All Things Considered for January 1, 2014
Jan 1, 2014 — New rules from the Affordable Care Act go into effect Wednesday, and coverage starts for millions of Americans who signed up for health insurance on state and federal exchanges.
Jan 1, 2014 — Wednesday marks the first day for millions of Americans to be covered by health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. But a lingering controversy over one of the law's required benefits, contraceptive coverage, is still playing out in the courts.
Jan 1, 2014 — Mississippi is still lagging in numbers of people who are signing up for health insurance, despite insurers trying to get people enrolled, and many people getting good prices for insurance coverage.
Dec 31, 2013 — The Food and Drug Administration is considering restricting or even possibly banning menthol cigarettes. Public health advocates are pushing for this, saying menthol makes cigarettes more addictive and makes it easier for young people to start smoking. But opponents argue there's no evidence that menthol is bad and even some evidence it may be less risky. They also worry about creating a dangerous black market for menthol cigarettes, especially in African American communities, where menthol is most popular.
Jan 1, 2014 — Some metal alloys will "remember" a shape when you heat them to the same temperature they were originally shaped at. So a straight wire made from one of these "shape memory alloys" might change back into a spring when heated, or vice versa. But the alloys that exist today change shape at low temperatures. Materials scientists at Sandia National Laboratory have developed new alloys that don't change shape until they reach hundreds of degrees, opening the door to thousands of new applications.
Jan 1, 2014 — Archeologists who study the people who lived in the Arctic thousands of years ago are in a race against time. Coastal settlements are being washed away by erosion, storm surges and other climate changes related to global warming. Clues to the past that were frozen intact in permafrost for thousands of years are melting and being destroyed by the elements. Archeologists are looking to climate scientists to predict where the erosion will be the fastest so they can pinpoint their research on the places that will disappear the soonest. Until now the predictions have largely been too coarse to provide much guidance. But the National Park Service is trying to change this. It's funding research that supposed to forecast the threats that more than 100 coastal national parks face from sea level rise and storm surges due to climate change.
Jan 1, 2014 — Brazil is the world's third largest market for Facebook and the fifth largest for Twitter, and it has quickly become the largest market for Lulu, the controversial man-rating app for women. That has highlighted the country's race to pass legislation to keep up with a quickly changing society.
Jan 1, 2014 — The Barclays Center in Brooklyn is home to the Brooklyn Nets. It's also home to some of the most advanced technology ever to come to a stadium or arena. Many older sports venues have struggled to keep pace with the latest developments in digital devices and social media. But that's hardly the case at Barclays. The venue even has its own app.
Jan 1, 2014 — The city of Wilmington, Del., is not large, about 71,000 residents. But its escalating gun violence problem compares to that of many larger cities. The effects on the community, in particular its youngest residents has city officials calling it a pandemic and they are seeking federal help.
Jan 1, 2014 — The troubled Broadway musical Spiderman: Turn Out the Dark closes this week. Audie Cornish talks to playwright Glen Berger about his book The Song of Spiderman about the production's rocky road.