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Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million

KPLU News - 3 hours 6 min ago
President Obama says that enrollment under the Affordable Care Act has reached 8 million after the March 31 sign-up deadline was extended by two weeks.

"This thing is working," he told reporters at a White House briefing on Thursday.

The president said that 35 percent of those signing up through the federal government's website were under the age of 35.

The Rush Of A River; The Rise Of A Gondola

KPLU News - 3 hours 10 min ago
Although they take very different approaches to the eco-documentary, DamNation and Manakamana are both immersive experiences. In the former, one of the directors is the narrator and an onscreen character. In the latter, the directors stay off-camera (or behind the camera) as they turn a simple journey into a slowly unraveling ethnographic mystery.

DamNation opens with a recording of FDR, who acclaims the then-new Hoover Dam and denounces those of "narrow vision" who reject major public-works projects.

States Are Spotty In Following High Court Lead On Juvenile Sentencing

KPLU News - 3 hours 27 min ago
The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences, without parole, for juveniles are unconstitutional, but states have varied in how they've complied with these decisions. Cara Drinan, an associate professor of law at the Catholic University of America, explains more. Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Obama's Favorite County — At Least When It Comes To Giving Speeches

KPLU News - 3 hours 39 min ago
Residents of Prince George's County, Md., might just get sick of hearing "Hail to the Chief." President Obama has visited this county to deliver policy addresses more than any other in his second term.

"Hello Maryland. It's good to see you," the president said enthusiastically in January at a Costco in Lanham, Md. "I love to get outside of the Beltway, even if it is just a few hundred feet away."

For many years, presidents have traveled to Prince George's County because it is the location of Joint Base Andrews, the home base of Air Force One.

Even Chimps Know That A Firm Bed Makes For Quality Sleep

KPLU News - 4 hours 18 min ago
In the wilds of Africa, chimpanzees consistently choose to make their sleeping nests in a particular tree that offers the "just right" kind of comfort that Goldilocks famously preferred.

That's according to a new study in the journal PLOS ONE that could also bolster a theory that solid shut-eye may have been a key to human evolution.

In the latest study, scientists measured the "stiffness and bending strength" of seven trees most commonly used by chimps to ma

Tabasco And Beer-Flavored: Not Your Easter Bunny's Jelly Beans

KPLU News - 4 hours 20 min ago
This Easter, you can drown your sorrows in a glass of Jellybean milk — or with a pile of beer-flavored jelly beans.

The new twists are a sign that jelly beans are continuing their march to candyland domination. Americans buy 16 billion beans in the Easter season alone (mid-February until the actual holiday), according to the National Confectioners Association. The candy even has its own holiday on April 22.

That's quite an accomplishment for a seemingly simple candy. But in fact, there's nothing simple about the bean.

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Who Gave Voice To Latin America, Dies

KPLU News - 5 hours 43 min ago
Latin American author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1982, died Thursday. He was 87. Garcia Marquez, the master of a style known as magic realism, was and remains Latin America's best-known writer.

His novels were filled with miraculous and enchanting events and characters; love and madness; wars, politics, dreams and death.

Nobel Prize-Winning Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dies At 87

KPLU News - 5 hours 44 min ago
Nobel Prize-winning Colombian novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author of One Hundred Years of Solitude, has died in Mexico City.

Chelsea Clinton Says She's Pregnant

KPLU News - 5 hours 44 min ago
Chelsea Clinton announced Thursday that she and husband Marc Mezvinsky are expecting the couple's first child, also a first grandchild for former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Mark and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year," Chelsea Clinton, who is 34, said at a New York event while sitting on a stage with her mother, according to The Associated Press.

Hillary Clinton said she's "really excited" about becoming a grandmother.

Chelsea is vice chairman of her family's foundation.

Got A Hobby? Might Be A Smart Professional Move

KPLU News - 5 hours 44 min ago
Maybe you paint, keep a journal or knit. Or maybe you play bass in a punk rock band.

Whatever hobby you have, keep at it. A little study published this week suggests that having a creative outlet outside the office might help people perform better at work.

Psychologists from San Francisco State University found that the more people engaged in their hobbies, the more likely they were to come up with creative solutions to problems on the job.

Consider The Can: An Unlikely Twist On A Louisiana Dish

KPLU News - 5 hours 45 min ago
If you're under 10 years old, the ingredients to an Easter meal are probably self-evident: chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and Peeps. If you're older, the usual suspects may (or may not) be less sweet, but they're likely no less traditional.

