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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

'Little Birds': Spiraling Down On Broken Wings

Wayward Lily (Juno Temple) falls for Jesse (Kyle Gallner), the head of a nihilistic skater gang from Los Angeles, in Little Birds, a story suffused with deprivation and despair.
Millennium Entertainment

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:46 am

The title of Elgin James' debut feature, Little Birds, refers to the two teenage girls at its center. But for all the sweetness and fragility that title suggests, one of those girls, Lily (Juno Temple), has a knack for destruction better suited to a charging rhino.

Lily, in fact, is the stuff of parents' worst nightmares about what their children might become as teenagers: sullen, willful, cruel, smart enough to know how to hurt those closest to her with a few well-chosen words but too dumb to know how to protect herself from harm.

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

On the Farmers Market Frontier, It's Not Just About Profit

On a corner in Washington, D.C., where stores burned during riots 44 years ago, there's now a plaza where farmers sell produce on Saturday mornings.
Dan Charles/NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:30 am

Farmers markets are popping up in cities all across the country, and people expect lots of different things from them: Better food, of course, but also economic development and even friendlier neighborhoods.

At its core, though, the farmers market is a business, and it won't survive unless the farmer makes money.

So what's the key to success for these markets?

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Around the Nation
2:57 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Despite Drought, Some Corn Farmers Reap Bounty

Grimes Sweetcorn worker Paulette Vandyke waits to sell fresh corn in Grimes, Iowa. The drought has pushed the price of corn per bushel up nearly 40 percent in the past two months.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:18 pm

For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.

"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.

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Election 2012
2:57 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Republicans Still Need To Win Over Female Voters

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:09 pm

For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, he'll have to close the gender gap. Polls show female voters favor President Obama over Romney by wide margins. Robert Siegel sat down with Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to ask her about women and the GOP.

Humans
12:51 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Pinky DNA Points To Clues About Ancient Humans

A replica of the pinky bone fragment found in a Siberian cave. Researchers used the bone bit to extract and sequence the genome of a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago.
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:09 pm

Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.

"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."

The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.

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Mom And Dad's Record Collection
12:24 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

Cole Porter Scores An Interracial Couple's Highs And Lows

Cole Porter's "Begin the Beguine," a favorite song of listener Melanie Cowart's parents, became a fitting symbol for their relationship.
Sasha Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 4:09 pm

As summer winds down, All Things Considered is winding down its series "Mom and Dad's Record Collection."

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Movie Reviews
12:12 pm
Thu August 30, 2012

'Flying Swords': Fast, Furious And Now In 3-D

Yu Hua Tian (Chen Kun) and Chow Wai On (Jet Li) battle it out in Flying Swords, which translate's wuxia films' physics-defying action into 3-D.
CAO Kai Ping, Jupiter Wong, YIN Nan Indomina Releasing

A Tsui Hark movie in 3-D — not to mention the first wuxia film to be shot in the format — ought to serve up three times the spectacle of the usual Tsui affair. And damned if Flying Swords of Dragon Gate doesn't almost deliver.

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Afghanistan
10:32 am
Thu August 30, 2012

For Afghan Leaders, Facing Death Is A Fact Of Life

The aftermath of a truck bomb in Kandahar, the main city in southern Afghanistan, which wounded the provincial police chief and killed two civilians Monday. Taliban attacks against Afghan officials are up sharply this year.
Mamoon Durani AP

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 6:17 pm

Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.

On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.

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Performing Arts
10:13 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Audra McDonald: Shaping 'Bess' On Broadway

Audra McDonald plays Bess in the current Broadway production of Porgy and Bess.
Michael J. Lutch Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 11:46 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 15, 2012. Audra McDonald plays Bess in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

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Performing Arts
10:00 am
Thu August 30, 2012

David Alan Grier's 'Sporting Life' On Broadway

In Porgy and Bess, David Alan Grier plays the drug dealer Sporting Life, a role closely associated with Sammy Davis Jr. and Cab Calloway.
Courtesy of the American Repertory Theater

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 10:14 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 22, 2012. David Alan Grier plays Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

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Book Reviews
6:26 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Haves And Have-Nots In 'NW' London

Zadie Smith is the author of White Teeth and On Beauty.
Dominique Nabokov Penguin Group

Some postal codes encapsulate a socioeconomic profile in tidy shorthand: 10021 for Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, NW6 and NW10 for London's racially mixed, resolutely ungentrified northwest quadrant. Zadie Smith's London birthplace — a major wellspring of her work — is the setting of NW, her ambitious though somewhat dilatory fourth novel, which tackles issues of fortune and failure, class and ethnicity, and the often guilt-inducing and sometimes blurry lines between them.

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Business
5:44 am
Thu August 30, 2012

China To Buy 50 Planes From Airbus

The more than $3.5 billion deal was signed during a visit to China by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Business
5:42 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Mortgage Settlement Monitor Issues First Report

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.

As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.

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Around the Nation
5:32 am
Thu August 30, 2012

To Save Change-Making Time, Chipotle Rounds Bill Up

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:43 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.

Around the Nation
5:26 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Giant Tennis Racket, So Big It Needs A Permit

Ashrita Furman wants to build a tennis racket the size of a bus, and show it off at the U.S. Open. It's so big, he was told it's considered a building so he would need a permit.

New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu August 30, 2012

New In Paperback Aug. 27-Sept. 2

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Bernard Cornwell, Hisham Matar, Madeline Miller, Sally Jacobs and Jim Steinmeyer

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

Election 2012
5:00 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Romney Courts Vets At American Legion Convention

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Now, as Isaac moves north from Louisiana, it could affect other parts of the country, and we'll be following that story as it develops.

