Planet Money
11:06 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Why Are Some Countries Rich And Others Poor?

Haiti's brown landscape contrasts sharply with the rich forests of its neighbor Haiti-Dominican Republic Border, South Of Dajabon, Dominican Republic.
National Geographic/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 19, 2012 3:37 pm

Why are some nations rich and others poor? In a new book called Why Nations Fail, a pair of economists argue that a lot comes down to politics.

To research the book, the authors scoured the world for populations and geographic areas that are identical in all respects save one: they're on different sides of a border.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Adam Riess: One Cosmic Puzzle Solved, Many To Go

Astrophysicist Adam Riess shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for his work on distant supernovae, which demonstrated that the universe was not only expanding--but that its expansion was accelerating. Now he's hunting for clues that might explain why, and one of the prime suspects is a mysterious force known as dark energy.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Teenager Launches LEGO Shuttle Into Space

Estimated altitude for this flight was about 115,000 feet, says Raul Oaida, 18-years-old. Raul launched the shuttle, along with a video camera and a GPS tracker, by way of a large helium balloon. Flight time was about three hours--the shuttle landing about 150 miles south of where it took off.

NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Mount Everest Still Holds Mysteries For Scientists

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 11:03 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

The world's tallest peak. It's so iconic. It's so classic. You'd think we'd have learned everything there is to know about it by now, but you'd be wrong. Scientists still can't even agree on the exact height of the mountain. And what's more, they're not even sure what kind of rocks the mountaintop is made of.

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NPR Story
11:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Sizing Up America's High-Tech Talent

Business and political leaders have repeatedly warned that America's scientists and engineers are in short supply. However, some economists say the numbers indicate the opposite — a glut of high-tech workers. A panel of experts debate whether America's schools produce the scientific workforce needed to compete globally.

The Two-Way
10:54 am
Fri March 16, 2012

In Cities Around The Globe, People Line Up To Buy Apple's New iPad

Lines outside the Apple Store in Covent Garden to buy the new iPad on Friday in London, England.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images

It's just an update, but people made lines in cities around the world to buy Apple's latest incarnation of the iPad.

Look at this line outside an Apple store in London:

And this scene at a Manhattan Apple store:

NPR's David Folkenflik was in New York City and he filed this report for our Newscast unit:

"In Manhattan, lines wrapped full city blocks at Apple Stores last night as fans waited to buy the new device in person — and that's just for an upgrade on the iPad.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:41 am
Fri March 16, 2012

When Fruit Flies Strike Out, They Like To Booze It Up

Hey, losers, which way to the bar?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 21, 2012 3:04 pm

Have pity on these poor fruit flies.

Researchers made a bunch of male fruit flies into boozehounds by pushing them on females unreceptive to their advances.

After a few days of striking out, the male losers, referred to as the "rejected-isolated" group in a study published online by Science, drowned their sorrows in alcohol.

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Opinion
10:35 am
Fri March 16, 2012

The Wisdom Of Faith: What Religion Can Teach Us

These stained glass church windows decorate the walls of the Cologne Cathedral in Germany.
Patrick Stollarz AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 9:03 pm

Alain de Botton is the author of Religion for Atheists.

A survey published in the U.K. in January predicted that within 20 years, the majority of the British population will define themselves as having no religion. In the British isles, religion has become something of a sideshow, even a joke. Remember that this is the land that gave us The Life of Brian. Even the BBC has caught on with a satirical series called Rev., about a hapless comedic clergyman who has no faith but has a strong inclination to be good.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Report: Bin Laden Tried To Organize Plot To Kill Obama And Petraeus

Originally published on Fri March 16, 2012 1:31 pm

Some of the documents seized last May after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden at his compound in Pakistan show that the al-Qaida leader "boldly commanded his network to organize special cells in Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack the aircraft of President Barack Obama and Gen.

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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Rutgers Student Convicted In Spying Case Linked To Roommate's Suicide

Dharun Ravi in court on Wednesday.
John O'Boyle AP

Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student "accused of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate's love life has been convicted of bias intimidation and invasion of privacy in a case that exploded into the headlines when the victim of the snooping committed suicide" in September, 2010, The Associated Press writes.

The 20-year-old "could face 10 years in prison when he's sentenced," the AP adds.

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