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Recalling His Inspiration, A Neurosurgeon Thanks A Teacher

As a middle-school student in the '80s, Lee Buono stayed after school one day to remove the brain and spinal cord from a frog. He did such a good job that his science teacher told him he might become a neurosurgeon someday. That's exactly what Buono did.
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Letters: Eggnog Recipe Brings Cheers And Jeers

Robert Siegel reads emails and comments from listeners about this week's Found Recipes segment, which offered up a recipe for eggnog.
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No Rest For Ye Merry NBA Players This Christmas

Pro sports have become almost part and parcel of major American holidays. The NBA's Christmas Day lineup this year has grown to a whopping 13 straight hours of nationally televised games.
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Sorry Assiduous (adj.) SAT-Takers, Linguist In Dudgeon (n.) Over Vocab Flashcards

Many students prepare for the SAT by drilling themselves on esoteric, arcane and recondite words — like esoteric, arcane and recondite. Linguist Geoff Nunberg doesn't discourage these efforts, but he does have a word of caution: memorizing a definition is hardly the same as learning a new word.
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A Navy Man's Argument That Cutting Pensions Might Be Good

Bryan McGrath spent 21 years in the United States Navy before retiring. He now works as a defense contractor, and he believes that it's not necessarily a bad thing that military pensions are changing. NPR's Rachel Martin reports.
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Narcissistic Or Not, 'Selfie' Is Nunberg's Word Of The Year

Linguist Geoff Nunberg says he feels a little defensive about choosing "selfie" — a word that wears its ephemerality on its outstretched sleeve — as the word of 2013. But not only was this a year when we couldn't stop posting photos of ourselves online; we couldn't stop talking about it either.
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I Love To Shop, But Do I Have A Shopping Problem?

Sophie Varon loves to shop. The store Forever 21 is her weakness. And lately, she's been wondering if her shopping habit has become a shopping problem.
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Letters: Shipping Forecast-Inspired Music And Nostalgia

Audie Cornish and Melissa Block read emails from listeners about Philip Reeves' report about the BBC's Shipping Forecast, a maritime weather forecast treasured by sea-farers and land lubbers alike.
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A Baby Who Saved Her Family From 'The Dark Moments'

Maria Vasquez-Rojas was thrilled when she learned she was pregnant. But soon afterward she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer — at the same time her brother Francisco was struggling with drug addiction. Maria's daughter's birth has transformed not just Maria's life, but Francisco's, too.
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Ted Koppel: Mandela's Long Prison Term Helped Preserve His Image

Former Nightline host and NPR contributor Ted Koppel interviewed Nelson Mandela. Koppel says that Mandela is deservedly seen as a great man, but that one of the keys to his exalted status is that for 27 years he was behind bars, hidden from the kind of scrutiny and decision-making that can turn heroes into mere mortals.

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