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When Kids Start Playing To Win

Aug 5, 2014

This week, NPR Ed is focusing on questions about why people play and how play relates to learning.

It's a playful word that's developed something of a bad reputation: "competition." The fear among some parents is that, once children start playing to win, at around 5 years old, losing isn't just hard. It's devastating.

When Nimco Ali was 7, she thought her family was going on vacation. They flew from their hometown in Manchester, England, to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

Ali doesn't remember the exact location. But she clearly remembers what happened there.

The young girl found herself in a dingy room, with a woman dressed in all black, standing over her. She didn't know what was going on at the time. But she fell asleep. And when Ali woke up, she was confused.

The woman had mutilated her genitals.

Following an industry trend, Gannett announced on Tuesday that it intends to split its company in two. One half will handle the newspapers and the other its broadcasting and digital operations.

The AP reports:

After nearly a month of fighting, a negotiated, three-day peace has taken hold in Gaza.

As NPR's Emily Harris reports, Israel has also ordered all of its troops out of Gaza. But this may not mean the end of the current conflict, because the Israel Defense Forces said its troops would maintain a defensive position and respond to any attacks.

Case in point: By morning just before the truce started, Emily said she heard rocket fire out of Gaza. But things have calmed down and the AP reports that in Gaza "traffic picked up and shops started opening doors."

A senior minister in the British government's foreign office tendered her resignation on Tuesday, protesting what she said was the U.K. government's "morally indefensible" position on the conflict in Gaza.

Sayeeda Warsi, a baroness with a seat in the House of Lords who became the first Muslim member of the prime minister's cabinet, is opposed to Britain's strong support of Israel.

It looks like dogs might well have been man's (and woman's) best friend for a lot longer than once thought.

The long-held conventional wisdom is that canis lupus familiaris split from wolves 11,000 to 16,000 years ago and that the divergence was helped along by Stone Age humans who wanted a fellow hunter, a sentry and a companion.

Now, DNA evidence suggests that the split between dogs and their wild ancestors occurred closer to 30,000 years ago.

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Science Book Picks for 2013

Dec 16, 2013

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This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. If you tuned into "Jeopardy!" in 2011, you might have heard an exchange like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "JEOPARDY!")

ALEX TREBEK: Watson, start us, please.

WATSON: The European Union for $200.

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