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Author Interviews
6:01 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

Thanks To Chance (And Craigslist), A Writer Becomes A Carpenter

131Pixfoto iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:57 pm

Nina MacLaughlin always knew she wanted to be a writer. She studied English and classics in college, and after graduation, she landed a great job with Boston's weekly alternative newspaper, the Boston Phoenix.

But after a few years of editing the newspaper's website, the drudgery began to hit her. It involved so much clicking, she says, and so many empty hours scrolling through the Internet. It didn't feel like how she wanted to spend her life.

And then came the low point: web producing a "listicle" of the world's "100 Unsexiest Men."

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World
5:51 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

After Students Went To Wage Jihad, Teacher Highlights Youth Radicalization

Lamya Kaddor teaches Islamic studies in Germany. She's written a new book, Zum Toeten Bereit (Ready To Kill), about the experience of having five former students flee to Syria to join jihadist groups.
Andre Zelck Courtesy of Piper Verlag GmbH

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 7:41 pm

Lamya Kaddor, a German-Syrian religious studies teacher and expert on Islam, was horrified to learn in 2013 that five of her former students had departed Germany to join jihadist groups in Syria.

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My Big Break
5:33 pm
Sat March 21, 2015

'I'm Perd Hapley, And I Just Realized I'm Played By An Actual Newscaster'

Jay Jackson, as Perd Hapley, interviews Amy Poehler's character Leslie Knope during the sixth season of Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 7:41 pm

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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Around the Nation
8:18 am
Sat March 21, 2015

The Definitive Road Trip? It's Data-Driven

Randy Olson's algorithm devised the optimal driving route to 50 tourist spots in the Lower 48 states.
Randy Olson

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 10:56 am

Spring is here, and a number of families are plotting road trips for school break.

Randy Olson, a Ph.D. candidate at Michigan State University and a self-proclaimed "data tinkerer," believes he's devised a route that could allow a family to hit a landmark in each of the Lower 48 states, from Grand Canyon in Arizona to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the Statue of Liberty in New York, in just nine days of driving.

"About 9.33 days, if you drove non-stop," Olson clarifies.

That means no time sleeping or using the restroom — and no bad traffic.

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Television
7:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

One Man, New TV Show: James Corden Takes Over At 'Late Late Night'

James Corden takes over as host of The Late Late Show next Monday.
Art Streiber/CBS

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 3:25 pm

A few months ago, Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show, interrogated a special guest: James Corden. When asked what he did for a living, Corden replied demurely, "I don't do anything at the moment."

That is set to change Monday night, when Corden succeeds Ferguson as the host of The Late Late Show.

He is 36 and English. Ferguson is Scottish: Score one for diversity.

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Goats and Soda
5:29 am
Sat March 21, 2015

A Year Of Ebola: Memorable Moments From Our Reporters' Notebooks

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose outside the home of their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh in Barkedu, a village in Liberia.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 2:43 pm

It started in December 2013. A 2-year-old boy in Guinea was running a fever. He was vomiting. There was blood in his stool.

He was most likely "patient zero" — the first case in the Ebola outbreak that swept across West Africa.

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Music
4:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

'Still The King': A Tribute To An Icon Of Western Swing

Ray Benson (center) and his band, the Grammy-winning country outfit Asleep at the Wheel, have long been stewards of the sound co-pioneered by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
Lisa Pollard Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 8:20 pm

"The essence of the Bob Wills sound, and the reason he picked and did what he did, is that it was dance music — period."

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Code Switch
3:16 am
Fri March 20, 2015

'A Proud Walk': 3 Voices On The March From Selma To Montgomery

Demonstrators of different races and religions from across the country united to take part in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., 50 years ago.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:39 pm

Fifty years ago, civil rights protesters began their successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., two weeks after a crackdown by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. NPR talked with three people from different parts of the country, of different races and religions, who answered the call from Martin Luther King Jr. to join the marchers.

Todd Endo:

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Fine Art
5:36 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

In Detroit's Rivera And Kahlo Exhibit, A Portrait Of A Resilient City

A detail from the north wall of Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals shows workers on the automobile assembly line. After Detroit declared bankruptcy, the murals were at risk of being sold. Click here for a larger view.
Detroit Institute of Arts

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 8:01 pm

This weekend, visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts buzzed with excitement over a new exhibit — it was a big moment for the once-troubled museum. The DIA spent much of the last two years under threat as its owner, the city of Detroit, looked for ways to emerge from bankruptcy.

Finally, in November, a "grand bargain" was struck. Foundations, private donors and the state of Michigan together raised more than $800 million to help rescue public employee pensions. In return, ownership of the DIA was transferred to a trust — thereby securing its future.

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National Security
7:31 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

An 'Upstream' Battle As Wikimedia Challenges NSA Surveillance

The lawsuit by Wikimedia and other plaintiffs challenges the National Security Agency's use of upstream surveillance, which collects the content of communications, instead of just the metadata.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:52 am

Earlier this week, Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, saying that the NSA's use of "upstream" mass surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

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My Big Break
5:21 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

From Waitress To TV Writer: A 'Surreal, Fantastic Cinderella Story'

Diane Ruggiero-Wright is a writer and producer for shows including Veronica Mars and the new CW show iZombie.
Priska Neely NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:28 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.

