Fri September 23, 2011

Also-Rans: What Drives The Perennial Candidates?

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 2:11 pm

Socialist candidate for the presidency Norman Thomas parades down Wisconsin Avenue in Milwaukee in 1932, where he made a speech.

The perennial presidential candidate: Like the Energizer Bunny, he just keeps going and going. Like Old Man River, he keeps on rolling along. And he is held up as a pure example from the high school civics class in which we were taught that in America anyone can run for president.

He is also, like the majority of people who seek office, an also-ran.

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Falling Satellite's Return Delayed, U.S. Again A Possible Landing Site

This artist's conceptual image provided by NASA shows the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS.

NASA has updated its news on the pending descent of the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, and here's the headline: the satellite's re-entry has been pushed back. The UARS is now expected to plunge towards Earth late today or early Saturday, EDT.

The main drag on the satellite's speed - solar activity - is no longer the main reason why the spacecraft is slowing down. Its path, speed and spin are now so unpredictable that scientists say they cannot estimate when it will fall.

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

To Die Or Not To Die From Spontaneous Combustion

No so spontaneous: A stuntman burns during a controlled stunt in Ontario.

Lead singer of the fake rock band Spinal Tap, David St. Hubbins, famously uttered these words in the 1984 mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap: "Dozens of people spontaneously combust every year. It's just not widely reported."

And so an obscure phenomenon exploded into pop culture's collective consciousness.

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
Author Interviews

'Moneyball': Tracking Down How Stats Win Games

This interview was originally broadcast on May 28, 2003. The film Moneyball, which is based on Michael Lewis' book, opens on Friday.

When Michael Lewis started researching his book, Moneyball, he had a simply question: How did the Oakland A's, a motley collection of baseball misfits and utility players with the second-lowest payroll in all of baseball, win so many games?

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Abbas: It Is Time For A 'Palestinian Spring'

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 11:48 am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The president of the Palestinian Authority handed United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon an application that asks the world body to recognize Palestine as a member state. The dramatic move caps months of diplomatic wrangling in which the United States and Israel tried to dissuade Mahmoud Abbas from reaching this point.

Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson made it official on Twitter, saying:

President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General.

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Report: Fannie Mae Missed Chances To Stop Robo-Signing

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 9:29 am

An eviction team removes furniture during a home foreclosure in Longmont, Colorado.
John Moore Getty Images

In two reports released today, regulators say the federal mortagage-financing giant Fannie Mae knew as early as 2006 that lawyers were illegally signing foreclosure documents, but it failed to stop the practice.

The AP reports:

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
The Salt

American Goat Cheese: From Hippie Chick To Hip And Chic

Cypress Grove's goat cheese wedding cake
April Fulton NPR

I'll never forget the taste of a particular glass of milk offered to me at my friend's house when we were in the fourth grade: Sour grass. After I tried it, my friend's hippie mom proudly informed me it was goat's milk. Gross, I thought.

I had a pretty typical East Coast 1980s childhood diet of sugary cereals and processed dinners, and so my palate was completely unprepared for the funky flavor of goat.

But now, some 30 years later, I've often pulled goat cheese out of the fridge to bolster a quick dinner or to serve unexpected visitors.

Read more


Fri September 23, 2011
Health Care

Bartering For Health Care: Yardwork For Treatment

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 7:02 am

True North Health Center in Falmouth, Maine, accepts "time dollars," in addition to real dollars. Patients perform services in the community, like raking leaves, to earn the currency, and they can spend it for care at True North.


Fri September 23, 2011

A Greek Default Would Spread Debt Contagion

European leaders insist they will take all necessary measures to ensure Greece does not default on its debt. A default would throw Greece's economy — and the European banking system — into deeper crisis. But many financial experts are advocating an orderly default. They argue it will be painful but preferable to round-after-round of painful austerity measures and more uncertainty.


Fri September 23, 2011
The Two-Way

No More Special Last Meals For Death Row Inmates In Texas

Originally published on Fri September 23, 2011 7:53 am

Lawrence Russell Brewer in 1999.
Pat Sullivan AP

The huge meal that white supremacist Lawrence Russell Brewer ordered and then left untouched before his execution Wednesday has convinced Texas officials to end the state's traditional practice of giving death row inmates a "last meal" of their choice.

As the Houston Chronicle writes:

Read more