3:18pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Environment

Want To Improve Your Lawn? Don't Bag Those Leaves

The National Audubon Society considers fall leaves to be "natural vitamins" to use in yards.

iStockphoto.com

Every year, about 8 million tons of fallen leaves end up in landfills.

That's according to Melissa Hopkins of the National Audubon Society, who offers alternatives to raking up leaves and throwing them away.

"A lot of people think that when leaves fall, you need to really quickly scoop them up and get rid of them," she tells NPR's Melissa Block as they take a look Block's backyard in Washington, D.C., covered in a blanket of leaves. "We think about leaves as vitamins. They are free vitamins that naturally occur in your yard."

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3:00pm

Fri October 28, 2011
NPR Story

Believing In The Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals' victory means joy and rapture for NPR's Yuki Noguchi. But lest you think it's all about the skill of players, there's a lot of superstitious ritual involved.

2:59pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Watchdogs Take Back Claim About $16 Muffins

Federal watchdogs now concede they made a mistake when they criticized the Justice Department for paying $16 each for muffins at a conference. But they also say Justice still needs to be careful about how it spends taxpayer money.

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2:54pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Youth Radio

Injured Vet Becomes Symbol For Occupy Oakland

A photograph of Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen is seen Thursday at a vigil. Olsen was severely injured during a standoff between police and protesters in Oakland, Calif., two days earlier. He remains hospitalized.

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

The bloodied face of a 24-year-old Iraq veteran has become a symbol for protesters in Oakland, Calif., drawing attention to the level of force used by police and sparking criticism of the mayor's handling of the Occupy movement.

Scott Olsen came to Occupy Oakland after work Tuesday night to support the protesters. Witnesses say that when clashes broke out, he was struck in the head by a projectile fired by police — either a rubber bullet or a tear gas canister. He was hospitalized with a fractured skull.

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Fergus Nicoll earned a degree in Oriental Studies (Sanskrit) from Oxford University and a PhD from Reading University. He worked as a teacher in northern Sudan before joining the BBC African Service in 1988. He moved to the Cairo Bureau in 1992, served as World Affairs Correspondent, is now a presenter on the BBC World Service radio program ‘World Today.’ In 2004 he published a biography of the Mahdi of Sudan. His book on the life of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was published in 2009.

2:10pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

Live From New York: Statue Of Liberty Webcams Are On

The view from above at the Statue of Liberty, where webcams were turned on today.

EarthCam.com

On this 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty's dedication, webcams have been turned on to let everyone see views of:

-- The torch.

-- The crown and the ground below.

-- Ellis Island.

-- A streaming of the harbor from the torch.

-- And a streaming view of the statue from Brooklyn.

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1:58pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Medical Schools Say Magazine's Ratings Get An Incomplete

Says who?

iStockphoto.com

Deans from some of the nation's top medical schools met Thursday — not to talk about training doctors or weathering economic challenges — but to size up the people who grade them.

The sit-down between editors at U.S. News & World Report and the top brass at Harvard, Yale, Columbia and several other schools showed how seriously those in medicine's ivory tower take the magazine's annual rankings.

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1:54pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Community Forums

Community Forum - Culture Under Siege in Pakistan

WRVO Program Director Fred Vigeant introduces Fergus Nicoll, Commentator on the BBC World Service program 'The World Today.'

Culture in Pakistan is under threat from widespread insecurity, ultra-conservative religious intolerance and police harassment. In a special edition of WRVO’s Community Forum we’ll discuss what role culture can play in rolling back the tide of intolerance.  This program was recorded in front of an audience at City Hall Commons at Hanover Square in Syracuse, NY on October 10th, 2011. It aired on WRVO Friday October 29th, 2011.

Host:

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1:45pm

Fri October 28, 2011
Religion

Vatican To Host Stem Cell Research Conference

Originally published on Tue November 1, 2011 7:23 pm

A few years ago, Father Tomasz Trafny was brainstorming with other Vatican officials about what technologies would shape society, and how the Vatican could have an impact. And it hit them: Adult stem cells, which hold the promise of curing the most difficult diseases, are the technology to watch.

"They have not only strong potentiality," says Trafny, "but also they can change our vision of human being[s], and we want to be part of the discussion."

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1:26pm

Fri October 28, 2011
The Two-Way

NASA Launches 'Next Generation' Weather Satellite

A Delta II rocket launches with the NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP) spacecraft from Space Launch Complex 2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Bill Ingalls NASA

Today, NASA launched into orbit what the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is calling a "next generation" weather satellite that they say will fine-tune long-term weather forecasts.

The Washington Post's Capital Weather Gang explains:

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