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Joe's Big Idea
3:38 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

To Put Two Rovers On Mars, Scientists Had To Get Clever With Packing

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 6:01 pm

To fit in their shipping container, two Mars rovers had to be folded up into a tiny package and then unfolded — a prime example of what NPR science correspondent Joe Palca calls "unfolding science."

Sports
3:36 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

The Name(s) Of The Game: The Trials Of The World Cup Announcer

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

The World Cup kicks off Thursday in Brazil, and ESPN viewers can expect to hear the familiar voice of lead play-by-play commentator Ian Darke. This will be his sixth World Cup, and he tells Melissa Block how he keeps track of the more than 700 players participating at this year's tournament. He even shares a reoccurring nightmare he has about calling games.

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Shots - Health News
3:27 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Taking Statins May Make People Less Physically Active

Hey bro, taking statins does not give you a free ride in the exercise department.
MorelSO iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 7:47 am

People who take statin medications are less active than those not taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a study finds.

And that's a problem, because lack of activity increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as other diseases. That's just what the statins are supposed to prevent. So people may be canceling out the good work of the statins if they're putting in more couch time.

Our first thought was that these people were taking it easy because hey, who needs to sweat when those statins are hard at work lowering cholesterol?

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The Two-Way
3:18 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Human Or Machine? AI Experts Reportedly Pass The 'Turing Test'

A computer program masquerading as a 13-year-old Ukrainian boy has reached a technological and philosophical threshold by passing the so-called Turing Test: it fooled a third of its human interlocutors into believing they were conversing with a real person instead of a machine.

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Music News
3:16 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Apple Jacks The Headphone Port

What do you mean Apple is getting rid of the headphone jack? Where's it going?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:54 am

Apple may be set to end its use of the standard 3.5mm headphone connector — the mini plug — in favor of its proprietary connector, the Lightning port. If it was to do that, new iPhones, iPads and iPods wouldn't work with old headphones. It's had more than a few industry folks and Apple fanatics upset, to say the least.

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The Salt
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

California Farmers Ask: Hey Buddy, Can You Spare Some Water?

Allen Peterson's farm, near the city of Turlock, Calif., lies next to a concrete-lined canal full of water. He's one of the lucky ones.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:29 am

Imagine if a gallon of milk cost $3 in your town, but 100 miles away it cost $100, or even $200.

Something similar is happening right now in California with water that farmers use to irrigate their crops. Some farmers are paying 50 or even 100 times more for that water than others who live just an hour's drive away.

The situation is provoking debate about whether water in California should move more freely, so that it can be sold to the highest bidder.

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Education
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

As College Tuition Soars, What Puts That Price Tag In Motion?

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

We wanted to figure out why college costs have been rising so much, and Anya Kamenetz with the NPR Ed team joins me now to break down the numbers.

Anya, why don't we take the example of a working-class student at a four-year public university getting no help from mom and dad? What do the numbers look like?

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Education
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

With New Order, Obama Aims To Combat Student Debt Pressures

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

President Obama is signing an executive order Monday, which will expand a loan forgiveness program for college debt. NPR's Mara Liasson looks at the program and the political salience of the issue.

News
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Audit Reveals Vast Scale Of VA Waitlist Issues

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

Before former Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki stepped down, he ordered an audit of the VA system, hoping to find how many hospitals were lying about wait times. The audit found that approximately 100,000 veterans are waiting too long for care at the VA.

Technology
3:06 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

In A Landmark First, An AI Program Fools The Turing Test

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 5:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been billed as a breakthrough in artificial intelligence - a computer in England has fooled human beings into thinking it is a 13-year-old boy, not by the way it looks, but by the way it chats through instant messaging. NPR's Aarti Shahani reports some analysts are unimpressed by this digital trickery.

AARTI SHAHANI, BYLINE: A team from the University of Reading put the computer through a test - it's called the Turing Test - and to pass it, the computer had to fool people.

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