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Author Interviews
2:11 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

One Man's Quest To Find The 'Sonic Wonders Of The World'

Why does thunder rumble? Acoustic professor Trevor Cox explains that it has to do with the way lightning is a jagged line. "Each little kink is actually generating the sound, and the reason thunder rumbles is because the sound takes different time to come from different kinks because they're all slightly different distances from you," he says.
Mariana Suarez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:38 pm

Ever wonder why your voice sounds so much better when you sing in the shower? It has to do with an acoustic "blur" called reverberation. From classical to pop music, reverberation "makes music sound nicer," acoustic engineer Trevor Cox tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. It helps blend the sound, "but you don't want too much," he warns.

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Movie Reviews
2:11 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

For A Rabbi Who Worked With The Nazis, Is Judgment 'Unjust'?

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann (left) interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:38 pm

When you're faced with something as heinous as the Holocaust, it's tempting to turn it into a simple morality play. This isn't to say one can't pass moral judgments — Hitler and his cohort were undeniably evil. But judging can become a form of lazy evasion, a way of closing the book on the tricky realities of failure, guilt and complicity.

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Parallels
1:58 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

4 Things To Know About What's Happening In Ukraine

Anti-government protesters throw stones during clashes with riot police in Kiev's Independence Square on Wednesday.
Efrem Lukatsky AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 4:08 pm

This post has been updated to reflect Friday's agreement reached between the government and the opposition.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and leaders of the anti-government opposition reached an agreement on a deal to hold new elections, form a unity government and restore a constitution drafted in 2004. The deal could lead to an end to the violence that has killed more than 70 people since it erupted earlier this week.

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The Two-Way
1:11 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Jailed Protest Leader Urges Venezuelans To Keep Demonstrating

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez (in white shirt) as he turned himself over to police on Tuesday in Caracas.
Cristian Hernandez Xinhua/Landov

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:10 pm

In a video released Wednesday, imprisoned protest leader Leopoldo Lopez urges his supporters in Venezuela to continue pressing for the resignation of President Nicolas Maduro, Reuters reports from Caracas.

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Parallels
1:06 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Why Can't The Former Soviet Republics Figure Out Democracy?

Anti-government protesters clash with police on Independence Square in Ukraine's capital Kiev early Wednesday. The protests have been going on for three months, and Tuesday was the deadliest day yet, with at least 25 reported killed.
Sergei Supinsky AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 3:09 pm

The Soviet Union collapsed more than 20 years ago, yet genuine democracy is still a stranger in most of the 15 former republics. Ukraine, where at least 25 people were killed on Tuesday, is just the latest bloody example.

From President Vladimir Putin's hard-line rule in Russia to the 20-year reign of Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus to the assorted strongmen of Central Asia, many post-Soviet rulers consistently display a fondness for the old days, when opposition was something to be squashed, not tolerated.

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Code Switch
12:55 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

After Tour, Medal For WWII Japanese-American Soldiers Returns Home

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team, shown here in a 1944 photo taken in France, returned home from World War II as one of the most decorated U.S. military units.
Courtesy of National Archives

More than 70 years ago Wednesday, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order that led to the internment of more than 110,000 Japanese-Americans during World War II.

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Shots - Health News
12:48 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Sit More, And You're More Likely To Be Disabled After Age 60

Sure, it's relaxing. But all those hours on the sofa may make it hard to actually stand up on your own.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 2:26 pm

The more you sit, the less physically active you are, which can lead to all sorts of health problems, including an early death.

But too much sitting increasingly looks like a health risk all its own. Researchers at Northwestern University say that for people 60 and older, each additional hour a day spent sitting increases the risk of becoming physically disabled by about 50 percent — no matter how much exercise they get.

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Black History Month: #AfroGlobal
12:47 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Stromae's Lyrics 'Show A Different Vision Of The World'

Belgian music sensation Stromae acts as a mannequin in the music video for "Papaoutai."
Benjamin Brolet Universal Music France

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 2:42 pm

Paul Van Haver — the son of a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father — was raised by his mother in a French-speaking suburb of Brussels. He rarely saw his father, and he struggled academically. When his mother insisted he take up an instrument, he chose the drums.

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It's All Politics
12:47 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Calif. Billionaire Plans $100 Million Climate Change Campaign

Billionaire Tom Steyer discusses a proposed bill to fund energy efficiency projects at schools in California's poorest communities during a Dec. 2012 news conference in Sacramento.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Tom Steyer, a billionaire retired hedge-fund investor, is aiming to spend $100 million to make climate change a priority issue in this year's midterm elections.

As the New York Times reported Tuesday, the Democrat is working to raise $50 million from donors to add to $50 million of his own money to bankroll his San Francisco-based political organization, NextGen Climate Action.

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The Record
12:31 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Computer Love: Beats Music Wants To Be Your Everything

Beats Music

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 4:21 pm

I have a new streaming music service in my life. Let's call him Beatsy. It's an open relationship — I'm still accessing other music streams, and Beatsy's positively promiscuous, winning the hearts of the music press and thousands of trial subscribers. But I don't mind. When I'm with Beatsy I feel special. Yes, he is a computer program — the world knows him as Beats Music, just one of many services that make it possible for me to listen to music stored in its cloud library via my phone or computer.

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