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Stories for June 25, 2009

American Masters: Garrison Keillor: The Man On The Radio In The Red Shoes

June 25
American Masters: Garrison Keillor: The Man On The Radio In The Red Shoes Tease photo

Lake Wobegon — where the women are strong, the men are good looking and all the children are above average — has become America’s collective hometown, visited weekly for the past 40 years on a fictional radio program that creates bona fide nostalgia. With his “Prairie Home Companion,” Keillor became our national philosopher, filling the empty shoes of Will Rogers and Mark Twain, through his running commentary about the human condition and the social politic. With biting wit, a quirky perspective and an uncanny ability to home in on the pulse of America, Keillor’s themes and characters are somehow familiar to us all.

NOVA scienceNOW: Luis von Ahn

June 25
NOVA scienceNOW: Luis von Ahn Tease photo

Breakthroughs in the engineering of artificial diamonds; the science that went into solving the deadly post - 9/11 anthrax attacks and the ingenious technique researchers developed to pinpoint the source; "AutoTune," the controversial computer pitch-correction software that turns sour notes into sweet ones; and a profile of computer scientist Luis von Ahn.

History Detectives: Manhattan Project

June 25
History Detectives: Manhattan Project  Tease photo

A contributor is certain that his father worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. His father refused to talk about his war assignment, except to say that he sold his patent to the U.S. government for a single dollar. Along with the patent, the contributor has a letter from the Atomic Energy Commission stating that his father's patent had been declassified. Was this invention used to build the atomic bomb?

Michael Jackson, King Of Pop, Dies

June 25
NPR
Michael Jackson, King Of Pop, Dies Tease photo

Singer Michael Jackson, the man known as the King of Pop to legions of fans around the globe, who lived most of his extraordinary life in the public eye, died Thursday in Los Angeles after going into cardiac arrest, sources tell NPR. He was 50 years old.

Rising CO2 in Oceans May Hurt Fish

June 25
By Ed Joyce

An experiment by UC San Diego researchers shows that rising carbon dioxide levels in the ocean have the potential to affect the health of fish.

Environmental Group Sues Retailers for Selling Lead-Tainted Purses

June 25
By Kenny Goldberg

The Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health has filed suit against a number of retailers for selling purses that contain high levels of lead. The lawsuit argues lead in purses and handbags is dangerous to consumers.

Sanders Weighs In On IOUs

June 25
By Katie Orr

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders says it will be hard on the entire state if California has to start issuing IOUs instead of state checks.

The King of California's Central Valley

June 25
These Days

No journalist or investigator had ever penetrated the wall around J.G. Boswell, the most powerful man in California's central valley, until Mark Arax got him to talk. He unearthed a story of power, wealth, theft and even murder that made it into the book The King of California.

Local Hospitals Compete for Patients

June 25
These Days

As the cost of health care skyrockets, how are hospitals making ends meet? We'll look at the competition for patients and how hospitals market their services to get more people in the door.

Experts Discuss Challenges to Water Recycling Locally

June 25
These Days

What are the challenges associated with creating a large-scale water recycling facility in San Diego? We speak to Marsi Stierer, with the San Diego Public Utilities Department, about what the city is doing to explore the possibility of expanding its water reclamation program in the future. We also talk to Bruce Reznik, with San Diego Coastkeeper, about why he thinks we'll need to use more recycled water in the future. And, we talk to Mike Markus, from the Orange County Water District, about why their groundwater replenishment system is unique.

The Health Factor of Recycled Water

June 25
These Days

Water on Earth has been recycled since the beginning of time. Now that San Diego is facing serious long-term water issues, the region is finally coming to terms with how to recycle what we flush down the toilets and drains and turn it into safe drinking water.

New Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected

June 25
Associated Press
New Jobless Claims Rise More Than Expected Tease photo

The number of people filing new jobless claims jumped unexpectedly last week, and the total unemployment benefit rolls rose to more than 6.7 million. The Labor Department data released Thursday show jobs remain scarce even as the economy shows some signs of recovering from the longest recession since World War II.

Review: 'Il Divo'

June 25
By Beth Accomando
Tease photo

For more than fifty years, Guilio Andreotti was one of Italy's most powerful, feared and intriguing political figures of the post-war era. He is now the subject of a new film called "Il Divo" (opening June 26 at Landmark's Hillcrest Cinemas). The film won the Jury Prize at Cannes last year. You can listen to my radio feature (where you can hear some of the great music used in the film) or read the extended review.

San Diego Learns How to Recycle Water

June 25
By Tom Fudge
San Diego Learns How to Recycle Water Tease photo

The ultimate solution to California's water dilemma will draw on many sources. And one of them will be the supply of water we currently throw away. The water that goes down the drain, and down the toilet, can be reused. But finding the best way for San Diego to recycle is a technical and political question.