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11:35 am
Thu November 28, 2013

'It's Hard To Stay Patient': A Conversation With John Mayer

John Mayer in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Amy Ta NPR

John Mayer has a lot to be thankful for this year, including his return to the stage. A Grammy winner and a multi-platinum seller, Mayer is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade-plus — but a few events in his life have left him uncharacteristically quiet of late. He took a break from press after a pair of controversial interviews in 2010; not long after, he underwent surgery for damage to his vocal cords and had to stop speaking and singing publicly for more than a year.

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History
10:43 am
Thu November 28, 2013

'Thanks' To The Woman Who Helped Make A November Thursday Special

This portrait of Sarah Josepha Hale, painted by James Reid Lambdin, hangs in Newport, N.H., where she was born.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 1:39 pm

Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.

Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.

Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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It's All Politics
9:45 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Very Brief Political History

President George W. Bush paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to American troops in Baghdad on Nov. 27, 2003.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Of all the things Americans traditionally associate with Thanksgiving — turkey, family, football — politics doesn't rate high on the list.

But the national holiday and the political world have intersected at times and generated some headlines to remember.

Here are a few memorable Thanksgiving political moments:

Franksgiving (1939)

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Shots - Health News
9:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 1:13 am

Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.

As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.

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The Protojournalist
8:13 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: An Air Force Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 101: Young students from around the world get a taste of the American tradition.
Sarah Kinzer

Thanking members of the U.S. military for their service is an American tradition – throughout the year. But what do those who are on the receiving end of our thanks have to be thankful for at Thanksgiving?

From somewhere in Southwest Asia, American expat Sarah Kinzer writes: "We are U.S. Air Force overseas... Due to host nation sensitivities I can't tell you a city — or country — but you can say we are stationed with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing."

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The Salt
6:49 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Why We Give Thanks For The Health Benefits Of Cranberries

Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:08 pm

Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.

As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.

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The Protojournalist
6:13 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: Thanksgiving Up, Down Under

Baby Partington
Susan Partington

For some expatriates there comes a point of surrender. Keeping the back-home traditions becomes too much trouble. Or the allures of the host country become too strong. Call it Thanksgiving Up.

Such is the case for Susan Partington who lives with her family in Gisborne, New Zealand. "After seven years down under, I've completely given up on the traditional foods. Spending a Thursday cooking lots of hot food during summer is absurd."

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All Tech Considered
5:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov Team Working Through Holiday To Meet Deadline

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits navigators helping enroll people on HealthCare.gov.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 11:07 am

Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.

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The Two-Way
4:13 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Fly On, Snoopy (And Friends): Macy's Parade Balloons Get All-Clear

Workers prepare the giant Snoopy balloon before the 87th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday in New York.
John Minchillo AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:51 am

Updated at 9:06 a.m. ET on Nov. 28.

The show will go on, giant balloons and all: Snoopy, Spiderman, Buzz Lightyear, Pikachu and 12 other massive balloons will fly in the iconic Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York police say.

Forecasts had called for winds close to the maximum that New York City will allow for the balloons — some as tall as a five-story building — to fly over the parade route.

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Shots - Health News
4:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

After The Cranberries And Pie, Let's Talk About Death

What seemed like a burden can become a gift.
iStockphoto

On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.

A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

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Krulwich Wonders...
3:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

On Thanksgiving, Everybody Needs A Friend — And That Means Everybody

Blue_Cutler iStockphoto

Last December, a website called The Morning News asked me to describe the most important and unimportant events of my year. So I sent them a story that felt like both to me, something slight but at the same time deeply rich. Now that it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to post it here because it's about two girls who want the best for everybody — and that can get complicated.

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Around the Nation
2:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Frugality Afforded Deceased Seattle Man To Donate Millions

Jack MacDonald wore old sweaters, rode the bus and clipped coupons all while amassing a fortune in the stock market. When he died in September at the age of 98, he left nearly $200 million to charity.

Around the Nation
2:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Michigan Friends Camp At Best Buy Waiting For Black Friday

Black Friday lines are probably already forming in front of big box stores, but at least one group has a head start. Zachary Davis and four friends have been in front of Best Buy since last Saturday.

