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1:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
NPR Story

NASA Probes Set To Orbit The Moon Over New Year's

Originally published on Thu March 8, 2012 2:00 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. The New Year's countdown has begun, not at the clock in Times Square but this one for two NASA probes set to orbit the moon this weekend. The twin spacecraft, GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B are expected to enter lunar orbit 24 hours apart, one on New Year's Eve, the other on New Year's Day.

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1:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Science

Exploring Science At The End Of The Earth

Every year thousands of scientists visit Antarctica. Some study the gas plume from the active volcano, Mount Erebus. Others map the ever-changing ice caves. But they all face the same challenges of working on extreme terrain. Two researchers and a photojournalist discuss how research is done on the frozen continent.

12:50pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

To Your Health: Time For New Resolutions

Originally published on Tue January 3, 2012 7:55 am

What's on your list?
Catherine Jones iStockphoto.com

When the New Year's parties end, a lot of us are left with some tough promises to keep.

This year, I'll lose weight. Smoking? History! And, of course, I'll start working out, too. Really, I mean it this time.

So with the day for fresh starts looming, we resolved to ask Americans about their New Year's resolutions, past and future, in the latest NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll.

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12:15pm

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

First 79 Of The 100+ Sears And Kmart Stores Being Closed Are Identified

There are 79 stores in 25 states on the first list of Sears and Kmart locations being closed in the coming year, Sears Holdings has announced.

The 79 locations are posted here. Some details:

-- 11 of the stores are in Florida, the most of any state.

-- The second-most stores (6) are in Georgia, Michigan and Ohio.

-- 38 Kmarts are included.

-- 25 Sears "full-line" locations are listed.

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12:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Politics

In 2011 Politics, 'Best New Artist' Is ...

Host Michel Martin looks at some of the year's top political moments with the 'Tell Me Awards.' Who are the winners and losers? Nominees range from Tim Geithner to the women who accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment. Martin talks with journalism professor Cynthia Tucker and U.S. News and World Report columnist Mary Kate Cary.

12:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Politics

Politicians Who Made You Laugh Out Loud In 2011

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 12:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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

Coming up, social conservatives in Iowa have several candidates facing their support ahead of next week's caucuses, but one of the most prominent leaders among so-called values voters has thrown his support to an underdog. We are going to hear from Bob Vander Plaats about his endorsement. That's coming up in just a few minutes.

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12:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Faith Matters

Iowa Evangelical Endorses The Political Underdog

As the Iowa caucuses rapidly approach, faith and family values play big roles in how local voters determine their support for candidates. Host Michel Martin talks with evangelical Bob Vander Plaats, who heads the Iowa-based conservative group, The Family Leader. He recently announced his personal endorsement for Rick Santorum.

12:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
From Our Listeners

The Most Popular Stories Among Listeners In 2011

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, once again, is Ammad Omar, editor at TELL ME MORE. Welcome back, Ammad. What do you have for us?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Well, Michel, we're digging really deep into the mail bag today for some of our best listener interaction of the year, but we're going to go into the virtual mailbox, take a look at some of those stories that got a big response on Facebook, Twitter, email and our website.

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12:00pm

Fri December 30, 2011
Barbershop

Shop Talk: No More Sex Tape Celebrity In 2012?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We cannot say goodbye to 2011 without asking the Barbershop guys to give us their final thoughts on the year.

So, sitting in the chairs for the final 2011 shape-up are author Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney and author Arsalan Iftikhar, Sports Illustrated reporter Pablo Torre and Republican strategist and former White House aide Ron Christie.

Take it, Jimi.

JIMI IZRAEL: Thanks, Michel. Hey, what's up? Welcome to the shop. How we doing?

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11:24am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

South Park Creators Talk 'Book Of Mormon'

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 11:25 am

The Book of Mormon features music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone and plays at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in New York City.
John Marcus Courtesy of the artist

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on May 19, 2011.

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11:10am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Family, Friends, Fans Bid Farewell To Ben Breedlove, Who Touched Many

Ben Breedlove, in one of his final videos.
TotalRandomness512

10:00am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Someday, Your Car May Know If That's Your Butt In The Driver's Seat

"Oh dear, the car doesn't seem to recognize me." (1960 file photo from the U.K.)
Chaloner Woods Getty Images

We're a little behind on this story, butt it's too fantasstic not to point out:

Researchers at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Industrial Technology have developed an anti-theft device for cars that senses whether the derriere sitting in the driver's seat is or isn't supposed to be there.

Not the right backside? Then the vehicle won't start.

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8:50am

Fri December 30, 2011

8:38am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Clashes Resume In Syria, Activists Say

"Syrian forces and activists have clashed during after-prayer protests in Damascus, as Arab observers continue their mission in the country," the BBC reports. It adds that "activists said troops fired nail bombs to disperse protesters who retaliated with stones in the suburb of Douma."

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8:25am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Fireworks, Celebrations As Samoa Skips Friday

"Sirens wailed and fireworks exploded in the skies over Samoa as the tiny South Pacific nation jumped forward in time" today, The Associated Press writes.

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7:55am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

'Outrage' Over Verizon's Plan For $2 Payment Fee

Eric Thayer Getty Images

There's been an "uproar on the Web," as The New York Times says this morning, over the plan by Verizon Wireless to charge $2 for some methods of paying your bill.

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7:34am

Fri December 30, 2011
It's All Politics

Iowa Veterans For Paul Explain The Attraction

Originally published on Mon January 2, 2012 6:25 am

Ron Paul spoke to a packed house at the Knapp Learning Center during his "Salute to the Military" event in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday.
Becky Lettenberger/NPR

A claim by Ron Paul's presidential campaign, and confirmed by the fact-check website PolitiFact, asserts that the Texas congressman has received more donations from active military personnel than the other GOP candidates combined.

