6:22pm

Sun October 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Jumping From The 'Top Of The World,' Skydiver Breaks Sound Barrier

Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria and technical project director Art Thompson celebrate after Baumgartner completed a skydive from the stratosphere Sunday.
Joerg Mitter AP

"I know the whole world is watching now, and I wish the world could see what I see."

Those were the words of Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner as he plummeted toward Earth faster than the speed of sound. He jumped 24 miles from the stratosphere and landed gracefully just more than nine minutes later in a desert in Roswell, N.M., Sunday.

His plunge was record-breaking on three fronts: the highest jump, the longest distance of a free fall and the fastest vertical velocity. Baumgartner's free fall was seconds shorter than the record set by Joe Kittinger in 1960.

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4:46pm

Sun October 14, 2012
The Salt

At The Great American Beer Festival, Big Tastes Come In Small Packages

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

Beer is sniffed and tasted in one-once portions, as the festival's breweries make their way through the 36,000 gallons of beer they brought to Denver.
Bill Chappell NPR

The soaring drone of a full bagpipe and drum corps greeted thousands of people who marched into a Denver arena for the Great American Beer Festival this past weekend. The martial music seemed a fitting way to prepare the crowd to test their palates, and their fortitude, against 2,700 different beers made by some of the best breweries in the United States.

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4:02pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Sports

Lady Arm Wrestlers Bring Their Brawn And Bawdy

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:07 am

SuperCLAW is one part church bake-sale, one part roller derby, and one part striptease. The audience gives money to their favorite characters, which is then donated to women-centered charities.
Brad Horn for NPR

The universe of great theatrical sports is rather small. There's roller derby and wrestling, but that's about as far as it goes.

But there's a new addition to this little corner of the sports world: women's arm wrestling. Jayme Dyer didn't know what to expect when she signed up for her first event in Durham, N.C., two years ago.

The sport seems to combine all the right ingredients — promising empowering, women-centered bawdiness that raises money for good causes. Not to mention some suggestive outfits.

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4:02pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Politics

More Asian Americans Seeking Higher Political Office

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 12:03 pm

Republican Ricky Gill, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in September, is just one of many candidates this election with Asian-American backgrounds.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

More Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are running for Congress than ever before. A total of 36, including incumbents, launched campaigns this year — more than double the number from a record set just two years ago, according to the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

Of those, a record 21 contenders — 18 Democrats and three Republicans — claimed victories in their primaries and are now vying to represent districts across the nation.

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3:50pm

Sun October 14, 2012
History

How Kennedy Stepped Back From The Brink Of War

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:07 pm

Kennedy with the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Jan. 15, 1962.
Cecil Stoughton White House Photographs/JFK Library and Museum, Boston

Fifty years ago, the United States stood on the brink of nuclear war.

On Oct. 16, 1962, the national security adviser handed President John F. Kennedy black-and-white photos of Cuba taken by an American spy plane. Kennedy asked what he was looking at. He was told it was Soviet missile construction.

The sites were close enough — just 90 miles from the U.S. — and the missiles launched from there could reach major American cities in mere minutes.

The Cold War was heating up to a near-boiling point.

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3:09pm

Sun October 14, 2012
It's All Politics

On The Campaign Trail, Regulations Dominate The Environmental Debate

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:02 pm

Smoke rises from the stacks of the La Cygne Generating Station coal-fired power plant in La Cygne, Kan. President Obama's regulation of the coal industry has come under fire from his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
Charlie Riedel AP

In previous elections, candidates from both parties have campaigned on pledges to be environmental presidents. This time, neither candidate is talking much about cleaning up the air or protecting scenic lands.

Instead, the debate has focused on whether and how much environmental regulations hurt businesses, especially the energy industry.

Mostly it's been GOP candidate Mitt Romney criticizing President Obama for what he sees as overzealous environmental regulations that strangle the economic recovery.

Environmental Rules

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3:08pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Author Interviews

Traveling The World Brings Andrew McCarthy Home

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:02 pm

He's an 80s teen heartthrob who turned to travel writing — and now soul searching. A few years ago, Andrew McCarthy decided to confront the fears that had followed him his whole life. As he prepared to marry the women he loved, he headed out around the world to find the part inside of himself that just kept saying "no" to everything good in his life.

McCarthy spoke with weekends on All Things Considered guest host Celeste Headlee about his new memoir, The Longest Way Home.

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2:36pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Movies

'Smashed': A Love Story Minus The Alcohol

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 4:02 pm

Kate Hannah (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Charlie (Aaron Paul) in Smashed.
Oana Marian Sony Pictures Classics

What happens to a young marriage when the one thing that once brought two people together suddenly vanishes? In Smashed, the answer isn't pretty. But neither is the alternative, because in Smashed, the thing that brings the couple together is alcohol.

The couple is played by Aaron Paul of the series Breaking Bad, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead. The film also stars Nick Offerman of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Megan Mullally, best known from the TV show Will and Grace, and Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer.

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12:48pm

Sun October 14, 2012
Remembrances

Arlen Specter, Senator Who Gave No Quarter, Dies

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:16 am

Specter campaigns with President George W. Bush in 2004 at the Harrisburg International Airport in Pennsylvania. Specter spent most of his political career as a moderate Republican. He supported Bush, but later criticized the then-president's warrantless wiretapping program, saying it overstepped civil liberties.
Luke Frazza AFP/Getty Images

Former Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the most influential senators of the last half-century, died Sunday from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He was 82.

The five-term senator, a moderate Republican-turned-Democrat, was a key member of the Judiciary Committee and a major player in the confirmation proceedings of 14 Supreme Court nominees. But he was consistently a thorn for leaders of both political parties and their presidents.

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12:15pm

Sun October 14, 2012
The Two-Way

Sen. Arlen Specter Dies at 82

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 1:47 pm

Arlen Specter, the five-term senator from Pennsylvania, died from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, said his son, Shanin. He was 82 years old.
Matt Rourke AP

Arlen Specter, the outspoken senator who started off Republican, switched to Democrat and stayed moderate throughout, has died, the AP reports.

The former five-term senator from Pennsylvania announced that he was once again battling cancer in August. He died at his home in Philadelphia on Sunday, according to his son, Shanin, from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

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