Brain Candy
1:09 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

At Year's End, Reflecting On Cycles In Modern Life

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Today, we mark the winter solstice, in three days, one of the major holidays of the religious calendar, followed by an entirely arbitrary start of the New Year. All of us observe cycles, patterns that regulate our lives from season to season, or Olympiad to Olympiad, or the return of the 17-year cicadas. Some, like the solstice, are dictated by celestial mechanics. Others - well, we've simply invented: spring cleaning, for example, or spring training. What's the cycle you live your life by?

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Because Of Somali Pirates, Ocean Racers Are In A 'Stealth Zone'

The Groupama Sailing Team (shown here on Dec. 10 near Cape Town, South Africa) is somewhere out ahead in the "stealth zone."
Volvo Ocean Race Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 1:08 pm

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The Two-Way
1:05 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

North Korea: 'Peculiar Natural Wonders' Reported In Tribute To 'Dear Leader'

This handout picture taken by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on December 21 shows members of the Korean People's Army crying for late North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang.
KNS AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 1:10 pm

As we've reported before, North Korea's state news agency is fond of assigning supernatural occurrences to their Dear Leader. Over the past two days, the news agency has published an array of stories about Kim Jong Il's death. But late yesterday and today, they are revealing that "peculiar natural wonders" occurred just as Kim died.

Here's the news via the Korean News Service in Japan:

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Holiday Music
12:42 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Some Christmas Tunes From Rebecca Kilgore And Pals

Originally published on Fri December 23, 2011 10:24 am

This interview was originally broadcast on December 19, 2005.

In time for the holidays, Fresh Air presents an in-studio concert. Singer Rebecca Kilgore, trombonist Dan Barrett and pianist Rossano Sportiello played at the NOLA studios in Manhattan.

Kilgore is one of the leading interpreters of American songs. She became known for her work with pianist and composer Dave Frishberg.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:35 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Journal Retracts Key Study Linking Virus To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

TK
TK

The controversial scientific saga over an obscure virus that some researchers proposed as the cause of chronic fatigue syndrome appears a step closer to ending.

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The Two-Way
12:10 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Obama Puts More Pressure On House GOP Over Payroll Tax Cut

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 12:21 pm

The political maneuvering continues in Washington as lawmakers debate how to extend about-to-expire payroll tax cuts and jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

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The Two-Way
12:09 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Fitch: U.S. Needs To Get Its Financials In Order, Or Face Downgrade

The credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has issued another warning to Washington. If it doesn't come up with a plan to reduce the nation's budget deficit, Fitch might yank its AAA rating by the end of next year.

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It's All Politics
12:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Tweeting All The Way, Buddy Roemer Continues His Quixotic White House Bid

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer files candidacy papers to run in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Concord, N.H. in October.
Jim Cole AP

You may not have heard of Buddy Roemer. But he's running for president. And despite an impressive resume and gift for turning a phrase, Roemer barely registers in the polls. He's conducting his quixotic run for office without accepting campaign contributions that exceed $100.

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Movies
12:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

'You'll Shoot Your Eye Out!': Remembering A Classic

The lamp featured in A Christmas Story still stands in the Cleveland home used in the shooting of classic holiday movie.
Amy Sancetta AP

The holiday season means family, food, friends — and a slew of holiday films. The 1983 comedy A Christmas Story has become one of the cult favorites of the season, in heavy rotation on television screens across America each year.

The quirky film follows a boy named Ralphie and his misadventures with his parents, friends and neighborhood bullies — all while he pines for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

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Asia
12:00 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Team Ignites Debate Over China's Nuclear Tunnels

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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