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WORDS ON A WIRE: Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny

Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, novelist and short story writer, joins host Daniel Chacón in-studio for an enlightening conversation on her newest book, Todo Eso Es Yo . We also take this time as an opportunity to formally welcome Aguilar Zéleny back to the University of Texas at El Paso as she returns as a new professor in our Creative Writing Department!

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An initiative to create grant-based financial support for local filmmakers is making progress in the city of El Paso and will soon start giving out its first grants. Charles Horak is joined by Peter Svarzbein, El Paso City Council Representative for District 1, and Jesus Nuñez, local filmmaker and advocate, as they discuss the latest developments in the city of El Paso's process to create grant funding for film productions.
Local support for local films!

Sylvia Aguilar Zéleny, novelist and short story writer, joins host Daniel Chacón in-studio for an enlightening conversation on her newest book, Todo Eso Es Yo. We also take this time as an opportunity to formally welcome Aguilar Zéleny back to the University of Texas at El Paso as she returns as a new professor in our Creative Writing Department!

Dr. Armin Shwartzman, an associate professor at University of California San Diego, received a Ph.D. in statistics from Stanford University and since then has used statistics for image analysis. On this week's science studio, we begin a new season with Dr. Shwartzman as he shares with us his expertise in statistics and how he has advanced his studies. 

Augment El Paso bridges the gap between traditional print media and interactive computer media through the use of Augmented Reality. Through the use of a smartphone or tablet, an augmented image becomes a multi-sensory experience as the viewer gains the ability to interact with 3D models and graphical interfaces, view animations and streaming video, and listen to narration, sound effects, and or music. 

Tai chi is an internal Chinese martial art practiced for both its defense training and its health benefits. Originally developed as a martial art, tai chi has evolved into a graceful form of exercise that's now used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions. 

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Hurricane Irma is hovering somewhere between being the most- and second-most powerful hurricane recorded in the Atlantic. It follows Harvey, which dumped trillions of gallons of water on South Texas. And now, Hurricane Jose is falling into step behind Irma, and gathering strength.

Is this what climate change scientists predicted?

In a word, yes. Climate scientists such as Michael Mann at Penn State says, "The science is now fairly clear that climate change will make stronger storms stronger." Or wetter.

Hurricane Irma — still swirling with Category 5 winds — could make a direct hit on Florida within days. And residents are preparing for a whopper of a storm, whether or not they plan on evacuating their homes.

Gov. Rick Scott said Thursday morning that Miami-Dade County should prepare for "deadly storm surge and life-threatening winds."

"If you're in an evacuation area, do not wait to get out," Scott warned. "This thing is bigger than our entire state right now, so take this seriously."

The record is clear: Neither Charles Manson nor any of his murderous followers in the Tate-LaBianca killings have been released from prison so far, but attorney Rich Pfeiffer is hoping to change that.

Pfeiffer represents Leslie Van Houten, 68, who has spent more than 40 years in prison.

She and others were convicted in the murders of Los Angeles grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife, Rosemary, in their home on Aug. 9, 1969.

Several states are suing the Trump administration to block it from terminating the program protecting young immigrants known as DREAMers.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in the Eastern District of New York, was brought by the attorneys general of 15 states and the District of Columbia. All are Democrats.

It follows the administration's announcement Tuesday that it would phase out the Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said DACA would end in March 2018 unless Congress takes action to salvage it.

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The disaster relief bill given final approval by Congress on Friday can't come too soon for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Without a new injection of funds, officials said FEMA's cash box would be empty as early as this weekend, right around the time that Hurricane Irma is scheduled to slam into southern Florida, while southeast Texas and Louisiana are still drying out from Hurricane Harvey.

One ad for a 2018 congressional candidate shows him wearing a T-shirt with an unofficial Marine Corps motto, "Pain is weakness leaving the body." Another ad shows a candidate boasting, "I was the first woman Marine to fly in an F-18 in combat. And I got to land on aircraft carriers."

