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Theater
6:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 2:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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The Salt
5:53 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

What Is Farm Runoff Doing To The Water? Scientists Wade In

Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey sample water in Goodwater Creek, Mo., for pesticides and other chemicals that may have run off from the surrounding land.
Abbie Fentress Swanson Harvest Public Media

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

America's hugely productive food system is one of its success stories. The nation will export a projected $139.5 billion in agricultural products this fiscal year alone. It's an industry that supports "more than 1 million jobs," according to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

But all that productivity has taken a toll on the environment, especially rivers and lakes: Agriculture is the nation's leading cause of impaired water quality, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

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Around the Nation
5:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Vacation Horror Stories: Battling Snow And Broken Transmissions

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The search for true relaxation can be a taxing one. You take some time off to get away thinking of paradise and then harsh reality sets in. That's the sort of experience we're chronicling this summer in a series we call...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Vacation...

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAM)

SIEGEL: ...Horror Stories.

JIM MCLAUGHLIN: Hi, my name is Jim McLaughlin, and I live in Hershey, Pennsylvania. My wife, my sister, and our combined four children...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Parallels
5:48 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Gatsby-Like Extravagance And Wealth ... In Communist China

A waiter delivers glasses of wine to guests at a luxury hotel bar near the Bund in Shanghai, on Sept. 8, 2012.
Aly Song Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

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Book Reviews
4:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

'Five Star Billionaire' Shows The Human Cost Of Progress

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.

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Social Entrepreneurs: Taking On World Problems
4:10 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

At Cambodia Hotel, The Workers Are The Boss

Traffic passes in front of the Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Will Baxter for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

This story is part of NPR's ongoing series about social entrepreneurs — people around the world who are dreaming up innovative ways to develop communities and solve social problems.

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Music
4:07 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Summer Songs: Since You Can't Escape Them, Hope To Enjoy Them

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 5:49 pm

It's the time of the season when love for pop music runs high. Summer is officially here, and an unofficial competition is underway to crown 2013's "Song of the Summer." We're talking about those unavoidable pop anthems that are played over and over again on the radio, at the beach and out the window of passing cars. You can't escape them — you can only hope to enjoy them. NPR Music curated a list featuring more than 100 of the hits from the last 50 years.

Religion
4:07 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Two Former Popes Approved For Sainthood

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 12:37 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Two of the most beloved popes in recent memory - John Paul II and John XXIII - have been formally approved for sainthood. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that in his first four months as pope, Francis has shown great personal and spiritual affinity with these two predecessors.

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Shots - Health News
3:46 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Genes May Reveal When Aspirin Won't Reduce Heart Risk

Aspirin has been prescribed for decades as a simple way to reduce heart disease risk, but doctors still aren't sure how it works.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:18 pm

People are often told to take low-dose aspirin to reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke. But that preventive remedy doesn't work for a lot of people.

Researchers say they've found genetic variations that might be used to identify people who don't respond well to aspirin. If the results prove out, there could soon be a blood test to tell who benefits from aspirin, and who needs to look for other treatments to reduce cardiovascular risk.

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The Two-Way
3:44 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

40 Years Of Disco Duds Prove A Teacher Can Be Awesome, Too

Dale Irby in 1973 (left) when his streak began, and in 2012, when the last of his 40 wonderful school photos was taken.
Courtesy of Dale Irby and The Dallas Morning News

One word came to mind this week when we saw the stories about Texas physical education teacher Dale Irby and how he had worn the same "groovy shirt and sweater vest" for every school photo in the past 40 years:

Awesome.

Before we explore his awesomeness, though, here's some background.

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The Picture Show
3:24 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Oooh! Aaah! Faces In The Fireworks

Emanuyani Yamni (left) and her sister Kaiar, both of Rochester, N.Y., enjoy the fireworks display over the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial on the Fourth of July.
Heather Rousseau NPR

We assigned our trusty interns to document the feeling of watching fireworks on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. They focused on the crowd's reactions while basking in the warm glow of the display. The images capture the gasps and sheer amazement from spectators of all ages.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Djokovic And Murray Win, Advance To Wimbledon Final

Serbia's Novak Djokovic (left) embraces Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro after their match on day 11 of the 2013 Championships at Wimbledon.
Carl Court AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 5:32 pm

Novak Djokovic, the top seed in the Wimbledon men's draw, advanced to Sunday's singles final in a record-setting 4 hours, 43 minutes. The longest semifinal in tournament history, his five-set match fell only five minutes shy of the time set in a marathon 2008 five-set final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

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Environment
1:55 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

With Rising Temperatures, Infrastructure Falters

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Exactly a year ago this week, a video on YouTube went viral. It was called "Heat Buckles Highway, SUV Goes Airborne." A road in Wisconsin buckled so badly from the heat that it sent cars flying. Well, this year, the buckling continues. But if you're in certain parts of the country, you don't need me to tell you that. It's hot, and I'm not going to use that but-it's-a-dry-heat line, either.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Florida Family, Historic Yacht Presumed Lost Off New Zealand

This undated photo provided by the St. Andrews Historic Seaport and Commercial Marina in Panama City, Fla., shows American David Dyche, skipper of the 70-foot (21-meter) vessel Nina.
AP

The search for six Americans and one British man lost in the seas between New Zealand and Australia was called off Friday after extensive aerial searches failed to turn up any sign of the 85-year-old wooden sailing boat they were traveling on.

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Medical Treatments
1:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

Building a Liver From Stem Cells

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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