3:04am

Wed April 18, 2012
Humans

Can You Think Your Way To That Hole-In-One?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:50 am

Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Andrew Redington Getty Images

Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.

Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.

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3:03am

Wed April 18, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Unusual Alliances Form In Nebraska's Prenatal Care Debate

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 10:39 am

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would spend government funds on prenatal care to illegal immigrants. He has that service for illegal immigrants should be provided by churches and private organizations, not with taxpayer money.
Nati Harnik AP

In Republican-dominated Nebraska, government leaders often line up together, but lately a political tornado has ripped through this orderly scene.

A political showdown over taxpayer funding of prenatal care for illegal immigrants has produced some unusual political splits and alliances in the statehouse of the Cornhusker State.

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3:02am

Wed April 18, 2012
Tina Brown's Must-Reads

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: The Reporter's Role

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Andrew Breitbart, the late editor and founder of BigGovernment.com, is shown in this file photo speaking at a rally at the conservative Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington on Nov. 5.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.

The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad

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3:01am

Wed April 18, 2012
Business

Rough Patches Behind It, Toyota Tries To Accelerate

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:23 am

A crane lifts a Toyota to the top level of New York's Javits Convention Center on April 2, before the New York International Auto Show.
Joe Polimeni PR Newswire

Paul Schubert and his wife decided to buy a new car last summer — a really fuel-efficient one. After a lot of research, they settled on a Toyota Prius. But there was a problem: They couldn't find one.

The tsunami that devastated Japan in March had dried up supplies of the Prius, which is made in Japan, and a dealer told them they would have to wait — "about four months," Schubert says. "And we thought, well, it'd be, probably, end of November, early December before we were going to have a car."

The Schuberts still had a working car.

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2:58am

Wed April 18, 2012
All Tech Considered

From Silicon Valley, A New Approach To Education

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 4:30 pm

Four major universities are joining forces with Coursera, a Silicon Valley startup, to offer free online classes in more than three-dozen subjects.
iStockphoto.com

Last year when Andrew Ng, a computer science professor at Stanford University, put his machine-learning class online and opened enrollment to the world, more than 100,000 students signed up.

"I think all of us were surprised," he says.

Ng had posted lectures online before, but this class was different.

"This was actually a class where you can participate as a student and get homework and assessments," he said.

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2:57am

Wed April 18, 2012
It's All Politics

Small Businesses Get Big Political Hype. What's The Reality?

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:46 am

Tourists walk near shops in the Maine seaside village of Northeast Harbor.
Dina Rudick Boston Globe via Getty Images

The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.

"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.

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10:03pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Sweetness And Light

Those Wild And Crazy Miami Marlins

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:59 am

Billy the Marlin cheers during a game between the Miami Marlins and the Houston Astros at Marlins Park in Miami.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Can I give you a word I love that you just don't hear anymore?

Zany.

It used to be that all kinds of stuff was described as "zany," but it seems to have mostly gone out for fancier words like "dysfunctional."

Now, I bring this up because most sports franchises are pretty standard issue. Oh, some are rich, some poor, some win, some lose, but only one currently, to my mind, descends to the dear old level of zany. That is the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, or, now, as I like to call them, given their location in Little Havana, Los Zany-os.

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6:56pm

Tue April 17, 2012
The Two-Way

The Band Drummer Levon Helm In Final Stages Of Cancer

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 8:18 am

In this Dec. 3, 2007, photo, musician Levon Helm appears on Imus in the Morning in New York. The 71-year-old musician's family said Tuesday that he was in the final stages of cancer.
Richard Drew AP

Sad news for fans of drummer Levon Helm: The longtime member of The Band is in the final stages of cancer, his family said Tuesday.

"Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey," his wife and daughter wrote on the 71-year-old singer's website.

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6:15pm

Tue April 17, 2012
Governing

If You Hate Tax Day, Just Wait Until Next Year

Originally published on Tue April 17, 2012 6:56 pm

A tax service company in Brooklyn, N.Y, on Tuesday, the filing deadline for federal taxes.
Mary Altaffer AP

More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.

People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.

That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.

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Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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