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Planet Money
2:09 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

3-D Printing Is (Kind Of) A Big Deal

The printed cup.
via Shapeways

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:15 pm

The first key to thinking about 3-D printers is this: Do not think printer. Think magic box that creates any object you can imagine.

In the box, razor-thin layers of powdered material (acrylic, nylon, silver, whatever) pile one on top of the other, and then, voila — you've got a shoe, or a cup, or a ring, or an iPhone case.

It's miraculous to see. Press a button, make anything you want. But just how important is 3-D printing? Unlike earlier big-deal technologies (like, say, the tractor) 3-D printing won't really replace what came before.

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The Two-Way
2:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Now You Don't See Them, Now You Do: Pelosi Defends Doctored Photo

The four lawmakers who were, but weren't, there at the time. (We put the oval around them to make them easier to see.)
Rep. Nancy Pelosi's Facebook page

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 3:12 pm

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Asia
1:39 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

South Korea Prepares The Young For A Rapidly Aging Population

South Korean men play games at a downtown park in Seoul on Nov. 1. Recent data suggest that South Korea is now the fastest-aging country on Earth.
Kim Jae-Hwan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 1:43 pm

At a clean and sunny community center in Seoul, the South Korean capital, senior citizens make clay models of their own faces in an arts class. Some of the faces are vivid and lifelike. Others are expressionless and indistinct. The project is intended to help the seniors remember what they look like.

This is the Gangseo District Center for Dementia. Since 2006, Seoul has opened a dementia center in each of the city's 25 urban districts.

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The Two-Way
1:35 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

It's Official: Electoral Votes Are Counted; Obama & Biden Won

An image of New York's Electoral College certificate.
Electoral College

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET: The counting is done and as expected, President Obama and Vice President Biden collected all 332 Electoral College votes they earned on Election Day. Their Republican opponents, Mitt Romney and running mate Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, received 206 votes each.

Since it takes 270 Electoral College votes to be elected, the president and vice president have indeed been returned to office.

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NPR Story
1:21 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Negative Temperatures That Are Hotter Than The Sun

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:33 pm

Scientists have cooled potassium gas to one billionth of a degree below absolute zero. But in the quantum world, that's actually hotter than the Sun. It's hotter, even, than infinity degrees Kelvin. Vladan Vuletić, a quantum physicist at MIT, talks about this 'Bizarro World' temperature.

Shots - Health News
1:18 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

As Norovirus Rages, A Robot Named 'Vomiting Larry' Gets His Closeup

Vomiting Larry doing what he does best.
U.K. Health and Safety Laboratory

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 11:06 am

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Olympic Cyclist Dies After Being Hit By Taxi In South Africa

South African cyclist Burry Stander, seen here riding in the cross-country mountain bike race at the London Olympics, was killed during a training ride Thursday in South Africa.
Fabrice Coffrini AFP/Getty Images

Burry Stander, one of the world's elite mountain bikers, was killed Thursday as he rode his bike in his native South Africa. Stander, 25, a two-time Olympian who placed fifth in his event at the London 2012 Olympics, was reportedly struck by a taxi van as he trained near his home in Shelley Beach, on South Africa's southeastern coast.

The close proximity of the accident to his childhood home apparently allowed Stander's family members, reportedly including his wife, mother and father, to arrive at the scene quickly.

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The Picture Show
12:05 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

'Why We Are Here': Capturing The Spirit Of Mobile, Ala.

Roy Hyde, Fairhope.
Courtesy of Alex Harris

In 1991, photographer Alex Harris was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for his book River of Traps, written with William deBuys. It told the story, in words and pictures, of an old-time New Mexican villager. Harris didn't win.

Instead, the prize went to evolutionary biologist E.O. Wilson for The Ants.

"It took me 20 years to get over that defeat," said Harris.

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Book Reviews
12:04 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

'A Grain Of Truth' About Memory And Modern Poland

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 12:26 pm

My mother is Polish, which meant that during the holidays when I was a kid, we broke out the polka records and kielbasa for special occasion meals from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. Certainly, nostalgia for those belch-y festivities of yore led me to A Grain of Truth by Zygmunt Miloszewski, a Polish mystery novel that unexpectedly turns out to be as hard-boiled as the skin around a circlet of that ubiquitous holiday kielbasa.

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
12:03 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 3, 2013

Yellow Birds book cover detail

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:35 pm

At No. 9, Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds details the friendship between two Iraq War vets.

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