Glen Weldon is a contributor to NPR's pop culture blog Monkey See, where he posts weekly about comics and comics culture. He also reviews books and movies for NPR.org and is a regular panelist on NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour podcast.

Over the course of his career, he has spent time as a theater critic, a science writer, an oral historian, a writing teacher, a bookstore clerk, a PR flack, a seriously terrible marine biologist and a slightly better-than-average competitive swimmer.

The Torch
11:22 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Kayla Harrison Completes Her Comeback With Gold Medal In Judo

U.S. judoka Kayla Harrison reacts after winning the women's 78kg gold medal at London's ExCel arena.
Franck Fife AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 6:39 pm

Kayla Harrison has defeated Britain's Gemma Gibbons in the women's 78kg judo final. It is the first gold medal for Harrison, 22, a native of Middletown, Ohio — and the first Olympic gold medal for an American in the event.

Harrison sprang out to an early lead in the match and then sealed it with another late score. She holds multiple world champion titles, despite her young age.

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The Two-Way
11:03 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Near Collision Near D.C.: Planes Were 12 Seconds From Possible Impact

A passenger jet preparing for takeoff from Reagan National Airport in 2002.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 2:42 pm

  • Radio traffic between pilot and controller

Update at 2:40 p.m. ET. FAA Disputes Report:

The Associated Press writes that "none of the three commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, U.S. officials said Thursday. "During a news conference, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood strongly disputed media reports characterizing the incident as a near-miss."

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Book Reviews
11:01 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Jaime Hernandez Bridges The Indie-Vs.-Cape Divide

Originally published on Thu August 2, 2012 12:56 pm

If only Nixon could go to China, only indie-comics master Jaime Hernandez could produce God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls, the brightest, purest, most quintessentially superheroic superhero yarn in years.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Thu August 2, 2012

In Syria, Both Sides Now Have Heavy Weapons In Aleppo

Anti-Assad fighters stood atop a captured army tank on Wednesday in the village of Anadan, about 4 miles northwest of Aleppo.
Ahmad Gharabli AFP/Getty Images
  • From 'Morning Edition': Anthony Kuhn, in Beirut, talks with Steve Inskeep

Anti-Bashar Assad forces in the Syrian city of Aleppo now have at least a few tanks, rocket-propelled grenades and improved explosives.

And that has U.N. observers warning about the deadly consequences of heavy weapons being used by both sides within such a "confined urban area," NPR's Anthony Kuhn said earlier on Morning Edition. The fear, of course, is that even more non-combatants will be caught in the crossfire.

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Local Exposure
10:51 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Local Exposure Time Machine: Grateful Grahams

Sugar, spice and gratitude are the main ingredients used by Rachel DesRochers in her Grateful Grahams.

The Two-Way
10:40 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Colorado Shooting Stories: Teen Shielded Woman And Her Kids; He Got Shot

Jarell Brooks.
KUSA-TV

As they're being told, we're pointing to some of the stories about the 12 people who died and the 58 who were wounded when a gunman opened fire on July 20 at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo. Click here to see more. As you see others, please share the links in the comment threads.

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The Salt
10:35 am
Thu August 2, 2012

How Climate Change Is Changing The Oyster Business

Scientists blame higher levels of carbon dioxide in Pacific Ocean waters caused by global warming for the failure of oyster seeds to thrive in hatcheries.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:30 am

Austin Docter has worked at a shellfish plant in Shelton, Wash., for 18 years and has a lot of words to describe what he calls the flavor profiles of oysters: Minerally. Metallic-y. Sweet. Buttery.

"Wherever oysters are grown, they take on the characteristics of the algae and water that they grow up in," Docter says. "It's a lot like French wine."

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The Torch
10:13 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Boris Gets Left Hanging, But The Joke's Rarely On London's Savvy Mayor

A still image taken from an eyewitness video shows London's Mayor Boris Johnson hanging from a zipline, after losing his momentum.
YouTube

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Shots - Health Blog
9:42 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Mixed Feelings About Side Effects From Cholesterol Pills

Lipitor and other cholesterol-fighting drugs carry risks of side effects.
Paul Sakuma AP

Drugs to lower cholesterol run neck and neck with antidepressants for popularity in the U.S.

There's ample evidence cholesterol-lowering pills called statins can reduce the risk of a repeat heart attack. The pills are frequently prescribed for people who've never had a heart attack or stroke, but are at high risk for trouble.

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