National / International News

Scientists Spot A Planet That Looks Like 'Earth's Cousin'

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-17 11:01

Kepler-186f is almost the same size as Earth, and it orbits in its star's "Goldilocks zone"-- where temperatures may be just right for life. But much is unknown because it's also 500 light-years away.

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Sydney airport go-ahead

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 11:00
Economic gold or nightmare reality?

VIDEO: Publishing pair pitch own novels

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:54
Antonia Hodgson and Luke Brown are both publishing editors, who have decided to switch sides and become authors

Chili Say What? Linguistics Help Pinpoint Pepper's Origins

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:52

It turns out the first chili peppers were grown by humans in eastern Mexico. And it's not the same region where beans and corn were first grown, according to new ways of evaluating evidence.

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Lawro's predictions v Ken Doherty

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:27
BBC Sport's football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on former snooker world champion Ken Doherty in this week's predictions

What 1717 means: your trolley number guess

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:21

In our interview with Rick Caruso, CEO of Caruso Affiliated and developer of famous Los Angeles malls like the Grove and the Americana, we asked him to divulge his favorite part of the mall. He answered with a riddle:

What does the 1717 number on the trolley at the Americana mean?

Or the 1759 number on the trolley at the Grove?

Caruso says if you guess the right answer, you'll get a free Sprinkles cupcake -- and we'll hold him to it.

Tweet @MarketplaceAPM or answer on our Facebook page.

[<a href="//storify.com/Marketplace/1717-and-1759-what-do-they-mean" target="_blank">View the story "1717 and 1759: What do they mean?" on Storify</a>]

First Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned From A Man's Skin

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:14

Scientists based their technique on the one used to create the sheep Dolly years ago. These cells might one day be useful in treating all sorts of diseases.

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'Most Earth-like planet yet' found

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:04
A planet that is close in size to the Earth and that could hold water on its surface has been identified by the Kepler telescope.

Rodgers hopeful on Sturridge return

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:04
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says striker Daniel Sturridge is likely to make a quick return from a hamstring injury

Pepsi's profits up! But not because of soda

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-17 10:00

Pepsi surprised investors today with higher-than-expected earnings: Pepsi reported a net income of $1.22 billion in the first quarter of this year. 

But don't chalk the earnings up to sales of its famous soda. They've been flat. The real money is in chips.  It seems we're eating more of the chips Pepsi's Frito Lay division makes, specifically Fritos and Doritos.

"The PepsiCo products, whether it's chips or the other grab and go items they have certatinly fit well within the consumer's need for on-the-go food" - David Henkes, Vice President at Technomic.

Henkes says Pepsi is also venturing into other types of beverages, like juices and teas. It also makes energy drinks, which sell for more than soda. With Pepsi snacks gaining popularity in developing countries like India, Henkes says a great deal of Pepsi's future growth will be in new markets. 

Analysis: Putin's hopes and fears

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:59
Putin's chilling threats on Ukraine are clear, says Bridget Kendall

Female MPs shunning PMQs - Bercow

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:53
Some female MPs have stopped attending Prime Minister's Questions because it is so "bad", says Speaker John Bercow.

Robson out of French Open & Wimbledon

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:48
Britain's Laura Robson confirms she will miss the French Open and Wimbledon after having minor wrist surgery.

'Why Am I Dead?' He Never Asked. Here's The Answer He Never Heard

NPR News - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:39

Man goes in for a routine hip operation. In the corner of the operating room, there's a young med student watching. When things go wrong, she tries to make sense of what she sees.

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VIDEO: PMQs 'so bad' female MPs avoid it

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:38
The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow has said several seasoned female MPs have told him the weekly Prime Minister's Questions is so rowdy they no longer take part.

Prefab apartment buildings on the rise

Marketplace - American Public Media - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:23
Monday, April 21, 2014 - 16:13 Dan Bobkoff

The first floors of a modular apartment building are already in place behind the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

A new apartment building called The Stack is about to open in the Inwood section of Manhattan. By design, it looks like a collection of staggered Lego blocks. On the inside, it’s like any other modern rental building in New York. It has a sleek, simple design. 

What’s different is that these apartments were not built here in Manhattan, but almost entirely somewhere else. 

