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3:27 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

As Race Tightens, The Electoral Map Still Favors Obama

A boy examines CSPAN's 2012 presidential race electoral map at the American Presidential Experience exhibit last month in Charlotte, N.C.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:17 pm

Mitt Romney may have seized the advantage in terms of poll numbers and momentum, but there's one area where President Obama enjoys the upper hand.

In the end, it's the only area that counts: the Electoral College. Over the past 20 years, Republicans have had a much lower ceiling when it comes to electoral support, while Democrats have had a significantly higher floor.

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The Two-Way
3:16 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Human Hamster Wheel' Sinks; Here's Video Of How It Used To Work

The hamster wheel, before she sank.
Facebook.com/IrishSeaCrossing

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

As our friends at All Things Considered say, "it's been a frustrating week for daredevils."

Felix Baumgartner had to postpone his attempt to rise 23 miles high in the sky and then jump from a balloon to see if he can break the speed of sound on the way down.

And maybe you haven't heard, but Chris Todd had to give on his "walk" across the Irish Sea in a human hamster wheel.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Sweatt Vs. Texas': Nearly Forgotten, But Landmark Integration Case

Heman Sweatt in line for registration at the University of Texas in 1950.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 2:06 pm

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in the affirmative action case of Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, as NPR's Nina Totenberg will report later today on All Things Considered.

But we want to take a moment to remember another landmark case that brought the University of Texas to the Supreme Court 62 years ago.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Record-Breaking Skydive Attempt Scrapped For Second Day

In this photo provided by Red Bull, Pilot Felix Baumgartner of Austria steps in the capsule during the second manned test flight for Red Bull Stratos in July.
Getty Images

In case you were wondering, Felix Baumgartner, who was scheduled to jump out of a capsule floating at 120,000 feet, has cancelled his attempt for a second day in a row.

The BBC reports that like yesterday gusty winds in Roswell, New Mexico, halted Thursday's plans.

Baumgartner is trying to break the speed of sound using only his body.

The BBC adds:

"Baumgartner is trying to topple records that have stood for more than 50 years.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Sharp Criticism, Some Words In Defense At Hearing On Benghazi Attack

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:57 pm

Two very different views from two different witnesses today as the House House Oversight and Government Reform Committee opened its probe into the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in which ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

'Signal' And 'Noise': Prediction As Art And Science

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:56 pm

No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.

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Krulwich Wonders...
1:08 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Obama's Secret Weapon In The South: Small, Dead, But Still Kickin'

Ron Blakey Northern Arizona University

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:10 pm

Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.

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The Salt
12:57 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Liquid Nitrogen Cocktails: Smoking Hot Trend Or Unnecessary Risk?

A bartender prepares cocktails using liquid nitrogen at Bourbon and Branch in San Francisco.
John Joh/star5112 Flickr.com

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:21 pm

Doctors use liquid nitrogen — a substance registering a wickedly cold 321 degrees below zero Fahrenheit — to freeze warts so they dry up and fall off. Yes, folks, this stuff kills tissue. So imagine what it might do to your stomach if you drink some.

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The Two-Way
12:56 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Report: Solitary Confinement For Minors Could Have Lasting Consequences

A new report warns thousands of young people held in solitary confinement each year inside adult jails and prisons could suffer lasting consequences including hallucinations and mental illness.

The study by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch reached out to 125 juveniles in 19 states. Many of them reported being isolated for weeks at a time, in small cells with little natural light, no access to education, and minimal opportunities to exercise.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:19 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Better To Elect Islamists Than Have Dictators?

Daniel Pipes (right) and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser argue against the motion, "Better Elected Islamists Than Dictators."
Samuel LaHoz

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 12:48 pm

  • Listen To The Full Audio Of The Debate
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"Politics is the art of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable," economist John Kenneth Galbraith once said. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, dictators have been toppled and new leaders have begun to emerge. Islamists, once marginalized, have been voted into power. Which leadership scenario is better?

The argument for dictators is that a number have been reliable allies for the United States. But under their rule, dictators use repressive means to squash opposition and stay in power.

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