6:02am

Thu May 3, 2012
NPR Story

The Last Word In Business

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Last night at the Sotheby's auction house in New York, there was something to scream about. Our last word in business is: "The Scream."

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

As we reported yesterday, the Expressionist masterpiece by Edvard Munch went up for sale. There are four versions of this composition, but just one had been privately held by an heir of one of Munch's patrons.

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3:41am

Thu May 3, 2012
News

Trayvon Martin Case 2.0: Digital Trial Before Jury

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 1:33 pm

People hold signs during a small April rally in Sanford, Fla., that was billed as an opportunity to show support for the constitutional rights of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

If the parents of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin can use social media and the Internet to demand justice, so, too, can the boy's killer.

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3:06am

Thu May 3, 2012
It's All Politics

That New Friend You Made On Facebook? He Might Be Named Mitt Or Barack

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:31 am

An image from the Republican National Committee's Facebook page advertises its new "Social Victory Center" app.
RNC via Facebook.com

As the presidential campaigns refocus on November, they're zeroing in on digital domains. In fact, the Obama campaign has spent six times as much money advertising online as it has on TV so far, though that's certain to change.

And Republicans are fighting back with a new Facebook app called the "Social Victory Center." (You have to be a Facebook user to access the site.)

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3:05am

Thu May 3, 2012
Presidential Race

Gingrich Out Of The Race, But Still In Debt

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:42 am

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich pauses while announcing that he is suspending his presidential campaign Wednesday in Arlington, Va.
Evan Vucci AP

Newt Gingrich is officially out of the presidential race. The former House speaker said Wednesday that he's suspending his campaign, and he's ready to help the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, battle President Obama. But Gingrich might have a more pressing problem: His campaign has about $4 million in debt.

In Gingrich's exit speech, he opened by thanking people β€” first his family, then his financial backers.

"I also want to single out, first of all, the over 179,000 donors who helped us at Newt.org and who helped make the campaign possible," he said.

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3:04am

Thu May 3, 2012
Humans

Put Away The Bell Curve: Most Of Us Aren't 'Average'

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 11:06 pm

Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth's record for career home runs as he hits No. 715 at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, on his way to a career 755 home runs. Research suggests that in a wide variety of professions, including collegiate and professional sports, a small but significant number of individuals perform exceedingly well and the rest of individuals' performance trails off.
AP

For decades, teachers, managers and parents have assumed that the performance of students and employees fits what's known as the bell curve β€” in most activities, we expect a few people to be very good, a few people to be very bad and most people to be average.

The bell curve powerfully shapes how we think of human performance: If lots of students or employees happen to show up as extreme outliers β€” they're either very good or very bad β€” we assume they must represent a skewed sample, because only a few people in a truly random sample are supposed to be outliers.

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3:02am

Thu May 3, 2012
Commentary

Watching 'The Avengers' In India, With A Twist

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 10:31 am

In The Avengers, the Hulk lives in Calcutta β€” and doesn't lose his temper over the city's traffic and other problems. That might not ring true to anyone who's been there, says Sandip Roy.
Marvel

When I went to see The Avengers the very day it was released, I texted a friend in San Francisco. It seems kind of unfair, I said, that because of the 12-hour time difference, I get to see The Avengers before you do.

Turns out I was a week off. The Avengers actually released in 39 countries around the world, including India, a week before it opens in America.

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2:17am

Thu May 3, 2012
Arts & Life

Colorful Visions At African-American Art Exhibit

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:50 am

Gene Young American Art Museum

The African-American experience is reflected, right now, on the walls of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Exuberant dancing in Chicago. Laundry on a line in the nation's capital. A girl smiling out from her father's warm jacket β€” all captured in photographs, paintings and sculptures from the 1920s through the 1990s.

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12:01am

Thu May 3, 2012
Track Tech

Track Tech: Medical Marvels Not Always Affordable

Over the last three years, The New York Times reports, some 36-hundred race horses have died at the nation’s tracks.Β  Modern technology might have saved some of those animals, but, in an industry that must worry about the bottom line, healing a horse is often too expensive.Β 

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7:34pm

Wed May 2, 2012
It's All Politics

Could Electoral College Calculus Give Obama An Edge?

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 8:27 pm

AP

Now that President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are pivoting to the general election, campaign watchers are handicapping the race that counts this fall β€” the Electoral College.

And right now, the Electoral College map is looking better for the president than the (generally very close) national polls, says NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving.

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7:27pm

Wed May 2, 2012
The Two-Way

'Zombie' Ants And The Fungus That Saves Them

Originally published on Wed May 2, 2012 7:59 pm

A zombie ant with the brain-manipulating fungus (Ophiocordyceps unilateralis s.l.) having been castrated by an hyperparasite fungus (white with yellow material).
David Hughes Penn State University

As you can probably tell, at least one person on this blog's masthead likes ants.

So we've always been bummed that we haven't had the opportunity to tell you about zombie ants, but today we are glad to report there is a new development in the field. Luckily, it's a good-news report about a fungus that limits the fungus that turns ants into zombies.

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