1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

Levitating Fruit Flies To Learn About Space Travel

Physicist Richard Hill and colleagues at the University of Nottingham have a powerful magnet that they have used to levitate fruits, beer and most recently, fruit flies. It's a low-cost way to study the effects of zero gravity on biological systems, Hill says.

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies

A federal advisory board has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne flu virus. Microbiologist Vincent Racaniello discusses why the move sets a bad precedent. Biosecurity expert D.A. Henderson talks about the risks of publishing the research.

1:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

One Scholar's Take On The Power of The Placebo

A placebo can take the form of a sugar pill or even a fake surgery. It's often used to test the effectiveness of a trial drug. Ted Kaptchuk, director of Harvard University's Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter, discusses potential applications for the healing power of placebos.

12:53pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Economy

U.S. Economy: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

AndrewJohnson iStockphoto.com

When it comes to unemployment reports in an election year, it's not just the data — it's also the spin.

Friday's jobs report could be seen as good news — at 8.5 percent, it's the lowest in three years. Good news for President Obama? Not according to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, who lost no time in pointing out that the number is still above 8 percent — the figure that the president said would be the worst case under his 2009 stimulus package.

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12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Faith Matters

'Flunking Sainthood,' Lessons From Failure

Despite the best intentions and plans for success, many New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside. Jana Reiss, author of the new memoir Flunking Sainthood, spent a year trying to reconnect with her faith. But she admits she failed at every step. Reiss speaks with host Michel Martin about what she learned from failure.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Arts & Life

For Some, Three Kings Day Is Bigger Than Christmas

Three Kings Day is when the three wise men are believed to have visited the baby Jesus. Many cultures, especially in Latin America and the Caribbean, are celebrating on Friday. Festivities are also going strong in East Harlem, Miami, Los Angeles, even Disneyland. Host Michel Martin speaks with Gonzalo Casals, who organizes a parade in East Harlem.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
NPR Story

U.S. Is 'Land Of Opportunity' No More?

Unemployment dropped in December 2011, but can Americans still count on moving up? Recent reports say America now lags behind Canada, Britain and some Western European nations in terms of economic mobility. Host Michel Martin talks with public policy analyst John Bridgeland and Brookings Institution economic expert Isabel Sawhill.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
Barbershop

Shop Talk: Gingrich On NAACP ... Justified?

The Barbershop guys talk about the Iowa caucuses, political campaigning, and the NFL playoffs. Host Michel Martin speaks with author Jimi Izrael, political science professor Lester Spence, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and former Obama administration staffer Corey Ealons.

12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
BackTalk

Listeners Weigh In On NFL, Fancy Gifts For Kids

Originally published on Fri January 6, 2012 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now, it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Here with me once again is Ammad Omar, editor here at TELL ME MORE.

Ammad, what do you have for us today?

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12:00pm

Fri January 6, 2012
The Two-Way

U.S. Navy Reports Rescuing 13 Iranians From Somali Pirates

Thursday: The guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd responds to a distress call from the master of the Iranian-flagged fishing dhow Al Molai.
U.S. Navy photo

A team from the aircraft carrier strike force group that Iran threatened earlier this week has rescued 13 Iranian sailors who were being held by Somali pirates for several weeks, the U.S. Navy reports.

In a statement issued this morning, the Navy says:

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