NPR News



Tue August 16, 2011
The Two-Way

ATF Promotes Supervisors Of Its Controversial 'Fast And Furious' Operation

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has promoted three managers who were involved in the agency's "Fast and Furious" operation, which allowed weapons to be illegally smuggled across the U.S. border into Mexico.

The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story, reports:

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Tue August 16, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

As More Women Smoke, Their Risk of Bladder Cancer Grows

An increase in toxic chemicals in cigarettes may also be to blame for the high risk of bladder cancer for women who smoke.

Smoking rates have dropped over the last several years, but they now seem to be stuck at about 20 percent for the nation. And nearly as many women now smoke as men, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Tue August 16, 2011
It's All Politics

Ron Paul Wears Invisibility Cloak In News Media's Eyes

Busted. That's what we in the news media are in the matter of the presidential campaign of Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

Famous and not so famous critics have pointed out in the past day that journalists for the most part have ignored Paul even when he succeeds at a level other Republican presidential candidates haven't.

As far as many political reporters have been concerned, the congressman might as well be wearing one of those Harry Potter invisibility cloaks. He's there but we apparently can't see him.

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Tue August 16, 2011
Research News

Cups Down: Scientists Crack 'The Coffee Ring Effect'

Scientists now know why coffee rings have have dark, well-defined edges, as seen in the image above. The research finding may have implications on the development of inks and paints.
Marina Dominguez NPR

A lot of simple things in science turn out to be quite complicated. Take, for example, coffee: you may have noticed that a spilled drop of coffee doesn't dry as a brown blob, but rather as a clear blob with a dark ring around the edge.

It's taken physicists more than a decade to figure out why this effect, known technically as "the coffee ring effect," happens. But now they think they have an answer.

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Tue August 16, 2011
All Tech Considered

Air Force Eyes Artificial Birds, Bugs That Can Spy

A carbon fiber tobacco moth wing created by Maj. Ryan O'Hara flaps 30 times per second and was photographed using a strobe light.
Noah Adams NPR

At the Wright–Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, some Ph.D. candidates are working on micro air vehicles, or tiny flying machines that are remotely piloted.

The micro machines are often "bio-inspired" — study a bird or an insect and then build one.

"If you close your eyes and think of a fat pigeon, that's about the biggest size that we want to use." says Leslie Perkins, who worked with the micro program at the Air Force Research Laboratory. She says the smallest would be about the size of a dragonfly.

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