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1:15 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Vanishing Vultures A Grave Matter For India's Parsis

This image shows a Parsi Tower of Silence, circa 1955, near Mumbai, India. The bodies of the dead are left here to be disposed of by vultures.
Alice Schalek Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:42 pm

For any religion, keeping up traditions in the modern world can be a challenge. The Parsi community in India, however, faces a unique obstacle.

Parsis, who came to India from Persia (Iran) a thousand years ago with their Zoroastrian faith, have gone to great lengths to maintain their unique funeral rituals. But they've had to make a few adjustments to keep up with the times and to not upset the neighbors.

Parsi funerals begin in a way familiar to many faiths: prayers are chanted and mourners pay last respects.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

The Toothbrush: It's In The Space Station's Toolbox. How About Yours?

The toothbrush/space tool.
NASA.gov

When we heard that astronauts aboard the International Space Station took a spare toothbrush along on a spacewalk today and used it to help clean debris from around some bolts they needed to secure in order to install a power unit, it got us thinking.

Just how versatile are old toothbrushs? We know we've used them to:

-- Clean bike gears.

-- Get grime out of our hubcaps.

-- Get at the crust around a car battery's terminals.

-- Polish jewelry.

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Joe's Big Idea
12:00 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

3 Clues To How Geography Fuels Innovation

Group Genius: Rubbing shoulders with other smart people, like these employees at Google, fuels innovation.
Paul Sakuma AP

The image of the lone genius toiling in isolation, finally emerging with a brilliant new concept is compelling, even romantic. Too bad it's not true.

Instead, innovation thrives in ecosystems, much as microbes flourish in a warm, cozy petri dish.

"There's an important geography to where innovation happens," says AnnaLee Saxenian, dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies how regional differences affect innovation.

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Shots - Health Blog
11:55 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Insurer's Files Show Big Cost Differences For Same Illnesses

Yes, we've seen this before: a study showing large spending disparities to treat similar ailments and little if any link between expenditure and effectiveness.

What's different about a new analysis is the patients.

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It's All Politics
11:47 am
Wed September 5, 2012

The Odd Couple: What Clinton Adds For Obama

President Obama and former President Bill Clinton appear at a campaign event in New York in June.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 7:45 pm

In public, at least, they're the best of friends. And no one will have a more public role extolling President Obama than his Democratic predecessor, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton, who has already been featured in an Obama campaign ad, is speaking tonight at the Democratic National Convention in what is traditionally the prime spot reserved for the vice presidential nominee.

"He's clearly the best asset the Democrats have," says GOP consultant David Carney. "Clinton is their best surrogate."

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Thinking Harvard? Ranking System Says Think Again

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:05 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, school is back in session in much of the country and for many high school students that means it's time to look at colleges and, increasingly now, as more students go to college than ever, they and their parents are turning to rankings, such as the one published by U.S. News and World Report, to try to figure out the best fit.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Democrats Pulling No Punches At GOP Rivals

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:05 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. The Democratic National Convention is underway in North Carolina. We'll speak with the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Philadelphia's Michael Nutter, about some of the local issues mayors are thinking about as they gather in Charlotte.

But first we want to talk about the message the Democrats are trying to send from the convention podium. Last night's keynote speaker was San Antonio's Mayor Julian Castro. He shared his American dream story.

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NPR Story
11:45 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Philly Mayor Michael Nutter Thinks Local At DNC

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:05 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, there are a lot of college ranking guides out there, but we're going to tell you about one of them that says it rates colleges and universities on their value to you and to the country. That's ahead.

But first, we're following the Democratic convention in Charlotte, and while the spotlight is on national debates during the convention, we remember that old saying that all politics is local.

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It's All Politics
11:26 am
Wed September 5, 2012

With A Flip Of Her Hair, Julian Castro's 3-Year-Old Becomes A Star

Carina Castro during the Democratic National Convention.
YouTube

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 1:12 pm

There was one undeniably sweet moment, last night: As San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro got to the part of his speech where he mentioned his wife and his 3-year-old daughter, the camera panned over to Carina.

It seemed like she noticed herself on the big screens at the arena, because suddenly she stuck out our her tongue and flipped her hair.

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Earthquake Triggers Pacific Tsunami Warnings For Central & South America

The star marks the epicenter of today's earthquake in Costa Rica.
U.S. Geological Survey

Originally published on Wed September 5, 2012 2:48 pm

The Pacific coasts of Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua are no longer the focus of tsunami warnings, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center announced just after 1 p.m ET.

As we've been reporting, there was a strong — 7.6 magnitude — earthquake in Costa Rica this morning. At first, there were concerns about possible tsunamis from Mexico south to Chile. As the day continued, however, authorities gradually reduced their warnings.

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