Poppy Tooker, host of New Orleans Public Radio's Louisiana Eats, is no stranger to dinner table traditions — even if her favorite was a year-round affair.

When Being Pregnant Also Means Being Out Of A Job

KPLU News - 5 hours 47 min ago
The workplace has become a more understanding place for pregnant women or new moms these days. Many companies now have lactation rooms and offer more liberal maternity and paternity leave policies than in years past.

But for some women, pregnancy can still be a career liability.

Heather Myers was fresh out of high school and working at a Wal-Mart in Salina, Kan., in 2006 when she found out she was pregnant. She kept a water bottle with her on the sales floor, as her doctor recommended.

Song Of The Day: Roy Hargrove's 'Strasbourg-St. Denis'

KPLU News - 5 hours 49 min ago

A "jazz standard" is defined as "a musical composition which is an important part of the musical repertoire of jazz musicians, in that they are widely known, performed, and recorded by jazz musicians, and widely known by listeners" (forgive me for quoting Wikipedia, but I think that's a pretty good description).

Esperanto Speakers To Gather On Whidbey Island, Celebrate Language's Arts Scene

KPLU News - 7 hours 18 min ago

In the 1800s, a Polish doctor wished there was an easy way for his polyglot neighbors — and everyone, really — to communicate. So, he invented a language: Esperanto. About 130 years later, it’s still around, including in the Pacific Northwest.

Jennifer Bondelid started learning the language when she was 11 years old. This week, she’s hosting workshops on Whidbey Island to promote theater and film in the language. Saturday night, she and 10 cast members will perform a play called “Connected” for those attending the 34th regional conference. I had to ask: Why?

BP Exec Who Led Cleanup Settles On Charges Of Insider Trading

KPLU News - 7 hours 26 min ago
A former BP executive who led the company's cleanup of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill has agreed to pay $224,000 in penalties and restitution in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly trading on inside information on the disaster.

SEC regulators say Keith A.

Scientists Spot A Planet That Looks Like 'Earth's Cousin'

KPLU News - 8 hours 9 sec ago
Scientists who have been hunting for another Earth beyond our solar system have come across a planet that's remarkably similar to our world.

It's almost the same size as Earth, and it orbits in its star's "Goldilocks zone" — where temperatures are not too hot, not too cold, and maybe just right for life.

But a lot about this planet is going to remain a mystery, because it's 500 light years away.

Researchers detected the planet while poring over data collected by NASA's Kepler Space Telescope.

How Long Would You Have To Work To Buy A Burger In Your City?

KPLU News - 8 hours 4 min ago
How long does the average person have to work to buy a burger in his or her neighborhood? The maps below answer that question for neighborhoods in six cities around the country.

We used average burger prices and average income by zip code to create the maps. The burger data comes from Food Genius and includes burger prices (fast food and restaurant) for major cities in the United States for the month of January this year. The income data comes from the Census and includes only people with full-time, year-round jobs.

'Bintel Brief' And 'Hellfighters': American Stories, Powerfully Illustrated

KPLU News - 8 hours 4 min ago
A Bintel Brief and The Harlem Hellfighters are two New York Stories. That's why I'm combining them in this review; not because — as some purists still think — they're lesser works of literature because they're graphic novels. If Egyptian hieroglyphics, the Bayeux Tapestry, and Art Spiegelman's 1991 classic, Maus, haven't yet convinced the high-art holdouts of the value of stories told in visual sequence, nothing I say now about these two books is likely to.

'Why Am I Dead?' He Never Asked. Here's The Answer He Never Heard

KPLU News - 8 hours 5 min ago
Shara Yurkiewicz is a med student. She's doing rounds now, moving from department to department. Much of what she sees, she's seeing for the first time. Not yet a doctor, there are moments, many moments when she has the eyes of a patient. She gets scared. She feels helpless. She's too involved.

Can The Peer Economy Deliver Profits?

KPLU News - 8 hours 5 min ago
Josh Gibbs normally wouldn't leave his apartment in Northeast Washington, D.C., pick up a loaded pizza from a restaurant in Chinatown, bike to a complete stranger's apartment, drop off the pizza and leave without any cash exchanging hands. But last week, he did just that. And truth be told, he kind of loved it.

"It's exciting. It's just fun," he says. "When the app goes off, when it beeps, I get this little adrenaline rush. I can make some money.