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What's New?
2:03 am
Thu July 11, 2013

Tech-Savvy Cities May Be 'Smart,' But Are They Wise?

Cable cars move commuters over a complex of shantytowns in Rio de Janeiro, one of many cities taking part in the smart city boom around the world.
Felipe Dana AP

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 3:52 pm

This summer, NPR's Cities Project has been looking at how cities around the world are solving problems using new technologies. And though there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, New York University's Anthony Townsend remains skeptical.

Townsend, whose book Smart Cities is due out in October, tells NPR's David Greene about the causes, benefits and potential dangers of the smart city boom.


Interview Highlights

On what caused the smart city boom

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What's New?
9:34 am
Wed July 10, 2013

The Honorable 'Girlie' Senator From The State Of New York

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand asks a question of a witness on Tuesday, June 4 during a hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Tue July 23, 2013 1:03 pm

How do you describe a woman who is short, feminine and has a soft voice? Do you describe any woman you meet in the same way as, say, you would a United States senator?

This was the dilemma faced by another woman who, until joining NPR in February, was an accomplished police and terrorism reporter working the mean streets of New York. Ailsa Chang was so good at WNYC that I invited her to speak to my class at Columbia Journalism School last year.

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What's New?
9:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

When Does Ramadan Start? It's Complicated.

A crescent moon rises over the famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.
David Spender Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 9:59 am

Islam that has been around for the past 1,400 years. Yet figuring out the exact start of the holy month of Ramadan is still a challenge.

If you Google "start of Ramadan" this is what shows up:

Take note of the "dates may vary" part. For much of the Muslim world, Ramadan started off a little fuzzy. Without a set date, people got a little confused.

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What's New?
9:32 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Scape Velocity: Green Garlic Takes Flight

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:03 pm

If you've never grown garlic, here's how you do it: On a bright cool fall afternoon, before the ground has frozen, you pry an ordinary, unpeeled clove of garlic off the bulb. You plant it in the ground, about 4 inches down and pointy side up. Maybe you cover the soil with some straw to protect it from extremes of heat, cold and drought.

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What's New?
9:31 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Catholics Split Again On Coverage For Birth Control

Baltimore Archbishop William Lori gave voice to a letter Catholic groups sent to the administration and Congress to protest insurance rules for contraceptives.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:42 pm

  • As Heard On Morning Edition

Two prominent Catholic groups are finding themselves, once again, on opposite sides of a key issue regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Three years ago, the Catholic Health Association, whose members run hospitals and nursing homes across the country, backed passage of the health law. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which represents the hierarchy of the church, opposed it.

Now the groups are divided over the law's requirement for most employer-based health insurance plans to provide women with birth control.

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What's New?
9:31 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Apple Conspired To Set E-Book Prices, Judge Rules

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Apple conspired with publishers to fix e-book prices.
Manu Fernandez AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 1:19 pm

Apple Inc. "conspired to raise the retail price of e-books," a federal judge ruled Wednesday as a civil lawsuit brought by the Justice Department reached its conclusion.

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What's New?
8:50 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Where's My Dinner? It Was Here A Second Ago — The Sandpiper's Dilemma

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:04 pm

They scuttle, peck, scuttle, peck, then they dash up the shoreline, dodging waves, heads down, concentrating. What are they doing? They're "looking for something, something, something," writes the poet Elisabeth Bishop.

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What's New?
8:50 am
Tue July 9, 2013

The Best Concert-Finding Mobile Apps

Courtesy of BandMate

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 9:37 am

A few months ago, I reviewed a handful of new apps that show you which bands or artists are playing in your area. Some of those apps were hit-or-miss, and some have made some improvements since my initial review. This week All Songs Considered co-host Robin Hilton and I have pared the list of apps down to our two favorites. (You can hear us talk about it on the weekly series All Tech Considered.)

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What's New?
8:49 am
Tue July 9, 2013

What's Eating Her? A Writer Meditates On Food And Loneliness

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:03 am

These days, it's often noted that food has displaced art, sport and even sex as the literary mind's propulsive muse. The single cookie that launched poor Proust on his interior odyssey feels shockingly modest compared with the vast smorgasbord today's writers seem almost compelled to revel in.

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What's New?
8:49 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Physics And Poetry: Can You Handle The Truth?

T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965), winner of the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:10 am

If you are going to shell out cash sending a kid to college, you might as well get in on their fun too. That's how my daughter's post-modern lit class slammed me into The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot.

It is, arguably, one of the most important poems of the 20th century. At least that is what they told her and that is what my dad told me when he first gave me a copy as a boy. But she had a class that helped her understand the poem. Alone in my study I didn't get it ... again (sorry Dad).

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