Krulwich Wonders...
9:44 am
Wed September 19, 2012

U.S. Explodes Atomic Bombs Near Beers To See If They Are Safe To Drink

National Technical Information Service via Alex Wellerstein

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 4:34 pm

So you're minding your own business when all of a sudden, a nuclear bomb goes off, there's a shock wave, fires all around, general destruction and you, having somehow survived, need a drink. What can you do? There is no running water, not where you are. But there is a convenience store. It's been crushed by the shock wave, but there are still bottles of beer, Coke and diet soda intact on the floor.

So you wonder: Can I grab one of those beers and gulp it down? Or is it too radioactive? And what about taste? If I drink it, will it taste OK?

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 10:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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Local News
9:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Student Veterans Plan To Sue UNC For Discrimination

Soldiers with their helmets next to them.
The U.S. Army

A group of veterans attending state-run universities in North Carolina plan to file a discrimination lawsuit against the UNC system this week alleging they are routinely - and wrongly - made to pay out-of-state tuition.

The military life is a transient one - training in one state, based in another, transferring every few of years. That's one reason the federal government doesn't require service members to change their driver license every time they move. So establishing residency for things like in-state tuition is tough, says Army veteran Andrew Sammons.

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It's All Politics
8:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

The Obamas walk back to the White House after attending Easter service at St. John's Episcopal Church on April 8. President Obama is the only Protestant on either 2012 presidential ticket.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 2:02 pm

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

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The Two-Way
8:38 am
Wed September 19, 2012

18 Innings Are A Lot, But Orioles-Mariners Game Is No Record-Breaker

Fans were few and far-between (and possibly not awake) as the Orioles-Mariners game went on and on in Seattle.
Otto Greule Jr. Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:57 am

Hearing about the 18-inning, 5 hours and 44 minutes-long game between the Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners that stretched from last night into today set us off in search of news about Major League Baseball's longest games.

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The Two-Way
7:41 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Shuttle Endeavour Is On Its Way To California

Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to a 747, on the tarmac at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Bill Ingalls/NASA UPI /Landov

Space shuttle Endeavour has taken off on its farewell tour across the country.

The third of the retired fleet of four to head off to a retirement home, Endeavour is being ferried from Florida to Los Angeles — with a stop on the way in Houston. It is perched atop a 747.

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The Two-Way
7:21 am
Wed September 19, 2012

France On Alert, Closing Embassies, After Magazine Publishes Muhammad Cartoons

At the offices of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo earlier today, publisher/editor Stephane Charbonnier ("Charb") struck a defiant pose.
Fred DuFour AFP/Getty Images

A French magazine's publication today of "crude caricatures" depicting the Prophet Muhammad has that nation on alert and preparing to close 20 of its embassies in Muslim nations.

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Animals
7:17 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Dog Shoots French Hunter

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Around the Nation
7:11 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Good Samaritan's Car Averts Pedestrian Crash

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. A flat tire could have been tragic for an Ohio man, but for a good Samaritan who stopped to help and whose own car was then struck by a drunk driver.

Gerald Gronowski told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he and his son would surely have been hit as they stood on the shoulder. All the more miraculous, the stranger, Christopher Manacci, had rescued Gronowski eight years earlier, pulling out a hook embedded in his hand while he was fishing.

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed September 19, 2012

'The Black Count' Cuts A Fascinating Figure

Crown

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:39 am

The novelist Alexandre Dumas — the one known for penning The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers — is often referred to as "Alexandre Dumas, pere." This is to distinguish him from his son, also a writer, who is identified as "Alexandre Dumas, fils." The thing is, there is an even older Alex Dumas who, while not a professional writer, made quite a name for himself in Revolutionary France. For the father of Alexandre Dumas, pere, the sword was mightier than the pen, and this larger-than-life figure's story heavily influenced the fiction of his literary offspring.

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