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WORDS ON A WIRE: Don Shapiro & Valentin Sandoval

Local businessman Don Shapiro and author/filmmaker Valentin Sandoval have joined forces to build a creative center for established and emerging artists of all mediums. This week, the two joined us in-studio to tell us about this collaborative project, as well as their book, that is helping shape the future of El Paso's creative artistic community.

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Many people go vegetarian or vegan in order to improve their health. But there's another very important reason that we should be eating less animal products. Animal agriculture has a devastating impact on our water, land, and air. This week, we spoke with Nil Zacharias, co-author of the book Eat for the Planet, who shows us that by making even minimal dietary changes, anyone can have a positive lasting impact on our planet.

Peter C. Ford is a Professor from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Mr. Ford's research has encompassed topics related to the photochemistry, catalytic reactions, and mechanisms of transition metal complexes. The Ford Research Group is focused on sustainable methodologies for the conversion of biomass to fuels and chemical precursors , the photochemical studies involve the application of nanomaterials to collect light and to transfer energy to metal complexes that release certain bioactive agents, and the third area of research is concerned with evaluating the quantitative chemical reactivities of small molecule bioregulators with biologically relevant metal centers.

Marcelo Hernandez Castillo is a poet, essayist, translator, and immigration advocate. This week, we had the honor of speaking with him about his latest collection of poetry, Cenzontle, which was chosen by Brenda Shaughnessy as the winner of the 2017 A. Poulin, Jr. prize and will be published by BOA Editions in 2018. We discussed his writing process, his work as a founder of the Undocupoets campaign, and even how his poetry has transformed since becoming a father. 

The Las Cruces UkeFest is hosted by the Las Cruces Ukes, a non-profit community group of ukulele enthusiasts in southern New Mexico. Last year they held their first full-scale festival to rave reviews and a sold-out venue!

For 2018, they’ve arranged for a larger theatre to fit all the ukulele lovers they expect to host. Here to tell us all about it are Cheryl Fallstead and Bob Hull.

Life in West Texas has inspired El Pasoan Jason Brewer to open Jackrabbit Trading where he creates hand crafted furniture and goods.

While he came to discover his talent for carpentry in a round about way, his Terlingua Chair has become a best seller. Here to talk Jackrabbit Trading is Jason Brewer.

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A California law permitting physicians to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients has been overturned by a judge who says it was passed unconstitutionally.

Judge Daniel Ottolia of the Riverside County Superior Court did not challenge the legality of the nearly 3-year-old law but said California lawmakers should not have passed it during a special session on health care funding.

An explosion at a medical office building in Southern California that killed at least one person and seriously wounded three others is reportedly being investigated as possibly intentional.

The Los Angeles Times quotes authorities as saying the explosion in the city of Aliso Viejo is suspicious and The Associated Press says authorities believe it may have been caused by a package bomb.

The blast blew out walls and an entire bottom floor of the building.

Updated at 3:20 a.m. ET Wednesday

A massive ash plume rising from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea volcano has caused authorities to issue a red alert for airplanes in the region for the first time since the mountain suddenly ramped up its activity nearly two weeks ago.

What scientists refer to as "vog" — a combination of volcanic gas and ash — reached 12,000 feet into the sky above Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes.

Inside a secret annex above her father's office, Anne Frank edited passages from her first diary, the book that captured a teenager's experience of the Holocaust. What she hid underneath brown gummed paper on two pages was revealed on Tuesday — five crossed-out phrases, four risqué jokes and 33 lines about sex education and prostitution.

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Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

In his annual disclosure of personal finances, President Trump acknowledged that he paid lawyer Michael Cohen between $100,000 and $250,000 last year.

Cohen and Trump defense attorney Rudolph Giuliani have both said some of that money was to reimburse Cohen for a $130,000 hush money settlement with adult film actress Stormy Daniels, who says she had an affair with Trump.

In last week's primaries, Republican internal divisions were highlighted. But Tuesday night, it was the Democrats' turn — and in some of the very places the party needs to win to take back the House.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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'The Great Revolt' In The Voting Booth

55 minutes ago

Donald Trump’s victory in 2016 may have surprised a lot of people, but that doesn’t mean it was a fluke.

Journalists, pundits, professors and political strategists have spent over a year analyzing how Trump won. In their new book The Great Revolt, columnist Salena Zito and Republican strategist Brad Todd look at who Trump won. Who are the voters who put them over the top?

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The parent company of Fox News has paid approximately $10 million in settlements with 18 former employees, according to two sources with knowledge of the deal. The cases arose from intense scrutiny of Fox's workplace culture after it was convulsed by a sexual harassment scandal.

The Senate is voting on a resolution Wednesday to nullify the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rollback, which is scheduled to take place next month. At least one Republican – Sen. Susan Collins – has said she will join Democrats who want to overturn the FCC's controversial decision.

Two other Republicans — Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — also seemed to be siding with the Democrats, voting along with Collins to begin debate on the measure, in a 52-47 decision that came shortly after 12:30 p.m. ET.

Updated at 12:52 p.m. ET

Cambridge Analytica used Facebook to find and target Americans to trigger paranoia and racial biases, a former employee of the data analytics company told lawmakers on Wednesday.

