Music
6:31 am
Sun June 24, 2012

In Survival Of The Funkiest, Bad Music Dies First

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 2:34 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Human evolution is all about survival of the fittest. Over thousands of generations, the weak have been weeded out, and the strong have survived. But how would that kind of natural selection work in other settings - like, say, music? Well, one biologist decided to find out. He designed a website where listeners can rate collections of notes according to their musicality. The nice sounds survive, and other users listen to them. But the ugly sounds die off.

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Host, Executive Producer, Idea Man, and Top Dog of State of the Re:Union, Al Letson has received national recognition and built a devoted fan base with soul-stirring, interdisciplinary work. He established himself early in his career as a heavyweight in the Poetry Slam Movement, which garnered artistic credibility and renown. Performing on a number of national, regional and local stages including HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, CBS’s Final Four PreGame Show and commercial projects for Sony, the Florida Times Union, Adobe Software, and the Doorpost Film Project, Al has honed his professional voice and artistic sensibilities into a unique brand that is all his own.

Education
5:29 am
Sun June 24, 2012

A Year Without Mexican-American Studies In Tucson

Protesters are seen in June 2011 in support of the Tucson Unified School District's Mexican-American studies program. A new state law effectively ended the program saying it was divisive.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 6:51 pm

An Arizona law that went into effect last year essentially ruled that the Mexican-American studies program offered in the Tucson public school system was divisive and should be scrapped. At the end of the first semester without the classes, hard feelings still linger.

For eight years, until this past January, Lorenzo Lopez taught Mexican-American studies at Cholla High in Tucson, Ariz., the very school from which he graduated in 1992.

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Afghanistan
5:16 am
Sun June 24, 2012

Afghan Tunnel: Decrepit, Dangerous Yet Indispensible

A truck drives down a highway on Salang Pass in Afghanistan's Parwan province in December. The Salang Tunnel, which crosses under the pass, provides a vital link between Central Asia and northern Afghanistan to Kabul.
Qais Usyan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 6:49 pm

The U.S. military says it's spending an extra $100 million a month on the war in Afghanistan since Pakistan closed its border to NATO supply convoys. Now, NATO is using a route thousands of miles longer through Russia and Central Asia.

That route passes through Afghanistan's perilous Salang Tunnel, 11,000 feet up in the Hindu Kush mountains. The Soviet-built tunnel was heralded as a marvel of engineering when completed in 1964.

But years of war, neglect and geology have turned it into a dangerous bottleneck.

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Middle East
5:10 am
Sun June 24, 2012

Syrians Now Willing To Talk, But No Names, Please

President Bashar Assad addresses Parliament on June 3. Syrians in the capital, Damascus, have become more willing to speak out, though they still don't want to be identified by name. Many feel the Assad regime is losing control of parts of the country.
Anonymous SANA/AP

In Damascus, Syrians now openly speak their minds, but often won't offer a name for the record.

The "wall of fear" is crumbling even in the capital, where the security police have the heaviest presence. Syrians have lived under surveillance and emergency law for years, but after 15 months of anti-government protest and a brutal response by the regime, the killings have changed people.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:04 am
Sun June 24, 2012

Countdown To The Supreme Court's Ruling On Health Care

People wait outside the Supreme Court last week for word on the fate of the federal health overhaul law.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 7:46 am

Anticipation has reached a fever pitch, and the waiting is almost over.

This week, the Supreme Court is almost certain to issue its decision on the constitutionality of President Obama's health care law. The decision could have far-reaching implications for the legal landscape, the nation's health care system and even the Supreme Court's legacy.

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Author Interviews
5:04 am
Sun June 24, 2012

The Fight For The Right To Hear, 'Yes, Chef'

Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 12:50 pm

As you walk in the doors of Red Rooster, you immediately see a key piece of design: a bar dominates the front room, nearly touching the street, as if to say to the people of Harlem, N.Y., "Come on in."

The story behind the restaurant's owner, celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson, is more about life than food.

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National Security
5:02 am
Sun June 24, 2012

Planes, Patience And Slightly Kid-Friendlier Security

Some parents say the hardest part of flying with young kids on an airplane is dealing with unpredictable kids and adult passengers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 6:31 am

It's 7 a.m. at the Kimball's Washington, D.C., home. Peter and Leslie Kimball are running up and down the stairs, changing diapers and trying to feed their kids breakfast.

They're packing for a work conference in Orlando, Fla., but they've also planned a surprise for their daughter Lane's birthday: a visit to Disney World.

This summer, more than 200 million people are expected to fly out of U.S. airports. The Kimballs are one of many families flying with their kids.

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National Teachers Initiative
5:00 am
Sun June 24, 2012

Former Dropouts Push Others To Reach Finish Line

Anthony Gonzales graduated on Tuesday from Learning Works charter school in Pasadena, Calif.
Learning Works

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 12:40 pm

In Pasadena, Calif., one teacher's devotion is helping kids graduate. Mikala Rahn is the founder of Learning Works, a charter school for kids who have dropped out of traditional schools.

Carlos Cruz is one of the first students she helped graduate. When he started senior year, Cruz realized he was two years behind.

"[I remember] you looking at me and telling me that everything was going to be OK," Cruz tells Rahn, "and me looking back at you, and I'm like, 'How the [expletive] do you think everything is going to be OK?' "

Rahn says it was optimism.

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Sunday Puzzle
11:03 pm
Sat June 23, 2012

Finding The Common Thread

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 6:31 am

On-Air Challenge: You are given three words starting with the letter "F." The answer is a word that can follow each of those three words to complete a familiar two-word phrase. For example, if given "flag, father's and field," the answer would be "day."

Last Week's Challenge From listener Kate MacDonald of Murphys, Calif.: Think of a common French word that everyone knows. Add a "V" to the beginning and an "E" at the end. The result will be the English-language equivalent of the French word. What is it?

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