4:58pm

Sat March 23, 2013
Author Interviews

Integrated Baseball, A Decade Before Jackie Robinson

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 5:05 pm

Hake's Americana & Collectibles/Atlantic Monthly Press

In 1947, Jackie Robinson famously broke the color line in baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending racial segregation in the major leagues.

That moment was a landmark for racial integration in baseball, but there's another moment few may be aware of, and it happened more than a decade before Robinson, in Bismarck, N.D.

Tom Dunkel writes about this Bismarck team in his new book, Color Blind: The Forgotten Team That Broke Baseball's Color Line.

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4:48pm

Sat March 23, 2013
Technology

Four Robots That Are Learning To Serve You

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Future Robot's FURo robot acts as a host.
Innorobo.com

From Star Wars' R2-D2 to The Terminator to WALL-E, robots have pervaded popular culture and ignited our imaginations. But today, machines that can do our bidding have moved from science fiction to real life.

Think hands-free vacuum cleaners or iPhone's Siri or robotic arms performing surgery. At the Innorobo conference in Lyon, France, the latest in service robot technology was on display.

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2:36pm

Sat March 23, 2013
Same-Sex Marriage And The Supreme Court

How Vermont's 'Civil' War Fueled The Gay Marriage Movement

Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 9:55 pm

Demonstrators protest outside the Statehouse in Montpelier, Vt., in April 2000, the month the nation's first law recognizing same-sex civil unions was signed by the governor.
Toby Talbot AP

It wasn't so long ago that a handful of Vermont legislators in a shabby Statehouse committee room struggled over what to call their proposal to give marriage-like rights to the state's gay and lesbian residents.

Democrat Howard Dean, governor at the time, had already made clear he'd veto any legislation labeled "marriage." Suggestions like "domestic partner relationship" were too clunky; "civil accord," they decided, evoked a car model.

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2:24pm

Sat March 23, 2013
Sports

March Madness: Good For Fans, Bad For Business

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 6:34 pm

Pittsburgh fans try to distract Wichita State's Ron Baker as he shoots a free throw during a second-round game in the NCAA college basketball tournament in Salt Lake City on Thursday. The distractions of the tournament are so great that worker productivity suffers.
George Frey AP

March Madness is here. Even President Obama has filled out a NCAA Division I men's college basketball tournament bracket. His pick to win it all was Indiana University.

The bracket frenzy is unbelievable, says Deborah Stroman, who teaches sports administration at the University of North Carolina.

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12:43pm

Sat March 23, 2013
All Tech Considered

The Cicadas Are Coming! Crowdsourcing An Underground Movement

Cicadas live underground and emerge in 13- or 17-year cycles.
Stephen Jaffe AFP/Getty Images

Back in 1996, a group of baby cicadas burrowed into soils in the eastern U.S. to lead a quiet life of constant darkness and a diet of roots. Now at the ripe age of 17, those little cicadas are all grown up and it's time to molt, procreate and die while annoying a few million humans with their constant chirping in the process.

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12:08pm

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi: From Iran To NCAA Hoopla

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 3:23 pm

Rebounding machine Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player in Divison I men's college hoops.
Julie Jacobson AP

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

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10:12am

Sat March 23, 2013
It's All Politics

A Hint Of Bipartisanship On This Obamacare Tax?

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, was joined by Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch in taking steps to try to stop an Obamacare medical device tax.
Jim Mone AP

Anyone looking for a glimmer of bipartisanship in Washington might want to pay attention to the medical device tax that is part of Obamacare. It took a notable, if largely symbolic, hit this week from the left and the right.

The 2.3-percent excise tax on devices ranging from MRI machines to pacemakers to stethoscopes was meant to raise $20 billion over 10 years to help pay for extending health care coverage to the uninsured under the Affordable Care Act.

But so far it has raised more ire than revenue.

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9:03am

Sat March 23, 2013
Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Emily Rapp, Phil Spector, Philip Roth And Sea Chanteys

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 10:52 am

Emily Rapp is also the author of Poster Child, about a congenital birth defect that led to the amputation of her leg when she was a child, and about how she subsequently became a poster child for the March of Dimes.
Anne Staveley Penguin Press

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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8:13am

Sat March 23, 2013
Commentary

Resurrected Frog Gives Us Cause To Brood

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 2:06 pm

This week scientists announced they have reproduced the genome of an extinct amphibian, the gastric brooding frog.
Auscape/UIG via Getty Images

The gastric brooding frog may be coming back. Does that give us a lot to brood about, too?

This week scientists at the University of New South Wales' Lazarus Project announced they have reproduced the genome — that bit of biological material that carries our genetic structure — of a gastric brooding frog.

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7:59am

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

In Case You Missed It: Georgetown Upended, And Other NCAA Surprises

Originally published on Sat March 23, 2013 1:33 pm

Florida Gulf Coast's Chase Fieler (left) and Georgetown's Mikael Hopkins leap for a rebound during a second-round game of the NCAA tournament Friday.
Matt Rourke AP

Another big shock from the NCAA tournament: Florida Gulf Coast "busted a load of brackets" Friday, beating second-seeded Georgetown, as The Associated Press reports.

The Florida Gulf Coast Eagles managed a 78-68 victory over the Hoyas, only the seventh time in NCAA history that a No. 15 seed beat a No. 2, the AP says.

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