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Around the Nation
6:00 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Despite California's Drought, Taps Still Flowing In LA County

A sign over a highway in Glendale, Calif., warned motorists in February to save water in response to the state's severe drought. But a study released earlier this week showed residents in the southern coastal part of the state used more water this spring than they did last year.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 10:52 am

This January, after the driest calendar year in California history, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency. He called on residents to reduce their water intake by 20 percent.

But downtown Los Angeles doesn't look like a city devastated by the state's worst drought in decades. The city is green with landscaping, and fountains are running. People still water their lawns, wash their cars and fill their pools.

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Science
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Sixth-Grader's Science Project Catches Ecologists' Attention

Scientists previously underestimated the ability of the lionfish to live in less salty water.
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 12:28 pm

(July 24, 2014: See the editor's note at the bottom of this page for an explanation of the story's new headline.)

When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.

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My Big Break
4:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Fitness Trainer Shaun T: 'I Understand Why You Feel Weak'

Shaun Blokker, known as Shaun T, is the man behind the fitness programs Hip Hop Abs and Insanity.
Derek Baron

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:43 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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The Sunday Conversation
10:13 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:20 pm

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Movie Interviews
9:14 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The Secret Behind Romero's Scary Zombies: 'I Made Them The Neighbors'

George A. Romero says zombies are just the disaster in his films. "My stories are more about the humans," he explains. Romero's latest project is a comic book called Empire of the Dead.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:59 pm

Director George A. Romero grew up on classic movie monsters — and he says he never dreamed he'd be responsible for creating the modern zombie that now lurks alongside those monsters. "I never expected it. I really didn't," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "... All I did was I took them out of 'exotica' and I made them the neighbors ... I thought there's nothing scarier than the neighbors!"

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Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

To Meet A 'Mockingbird': Memoir Recalls Talks With Harper Lee

Harper Lee, pictured in 2007 before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 7:34 am

In 1960, Harper Lee published To Kill a Mockingbird, won the Pulitzer Prize, and overnight became one of America's most beloved writers. But Lee was overwhelmed by the media blitz that followed. She retreated from the public eye, became wary of journalists, and never published another book.

Then, in 2001, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune showed up in Lee's hometown of Monroeville, Ala., to work on a story about the town, which is the model for the fictional setting of Lee's novel.

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Around the Nation
4:05 pm
Sat July 19, 2014

Learning To Love The Ocean After A Lifetime Of Fearing It

Every Wednesday for a decade, Tim Bomba has been helping people in Santa Monica, Calif., get over their fears of the ocean.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:14 am

Tim Bomba is a tall, rangy guy with a quick smile. He's a marathoner, a triathlete (he's done two Ironman races), and every Wednesday morning for the last decade, Bomba has taught a ocean swimming course in Santa Monica, Calif.

The course, called Ocean 101, isn't for accomplished swimmers like Bomba. It's for people who are new to the ocean, and many participants are afraid of the water when they arrive. Bomba knows what they're going through. He himself was terrified of swimming until he was in his 50s.

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Music Interviews
8:23 am
Sat July 19, 2014

Fred Hersch Floats On, With A Dynamic Trio In Tow

Jazz pianist Fred Hersch released his latest album, a trio recording called Floating, in July.
Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:57 am

The last time Fred Hersch was featured on Weekend Edition Saturday, the headline read, "Back On Stage By No Small Miracle." It was 2009, and scarcely a year earlier, the jazz pianist had suffered AIDS-related dementia and fallen into a coma for several months. Since recovering, Hersch has come roaring back to music, releasing a string of live albums to critical success.

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Movie Interviews
3:40 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

In New Film, Zach Braff Asks: How Long Can You Pursue Your Dreams?

In Wish I Was Here, Braff plays a father who embarks on a chaotic attempt to home-school his kids, Tucker (Pierce Gagnon ) and Grace (Joey King).
Merie Weismiller Wallace, SMPSP Focus Features

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

Zach Braff is currently performing on Broadway, and for a time he starred in the TV comedy Scrubs. But he's also known for directing and starring in the 2004 film Garden State, a model of 20-something angst.

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StoryCorps
7:35 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Colo. Clerk Recalls Issuing Same-Sex-Marriage Licenses — In 1975

Clela Rorex (right) tells her friend Sue Larson that she doesn't regret her decision to grant the controversial marriage licenses.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 12:32 pm

For the past month, county clerks in Colorado have been challenging a ban on same-sex marriage by issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

The Colorado Supreme Court is expected to rule on their actions any day now.

But few know that this is history repeating itself.

Back in 1975, when Clela Rorex was the newly elected county clerk in Boulder, she began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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The Salt
4:55 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

Deep-fried breakfast on-a-stick is a new food at this year's Minnesota State Fair. It contains American and Swiss cheeses, a sausage patty, one egg and Canadian bacon sandwiched between two pancakes, then dipped in a light, sweet batter and deep-fried on a stick.
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 6:54 pm

It is the season of state fairs, when you may have a chance to expand your palate or test your gag reflex at the concession stands. (Once you're stuffed, maybe you'll get to admire a butter sculpture.)

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Arts & Life
8:52 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Richard Reed Parry Turns Musicians Into Metronomes

Richard Reed Parry is best known as a core member of Arcade Fire. His classical solo album, Music For Heart And Breath, comes out July 15.
Guillaume Simoneau Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 7:35 am

Richard Reed Parry is famous for making music sound big. As a core member of Arcade Fire, the Grammy-winning indie rock group from Montreal, he wields multiple instruments to help create deep, layered textures in which strings and synthesizers, slow ballads and disco dance tracks are all at home.

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Parallels
2:32 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Amid A 'Shimmering' Tension, A Walk Through Israel And The West Bank

Paul Salopek, National Geographic fellow, looks out over Jerusalem during his seven-year journey by foot from Africa to South America.
Bassam Almohor National Geographic

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 10:09 am

Not long ago, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Salopek traveled through Israel and the West Bank as part of his journey walking from Africa to South America. He was there this spring, before the current violence erupted. Talking recently from Cyprus to Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, he says the long-standing conflict was part of daily life.


Interview Highlights

On coming under fire from Israeli soldiers

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The Salt
7:48 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Calorie Counting Machine May Make Dieting Easier In The Future

A model of General Electric's automatic calorie counter, fitted over a plate of food.
Courtesy of GE

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 11:51 am

Part of losing weight boils down to making tweaks to the simple equation of calories in versus calories out.

Americans spend over $60 billion a year on diet and weight loss products, according to market research, but the weight often comes right back. That may be because it's such a hassle to count calories — tracking everything you order or cook at home.

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Men In America
3:38 pm
Mon July 14, 2014

The 3 Scariest Words A Boy Can Hear

Joe Ehrmann, shown in 1975, was a defensive lineman with the Baltimore Colts for much of the '70s. He says that as a child, he was taught that being a man meant dominating people and circumstances — a lesson that served him well on the football field, but less so in real life.
Neil Leifer Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 5:24 pm

This story is part of All Things Considered's "Men in America" series.

It's rare that a man makes it through life without being told, at least once, "Be a man." To Joe Ehrmann, a former NFL defensive lineman and now a pastor, those are the three scariest words that a boy can hear.

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