Laura Sydell fell in love with the intimate storytelling qualities of radio, which combined her passion for theatre and writing with her addiction to news. Over her career she has covered politics, arts, media, religion, and entrepreneurship. Currently Sydell is the Digital Culture Correspondent for NPR's All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Weekend Edition, and NPR.org.

Sydell's work focuses on the ways in which technology is transforming our culture and how we live. For example, she reported on robotic orchestras and independent musicians who find the Internet is a better friend than a record label as well as ways technology is changing human relationships.

Jon Huntsman
4:43 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Huntsman's Long-Shot Bet: A Surprise In N.H.

Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman campaigns from the counter at the Bean Towne Coffee House & Cafe in Hampstead, N.H., on Jan. 8. Polls show Huntsman gaining on front-runner Mitt Romney ahead of Tuesday's primary.
Matthew Cavanaugh Getty Images

Of the six major Republican candidates still in the race, five have either led or flirted with leading the polls. The exception is former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Huntsman bypassed Iowa's Jan. 3 primary in order to focus on the competition in New Hampshire, which holds its primary on Tuesday.

NPR's Robert Siegel caught up with Huntsman on Sunday at the Bean Towne Coffee House & Cafe in Hampstead, N.H.

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Digital Life
4:31 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Seeking Female Founders In The Tech Startup Scene

The founders of startup accelerator Women Innovate Mobile (clockwise from top right: Deborah Jackson, Kelly Hoey and Veronika Sonsev) aim to boost the profile of tech companies founded by women.
Lisa Tanner Courtesy Women Innovate Mobile

More often than not, when we hear about hot tech companies, all the founders are male (see: Google, Facebook, Twitter and Zynga). But in an effort to change that profile, a new funding source is targeting companies founded by women.

Kelly Hoey thinks a lot of investors may be missing some good business opportunities because they aren't coming from someone who looks like the next Mark Zuckerberg.

"You're looking for a white guy in a hoodie, and that next visionary is ... going to be wearing a skirt and a great pair of shoes," she says. "They're going to look different."

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Shots - Health Blog
4:21 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Diabetes' Economic Toll Goes Far Beyond Medical Bills

Sergey Lavrentev iStockphoto.com

By now most people have probably heard the dire predictions about how much the growing prevalence of diabetes will cost the U.S. health system in the coming years and decades.

But a new study from researchers at Yale suggests that the disease, which currently affects nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population, could have significant nonmedical costs to society as well.

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Whether covering the manhunt and eventual capture of Eric Robert Rudolph in the mountains of North Carolina, the remnants of the Oklahoma City federal building with its twisted metal frame and shattered glass, flood-ravaged Midwestern communities, or the terrorist bombings across the country, including the blast that exploded in Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta, correspondent Kathy Lohr has been at the heart of stories all across the nation.

The Two-Way
4:07 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Amid Tensions, Iran's Ahmadinejad Visits Venezuela

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad opened the first leg of a Latin American tour in Venezuela, today. The visit with President Hugo Chávez came in middle of rising tensions between Iran and the United States. The tensions intensified even further, today, after Iran announced it had sentenced a former U.S. Marine to death.

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Health
4:02 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Controversy Swirls Around Harsh Anti-Obesity Ads

In one of the print ads in Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Strong4Life campaign, a young girl says she doesn't like going to school, because "all the other kids pick on me. It hurts my feelings."
Courtesy of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 8:17 pm

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World
3:39 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Iran Cultivates Friends In Washington's Backyard

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad waves as he is welcomed by Venezuelan Vice President Elias Jaua (at right, wearing glasses and tie) at the airport in Caracas on Sunday. Ahmadinejad is on a five-day tour aimed at shoring up ties in Latin America.
Juan Barret AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 5:47 pm

Isolated by the West because of Iran's nuclear program, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is turning to close allies in the Americas for diplomatic support.

He kicked off his four-nation tour of Latin America on Monday in Venezuela, whose president, Hugo Chavez, accuses the U.S. of trying to dominate the world. Ahmadinejad's next stops are Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador — all sharply critical of Washington's foreign policy.

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It's All Politics
3:39 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

In New Hampshire, Serene Romney Rides Out Final Hours Before Primary

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks to the press after speaking at Gilchrist Metal Fabricating in Hudson, N.H., on Jan. 9.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 9, 2012 7:00 pm

As Mount Washington calmly reigns over much of New Hampshire's geography, Mount Romney smiles down on the last day before the state holds the nation's first presidential primary.

The front-running former governor of neighboring Massachusetts spent the day getting chummy with crowds in Nashua and Hudson and Bedford, reciting his favorite lines from "America the Beautiful" and engaging in other behaviors just as risky. He came out in favor of free enterprise and job creation and got really cross with the Chinese for currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:25 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

Why Millions Of Prescriptions Will No Longer Be Filled At Walgreens

A customer walks out of a Walgreens store in New York City.
Adam Rountree Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 10, 2012 6:29 pm

To life's many small irritations, you might add filling prescriptions.

Starting this year, many Americans may be surprised to find that their local Walgreens pharmacy is no longer in their network. That's because of a contract dispute between the nation's largest drugstore chain and a company that manages prescriptions for health insurance companies.

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