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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Agent, Double Agent Or Mole? Which Was The Underwear Bomb Character?

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 1:45 pm

Many headlines and stories (including some of ours) have been saying that a "double agent" infiltrated al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula and foiled a plot to get another underwear bomb aboard a U.S.-bound passenger jet.

But we've been looking at definitions of spy terms and think that based on what we have been told so far, the person at the center of the story wasn't a double agent.

That character was at least an "agent."

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You Must Read This
12:49 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Beyond The 'Blonde': A Look At Marilyn's Inner Life

Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 5:19 pm

Manuel Munoz's first novel is What You See in the Dark.

Think Julianne Moore's take on Sarah Palin, or Meryl Streep's depiction of Margaret Thatcher.

Actors in biopics have a major leg up on writers when it comes to developing character. Even casual viewers can judge the performance a success if it mimics what we remember of the public persona.

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The Salt
12:37 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

What Our Gut Microbes Say About Us

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis is a beautiful example of a gut microbe.
National Institutes of Health

What if it's not just our genes or our lifestyle, exactly, that makes us skinny or fat, healthy or sick? What if it's also the makeup of the bacterial ecosystem that inhabits our gut?

A growing pile of scientific studies is pointing us in that direction. Researchers in this hot new field describe the microbes in our gut as a vital organ that's as essential as our liver or kidneys. They're finding that this organ, which they call the "microbiome," varies greatly from person to person.

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The Two-Way
12:21 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Study: Plastic Garbage In Pacific Ocean Has Increased 100-Fold In 40 Years

An insect known as a "sea skater." Scientists say the abundance of floating plastic has led to an increase of these creatures.
Scripp Institution of Oceanography

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 12:31 pm

The amount of plastic debris in the part of the Pacific Ocean known as the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" has grown 100-fold in the past 40 years.

In a paper published today by the journal Biology Letters, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography report that most of that plastic has degraded into pieces no bigger than a fingernail. But that wasn't the major finding the scientists are reporting.

The scientists have found that all those pieces of plastic have provided ample opportunity for insects called "sea skaters" to breed.

The AP reports:

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The Two-Way
11:07 am
Wed May 9, 2012

County Judge Overturns Small Claims Hybrid Judgment Against Honda

Heather Peters and her 2006 Honda Civic hybrid. She went to court over its disappointing mileage.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:23 am

It was a story about the little guy taking on the big, multinational corporation on equal footing: Heather Peters, a California woman, took Honda to small claims court claiming her hybrid Civic wasn't getting the gas mileage promised on the window sticker.

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