Shots - Health Blog
2:32 am
Wed October 3, 2012

When New Diseases Emerge, Experts Are Faster On The Uptake

A railway worker wearing protective clothing to ward off the SARS virus controls a line of travelers as they wait to enter Beijing's West Railway Station Tuesday in 2003.
Greg Baker AP

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 11:37 am

Scientists have recently discovered three new human viruses.

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Kitchen Window
2:28 am
Wed October 3, 2012

It's Time To Pick A Peck Of Peppers

Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:10 am

Ripe sweet peppers are seasonal ambassadors, offering color, flavor, goodwill and diplomacy during the transition from summer to autumn cooking. Sweet peppers surge into ripeness in late summer and flourish into fall. Supplies wind down about the time trees let go of their leaves.

Now is the time to pick up a peck of them for what a single sad specimen will cost come January. When in season and plentiful, peppers are a bargain.

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It's All Politics
2:26 am
Wed October 3, 2012

Colorado Voters Get Revved Up Over Energy Policy

Beer is processed at the New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. The brewery has embraced sustainability, making efforts to produce some of its own energy.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 7:17 pm

The presidential debates are expected to cover a wide range of topics, from the economy to foreign policy to health care. Wednesday night's debate will focus on domestic policy — and one topic that's likely to come up is energy.

It's a subject that is certainly on the minds of voters in Larimer County, Colo. Last week, in a rural area outside Fort Collins, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan held a campaign event in a warehouse at Walker Mowers, a family-owned manufacturer of lawn mowers and tractors.

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The Salt
2:25 am
Wed October 3, 2012

In Washington State, Picker Shortage Threatens Apple Boom

Amilia Magno, 23, of Pasco, Wash., carries a heavy load of buckeye gala apples in Broetje Orchards near Prescott, Wash.
Anna King Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 4:57 pm

In western Michigan, there aren't enough apples to pick because bad weather decimated 85 to 90 percent of the crop. But Washington state has the opposite problem — there's an abundance of apples, but not enough pickers.

This should be the happiest, busiest time of year in Washington apple orchards. But now — just as the peak of apple harvest is coming on — Broetje Orchards manager Roger Bairstow is wincing.

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Sweetness And Light
9:03 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

The NFL's Lesson: There's No Replacing Good Refs

Referee Walt Anderson makes a call in the Chicago Bears game against the Dallas Cowboys Monday, ending the NFL's first full slate of games with its regular officials.
Ronald Martinez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 9:14 am

So, we found out that the National Football League is too big to fail. But not so big that it couldn't make a complete fool of itself and show to the world that its owners are stingy, greedy nincompoops.

Not so big that it couldn't make its commissioner, Roger Goodell, stand out in front, looking lost and small, so that their erstwhile tough-guy commander suddenly became an errand boy, losing respect and dignity that will be hard to regain the next time he needs it.

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It's All Politics
6:39 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Setbacks For Voter ID Laws in Pa., Other States Could Be Short-Lived

Emily Goldberg, with her daughter, Willa, 2, holds up a sign during the NAACP voter ID rally to protest against Pennsylvania's voter ID law on Sept. 13. Tuesday, a judge ordered that the law not be enforced in the Nov. 6 presidential election.
Michael Perez AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 7:23 pm

Civil rights groups are cheering the injunction placed on the Pennsylvania voter identification law, but their recent victories against state photo ID measures very likely won't last beyond Election Day.

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The Two-Way
5:44 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Mike McQueary Files Lawsuit Against Penn State

Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary.
Chris Gardner Getty Images

Mike McQueary, the graduate assistant who witnessed former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy, has filed a lawsuit against Penn State University for defamation and misrepresentation.

The AP reports:

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
5:13 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

'Million-Dollar Blocks' Map Incarceration's Costs

Bernard Goutier, 25, has served time in prison twice. He's now learning construction skills with Emerge Connecticut, which offers paid on-the-job training, literacy classes and support groups to ex-offenders.
Uma Ramiah for NPR

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 7:16 pm

In many neighborhoods, hard truths about day-to-day life — like violent streets or crumbling schools — are readily apparent to residents, but less obvious to city and state officials.

Hard data can sometimes bridge that gap, helping policymakers better visualize which communities are doing well, and which may need additional help or resources.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:35 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Vitamin D No Help For Colds

Sorry the vitamin D didn't help.
Michael Kemter iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:53 am

Should you take Vitamin D supplements to prevent colds and shorten the misery?

Like other theories about the benefits of vitamin D, it seems like a reasonably good idea. After all, some lab studies suggest vitamin D might enhance immunity. And as everybody knows, people are more prone to respiratory infections during winter, when they cover up and get less vitamin D-generating sunlight.

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The Message Machine
4:24 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Campaigns Targeting Hispanics, But With Tight Focus

A volunteer hands out buttons before first lady Michelle Obama speaks at a Hispanic caucus on Sept. 5 in Charlotte, N.C.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 5:17 pm

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