Gillian Flynn is a very nice person who writes books about very unpleasant people. Her suspenseful, best-selling mystery novel Gone Girl is told from the perspective of Nick and Amy, a couple who are as unreliable as narrators as they are as spouses.
Since Flynn's name, Gillian, is just one letter short of "Gilligan," we've invited her to answer three questions about the classic TV series Gilligan's Island.
Earlier this week, we told you about some of the people who are trying to make micro-gardening go big — by sharing their DIY tips and selling products designed to make gardening in a small space a piece of cake. Many readers of The Salt let us know they were all for it.
A third death has been reported in the crash-landing of Asiana Airline flight 214, as San Francisco General Hospital said Friday that one of its patients who was injured in the accident has died. Hospital officials described the victim as a girl; they offered no further details about her.
From the audience-pleasing Hellboy to the critically acclaimed Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro's movies are chock-full of mystical, often terrifying creatures. Now the Mexico-born director has made a big-budget entry in the genre that helped define his fascination with the monstrous: the Japanese kaiju films of the '60s.
People have been puzzled by sphinxes, at least since the time of the ancient Greeks. And now, we can count another riddle of the mythical Egyptian creature that is part-lion, part-human. The feet of a sphinx - with a telling hieroglyphic inscription - have turned up in a dig in northern Israel, near the ancient city of Hazor. The find suggests an Egyptian connection at a time, with a place, that was previously unknown.
Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teen who was attacked by Taliban militants for promoting education for girls, received several standing ovations as she addressed the United Nations on Friday, calling on world leaders to provide free compulsory schooling to every child.
In October, Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militants who attacked a schoolbus she was on. She was targeted for her campaign promoting girls' rights.
"They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed," she said.
The women who were crowned Miss Indian America are reuniting this weekend in Sheridan, Wyo. The Native American pageant ran from 1953 to 1984 and attracted contestants from across the country. Originally, the pageant started as a way to combat prejudices against Native Americans.
Wahleah Lujan, of Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico, who won the title in 1966, was very shy at the time. In one of her appearances right after she was crowned, she told an audience: "The most important thing in my life is the preservation of our ancient pueblo and the Rio Pueblo de Taos."
As Egypt inches closer to forming an interim government, at the top of the agenda is economic reform. The Egyptian economy today is dismal. Foreign currency reserves have shriveled. Tourism is way down, unemployment way up.
Ahmed Assem has become the poster child of what Muslim Brotherhood leader's are calling a massacre — last Monday's assault by security forces on angry Islamist protesters. Assem was a photographer who filmed his own death. An army sniper shot him down. The killing has torn Assem's family apart. His brother is a police officer who blames the Brotherhood for the violence, but the family, like Egypt itself, is now deeply divided and unsure what is to come.
From NPR News this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A few months ago, amid raging civil war in Syria and political turmoil in Turkey, there was another overseas story also making headlines. Bob Garfield, co-host of the program ON THE MEDIA from NPR and WNYC, was intrigued by what he saw. The story came to his attention during a full hour broadcast from ABC News.
Our next story illustrates a variation on an old theme. There's a military procurement officer born every minute. In the current issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, Adam Higginbotham has an article with the stunning title, "The $38 Million Bomb-Detection Golf Ball Finders." It's about a man named James McCormick, a Briton who managed to make a very good living selling devices that he claimed detected bombs. He sold them in many countries, most notably Iraq, where concealed bombs, so-called improvised explosive devices were epidemic.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A young Pakistani girl who survived a Taliban attack last year was at the United Nations today, appealing for education for all children. It was the first public speech by Malala Yousafzai since the Taliban tried to kill her near her school in Pakistan's Swat Valley last year. Today also happens to be her 16th birthday, as NPR's Michele Kelemen reports.
As the nation waits for the jury's verdict on George Zimmerman, community leaders in Florida are in place, prepared for a big public reaction.
Government and law enforcement officials say they're hoping for the best with any demonstrations that may come after the verdict. But they're also preparing for the worst – rising tensions that could escalate violently.
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.
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And I'm Audie Cornish. A jury in Sanford, Florida is beginning deliberations in the electric and closely watched trial of George Zimmerman. Zimmerman is charged with second degree murder and manslaughter in the killing of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. He's pleaded not guilty. He said he acted in self defense. We have two reports now on the trial and preparations outside the courtroom.
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden is requesting asylum in Russia while he pursues a more permanent asylum in Latin America. A condition of his continued stay in Russia is that he stop releasing information that is damaging to the US.
Wal-Mart is threatening to walk away from plans to build three of six new stores slated for the nation's capital. Those three stores are supposed to go up in some of the city's neediest neighborhoods. But the city council in Washington, D.C., has approved a bill requiring big box stores to pay employees a living wage of $12.50 an hour. And Wal-Mart says if that becomes the law, it will scrap its plans.
NPR's Allison Keyes spoke to people in those communities about their thoughts on the standoff.
An Ethiopian Airlines jet caught fire on the ground today at London's Heathrow Airport. It was a Boeing 787, also known as the Dreamliner, which has more than its share of troubles. The 787 has had serious problems with its lithium-ion batteries. In January, one overheated and another caught fire. The whole 787 fleet was grounded for more than three months after that.
Here's NPR's John Ydstie with more on what happened today.
It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.
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And I'm Robert Siegel.
A train wreck outside of Paris tonight at the height of rush hour has shocked the nation that relies heavily on passenger rail. An intercity commuter train derailed, at least six people were killed and scores wounded.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced a tightening of Justice Department guidelines for dealing with the sensitive issue of subpoenas of journalists' communications, weeks after embarrassing disclosures that his office had secretly obtained phone records and emails from reporters as part of a probe of unauthorized leaks.
Sebastian Silva's 2009 film The Maid examined the physical and psychological demands of working as a nearly indentured live-in housekeeper, and the toll taken by more than 20 years in the same household.
Perhaps in part because Silva based the film on his childhood growing up in Santiago, Chile, the approach to a subject rife with issues of social class was more personal than overtly political.
If mosquitoes used Yelp, they might look for their next meal by searching nearby for a heavy-breathing human with Type O blood, sporting a red shirt and more than a smattering of skin bacteria. Preferably either pregnant or holding a beer.
Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom revolves around Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular cable-news anchor floating happily along with his nightly newscast, which does well in the ratings but doesn't tend to delve into anything that could offend or alienate anyone.
The actor Michael B. Jordan gives a major performance in Ryan Coogler's debut film, Fruitvale Station. He plays 22-year-old Oscar Grant, who was shot in a run-in with cops at an Oakland, Calif., train stop in the early hours of 2009. The film opens with cellphone footage of the actual event, so you know what's coming. But the Oscar you meet on the last day of 2008 remains a man, not a martyr.