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All Tech Considered
5:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Don't Like The Government? Make Your Own, On International Waters

Andras Gyorfi's winning entry in The Seasteading Institute's 2009 design contest. The institute supports the idea of permanent, autonomous offshore communities, but it does not intend to construct its own seasteads.
Courtesy of The Seasteading Institute

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:19 pm

Almost all of us have complaints about the government, which probably range from high taxes to too much bureaucracy. Periodically, we get to take our frustrations out at the voting booth. But no matter how unhappy you may be, you probably never thought, "I'm going get out of here and go start my own country."

A group of rich techies in Northern California is planning on starting its own nation on artificial islands in the ocean. They call themselves "seasteaders" and are sort of a mix between geeks and hippies.

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Shots - Health News
5:08 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Lead Poisoning Cases Offer New Reminder About Hazards Of Ancient Remedies

The Ayurvedic remedies above were included in a 2004 study by researchers at Harvard Medical School that found dangerous levels of heavy metals in 14 out of 70 products.
CHITOSE SUZUKI ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 4:37 pm

These days, just about everyone seems to be looking for more natural alternatives to what they eat and drink. So it's easy to see the appeal of traditional medicine. But as two recent cases from New York City highlight, just because a remedy is ancient or holistic doesn't necessarily mean it's safe.

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The Salt
4:46 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Not Just For Coffee Anymore: The Rise Of Caffeinated Foods

The contents of a box of some of the new foods containing caffeine collected by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 8:45 am

That buzz from your morning cup of joe waning? How about a quick boost from caffeinated mints, gum, Perky Jerky or, from the makers of Cracker Jack, coffee-flavored Cracker Jack'd snacks?

It's not just coffee and tea and soda anymore. "There's a proliferation of foods; all kinds of things are now being caffeinated," says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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Politics
4:39 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

What Gun Control Could Look Like

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 7:55 am

In a pair of recent decisions, the Supreme Court has made it clear that Americans have a constitutional right to own handguns for self-defense. But the court will nonetheless allow "reasonable regulations" on firearms.

The country appears set, following the mass shootings at a school in Newtown, Conn., to have a debate about what restrictions should be put in place.

Members of Congress have already signaled their intent to introduce gun-control legislation next year, which President Obama has indicated in recent days will be a priority.

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Science & Technology
3:49 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Climate Change Revisited: It Isn't Just For Natural Scientists Anymore

Wind generators at Pacific Hydro's Cape Bridgewater wind farm in Warrnambool, Australia, in May 2012. Each generator produces roughly enough energy to meet the annual needs of 12,000 households.
Mark Dadswell Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 9:41 am

Last week I shared an interview with Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist and Winthrop Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Western Australia. Lewandowsky's recent research investigates why people do or don't accept the lessons of contemporary climate science, and in my post we discussed the provocative new finding that rejecting anthropogenic climate change is associated with conspiratorial thinking.

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The Salt
3:33 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Wine And Food May Rekindle Love Lost Between Russia And Georgia

Eating lamb dumplings called khinkali at a table in Tbilisi, Georgia.
ostromentsky Flickr.com

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 2:10 am

It's a big day in the religious and culinary calendar of the Republic of Georgia. Georgian Orthodox believers observe Dec. 17 as St. Barbara's Day, in honor of an early Christian martyr. And they typically mark the occasion by eating a type of stuffed bread called lobiani, baked with a filling of boiled beans with coriander and onions.

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Shots - Health News
3:04 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Scientists Look For New Drugs In Skin Of Russian Frog

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 1:01 pm

Before the advent of refrigeration, Russians had a neat trick for keeping their milk from spoiling. They'd drop a live frog in the milk bucket.

The Russians weren't sure how this amphibian dairy treatment worked, but they were convinced it did.

Since then, researchers have discovered that the goo some frogs secrete through their skin has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

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The Two-Way
2:45 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Time To Talk About Assault Weapon Ban, Says 'Gun Rights' Sen. Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
Mike Theiler UPI /Landov

It's time to talk about both banning assault weapons and how the nation treats those with mental illness, one of the Senate's most notable "gun rights" Democrats said today.

Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., "has changed where we go from here," West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said on MSNBC's Morning Joe show.

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It's All Politics
2:33 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

What Shut The Back Door To Congressional Compromise

President Kennedy speaks with Senate GOP leader Everett Dirksen of Illinois in March 1961. Dirksen's support was critical to passing civil rights legislation through Congress.
Harvey Georges AP

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 2:50 pm

Remember the important contributions Republicans made to civil rights legislation back in the 1960s?

They've almost been lost to memory. When Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the GOP presidential nominee that year, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, opposed it, and Republicans have never recovered their former share of support among African-Americans.

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Around the Nation
2:02 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

The Tragedy In Newtown: The Unanswerable Questions

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 3:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After Newtown and Tucson, Aurora and the Sikh temple, we hear a lot of answers, opinions really. Too many guns or not enough; lack of access to mental health treatment; violence in video games; violence in the movies and TV; bad parenting; lack of community spirit or lack of religion; that there's no law that can keep everyone safe from evil; that we should just enforce the laws that are already on the books.

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