12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Around the Nation

Is Single Life Something To Lament Or Celebrate?

Yesterday, some singles saw Valentine's balloons and heart shaped boxes as reminders of the single life. With more Americans flying solo, how important is it to find "the one"? That's the question Ellen McCarthy set out to answer in a piece for The Washington Post Magazine. Host Michel Martin speaks with McCarthy and author Bella DePaulo.

12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Music

House Music Is My Religion, Says Professor

Author and professor Lester Spence recently spoke to Tell Me More about his book, Stare in the Darkness, which explores the influence of hip-hop music on American politics. But he says his personal playlist is made up of new and classic house tracks. He offers up his favorite cuts.

12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Does Contraception Really Pay For Itself?

Birth control will be paid for by employees' insurance companies, if their employers refuse to do so.
istockphoto.com

Last week, President Barack Obama announced that religious groups won't have to pay for contraceptive services themselves. Instead, the cost would be borne by their insurance companies.

That compromise has raised a whole new set of questions on its own, though.

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12:00pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Education

Big Changes Ahead For American Schools?

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 12:46 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.

President Obama's new budget is the talk of Capitol Hill this week. And while most of the headlines are about the ongoing fight over how best to reduce the federal deficit, the president's proposal also calls for a significant boost in education funding. It's yet another window into his administration's philosophy around education.

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11:38am

Wed February 15, 2012
Politics

Why America Pursues More Perfect Politics

Americans are always searching for a "more perfect union." Volunteers roll up a giant banner printed with the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution during a demonstration against the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Oct. 20, 2010.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Americans are obsessed with perfection.

We implement zero-tolerance policies in our schools and businesses. We improve on the atomic clock with the quantum-logic clock that is twice as precise. We use multi-angle instant replay cameras in certain professional sporting contests to make sure the referees' calls are flawless. We spend millions on plastic surgery. We strive for higher fidelity, resolution, definition, everything.

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11:26am

Wed February 15, 2012
Author Interviews

Nathan Englander: Assimilating Thoughts Into Stories

Nathan Englander grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family. He now splits his time between New York and Madison, Wis.
Juliana Sohn

The stories in Nathan Englander's new collection are based largely on his experiences growing up as a modern Orthodox Jew with an overprotective mother.

In What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, Englander writes about his own faith — and what it means to be Jewish — in stories that explore religious tension, Israeli-American relations and the Holocaust.

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11:24am

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

Administration Proposes $5 Billion Competition To Improve Teacher Quality

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 11:26 am

Using its Race to the Top program as a model, the Obama administration is expected to announce a $5 billion competition designed to improve teacher quality.

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11:03am

Wed February 15, 2012
The Picture Show

'Flying Mop' And Other Canine Glam Shots

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:01 am

A Puli leaps toward the camera
Tim Flach

Here's English photographer Tim Flach's take on the breed that just won best in show at the Westminster Dog Show, i.e., the Pekingese:

Taken for his 2010 book Dogs, this portrait is quite different from photos you might have seen of the award-winning Malachy.

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11:01am

Wed February 15, 2012
Book Reviews

More Than Melancholy: 'In-Flight' Stories Soar

Random House

The Brits: You've got to hand it to them. The Empire may be long gone, but they still reign supreme when it comes to effortlessly exuding mordant wit. For anyone who savors the acerbic literary likes of Evelyn Waugh or the Amises, father and son, Helen Simpson is just the ticket.

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10:42am

Wed February 15, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Consumer Groups Want Lead Out Of Lipstick

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 10:44 am

Time to get the lead out?
iStockphoto.com

Valentine's Day brought new attention to an old issue. Is the amount of lead found in lipstick a health hazard?

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a consortium of consumer and environmental groups, thinks so. They've argued that there's no safe level for lead in lipsticks — especially for pregnant women and kids — and want the agency to do something to bring the amount of the metal down.

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