Africa
11:45 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Church Shelters Those From Central African Republic Violence

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 12:11 am

David Greene talk to UNICEF Emergency Coordinator Bob McCarthy about the situation at a Catholic church in Bossangoa in the Central African Republic. Thousands of people are seeking shelter in the compound of the church. They are fleeing the violence that has engulfed the country after militias overthrew the government earlier this year.

World
11:45 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

By Accident, Scientists Discover Lakes Beneath Greenland

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 12:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Flying to or from Europe, many a transatlantic traveler has gazed down at the brilliant white surface of Greenland and maybe wondered what is beneath those massive sheets of ice. Well, scientists have discovered jagged mountains, ravines that rival the Grand Canyon.

And now NPR's Richard Harris reports that for the first time they've come across some lakes under the ice as well.

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Middle East
11:45 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Secret Talks Pave Way For Interim Iranian Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 12:28 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Laura Rozen, a reporter for Al-Monitor.com, about her reporting on the secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. Those talks preceded the interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva last weekend.

StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
10:07 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Reflections On A Bond Forged Through Storytelling

Renee Montagne and Jim Wildman in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in photos they took of each other. In the background is the space where the giant Buddhas were located before the Taliban blasted them out.
Courtesy of Jim Wildman/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 1:15 am

Friday is the National Day of Listening, a chance to sit down with a loved one, turn on an audio recorder and ask that person about his or her life. You can find tips on how to record your conversation at nationaldayoflistening.org.

When Morning Edition host Renee Montagne thinks of her longtime producer Jim Wildman, she goes back several years to their reporting adventures in Afghanistan.

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U.S.
10:06 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

How Fracking In Pennsylvania Helps Clear The Air In New York

The building at 120 East 81st Street is among those converting from an oil- to natural-gas-burning furnace.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:45 pm

The state of New York effectively has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing as the government figures out how to regulate the controversial drilling technology. Still, the state is benefiting from a fracking-fueled drilling boom in next-door Pennsylvania.

For decades, oil has been the fuel of choice for thousands of residential buildings in New York City. But now there are fewer chimneys spewing black smoke. That's because the city has a program encouraging owners to convert to cleaner-burning natural gas.

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Parallels
10:05 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

After 50 Years, Cuba Says Its Baseball Players Can Go Abroad

A player for Havana's Industriales baseball team winds up to throw a ball during a training session in Havana on Sept. 27. Cuba recently lifted a ban on its athletes' signing contracts to play overseas professionally.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 11:45 pm

Baseball season is over in the United States, but it's just getting started in Cuba. It's the first season since Communist authorities lifted a 50-year-old ban on players' signing professional contracts abroad.

The move could bring even more Cuban defections to the U.S. major leagues, but fans on the island aren't booing the change.

Going to a baseball game at Havana's Latin American stadium is a little different from the typical experience in the U.S.

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Shots - Health News
10:05 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

'The Coolest Thing Ever': How A Robotic Arm Changed 4 Lives

Dee Faught tests a robotic arm installed on his wheelchair in September. Commercially produced robotic arms can cost tens of thousands of dollars, but three Rice engineering students built one for Dee for about $800.
Eric Kayne for NPR

Originally published on Tue April 22, 2014 5:00 am

Three engineering undergrads at Rice University gave a teenager with a rare genetic disease something he'd always wished for: the ability to turn off the light in his room.

It may not seem like much, but for 17-year-old Dee Faught, it represents a new kind of independence.

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The Two-Way
8:57 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Thai Prime Minister Survives No-Confidence Vote

Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra speaks during a no-confidence debate earlier this week.
Pornchai Kittiwongsakul AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 8:06 am

This post was updated at 1:05 p.m. ET

Thailand's embattled prime minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, survived a no-confidence vote Thursday as anti-government protests entered a fifth day in Bangkok..

The vote, 297 to 134, had been expected to fail because Yingluck's party has a majority in Parliament. Afterward, the prime minister urged protesters to put an end to the demonstrations that have roiled the capital.

