Summer Nights: Funtown
3:02 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Slamming Good Time On The Jersey Shore

Keith Van Brunt (left) and Tom Mgerack, known as the "Bumper Car Psychos," go for a ride July 27 at the Keansburg Amusement Park in Keansburg, N.J.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Mon September 10, 2012 6:31 pm

The "Bumper Car Psychos" are easy to spot. While the other bumper cars at New Jersey's Keansburg Amusement Park spin wildly from one collision to the next, the Psychos cruise gracefully around the track, grinning from ear to ear as they slam their targets into the wall.

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Sports
2:59 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

A Year After War Wound, Vet Wins Paralympic Gold

Lt. Brad Snyder mounts the starting blocks while training on his starting technique. Snyder was permanently blinded last year by an IED in Afghanistan, and is now competing in the Paralympics in London.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 10:06 pm

The first thing you need to know about Navy Lt. Brad Snyder is that he's a bit intense.

If you go to the U.S. Naval Academy, swim competitively, and make the cut for the Navy's elite bomb-disposal squad, you're probably going to be the competitive type.

"Crossfit, surfing, biking, running, swimming, you name it I'm into it. Rock climbing," says Snyder.

The second thing you should know is that Snyder plans to continue doing all these things — even though he's now blind.

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It's All Politics
2:30 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Deflating Jobs Report May Not Move The Needle On The Election

President Obama spoke at a campaign event at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, N.H., on Friday.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 2:52 pm

It wasn't what President Obama was hoping for: another disappointing jobs report the morning after he accepted the Democratic nomination and asked Americans to stay the course.

The U.S. economy added just 96,000 jobs last month, according to the Labor Department, and a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent was mostly due to people giving up on job searches.

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World Cafe
2:26 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Animal Collective On World Cafe

Animal Collective.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:35 pm

The members of the inventive, experimental rock band Animal Collective first met in school in Baltimore County, Md. After collaborating throughout high school and college, they released their debut album as a group, Here Comes the Indian, in 2003. More studio albums followed, including the 2009 breakout Merriweather Post Pavilion.

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Asia
1:24 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Little Islands Are Big Trouble In The South China Sea

Last month, Japanese police officers arrested activists holding Chinese and Taiwanese flags who landed on Uotsuri Island, one of the islands of Senkaku (in Japanese), which is known as Diaoyu in Chinese.
Masataka Morita AP

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 1:40 pm

A storm has been brewing for decades in the South China Sea, and it has nothing to do with the weather.

Instead, it's a virtual typhoon of competing claims over tiny, uninhabited island chains that ring the South China Sea and reach even farther north. They all have one thing in common: China has claimed control of them.

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The Two-Way
12:27 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

Suspect Charged In 'Air Hoax,' And Victim Arrested On Unrelated Charges

The US Air flight that was forced to return to Philadelphia on Thursday because of the hoax.
Clem Murray MCT /Landov

File this under "you think you had a bad day?" and "that was a really dumb idea."

First, a plane headed from Philadelphia to Texas is turned around Thursday because someone called authorities to say a passenger was carrying a "liquid explosive."

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Election 2012
12:12 pm
Fri September 7, 2012

The 7 Coolest Presidents In American History

President George W. Bush dances with members of the KanKouran West African Dance Company during a Rose Garden event to mark Malaria Awareness Day at the White House on April 25, 2007.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 3:34 pm

When former President Bill Clinton referred to present President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention as "cool on the outside," Clinton was underscoring the notion that Obama is, well, cool.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Volcano Shoots Geyser Of Water Up Into Space

Michael Benson

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:53 am

What we have here is a moon — a small one (slightly wider than the state of Arizona) — circling Saturn.

If you look closely, you will see a small splay of light at its top, looking like a circular fountain.

That's because it is a fountain — of sorts. A bunch of volcano-like jets are sending fantastically high geysers of water vapor up into the sky, so high that you can see them in this remarkable print by Michael Benson, back lit by light bouncing off of Saturn.

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Election 2012
11:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Top Speechwriters Grade Conventions

President Obama's acceptance of the Democratic nomination capped two weeks of speeches at the political conventions. Host Michel Martin discusses hits and misses with Mary Kate Cary, former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush; and Paul Orzulak, former speechwriter for President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore.

Sports
11:58 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Paralympians 'Dream, Drive, Do' In London

Joe Kusumoto U.S. Paralympics

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 5:04 pm

Team USA wheelchair sprinter Anjali Forber-Pratt may have won two bronze medals at the Beijing Paralympics, but she told NPR's Michel Martin that competing in London this year has blown her away.

"Oh my goodness, the stadium itself is just unbelievable," she said. "There's about 80,000 fans, and everyone is just genuinely excited to support all of the athletes here. It's surreal."

Forber-Pratt says that the sound from the stadium carries a mile away to where the athletes live. "Whenever there's a U.K. athlete ... you can actually hear the roar of the crowd," she laughs.

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