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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So Much Anxiety Over Sibling Rivalry

Feb 19, 2017

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars hear from a woman who is thinking about having a second child, but terrified of the idea that the children could be cruel to each other.

Argentina can be beguiling, but its grand European architecture and lively coffee culture obscure a dark past: In the 1970s and early '80s, thousands of people were tortured and killed under the country's military dictatorship. In many cases, the children of the disappeared were kidnapped, and some of those children were raised by their parents' murderers.

If Hacksaw Ridge breaks Kevin O'Connell's Oscars losing streak, he'll have a pile of acceptance speeches to choose from. Over the years, he's earned 21 Academy Award nominations for sound mixing, but doesn't have a single statue to show for it.

Most of his unused acceptance speeches are sitting in a drawer. "I don't pay much attention to that stuff anymore," O'Connell says. "I almost feel like this is like a rebirth for me at this point, you know?"

O'Connell's a re-recording mixer — he brings sound into movies.

On Saturdays, Jim Stokes searches for typefaces.

And on the floors of parking lots, the displays in antique stores and the dust jackets of his modest 4,000 book science-fiction collection, he finds them.

Then, he waits until Sunday to post them on Twitter.

If you added up all the time Nora Roberts has spent just in the No. 1 spot of the New York Times best-seller list, she would clock in at more than four years. She's had 198 books on the list in total — both romance novels and thrillers.

Roberts sometimes publishes under the name JD Robb, so we've decided to ask her three questions about another, somewhat less prolific JD — J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Four dancers in bright unitards are twisting, gliding and strutting their way through an airy gallery in Minneapolis. They're former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and they're performing movements the choreographer created.

For seven decades, Cunningham delighted his many fans — and perplexed and mystified others. He died in 2009 at the age of 90. Now, a new exhibition at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center celebrates his dance legacy, and explores his impact on modern music and visual art.

At a time when much of the country says it hates Washington D.C., politics, power brokers, spin doctors, and compromise — not to mention the press — the executive director of the American Press Institute has written a novel that combines all of those features into a thriller. Oh, there's the tiniest bit of sex, too.

It begins, like so many simpler books before it, with a party. And with a death.

But this is no simple party. It is a state dinner at the White House, hosted by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln — a lavish, decadent state dinner thrown in 1862, as the meat grinder of the Civil War is just beginning to churn.

Beginning Friday, the New York branch of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host the exhibit Native Fashion Now, a traveling show from the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. It highlights a dazzling array of contemporary fashion made by dozens of Native American designers.

Miffy the rabbit seems quite simple. Two black dots for eyes, a sideways X for a mouth, a body inked in gentle curves — the artistry of Dick Bruna's creation rests precisely in its apparent artlessness. And in the six decades since Miffy was first put to page, Bruna's venerable rabbit has earned the affection of young fans worldwide, the admiration of art critics and even an entire museum in her honor.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

These days, you're more likely to come across the concept of a Rorschach test in a cultural context than a clinical one. The actual psychological test — in which participants are asked to interpret 10 symmetric inkblot images — isn't as widely used as it once was. But metaphorically, Rorschach is still our go-to term when something elicits a variety of interpretations among different people.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Big Little Lies, which begins Sunday on HBO, is a miniseries that begins with a murder scene, and investigation, in the close-knit oceanside town of Monterey. It's a seven-episode drama, and HBO made the first six available for preview. Even after watching all of them, I still don't know the identity of the murderer — or, for that matter, the victim. But that's on purpose.

This That Or The Other

Feb 17, 2017

In this week's edition of This That or the Other, poetry meets mystery meets...alt rock. Are these the titles of poems by Robert Frost, Nancy Drew books, or the name of alternative rock bands?

