Morning Edition for Thursday, October 31, 2013

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius spent hours on Capitol Hill on Wednesday fending off criticism of the health care rollout. Meanwhile, President Obama flew to Boston, where he urged people to take the long view.
For Gilroy Hain, 64, his only source of income is the $1,500 a month he receives from Social Security. He spends $500 for a rented bedroom in Los Angeles, and the rest goes for food and little indulgences, like an occasional rental car. For the former aerospace industry worker who was homeless for a time, living on Social Security alone is not an easy life.

Why Are Kids Who Get Less Candy Happier On Halloween?

In a psychology study using Halloween candy, kids who got a candy bar and a piece of bubble gum were less satisfied than kids who got just a candy bar. The study shows that when we think about experiences, we are significantly biased by how the experience ends.

Luscious Jackson Is Ready For Its 'Magic Hour'

After a very long hiatus, the members of the infectious alternative rock crew are back with a new album. The musicians discuss how everyday life inspired the band's first new record in 14 years.

Art Or Act? Banksy's Reviews Are Mixed

The British street artist Banksy has been using New York City as his canvas in a monthlong "residency" called "Better Out Than In." Revealed one at a time, his graffiti-based paintings and conceptual sculptures have led fans and police alike on a chase across all five boroughs. Now that the event is winding down, we ask a handful of curators and critics to do something that's not as easy as it sounds: review the show.
The ingredients used to make chemical weapons aren't environmentally friendly, and until recently the process of disposing of those weapons wasn't either. New rules make disposal safer, but are also a major stumbling block to the dismantling of Syria's stockpiles.
Several Marines were disciplined after a videotape surfaced showing them urinating on dead Taliban members in Afghanistan in 2011. The case seemed to be over, but now there are allegations that the top Marine officer, Gen. James Amos, intervened in an attempt to get a harsher punishment.

Nintendo Reports More Losses

Nintendo, the world's largest video game company, reported its third quarterly net loss in a row — the latest was just over $81 million. The Wii U gaming console's disappointing sales are the main culprit. It has sold just 5 percent of what Nintendo had projected a year ago.

Add Security To The List Of HealthCare.gov Tech Issues

To the long list of problems plaguing HealthCare.gov, add data security. The enrollment site for the new health insurance exchanges had a security flaw that didn't get patched up when the exchange marketplace went live.
The science-fiction writer is attracting new attention. Hordes of visitors and tentacle-bedecked merchandise descended on Rhode Island for a literary festival this year that would have made Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth proud. A bronze bust of Lovecraft even appeared in a local museum.
Sesame Street is waiving licensing fees for two years so its characters can join forces with the Produce Marketing Association and first lady Michelle Obama's campaign against childhood obesity. On Thursday, Sesame Street's Rosita and Elmo announced the partnership with the first lady.
Twin embarrassments framed HHS Secretary's Kathleen Sebelius's day Wednesday on Capitol Hill. Criticism over the "debacle" of the HealthCare.gov website was expected. But Sebelius also had to answer questions about insurance companies canceling policies for people who buy their own coverage.

How Are Health Care Messages Playing With Americans?

The Obama administration continues to find itself on the defensive because of the rocky rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Republicans took plenty of heat after their latest big push against the law, which resulted in a government shutdown. To get a handle on how each side has done in making their case to the American people, Steve Inskeep talks with Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg and Republican pollster Whit Ayres.

Red Sox Win World Series In Boston

The Boston Red Sox clinched the World Series title with a 6-1 win at home Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals.

A Scientific Tour Of The Mysterious 'Dark Universe'

Just in time for Halloween, David Greene talks to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson about the mysterious "Dark Universe" that surrounds us.
A Halloween event first started by churches has been gaining in popularity. Instead of going door to door seeking candy, kids instead go trunk to trunk, with cars parked in a central location. "Trunk-or-treating" is billed as a safer alternative to trick-or-treating.

What Happens When The Pace Of Startups Slows Down

New businesses normally create many of the new jobs in the American economy. But since the financial crisis, the pace of business formation has slowed sharply. Some economists worry that with fewer companies forming for 5 years now, that's going to stunt job growth for years more to come.

For A New Kind Of Commute, Some Eye The Sky

If you commute to work, chances are you travel on roads or rails. Designers in Austin, Texas, wonder, "Why not up in the air?" In a nod to orangutans at the National Zoo who get around on wires 50 feet above the ground, the designers see the potential for aerial mass transit.
The last issue of Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics came out a decade ago. Now, the author returns to Dream's world with a prequel series, The Sandman: Overture. Gaiman speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the freedom of starting something new and why he, like all writers, is a Sandman himself.

Graffiti Artist May Have Been Done In By Pumpkin

Steamboat Springs, Colo., police say it might have been hard to find the graffiti artist suspected of tagging downtown properties, except it's Halloween. The local paper says police found a similar design on a pumpkin at the graffiti artist's home.
In Los Altos, Calif., a modest white ranch-style house trimmed in blue attracts tourists because the garage is legendary. It was in the garage and the living room of this house that a young Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built the first Apple computers. This week, a Silicon Valley historical commission designated the house a historic site.
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