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Author Interviews
4:46 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

'Take This Man': Uncovering A Mother's Reinventions

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 6:08 pm

When Brando Skyhorse was 5 years old, his mother said she would take him to meet his father. They took a train from California to Illinois, where, at a prison, he met Paul Skyhorse Johnson, a Native American political activist who'd been incarcerated for armed robbery.

"He looked literally like the part of a stereotypical American Indian brave," Brando tells NPR's Arun Rath. "And I thought, 'Oh good God, this is my dad? This looks great!' "

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Business
4:25 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

'Downton Abbey' Craze Serves Up A Demand For Butlers

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey, which has helped fuel a growing demand for butlers around the world.
WGBH/PBS

Originally published on Sun June 8, 2014 3:05 pm

Butlers in American pop culture tend to provide comic relief — think The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Birdcage. Or, like Batman's Alfred, the butler is more of a friend than an employee.

But one show has brought back the classic butler, with a vengeance. Since the British period drama Downton Abbey made its debut on PBS in 2010, the demand for butlers in some parts of the world has surged.

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Religion
4:25 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

Lessons From The Language Boot Camp For Mormon Missionaries

Mormon missionaries pray before the start of their Mandarin Chinese class at the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 10:01 am

On a sunny Wednesday in Provo, Utah, a long line of cars spits out about 300 new arrivals to the Missionary Training Center. The facility, known as MTC, is the largest language training school for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Every year, about 36,000 students come to the center before they leave on missions around the world to spread the Mormon faith.

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Author Interviews
2:20 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Wait A Second ... Is That Hitchhiker John Waters?

Filmmaker John Waters recently hitchhiked across America and said it reaffirmed his belief in the goodness of people.
Jason Kempin Getty Images for EJAF

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 3:23 am

A couple of years ago, film director and writer John Waters decided to hitchhike alone from his Baltimore home to his apartment in San Francisco — and see what happened. The so-called Pope of Trash — the man behind the films Pink Flamingos and Cry-Baby — managed to get many rides — 21 in all. He chronicles his cross-country adventure in a new book called Carsick.

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Movie Interviews
1:31 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Film Critic Kenneth Turan Picks 54 Films That Are 'Not To Be Missed'

The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, is one of the 54 movies Kenneth Turan says should not be missed.
CinemaPhoto Corbis

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 10:40 am

You normally hear Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan reviewing new movies, but this week, we're talking about old films with him instead. That's because he's written a new book called Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film. In it, he offers up tidbits of Hollywood history and behind-the-scenes drama, as well as his critical analysis of some of the world's greatest movies — some familiar, some obscure.

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Law
1:28 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

'Burning Down The House' Makes The Case Against Juvenile Incarceration

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:57 pm

The American rate of juvenile incarceration is seven times that of Great Britain, and 18 times that of France. It costs, on average, $88,000 a year to keep a youth locked up — far more than the U.S. spends on a child's education.

But the biggest problem with juvenile incarceration, author Nell Bernstein tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, is that instead of helping troubled kids get their lives back on track, detention usually makes their problems worse, and sets them in the direction of more crime and self-destructive behavior.

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Author Interviews
3:36 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

From Lunch (n.) To Balding (adj.), Some Words Are Just 'Bad English'

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 9:02 pm

Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED, has just come out with a new book about words — words like "dilapidated," "balding" and "lunch." Shea says those words were once frowned upon, as were more than 200 other words he has compiled.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Tue June 3, 2014

'The Director' Offers A Glimpse Into The Digital Underground

David Ignatius is a columnist for the Washington Post who has covered both the CIA and the Middle East. The Director is his ninth book.
W.W. Norton

Originally published on Tue June 3, 2014 9:09 am

A year ago this week, The Guardian and The Washington Post first published stories that came out of revelations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

The leaks brought new focus onto U.S. intelligence agencies themselves — and how they keep their secrets safe. The same themes come up in a new spy thriller from author and veteran Post columnist David Ignatius.

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Author Interviews
2:59 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

'How Not To Be Wrong' In Math Class? Add A Dose Of Skepticism

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 9:01 pm

In How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, University of Wisconsin professor Jordan Ellenberg celebrates the virtues of mathematics, especially when they're taught well. He writes that a math teacher has to be a guide to good reasoning, and "a math course that fails do so is essentially teaching the student to be a very slow, buggy version of Microsoft Excel. And, let's be frank, that really is what many of our math courses are doing."

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Around the Nation
5:00 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

When A Bullet Misses Its Target, It Can Still Kill

Chicago police detectives investigate the scene where a number of people, including a 3-year-old child, were shot in a city park in Chicago in 2013.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:08 am

In May, multiple people were struck or even killed by stray bullets in cities across the country, including Sacramento, Calif., and Des Moines, Iowa. In Washington, D.C., a 6-year-old is recovering from getting shot on a playground.