Diane Ruggiero-Wright has written and produced a number of TV shows, including the cult classic Veronica Mars. She's the co-creator of the new show iZombie — about a zombie who pretends to be a psychic and solves murders — which premieres on The CW on Tuesday.

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U.S.
7:09 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

When Police Are Given Body Cameras, Do They Use Them?

Body cameras, like this one shown at a 2014 press conference in Washington, D.C., are small enough to be clipped to an officer's chest. Washington and Denver are among U.S. cities trying the cameras.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:55 am

Back in December, following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama called for $75 million in funding for 50,000 body cameras to be used by police around the United States. The cameras record police activity, and their use is intended to boost accountability.

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Movies
5:19 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

People With Disabilities, On Screen And Sans Clichés

From left, Bastian Wurbs (as Titus), Joel Basman (as Valentin) and Nikki Rappl (as Lukas) star in Keep Rollin', a coming-of-age drama featured in the seventh annual Reelabilities film festival.
Courtesy of EastWest Film Distribution

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 10:43 pm

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Shots - Health News
8:25 am
Sat March 14, 2015

From Freud To Possession, A Doctor Faces Psychiatry's Demons

Benjamin Rush, a physician and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, invented the rotational chair as a treatment for psychotic patients. He believed the chair helped improve circulation to the mentally ill brain.
U.S. National Library of Medicine Courtesy of Little Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 9:58 am

People don't talk about psychiatrists the way they talk about neurologists, dentists or vets. In fact, there are those who call psychiatry voodoo or pseudoscience; and, to be fair, the specialty does have a history of claims and practices that are now considered weird and destructive.

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The Salt
5:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 11:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Author Interviews
5:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of McGuane's latest book — a collection of short stories titled Crow Fair. There's a divorced dad who takes his young son out for an ill-fated day of ice fishing; A restless cattle breeder who takes a gamble on a more lucrative and dangerous line of works; A guy who abandons his blind grandmother by the side of a river to go get drunk, and chase after a corpse he's spotted floating by.

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Author Interviews
6:27 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 9:52 am

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's new book Barefoot Dogs is billed as a collection of short stories, but it could easily be called a novel. Each piece provides a perspective on one horrific event: the abduction of the patriarch of a wealthy Mexican family by a drug gang.

Throughout the book, readers see how this affects children, grandchildren, mistresses and others, as the tragedy follows the family through exile in the United States and Europe

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Movie Interviews
5:29 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

No Joke: Hollywood Comedy Producer Finds Career In Prison Reform

Scott Budnick (second from left) stands with (from left) Jimmy Wu, who served 16 years in prison and is now a mentor; Jesse Aguiar, former gang member and now a counselor; and Franky Carrillo, who was freed by the Innocence Project after 21 years in prison.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 10:03 pm

Los Angeles has been good to Scott Budnick. He arrived more than 15 years ago as an aspiring film producer. He found a home in comedy, and eventually became the executive producer of the Hangover trilogy — the wildly popular, profane buddy movies that are still the highest grossing comedy franchise ever made.

Now, he lives in the Hollywood Hills. He drives a fancy car, lives in a beautiful house and has lots of famous friends.

But in 2013, Budnick decided to leave Hollywood for a very different field: prison reform.

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Television
5:01 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Cyberpsychologist: Online, 'Every Contact Leaves A Trace'

The Avery Ryan character is based on Mary Aiken (above) a real-life cyber psychologist and director of the RCSI CyberPsychology Research Centre.
Courtesy of CBS

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:25 pm

The CSI franchise has a new lead investigator: Special Agent Avery Ryan.

Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette plays the head of the FBI's Cyber Crime Division on CSI: Cyber, which premiered this week on CBS.

The unit is called in on cyber stalking, identity theft, even cases involving hacked baby cams and ride-sharing services.

Agent Ryan's character is based on real-life cyber psychologist Mary Aiken, the director of the RCSI CyberPsychology Research Centre in Dublin, Ireland. She's also a producer on the show.

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Television
5:13 pm
Sat March 7, 2015

'Kimmy Schmidt' Finds Optimism (And Jokes) In Dark Premise

Ellie Kemper, right, stars alongside Tituss Burgess in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which follows a former doomsday cult member as she adjusts to life in New York.
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:45 pm

Two of the comedic minds behind 30 Rock, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, have returned to the world of half-hour comedies — this time, on Netflix.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new 13-episode series originally developed by Fey and Carlock for NBC, debuted on the streaming service on March 6.

Actress Ellie Kemper plays the title character in the show, which shares 30 Rock's energy, but mines comedy out of a much darker premise: A group of young women escape from 15 years of captivity in an underground bunker run by a doomsday cult leader in Indiana.

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Performing Arts
5:29 am
Sat March 7, 2015

After 60 Years Of Fabulousness, Dame Edna Embarks On Her Farewell Tour

Dame Edna Everage — a character created by Australian comedian Barry Humphries — models a hat based on the Sydney Opera House. She is currently performing Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour.
Wesley Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 10:29 am

Dame Edna Everage says she's approaching 60 — but from the wrong direction. The housewife and superstar — a creation of Australian comedian Barry Humphries — has been making audiences laugh, weep, have acid reflux, and ruminate deeply on the human experience for six decades.

