The Two-Way
10:50 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Google Tweaks Search To Boost Google+, And Rivals Get Angry

A screengrab shows Google's new search feature, in which results from a user's Google+ community are promoted at the top of the page.
NPR

Social media has become a huge part of how people experience the web. So it's not surprising that Google's move to integrate "personal results" into its web searches — drawing from a user's Google+ profile — wasn't praised by the folks who run rival social networks.

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The Two-Way
10:19 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Lost Touch: Peace Corps In Search Of 100,000 Old Volunteers

The National Peace Corps Association says it's looking for about 100,000 good volunteers.

They're people who served in the overseas development program at some time in its 50-year history but later lost touch with their former colleagues.

NPCA President Kevin Quigley says there's no complete list of the 200,000 Americans who volunteered for the program, in part because key records were lost during its early days.

"When the agency was in its infancy [in the early 1960s], a lot of systems for tracking former volunteers just didn't exist," Quigley says.

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Kevin Whitehead is the jazz critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross.

Whitehead's articles on jazz and improvised music have appeared in such publications as Point of Departure, the Chicago Sun-Times, Village Voice, Down Beat, and the Dutch daily de Volkskrant.

He is the author of Why Jazz: A Concise Guide (2010), New Dutch Swing (1998), and (with photographer Ton Mijs) Instant Composers Pool Orchestra: You Have to See It (2011).

His essays have appeared in numerous anthologies including Da Capo Best Music Writing 2006, Discover Jazz and Traveling the Spaceways: Sun Ra, the Astro-Black and Other Solar Myths.

Music Reviews
10:00 am
Wed January 11, 2012

François Houle And Benoît Delbecq's Dream State

Pianist Benoît Delbecq.
Roderick Packe

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 10:02 am

It's been more than a decade since clarinetist François Houle and pianist Benoît Delbecq's previous recording, but Because She Hoped proves that they can a strike a mood together quickly. That quiet, misterioso air is one specialty, conjuring a dream state: a slow-motion sleepwalk.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Natalie Wood's Death Still Looks Like An Accident, Investigators Say

Natalie Wood in 1960.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 10:01 am

Two months after announcing they were going to take another look at the circumstances surrounding the 1981 death of actress Natalie Wood, authorities in Los Angeles are saying there's "no evidence to suggest that the cause was anything but accidental," the Los Angeles Times reports.

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Book Reviews
9:39 am
Wed January 11, 2012

'Hope': A Comic Novel About the Holocaust?

frequent contributor to This American Life." href="/post/hope-comic-novel-about-holocaust" class="noexit lightbox">
Shalom Auslander is also the author of the short story collection Beware of God and a memoir, Foreskin's Lament. He is a frequent contributor to This American Life.
Franco Vogt Courtesy Riverhead Books

Originally published on Thu January 12, 2012 10:54 am

Years ago, when my daughter was a toddler, my husband and I were friendly with another couple who had a child the same age. The friendship came to an end when the wife of the couple let slip that her husband had dressed their daughter as JonBenet Ramsey for Halloween. "He has an offbeat sense of humor," the wife explained to me. That's one way to look at it. Or else, as I thought, maybe hubby's "humor" wasn't funny at all — just perversely detached from the horrific death of an actual 6-year-old.

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The Two-Way
9:39 am
Wed January 11, 2012

8 Killed In Syria, Including A French Journalist

Eight people were killed in the city of Homs today. While the circumstances are not entirely clear, we do know that among the dead was Gilles Jacquier, a French journalist with France 2.

The AP reports that the television channel announced his death, saying he was in Syria on a government-authorized reporting trip. "News director Thierry Thullier of France Televisions, the parent station of France-2, told French TV BFM that Jacquier appeared to have been killed by a mortar or rocket as part of a series of attacks," the AP reports.

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The Two-Way
9:30 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Suspect In Natalee Holloway Case Pleads Guilty To Murder In Peru

Dutch national Joran Van der Sloot as he arrived for a court hearing earlier today (Jan. 11, 2012) at the Lurigancho prison in Lima.
Ernesto Benavides AFP/Getty Images

Joran van der Sloot, the main suspect in the 2005 disappearance of Alabama teen Natalee Holloway in Aruba, this morning pleaded guilty to the 2010 murder of a 21-year-old Peruvian woman, Stephany Flores, in Lima.

The Associated Press reports that van der Sloot told a court in Lima that "yes, I want to plead guilty. I wanted from the first moment to confess sincerely. ... I truly am sorry for this act. I feel very bad."

The wire service adds that:

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The Two-Way
9:10 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Beef Erupts Over Crossword Guru's Hip-Hop Slang Clue

A New York Times crossword puzzle clue asking for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop" led to an email and an argument over the real meaning of "illin'."
NPR

Originally published on Wed January 11, 2012 9:26 am

Under editor Will Shortz, The New York Times crossword puzzle has won fans for being in touch with the modern world — relying less on arcane words and more on a working knowledge of America's cultural landscape.

But according to some, Shortz took a false step with this past Saturday's puzzle, when he included a clue steeped in hip-hop slang. The clue asked for a 5-letter word that means "Wack, in hip-hop."

The answer was "Illin'".

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It's All Politics
8:44 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Mitt Romney Raised $24 Million Last Quarter

During the last quarter of 2011, Mitt Romney raised $24 million, his campaign announced today. That means the former Massachusetts governor has $19 million in cash on hand to fund his primary battle.

The Washington Post reports that in a shift from his 2008 run, when he poured $40 million of his own money into the campaign, Romney has made no personal donations.

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