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5:05 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

In Nod To History, A Crumbling Philly Row House Gets A Funeral

Historian Patrick Grossi stops in front of 3711 Melon St. during a walking tour through Mantua. On Saturday, this house will be torn down — and will receive an elaborate memorial service.
Emma Lee WHYY

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

This weekend, an old, dilapidated row house will be torn down in Philadelphia. That's not unusual — it happens all the time in Philly's blighted neighborhoods.

But this house is getting an elaborate memorial service, complete with a eulogy, a church choir and a community procession. It's called "Funeral for a Home," and local artists and historians are using the event as a way to honor the changing history of the neighborhood.

An Old, Ugly Building, Ready To Fall

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News
5:04 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Retired Army Gen. On Shinseki: 'I Don't Look Up To Any Man More'

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

For more on Gen. Eric Shinseki's decision to step down, Robert Siegel turns to Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the former Vice-Chief of Staff for the U.S. Army.

News
5:04 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Shinseki's Apology Punctuates A Long Career Of Service

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki apologized for lengthy waits at VA facilities, saying he's ousting the leaders of a VA hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., after stories about delays in care there. Shinseki's decision to resign marks a muddy end to an illustrious career, which began when he joined the Army nearly five decades ago.

News
5:04 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Spelling Co-Champs Beat The Bee, Leaving Judges Without Words

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Melissa, can I have a word for a moment?

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Absolutely. How about, thymelici?

SIEGEL: Oh, the dancing chorus in ancient Greek plays?

BLOCK: Yeah.

SIEGEL: No, I was thinking more of, encaenia.

BLOCK: Encaenia. The academic ceremony for conferring honorary degrees?

SIEGEL: Well, of course. Those two everyday words figured in the Scripps National Spelling Bee that ended in a rare tie yesterday.

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Humans
5:04 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

What's In A Grunt — Or A Sigh, Or A Sob? Depends On Where You Hear It

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

From NPR news this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Hear a laugh, you know someone's happy. Hear a sob, you know someone is sad. Or are they? It's been thought that no matter where you live in the world, people express emotions using the same repertoire of sounds. But NPR's social science correspondent, Shankar Vedantam, reports on new research on how emotions are expressed and understood around the globe.

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The Two-Way
4:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

House Vote Aims To Derail DOJ Processing Of Clemency Petitions

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:41 pm

The House of Representatives has voted to prohibit the Justice Department from hiring more attorneys to deal with thousands of backlogged clemency petitions in a bid to block one of the Obama administration's top criminal justice priorities.

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Code Switch
4:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Ralph Ellison: No Longer The 'Invisible Man' 100 Years After His Birth

Ralph Ellison in 1957, four years after his novel Invisible Man won the National Book Award. Ellison died in 1994.
James Whitmore The Life Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:07 pm

A monument outside 730 Riverside Drive in Harlem, N.Y. — writer Ralph Ellison's longtime home — commemorates his life and his work. The marker, and many biographical sources, list his birth date as being 1914. But in fact, he was born a year earlier.

Still, events in Oklahoma City — his birthplace — and New York City, where he spent most of his life, are celebrating the centennial of his birth this year.

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The Two-Way
4:38 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

SpaceX Unveils A Sleek New Ride To Orbit

SpaceX's new crew capsule was unveiled yesterday.
SpaceX

Yesterday, entrepreneur Elon Musk sauntered on to stage and unveiled his latest product: not a smart phone, but a spaceship.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst

Fred and Wayne Schmedt say the drought has withered their wheat plants down from an average height of 24 to 30 inches to just 6 to 8 inches.
Joe Wertz StateImpact Oaklahoma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 7:27 pm

Rainfall totals in southwest Oklahoma are more than 3 inches below normal. And that means that the wheat crop grown in brothers Fred and Wayne Schmedt's farm is several inches shorter than normal as well.

Laughter is key to surviving as a farmer here. Fred Schmedt looks out on his field, then down at his legs and laughs at how short the wheat stalks are.

"What would you call that, high-shoe-top high?" he says. "In a normal year — a really good year — it'd be thigh-high. So we're looking at plants that are 6 to 8 inches tall versus 24 to 30 inches tall."

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The Two-Way
3:47 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

U.S. Confirms American Carried Out Suicide Bombing In Syria

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 9:15 pm

The State Department on Friday confirmed that a U.S. citizen, who they believe to be Moner Mohammad Abu-Salha, took part in a suicide truck bombing in Syria earlier this week.

Reports that a Syrian rebel calling himself Abu Hurayra al-Amriki (Abu Hurayra the American), a name allegedly adopted by Abu-Salha, carried out the May 25 attack on a Syrian government complex in western Idlib province have been circulating on social media for several days.

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The Two-Way
3:14 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Thailand's Military Ruler Says No Elections For At Least A Year

An anti-coup demonstrator in Bangkok, earlier this week. The country's new military leader says those opposed to the putsch lack an understanding of democracy.
Sakchai Lalit AP

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 6:02 pm

The leader of Thailand's military junta said it could take a year or more before new elections in the country, as he repeated warnings to protesters opposing last week's coup, saying they lack a "true understanding of democracy."

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Fresh Air Weekend
3:08 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Fresh Air Weekend: Chris O'Dowd, The Nazi War On Modern Art And Cannes

Max Beckmann's biblical and political triptych Departure (right) hangs on the same wall as Adolf Ziegler's Four Elements triptych, which Hitler owned. Both pieces are part of the Neue Galerie's "Degenerate Art" exhibit.
Courtesy of Hulya Kolabas for Neue Galerie New York

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 2:26 pm

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Technology
3:07 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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The Salt
2:42 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

How A Food Stylist Made Squirrel And Earthworm Look Appetizing

Left, gray squirrel. Right, crostini with squirrel meat, white mulberry, goat cheese, hazelnut and purslane.
Christopher Testani

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:44 am

Communities around the world are increasingly overrun by invasive critters. Gray squirrels, which are native to North America, are an ecological nuisance in England. And nutria — or swamp rats, colloquially — from South America are destroying wetlands in the Gulf Coast states.

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Barbershop
2:16 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

When Women Talk, Should Men Shut Up And Listen?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now it's time for our weekly visit to the Barbershop where the guys talk about what's in the news and what's on their minds.

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