Shots - Health Blog
5:08 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Your Stories Of Being Sick Inside The U.S. Health Care System

Douglas Harlow Brown, 80, of East Lansing, Mich., watches birds inside a medical rehab facility.
Brittney Lohmiller for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 10:42 pm

To get a feeling for what being sick in America is really like, and to help us understand the findings of our poll with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, NPR did a call-out on Facebook. We asked people to share their experiences of the health care system, and within 24 hours, we were flooded with close to 1,000 responses.

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It's All Politics
4:02 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Sophomoric? Members Of Congress Talk Like 10th Graders, Analysis Shows

Congress, shown gathered for President Obama's State of the Union in January, is speaking at about a grade level lower now than in 2005, according to the Sunlight Foundation.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 3:30 pm

Members of Congress are often criticized for what they do — or rather, what they don't do.

But what about what they say and, more specifically, how they say it? It turns out that the sophistication of congressional speech-making is on the decline, according to the open government group the Sunlight Foundation. Since 2005, the average grade level at which members of Congress speak has fallen by almost a full grade.

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Nancy Pearl is a regular commentator about books on NPR's Morning Edition and NPR affiliate stations KUOW in Seattle and KWGS in Tulsa.

The New York Times calls her “the talk of librarian circles.” Readers can’t get enough of her recommendations while bookstores and libraries offer standing room only whenever she visits. Since the release of the best-selling Book Lust in 2003 and the Librarian Action Figure modeled in her likeness, Nancy Pearl has become a rock star among readers and the tastemaker people turn to when deciding what to read next.

Middle East
3:01 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Change Comes To Saudi Arabia, In Slow Motion

In the Saudi capital Riyadh, two women stroll into a cosmetics shop in a luxury mall. The desire for greater personal freedoms has prompted Saudi rulers to relax some restrictions.
Chuck Holmes NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 9:13 am

The shock waves of the Arab Spring continue to reshape countries like Egypt and Syria. But the kingdom of Saudi Arabia remains largely unaffected. King Abdullah and the Saudi ruling family are in firm control of the country's massive oil wealth and Islam's two holiest sites — Mecca and Medina.

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Asia
2:59 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Mineral-Rich Mongolia Rapidly Becoming 'Minegolia'

The mine at Oyu Tolgoi, Turquoise Hill in Mongolian, will be one of the world's largest copper mines in about five years. An employee holds up a small sample of the oxidized copper that gave the mine its name.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:47 am

Mongolia, the land of Genghis Khan and nomadic herders, is in the midst of a remarkable transition. Rich in coal, gold and copper, this country of fewer than 3 million people in Central Asia is riding a mineral boom that is expected to more than double its GDP within a decade. The rapid changes simultaneously excite and unnerve many Mongolians, who hope mining can help pull many out of poverty, but worry it will ravage the environment and further erode the nation's distinctive, nomadic identity.

First of four parts

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Books
2:55 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Nancy Pearl Unearths Great Summer Reads

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 9:38 am

Unlike a lot of people I know, my summer reading doesn't differ significantly from the reading I do the rest of the year. I'm always looking for new authors, older titles I might have missed, books I want to reread, and a nice mixture of fiction and nonfiction. While I understand the concept of beach reading, for me it doesn't mean light reading, but rather choosing books whose ultimate destruction by sand and water won't concern me overly much because I know that I can easily replace them.

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Election 2012
2:35 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Secret Donors Still Find Ways To Remain Anonymous

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 11:00 am

The latest deadline for the presidential candidates and the major superPACs to disclose their finances was Sunday night. The public and the media can find out who has been giving to the candidates, and how that money was spent. But there's a lot of political spending that isn't being reported.

Outside money groups are spending millions of dollars, and the donors remain anonymous. Two recent court rulings could force those groups to file public disclosures, but there already seems to be a way around that.

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Joe Neel is NPR's deputy senior supervising editor and a correspondent on the Science Desk.

As a leader of NPR's award-winning health and science coverage, Neel focuses on stories about medical research and health-care delivery. Neel assigns stories to reporters and correspondents, helps them produce the stories and edits the pieces for broadcast or publication on NPR.org. He is a frequent guest or contributor to NPR's programs, blogs, and podcasts.

Shots - Health Blog
12:33 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Poll: What It's Like To Be Sick In America

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:21 pm

In the lull between the Supreme Court arguments over the federal health overhaul law and the decision expected in June, we thought we'd ask Americans who actually use the health system quite a bit how they view the quality of care and its cost.

Most surveys don't break it down this way.

When the results came back, we found that people who have a serious medical condition or who've been in the hospital in the past year tended to have more concerns about costs and quality than people who aren't sick. No big surprise there.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:03 am
Mon May 21, 2012

A Dire Sign Of The Obesity Epidemic: Teen Diabetes Soaring, Study Finds

Paris Wood, 14, has her measurements taken as part of a Chicago anti-obesity program.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 8:30 am

Karlton Hill was only 12 years old when when he found out he had diabetes. Even though he was only in seventh grade, Karlton knew what diabetes was; he had watched the disease destroy his great-grandmother's life.

"I was really upset. I cried," he says. "I didn't want any of this to happen to me. I was like, 'Why is this happening to me?' "

Public health experts have been worrying for years that the obesity epidemic would lead to an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes among kids.

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