4:05pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Common Chemicals Could Make Kids' Vaccines Less Effective

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 6:07 pm

iStockphoto.com

The more exposure children have to chemicals called perfluorinated compounds, the less likely they are to have a good immune response to vaccinations, a study just published in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association shows.

The finding suggests, but doesn't prove, that these chemicals can affect the immune system enough to make some children more vulnerable to infectious diseases.

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3:58pm

Tue January 24, 2012
All Tech Considered

Who Are You? Google+ Really Wants To Know

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 4:01 pm

On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. But your true identity is key to Google+.
AP

Google will begin allowing users to add nicknames on Google+, Bradley Horowitz, the vice president of product at Google's social network said Tuesday.

True pseudonyms are still verboten on the network unless you go through an application process. To earn the right not to use your real name on Google+ you will have to prove you already have an online following that knows you that way.

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3:47pm

Tue January 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Massive Solar Storm Causes Planes To Be Rerouted

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 7:13 pm

This January 23, 2012 image provided by NASA, captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory, shows an M9-class solar flare erupting on the Sun's northeastern hemisphere.
AFP/Getty Images

You might have heard about a major solar storm that is hitting Earth right now. It's the biggest to hit us since 2005. You've also probably heard a few people say, "I didn't feel anything."

As our friends at 13.7 explained earlier today, the storms have the ability to disrupt sensitive electronics and even the power grid. Usually none of those things happen. But, today's solar storm did cause a bit of disruption.

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3:44pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Around the Nation

Down And Out Escape To 'Slab' In California Desert

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 8:30 pm

Slab City is an informal community in the California desert on the site of a former WWII artillery range. The recent recession has sent the town a new wave of people who have fallen on hard times and are looking to escape the burdens of modern life.
Gloria Hillard For NPR

There are no signs leading to Slab City. From Los Angeles you head east deep into the desert, and then south, past the Salton Sea. For years, a diverse group of people has been drawn to the abandoned Marine base, but the troubled economy has driven even more travelers to the place dubbed "The Last Free Place in America."

Following the tire tracks of countless RVs, trailers, vans and campers, you pass a landscape of the vehicles that have taken root here, their tires now soft on the desert floor.

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2:43pm

Tue January 24, 2012
NPR Story

Letters: Love And Autism, Second Medical Opinions

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday, and time to read from your comments. During last week's show on love and autism, many listeners called and emailed, including Eric from Red Bluff, California. We read his email on the air. I will be a 40-year-old virgin in September. I dated once, when I was 32. Other than that, I've had no love interest where the love was reciprocated. I did not expect to ever find love. I do not believe I could be loved. That is all.

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2:43pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Asia

For China's 'Left-Behind Kids,' A Free Lunch

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:06 am

Students enjoy free meals on the inaugural day of the Free Lunch for Children program at Hujiaying primary school in Shaanxi province's Nanzheng county.
Louisa Lim NPR

For 10-year-old student Xie Xiaoyuan, just getting to school is an ordeal. On a recent day, her frostbitten ears are testament to just how difficult the trip is.

"I get up at five o'clock," she says, "then I comb my hair and start walking."

Xie navigates a mountain path in China's remote Shaanxi province in the dark, trudging through snowstorms and mudslides. Then she has to get a bus for about 10 miles. She hasn't time to eat breakfast.

"For lunch, I spend 15 cents on two pieces of bread and a drink," she says.

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2:37pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Shots - Health Blog

Your Brain On Psilocybin Might Be Less Depressed

This could be your forest on psilocybin.
Baxterclaus Flickr

Magic mushrooms are said to blow your mind, but the hallucinogenic chemical psilocybin, the active ingredient, actually reins in key parts of the brain, according to two new studies.

The memorably vivid emotional experiences reported by mushroom users may flourish because the parts of the brain suppressed by psilocybin usually keep our world view tidy and rational.

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2:07pm

Tue January 24, 2012
Religion

10 Years On, Clergy Abuse Scandal Still Reverberates

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Ten years ago this month, The Boston Globe published the first in a series of stories about the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests and systematic cover-up by the archdiocese of Boston.

The scandal shocked millions and proved to be just the beginning. It wasn't just Boston, and it wasn't just the U.S. Hundreds have now spoken out around the world. Their stories and their lawsuits forced the church to deal with an issue it kept under the rug for decades.

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1:51pm

Tue January 24, 2012
The Salt

Why McDonald's In France Doesn't Feel Like Fast Food

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 5:41 pm

A McDonald's breakfast meal in Villeurbanne, France includes fresh baguettes and jam spreads with coffee for $4.55.
Juste Philippe Maxppp /Landov

Greetings from McDonald's, or "MacDo," as they call it here in Paris, where I am comfortably ensconced in a McCafé enjoying a croissant and a grand crème coffee. I'm surrounded by people of all ages who are talking with friends, reading, or typing away on their laptops like me.

The beauty of McDonald's in France is that it doesn't feel like a fast food joint, where hordes of people shuffle in and out and tables turn at a fast clip.

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1:38pm

Tue January 24, 2012
The Two-Way

Wesley Brown, Nation's Oldest Sitting Federal Judge, Dies At 104

Originally published on Tue January 24, 2012 1:50 pm

Wesley Brown was appointed to the federal bench by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. When he passed the bar in 1933, Franklin Roosevelt was president.

As the Kansas City Star puts it, during his time as federal district judge in Kansas, Brown saw a shift in civil rights, and women's rights. He presided over cases about women in the workplace and tackled privacy issues on the Internet.

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