The Two-Way
4:22 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Agent Who Helped Thwart Underwear Bomb Plot Was British Citizen

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 4:52 pm

The undercover agent who helped thwart the latest underwear bomb plot was a British citizen, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston has learned.

"The undercover operation was being directed by British intelligence with help from other international intelligence agencies," Dina tells us. "The British had put some pressure on the Obama administration not to reveal their role in the secret mission."

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Author Interviews
4:21 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Freeman': A Liberated Slave In Search Of Family

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:50 pm

A new novel from writer Leonard Pitts Jr. jolts you back to the chaos of post-Civil War America. At a time when families of slaves were freed — but not necessarily together.

In hope of reuniting with their families, some freed slaves placed classified ads in newspapers:

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Virginia Insight
4:00 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

The Patent Economy

Perhaps you’ve noticed headlines about firms like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft paying hundreds of millions of dollars to buy up other companies’ patents.

Has it occurred to you to wonder why?

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Middle East
3:53 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

As Syrian Peace Plan Crumbles, What's Next?

Norwegian Maj. Gen. Robert Mood (center), head of the U.N. observers mission in Syria, arrives to inspect the site of twin blasts.
Louai Beshara AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:03 pm

The international peace plan for Syria is nearly a month old, and signs are pointing to a conflict that is becoming even more entrenched.

In the latest blow, two massive explosions rocked the outskirts of Syria's capital, Damascus, on Thursday, killing at least 55 people and injuring hundreds more.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:48 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Use Of Tanning Beds Common, Despite Cancer Risks

Jodi Duke, a 35-year-old melanoma survivor living in Aurora, Colo., shows the scar left on her arm from melanoma. She used tanning beds as a teen and advocated for a bill to regulate tanning in the state that failed in 2007.
Ed Andrieski AP

Who's really hooked on tanning beds?

Odds are she's young, white and lives in the Midwest.

Figures just published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report paint a detailed picture of indoor tanning habits across the country.

Overall, in 2010 about 5.6 percent of adults used a tanning bed, or other device that blasts UV rays at skin to darken it. Tanning sprays didn't count.

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Election 2012
3:35 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Mourdock's Demeanor Masks Conservative Fervor

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 5:08 pm

Richard Mourdock is the first to admit he's lacking in the political flash-and-dash department.

"I never got hit with the charisma stick when I was lying there in the nursery," the newly crowned Indiana Republican Senate candidate told NPR in a recent interview.

But Mourdock, 60, who on Tuesday toppled six-term Republican Sen. Richard Lugar in a GOP primary, is a determined if not dynamic campaigner, those who know him say, and no newcomer to the trail.

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Graham Smith is a senior producer for NPR's All Things Considered.

Every day his responsibilities range from investigation and research, production, field recording, running the program, reporting, and photography.

Smith has worked all over the United States. Overseas Smith has worked in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he produced award-winning coverage of an IED attack and its aftermath in Kandahar.

The Salt
3:21 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's Vegetable Garden: A Thing Of Beauty And Science

Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello served as an experimental laboratory for garden vegetables from around the world.
Leonard Phillips Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:48 am

When you listen to All Things Considered host Melissa Block's story about Thomas Jefferson's garden, you'll hear how he cared about putting peas on the table and sharing seeds with his friends. He also set loftier goals for his vegetable garden: Monticello's south-facing expanse was a living laboratory for a lifelong tinkerer and almost obsessive record keeper. Jefferson was, in many ways, a crop scientist.

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Around the Nation
3:20 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Hear That? Annoying Hum Has Canada Making Noise

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 10:50 pm

Thousands of people in Windsor, Ontario, say they are being invaded by an obnoxious noise emanating from outside Detroit. They call it the "Windsor Hum," and it's really two sounds — a deep, very low-frequency hum, like a diesel truck idling in your driveway, and a deep, vibrating pulse that you feel more than you hear.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Dawn Mission Provides Evidence That Asteroid Vesta Is Indeed A Protoplanet

NASA's Dawn spacecraft obtained this image of the giant asteroid Vesta with its framing camera on July 24, 2011. It was taken from a distance of about 3,200 miles.
NASA

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:20 pm

Data from a mission to the second largest body in the asteroid belt that's between Mars and Jupiter seems to confirm that Vesta is indeed a protoplanet that dates back to the early days of our solar system.

Space.com reports that scientists theorized that Vesta had started down the path toward becoming a planet and data from the Dawn Mission confirms those suspicions. Space.com reports:

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