Thursday, Betty Howard, a 58-year-old special education teacher, was talking with friends inside a real-estate office in Chicago's South Side when she was killed by a stray bullet.

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Music Interviews
3:20 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Meshell Ndegeocello Trades Songs And Stories, Live In L.A.

Meshell Ndegeocello's latest album is Comet, Come To Me.
Jason Rodgers Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:58 am

After two decades recording and performing, Meshell Ndegeocello no longer has any illusions about the way music publicity works. "You need those generalizations to create a marketing scheme," the celebrated bassist and songwriter says, "and it's hard to make a generalization about me."

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Author Interviews
3:13 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

'Remember Me Like This': A Family Rebuilds In Tragedy's Aftermath

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 6:21 am

For all of the novels that have been penned about dramatic kidnappings and abductions, few tell of what life is like after a loved one's return. That's where Bret Anthony Johnston's book, Remember Me Like This, begins.

It follows the Campbell family in a small town in Texas as their son Justin is returned four years after his disappearance. Rather than focusing on the details of the abduction, Johnston tells the story of a family as they struggle to rebuild.

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The Sunday Conversation
9:58 am
Sun June 1, 2014

Tiananmen Survivor Looks Back At China's 'Lost Opportunity'

Shen Tong was a 20-year-old student in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square massacre.
Courtesy of Teresa Lin

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 10:47 am

Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

This week marks 25 years since the massacre at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In 1989, Chinese security forces conducted a widespread crackdown on pro-democracy protesters that left hundreds — some say thousands — dead. But months before the standoff, protesters saw no sign of coming violence.

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The Salt
3:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

The Humble Knish: Chock-Full Of Carbs And History

A woman in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child.
Courtesy of the University Press of New England

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:45 am

When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop in New York closed it doors, she started to investigate why it shut down. And that led to a years-long research project, she tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin.

Her book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food explores the history of the baked delicacy filled with meat or vegetables and what it means to the people who love it.

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Movie Interviews
4:20 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

What Is Courage?: 'Korengal' Breaks Down War In Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Patterson checks his men at Outpost Restrepo in Afghanistan, as documented in the new film Korengal.
Outpost Films

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:42 pm

In the new documentary Korengal, journalist and director Sebastian Junger again takes viewers into Afghanistan's Korengal Valley — once considered one of the military's most dangerous postings.

The film uses footage shot by Junger and the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington. Between 2007 and 2008, Junger and Hetherington spent 10 months with a platoon of about 30 men at an outpost called Restrepo.

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Media
3:43 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

Sad Men: How Advertisers Are Selling With Emotion

A screenshot of the well-known public service announcement from the 1970s about litter, which features a crying Iron Eyes Cody.
YouTube

Originally published on Sun June 1, 2014 12:45 pm

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My Big Break
3:04 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

How Dean Dillon Made It From Strumming To Stardom In Nashville

Dean Dillon performs during the Academy of Country Music Honors show in September 2011 in Nashville, Tenn.
Mark Humphrey AP

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:27 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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Technology
12:45 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 1:07 pm

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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StoryCorps
1:04 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Once Forbidden, Books Become A Lifeline For A Young Migrant Worker

On a visit to StoryCorps, Storm Reyes told her son, Jeremy Hagquist, about growing up as a farm laborer. Reyes eventually went to night school and worked in a library for more than 30 years.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 30, 2014 11:33 am

In the late 1950s, when she was just 8 years old, Storm Reyes began picking fruit as a full-time farm laborer for less than $1 per hour. Storm and her family moved often, living in Native American migrant worker camps without electricity or running water.

With all that moving around, she wasn't allowed to have books growing up, Storm tells her son, Jeremy Hagquist, on a visit to StoryCorps in Tacoma, Wash.

"Books are heavy, and when you're moving a lot you have to keep things just as minimal as possible," she says.

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Music Articles
2:49 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Cause For Celebration: The Iconic Blue Note Records At 75

Drummer Art Blakey, who recorded for Blue Note from 1954 to 1965, in the studio.
Francis Wolff Blue Note Records

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 9:48 pm

Blue Note Records is the kind of record label that people like to call "storied" — so celebrated and impactful that no one narrative can capture its essence. From swing to bebop and hard bop, through fusion and the avant-garde, Blue Note has been telling the story of jazz in the grooves of its records since 1939 — and for its 75th anniversary, it's releasing remastered vinyl editions of some gems from its catalog. But the real legacy of the label is too big to capture on disc.

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Book News & Features
2:38 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Burton Calls On 'Star Trek' Fans To Bring 'Reading Rainbow' To The Next Generation

Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2009, but the show's host, LeVar Burton, is keeping the brand alive. He is raising money for an interactive website to "bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere."
GPN/Nebraska ETV Network and WNE

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:08 pm

What happens when you tap into the nostalgia surrounding not one, but two, beloved television franchises? LeVar Burton is about to find out.