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The Two-Way
1:40 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Man Laments Loss Of Thousands Of Bitcoins, As Value Hits $1,000

A Welsh man has realized that he threw out a stash of Bitcoins along with an old computer hard drive. At an exchange rate hit today, they would be worth around $7.5 million. Here, a photo of tokens representing Bitcoins.
Rick Bowmer ASP

Originally published on Wed November 27, 2013 2:25 pm

"You know when you put something in the bin, and in your head, say to yourself 'that's a bad idea'? I really did have that," James Howells says. And boy, was his intuition right: Howells tossed a hard drive that held millions of dollars' worth of Bitcoins, the currency whose value has skyrocketed this year.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

U.S. And Japanese Officials Discuss China's Air Defense Claim

Concerns over China's air defense claims led Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to call Japan's defense minister Wednesday. Here, a man makes a call near a replica of a Chinese fighter jet displayed in Beijing Wednesday.
Ng Han Guan AP

Concerned by China's move to assert itself in an area claimed by Japan, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel spoke with his Japanese counterpart Wednesday. China's military says it monitored a flight Tuesday by U.S. bombers through an air defense zone recently outlined by China.

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Parallels
12:18 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Born In The U.S., But Struggling To Acclimate In Mexico

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:04 am

The Francisco Villa Public School is a big, cement block of a fortress in an eastern Tijuana neighborhood just south of the Mexico-U.S. border.

Many of the nearby houses are patched together out of discarded materials, like old garage doors. The roads are unpaved and deeply rutted.

The school bell pierces the dusty air as girls in pink jumpers and boys in navy sweaters stream out of class. For 45 middle school students here who were born in the United States, the sound of the bell is one of the few things that are familiar.

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Shots - Health News
11:30 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Small-Business Access To Online Health Exchanges Delayed Again

Small employers can still enroll in Affordable Care Act coverage through insurers or brokers, but not through the online exchanges.
iStockphoto

The Obama administration is delaying yet again online signup for small businesses through the Affordable Care Act. The program was intended to make it easier for small employers to provide health insurance to their workers on a more equal footing with big business.

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Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Booming Demand For Donated Breast Milk Raises Safety Issues

Madison Fitzgerald, 20, holds her baby, Jake, in the neonatal intensive care unit at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. Jake, who was born 16 weeks too early, receives donor breast milk every three hours by mouth.
Carrie Feibel/KUHF

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:04 am

The public health message that "breast is best" has been received loud and clear. More mothers in the U.S. are breast-feeding, and they're doing so longer than ever.

But those simple facts hide a complicated world where passions about breast milk run high, and demand has skyrocketed.

Women who have extra milk are intensively courted, by hospitals who need the breast milk for premature babies and by moms who can't nurse their own babies and don't want to use formula.

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Shots - Health News
11:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

In Rural Iowa, Distance Makes Health Care Sign-Ups A Challenge

Insurance help isn't easy to find in many Iowa counties.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:05 am

Broadlawns Medical Center has been serving low-income residents of Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding countryside for decades. Now there's a twist in Broadlawns' mission as a public hospital: helping people sign up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

On a recent Saturday morning, Jerrine Sanford traveled half an hour from the small town of Runnells to get her insurance questions answered at a hospital-run event.

Sanford, 47, is out of work because of a back injury. She's worried about the law's requirement that everyone have health insurance or pay a penalty.

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Middle East
11:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Egyptians Hit Streets, Defying Protest Ban

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A new political storm is brewing in Egypt. It's over a law that bans unauthorized protest. Egyptian officials are taking to the airwaves to defend the law, in the face of fierce opposition from secular political activists. NPR's Leila Fadel reports from Cairo.

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Arts & Life
11:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Dear Amy: How Do I Deal With My Family For The Holidays?

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Let's face it, while Thanksgiving get-togethers can be joyful, they can also be stressful. And if you're gearing up for a family gathering right now, you're likely awaiting the arrival of a few loved ones who may be a little hard to love sometimes.

Knowing that, we've called on Amy Dickinson, who writes the syndicated column "Ask Amy," for some advice on how to get through the holiday. Hey there, Amy.

AMY DICKINSON: Hi, Audie.

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Music Interviews
11:24 am
Wed November 27, 2013

John Mayer On Getting His Voice Back

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:04 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Tomorrow on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, Grammy Award-winning musician John Mayer brings his guitar and his quick wit to our studios.

JOHN MAYER: It's like guitar tuning and paper medical records are like the two things that you look at and you're like, how is this still happening?

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