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Author Interviews
4:24 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

After Fight For Life And Media Firestorm, 'Distressed Baby' Is Happy Toddler

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Wed July 15, 2015 1:11 pm

In an age of CEO gaffes and snafus, one in particular drew significant backlash last year.

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Television
4:24 pm
Sun July 12, 2015

The Pitch Of A Lifetime: One Enterprising 'Star Trek' Fan's Big Chance

George Takei as Sulu (left) and Walter Koenig as Chekov in the original Star Trek series. The franchise has spun off a bounty of shows, but the last one came off the air a decade ago. One fan has a plan for the next installment.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 13, 2015 9:16 am

Like many Star Trek fans, Michael Chang Gummelt wants the legendary franchise to return to TV. And like many fans, he has a lot of ideas about what such a reboot should look like.

But Gummelt also has something no other fan does: a meeting with Paramount to pitch his concept.

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Author Interviews
5:26 am
Sun July 12, 2015

In Palestine, A Child Of Violence Becomes A Music Educator

Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Sun July 12, 2015 7:29 am

When the first Palestinian uprising began in the late 1980s, the images from the intifada showed exploding tear gas canisters launched by Israelis, answered by Palestinian youngsters shooting slingshots and hurling rocks. A photographer snapped a photo of a boy with tears in his eyes, an 8-year-old named Ramzi Aburedwan. The image came to represent the rage and frustration of life in the refugee camps. But although his face was famously stuck in time, Ramzi's life changed dramatically when he was introduced to music at age 16.

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Author Interviews
4:11 pm
Sat July 11, 2015

Fearing Her Mind's Decline, Patricia Marx Scrambles To Get 'Less Stupid'

Patricia Marx is also the author of two novels, Starting from Happy and Him Her Him Again the End of Him.
Courtesy of Hachette Book Group

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 8:35 pm

Patricia Marx is a former writer for Saturday Night Live and Rugrats. She's a contributor to The New Yorker.

And she's afraid she's losing her mind.

"There were just so many moments of, 'What's that thing that you put the thing in that's got the thing that, you know, that what is it called?' " Marx tells NPR's Arun Rath.

"I was really worried that in a matter of days, I was going to need a caregiver and the caregiver was going to find the butter dish in my sock drawer."

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Race
4:11 pm
Sat July 11, 2015

He's Shared 'Every Single Word' — But It's The Silence That Rings Louder

YouTube

Originally published on Sun July 12, 2015 9:34 am

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Animals
6:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

For This Tarantula-Killing Wasp, Dinner's A Meal Best Served Living

Meal time for one species probably means sleepless nights for others.
Debbie Hall Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.

Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.

So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.

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Sports
6:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

Winning Is For Losers: The Great Stories Of The Guys Who Finish Last

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

Cyclists competing in the Tour de France entered the 8th Stage on Saturday, where they'll face some short but steep climbs as they ride west through Brittany. At the end of the day, cheering crowds will gather around the finish line, the stage winners feted.

What about the guy at the end of the pack? That's the question Max Leonard answers in his new book, Lanterne Rouge: The Last Man in the Tour de France. Leonard tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn that the riders in the back often have far more interesting stories than the riders in the front.

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Code Switch
2:50 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Looks At The Physical Toll Of Being Black In America

Coates with his son Samori.
Random House

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 2:12 pm

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down at NPR's New York studios a few days ago, he got a little emotional.

It was the first time that Coates, who writes for The Atlantic, had held a copy of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.

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Architecture
11:27 am
Thu July 9, 2015

Take A Trip To D.C.'s Indoor Beach, Where It's Always 75 And Sunny

Museumgoers play in the 10,000-square-foot exhibition called "The Beach" at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Noah Kalina National Building Museum

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 4:24 pm

The nation's capital is sweaty and sweltering right now, but Washington locals and visitors can find a seaside getaway in the most unlikely of places. In the middle of downtown D.C., the National Building Museum has installed a 10,000-square-foot indoor "beach" that has attracted kids, tourists and workers looking for an out-of-the-ordinary lunch break.

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Goats and Soda
3:26 am
Thu July 9, 2015

He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

Daniel Majok Gai revisits the two-bedroom apartment in Denver where he lived with seven other Sudanese refugees in 2001.
Kevin Leahy NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 9:22 am

Daniel Majok Gai wants to go back to South Sudan.

He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.

Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.

Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.

He was 6 when a militia attacked his village.

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History
5:29 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. Many people chalk the phrase up to Shakespeare, but its origins likely date back much earlier than that --€” to medieval monks eager for a cop-out.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 9:11 pm

If you've been following the Greek financial crisis, you've certainly seen this old cliche in the headlines.

In USA Today, there was "If 'it's all Greek to you,' here's the skinny on debt crisis." The BBC says, "All Greek to you? Greece's debt jargon explained."

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Author Interviews
5:08 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

From Early Failures To New 'Trainwreck,' Judd Apatow Gets Serious

Director, writer and producer Judd Apatow has both a new memoir and a new movie right now. Trainwreck, which he directed, is in theaters starting July 17 and Sick in the Head was published in June.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 9:11 pm

It's a bit of an understatement to call Judd Apatow busy.

His new book, Sick in the Head, a 500-page collection of Apatow's conversations with some of the greatest minds in comedy, is on the New York Times best-seller list. Meanwhile, his film collaboration with the white-hot Amy Schumer, Trainwreck — his fifth movie as a director — is set for release within two weeks.

Oh, and he just wrapped up shooting another movie that's due out next year.

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Author Interviews
4:22 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

From Blueprints To Betrayal: The Daring, And Downfall, Of A Cold War Spy

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 5:19 pm

It was the middle of the Cold War and the CIA was having a difficult time getting information on what the Soviet Union was up to next.

The agency needed a spy — a Russian spy — who was willing to go the full way and betray his country.

It found one in Adolf Tolkachev, a Soviet aviation expert.

David Hoffman tells Tolkachev's story in his new book, The Billion Dollar Spy.

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The Salt
6:57 am
Sun July 5, 2015

What To Do With Weird Farmers Market Vegetables

Kohlrabi, peeled and sliced, is refreshing, but lightly poached is good too, says chef April Bloomfield.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 9:10 am

Walking through the farmers market this time of year is a wondrous thing: juicy tomatoes, rows of jewel-toned eggplants, fragrant basil and sweet yellow corn. But then, you see bunches of greens that look like weeds, stuff with names like kohlrabi and purslane, and suddenly, you feel intimidated. Other people know what to do with these greens, why don't I?

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Author Interviews
4:10 am
Sun July 5, 2015

In 'Playing Scared' Pianist Grows Less Frightened Of Stage Fright

Courtesy of Bloomsbury USA

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 11:08 am

Everyone has had the dream in one form or another. You are about to take a big test when you realize you don't know anything about the subject. You are on stage but you haven't memorized the lines. You have to make a speech but you haven't written it.

It's your basic performance anxiety nightmare.

But if you are a musician, performance anxiety, better known as stage fright, can ruin your career — maybe before it even gets started.

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