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Music Reviews
1:57 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

On Its New Album, Superchunk Makes The Downtrodden Sound Upbeat

Superchunk's new album is titled I Hate Music.
Jason Arthurs Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:53 pm

"I hate music, what is it worth? / Can't bring anyone back to this earth," the band Superchunk sings. It's the kind of sentiment you'd imagine someone blurting out with bitter spontaneity, but it's not really music the band hates; it's the despair and grief to which their music bears witness. Superchunk's new downbeat-but-upbeat album, I Hate Music, is dedicated to a close friend who died last year.

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Author Interviews
1:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Cat's Behavior

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 6:43 pm

Cats have come a long way from being animals charged with catching mice to treasured, adorable creatures that snuggle with us in our beds. But this relatively new arrangement is creating issues for cats and the people who live with them.

John Bradshaw has studied the history of domesticated cats and how the relationship between people and cats has changed. He's the author of the new book Cat Sense: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet, which is a follow-up to his book Dog Sense.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The Senator Who Dodged The Syria Vote

President Obama and now-Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., wave during a campaign rally for Markey in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood on June 12.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 3:09 pm

It's hard to imagine a rookie senator who's better equipped to confront a complicated issue like Syria than Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey.

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The Two-Way
1:25 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Iran's President Wished Jews 'A Blessed Rosh Hashanah.' Or Did He?

Did Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tweet a greeting to the world's Jews on Rosh Hashana?
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:12 am

It sounded a bit far-fetched, and perhaps it was.

Iran's former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denied the Holocaust and threatened to wipe Israel off the map. But his successor, President Hassan Rouhani, considered a relative moderate by contrast, has taken a somewhat softer tone. So, when Rouhani allegedly tweeted the following, it quickly became news:

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Shots - Health News
1:23 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Kids' Use Of Electronic Cigarettes Doubles

Clouds of nicotine-laced vapor are getting more popular with teens.
Mauro Grigollo iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 8:24 am

The percentage of middle and high school students who have tried electronic cigarettes more than doubled in a year, federal health officials reported Thursday.

The percentage of students in grades 6 through 12 who had ever used e-cigarettes increased from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent in 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Those who reported currently using the devices increased from 1.1 percent to 2.1 percent.

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

IRS To Count Automatic Gratuities As Wages, Not Tips

A waiter serves patrons at Tony's Restaurant, part of the Casablanca Hotel in New York's Times Square. The custom at some restaurants of automatic gratuities for larger parties might change because of an IRS rule change.
Don Emmert AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 2:51 pm

Gratuity included? A new IRS rule could end, or at least curtail, the practice.

The Internal Revenue Service will soon begin classifying automatic gratuities as service charges that are taxable as regular wages and subject to payroll tax withholding. Currently, they're considered tips, and it's up to the wait staff to report them as income.

The Wall Street Journal says:

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Planet Money
12:04 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

The World Capital Of Counterfeit Dollars

A policeman shows printed sheets of counterfeit bills seized by Peruvian police.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

This just in from the AP:

With its meticulous criminal craftsmen, cheap labor and, by some accounts, less effective law enforcement, Peru has in the past two years overtaken Colombia as the No. 1 source of counterfeit U.S. dollars, says the U.S. Secret Service, protector of the world's most widely traded currency. ...

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Shots - Health News
11:54 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Tuberculosis Hitched A Ride When Early Humans Left Africa

Signs of tuberculosis have been found in ancient Egyptian mummies, such as this one in London's British Museum.
Klafubra Wikimedia.org

Originally published on Fri September 6, 2013 1:55 pm

Dogs often get credit for being humans' constant companions. But dogs have nothing on tuberculosis bacteria.

TB and people have been trapped in a relationship that's been going on for thousands of years — perhaps even tens of thousands of years, scientists said earlier this week.

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Parallels
11:49 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Dancing With The Dictators: Kanye West Joins The Club

Kanye West reportedly performed at a wedding last Saturday for the grandson of Kazakhstan's authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:04 pm

Rapper Kanye West got paid a reported $3 million to perform at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Video of last Saturday's performance was posted on Instagram — and resulted in a flood of criticism.

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The Salt
11:43 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Fad Diets Will Seem Even Crazier After You See This

The 7-Day Color Diet: An attempt to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables, this diet requires followers to eat foods of just a single color each day. It ends with a day in which you "eat the rainbow," so to speak. Here's Gonot's cheeky take on orange day.
Stephanie Gonot Courtesy of the photographer

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm

On one level, it's easy to understand the allure of a fad diet: Eat this, not that and you'll lose weight, guaranteed. Who doesn't want an easy way to shed unwanted pounds?

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