12:01pm

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: So Far, 2011 Safest Year On Record For Air Travel

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 12:03 pm

An airplane takes off.
iStockphoto.com

2011 is shaping up to be the safest on record for airline travel, according to analysis of United Nations data by a trade group.

The International Air Transport Association reports that January to November of 2011 are the safest months on record since the U.N. started keeping data in 1945. The 11-month period has also seen a 22 percent improvement in safety from last year.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

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11:32am

Mon December 19, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Second Neti-Pot Death From Amoeba Prompts Tap-Water Warning

Keep that tap water — and amoebas — out of your neti pot.
iStockphoto.com

Washing noses with neti pots or squeeze bottles has become increasingly popular as a home remedy for colds, allergies and sinus trouble. But it's not such a great remedy if it kills you.

Now that two people have died from infection with brain-eating amoebas after using neti pots, doctors are warning: do not put tap water up your nose.

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10:58am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Kim Jong Il's Legacy? 'North Korea Is Dark'

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 1:03 pm

North Korea's borders are outlined.
NASA via Afrikent

There's certainly already been a lot said about North Korea's Kim Jong Il. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has an obit and Planet Money has a recap of how North Korea's economy is fueled by drug dealing and smuggling of counterfeit goods.

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10:28am

Mon December 19, 2011
North Korea In Transition

Key Moments In The Rule Of Kim Jong Il

Korean Central News Agency photo released on Jan. 18, 2009, showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Il posing with soldiers.
STR AFP/Getty Images

Kim Jong Il succeeded his father and ruled the secretive nation for 17 years. It was a period that included repeated friction with the international community over North Korea's nuclear weapons program and a devastating famine in the late 1990s that may have been responsible for upwards of 2 million deaths.

10:25am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

VIDEOS: Christmas-Themed 'Senior Citizen Flash Mobs' Are Spreading

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 10:26 am

The senior citizens flash mob in Kansas.
YouTube

9:58am

Mon December 19, 2011
Music Reviews

The Left Banke: Teenage Pioneers Of Jangle-Pop

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 10:24 am

If you were a New York teenager who played an instrument and wanted to be in a band, and all of a sudden British groups were coming to town and attracting rioting mobs of teenage girls, you might feel a certain urgency to get something together. Tom Finn had already had a band, The Magic Plants, when he ran into a guy named Steve Martin-Caro, a Spanish high-school student who recently arrived in the city, as they attempted to navigate the scene outside the hotel where The Rolling Stones' members were staying in 1965. The two became friends and decided to form another band.

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9:34am

Mon December 19, 2011
Presidential Candidates: Did You Know?

5 Things You May Not Know About Rick Santorum

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 3:24 pm

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum listens during a presidential debate Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.
Scott Eells-Pool Getty

Born in the spring of 1958, former Sen. Rick Santorum — the son of a psychologist and a nurse — was the second of three children in a Catholic family. The Pennsylvania Republican spent most of his childhood in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

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9:22am

Mon December 19, 2011
Music Interviews

Trent Reznor: The Fresh Air Interview

Originally published on Tue December 20, 2011 3:37 pm

Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails.
Frank Micelotta Getty Images

When filmmaker David Fincher asked Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and his songwriting partner Atticus Ross to compose the music for his U.S. film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher had one request: for the music to sound 'textural.'

So Reznor and Ross, who won an Oscar for their score of Fincher's 2010 film The Social Network, experimented with sounds created by stretched-out bell tones, piano beds filled with nails and clothespins, and mixes of distorted instruments played imperfectly.

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9:19am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Salt

Why Are We More Hungry In The Winter?

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 9:24 am

Our drive to eat more in the winter may be a product of less sunlight — or more temptation around us.
iStockphoto.com

If you feel hungrier as winter draws near, you're not alone. Even though most of us spend our days in climate-controlled offices and homes, our appetites seem to change when the days grow shorter. Some researchers say it's our primitive impulses promting us to stockpile calories for the winter ahead.

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9:10am

Mon December 19, 2011
The Two-Way

Violent Crime Drops Again, FBI Reports

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 9:12 am

From the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report.
FBI.gov

The number of violent crimes reported by 12,500 U.S. law enforcement agencies fell 6.4 percent in the first half of this year compared to the same time in 2010, the FBI reports.

And in its Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report the bureau also says that property crimes were down 3.7 percent.

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