John Powers is the pop culture and critic-at-large on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He previously served for six years as the film critic.

Powers covers film and politics for Vogue and Vogue.com. His work has appeared in numerous publications, including Harper's BAZAAR, The Nation, Gourmet, The Washington Post, The New York Times and L.A. Weekly, where he spent twelve years as a critic and columnist.

A former professor at Georgetown University, Powers is the author of Sore Winners, a study of American culture during President George W. Bush's administration.

He lives in Pasadena, California, with his wife, Sandi Tan.

Word of Mouth
11:30 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Is depression in the blood?

(Photo by abbyladybug via Flickr Creative Commons)

A pair of new studies indicates that depression could be detectable by a blood test. So far, depression has primarily been diagnosed through non-medical means and descriptions of common symptoms. Here with more on the recently discovered connection between the brain and blood is Jennifer Welsh, staff writer for Live Science who  wrote about the research.  

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Book Reviews
11:28 am
Tue April 24, 2012

'Death And The Penguin' Captures Post-Soviet Reality

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:32 am

When you hear the words "Russian novel," you probably picture something as big and heavy as an anvil. Yet ever since the fall of communism, we've seen the ascent of Russian novelists who are shorter-winded and jauntier.

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Author Interviews
11:28 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Anna Quindlen: Over 50, And Having 'Plenty Of Cake'

Anna Quindlen is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer whose new memoir, Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, explores her past, present and future.
Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Tue April 24, 2012 12:44 pm

As a little girl, Anna Quindlen wasn't afraid of a whole lot. She frequently got into trouble and occasionally shot off her mouth. But as she grew older, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer became what she calls a "girl imitation."

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Radiolab - June 29
11:26 am
Tue April 24, 2012

When Brains Attack!

In this episode of Radiolab, strange stories of brains that lead their owners astray, knock them off balance, and, sometimes, propel them to do amazing things. We hear from a kid whose voice was disguised from himself, relive a surreal day in the life of a young researcher who was hijacked by her own brain, and try to keep up with an ultra-athlete who, after suffering terrible seizures, gained extraordinary abilities through removing a chunk of her brain.

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Radiolab - June 22
11:24 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Guts

This hour, we dive into the messy mystery in the middle of us. What's going on down there? We stick our hand in a cow stomach, get a window into our core through the story of a human science experiment, listen in on the surprising back-and-forth between our gut and our brain, and talk to a man who kind of went out of his mind when a medical procedure left him (for a little while) gutless.

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Radiolab - June 15
11:22 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Escape

The walls are closing in, you've got no way out... and then, suddenly, you escape! This hour, stories about traps, getaways, perpetual cycles, and staggering breakthroughs. We meet a man who's broken out of jail more times than anyone alive, travel to the edge of the solar system ... to a boundary beyond which we know nothing, and we hear the story of a blind kid who freed himself from an unhappy childhood by climbing into the telephone system, and bending it to his will.

For more information, visit http://www.radiolab.org/.

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Radiolab - June 8
11:20 am
Tue April 24, 2012

The Bad Show

Cruelty, violence, badness... This episode of Radiolab, we wrestle with the dark side of human nature, and ask whether it's something we can ever really understand, or fully escape. We encounter a man who scrambles our notions of good and evil, turn to one of the most famous (and misunderstood) psychology experiments ever, talk to a man who chased one of the most prolific serial killers in U.S. history, then got a chance to ask him the question that had haunted him for years: why?

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Word of Mouth
11:18 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Are there REALLY baby geniuses?

(Photo by seRVe Photography via Flickr)

Every parent hopes to foster a healthy and safe environment for bright and gifted babies…  but no amount of exposure to classical music, sign language, or Baby Einstein videos can guarantee your kid will be a genius on the level of Heidi Hankins. 

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Radiolab - June 1
11:16 am
Tue April 24, 2012

Patient Zero

The greatest mysteries all have a shadowy figure at the center -- someone who sets things in motion and holds the key to how the rest of the story unfolds. In epidemiology, this central character is known as Patient Zero -- the case at the heart of an outbreak. This hour, Radiolab hunts for Patient Zeroes from all over the map, from the origins of a blues legend to the history of the high five, to a race to halt the spread of a deadly disease.

For more information, visit http://www.radiolab.org/.

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