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On the campaign trail last year, after a tragic attack on an Orlando nightclub left 49 people dead, Donald Trump went out of his way to thank the LGBT community, vowing to protect them from violence and tweeting, "I will fight for you."

Years earlier, in an interview with a magazine that reaches a large gay audience, Trump told the Advocate that he supported gay people serving in the military.

This season's massive hurricanes will force communities in Texas and Florida to ask a tough question: How do you make sure homes and businesses never flood again? Since its own devastating flood in 2010, Nashville has embraced one answer: offer to tear them down.

It would seem a welcome way out of disaster, but it's not always an easy sell.

A watchdog group wants the feds to investigate some of the estimated 3,300 Russian-backed ads that appeared on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Kelp was dubbed "the new kale" a few years back by chefs, nutritionists and foodies who embraced its oceanic flavors and purported health benefits. Now seaweed is the star ingredient in "Selkie," a beer at the Portsmouth Brewery on New Hampshire's seacoast. Its named after a mesmerizing, mythological water creature that — as the story goes — can shed its skin to take human form on land.

Jonathan Guffey has chiseled youthful looks and, at 32, does not have the haggard bearing of someone who has spent more than half his life hooked on opioids. That stint with the drug started at 15 and ended — he says for good — 22 months ago. He has a job working with his family in construction, but his work history is pockmarked by addiction.

"I've worked in a couple of factories for a short amount of time, probably just long enough to get the first check to get high off of," Guffey says.

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"You're just data and data doesn't bleed."

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[Warning: This essay — and this episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour — contains references to sex and assorted body parts, as well as spoilers about the first two seasons of Outlander. Proceed with caution.]

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Some Ga. Schools Make Mandarin Mandatory

Sep 8, 2012

Public schools in Macon, Ga., and surrounding Bibb County have a lot of problems. Most of the 25,000 students are poor enough to qualify for free and reduced lunch, and about half don't graduate.

Bibb County's Haitian-born superintendent Romain Dallemand came into the job last year with a bag of changes he calls "The Macon Miracle." There are now longer schools days, year-round instruction, and one mandate nobody saw coming: Mandarin Chinese for every student, pre-K through 12th grade.

A radical proposal to restore one of Cuba's most important architectural landmarks is rekindling a 50-year-old controversy. At the center is ballet superstar Carlos Acosta, who left the island and went on to a lead role in London's Royal Ballet. Acosta wants to return to the island and restore an abandoned ballet school with help from one of the world's most famous architects.

But the proposal has opened old wounds from the school's past and stirred a debate about the future of Cuba's state-sponsored cultural model.

Stephen Tobolowsky calls his book, The Dangerous Animals Club, a group of "pieces." They are partly essays, partly short stories, partly memoir. They are anecdotes, stories and insights that are shuffled in and out of order, like cards in a deck.

The Miss Navajo contest is not your typical beauty pageant. Instead of swimsuits and high heels, you get turquoise and moccasins. One of the talent competitions is butchering sheep, and speaking Navajo is a must.

The members of Sauti Sol rehearse in a cramped recording studio above a chapati restaurant off a noisy highway in Nairobi. Bien-Aime Baraza, Delvin Mudigi and Willis Chimano — the founding members, all 25 — have been friends since they sang together as part of a gospel ensemble in high school. When they graduated in 2005, they didn't want to stop singing, so they formed Sauti Sol. Sauti is Swahili for voice, while sol is Spanish for sun. "Voices of light."

This election season, Three-Minute Fiction is getting political. Weekends on All Things Considered has a new judge, a new challenge and a new prize for Round 9. For this contest, submit original, short fiction that can be read in about three minutes, which means no more than 600 words.

The judge for this round is writer Brad Meltzer. He's the author of seven novels, including the best-seller The Inner Circle. His newest thriller, The Fifth Assassin, will be out in January.

Back in the early 1970s, a young woman at Radcliffe College faced a choice: Stay in school and get her degree, or drop out and become a legendary blues singer and guitarist. It's pretty clear Bonnie Raitt made the right choice.

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Sep 7, 2012

Our panelists answer questions about the week's news: Obamabrau.

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