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9:39 am
Sun January 18, 2015

'Fresh Off The Boat' Repackages The Asian-American Story For TV

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 11:57 am

Eddie Huang is a is a renaissance man with a string of careers: lawyer, TV host, restaurateur and author. His raw, funny and sometimes extremely profane memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, came out two years ago. It's a brutally honest story about his life as an Asian-American kid, reconciling two cultures.

That book is now an ABC sitcom, also called Fresh off the Boat. The show has retained at least some of that raw sensibility, but getting a story so nuanced and intense onto network television was very difficult for Huang.

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Author Interviews
6:55 am
Sun January 18, 2015

Finding A Childhood Bully, And So Much More, In 'Whipping Boy'

Allen Kurzweil's previous books include The Grand Complication and A Case of Curiosities.
Ferrante Ferranti

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 11:27 am

In 1971, 10-year-old Allen Kurzweil was a new student — the youngest — at a boarding school in Switzerland. He had a problem. A problem named Cesar Augustus.

"Almost at once, he dominated my life," Kurzweil says.

Augustus was Kurzweil's 12-year-old-bully. Kurzweil says Augustus started tormenting him emotionally and physically soon after they met. It culminated in one particularly brutal incident.

"He tied me up to a bed post, and whipped me to a song in Jesus Christ Superstar," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin.

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Technology
4:27 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Sit. Stay. Call 911: FIDO Vest Gives Service Dogs An Upgrade

A dog named Sky activates the tug sensor on the FIDO vest. The vest is a piece of wearable technology designed to allow working dogs to perform more tasks and communicate more information.
Rob Felt Courtesy of Georgia Tech

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 6:31 pm

Google announced this week they're ending individual sales of the much celebrated, and maligned, Google Glass. And as we reported last week, a recent Fortune study found relatively low interest in wearable gadgets.

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Movie Interviews
4:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

'Blackhat': A Classic Detective Story For A Brave New World

Chris Hemsworth plays hacker and furloughed convict Nicholas Hathaway in Blackhat.
Frank Connor Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Screenwriter, producer and director Michael Mann is a master of the crime story. From his work on Miami Vice in the '80s to films like Heat, The Insider and Public Enemies, it seems he's drawn to plots that revolve around illicit activity.

"I like dramatic conflict. I like things in high relief," Mann tells NPR's Arun Rath. "I like people who are faced with important questions and have to make critical decisions."

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Author Interviews
4:22 pm
Sat January 17, 2015

Illustrated Memoir Recalls Marching In Selma At Just 15

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 5:59 pm

At age 15, Lynda Blackmon Lowery was the youngest person to march all the way from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

Lowery, who still lives in Selma today, has written a book for young readers about her experience: Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March, an illustrated memoir.

"I would like for young people to know that each day of your life is a journey into history," Lowery tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You have the ability to change something each day of your life. Believe it or not, people, it can't happen without you."

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Author Interviews
6:41 am
Sat January 17, 2015

A 'Down-To-Earth Diva' Confronts Her Flaws And Good Fortune

Deborah Voigt regularly hosts and performs in the Metropolitan Opera's The Met: Live in HD series.
Heidi Gutman HarperCollinsPublishers

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 10:57 am

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Movie Interviews
3:32 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Julianne Moore: Alzheimer's Makes Us Question 'Our Essential Selves'

Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) is a linguistics professor who gets diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. "Who can take us seriously when we are so far from who we once were?" she asks. "We become ridiculous, incapable, comic. But this is not who we are. This is our disease."
Jojo Whilden Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 5:44 pm

In the new movie Still Alice, Julianne Moore plays Alice Howland, a 50-year-old linguistics professor at Columbia with a razor-sharp intellect. She's at the prime of her career, but gradually she starts to forget things. She loses her way, she gets fuzzy — and she is soon diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. The movie charts her rapid decline and her struggle to hold on to her sense of self.

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Goats and Soda
4:05 pm
Thu January 15, 2015

14 Takeaways From The 14-Part WHO Report On Ebola

Ebola was out of control in Liberia in August, when this picture was taken.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 1:20 pm

Today, the World Health Organization issued a 14-part report on Ebola, from the moment it started until now.

We asked our team of Ebola correspondents to look at the sections and pull out the points that seemed most interesting — that may have been overlooked or forgotten, stories that show how the virus turned into an epidemic.

Where it all began

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Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

'Girl On The Train' Is A Journey Into The Lives Of Familiar Strangers

Bart Sadowski iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 5:45 pm

If you have a long commute, you may have found yourself wondering about the familiar strangers you pass each day on the way to and from work — that woman on the bus who is always lost in thought, or that man in the second floor apartment.

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All Tech Considered
3:18 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Bored ... And Brilliant? A Challenge To Disconnect From Your Phone

Illustration by John Hersey Courtesy of WNYC

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 3:57 pm

Hey smartphone owners — when was the last time you were truly bored? Or even had a moment for mental downtime, unattached to a device?

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Author Interviews
4:11 pm
Sun January 11, 2015

Miranda July Balances Weirdness And Reality In Debut Novel

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 5:45 pm

Cheryl is odd — just a little off, somehow. She's obsessive, and delusional, living in a world that feels like reality twisted a few degrees off kilter.

So it may come as no great surprise that she's an invention of Miranda July, the screenwriter, actor, artist and writer who is famous for her quirky creations. Her movie Me and You and Everyone We Know — which July wrote, directed and starred in — won the 2005 Camera d'Or award. Her 2008 short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You established her as a writer outside film.

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Author Interviews
6:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

After Silence, An 'Outline' Of A Life In Fragments

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 10:26 am

What's left when a family falls apart? Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline explores that question, following a writer on a short summer teaching trip to Greece as she comes to terms with the dissolution of her marriage.

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Book News & Features
6:50 am
Sun January 11, 2015

This Weekend, Visit San Francisco's Famed Forbidden City In 'China Dolls'

Originally published on Sun January 11, 2015 10:26 am

The "Chop Suey Circuit" was the name given to vaudeville shows that starred all-Asian casts, popular from the 1930s through to the 1960s. One of the most famous venues was the Forbidden City club in San Francisco — which serves as the setting for Lisa See's novel China Dolls.

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The Salt
5:02 am
Sun January 11, 2015

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," John McQuaid writes in his book Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 10:43 am

Our current cultural obsession with food is undeniable. But, while the advent of the foodie may be a 21st century phenomenon, from an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, a new book argues.

In Tasty: the Art and Science of What We Eat, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John McQuaid offers a broad and deep exploration of the human relationship to flavor.

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," McQuaid writes.

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Author Interviews
4:26 pm
Sat January 10, 2015

'Blood Of The Tiger': Shedding Light On China's Farmed-Tiger Trade

Joanne Stemberger iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 5:47 pm

In 1991, wildlife investigator J. A. Mills went to China to verify rumors about tiger farming. She worked undercover, for the World Wildlife Fund and an organization called Traffic.

"I mainly pretended I was a student of traditional Chinese medicine to try to figure out not only what was being traded, but why it was being traded," Mills tells NPR's Arun Rath.

She says she found China's first tiger farm — complete with a hand-written ledgers filling up with orders for tiger bone.

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