Movie Interviews
12:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

We Ask A Historian: Just How Accurate Is 'Lincoln'?

Lincoln biographer Ronald White lauds the accuracy of Daniel Day-Lewis' depiction of the 16th president.
DreamWorks

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:20 pm

A great many families going to the movies over this Thanksgiving weekend will probably see Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and an impressive cast.

Based on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but scripted by playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, it's been very well-reviewed, but here's a question: How true to history is it?

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It's All Politics
6:41 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Why Have There Been So Many Contested Elections?

A Palm Beach County election worker counts ballots in Riviera Beach, Fla., on Nov. 9. Rep. Allen West contested the results of the election in Florida's 18th District for two weeks before conceding. Since 2000, the number of contested elections has more than doubled.
J Pat Carter AP

After two weeks of dispute with St. Lucie County elections officials, Florida Rep. Allen West conceded the race for Florida's 18th Congressional District to Democrat Patrick Murphy on Tuesday.

Allen's post-election battle was the most high-profile this year, but the phenomenon is by no means unusual. In today's political climate, candidates don't like to concede, even after the votes have been counted. Increasingly, they are taking their cases to the courts, says Joshua Douglas, an assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky.

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It's All Politics
6:36 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Bad End Is Just The Latest For A Snake-Bit District

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, seen here in October 2011, resigned from Congress on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:20 pm

Talk about your snake-bitten congressional districts.

The Thanksgiving-eve news that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was resigning from Congress after reports that he has bipolar disorder and is the subject of a criminal probe of his spending of campaign funds, is just the latest in a series of bad endings for those who have represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in Washington.

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Shots - Health News
5:29 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

With Routine Mammograms, Some Breast Cancers May Be Overtreated

A mammographer prepares a screen-film mammography test for patient Alicia Maldonado at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:01 pm

The endless debate over routine mammograms is getting another kick from an analysis that sharply questions whether the test really does what it's supposed to.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, coauthor of the analysis of mammography's impact, which was just published in The New England Journal of Medicine, tell Shots that the aim was to "get down to a very basic question."

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Around the Nation
5:07 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Through Meditation, Veterans Relearn Compassion

Veterans participate in a therapy session at the Veterans Affairs center in Menlo Park, Calif.
VA Palo Alto Health Care System

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:52 pm

Marine Esteban Brojas is rocking back and forth in his chair in a rehabilitation center for veterans in Menlo Park, Calif. He rubs his hands together so quickly you can hear them.

"You know, you're going into a building, and you know there's a grenade being popped in there," he says, "and there's a woman and a child in there ... and you're part of that?"

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Shots - Health News
5:03 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

When Fetuses Yawn In The Womb

Could that be a yawn? An ultrasound scan catches an opened-mouth fetus.
Courtesy of A Little Insight 3D 4D Ultrasound.

Why people yawn is a mystery. But yawning starts in the womb.

Past studies have used ultrasound images to show fetuses yawning, but some scientists have argued that real yawns were getting confused with fetuses simply opening their mouths.

So Nadja Reissland, a researcher at the University of Durham in the United Kingdom, used a more detailed ultrasound technique to get images of fetal faces that could distinguish a true yawn from just an open mouth.

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The Two-Way
5:02 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Judge Approves Hostess' Plan To Liquidate

The big name in the Hostess lineup.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Maybe the end is nigh, after all.

A judge has approved Hostess' plan to liquidate the company, all but assuring that the maker of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Donettes and Wonder Bread will cease to exist.

The New York Times reports:

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Monkey See
5:01 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Rob Delaney Talks About Gratitude, Perspective, Spaceships And A Career With Teeth

A screenshot from Rob Delaney's standup special, "Live At The Bowery Ballroom."

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Full disclosure: The first thing I said when I saw that Rob Delaney would be talking to NPR's Audie Cornish on today's All Things Considered was that I was curious to see whether he had ever said anything on Twitter — where he has almost 670,000 followers (including me) as of this writing — that they thought they could read on the radio. It's an exaggeration. But not by that much.

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Middle East
4:38 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

What Gaza Says About Possible Iran-Israel Showdown

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defense system, designed to intercept incoming rockets. This missile was fired from the southern Israeli city of Ashdod in response to a rocket launched from the nearby Palestinian Gaza Strip on Nov. 18.
Jack Guez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 25, 2012 10:01 am

In the Gaza Strip fighting, where a cease-fire was reached Wednesday, the Israeli military pounded Gaza with hundreds of airstrikes. Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that rules Gaza, launched hundreds of rocket attacks on Israel.

The weeklong battle temporarily diverted attention from Iran, the archenemy of Israel and a key ally of Hamas. Israeli leaders have threatened to strike Iran over its nuclear program.

Yet the Gaza fight may offer insights into what a possible confrontation between Israel and Iran would look like.

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Music Reviews
4:35 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Samuel Yirga: A Prodigy Reviving Ethiopian Jazz

Yirga's debut album is called Guzo.
Courtesy of Worldisc

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 3:50 pm

Samuel Yirga is a pianist from Ethiopia. A 20-something prodigy, Yirga is too young to have experienced the Ethio-jazz movement of the early 1970s, but he has absorbed its music deeply — and plenty more as well. With his debut release, Guzo, or "Journey," Yirga both revives and updates Ethiopian jazz.

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