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August 22, 2014 | NPR · The standoff between the U.S. and Russia over Ukraine has raised the specter of a new Cold War. David Greene talks to Julie Ioffe, of the New Republic, about what Russia's next move may be in Ukraine.
 
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August 22, 2014 | NPR · Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying. Why? Hollywood has a lot to do with it. But Ebola outbreaks also have all the ingredients for what one psychologist calls the "dread factor."
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · Census Bureau data show a wider gap between rich and poor. Kelly McEvers explores this with economist Enrico Moretti of the University of California-Berkeley, author of The New Geography of Jobs.
 

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August 22, 2014 | NPR · It's been another rough August for President Obama. He's wrapping up a summer vacation marred by events in Ferguson, Mo., and the murder of an American journalist in the Middle East.
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · Regular political commentators, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post and Reihan Salam of The National Review, discuss the killing of American journalist James Foley and the ongoing conflict in Ferguson, Mo.
 
August 22, 2014 | NPR · The scent of fresh pencils is in the air, and homework assignments are around the corner. In honor of back-to-school season, author Alexander Aciman recommends The Lost Estate by Henri Alain-Fournier.
 

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August 23, 2014 | NPR · Nearly 1,500 people have died in the Ebola outbreak, and more nations in the region are closing their borders. NPR's Scott Simon speaks to Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist-Arcton about the epidemic.
 

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August 17, 2014 | NPR · American fighter jets and drones carried out airstrikes against Islamist targets near the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq on Saturday. A breach of the dam could threaten entire cities.
 

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The Violinist's Thumb

Oct 22, 2012 — By some counts of human history, the number of humans on Earth may have skidded so sharply that we were down to just 1,000 reproductive adults. And a supervolcano might have been to blame.
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Sep 28, 2012 — When William Buckland was a kid, an undergraduate at Oxford in the late 1790s, he pulled a prank that was so rude, so smart, and so biologically sophisticated for his day, he deserves a crown for The Best Use of Grass Ever.
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Jul 23, 2012 — In The Violinist's Thumb, writer Sam Kean goes inside our genetic code, looking at the stories written by the fundamental building blocks within us. The book explains things like why some people can't handle drinking coffee and why some human babies are born with tails.
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Jul 18, 2012 — Tsutomu Yamaguchi was late for work in August 1945, in Hiroshima, Japan, when he saw an airplane drop a silvery speck into the air. He survived the bombing only to make his way to Nagasaki three days later...just as that city was bombed, too.
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Jul 17, 2012 — Sam Kean's The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code delves into the history of genetics, in the anecdotal and engaging mode of his previous exploration of the periodic table, The Disappearing Spoon.
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May 24, 2012 — Critic Michael Schaub offers a sneak peek at some of the most hotly anticipated books of the summer: An Obama bio. A sparkling debut. Thrillers of both the fictional and body-science kind. Even Lincoln is reborn in this season of sun, sand, renewal — and reading.
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