For 26 years host Burton encouraged kids to embark on reading adventures on the PBS show Reading Rainbow. After the show went off the air in 2009, Burton acquired the rights to the brand and its library.

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The Salt
1:30 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Want Your Cheese To Age Gracefully? Cowgirl Creamery's Got Tips

Sue Conley (left) and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery, prepare their chilled leek and asparagus soup with creme fraiche and fresh ricotta at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Tim Hussin for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 9:27 am

In the world of cheese, much like in the world of wine, the ultimate mark of success is acceptance by the French. That's exactly what happened to Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery in northern California.

In 2010, when they were inducted into the prestigious Guilde des Fromagers, they were among the first wave of American cheesemakers to join its ranks.

Cowgirl Creamery also put out its first cookbook in late 2013.

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Digital Life
5:23 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

A Killer's Manifesto Reveals Wide Reach Of Misogyny Online

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 7:53 am

The misogynistic manifesto written by Elliot Rodger, the 22-year-old who police say killed six people before taking his own life Friday, quickly led to an outpouring on Twitter under the hashtag #YesAllWomen. Women and men alike used the hashtag to share stories and statistics about harassment and sexual assault.

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All Tech Considered
4:57 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Going Dark: The Internet Behind The Internet

The Deep Web is a part of the Internet not accessible by standard Web browsers and search engines.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 1:17 pm

The average computer user with an Internet connection has access to an amazing wealth of information. But there's also an entire world that's invisible to your standard Web browser.

These parts of the Internet are known as the Deep Web. The tools to get to there are just a few clicks away, and more and more people who want to browse the Web anonymously are signing on.

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Author Interviews
3:22 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

Obscure Producer's Clear Impact On 'The Dirty Business' Of R&B

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 pm

Many of the hit-making songwriters of the 1960s are remembered by name: Burt Bacharach, Carole King, Lennon-McCartney, Holland-Dozier-Holland. But the man who wrote (or co-wrote) classics like "Twist and Shout," "Piece of My Heart," "Hang on Sloopy," "I Want Candy" and "Here Comes the Night" remains unknown to all but the most ardent music fans.

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Author Interviews
3:22 pm
Sun May 25, 2014

World War II In A New 'Light': Empathy Found In Surprising Places

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 4:57 pm

In the world of fiction, World War II is well-trod territory. Author Anthony Doerr will freely admit that.

"There are so many books written about the war, supposedly if you drop them on Germany it would cover the whole country," he jokes. He even says that he worried about that as he was writing his new novel, All The Light We Cannot See.

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Author Interviews
6:02 am
Sun May 25, 2014

Talking Stick In Hand, Tom Robbins Tells His Own Story

Originally published on Sun May 25, 2014 9:51 am

Acclaimed writer Tom Robbins has a new book out, and it's as fantastical and philosophical as anything he's ever written — but this time he's made himself the main character. It's called Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life, and Robbins tells NPR's Rachel Martin that writing a memoir is like driving down a once-familiar road, "but there are potholes in it now, and some fast-food franchises sprung up along the way, and there's occasionally a blind curve that you might not remember. But it's still familiar," he says.

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Movie Interviews
2:58 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

'Bring Out The Gimp': The Man Behind The Mask In 'Pulp Fiction'

The Gimp character in Pulp Fiction, clad head-to-toe in studded black leather, has no lines in the film but still manages to be memorable.
Screenshot of "Pulp Fiction," produced by Miramax

Originally published on Sat May 24, 2014 4:29 pm

The Cannes Film Festival awarded of its highest prize, the Palme d'Or, to the Turkish film Winter Sleep on Saturday. Twenty years ago, Pulp Fiction took that same award and triggered writer-director Quentin Tarantino's ascent to the A-list.

The movie introduced the world to a number of now-legendary characters, including a very mysterious one: the Gimp.

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Book News & Features
4:23 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Kate DiCamillo's Picks For Summer Treehouse Reading

Scholastic Press

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 9:12 am

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff to summer, and that means the tantalizing prospect of having more time for reading stretches ahead of us — long, lazy summer days curled up with a book.

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The Picture Show
2:18 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

A #FakeMemory You Have To See To Believe

Debra Jenson, 2, hanging from a hook in her grandmother's kitchen. "Over the next 35 years, I watched each of my cousins, then my own children and my cousins' children be dangled from that hook. Between the photo and watching it happen to others, this is a powerful 'fake memory' for me."
Debra Jenson Instagram

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 4:00 pm

Remember your childhood? Seriously, do you really remember, way back to when you were tiny? And if you do, what are those memories shaped by? Chances are, they're influenced not just by what you truly remember, but by old photos and family stories.

And those family photos are often a starting point for a narrative we're either told by older family members or that we construct in our minds. (We've been exploring some of these ideas in our series Photography and Memory.)

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