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Shots - Health Blog
3:05 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Common Chemicals Could Make Kids' Vaccines Less Effective

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

The more exposure children have to chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, the less likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinations, a study just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association shows.

The finding suggests, but doesn't prove, that these chemicals can affect the immune system enough to make some children more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

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Opinion
3:03 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

It's At The 20! The 10! Can The Flu Go All The Way?

Yes, H1N1 has been known to cause panic. But commentator Laura Lorson isn't afraid. With this powerful player, her fantasy flu team will be nearly unstoppable.
iStockphoto.com

Laura Lorson is an All Things Considered host for Kansas Public Radio as well as a director, producer and editor.

Another football season is winding down, college basketball is uninteresting until the tournament, pro basketball is rather dull. It will be a while before pitchers and catchers show up for spring training. But fortunately for all of us, we are smack in the middle of cold and flu season.

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All Tech Considered
2:58 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Who Are You? Google+ Really Wants To Know

On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. But your true identity is key to Google+.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 3:01 pm

Google will begin allowing users to add nicknames on Google+, Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google's social network said Tuesday.

True pseudonyms are still verboten on the network unless you go through an application process. To earn the right not to use your real name on Google+ you will have to prove you already have an online following that knows you that way.

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The Two-Way
2:47 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

This January 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:13 pm

You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It's the biggest to hit us since 2005. You've also probably heard a few people say, "I didn't feel anything."

As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today's solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.

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Around the Nation
2:44 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 7:30 pm

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

As Speaker, Gingrich Brought Change, Controversy

Robert Siegel speaks to Janet Hook of the Wall Street Journal about Newt Gingrich's time as speaker of the House. Hook covered those years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. When Gingrich became speaker, he brought a tremendous change to the House and the Republican Party. But he caused a lot of trouble for his rank and file. In 1997, there was a secret attempt to overthrow him as speaker by a group of "back benchers," who thought he was flying off the handle. They wanted a conventional leader, and he kept doing things on his own, without telling people.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Fox Plans Spanish-Language Network

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Fox is getting into the lucrative Spanish language TV market here in the U.S. They're putting together a broadcast network that will begin airing this fall.

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, it's a partnership with RCN, a Colombian television company.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: RCN is a major producer and exporter of Spanish-language programming. They're the ones who created the original "Ugly Betty."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SERIES "YO SOY BETTY")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Foreign language spoken)

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Asia
1:43 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

For China's 'Left-Behind Kids,' A Free Lunch

Students enjoy free meals on the inaugural day of the Free Lunch for Children program at Hujiaying primary school in Shaanxi province's Nanzheng county.
Louisa Lim NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:06 am

For 10-year-old student Xie Xiaoyuan, just getting to school is an ordeal. On a recent day, her frostbitten ears are testament to just how difficult the trip is.

"I get up at five o'clock," she says, "then I comb my hair and start walking."

Xie navigates a mountain path in China's remote Shaanxi province in the dark, trudging through snowstorms and mudslides. Then she has to get a bus for about 10 miles. She hasn't time to eat breakfast.

"For lunch, I spend 15 cents on two pieces of bread and a drink," she says.

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Shots - Health Blog
1:37 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Your Brain On Psilocybin Might Be Less Depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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The Salt
12:51 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food

A McDonald's breakfast meal in Villeurbanne, France includes fresh baguettes and jam spreads with coffee for $4.55.
Juste Philippe Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:41 pm

Greetings from McDonald's, or "MacDo," as they call it here in Paris, where I am comfortably ensconced in a McCafé enjoying a croissant and a grand crème coffee. I'm surrounded by people of all ages who are talking with friends, reading, or typing away on their laptops like me.

The beauty of McDonald's in France is that it doesn't feel like a fast food joint, where hordes of people shuffle in and out and tables turn at a fast clip.

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