The other big story we have been following this week is the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Today is the final day, and it's an important one for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He'll officially accept the nomination this evening. Yesterday, Romney took a break from the hubbub of the convention to do a little campaigning elsewhere. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on his getaway.

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Around the Nation
4:39 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Hurricane Isaac 'Fooled A lot Of People'

Marlaine Peachey works in the mayor's office in Mandeville, La. During severe weather she mans the office 24-7. She tells Steve Inskeep that Hurricane Issac was a water event they didn't expect.

Election 2012
4:03 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Ryan Tells GOP Delegates U.S. Needs A Turnaround

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

But now to Tampa, where this evening Mitt Romney will formally accept his party's nomination for president.

Last night, though, the stage belonged to vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. In a campaign, it often falls to the running mate to be the attack dog and Ryan sounded up for the job. It was also a chance for the rising GOP star to defend his own ideas.

Here's NPR's national correspondent Mara Liasson.

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Destination Art
1:17 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Hannibal, Mo.: Art Abounds In Twain's Hometown

Twain's boyhood home in Hannibal, pictured circa 1955, is now a museum.
Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 3:56 am

Samuel Clemens, who is said to have taken his pen name Mark Twain from the cries of riverboat crewmen, found the inspiration for his classic works while growing up in the river town of Hannibal, Mo. Today, more than 125 years after the first pressing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there's a new set of artistic characters in Twain's boyhood home.

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World
4:44 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Often Isolated, Iran Hosts Huge International Summit

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hold talks at the Iranian president's office in Tehran on Wednesday.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. and other Western countries are often trying to isolate Iran, but this week the country is in the international spotlight as it hosts a summit of 120 nonaligned nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kim-moon decided to go, ignoring the advice of Israel and the U.S. He promised to deliver a tough message, but others are skeptical, arguing that his visit plays into the hands of the Iranians and to U.N. detractors in Washington.

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Animals
4:06 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Drought Makes Bear Run-Ins More Common

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

Encounters between humans and bears have risen in Western states, especially in Wyoming and Colorado. That's due largely to drought. Bears are traveling longer distances for food because the berries they usually eat have dried up.

As we hear from Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen, hungry bears are turning to dumpsters, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators.

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The Salt
4:06 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

Unraveling The Mystery Of A Grandmother's Lost Ravioli Recipe

Italian food expert Julia della Croce suggested Benner try a Tuscan sheep's cheese, or pecorino Toscano, for the filling.
Courtesy of Celina della Croce

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 3:11 pm

NPR listener Alice Benner says her Italian grandmother made ravioli that was "indescribably delicious."

Benner told us that she's tried to re-create the recipe many times. "The dough — the consistency — is totally wrong, usually too thick," she writes.

Benner's grandmother used Romano cheese in the filling — probably from an Italian deli in Chicago — but Benner says when she makes the ravioli, "the Romano cheese I've used never has the same punch. I've all but given up trying to make them."

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Author Interviews
12:08 pm
Wed August 29, 2012

A Linguist's Serious Take On 'The A-Word'

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg says he wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.
Nicole Katano

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 12:04 pm

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.

"I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics — they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,' " Nunberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Author Interviews
10:40 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Victor LaValle On Mental Illness, Monsters And Survival

Victor LaValle is also the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, The Ecstatic and Big Machine.
E. Robateu Random House

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 11:58 am

In Victor LaValle's new novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night.

The plausibility of a monster roaming the hospital's halls made sense, says LaValle, who has a personal connection to the mentally ill.

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Wisdom Watch
10:03 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Brooklyn Mack, From Ball Player To Ballet Star

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as we've kicked off our coverage of the Republican National Convention this week, we've asked a number of our guests what a successful country looks like to them. I'll explain why I'm asking that in my Can I Just Tell You essay. And that's coming up in a few minutes.

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Monkey See
10:03 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: Model Or Headless Disney Mascot?

A model walks down the runway during the Maria Sofia Bahlner S/S 2013 Fashion Show from the Swedish School of Textiles during the Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.
Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:49 am

This is a model walking during a Maria Sofia Bahlner fashion show from what I am told is the "Swedish School Of Textiles," during Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week.

This is undoubtedly an example of avant-garde design, fashion as art, exploration of textile possibilities ... I have no doubt, it is artistically driven.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Wed August 29, 2012

The Eternal Leonard Maltin: The Movie Guide That Gives And Gives

Seen here in 2010, film critic Leonard Maltin has been dishing out his reviews in capsule form since 1969.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:00 pm

When I was a kid, I awaited the annual publication of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide with the awe and dread of a Parent/Teacher interview. Sure, film criticism is a subjective thing, but to my young eyes, the 16,000+ capsule reviews in Maltin's yearly reference book carried the weight of absolute truth. Each year, with the austerity of a poet and the precision of a diamond-cutter, Maltin and his army of cowriters pass swift, one-to-ten-paragraph judgment on hundreds of new films, and a small part of me will always believe the Guide is blessed with objectivity.

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Kitchen Window
5:43 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Zucchini You Actually Can't Resist

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 9:56 am

"Ugh," my sister exclaimed one evening as we were making dinner. It was supposed to be an easy poached chicken with a ginger-scallion sauce, eaten with cold cucumber wedges, and we had just discovered that what we had bought at the store was not cucumber, but zucchini. It was an easy mistake to make — they were the precise same shade of green. But where the zucchini's skin was mostly smooth, the cucumber's was lumpy. We were not happy.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Martin Amis' 'State of England': Anomie In The U.K.

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Too much is made of literature's ennobling qualities. There are those of us who come to books for the debasement and danger, for Hannibal and Humbert. For Faulkner's Popeye and Hedda Gabler. We want to meet the monsters.

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