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Energy
12:28 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Drilling For Facts Under The 'Promised Land' Fiction

Matt Damon's character in the movie Promised Land comes to town to convince a landowner to allow a gas company to drill on his property.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:41 am

There is plenty in the movie Promised Land that will prompt energy industry insiders to roll their eyes. But the overall issues explored in the film, which is being widely released in theaters Friday, are very real.

A process called hydraulic fracturing has led to drilling booms that are transforming rural communities into industrial zones. Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," makes it possible to tap into natural gas reservoirs deep underground. But first, gas companies have to convince landowners to allow them to drill.

The Natural Gas Pitch

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StoryCorps
12:27 am
Fri January 4, 2013

A Single Mom's Toughness Pays Off

Reginald Mason, 47, says he owes his successes to his mother, who kept him disciplined during a financially tough upbringing.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 5:46 am

Reginald Mason was 11 when his father died, so his mother raised him in Harlem by herself.

"She made me and shaped me as a man," Mason, now 47, told StoryCorps, "which, to me, was very difficult for a woman to do without a father being around."

She did a good job, Mason said — despite her toughness.

"The first time my mother told me that she actually loved me, I was 32," he said.

Mason recalls watching his mother struggle financially.

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The Two-Way
3:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Kansas Presses Sperm Donor To Pay Child Support

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:36 pm

A Kansas man's decision to donate sperm to help a lesbian couple conceive a child in 2009 has landed him in a complicated legal case, as a state agency is now pursuing him for child support payments. William Marotta, 46, is asking a judge to dismiss the case, which has grabbed national attention.

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Shots - Health News
3:08 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

You Can't See It, But You'll Be A Different Person In 10 Years

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 8:06 am

No matter how old people are, they seem to believe that who they are today is essentially who they'll be tomorrow.

That's according to fresh research that suggests that people generally fail to appreciate how much their personality and values will change in the years ahead — even though they recognize that they have changed in the past.

Daniel Gilbert, a psychology researcher at Harvard University who did this study with two colleagues, says that he's no exception to this rule.

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Energy
2:31 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Wind Industry Secures Tax Credit, But Damage May Be Done

Wind turbines dwarf a church near Wilson, Kan. Although Congress voted to extend a wind energy tax credit, the temporary uncertainty dealt a blow to the industry.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:10 pm

The wind energy industry is dependent on something even more unpredictable than wind: Congress. Hidden in the turmoil over the "fiscal cliff" compromise was a tax credit for wind energy.

Uncertainty over the credit had lingered long before the last-minute political push, causing the industry to put off further long-term planning. So while the now-approved tax credit revives prospects for an industry facing tens of thousands of layoffs, don't expect to see many new turbines coming up soon.

Growing Uncertainty

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Movies
1:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

E-Vote Hiccups Delay Oscar Balloting

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers prepare ballots for last year's Oscars mailing. Glitches in a new online voting system have prompted organizers to push back this year's balloting deadline.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:10 pm

Voting for this year's Oscar nominations was supposed to have closed today — but it's been bumped a day, in the wake of complaints about the new online voting system put in place by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hollywood Reporter analyst Scott Feinberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the system was supposed to make life easier for academy members.

"Going to e-voting would allow voters to vote from anywhere in the world, if they're on vacation or whatever during the holidays, and just make the process itself more streamlined and efficient."

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Shots - Health News
1:32 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Utah And 6 Other States Get Feds' OK To Run Insurance Exchanges

Utah got the go-ahead to run its own insurance exchange, but the federal blessing may not last.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 1:39 pm

In a surprise, the Obama administration said Thursday that it has given Utah a conditional OK to run its own health insurance marketplace.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, has resisted making major changes to the state's existing marketplace, which was built before passage of the federal health law and is geared to small business.

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The Two-Way
1:15 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

DNA Links Bloody Handkerchief To French King's Execution

Scientists have established the authenticity of a cloth dipped in the blood of France's King Louis XVI. A memorial depicts the executed king and Queen Marie-Antoinette at Saint-Denis, near Paris.
Joel Saget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:28 pm

In France, a team of scientists says that a piece of cloth that was reputedly dipped in the blood of Louis XVI is genuine. Louis XVI was executed 220 years ago this month, during the French Revolution.

The handkerchief had been stored for years in an ornately decorated gourd, as Tia Ghose writes at Live Science.

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U.S.
12:55 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Hit-And-Run Deaths Increase, But Culprits Hard To Capture

Officers Carol Mitchell and John Hill investigate the death of a disabled teen who was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver in Los Angeles.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:10 pm

Pedestrian and cyclist fatalities are increasing nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and Los Angeles and New York City have the highest rates of those deaths.

In Los Angeles, where the car is the major mode of transportation, hit and runs involving pedestrians occur almost daily. But these crimes can be the most difficult for law enforcement to investigate and solve.

People Don't Want To Get Involved

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U.S.
12:49 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

For Many Kids, Winter Break Means Hungry Holidays

Tamara Burney's kindergartners eat lunch in the Hillview Elementary cafeteria in Jefferson County, Ala.
Dan Carsen WBHM

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 3:10 pm

Holidays are typically a festive time, with breaks from the routine, meals with loved ones, maybe even some gifts. But for many families across the U.S., the season comes with intense stress: Roughly 1 in 5 families with children are not getting enough food.

For some, free or reduced-price school meals have become a major source of basic nutrition. When schools close for the holidays, many of those families struggle to fill the gap.

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