The 2015 nuclear deal with Iran was heralded as the reopening of the country's battered economy, and big foreign companies such as Airbus, Siemens and Samsung rushed to take advantage of the opportunity.

Now that President Trump has effectively closed the door again, those same companies have to choose between remaining in Iran and staying on the good side of the U.S. government.

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Towards the end of Kevin Powers' second novel, A Shout in the Ruins, a young man wandering the country in the days of the Civil War comes across a boy his own age dressed in a Confederate uniform. The stranger, in a paranoid fit of rage, slashes the boy's neck and shoots and kills his dog. The stunned boy wraps his pet's corpse in a Union blanket, and comes to a sad realization: "The simple fact was this: it was hard to find a soul left anywhere on earth who believed that there was dignity in death."

What if Bucky Dent's long fly ball in the 1978 American League East playoff game hadn't cleared the Green Monster at Fenway Park? What if John Paxson had missed the 3-pointer at the end of game 6 in the 1993 NBA Finals? What if Carli Lloyd had been injured in the final of the 2015 Women's World Cup?

Sports fans are particularly good at asking what if questions. Sports, after all, are full of counterfactual possibilities replete with drama.

Tom Wolfe wasn't interested in fitting in. In his signature white suit, the best-selling author and journalist described himself as "the village information gatherer."

"For me, it is much more effective to arrive in any situation as a man from Mars," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1987.

Wolfe died Monday in a Manhattan hospital. He was 88.

It's 1983. Late May. An unprepossessing strip mall in Anywhere, USA. You and your friend are leaving the theater in which you have just finished watching Return of the Jedi, the (so you think, you beautiful idiot) culminating chapter of George Lucas' soaring space opera, with which you are love-drunk. You have followed it, devotedly, passionately, since the moment the lights first went down in the theater of your screening of the first film (which you did not know to call Episode IV, you gorgeous naif) six years before.

Author Michael Pollan had always been curious about psychoactive plants, but his interest skyrocketed when he heard about a research study in which people with terminal cancer were given a psychedelic called psilocybin — the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms" — to help them deal with their distress.

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The year is 1898. Our heroine, Princess Alexandrina, better known as Mink, is the suddenly penniless daughter of the late, disgraced Maharajah of Prindur, and the best female marksman in England. Queen Victoria has offered Mink a grace-and-favor house (rent-free lodging granted by a monarch) at Hampton Court Palace, where the dispossessed princess and her large-footed serving maid, Pooki, fall in with a cast of classic English eccentrics, a wandering American, and a beetle-eating hedgehog named Victoria.

Actor Sherman Hemsley was best known for his role as George Jefferson on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. He died Wednesday at the age of 74. Host Michel Martin speaks with Tampa Bay Times media critic Eric Deggans about the actor's career and the impact his roles had on TV and in our culture.

Sinclair Rejects Olympic Excess In 'Ghost Milk'

Jul 25, 2012

For every successful Olympic Games, such as Sydney's in 2000, there are twice as many failures. Montreal famously declared that the 1976 Olympics would pay for themselves; instead the city needed forty years to square its debt, and meanwhile the Expos left town. Beijing's Bird's Nest is crumbling; the hotels far from downtown are vacant. And in debt-wracked Athens, whose lavish Games went ten times over budget, farmers graze their pigs in the abandoned weightlifting stadium.

New In Paperback July 23-29

Jul 25, 2012

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Stephen King, Ali Smith, Charles C. Mann Juliet Eilperin and Paul Hendrickson.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries

Jul 24, 2012

When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was amazed at how many people had the same landscaping complaint. "I spent all weekend cutting down the blackberries," some co-worker would groan on Monday morning, looking for sympathy for the lost hours and aching back. However, as someone who didn't grow up in such Edenic surroundings, I was totally dumbfounded. Cutting back blackberries? Why would you cut back blackberries? Don't they, you know, give you blackberries?

Best YA Fiction Poll: You Asked, We Answer!

Jul 24, 2012

Our Best YA Fiction poll has only been live for a few hours, and already the cries of outrage are echoing through the intertubes! Where are A Wrinkle in Time, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Ender's Game? What about Watership Down? My Side of the Mountain? Where the Red Fern Grows? Most of Judy Blume's oeuvre? The Little House books?

We hear you, I promise.

There's a fine line between satire and the nasty snigger that marks so much of pop comedy these days — which is another way of saying that the corrosively funny takedown of child beauty pageants in the 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine moved me to forgive (by a hair) its creepiest creation — Alan Arkin's heroin-addicted grandpa. Still, I wonder whether my 14-year-old, who has roared her way through that movie at least a dozen times, can tell the difference between sharp commentary and the juvie desire to shock.

The obvious way to approach South Korean director Seung-jun Yi's modest but potent documentary Planet of Snail is to think of it as a story about a disabled man making his way through the world with the help of his companion. But more simply and more accurately, it's really a movie about marriage — about the way two people can smooth over each other's cracks to achieve an imperfect yet sturdy wholeness.

The Colorful Days Of Life On The Border

Jul 24, 2012

Editor's note: This is another one of those stories that came to me fortuitously by email. Bruce Berman teaches photography in Las Cruces, N.M., and, like many photography instructors, he has a huge archive of his own. This is just a small selection of his color photographs documenting life in the border town of El Paso, Texas.

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