Election 2012
5:31 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A Closer Look: Beyond the Buzzwords

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 7:19 pm

A few terms and figures became flash points for later discussion in the first presidential debate between President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. From Simpson-Bowles (which was mentioned at least eight times) to the much-discussed $716 billion cut in Medicare, the presidential debate and the wider campaign have featured a growing list of devilish details that could use a good footnote. Here's a closer look at a few of these disputed terms that are likely to come up in the vice-presidential debate.

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It's All Politics
5:28 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

B-I-D-E-N Or R-Y-A-N? It's Debate Bingo

WNYC's vice presidential debate game
WNYC

If you're looking for something else to do while watching or listening to tonight's 90-minute vice presidential debate, there's always debate bingo.

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Movie Reviews
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Argo': A Rescue Mission With Real Hollywood Style

John Chambers (John Goodman) serves as a guide to the ins and outs of the movie business for CIA agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck).
Claire Folger Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Ben Affleck's new thriller, Argo, chronicles a secret CIA rescue mission — a mission that remained classified for years. When details finally came to light, the operation sounded like something only Hollywood could come up with. As we find out, there's a reason for that.

It's 1979, and the Iranian public's hatred for their U.S.-backed shah erupts when he leaves the country. A crowd grows around the U.S. Embassy in Tehran — they're climbing the gates and taking dozens of Americans hostage.

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Solve This
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama, Romney On Higher Ed Help: Dueling Visions

Gan Golan holds a ball and chain representing his college loan debt during at a Occupy DC event last year.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Many Americans today feel like they've lost or are losing their shot at a college education because paying for it often seems out of reach. So how big of an issue is this in the presidential campaign?

Here's what President Obama has done to help families pay for college: He negotiated a deal with Congress this summer that kept the interest rate on government-backed Stafford loans from doubling for 7.5 million students.

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Around the Nation
3:48 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

To Survive A Shooting, Students Learn To Fight Back

Many schools advise students and staff to lock doors and stay in place during a shooting threat. But others are adopting an approach that includes fighting back if escape is impossible.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 16, 2012 3:30 pm

The names Columbine and Virginia Tech have both become tragic shorthand for school shootings in America. In the wake of those shootings, schools have developed a fairly typical lockdown procedure when there's a threat: sound the alarm, call police, lock doors and stay put.

The standard school-lockdown plan is intended to minimize chaos so police arriving on the scene don't shoot the wrong people. Students practice following directions, getting into classrooms and essentially, waiting.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

A 'Big Picture' Intently Focused On The Details

Paul (Romain Duris), an aspiring photographer, assumes another man's identity to escape his job, marriage and dull life.
MPI Media Group

The original French title of The Big Picture — an adaptation of a novel by American expatriate writer Douglas Kennedy — means "the man who wanted to live his life." That's pointedly ironic, since this existential thriller is about a person who seeks personal freedom by becoming somebody else.

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Books
2:59 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

From Boy King Of Texas To Literary Superstar

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:13 pm

Domingo Martinez is the author of The Boy Kings of Texas. He has been nominated for a National Book Award in the nonfiction category.

Yesterday morning I'm lying in bed and the phone rings. It's way too early. I'm thinking — "Wow, bill collectors are calling earlier and earlier."

Except it wasn't a bill collector. It was Alice Martell, my agent. She was calling to tell me that I'd been nominated for the National Book Award.

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The Two-Way
2:57 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Softball-Sized Eyeball' Washes Up In Florida; Can You I.D. It?

Quite a baby blue.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:41 am

Tell us you can resist clicking on this headline from Florida's Sun Sentinel:

"Huge Eyeball From Unknown Creature Washes Ashore On Florida Beach."

It's big, it's blue and the newspaper says "among the possibilities being discussed are a giant squid, some other large fish or a whale or other large marine mammal."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has sent the eye off for study.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:51 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Among Disciplined Nurse Aides, Criminal Records Turn Up

HHS found that 19 percent of nurse aides who'd been disciplined had a prior conviction that would have shown up on a background check.
Matt Rourke AP

There are two ways to look at results of a recent investigation of nursing homes by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Both are pretty disturbing.

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Music Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

'Looper': A World Of Musical Clicks And Pops

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in the science-fiction thriller Looper.
Courtesy of Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:19 pm

When you think about the great music of science fiction, a few staples spring to mind — say, the theme from the classic Star Trek series, or John Williams' compositions for the Star Wars movies.

Nathan Johnson, the composer for the new time-travel thriller Looper, wanted to break with tradition. Instead of going for that slick, orchestral sound, he immersed himself in the world of the film to find his source material.

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