Now, she's embarked on Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour, which concludes in Washington, D.C., in April. Dame Edna tells NPR's Scott Simon that she's a "restless sprit" and it's not entirely clear what "retirement" will look like for her.

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Television
5:06 am
Thu March 5, 2015

'It Is About Truths': John Ridley On His New TV Show, 'American Crime'

Felicity Huffman and Timothy Hutton play two estranged parents whose son is murdered during a home invasion in ABC's American Crime.
Felicia Graham ABC

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 10:15 am

Writer and producer John Ridley has spent a lot of his career telling stories about the history of race in America. He won an Oscar for his screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, he's written movies about the Tuskegee Airmen and Jimi Hendrix, and now he's created American Crime, a new TV series about the events surrounding a racially charged home invasion in modern-day California.

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Shots - Health News
4:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

What Shapes Health? Webcast Explores Social And Economic Factors

Mitchell Funk/Getty Images/Harvard

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 12:14 pm

Health is more than the sum of its parts. Sometimes in surprising ways, factors such as childhood experiences, housing conditions, poor diets and health care access drive who ends up sick — and who does not.

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Goats and Soda
4:02 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Liberia's President: Ebola Re-Energized Her Downtrodden Country

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, photographed in Washington, D.C., on February 26.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 9:55 am

There's a lot to celebrate in Liberia: The number of new Ebola cases have been declining, kids are going back to school and life is returning to some semblance of normalcy.

Last year, Ebola struck the country and since then, it has killed more than 4,000 Liberians. But among the three hardest-hit countries in West Africa, Liberia has been the fastest at containing the outbreak. Just last week, the region reported 99 new cases of Ebola. Only one of those came out of Liberia.

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Movie Interviews
6:07 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

A Most Vibrant Year For Cinematographer Bradford Young

In Selma, director of photography Bradford Young wanted the camera to feel like a participant. "It was just about never retreating, always staying dangerously close to Martin Luther King," he says.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

Just two months into 2015, cinematographer Bradford Young is already having a big year.

Two acclaimed movies, Selma and A Most Violent Year, bear his name as Director of Photography.

"It's an interesting time," he laughs.

He sat down for a chat with NPR's Arun Rath, who started by asking about the striking depictions of violence in Selma.

"You have to be very delicate," Young says, "because as much as film has the ability to raise humanity, it also has the ability to put us down."

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Around the Nation
5:29 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

A Standout Student, A Star At Goldman Sachs — And Undocumented

Julissa Arce's tourist visa expired when she was 14. She excelled in high school, college and at Goldman Sachs for years before she finally became a U.S. citizen.
Morrigan McCarthy for ELLE.com Courtesy Julissa Arce

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 7:58 pm

Julissa Arce was born in Mexico, and came to the United States on a tourist visa when she was 11. It expired a few years later — but Arce didn't leave. Instead, she excelled in high school and college, then secured a job at Goldman Sachs. Her ascent was dramatic: she rose quickly from analyst to associate to vice president.

But Arce was scared to go to work every day, worried that her undocumented status would be uncovered and she'd be escorted out.

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Code Switch
5:45 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Diversity Sells — But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Gina Rodriguez stars alongside Justin Baldoni in The CW's Jane the Virgin.
Danny Feld The CW

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 6:39 pm

If you want an accurate picture of ethnic and gender diversity in the United States, don't look to Hollywood.

That's the conclusion of the "2015 Hollywood Diversity Report" conducted by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

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Movie Interviews
5:00 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Film About Campus Sexual Assault Tells Survivors: 'You Are Not Alone'

When Annie Clark was assaulted in 2007 she said the response from her university was victim blaming: "I talked to one campus employee and she gave me this extended metaphor about how rape was like a football game and I was the quarterback in charge and what would I have done differently in that situation," she says.
Courtesy of Radius

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 8:13 pm

A warning to listeners: This conversation may contain some disturbing content.

Andrea Pino was the first person in her family to go to college. When she found out that she had been admitted to the University of North Carolina she was thrilled. "Not only was I going to college — I was going to my dream school," she says. "... I was definitely one of those students that, you know, cried and threw their laptop on the floor and couldn't believe that I was going."

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StoryCorps
3:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You Have This Strength Inside Yourself'

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:01 am

Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.

His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.

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Found Recipes
4:35 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Don't Be Fooled By The Fishy Ingredients: This Burger Is Delicious

Chef Marcus Samuelsson first fell in love with a version of this burger at a tiny fish shack in Barbados.
Paul Brissman Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 9:42 pm

Have you ever fallen in love with a sandwich? Maybe one where the mix of ingredients might otherwise say, "No, I am so wrong for you!" And yet ... it's delicious.

That once happened to chef Marcus Samuelsson in Barbados. He has a ritual whenever he travels to a new place — ask the cabdriver, "Where do you eat?" On that trip he ended up at a tiny fish shack called Cuz, named after its owner.

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