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Celebrity Name Combos

Feb 17, 2017

Contestants must guess the phrase created by combining the last names of celebrities. For example, if we said, "When the star of City Slickers met Ricky Ricardo's wife, he used THIS to see their future," the answer would be "Crystal Ball" — mashing together the last names of Billy Crystal and Lucille Ball.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

True Fact Or Fictitious

Feb 17, 2017

Guest musician Julian Velard sings about old wives tales in this parody of Stevie Wonder's classic song, "Superstition." Can you guess which tales are true and false before the contestants do?

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Mystery Guest

Feb 17, 2017

This episode's Mystery Guest is Lauren Singer, who decided to change her life in a radical way while she was in college. Now she runs a blog that teaches people how to follow her lead. Ophira Eisenberg and guest musician Julian Velard ask yes or no questions to figure out what she did to change her life!

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ménage À Trois

Feb 17, 2017

They say two is company and three's a crowd, but these treasured trios prove that saying wrong. Contestants must guess the collective name given to a particular trio. For example, "Larry, Moe and Curly," are "The Three Stooges."

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Roy Wood Jr.: Puzzle Banger After Banger

Feb 17, 2017

Comedian Roy Wood Jr.'s got his first big break doing prank phone calls on the radio. But unlike many pranksters, he often conducted these calls live on the air, which led to some problems. He even got suspended for one particular call, which he shared with host Ophira Eisenberg. "I called a cruise ship company and told them my Granddaddy left his wallet on a slave ship when he came from Africa...and I needed them to check lost and found." The call later went viral and can still be found on YouTube.

A Bech-delicate Balance

Feb 17, 2017

How does a movie fulfil the Bechdel Test? If it has two women that have a conversation with each other about something other than a man – it passes! In this game, contestants guess the names of the surprising bro-y films that happen to pass the test.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

This week's show brings a new voice to our fourth chair: Alan Sepinwall, TV critic at Uproxx and author (of The Revolution Was Televised and, with Matt Zoller Seitz, of TV (The Book)), is with us to talk about two new shows.

The BBC nature series Planet Earth II doesn't debut on BBC America until Saturday, but one of its scenes has already been viewed online more than 9 million times. The two-minute clip shows a baby iguana running for its life through a pit of hungry snakes. (Does he make it? Watch the clip below to find out ...)

The 1987 comedy Three O'Clock High, about the showdown between a nerdy school reporter and a bully who looked like a 30-year-old ex-con, has gained a cult reputation over the years for cutting against the grain of the typical '80s high school fare. Stylishly directed by first-timer Phil Joanou, who made a name for himself doing music videos for U2, the film worked as a teenage twist on Martin Scorsese's After Hours, another black comedy about a hapless weakling being put through the wringer.

'A Cure For Wellness' Needs A Dose Of Originality

Feb 16, 2017

Few things are more terrifying than outdated medical equipment, except when that same equipment is administered without anesthesia. The new psychological horror movie A Cure For Wellness is set in the modern day, but takes place in a remote sanitarium where no corridor or procedure seems to utilize any innovations from the last century. The head doctor takes pride in "unplugging" his patients from the stresses of the outside world, while plugging them into horrifying, body-poking contraptions instead.

Opening a few miles from its namesake, The Great Wall introduces a group of European knaves who have somehow trekked to northwestern China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Most prominent among these thieves and mercenaries is William (Matt Damon), who's supposed to be British, although the actor doesn't further burden his stiff line readings with a feigned brogue. The outlanders' goal is to acquire some gunpowder, a Chinese invention with solid commercial prospects in war-happy Europe.

Book Review: '300 Arguments,' Sarah Manguso

Feb 16, 2017

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A new book by Sarah Manguso is tough to pin down. It claims to be a book of essays, but that label isn't exactly right, says our poetry reviewer Tess Taylor. She has this take on "300 Arguments."

There are over 21 million refugees around the world, according to the United Nations, and the musical A Man of Good Hope tells the story of one of them: Somali refugee Asad Abdullahi. Several years ago, author Jonny Steinberg interviewed Abdullahi in a rough and tumble township outside Cape Town, South Africa. He was working on a book about South African history.

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