9:52am

Fri January 6, 2012
Television

This Weekend, Some New Shows (And Old Favorites)

Don Cheadle plays business consultant Marty Kaan in the new Showtime comedy House of Lies.
Jordin Althaus Showtime

The New Year brings with it new TV programming, and this Sunday is an especially busy one for television. Two new series premiere, while one miniseries and several other series return.

But because it's a new year, let's start with the new shows.

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9:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Middle-Aged Brains Are Already Past Their Prime

iStockphoto.com

You may want to read this twice if you're older than 45. In fact, you may have to.

That's because your mental abilities are already in decline, according to a study of 7,390 British civil servants just published in BMJ, the British Medical Journal.

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9:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Movie Reviews

'Extremely Loud' And Incredibly Manipulative

Originally published on Thu February 23, 2012 3:24 pm

A year after his father's death in the World Trade Center, 11-year-old Oskar Schell (Thomas Horn) sets out on a citywide scavenger hunt to find a missing lock that he hopes will reveal a message from his dad.
Francois Duhamel Warner Bros. Pictures

Some critics are indignant over Stephen Daldry's film of Jonathan Safran Foer's book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. They say the appropriation of Sept. 11 for such a sentimental work is exploitation.

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9:25am

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Pained By Prices At The Pump? They're Likely To Go Even Higher

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 9:26 am

Don't spill any. It's expensive.
Ben Margot AP

This could be "the year of the gas-pocalypse" analysts tell the Los Angeles Times, "because gasoline prices are the highest ever for the start of the year, and they're on the rise, supercharged by expensive oil and changes in refinery operations."

Indeed, check out some of this reporting and analysis from GasBuddy.com:

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8:46am

Fri January 6, 2012
Crisis In The Housing Market

Can Construction Help Build The Recovery?

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 9:05 am

A construction worker walks on the roof of a newly built home in Westport, Conn. The construction sector, which has been battered by the depressed housing sector, added 17,000 jobs in December.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Of all the good news in the December unemployment report, perhaps the most encouraging sign for the 2012 labor market was the increase in construction jobs. That sector has lost more than 2 million jobs as the housing market imploded 5 years ago, but increases in construction hiring and spending could be cautious signs of a turnaround, analysts say.

Overall, employers created 200,000 jobs last month, sending the U.S. unemployment rate down to 8.5 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.

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John W. Poole is a video producer for NPR. He makes documentary films and multimedia presentations for the web and digital platforms, extending the reach and power of traditional photojournalism with moving pictures and sound.

In 2007, Poole came to NPR to help develop a visual media strategy, combining the organization's audio storytelling strength with still and motion photography. His work has led to two national Emmy nominations for the NPR Music series 'Project Song' and one for an investigative series on traumatic brain injury.

8:38am

Fri January 6, 2012
It's All Politics

Taking New Hampshire's Temperature, On A Frozen Lake

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H.
John W. Pool NPR

Reporter Liz Halloran and I have been motoring around New Hampshire the past few days, chasing candidate events and taking the political temperature of the state.

On the way to a Santorum event Thursday we spotted a small lake dotted with ice fishing shelters — the first we'd seen all week. Apparently, the ice only became thick enough in the last two weeks or so.

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8:37am

Fri January 6, 2012
Business

Better-Than-Expected Jobs Report Lifts Markets

The Labor Department announced Friday that 200,000 jobs were created in December, and the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent. The new hiring came largely in transportation and warehousing. Tens of thousands of other people found jobs in retail and manufacturing.

8:33am

Fri January 6, 2012
Remembrances

Barbara Lea: Remembering A Versatile Cabaret Singer

Barbara Lea was a singer known for her straightforward interpretations, precise diction, and respect for the intentions of each song's composer and lyrist. She died December 26th at the age of 82, from complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Lea got her start singing in clubs in the 1950s. Her first album, A Woman in Love, released in 1955, was named one of the finest recordings of the year. Though she dropped out of singing for a while, she made a comeback in New York's cabaret world in the 1970s.

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8:30am

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Tiny Miscalculation Might Have Slightly Skewed Iowa Caucuses Count

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 8:38 am

Barb Hansen tallies votes during a GOP caucus in precinct 42 near Smithland, Iowa, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012.
Dave Weaver AP

"Could Typo Rewrite Caucus History?"

That's the headline at the website of Des Moines' KCCI-TV, which reports that one Republican from Iowa's Appanoose County thinks a miscount at a caucus attended by 53 people there might have mistakenly contributed to Mitt Romney's reported eight-vote victory over Rick Santorum.

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