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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

In 'The Seeds Of Time,' One Man's Quest To Save Our Food Supply

Seeds of Time
Hungry, INC. Kino Lorber

Cary Fowler is an easygoing, soft-spoken Tennessee native who travels the world with an urgent message: The human race may starve to death. If that threat becomes likely, however, people can turn to the biological archive that director Sandy McLeod's documentary calls The Seeds of Time.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

'Aloft': A Haunting Family Drama Ripe With Magical Realism

Jennifer Connelly as Nana in Aloft.
Jose Haro Sony Pictures Classics

The first scene of Aloft is one of the more haunting movie openings in recent years. It's a bitter cold day in northern Canada; against a barren snowscape, a single mother named Nana (Jennifer Connolly) and her two young sons hitch rides in vans from morose men toward an increasingly remote location. With little dialogue, we discover they are on their way to visit a faith healer named The Architect, who performs rituals for a cult of believers in an igloo-like structure built from twigs.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

A Journey Of Self-Discovery In 'When Marnie Was There'

When Marnie Was There
2014 GNDHDDTK

The adolescent girl at the heart of Hiromasa Yonebayashi's haunting When Marnie Was There has the cropped dark hair, wide eyes and square-peg awkwardness that will be familiar to fans of Studio Ghibli animated movies. Unlike the feisty, willful sprites of Kiki's Delivery Service, Spirited Away and many other Ghibli treasures though, Anna is a cowed, sensitive soul with artistic leanings. At school she's friendless and bullied.

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It's All Politics
2:35 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

People Say They Want Compromise But Not Really

President Obama shakes Speaker John Boehner's hand before the start of a 2011 joint session of Congress.
Pool Getty Images

The new Congress is 100 days old, and already Americans disapprove. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, nearly 40 percent of Americans think the newest Congress has accomplished less than expected — that's around twice the share who thought the same of the new Democratic Congress in 2007 and three times what people thought of the GOP Congress in 1995.

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The Salt
2:31 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Chew On This: The Science Of Great NYC Bagels (It's Not The Water)

Steaming-hot bagels are scooped out of the water in which they were boiled and dumped onto a stainless steel drain board at a bagel bakery in Queens, New York City, 1963. Traditionally, bagels were boiled, but bakers who use the modern method skip this step.
Dan Grossi AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 4:30 pm

One of the first life lessons I picked up in college was this: The secret to the shiny crust and chewy bite prized in New York bagels is boiling. Any other way of cooking them, my Brooklyn born-and-raised, freshman-year roommate told me, is simply unacceptable.

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Parallels
2:28 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

China Kicks Off 'Great Leap Forward' On The Soccer Field

First-graders take soccer class at the Nandulehe Elementary School in suburban Beijing. The school is one of 20,000 that's launching a national soccer curriculum in the next five years. It's part of a government plan to raise China's soccer skills and eventually, China's leaders hope, host and win a World Cup.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:07 pm

At an elementary school outside the Chinese capital, Beijing, first-graders practice controlling soccer balls under the instruction of American coach Tom Byer.

"When I clap, everybody's going to dribble to the circle, pull it back and go to the right. Go!" he says.

Regular soccer balls would practically come up to the kids' knees, so they practice with miniature ones instead.

But Byer, a native of New York, argues that even at age 6 or 7, the children are already late to the game.

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The Two-Way
2:18 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

White House Ban On Militarized Gear For Police May Mean Little

Police in riot gear stand around an armored vehicle as smoke fills the streets of Ferguson, Mo., in November 2014.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:09 pm

When riots erupted last fall on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., police in riot gear fanned out armed with assault rifles and armored vehicles made for the battlefield.

Analysts said at the time it was just another symptom of the continued militarization of local police forces.

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Television
2:01 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman Signs Off, With A Heartfelt Guest-Filled Finale

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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The Two-Way
1:29 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Head Of Boy Scouts Says Group's Ban On Gay Adults 'Unsustainable'

Robert Gates, president of the Boy Scouts of America, warned that failure to make changes quickly could spell "the end of us as a national movement."
Thierry Roge Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:40 pm

Robert Gates, the president of the Boy Scouts of America, says the organization must reassess its ban on gay adults, saying, "We must deal with the world as it is, not as we might wish it to be."

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Shots - Health News
1:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Coded Talk About Assisted Suicide Can Leave Families Confused

Hope Barrone-Falk and J.D. Falk on their wedding day in 2009.
Kelly Dunsford Courtesy of the family

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 2:02 pm

Physician-assisted suicide is illegal in most states in the U.S. But there are gray areas where doctors can help suffering patients hasten their death. The problem is nobody can talk about it directly.

This can lead to bizarre, veiled conversations between medical professionals and overwhelmed families. Doctors and nurses want to help but also want to avoid prosecution, so they speak carefully, parsing their words. Family members, in the midst of one of the most confusing and emotional times of their lives, are left to interpret euphemisms.

