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Education
2:29 am
Tue February 18, 2014

College Applicants Sweat The SATs. Perhaps They Shouldn't

Standardized tests are an important consideration for admissions at many colleges and universities. But one new study shows that high school performance, not standardized test scores, is a better predictor of how students do in college.
Amriphoto iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:26 pm

With spring fast approaching, many American high school seniors are now waiting anxiously to hear whether they got into the college or university of their choice. For many students, their scores on the SAT or the ACT will play a big role in where they get in.

That's because those standardized tests remain a central part in determining which students get accepted at many schools. But a first-of-its-kind study obtained by NPR raises questions about whether those tests are becoming obsolete.

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Sports
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Longtime Pair Take Home First American Ice Dancing Gold

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

Ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White won the gold medal Monday night in ice dancing. They earned a silver medal in the last Winter Games in Vancouver, and they entered competition favored to win in Sochi.

Sports
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Bronze In Bobsled For A Team Of Steves

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

At the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Team USA has been struggling to win gold. There were some hope today. Two pairs of American athletes went into their events as the best in the world. And we're going to hear now how they did, starting with two-men bobsled. America driver Steve Holcomb and his brakeman Steve Langton sounded like this on the bobsled course.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

CORNISH: The Steves were going 82.7 miles per hour. The Russian sled, piloted by Alexander Zubkov, sounded like this...

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOUTING)

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Business
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Demographic Shifts Contribute To The Changing Face Of Retail

Retailers, including Wal-Mart, are trying to adapt their models to suit urban areas, including this mixed-use retail and residential development in Washington, D.C.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

So far this year, retail chains have announced some heavy cuts. J.C. Penney said it would close 33 stores. Macy's said it would lay off 2,500 workers. Sears will close its flagship Chicago store in April.

That's creating a glut of excess space. But that's just one of several forces changing the face of retail.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Hurting For Cash, Online Porn Tries New Tricks

Porn has a distinct problem that less racy media companies don't have: Users are afraid of leaving a digital record. Paid sites are trying to lure viewers out of the shadows and into credit card payments.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

I hit the streets of San Francisco to ask strangers their favorite search terms for online pornography. It was not hard to get answers, even on the record.

"Teacher porn, student-teacher fantasy," Jason Ravel says at a coffee shop. "That's who I was around most often in grade school. I was a really good student."

Chanelle Dorton, who's passing by a train station, is into ebony lesbian sex. "I don't like straight porn," she says.

Cab driver Neel Bell likes "heterosexual porn that doesn't involve porn stars. It lets you think that it's a real-life situation more."

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Parallels
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Olympics Set To Transform Rio — But For Better Or Worse?

Local authorities celebrate a demolition explosion that's part of Rio's Porto Maravilha urbanization project, in Rio de Janeiro, on Nov. 24, 2013. The state- and federal-supported project is part of the city's redevelopment ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
Pilar Olivares Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 7:36 pm

Rio de Janeiro is set to host the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and there are two starkly different visions of what that will mean for the "marvelous city," as it is known.

"I would love to be born in Rio in 2020. The babies that are born here in 2020 will be born in a marvelous city ... because of the games," says Leonardo Gryner, the chief operating officer of Rio's Olympic Organizing Committee.

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Parallels
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

A Heinrich Himmler Documentary, In His Own Words

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Gudrun. Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, has made a documentary called The Decent One, based on Himmler's letters to his wife and other personal documents.
Realworks

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

The film's protagonist is Heinrich Himmler, the merciless Nazi leader and a key architect of the Final Solution. The film's director is Vanessa Lapa, the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Her family recently came into possession of long-lost private letters, diaries and photographs belonging to Himmler.

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Around the Nation
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Digging Graves The Old-Fashioned Way: 'This Ain't No Easy Job'

Everard Hall estimates he's dug about 2,500 graves over nearly 50 years. Some have been special: "I buried my mother, my father, my grandfather, and two aunts and two uncles. And I buried my sister Marilyn."
Jennifer Mitchell Maine Public Broadcasting Network

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 7:54 am

It's windy. It's winter. There's a funeral in three days, and the churchyard in rural Addison, Maine, is frozen solid. Everard Hall is hard at work, digging graves.

"No, this ain't no easy job, tell ya. You've got to have a lot of determination, a lot of willpower. And you can't be lazy," he says.

In his nearly 70 years, no one has ever accused him of that.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah.
Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:19 am

If you can barely swing a hammer, you can still build your own home.

Builders at the Maker Faire in New York City proved this point last fall, with something akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising.

The event celebrates the do-it-yourself aesthetic, particularly when it comes to digital fabrication and open-source construction plans. Using wooden mallets cut from plywood, a crew of eight banged together the slotted frame of a WikiHouse without a single nail.

The result: a livable home.

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Music Reviews
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Album Review: 'Always With Us,' By Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 10:05 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, BYLINE: The South African all-male group Ladysmith Black Mambazo became world-famous after collaborating with Paul Simon on the Grammy-winning 1986 album "Graceland." Since their beginning in the '60s, the group has recorded more than 50 albums and won multiple awards. Their new release is a remembrance for one of their own, the late wife of the group's bandleader. It's called "Always With Us." Banning Eyre has this review.

(SOUNDBITE OF SINGING)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing in foreign language)

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