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Humans
4:12 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Pitch-Perfect: Why Our Shoulders Are Key To Throwing

Harry Kaplan practices pitching during Home Run Baseball Camp at Friendship Recreation Center in June. Kaplan's arm is stretched long and toward the ground as his hips are faced away from the catcher. A chimp, in contrast, could never throw a fastball.
Heather Rousseau NPR

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:01 pm

The ability to throw a baseball or any object with speed and precision is unique to us humans. And that ability depends on certain features of our anatomy that arose in our ancestors over 2 million years ago, according to a study published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.

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Health
3:50 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'The Lyme Wars' That Tiny Ticks Have Wrought

In the current New Yorker, Michael Specter explores the conflict among some people who suffer from Lyme disease, and the doctors who study it.
aanton iStockphoto.com

Until 1977, Lyme disease was almost unknown. But in the decades since a Yale rheumatologist first described an unusual cluster of arthritis cases in Lyme, Conn., the disease has become the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the country. Acute symptoms of Lyme disease commonly include a bull's-eye rash followed by flu-like symptoms.

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Music Reviews
3:50 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'My Ellington': A Pianist Gives Duke Her Personal Touch

Duke Ellington (1899-1974) at the piano at the Fairfield Hall, Croydon, during a British tour on Feb. 10, 1963.
John Pratt Getty Images

At the keys, Duke Ellington abstracted from stride piano, which modernized ragtime. Ellington's own spare percussive style then refracted through Thelonious Monk and Cecil Taylor, as well as a generation of freewheeling pianists active in Europe, like Aki Takase. Her new solo piano album is My Ellington, on which she plays some stride bass herself, as in "In a Mellow Tone."

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NPR Story
3:23 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Conservative Religious Leaders Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Rulings

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:34 am

Transcript

JOHN BURNETT, BYLINE: This is John Burnett.

America's religious communities reacted swiftly and strongly to the landmark Supreme Court decisions. There aren't a lot of clergy on the fence. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called today a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Mormon Church said in a statement it remains committed to strengthening traditional marriage between a man and a woman, which for thousands of years has proven to be the best environment for nurturing children.

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Books
3:23 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

In 'Sisterland' Familial Fissures And A Pair Of Psychic Twins

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:34 am

Curtis Sittenfeld is the Ed Norton of the literary world. Popular but intellectual, accessible but mysterious and, above all — a perspective chameleon with an uncanny ability to enter the minds of callow prep school outcasts and devotedly compromising first ladies alike. With Sisterland, she takes this mind-entering business to a literal level. The story of a pair of adult psychic twin sisters in St. Louis, it would have been an obvious choice for Sittenfeld to tell her story in the form of dueling narration.

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NPR Story
3:23 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

World Dance Rhythm's Intersect On Chico Mann's New Album

On his new album, Magical Thinking, Chico Mann uses a host of electronic playthings to craft West African, Latin and 1980s "boogie" rhythms.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 4:34 am

Marcos Garcia took his alter ego Chico Mann not from the 1970s TV series Chico and the Man but from a bit of dialogue in the early-'80s hip-hop film Wild Style. For years, Garcia was best-known as one of the members of the New York Afrobeat ensemble Antibalas. But one day, he began tinkering with his daughter's Casio keyboard, and since then he's only built on his arsenal of electronic playthings.

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The Salt
3:16 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Can You Be Addicted To Carbs? Scientists Are Checking That Out

Eating refined carbohydrates like bagels may stimulate brain regions involved in reward and cravings, research suggests.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 8:33 pm

Fresh research adds weight to the notion that certain foods (think empty carbs like bagels and sweet treats) can lead to more intense hunger and overeating.

Fast-digesting carbohydrates can stimulate regions of the brain involved in cravings and addiction, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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Music Interviews
3:15 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Gospel Legend Mavis Staples Comes 'Full Circle'

Mavis Staples has been performing for more than six decades. One True Vine is her second album-length collaboration with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy.
Zoran Orlic Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:14 pm

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Shots - Health News
3:10 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

NIH Takes Another Step Toward Retirement Of Research Chimps

Chimpanzees play at Chimp Haven, a retirement home for former research animals, in Keithville, La.
Gerald Herbert AP

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 8:32 am

The National Institutes of Health says it will retire hundreds of chimpanzees that the agency had been using for research. Animal rights activists see the move as a big step towards ending the use of chimps in research, but it will be awhile before any of the research chimps find their way into retirement homes.

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The Two-Way
3:06 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Justice Kennedy At Center Of Gay Rights Decisions For A Decade

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has now written two landmark gay rights decisions.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Ten years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas "Homosexual Conduct" law that criminalized some sexual acts.

Today, on the anniversary of that decision, the high court overturned a federal law that defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

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