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2:39pm

Tue September 27, 2011
Religion

The Hard Economics of High Holy Days

Over the next two weeks, some 5,000 people will fill the sanctuaries at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, D.C., to pray, worship and remember their spiritual roots.

"Rosh Hashana is a time of renewal, and it's a time of reconnecting with what really matters for us as a Jewish people," Rabbi Gil Steinlauf says.

The Jewish New Year is a time of spiritual awe — and practical considerations. Unlike churches, most synagogues charge membership dues to keep the lights on and fund the programs, because they are autonomous and do not receive funding from a national body.

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2:12pm

Tue September 27, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

Fresh Push To Vaccinate Kids In Developing World

A nurse vaccinates a child against pneumonia at a healthcare center in Managua in January. Nicaragua received pneumococcal vaccines from the GAVI Alliance.
ELMER MARTINEZ AFP/Getty Images

While Rep. Michele Bachmann's recent flap over the HPV vaccine was a reminder that some Americans are unsure that new vaccines are good for their children, Africans are in a very different boat.

Young children there still die daily from infectious diseases that vaccines can easily prevent. And now that new vaccines are available to prevent a common cause of severe diarrhea and pneumonia, African countries are clamoring for them.

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2:00pm

Tue September 27, 2011
The Two-Way

How Do You Mend A Broken Monument? Call The 'Difficult Access Team'

At 555 feet above Washington, the work begins.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

If you're afraid of heights, this is definitely not your dream job.

Tuesday, five engineers began a series of rappelling operations down the face of the Washington Monument to assess damage caused by the Aug. 23 earthquake that shook the nation's capital. The five belong to a special "difficult access team" from Northbrook, Ill.-based Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates Inc., or WJE.

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1:41pm

Tue September 27, 2011
Monkey See

DVD Picks: 'Ben-Hur'

Warner Home Video

Time for our movie critic Bob Mondello's suggestions for home-viewing. Today he's recommending a wide-screen 1950s epic that was specifically designed to draw people away from their TV sets: Ben-Hur.

Everything about Ben-Hur was big. Reeeeally big. The sound was stereophonic (which was new back then), the screen wider than all outdoors, and that chariot race — flat-out enormous.

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1:40pm

Tue September 27, 2011
The Two-Way

Helen Reichert, Who Could Bounce Back From Stress, Dies At 109

Originally published on Tue September 27, 2011 2:28 pm

Helen Reichert.
Courtesy of Olive Villaluna

A passing of note:

Helen Reichert, who Morning Edition introduced to listeners in April, died on Sunday. She was 109.

In that April commentary for Morning Edition, Dr. Mark Lachs said of his patient that:

"Unusual longevity often has a genetic basis, and Reichert probably does have a gene that contributes to her unusual longevity. But she also exhibits a powerful trait geriatricians call adaptive competence.

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