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Goats and Soda
1:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Village chiefs, residents and government officials take to the streets to celebrate the Chienge district's accomplishment of bringing sanitation to every home.
Mark Maseko Courtesy of UNICEF Zambia

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:46 pm

On a sunny day in the remote Chienge district of Zambia, hundreds gathered for a celebration that was the first of its kind. There was singing, laughing and no shortage of dancing. The village chiefs and government officials came dressed in their finest clothes, while volunteers sported bright green T-shirts that read, "We use a toilet ... do you?"

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Television
1:11 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Letterman's Executive Producer: 'He's Meant A Lot To A Lot Of People'

Rob Burnett celebrates with Barbara Gaines (left) and Maria Pope (right) after winning an Emmy Award for his work on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2000.
Kevork Djansezian Associated Press

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:01 pm

Rob Burnett started working with David Letterman as an intern in 1985 and never left, even when the talk-show host moved from NBC to CBS. During the course of his 29-year tenure, Burnett evolved from intern to head writer to executive producer of the Late Show with David Letterman, a position he held through last night's final show.

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The Two-Way
12:43 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

More Than 100 Charged In Mob Killing Of Christian Couple In Pakistan

Pakistani human rights activists condemn the killing of the Christian couple for alleged blasphemy during a demonstration in Islamabad, Pakistan, in November.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:53 pm

Prosecutors in Pakistan's Punjab province have charged 106 people in connection with the gruesome mob killing of a Christian couple who were incinerated in a brick kiln for allegedly desecrating a copy of the Quran.

In November, Sajjad Mesih and his wife, Shama — who was pregnant when the couple in their 20s was killed — were beaten and thrown into the kiln they tended as laborers.

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It's All Politics
12:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Gyrocopter Pilot On His 'Incredible' Flight Onto Capitol Lawn

Doug Hughes said he sees his future as working for "the cause of getting a Congress — not more liberal, not more conservative — but a Congress that is working for the people."
Peter Overby NPR

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 6:39 am

Florida postman Doug Hughes made headlines last month for landing his gyrocopter on the lawn in front of the Capitol building.

In an interview with NPR, Hughes said he "made every effort to send word ahead" about the flight, but also knew he would be taken into custody. He made the flight anyway, he said, to "get a message to the American people — not that there's a problem with Congress but that there are solutions to the problem."

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The Two-Way
12:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Go Forth And Pwn For Shizzle, Word List Guardians Tell Scrabble Players

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:59 pm

A new batch of 6,500 words are now available to Scrabble players, after publishing house Collins updated its widely used Official Scrabble Words list Thursday. The list includes tech jargon and slang, such as pwn, twerk and shizzle.

Also added: aji (the pepper), coqui (the frog) and the more old-fashioned ixnay and zowee. (See a longer list at the bottom of this post.)

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Monkey See
12:26 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.
Jasin Boland Warner Bros.

Another sequel, another chance for Hollywood to hurl metal hither and yon and make with the flashy summer blockbuster blow-'em-ups. Yawn, right?

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The Two-Way
12:24 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Fla. Mailman Who Flew Gyrocopter Onto Capitol Lawn Appears In Court

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:00 pm

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

The Florida mailman who landed a gyrocopter on the lawn of the Capitol last month appeared in court today and pleaded not guilty to all six charges against him.

Douglas Mark Hughes was charged Wednesday and faces up to 9 1/2 years in prison.

NPR's Peter Overby reported on the charges against Hughes:

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Shots - Health News
12:10 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

You And Yeast Have More In Common Than You Might Think

This fungus among us — baker's yeast, aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae — is useful for more than just making bread.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 2:02 pm

Rip open a little package of baker's yeast from the supermarket, peer inside, and you'll see your distant cousin.

That's because we share a common ancestor with yeast, and a new study in the journal Science suggest that we also share hundreds of genes that haven't really changed in a billion years.

Edward Marcotte, a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin, knew that humans and yeast have thousands of similar genes. But, he wondered, how similar are they?

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Politics
12:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

When Is A Filibuster Not Really a Filibuster? When It Looks Like A Filibuster

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul's 10 1/2 hours on the Senate floor were about liberty, the Constitution and the need to stand out in a field of presidential hopefuls.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 2:49 pm

Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a Republican, held the floor of the Senate for 10 1/2 hours Wednesday afternoon and evening, airing his objections to the NSA bulk collection of telephone records in the U.S.

Many of the accounts of this lengthy performance referred to it as a filibuster, or a near-filibuster, or some kind of filibuster or other.

It was none of the above.

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Music
12:03 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Mathias Eick's 'Midwest': A Musical Landscape

On Mathias Eick's new album, Midwest, he composes musical impressions of the Midwestern landscape.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:07 pm

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Parallels
11:54 am
Thu May 21, 2015

He Calmed Kandahar. But At What Cost?

Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq is the police chief widely credited with bringing much greater security to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. But critics accuse him of human rights abuses including torture and extrajudicial killings.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 5:07 pm

The southern Afghan city of Kandahar was the birthplace of the Taliban and has long been considered one the most dangerous parts of Afghanistan.

But the city has grown peaceful in recent years, and much of the credit has been given to an American ally: Lt. Gen. Abdul Raziq, the provincial police chief.

On a recent day, the most feared man in Kandahar is slumped in a cheap blue plastic chair on a wide patio. He's slight and wiry, with a shy smile. He could be mistaken for a security guard at this palatial home of marble and chandeliers.

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The Record
11:29 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Rickie Lee Jones Embraces 'The Big Invisible'

Rickie Lee Jones' new album, The Other Side of Desire, will be out on June 23.
David McClister Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 11:41 am

Rickie Lee Jones needs no introduction. Seriously. The singer-songwriter is so elementally articulate, so gifted at grasping both the rawest and the most complicatedly cooked emotions in her compositions, that critical framing best comes after the experience of listening to her.

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Shots - Health News
11:22 am
Thu May 21, 2015

People In Poor Communities Are More Likely To Lose Eyesight

Vision loss and blindness can be devastating, isolating people and increasing their risk of illness and death. And that burden falls hardest on people in poor communities, especially in the South.

More than three quarters of the counties with the highest rates of severe vision loss are in the South, according to an analysis published Thursday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. It's the first analysis of severe vision loss at the county level.

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The Two-Way
11:21 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Obama Calls Loss Of Ramadi A 'Setback,' But Denies U.S. Is Losing To ISIS

President Obama tells The Atlantic that the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," but he denies the U.S. is losing to the group.
Kathy Willens AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:26 pm

President Obama says that while the loss of Ramadi to the self-declared Islamic State is a "setback," he doesn't think the U.S. is losing to the militant group.

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Parallels
10:36 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Rome's Cinematic 'Dream Factory' Ramps Up Production Once Again

The famous chariot race in Ben-Hur was filmed on a movie set at Cinecittà in 1958.
AP

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 6:27 pm

It's just 15 miles south of Rome, but it looks more like ancient Jerusalem.

Welcome to the vast backlot at Cinecittà, the sprawling movie metropolis where the original Ben-Hur was filmed, and a remake is currently in production.

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All Songs Considered
10:03 am
Thu May 21, 2015

New Music: Patty Griffin Records Lost Karen Dalton Song

Remembering Mountains: Unheard Songs by Karen Dalton comes out May 26.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 7:24 am

Karen Dalton's career was built on covering the songs of others. Patty Griffin writes songs that others famously cover. Both artists are considered masters of their respective crafts by their peers, but neither is a household name. Each has a voice that sounds like it couldn't possibly be made by the person making it.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Urban Food Forests Make Fruit Free For The Picking

A morning's berry harvest from West Philadelphia's Ogden Orchard includes raspberries, gooseberries, currants, goumis and mulberries.
Courtesy of Philadelphia Orchard Project

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 11:06 am

To discover the new frontier of urban farming, you'll have to look up — and look sharp — for hanging fruit.

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Shots - Health News
9:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

Overnight Contacts Can Help Kids' Sight During Day, But Also Carry Risks

Logan Levenson had a cornea transplant to repair an eye after a fungal infection.
Courtesy of Beth Levenson

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 3:32 pm

The sales pitch for contact lenses that help kids see better by reshaping their corneas sounds futuristically appealing. Sleep overnight in the lenses, pop them out in the morning and experience perfect or near-perfect vision for an entire day.

Beth Levenson of Williamsburg, Va., thought the lenses, even at a price of $2,000, seemed ideal for her son Logan, then 9, who played on several sports teams.

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The Two-Way
9:52 am
Thu May 21, 2015

'Fast-Track' Trade Authority Wins Key Test Vote In Senate

Originally published on Thu May 21, 2015 1:28 pm

The Senate has voted to limit debate on a bill that would grant the White House "fast track" negotiating authority and clear a path for the Obama administration's trade deal with 11 Pacific Rim nations.

Reuters says the 62-38 vote, which clears a filibuster hurdle, boosts "hopes for a deal that is central to President Barack Obama's strategic shift toward Asia."

Many Democrats oppose the Asia-Pacific treaty, saying free-trade deals cost U.S. jobs, but the White House maintains that U.S. producers need access to foreign markets.

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Code Switch
9:25 am
Thu May 21, 2015

On 'Menace II Society' And 'Easy Rider': Why All The Talk On Bikers And Thugs Matters

Sgt. Patrick Swanton of the Waco Police Department speaks to the media as Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper D.L. Wilson (left) stands near a Twin Peaks restaurant where nine members of a motorcycle gang were shot and killed in Waco, Texas, on Tuesday.
Mike Stone Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 11:15 am

In his New York Times column this week, Charles Blow discussed bikers and thugs in the aftermath of the Waco shootout on Sunday.

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