Latest From NPR

Marvel's new superhero movie Deadpool stars Ryan Reynolds, a fact that, up to now, would likely not have been considered much of a selling point. This is not, after all, Reynolds' first stint as a superhero. There was that catastrophic Green Lantern movie, his animated supersnail in Turbo, and he played this character very briefly in what's arguably the least of the X-Men movies.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

North Dakota's economic fortunes have taken an abrupt turn for the worst. This is after 15 years of receiving almost entirely good news.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

Hollywood producer Ross Putman says he's read thousands of scripts during his time working in the film industry in Los Angeles, and over the years, he began to find one pattern particularly problematic: the way female characters are introduced.

Here's a sampling: leggy, attractive, blonde, beautiful, hot, gorgeous, pretty, sexy.

The odds of getting Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia are declining for people who are more educated and avoiding heart disease, a study finds. The results suggest that people may have some control over their risk of dementia as they age.

This isn't the first study to find that the incidence of dementia is waning, but it may be the best so far. Researchers looked at 30 years of records from more than 5,000 people in the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has closely tracked the health of volunteers in Framingham, Mass.

Melissa Melby, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, was pleased to hear a pre-med undergraduate excitedly describe participating in a brief medical outreach program to an impoverished Central American community. That is, until the student proudly recounted how she had performed a pelvic exam on a patients at the local clinic.

Rob Schmitz

The streets of Pianma are lined with sawmills. They’re also lined with logs as big as cars: Teak, Rosewood, and Golden Camphor — all of them felled illegally across the border in Burma from old growth forests and brought to the Chinese side to be cut down into furniture.

“These trees were several hundred years old," said Li Xiaomei, showing off a two-story stack of logs outside the mill she owns with her husband, Li Jianli.

Inside a huge air pollution scrubbing unit

22 hours ago
Reid R. Frazier

What does it take to keep 100,000 tons of pollution out of the air? At one coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, the answer is: lots and lots of air filters.

Sulfur in coal is a big cause of pollution. To take sulfur out of the coal it burns, the Homer City Generating Station — an hour east of Pittsburgh — is putting in thousands of air filters.

Kai Ryssdal

Whole Foods just became more Whole Food-ish.

The company's in the middle of rolling out a new store brand.

It's called Friends of 365.

Smaller, just as natural organic healthy, you know the drill.

Here's the twist, though: Bloomberg reported today, and the company confirms, that the new stores will also host smaller pop-up shops.

Record stores, perhaps. Vinyl, of course. Or, tattoo parlors.

Deep in the heart of the arcane laws that give farmers a helping hand, there's something called "crop insurance." It's a huge program, costing taxpayers anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion each year.

It's called an insurance program, and it looks like insurance. Farmers buy policies from private companies and pay premiums (which are cheap because of government subsidies) to insure themselves against crop failures and falling prices. It's mainly used by corn, soybean, cotton and wheat farmers. Defenders of the program call it a safety net.

Don't get pregnant.

That's the advice given to women by the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and El Salvador in light of a possible link between the Zika virus, which is spreading in those countries, and a birth defect called microcephaly, which results in an abnormally small head and possible brain damage. Brazil has reported thousands of cases of microcephaly since the outbreak began there last spring; researchers are trying to determine whether the virus is the cause.

Pages