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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Using Sound To Levitate Objects And Move Them Midair

An image shows particles levitating in space between four sets of speakers. A Japanese team says they have used the system to manipulate items in mid-air.
Yoichi Ochiai

Researchers in Tokyo have put a new twist on the use of sound to suspend objects in air. They've used ultrasonic standing waves to trap pieces of wood, metal, and water – and even move them around.

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The Two-Way
4:16 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Newspapers: 'Whistle-Blower' Snowden Deserves Clemency

An advertisement thanking NSA leaker Edward Snowden appears on the side of a Metrobus in downtown Washington, D.C., in November.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA /Landov

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:33 pm

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

In 'Open Grave,' Plenty Of Open Questions

Josie Ho plays a character called Brown Eyes, who's the only one with any memory of what has transpired — but who can't communicate with the others.
Vermes Kata Tribeca Film

It's never a good sign when a character in a mystery has to give a speech at the end explaining exactly what's just happened. You know, just in case the story itself didn't actually manage to make it clear.

Sure, Hitchcock gets away with it at the end of Psycho, but only because the whodunit portion of that movie isn't the thing that makes it so great. Also, he's Alfred Hitchcock; the masters can get away with breaking some rules, because they can make up others that work just as well.

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Asia
3:41 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Lure Of China's Gray Economy Reaches Rich And Poor

Chinese 100 yuan bank notes being counted at a bank in Huaibei, in eastern China's Anhui province, in 2013. Undeclared income — sometimes the proceeds of corruption, often just of unclear provenance — is estimated to make up a staggering 12 percent of China's GDP.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:27 pm

The income gap is growing dramatically in China and the rich are getting exponentially richer — the richest 10 percent of China's population are more than three times wealthier than the official figures.

Much of that undeclared wealth is what Chinese people call "gray income," including proceeds from corruption and other ethically "gray" areas of the economy.

Living on the margins of the "gray economy" are people like migrant laborer Wang Haichuan. He rents a room far below street level in a dark, former air-raid shelter inhabited by other migrants.

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Space
3:27 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

On Planet GJ1214 B, Expect Exotic Cloud Cover

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In recent years, scientists have discovered around a thousand planets orbiting other distant stars, including some called super-Earths. These planets are bigger than our rocky hole but smaller than any of our solar system's gas giants. Not much is known about these mysterious worlds.

NPR is Nell Greenfieldboyce reports on new evidence that one super-Earth is shrouded in clouds.

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