12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Fear Index' Trades In Thrills

When British novelist Robert Harris set out a couple of years ago to write his next thriller, he drew inspiration from George Orwell's 1984.

He wanted to explore how humans fall victim to the domineering forces of their time.

In this age of economic distress, he set his sights on global finance.

As he wrote, Harris was searching for a plausible plot twist, and real life provided it.

On May 6, 2010, something known as a "flash crash" happened on Wall Street.

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12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Music Interviews

Songs To Spin To, From A Fitness Guru

For gymgoers, the right soundtrack can be a critical part of an effective workout.
Arthur Tilley Getty Images

For the latest installment of The Ultimate NPR Workout Mix, Morning Edition reached out to someone who makes workout mixes for a living.

Justin Rubin teaches spin classes at Equinox Fitness in Los Angeles, where dozens of riders fill a dark room, pedaling against varying resistance levels on stationary bikes. Riders reserve their bikes online 26 hours before a class, and the bikes for Rubin's class are gone within minutes. The key to his popularity: People love his music.

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12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

The 'Morning After' Pill: How It Works And Who Uses It

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 11:52 am

Plan B is available over the counter for people 17 and older.
AP

Access to emergency contraception has swirled at the center of a recent flurry of debate over insurance coverage. It's a pill women can take if their birth control fails or they forget to use it.

The most popular brand of emergency contraception is called "Plan B One-Step." You might better know it as the morning-after pill. Today, about 10 percent of sexually active women say they've used it.

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12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

What Spermicide Users Should Know, But Often Don't

Many over-the-counter contraceptives contain a spermicide known as nonoxynol-9.
Gretchen Cuda Kroen For NPR

When Lisa Rentz decided she'd had enough of birth control pills, she walked into her local drug store and picked up something different: a vaginal contraceptive film that contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9, or n-9.

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12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
Your Money

In Idaho, Two Workers Take Jobs, And Hope For Best

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 1:11 pm

When he was laid off in 2008., Nathan Bussey had been working for Hewlett-Packard for just under 10 years. He's now hoping to advance in his new job at a call center.
Molly Messick StateImpact Idaho

StateImpact Idaho's Molly Messick reports on two people coping with the lingering effects of an economic downturn.

Before the recession, Idaho had one of the fastest growing economies in the country. But last year, its jobless rate peaked at nearly 10 percent. That number has begun to creep downward – but many workers in the state are still struggling to replace the jobs they've lost.

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12:01am

Mon February 6, 2012
The Salt

California's Stevia Growers Bet On Fast Track To Sweetener Success

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 3:23 am

The S&W Seed Co., in Five Points, Calif., will grow these seedlings of zero-calorie stevia in the fields of California's Central Valley.
Dan Charles NPR

It's stevia time!

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5:39pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Economy

Stopping The 'Brain Drain' Of The U.S. Economy

Recent surveys show that a large percentage of graduates from the nation's top schools are taking jobs in consulting or financial sector.
Mary Altaffer AP

Yale University student Marina Keegan received an email last May from Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest hedge funds, offering her $100 if she said why she didn't apply for a summer internship.

Keegan, an English major, decided to take Bridgewater up on its offer.

"It was only sort of once I was inside the room when I realized ... maybe I'm helping them perfect their recruiting machine, which is exactly what we were doing," Keegan tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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5:00pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Music

New Staging Of 'Yentl' Tells A Transgender Girl's Story

Actress Hillary Clemens portrays Yentl/Anshel in the new staging of Isaac Bashevis Singer's play at the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Fla.
Daniel Perales Studio

Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule is probably best known for her 1995 hit single, "I Kissed a Girl." These days, she's taking on a new musical project: the gender-bending play by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Yentl.

Barbra Streisand turned Singer's play into her 1984 hit movie musical of the same name. Although Sobule's version features music, it's a little more Singer and a little less Streisand.

"She changed the ending and made it kind of Funny Girl coming to America. ... We keep to the word," Sobule tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz.

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3:56pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Health

Fewer Autopsies Mean Crucial Info Goes To The Grave

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 3:52 pm

Colleagues of Renee Royak-Schaler at the University of Maryland School of Medicine paid for and conducted an autopsy that revealed that cancer had ravaged her body. Today, autopsies are conducted on just 5 percent of patients.
Jenna Isaacson Pfueller ProPublica

A half-century ago, autopsies — sometimes called the ultimate medical audit — were an integral part of American health care, performed on roughly half of all patients who died in hospitals. But today, autopsies are conducted on roughly 5 percent of such patients, and experts say that is a troubling trend.

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3:10pm

Sun February 5, 2012
Author Interviews

How Whitey Bulger Corrupted The Justice System

Originally published on Mon February 6, 2012 1:32 pm

These 1984 file photos originally released by the FBI show New England organized crime figure James "Whitey" Bulger.
Federal Bureau of Investigation, File AP

When Whitey Bulger was captured last year, he'd spent close to 20 years on the run — and on the FBI's Most Wanted list.

Bulger was the head of an Irish gang terrorizing the streets of South Boston. The Massachusetts State Police wanted him gone, but curiously couldn't touch him.

Why? Bulger was a confidential FBI informant, and the bureau shielded him for years.

Robert Fitzpatrick, the author of Betrayal: Whitey Bulger and the FBI Agent Who Fought to Bring Him Down, says Bulger was widely known to be an unsavory character.

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