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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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"Ballistic blocks" shot from Kilauea's Halemaumau crater Wednesday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which says it is the first time such an event has been seen at the Hawaiian volcano in nearly a century.

"This morning dense ballistic blocks up to 60 cm (2 feet) across were found in the parking lot a few hundred yards from Halemaumau," USGS wrote in an advisory on Wednesday. "These reflect the most energetic explosions yet observed and could reflect the onset of steam-driven explosive activity."

Joshua Holt — a Mormon missionary from Utah jailed in Venezuela's most notorious prison — has uploaded an emotional video plea for his freedom, saying that his life is under threat amid an ongoing riot by fellow inmates.

Holt, 26, who traveled to Venezuela in 2016 to marry Thamara Canelo, a woman he met online, has spent the past two years in the El Helicoide prison without charge after police said they found weapons in the couple's Caracas apartment.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

When an NBA team interviews potential head coaches, it's a big deal on sports sites and the fan blogs. It gets a write-up in the hometown paper.

It's not usually headline news at the New York Times, The Washington Post, Vogue and Salon.

Updated at 11 p.m. ET

If you are reading this, you are likely one of the more than 14 million people who vehemently believe that this audio clip is saying either the word "yanny" or the word "laurel."

If you haven't heard it yet, take a listen:

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The Koch brothers are going rogue.

For years the political network funded by billionaires Charles and David Koch funded politicians on the right, laying the foundation for the libertarian causes the two support. Their support has gone almost exclusively to Republican candidates, with rare exception.

But in the era of Trump, what it means to be on the "right" is changing, and the Koch network's tactics are changing to reflect new realities.

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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We're going to now bring in the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Mark Warner of Virginia. He was skeptical of Gina Haspel's stance on torture during her confirmation hearing for the top CIA job.

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"We've got massive flags with Harry and Meghan on," says Mike Drummond of the Red Bus souvenir shop next to the iconic London Eye. A Union Jack with the royal couple's faces in the middle hangs high on the wall and is selling fast.

There are commemorative plates in buttercup yellow and curly gilding, selling for $16, presentation stand included. And there are gold and white-fringed bookmarks, kitchen towels and bargain key rings ($4 each).

"The most popular item is the mugs, the souvenir mugs. But we've got coasters, teaspoons, magnets, everything," says Drummond.

German Ambassador On Iran Deal

7 hours ago

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Updated 11:16 EDT: This story now includes information about the Food and Drug Administration's release of a list of complaints against brand-name drugmakers for hindering access to samples for generic testing.

When Celgene Corp. first started marketing the drug Revlimid to treat multiple myeloma in 2006, the price was $6,195 for 21 capsules, a month's supply.

It's 2016. Stephanie Strom, a reporter at The New York Times, gets a hot tip from some of her Wall Street contacts. They're big investors, including hedge funds.

They tell her that some aggressive investors — they don't say exactly who — have made a big bet against chicken companies. Those investors think chicken companies have grown too fast, and the nation is headed for a glut of chicken.

"They were betting that the price of chicken was going to fall," Strom recalls; chicken companies' profits would disappear, and their stock price also would take a hit.

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

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Prince Harry, the sixth in line to the British throne, is marrying American actress (and former Suits star) Meghan Markle on Saturday, May 19.

Ellen Forney has a new book out, and the fact that it's about mood disorders is just gravy. Maybe that sentence needs some explaining — starting with the "mood disorders" part. If you suffer from some form of depression or bipolar disorder, you've probably noticed a divide that exists amongst books on the subject. On the one side are probing, literary accounts of what it's like to experience these illnesses — William Styron's Darkness Visible, Kay Redfield Jamison's An Unquiet Mind. On the other side are books about coping.

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

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With these four little words...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE KARATE KID")

PAT MORITA: (As Miyagi) Wax on, wax off.

2012 was a terrible year for comic Tig Notaro. She had pneumonia, a life threatening intestinal infection, breast cancer and a double mastectomy. She also split with her girlfriend — and her mother died unexpectedly.

But since then, things have taken a turn both professionally and personally. After her stand-up set about having cancer went viral, she released the comedy special Boyish Girl Interrupted, and co-wrote and starred in the semi-autobiographical Amazon series One Mississippi. In 2015, she married actress Stephanie Allynne, and they now have twin boys.

First Reformed is a stunner, a spiritually probing work of art with the soul of a thriller, realized with a level of formal control and fierce moral anger that we seldom see in American movies.

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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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