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The Salt
4:41 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Does Beaver Tush Flavor Your Strawberry Shortcake? We Go Myth Busting

So what's behind that strawberry flavoring?
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:15 pm

A few years ago, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver kicked up a foodie firestorm when he told the audience at the Late Show with David Letterman that vanilla ice cream contains flavoring from a beaver's ... um, derriere.

"Beaver anal gland — yes," Oliver shouted bluntly, as the crowd booed and hissed. "Oh, come on! You're telling me you don't like a little beaver? ... It's in cheap sorts of strawberry syrups and vanilla ice cream."

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All Tech Considered
4:31 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Backlash To Facebook Buying Virtual Reality Firm Comes Swiftly

Attendees wear Oculus Rift HD virtual reality headsets at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 11:08 am

When Facebook purchases a company, you can often hear a collective groan go around the Internet — "There goes the neighborhood."

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Shots - Health News
4:25 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

That Health Insurance Deadline Now Comes With Wiggle Room

Christine Moyer checks out options at a health insurance enrollment fair on March 18 in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:24 pm

We're just five days away from the March 31 deadline to sign up for individual health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. For weeks, administration officials, including the president, have insisted that there would be no extensions to the scheduled end of the six-month open enrollment period.

But now there's some wiggle room. Let's review, shall we?

Start with the key question: Is Monday still the deadline?

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Egypt's Defense Minister Says He Will Run For President

Egypt's defense minister, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi (center), attends a gala event at the Cairo Opera House earlier this month.
Ahmed Omar AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:57 pm

The head of the Egyptian military, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, says that he has resigned as defense minister and will run for president in elections expected in July.

He made the announcement in a nationally televised speech.

The Associated Press reports:

"Wearing military fatigues, he said it was the last time he would wear it and that "I give up the uniform to defend the nation" and run in elections expected next month.

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The Two-Way
3:58 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Labor Board Rules Northwestern University Players Are Employees

Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter speaks at a January press conference in Chicago.
David Banks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 6:08 pm

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Northwestern University athletes are employees of the school and are allowed to form a union.

The Associated Press calls the decision "stunning" because it has the potential to completely upend the way college athletics function. The AP adds:

"The Evanston, Ill-based university argued college athletes, as students, don't fit in the same category as factory workers, truck drivers and other unionized workers. The school plans to appeal to labor authorities in Washington, D.C.

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The Two-Way
3:01 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

New Dwarf Planet Found At The Solar System's Outer Limits

This diagram for the outer solar system shows the orbits of Sedna (in orange) and 2012 VP113 (in red). The sun and terrestrial planets are at the center, surrounded by the orbits (in purple) of the four giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The Kuiper belt, which includes Pluto, is shown by the dotted light blue region.
Scott S. Sheppard Carnegie Institution for Science

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 8:44 am

Scientists have spotted a new dwarf planet at the edge of our solar system. It's a kind of pink ice ball that's way out there, far beyond Pluto.

Astronomers used to think this region of space was a no man's land. But the new findings suggest that it holds many small worlds — and there are even hints of an unseen planet bigger than Earth.

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

'Sleep Donation': A Dark, Futuristic Lullaby For Insomniacs

efenzi iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 4:42 pm

Imagine an America that has been plagued for years by a mysterious epidemic of insomnia — an affliction so serious that many are dying from lack of sleep. That's the futuristic premise of Karen Russell's new novella, Sleep Donation.

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Book Reviews
2:50 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

'Redeployment' Explores Iraq War's Physical And Psychic Costs

Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:13 pm

Here's an old joke you may have heard: "How many Vietnam vets does it take to screw in a light bulb?" Answer: "You wouldn't know, you weren't there."

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Parallels
2:35 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

The Sometimes Tricky Relations Between Popes And Presidents

President Obama and Michelle Obama meet Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009. The president will meet Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:24 pm

President Obama meets Pope Francis at the Vatican on Thursday, the 30th anniversary of formal relations between Washington and the Holy See, and against a backdrop of a sometimes turbulent history in U.S.-Vatican ties.

The first high-level bilateral contact was in 1788, as the Vatican foreign minister recalled recently. Speaking in a large renaissance hall, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti said President George Washington, through his envoy Benjamin Franklin, informed the Vatican that it did not need to seek authorization from the U.S. for the appointment of bishops.

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Shots - Health News
2:32 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

A 'Silent Killer' Returns: Live Chat With Filmmaker On Fighting TB

Nokubheka, 12, had to move away from her family and into a hospital for treatment against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Screenshot from PBS/YouTube

The world has a new epidemic on its hand: drug-resistant tuberculosis.

We're not talking about the kind of TB that doctors can cure with a few weeks of standard antibiotics.

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The Two-Way
2:30 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Map Warns Of Patches Susceptible To Landslides

A flag, put up by volunteers helping search the area, stands in the ruins of a home left at the end of a deadly mudslide from the now-barren hillside in Oso, Wash., on Tuesday.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 3:42 pm

Searchers in Washington are using bulldozers and bare hands to work their way through debris at the scene of Saturday's mudslide near the tiny community of Oso. At least 24 people are believed to have died.

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Shots - Health News
2:20 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Therapists' Apps Aim To Help With Mental Health Issues

The ReliefLink app is a mood-tracking tool intended to help people who are contemplating suicide.
Courtesy of Emory University

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 2:53 pm

Games like Flappy Bird and Candy Crush have helped many of us de-stress during long waits at the doctor's office and crowded Metro rides. But what if an app could actually help with mental health?

Researchers from Hunter College and the City University of New York say they've developed an app that can reduce anxiety.

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The Two-Way
1:08 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Photo: Pothole Tries To Eat Pothole Repair Truck

Ka-thunk. This pothole repair crew in East Lansing, Mich., met its match.
Robert Boomer Facebook.com/bikerboomer

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 5:01 pm

There's just something oddly appropriate about this photo from East Lansing, Mich., after a winter that's been so hard for so many people across the nation.

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Shots - Health News
12:27 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

Fewer People Are Getting Infections In Hospitals, But Many Still Die

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 8:24 pm

Hospital-acquired infections continue to be a big problem in health care, with 4 percent of patients getting a new infection while hospitalized, a study finds. And 11 percent of those infections turn deadly.

It's the first time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has attempted to catalog all hospital infections, not just the infections with germs on their watch list. Researchers surveyed 183 hospitals nationwide, emphasizing smaller community hospitals.

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Shots - Health News
11:58 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Bogus Pills Found In Bottles Of Weight-Loss Drug In 7 States

The package for the weight-loss drug alli should look like this.
Courtesy of GlaxoSmithKline

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 12:57 pm

The pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline warned consumers that some lots of alli, its over-the-counter weight loss drug, appear to have been tampered with after people reported finding the wrong pills in bottles.

The bogus pills were found in bottles bought in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina and Texas, GlaxoSmithKline reported on Wednesday.

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