The Salt
5:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

If Caffeine Can Boost The Memory Of Bees, Can It Help Us, Too?

Adam Cole/NPR iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

Who knew that the flower nectar of citrus plants — including some varieties of grapefruit, lemon and oranges — contains caffeine? As does the nectar of coffee plant flowers.

And when honeybees feed on caffeine-containing nectar, it turns out, the caffeine buzz seems to improve their memories — or their motivations for going back for more.

"It is surprising," says Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University in the the U.K., the lead researcher of a new honeybee study published in the journal Science.

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Education
5:20 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Federal Probe Targets Uneven Discipline At Seattle Schools

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

The Education Department has launched an investigation into discipline rates in Seattle public schools.

Students of color have long been punished in far higher numbers than white students in Seattle, but now the department's Office for Civil Rights is looking at whether black students are disciplined more frequently and more harshly than white students for the same behavior.

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Shots - Health News
4:44 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Shrimp Trawling Comes With Big Risks

John Berthelot, top, and Hosea Wilson, bottom right, release the nets from their shrimp boat, Monday, May 3, 2010, at the Venice Marina in Venice, La.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:03 pm

Think your job is bad? Quit whining, unless you're a shrimper in the Gulf of Mexico.

Commercial fishermen have the highest rate of on-the-job fatalities of any occupation in the country — 116 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010. A majority of the deaths happen when a fishing vessel sinks. About a third occur when someone goes overboard.

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The Two-Way
4:39 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

In The Iditarod Race, 'Pee Pants' Get An Endurance Test

Several female mushers in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are trying out new attire that allows them to skip bathroom stops. Here, a musher and his team pass fans at the ceremonial start of the race in Anchorage.
Dan Joling AP

It will take more than a week for Alaska's Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, which began Sunday, to cover nearly 1,000 miles. But every minute counts — and several mushers are trying out special pants that allow them to race without stopping for bathroom breaks.

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The Salt
4:09 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Plague Of Locusts Has Israelis Asking: Are They Kosher For Passover?

An Israeli cook displays locusts at a restaurant in Jerusalem, at a 2010 event promoting locusts as a tasty kosher treat.
Olivier Fitoussi AP

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 4:54 pm

A swarm of locusts that has devastated crops in Egypt made its way into neighboring Israel this week. And with Passover just around the corner, many news outlets couldn't resist noting the shades of the biblical tale of Exodus, when the insects were one of 10 plagues that descended upon Pharaoh and his people.

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Planet Money
3:54 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

The Scariest Jobs Chart Ever Isn't Scary Enough

Calculated Risk

Originally published on Fri March 8, 2013 12:18 pm

One of the defining graphs of our time (yes, there are defining graphs of our time) comes from the blog Calculated Risk. It tracks the job market in every U.S. recession and recovery since WWII — and it shows just how brutal the the past few years have been.

Business Insider calls this the Scariest Jobs Chart Ever. But the Scariest Jobs Chart Ever isn't quite scary enough.

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The Two-Way
3:50 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Senate Approves Nomination Of John Brennan As CIA Chief

John Brennan testifies during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee in Washington, on February 7, 2013.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:57 pm

After an epic filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul that lasted into the early morning hours, the Senate voted this afternoon to confirm the nomination of John Brennan as the country's next Central Intelligence Agency director.

As we reported, Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, stood on the floor of the Senate for nearly 13 hours, repeatedly asking for an explanation of the Obama administration's targeted killing program.

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The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Ahmadinejad Says Chávez Will Rise With Christ; Is Chastised By Cleric

Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Atta Kenare AFP/Getty Images

Just before leaving for Venezuela to attend the funeral of Hugo Chávez, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad penned a laudatory tribute for the late president.

"[Chavez] is alive, as long as nations are alive and struggle for consolidating independence, justice and kindness. I have no doubt that he will come back, and along with Christ the Saviour, the heir to all saintly and perfect men, and will bring peace, justice and perfection for all," Ahmadinejad wrote in a letter he sent the Venezuelan vice president.

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The Two-Way
2:53 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

How Did Strom Thurmond Last Through His 24-Hour Filibuster?

Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina after his 24+ hour filibuster in 1957. He was a Democrat then. Later, Thurmond would switch to the Republican Party.
AP

As he ended his nearly 13-hour filibuster early Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) indirectly said it was nature's call that forced him to stop talking:

"I would try to go another 12 hours and try to break Strom Thurmond's record, but there are some limits to filibustering and I am going to have to go take care of one of those here," he said.

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Shots - Health News
2:47 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

To Make Mice Smarter, Add A Few Human Brain Cells

These drawings by Santiago Ramon y Cajal, published in 1899, show cortex neurons.
Santiago Ramon y Cajal Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 6:13 pm

For more than a century, neurons have been the superstars of the brain. Their less glamorous partners, glial cells, can't send electric signals, and so they've been mostly ignored.

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