“The paint, the lighting, the kitchen cabinets, the appliances, the bathroom tile, fixtures, mirror, all of that is done in the factory,” says The Stack’s architect, Tom Gluck, with the firm GLUCK+.

Gluck has been an architect for years, but this is the first time his firm has built what’s called a modular building. 

Each apartment comes out of a factory from a company, like Capsys in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It looks like an auto plant, complete with assembly line run on a track in the ground. 

“Where we’re building pieces of building like you’d build a car in a factory. You get that repetition, that precision," says Tom O’Hara, director of business development at Capsys.

On one end of the plant, a team is joining steel beams to make the skeleton of a new apartment. On the other end, a crew is putting the finishing touches on a unit. One guy is tiling the bathroom. You could cook in this kitchen. There’s even a thermostat on the wall already. The apartments are so close to finished that they look like you could move in immediately, if they weren’t sitting on a factory floor.

An apartment module nearing completion at Capsys. It will soon be trucked to the building site and hoisted into place. (Photo: Dan Bobkoff)

But soon, this entire apartment will be put on a flatbed, trucked to the Bronx, then hoisted on top of all the other modular apartments. When the building’s done, you won’t even know it was built this way. 

There are many reasons proponents like O’Hara think modular construction is better: it’s built inside, away from weather and dirt. It’s faster because you can build the foundation and the building at the same time. There’s much less wasted material. And yet, while it’s popular in Europe, modular construction in the U.S. remains a rounding error, accounting for just a tiny percentage of new home and multifamily construction. 

“I think a lot of people really have misconceptions about the modular business,” O’Hara says.  “I think they feel somehow that there’s substandard construction in the factory.” 

He says most people think modular means mobile homes or boring, blocky buildings. To him, it just means it’s built better. 

“Why would I want my toaster built by a guy sitting on a bench with a ten snip banging things together. I want it out of a factory! Why shouldn’t the building come out of a factory?” O’Hara says. 

Modular has been seen as the future before, and yet never caught on beyond certain sectors like college dorms and hotels. 

But nearly everyone I talked to thinks this is the moment that changes.

“A lot of it truthfully has to do with this building that we’re standing in front of,” says Jim Garrison, an architect and professor at the Pratt Institute. We’re behind the new Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, looking at what’ll soon be the tallest modular building: 32 stories of apartments. 

It’s funded by a big name developer. Garrison says it’s the biggest example that modular is possible, practical, and not necessarily cookie cutter. 

“We now have opportunities to build very interesting buildings using these systems. And, people are listening to the benefits that come with it,” Garrison says. 

That’s not to say modular doesn’t have downsides. Because it’s made of boxes, you end up with walls against walls, taking up valuable square footage in the building. Designers have to decide everything on the front end. But more developers are attracted to modular’s faster, and sometimes cheaper construction. And, with new projects in the works, maybe this time is different.

Marketplace for Monday April 21, 2014 Dan Bobkoff

The skeleton of a new apartment module comes together at Capsys's factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. 

Dan Bobkoff

A bathroom in an apartment at The Stack. All fixtures were installed in the factory, not at the site. 

Dan Bobkoff

A kitchen in an apartment at The Stack. Even the appliances were installed in the factory. 

Dan Bobkoff

A model living room at The Stack in the Inwood section of Manhattan. 

Dan Bobkoff

The staggered block design of The Stack was designed to highlight its modular construction. 

by Dan BobkoffPodcast Title Prefab apartment buildings on the riseStory Type FeatureSyndication SlackerSoundcloudStitcherSwellPMPApp Respond No

Lucas cleared over fracking protest

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 09:17
Green MP Caroline Lucas and four co-defendants are cleared of obstructing a public highway during an anti-fracking protest in Balcombe, West Sussex.

Police rubber bullets found by road

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 08:50
Cumbria Police reviews its security measures after a bag of the force's rubber bullets is found on a traffic island.

Abu Hamza 'used cover of religion'

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 08:46
A radical cleric extradited from the UK "used the cover of religion" to hide his part in a global terror campaign, a prosecutor in New York says.

Bus operator to axe 14 services

BBC - Thu, 2014-04-17 08:44
The biggest bus operator in Wales announces it will axe 14 services and reduce eight others as it cuts its fleet by 10%.
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