Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Generically Speaking

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

When you hear the phrase, "I need a Band-Aid immediately!" is your instinct to reply, "Actually, it's called an 'adhesive bandage,' Band-Aid is a brand"? Don't be that person--unless you're playing along with this game. Host Ophira Eisenberg offers the generic name and description of a particular product, and you must name the specific trademarked name that commonly describes it.

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Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Algebraic Music

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

Don't freak out, but this game combines one part name-that-tune, one part doing-math-in-your-head, and a dash of The Proclaimers. It'll be fun, we promise. House musician Jonathan Coulton performs songs that feature a number in their titles, but the numbers have been replaced by algebraic expressions. Contestants must solve for 'x' to make the mathematical expressions in the songs correct.

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Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Real Housewives Of Greek Mythology

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

What's your favorite franchise of Bravo's Real Housewives, Atlanta or New Jersey? How about The Acropolis? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg stirs up the celestial domestic drama by performing imagined on-camera quotes from female Greek mythological figures. Can you guess the goddess?

Plus, Jonathan Coulton pays homage to another powerful lady with a cover of Bananarama's "Venus."

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Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Hollywood Formulas

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

If there's actually a secret Hollywood movie formula, we want to see the proof. In a game that will take you right back to your beloved high school algebra and geometry classes, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants to combine the titles of well-known movies with mathematical terms. For example, "Rectangled" combines the polygon "rectangle" with the title of the film Tangled.

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Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Steven Strogatz: The Joy Of 'X'

"I started making up questions for myself that I didn't know the answer to, just for the fun of getting back into that euphoric feeling of being puzzled and wanting to solve it." — Steven Strogatz, on how his habits changed after solving a challenging word problem in grade school
Greg Kessler World Science Festival

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

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Ask Me Another
9:42 am
Fri August 2, 2013

I'm No Doctor

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 4:06 pm

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Breaking It Down, Avidan Ackerson. From Generically Speaking, Erin Barker. From Algebraic Music, Diane Firstman. From Real Housewives, John Rennie. And from Hollywood Formulas Chris Kairalla.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I want to ask our puzzle guru John Chaneski to take us out and crown a winner.

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The Two-Way
9:25 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Postmaster: We Photograph Your Mail, But Not To Snoop

A 2002 photo of the San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:32 am

The head of the U.S. Postal Service has acknowledged that every piece of domestic mail is photographed for processing and that the information is sometimes made available to law enforcement, according to The Associated Press.

In an interview with the news agency, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says that exterior images of individual pieces of mail are snapped at some 200 processing facilities around the country primarily for sorting purposes, but that the images have been used "a couple of times" by law enforcement to trace letters in criminal cases.

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Economy
9:18 am
Fri August 2, 2013

162,000 Jobs Added In July; Unemployment Drops To 7.4 Percent

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 10:08 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with the jobs report.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: The Labor Department says the U.S. economy added 162,000 new jobs last month. That's lower than many economists expected. Still the unemployment rate dropped to 7.4 percent. Workers did have fewer hours on the job and hourly earnings fell in July, for the first time since last fall. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Parallels
9:11 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Is Uruguay's Marijuana Legalization Vote A Tipping Point?

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 3:00 pm

Within weeks, Uruguay is expected to become the first nation to legalize the production, distribution and use of marijuana for its citizens.

The South American country's response to incessant drug-related violence in the region signals a quest for alternatives to the U.S.-led war on drugs, and a rethinking of official U.N. anti-drug policy, which has been in effect for more than half a century.

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Shots - Health News
9:06 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Penn State To Penalize Workers Who Refuse Health Screenings

Penn State hopes to reduce its health care costs by helping employees become healthier. But some faculty members complain that charging them $100 a month for refusing to participate in a health improvement program is unfair.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 1:02 pm

If you work for Penn State and don't agree to step on a scale or have your waist measured, it could soon cost you $100 a month. The Pennsylvania State University is joining a growing list of employers penalizing workers who want company-sponsored health benefits but refuse to participate in health improvement programs.

University officials say they need to take dramatic steps to reduce health care costs, and getting their workers in shape is one way to do it.

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