It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.
LYNN NEARY, HOST:
And I'm Lynn Neary. Renee Montagne is on assignment.
In Syria, a ceasefire that's part of an U.N.-Arab League peace plan is unraveling, just six days after it got underway. Once again, dozens of people are dying each day, as the Syrian military pounds the cities and towns that have most fiercely resisted the government, and opposition rebels are fighting back.
Bo Van Pelt celebrates his hole-in-one during the final round of the Masters on April 8. New research suggests that golfers may be able to improve their games by believing the hole they're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Which Orange Circle Is Larger? In this optical trick, known as the Ebbinghaus illusion, both orange circles are the same size. (Go ahead, measure!) When small circles were projected around a golf hole, golfers perceived the hole to be larger and subsequently made more putts.
Psychologists at Purdue University have come up with an interesting twist on the old notion of the power of positive thinking. Call it the power of positive perception: They've shown that you may be able to improve your golf game by believing the hole you're aiming for is larger than it really is.
Jessica Witt, who studies how perception and performance are related, decided to look at golf — specifically, how the appearance of the hole changes depending on whether you're playing well or poorly.
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman vetoed a bill that would spend government funds on prenatal care to illegal immigrants. He has that service for illegal immigrants should be provided by churches and private organizations, not with taxpayer money.
Andrew Breitbart, the late editor and founder of BigGovernment.com, is shown in this file photo speaking at a rally at the conservative Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington on Nov. 5.
Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.
Paul Schubert and his wife decided to buy a new car last summer — a really fuel-efficient one. After a lot of research, they settled on a Toyota Prius. But there was a problem: They couldn't find one.
The tsunami that devastated Japan in March had dried up supplies of the Prius, which is made in Japan, and a dealer told them they would have to wait — "about four months," Schubert says. "And we thought, well, it'd be, probably, end of November, early December before we were going to have a car."
The House is scheduled to vote this week on a small-business tax cut bill offered up by Republicans. It's just the latest piece of legislation to focus on small businesses, which are widely praised in the political discourse as engines of job creation. The adoration is nearly universal — and it reflects something beyond economic reality.
"Small businesses create 2 out of every 3 jobs in this economy, so our recovery depends on them," President Obama said in 2012 at a New Jersey sandwich shop where he met with small-business owners.
Can I give you a word I love that you just don't hear anymore?
It used to be that all kinds of stuff was described as "zany," but it seems to have mostly gone out for fancier words like "dysfunctional."
Now, I bring this up because most sports franchises are pretty standard issue. Oh, some are rich, some poor, some win, some lose, but only one currently, to my mind, descends to the dear old level of zany. That is the Miami Marlins, formerly the Florida Marlins, or, now, as I like to call them, given their location in Little Havana, Los Zany-os.
More than 99 million federal taxpayers had filed their returns as of Tuesday, with more than 80 million of those expecting a refund.
People who file at the last minute — and Tuesday is this year's deadline — are somewhat more likely to owe money to the government. And if Congress and the president don't act, next year could see many more Americans paying higher taxes.
That's not because either President Obama or presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney advocate a tax increase for most Americans.