Shots - Health Blog
2:25 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Remember Vioxx? Merck Settles Marketing Charges From Way Back

Vioxx may be gone, but it wasn't forgotten by the Justice Department.
Daniel Hulshizer AP

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 9:44 am

Drugmaker Merck took the painkiller Vioxx off the market in 2004, citing an increased risk of heart attacks among people taking the medicine.

Today, seven years later, the Justice Department said Merck had agreed to pay $950 million to settle charges the company went too far in marketing the drug.

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Planet Money
2:17 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

The National Debt: What The Left And Right Agree On

Supercommittee members, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 28, 2011 9:15 am

The congressional supercommittee announced Monday that it failed to come to an agreement on reducing the deficit. After three months of negotiating, the Democrats and Republicans just couldn't agree on how much spending to cut or how high to raise taxes.

But this is not a story about how the left and right disagree with each other. In fact, they actually largely agree.

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The Two-Way
1:44 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

'Darkhorse' Marine Remembered By His Uncle John

Lance Cpl. Jake Romo does physical therapy at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego, Calif. He lost both legs in an explosion in Sangin, Afghanistan, in February 2011, while serving with the 3/5 Marines.
David Gilkey NPR

When Talk of the Nation's Neal Conan asks for callers on a given topic, there's no telling what he'll get. Today, the show followed up with NPR's Tom Bowman on his series about the tremendous sacrifices of the "Darkhorse" Battalion — the Marines of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment. Lance Cpl. Jake Romo lost both his legs in Afghanistan with the battalion, and he spoke with Conan and Bowman about his tour.

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Around the Nation
1:21 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

'Going Postal' Blogger Memorializes Post Offices

Courtesy of Evan Kalish

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:14 am

The government is expected to shut down at least 3,000 post offices — and one hobbyist who visits post offices around the country has taken notice.

Evan Kalish collects hand-cancellation marks and blogs about it on Going Postal, where he posts photographs of each location.

Kalish, who's also a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in geospatial analytics, started his hobby right out of college — and he has run up an impressive tally of how many he's visited: 2,745.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Scientists Discover First Night-Flowering Orchid

Bulbophyllum nocturnum, the only known night-flowering orchid
Andre Schuiteman Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

When scientists brought the Bulbophyllum nocturnum back to the Netherlands, they were perplexed. They had found the plant on the island of New Britain, near Papua New Guinea. They knew the plant came from a rare group, but the orchid's blooms would die before opening up. At least that's what the scientists thought.

The orchid's uniqueness never became clear until one scientist brought it home with him. Here's how MSNBC tells the story:

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Job 1: Careers That Shaped The GOP Candidates
1:15 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

In Gingrich's Past, A Lesson On Ambition

Newt Gingrich is shown teaching a class at West Georgia College (now known as the University of West Georgia) in the 1970s. As a politician, he has long stressed his background as a scholar.
Courtesy of Gingrich Productions

Last in a series

Newt Gingrich was in his 20s when he was hired at West Georgia College as a history professor. He had just returned from Belgium, where he was doing research for his doctoral dissertation.

"He was very much a person of intellect," says Mel Steeley, who taught history at the college for four decades and helped bring Gingrich to the school in 1970. "He would wander across campus and didn't notice people. He'd have something in his mind, always be thinking about something. When he first came, you kind of wondered if he was a student or a professor."

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Around the Nation
1:11 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Parenting Advice For The 20-Something Years

Brian Griffith (left), shown here in 2009 at age 26, moved home with his parents, Jay and Jennifer Griffith, after losing his job. The tight job market, especially for college grads, has prompted many young adults to move back in with their parents.
Robert Lahser MCT /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 3:53 pm

From pregnancy on, parents often keep a stack of bedside reading full of advice on raising children — survival tips from the terrible toddler years through annoying adolescence. Los Angeles comedy writer Gail Parent figured she'd be done with all that once her kids turned the magical age of 21.

"Because I didn't tell my parents anything bad or negative," she says. "I let them be very peaceful about me when I was an adult. But I had told my kids to tell me everything when they were young."

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Obama Gets Heckled, Occupy-Style

A protester shouts during a speech by President Obama today in Manchester, N.H.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Here's what it sounds like when protesters use the Occupy Wall Street "human microphone" technique to heckle the commander in chief.

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Politics
12:47 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Postmaster: Postal Service In Dire Financial Straits

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said Monday that the Postal Service is in "a deep financial crisis" because it has a "business model that is tied to the past."
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 23, 2011 12:07 pm

U.S. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe appealed to Congress on Monday to help him reform the Postal Service.

"We're in a deep financial crisis today because we have a business model that is tied to the past. We are expected to operate like a business, but do not have the flexibility to do so," he said at the National Press Club.

Donahoe also rejected the postal reform bills that have passed committees of the Republican-controlled House and the Democratic Senate.

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

Too Sweet A Deal? British Cupcake-Maker Says She Was Burned By Groupon

Sites like LivingSocial and Groupon offer big discounts at a variety of retailers, like cupcake bakeries.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 12:31 pm

Sometimes, there is such a thing as too sweet a deal. A British cupcake-maker decided to offer a Groupon deal that she says wiped out any profits she had made all year. If you're not familiar, Groupon is an Internet coupon company in which businesses offer deals to lure new customers into their shops.

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