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It's All Politics
3:02 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Not Just For Laughs: Why Humor Can Be A Powerful Campaign Tool

President Obama has a chance to make fun of his opponents — and himself — when he addresses the annual White House Correspondents' Association gala later this month. Last year he joked about Donald Trump and the "birther" issue.
Martin H. Simon-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:52 am

At the end of the month, President Obama will deliver a string of punch lines at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. It's an annual tradition, a chance for the man at the top of the pyramid to poke fun at his political opponents and himself.

Humor is an essential tool in any politician's kit — all the more so in an age of instant, constant media. It can disarm an opponent, woo a skeptical voter or pierce an argument. This year, both Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney are using it to try to win the upper hand in the presidential race.

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The Salt
2:39 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Fishermen Net Gold In Silvery Eels Sold To Asia

A fisherman uses a lantern while dip-netting for elvers on a river in southern Maine. Elvers are young, translucent eels that are born in the Sargasso Sea and swim to freshwater lakes and ponds, where they grow to adults before returning to the sea.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

There's a gold rush under way on the East Coast of the U.S. for tiny baby eels known as elvers. Fishermen in Maine and South Carolina are reaping profits upward of $2,000 per pound for the fish that are considered a delicacy in Japan.

Elvers have an almost ghostly appearance in the water — their bodies are a cloudy white, skinny as a cocktail straw and no longer than your finger. They look like tiny snakes as they squiggle through the water.

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Sports
2:28 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Five-Time Olympic Archer Giving It One More Shot

Butch Johnson competes in the 2010 U.S. National Target Championships in Hamilton, Ohio. Johnson is trying for his sixth Olympic Games this summer. When not competing, he manages an archery range in Connecticut. He keeps his Olympic medals under the kitchen sink.
Teresa Iaconi Courtesy of USA Archery

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The Two-Way
2:14 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

No Parole For Charles Manson; Bid May Be His Last

A photo provided by the California Department of Corrections shows killer Charles Manson, 77, on April 4, 2012.
AP

Convicted murderer Charles Manson, sentenced to life in prison for his role in the grisly deaths of seven people in 1969, will not be released from prison, California's parole board decided Wednesday. The hearing, which Manson did not attend, may have been the 77-year-old's last chance at freedom. His next bid for a parole hearing isn't likely to be heard until 2027.

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Energy
2:08 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Quakes Caused By Waste From Gas Wells, Study Finds

A water truck heads up Colorado Road 215 along Parachute Creek. Water is key to extracting natural gas from deep underground.
David Gilkey NPR

The U.S. Geological Survey will soon confirm that the oil and gas industry is creating earthquakes, and new data from the Midwest finds that these man-made quakes are happening more often than originally thought.

Earthquakes happen when faults in the Earth slip and slide against each other. There's continuous stress on innumerable faults on our continent, but seismologists like Bill Ellsworth, from the U.S. Geological Survey, started seeing something odd about 12 years ago.

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