That's intriguing, given that Paul is the only candidate calling for significant cuts in military (not defense, he says) funding, the closing of overseas bases, and the use of military force "very sparingly."

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7:20am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Two-Way

Romney, Paul Are 1 And 2 In Another Iowa Poll, Santorum Rising

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 11:32 am

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney campaigning in Ames, Iowa, on Thursday (Dec. 29, 2011).
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

With just one holiday weekend between now and Tuesday's Republican presidential caucuses in Iowa, there's another poll signalling that it could be a close battle at the top between former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). And also once again, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is on the rise and showing up at No. 3.

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7:09am

Fri December 30, 2011
Analysis

Morning Edition Remembers 2011

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

It's tempting to say what a snake-bit year this was, a year when American troops were lost abroad, a year of economic struggle and cynical politics. But it was also a year when troops came home, and people started new jobs. Steve Inskeep says it's to soon to judge 2011.

7:03am

Fri December 30, 2011
World

No TGIF For Samoa This Week

Thank goodness it's Friday unless you live in the island nation of Samoa. In which case it's Saturday. The country is skipping a day — shifting its calendar — to join the same time zone as trading partners Australia and New Zealand.

6:54am

Fri December 30, 2011
Around the Nation

Tenn. Guardsman's Home Is In A Perilous Location

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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6:41am

Fri December 30, 2011
Election 2012

Bachmann Fights To Convince Iowans She's Electable

GOP presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann wrapped up her bus tour of Iowa's 99 counties Thursday. She's been on the road for most of the last two weeks in a final push to generate support before Tuesday's caucuses.

6:39am

Fri December 30, 2011
Election 2012

Perry Campaign Amplifies Attacks On Santorum

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has been aboard a bus touring Iowa hoping to score an upset in next Tuesday's caucuses. Perry spent Thursday trying to reverse the surge that challenger Rick Santorum has seen in a recent poll.

6:06am

Fri December 30, 2011
Middle East

Egyptian Military Raids Foreign-Funded NGO Offices

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

And I'm Linda Wertheimer.

Egyptian security forces stormed the offices of 17 non-governmental organizations yesterday, including several American-based groups. Two of those, the National Democratic Institute and the International Republican Institute, have been monitoring elections at the invitation of the Egyptian government. A third U.S.-based group, Freedom House, earlier this week, applied for official recognition.

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4:52am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Salt

In China, Finding A New Way To Eat In Times Of Plenty

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 10:05 am

Anna Hu at the Ao Hua Farmers Market in Shanghai. After years of working long hours and eating only in restaurants, Hu has learned how to cook vegetables and eat more healthfully.
Eliza Barclay NPR

As people's incomes rise in a developing nation, so does the amount of food they eat. That's what has been happening in China for the past 30 years. But many people, especially in the middle class, are discovering that you don't have to eat and eat just because there's plenty of food available.

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4:50am

Fri December 30, 2011
Planet Money

Coconut Water Companies Sell Image, Not Taste

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 6:13 pm

godutchbaby Flickr

A couple of years ago if you wanted to drink coconut water, you had to buy your own coconut, bring it to your kitchen, and start whacking away with a knife.

Today, you can find packaged coconut water in a convenience store, Wal-Mart or your friendly neighborhood yoga studio.

"I think it was a great year for coconut water, " says Alejandra Simon, an assistant manager at the Laughing Lotus yoga studio in New York City. "I can't walk down the street without seeing someone with coconut water in their hands."

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4:46am

Fri December 30, 2011
Monkey See

Bridesmaids No More: TV's Women Get All The Laughs

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

Zooey Deschanel plays Jess on Fox's New Girl. Fox uses the term "adorkable" to describe her.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Is there anybody on TV more adorable than Zooey Deschanel on Fox's new hit sitcom New Girl?

She's playing a woman who moved in with three guys after a bad romance. We've seen Deschanel play this character countless times over the last 10 years: quirky, bohemian, earnest and a little dorky. Fox even used the term "adorkable" just to describe her.

But she's also the leading edge of a trend that defined television in 2011: the Funny Female.

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4:45am

Fri December 30, 2011
States Of The Economy

Fla.'s Economic Pain, Anger Could Shape 2012 Race

Originally published on Fri December 30, 2011 8:07 am

The housing market collapse has taken a toll on Florida families and may affect how they vote in the presidential election.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Florida is once again poised to play an important role in selecting the president in 2012. Its Republican primary on Jan. 31 is the nation's fourth nominating contest.

But Florida is a very different state than it was four years ago. It is reeling from the housing collapse — more than 200,000 homes are facing foreclosure — and suffering from an unemployment rate well above the national average.

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3:25am

Fri December 30, 2011
The Best Of Fresh Air 2011

Stephen Colbert: A 'Company' Man On Broadway

Stephen Colbert and Martha Plimpton perform a song from Company on stage during the 65th annual Tony Awards.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

This week on Fresh Air, we're marking the year's end by revisiting some of the most memorable conversations we've had in 2011. This interview was originally broadcast on June 14, 2011.

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12:01am

Fri December 30, 2011
Monkey See

A Complex 'Separation' In Iran

Leila Hatami as Simin in Asghar Farhadi's A Separation.
Habib Madjidi Sony Pictures Classics

The Iranian drama A Separation has popped up on more than a few critics' lists of the best films of 2011, despite little exposure in the U.S. thus far. It will open in limited release December 30, and as Howie Movshovitz of Colorado Public Radio reports on Friday's Morning Edition, it serves as both a family drama and a piece of social observation about life in Iran.

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