizona.

Here rules professor Thomas Swetnam, tree ring expert. You want to read a tree ring? You go to Tom. He's a big, burly guy with a beard and a true love for trees.

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Movies
3:16 am
Thu August 23, 2012

The Marlon Brando Of Screen Dance, 100 Years On

Blessed with athleticism and skill, actor-dancer Gene Kelly always managed to look like a regular guy having a lot of fun dancing.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:01 pm

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CCT-1 finds new home in Dayton
11:11 pm
Wed August 22, 2012

Space shuttle training simulator lands in Dayton

NASA's Super Guppy, carrying the CCT-1, arrives at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.
Tana Weingartner

Dayton may have been passed over to receive a space shuttle but the National Museum of the United States Air Force now has the next best thing. For more than 30 years Crew Compartment Trainer One was used to teach astronauts how to fly orbiters and operate equipment in space. Astronaut Greg Johnson was on hand Wednesday as CCT-1 arrived on the NASA Super Guppy aircraft. Johnson says he spent almost more time in the trainer than in actual space.

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