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Parallels
4:47 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Does Less Latin Mean Dumbing Down? France Debates School Reform

Striking French teachers hold a German flag as they take part in a nationwide protest against new measures aimed at revamping the country's school system, in Marseille, France, on May 19. France's 840,000 teachers are largely opposed to the reform, their unions say, fearing it will increase competition between schools and exacerbate inequalities.
Jean-Paul Pelissier Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 10:17 am

Reforming the education system in any country can be tricky. But in France, where learning is highly centralized and public school (l'ecole de la Republique) a symbol of French greatness, it's all but impossible.

Several French presidents have tried and failed. President Francois Hollande's second attempt has traditionalists up in arms and critics on the right and left screaming that French schools are being dumbed down.

Teachers, students and some parents took to the streets of cities across the country recently to denounce the government's project.

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It's All Politics
4:47 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Drug Overdose, On The Rise, Cropping Up As Campaign Issue

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie participated in a roundtable discussion at the Farnum Center in Manchester, N.H. earlier this month.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 9:01 pm

As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.

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Shots - Health News
4:24 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

What We Know About Tattoo Reactions Only Goes Skin-Deep

A tattoo that starts as a personal statement can sometimes have medical consequences.
Meredith Rizzo/NPR

For about as long as there have been humans, it seems there have been tattoos.

Ötzi the Iceman, the 5,000-year-old mummy discovered in the Alps in 1991, had 61 tattoos covering his body. And a quick look around the local coffee shop reveals they're just about as popular today. By one estimate, about a quarter of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo.

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Goats and Soda
4:05 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Smartphones Are So Smart They Can Now Test Your Vision

A new smartphone app gives a close-up view of a patient's eye.
Screengrab from video by Peek Vision, produced in collaboration with Sony Mobile.

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:07 pm

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World Cafe
1:43 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Pokey LaFarge On World Cafe

Pokey LaFarge.
Joshua Black Wilkins Courtesy of the artist

Beloved by both Garrison Keillor and Jack White, Pokey LaFarge describes his own music — a mix of old-time jazz, blues, ragtime and string-band music from the past century — as timeless rather than retro.

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Code Switch
12:23 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

Not Your Mother's Catholic Frescoes: Radiant Portraits Of Queer People Of Color

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's "Queer Icons" series portrays queer people of color as saints and warriors. Jahmal Golden is a poet and a student at The New School.
Courtesy of Gabriel Garcia Roman

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:06 pm

Photographer Gabriel Garcia Roman's portraits feature friends and acquaintances, activists and poets, Americans and immigrants — some naturalized, some undocumented.

All of them are queer people of color.

"I wanted to specifically focus on this community because queer and trans people of color are so rarely represented in the art world," says Roman, who is Mexican-American and also identifies as queer.

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The Two-Way
12:19 pm
Thu May 28, 2015

'Trigger Mortis': New Bond Novel Brings Back Pussy Galore

A return to Pussy Galore's golden days: Honor Blackman, who played the character on screen in Goldfinger, poses with the original Bond, Sean Connery.
Express/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 5:37 pm

What kind of birthday gift do you get a man who has everything? It's a well-worn riddle — and one that gets all the more difficult if the man in question happens to have died a half-century ago.

Luckily for Ian Fleming, today's 107-year-old birthday boy and the creator of James Bond, novelist Anthony Horowitz knows just the gift: a reunion with an old friend.

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Shots - Health News
11:51 am
Thu May 28, 2015

Depression Treatments Inspired By Club Drug Move Ahead In Tests

Experimental medicines related to ketamine, an anesthetic and club drug, are making progress in clinical tests.
Wikipedia

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 12:19 pm

Antidepressant drugs that work in hours instead of weeks could be on the market within three years, researchers say.

"We're getting closer and closer to having really, truly next-generation treatments that are better and quicker than existing ones," says Dr. Carlos Zarate, a researcher at the National Institute of Mental Health.

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Thu May 28, 2015

FIFA President Blatter: Bribery Scandal Puts 'Long Shadow' Over Soccer

FIFA President Sepp Blatter addresses the audience at the opening ceremony of the 65th FIFA Congress in Zurich on Thursday. The leader of soccer's governing body has rejected calls to resign.
Arnd Wiegmann Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 4:18 pm

Embattled FIFA President Sepp Blatter is speaking at the beginning of the 65th Congress of soccer's worldwide governing body. Blatter faces a re-election vote Friday, in the face of new corruption and bribery charges against senior members of FIFA.

"These are unprecedented and difficult times for FIFA," Blatter said. "The events of yesterday have cast a long shadow over football and over this league's congress."

It was a somber opening to FIFA's meeting of international sporting bodies, an assembly that was celebrated with flag-bearers and other pageantry.

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NPR History Dept.
11:18 am
Thu May 28, 2015

The Windshield-Pitting Mystery Of 1954

A man shows his pitted windshield to a police officer in Seattle in 1954
Museum of History & Industry, Seattle Post- Intelligencer Collection, 1986.5.571.1

Originally published on Thu May 28, 2015 3:34 pm

The nationwide weirdness that was the Windshield-Pitting Mystery began in the spring of 1954. Looking back at the events today may give us a window — OK, a windshield — on the makeup and the mindset of mid-20th-century America.

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