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The Two-Way
6:50 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Coroner Says White Powder, Spoon Found In Whitney Houston's Hotel Room

Pop diva Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills hotel room on the eve of the 54th Grammy Awards.
Getty Images Getty Images

A final report from Los Angeles coroner is shedding some light on Whitney Houston's last hours.

According to the report, the pop super star complained of a sore throat and an assistant suggested she take a bath. By the time the assistant got back to the room after running an errand, she found Houston lying face down on in the tub "in approximately 13-inches of water," People Magazine reports.

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The Salt
6:21 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Milk Not Jails Makes Partners Out Of Farmers And Ex-Cons

A dairy farmer drives some of his Holstein cows out to pasture in the Madison County, N.Y. town of Lenox.
Jim Commentucci The Post-Standard /Landov

What's plentiful in upstate New York? Cows and prison inmates, to name a few things.

Reformists in the two communities don't make natural allies, but organizer Lauren Melodia is trying to do just that.

"I was living in this prison town, and at the same time, the dairy industry was in a lot of turmoil," Melodia tells The Salt. "We thought this [dairy] might be the perfect ally in trying to build a different economy in upstate New York, and shift some of the economic dependency away from the prison system."

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It's All Politics
6:08 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Santorum Adviser Says Calls To Exit GOP Race Are Premature

Rick Santorum at Bob's Diner in Carnegie, Pa., Wednesday.
Jae C. Hong AP

Much of the Republican political establishment, many GOP voters and political analysts were telling Rick Santorum that the time had come for him to end his quest for his party's presidential nomination even before Tuesday when he failed to win any of three primaries.

Those calls had only increased by Wednesday as Santorum fell further behind Romney in the delegate count.

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The Two-Way
6:04 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Play Ball: On Opening Day, A Look A The Quirky New Marlins Park

A mechanical sculpture by Red Grooms will animate everytime a home run is hit yb a Marlin.
Mike Ehrmann Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 11:22 pm

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Race
6:02 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Data Reveals Complex Picture Of Hispanic Americans

A Hispanic woman walks down a street in Union City, N.J. In a new study, the Pew Hispanic Center asked Hispanic-Americans how they identify themselves.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Just over half of Americans of Spanish-speaking origin have no preference between the terms "Hispanic" and "Latino," according to new data from the Pew Hispanic Center.

Of those with a preference, 33 percent preferred "Hispanic," versus the 14 percent who said "Latino" better describes them.

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Environment
5:25 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Pollution Playing A Major Role In Sea Temperatures

This NASA map shows the size of aerosol particles in the atmosphere. Green areas indicate larger, more naturally occurring particles like dust. Red areas indicate smaller aerosol particles, which can come from fossil fuels and fires. Yellow areas indicate a mix of large and small particles.
NASA Earth Observations

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 6:20 pm

The Atlantic Ocean, especially the North Atlantic, is peculiar: Every few decades, the average temperature of surface water there changes dramatically.

Scientists want to know why that is, especially because these temperature shifts affect the weather. New research suggests that human activity is part of the cause.

Scientists originally thought that maybe some mysterious pattern in deep-ocean currents, such as an invisible hand stirring a giant bathtub, created this temperature see-saw.

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Around the Nation
5:05 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Meet The New Official Cab Of New York City

Nissan's NV200 taxi model features expanded headroom and passenger USB chargers.
Courtesy of Nissan

The "Taxi of Tomorrow" has arrived in New York City. On Tuesday night, officials unveiled the Nissan-designed cab that, over the next 10 years, will gradually replace the country's largest taxi fleet. It's the first New York taxi to be designed for the job since the city's iconic Checker cab.

For Nissan's designers, the process of putting the new cab together involved months of riding in taxis and talking to cab owners, drivers and passengers about what they did and didn't like.

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Shots - Health Blog
4:51 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Drug Spending Levels Off, But Not For The Usual Reasons

The one group for whom prescription drug spending rose last year was young adults ages 19 to 25.
Roel Smart iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed April 4, 2012 6:10 pm

U.S. spending on prescription drugs grew just barely in 2011, according to the annual report from IMS Health, which keeps track of these things.

But the reason for the barely discernible increase of 0.5 percent, to $320 billion, was not the expected one.

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The Two-Way
3:52 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Theater Bombing In Mogadishu Breaks Tenuous Calm In Somalia

Ambulances are parked outside the Mogadishu National Theatre on Wednesday after a suicide attack in the Somali capital. A young woman strapped with explosives blew herself up on at a ceremony in the Somali national theater attended by the prime minister and other officials.
Abdurashid Abdulle AFP/Getty Images

Just as things had begun to seem peaceful in the Somali capital, a bomb exploded in the newly reopened National Theater. And it happened as the prime minister gave an address.

The New York Times reports that the bombing shattered what had been a tenuous calm in Mogadishu, which has been the center of a fierce civil war for the past 21 years.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:50 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

Speaking Multiple Languages May Help Delay Dementia Symptoms

Because these Chicago second-graders are bilingual, they may be better protected later in life against the ravages of dementia.
Tim Boyle Getty Images

The brains of people who grow up speaking two languages are wired differently, and those differences protect them from dementia as they age.

That's the news from two studies out this month from a scientist in Canada who has spent decades trying to figure out whether being bilingual is bad or good. "I've been doing this for 25 years," Ellen Bialystok, a distinguished research professor of psychology at York University in Toronto, tells Shots. "Suddenly people are interested. I figure it's because everybody's scared about dementia."

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