It's All Politics
10:30 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Heckler Gives Obama Chance To Affirm His Christian Faith

There are a few things to say about about the incident in which President Obama was heckled by an apparent militant Christian at Monday night's campaign fundraiser at Los Angeles' House of Blues in Los Angeles. (My colleague Mark Memmott reports on the incident over at The Two-Way blog.)

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The Salt
10:28 am
Tue September 27, 2011

How A Small Red Fruit Performs Taste Miracles For 'Flavor Trippers'

The miracle fruit from West Africa has a chemical that binds to and boosts sweet taste receptors in the presence of acidic foods.
Courtesy of Keiko Abe

A tiny crimson berry from West Africa discovered by Westerners almost three centuries ago can turn lemons into lemonade and vinegar into apple cider, at least as far as the tongue is concerned.

The chemical miraculin in "miracle fruit," as the berry is known, makes sour things eaten immediately afterward taste sweet, and sweet things taste super sweet. And it's inspired a small counterculture of "flavor trippers" who get together to swirl it (or a tablet containing it) around on their tongues and then sample a parade of foods to showcase its mind-bending qualities.

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Author Interviews
10:12 am
Tue September 27, 2011

The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down The Internet

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 7:47 am

For the past three years, a highly encrypted computer worm called Conficker has been spreading rapidly around the world. As many as 12 million computers have been infected with the self-updating worm, a type of malware that can get inside computers and operate without their permission.

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The Two-Way
9:53 am
Tue September 27, 2011

A Moment Of Cute: A Photo Of Sleeping Baby Pandas

This photo taken on Sept. 26 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 12:11 pm

Unbearable cuteness is news, right? In any case, we'll get back to the serious news in a bit. But, first, a picture of 12 baby giant pandas taking a nap at a breeding center in Chengdu:

There is a bit of news to go along with this picture. As the AP reports today, China has finished its census of humans and has now started its once-a-decade counting of pandas in the wild. The AP adds:

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Shanghai Subway Crash Renews Questions About Safety In China

Rescue workers evacuated passengers after a subway train crashed into another train between stations Tuesday in Shanghai.
AFP/Getty Images

There's been another train crash in China — this time a collision of subway trains in Shanghai earlier today. The accident injured more than 200 people.

It's yet another blow to China's image.

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It's All Politics
8:44 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Despite Senate Spending Deal, Nation Stuck In Stormy Political Pattern

Many Americans view Congress as a disaster, albeit one whose shifting tectonic plates are caused by humans not geology.

So it was probably fitting that FEMA, whose mission is partly to mitigate calamities stepped in to do just that Monday and rescue the nation's lawmakers from the dire circumstances the policymakers had created.

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The Two-Way
8:20 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Rappelling Work Begins At Washington Monument

At 555 feet above Washington, the work begins.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:03 pm

There's live video now from CNN and Washington's NBC-4 as work begins to have engineers rappel down the sides of the Washington Monument to inspect for damage from the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook much of the eastern U.S.

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The Salt
8:09 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Caffeinated Women May Be Fighting Depression With Every Cup

See that sparkle? It could be the caffeine
iStockphoto.com

For many of us, coffee is the first thought of the day. Just thinking about it gives us the buzz, the energy and the power to ask ourselves the next question, do I make it at home or shell out another $4 at the local Starbucks as I race to work?

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Shots - Health Blog
8:06 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Washington State Raises Bar For Parents To Skip Kids' Vaccinations

Saying no to vaccines is getting harder in Washington state.
iStockphoto.com

The vast majority of parents get their kids vaccinated, but a persistent minority decline to do so.

Their reasons vary: Some continue to worry about a link with autism even though research supporting a connection has been completely discredited. Others are concerned about side effects, or they say they don't believe that the diseases the vaccines prevent are really all that serious.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Texas Turns Down Cook's Offer Of Free 'Last Meals'

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Last week the state of Texas said it would no longer let condemned prisoners order practically anything they want for their last meals before execution.

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