Education
2:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Jazz In The Cafeteria: Kids Learn To Listen While They Chomp

Saxophonist Harold Rapp plays during lunchtime at Alice Terry Elementary School in Sheridan, Colo.
Jenny Brundin for NPR

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 4:44 pm

School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower.

Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise.

When the music teacher told students here they'd occasionally have a "silent" lunch break, this was kindergartner Alyssa Norquette's reaction: "Why do we need a silent lunch? Is it because we're too loud or something?"

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Education
2:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

'Core' Curriculum Puts Education Experts At Odds

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 4:16 pm

At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.

The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.

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Shots - Health News
2:57 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Scientists Race To Stay Ahead Of New Bird Flu Virus

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 7:01 am

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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Music Interviews
4:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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Movies
3:43 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Jurassic Bark: How Sound Design Changed Our Imaginations

A single trumpet from a baby elephant at the San Francisco Zoo was used for every single T. Rex roar in Jurassic Park.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 6:15 pm

Nobody actually knows what dinosaurs sound like. But if you can imagine the roar of a T. Rex or the bellow of a brachiosaurus, it's probably thanks to the 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, which turns 20 this summer.

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All Tech Considered
3:11 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

When Digital Dust Is Gathered, Constellation May Be Muddled

The Orion nebula is the brightest spot in the sword of the Orion, or the Hunter constellation.
NASA

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:09 pm

That constellation of information known as Big Data can be a sight to behold.

Adam Frank of NPR's 13.7 blog explains Big Data as "the ability to understand (and control) a seemingly chaotic world on levels never before imagined."

Big Data is like gathering digital dust, says New Yorker tech blogger Gary Marcus. "It's a very valuable tool," he says, "but it's rarely the whole solution by itself."

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

'First American Ballet Star' Soared To Fame With 'Firebird'

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:09 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

The dancer who brought "Firebird" and "The Nutcracker" to life at the New York City Ballet died this week. Maria Tallchief was one of America's great prima ballerinas. NPR's Joel Rose has this remembrance.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: Maria Tallchief soared to fame in 1949 when she danced the lead role in Stravinsky's "Firebird" in a production choreographed by George Balanchine.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED INTERVIEW)

MARIA TALLCHIEF: He was a poet. And he taught us how to react and to become this poetry.

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NPR Story
2:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Week In News: Guns In U.S., Threats Abroad

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:09 pm

The gun control debate continued to dominate the news this week with President Obama coming out strongly in support of reforming the current gun control laws alongside the Newtown families. Host Jacki Lyden speaks with James Fallows, national correspondent with The Atlantic, about that story along with the bird flu in China, North Korea and the Postal Service.

NPR Story
2:59 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Down To The Put: Golf Analytics Gain Traction

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 4:09 pm

Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.

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