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Hunting For The Tastiest Egg: Duck, Goose, Chicken Or Quail?

KPLU News - 4 hours 37 min ago
The chicken clearly rules the roost of American egg production. Our hens laid 95.2 billion eggs in 2013, according to government figures.

Here's What Putin Didn't Tell Snowden About Russia's Spying

KPLU News - 5 hours 25 min ago
"Does Russia intercept, store or analyze in any way the communications of millions of individuals?" former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden asked Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

"We don't have a mass system of such interception, and according to our law it cannot exist," the Russian leader responded.

Well, as NPR's Tom Gjelten tweets<

Why Mumps And Measles Can Spread Even When We're Vaccinated

KPLU News - 5 hours 26 min ago
More than two months after a nasty mumps virus triggered fever, headache and painfully swollen glands among a handful of students at Ohio State University, the outbreak has ballooned to 234 cases at last count, and has spilled into the surrounding community in Columbus, Ohio.

"Columbus officials are calling it the city's biggest outbreak since the development of the mumps vaccine in the 1940s," WOSU reporter Steve Brown tells Shots.

Take A Break For Something Cute: Two Kittens Who Traveled Far

KPLU News - 5 hours 27 min ago
After so many stories this month about accidents and disasters, we needed something completely different and hopefully cute.

This would seem to fit the bill:

"Kittens accidentally packed in box, shipped from Los Angeles to San Diego." (San Diego's ABC10 News)

"Two kittens are recovering after they were found inside a box that was shipped from the Los Angeles area to a Cox Communi

How Do We Explain The Evolution Of Religion?

KPLU News - 5 hours 27 min ago
Religion is a cross-cultural universal, even though not every human being professes faith in God or some other supernatural being. Those of us who are atheist or agnostic make up 6 percent of the American population. A further 14 percent say they are not affiliated with any particular religion.

But religiosity is found in every human culture and biologists, anthropologists, and psychologists keenly debate how it arose. Just like language, technology and bipedalism, religion too evolved over time.

Pot Smoke And Mirrors: Vaporizer Pens Hide Marijuana Use

KPLU News - 5 hours 28 min ago
It's a sunny afternoon at Kelly's Collective, a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and Nikki Esquibel is getting stoned. But you wouldn't know it.

The 19-year-old, who has a medical prescription for marijuana, is "smoking" pot with a handheld vaporizer, or a vape pen. It's sleek, black, and virtually indistinguishable from a high-end e-cigarette.

That's the point, says Esquibel. "I use it mostly around my neighborhood. It's easy to hide." The vapor coming from the device doesn't even have an odor.

Discretion, it turns out, makes for good money.

Mass: The Rain Is Back; April Showers In The Forecast With Some Sun Breaks

KPLU News - 5 hours 34 min ago

If you’re planning any outdoor fun this weekend, Sunday’s your best bet, says KPLU weather expert Cliff Mass.

The famous Puget Sound convergence zone has been dumping rain in the greater Seattle area, with some places in the foothills of the cascades getting as much as 4 inches in the space of just six hours on Thursday afternoon. Mass, who teaches atmospheric sciences at the University of Washington, says there will be a break from that today, but not for too long.

After Rocky Start, Sounders Captain And Rapper Dempsey Finally Finds His Groove

KPLU News - 11 hours 14 min ago

Sounders captain Clint Dempsey has made headlines recently. He scored his first-ever hat trick two weeks ago against Portland. Dempsey has scored a total of five goals in the past two games, earning back-to-back Player of The Week awards from Major League Soccer.

KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel says things are finally coming together for Dempsey and the Sounders.

"Finally, it's happening. The investment is bearing fruit," Art said.

UW Researchers: Tiny-Brained Fruit Flies Are Top Gun Fliers

KPLU News - 11 hours 14 min ago

New research out of the University of Washington shows that an insect with a brain smaller than a salt grain can take complex evasive action in flight. The findings could have value for engineers.

Consider the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster. It’s — actually, wait. You really should click this soundtrack before you read any further.

Murray's Anti-Bullying Bill Targeting Colleges Limits Free Speech, Critics Say

KPLU News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 20:02

Washington state's senior U.S. senator is hoping to revive a push for federal anti-bullying laws aimed at preventing harassment of college students based on their race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. But critics say such laws would impede on the students' First Amendment rights.

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., visited the University of Washington campus Thursday to promote a bill she introduced in the Senate late last month. The measure would require any university receiving federal funds to adopt policies barring "severe, persistent or pervasive" harassment against its students.

"If ... you want to keep those federal funds, you will have an anti-bullying policy," Murray said during her visit.

Obama: Affordable Care Act Enrollment Hits 8 Million

KPLU News - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:57
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:53
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:36
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 16:25
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:45
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 15:44
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:21
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:19
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:19
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 - Thu, 04/17/2014 - 14:19
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.