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Code Switch
1:33 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Civil Rights Attorney On How She Built Trust With Police

Civil rights attorney Constance Rice worked with the Los Angeles Police Department to build trust with minority communities.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 5:50 am

As a civil rights attorney, Constance Rice became known in the 1990s for, as she puts it, going to war with the Los Angeles Police Department.

Rice filed lawsuits against the department, mainly over their treatment of minorities in underprivileged communities.

Following the recent decisions not to indict white cops in the deaths of two black men — President Obama has said one of his top priorities is building trust between minority communities and local police.

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StoryCorps
1:29 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Caring For AIDS Patients, 'When No One Else Would'

Ruth Coker Burks with her friend Paul Wineland. Wineland's partner was one of many AIDS patients Coker Burks has cared for over the past three decades.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 11:07 am

Ruth Coker Burks was a young mother in her 20s when the AIDS epidemic hit her home state of Arkansas in the early 1980s. She took it upon herself to care for AIDS patients who were abandoned by their families, and even by medical professionals, who feared the disease.

Coker Burks, now 55, has no medical training, but she estimates that she has cared for nearly 1,000 people over the past three decades, including her friend Paul Wineland's partner.

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Politics
2:28 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

For Rep. McMorris Rodgers, Aiding Children With Disabilities Is Personal

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was a lead sponsor of a bill that would allow special savings accounts for people with disabilities. She spoke about her son Cole, who has Down syndrome, on the House floor.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 5:03 pm

The Achieving A Better Life Experience — ABLE — Act, which faced a House vote this week, hit close to home for Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state. "For me personally, this bill is about a little boy who was diagnosed with Down syndrome three days after he was born. His diagnosis came with a list of future complications," she said on the House floor.

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Music Interviews
4:16 pm
Sun November 30, 2014

At 86, A 'Jazz Child' Looks Back On A Life Of Sunshine, Sorrow

Jazz vocalist Sheila Jordan doesn't mind that, despite her critical acclaim, she's not a household name. "The people that respect what I do and hire me, that's all I need, you know?" she says. "I just need to keep doing this music as long as I live. "
Richard Laird Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun November 30, 2014 4:43 pm

Many fans first encountered one of the great voices in jazz as a whisper: Sheila Jordan made a quiet but lasting impression as a guest singer on pianist George Russell's 1962 arrangement of "You Are My Sunshine."

Since then, Jordan's career has taken her all over the world, and in 2012, she received one of the highest honors in jazz: she became an National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master. Her music has soared, but her story starts with pain.

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Around the Nation
8:23 am
Sun November 30, 2014

After Wrongful Conviction, Three Lifetimes Spent With Hope In Check

Kwame Ajamu grabs his brother Wiley Bridgeman's beard after his release in a gesture that dates from their boyhood.
John Kuntz The Plain Dealer/Landov

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 2:31 pm

The year was 1975. Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese as American troops and civilians were forced to evacuate the country. Ronald Reagan entered the presidential race against Gerald Ford. A show called Saturday Night Live debuted on NBC.

And Ricky Jackson, Wiley Bridgeman and Bridgeman's younger brother, Ronnie, were charged with the murder of an Ohio salesman. Jackson was 18, Ronnie Bridgeman was 17 and Wiley Bridgeman was 20.

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Author Interviews
2:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

Backstage With Janis Joplin: Doubts, Drugs And Compassion

Janis Joplin
Tucker Ransom/Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 11:08 am

Janis Joplin felt a sense of outsider isolation throughout her life. She once said, "On stage, I make love to 25,000 different people. Then I go home alone."

But she wasn't alone — she had John Byrne Cooke.

Cooke was Janis Joplin's first and only road manager, from 1967 until her death from a heroin overdose in 1970. He was the one who found her body. In a new memoir, On the Road With Janis Joplin, he details the electrifying performances — and the drugs — that marked Joplin's tours.

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Movie Interviews
2:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

In 'Imitation Game,' An Outsider Takes Center Stage

Benedict Cumberbatch stars as British mathematician and scientist Alan Turing in The Imitation Game; Charles Dance plays Commander Denniston. Director Morten Tyldum says the movie is set up like a mystery — "like a puzzle you're piecing together."
Jack English Black Bear Pictures

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 4:29 pm

The new film The Imitation Game, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing — the eccentric, socially awkward British mathematician who led the effort to break the Nazi's secret Enigma code.

In part, it's a movie about a great intellectual achievement, instrumental to winning World War II — but the film also traces the bullying Turing faced as a child, and the trials he endured as a gay man in Britain at a time when homosexuality was a crime.

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History
9:15 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Jesus Started A Chain Letter — And Other Hoaxes

Published in London around 1795, this "copy" of a letter from Jesus in heaven was the imagined correspondence between Jesus and King Abgar of Edessa.
Sheridan Libraries JHU

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 12:26 pm

William Shakespeare wrote in the margins of his books. Noah washed up in Vienna after the flood. Jesus sent a letter back to Earth after his ascension to heaven.

Did you miss those artifacts of history?

Of course you did. They're all frauds, concocted to convince the unsuspecting — and often they did.

These frauds are part of a new exhibit, "Fakes, Lies and Forgeries," at the George Peabody Library in Baltimore.

Curator Earle Havens says the exhibit is timely — these days, the media presents us with fakes and lies all the time.

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StoryCorps
7:42 am
Sat November 29, 2014

A Decade After Battle, Medic And Wounded Soldier Reunite

Retired 1st Sgt. Keith Melick (right) and retired Army Special Forces Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Wilkins met when Melick, a medic, treated Wilkins after an IED explosion. They were reunited nearly 10 years later.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

StoryCorps' Military Voices Initiative records stories from members of the U.S. military who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ten years ago, Keith Melick was a medic in the Army, and Roy Wilkins was a command sergeant major in the Army's Special Forces.

They crossed paths in Afghanistan, where Wilkins was wounded in an IED explosion.

And then this August, by chance, they met again — in the gym at a VA medical center in North Carolina, where Wilkins was playing with his wheelchair basketball team.

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The Salt
5:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Free-range chickens stand in a pen at an organic-accredited poultry farm in Germany.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 10:05 am

If you looked at Earth from far off in the solar system, would it look like it's run by humans — or chickens? There are about three times as many chickens as people on this planet. And while horses and dogs are often celebrated as humankind's partner in spreading civilization, a new book argues it's really the chicken.

Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, tells NPR's Scott Simon about the chicken's malleability, its religious symbolism and the most disturbing thing he learned while researching his book.

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The Salt
4:05 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

Smoke and mirrors: Dave Arnold plays around with liquid nitrogen in a cocktail glass during his interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:36 pm

Dave Arnold can work some serious magic with a cocktail shaker. But he's no alchemist — Arnold, who runs the Manhattan bar Booker and Dax, takes a very scientific approach to his craft.

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Found Recipes
3:15 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

A Boozy Parisian Pineapple That Tastes Like The Holidays

Roasted pineapple
Alan Richardson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 4:22 pm

"It almost tastes like Christmas."

That's how Dorie Greenspan describes Laurent's Slow-Roasted Pineapple, a sweet, spicy and boozy dessert she's perfected after much trial and error. The dish, she says, is a "true found recipe," because it took a great deal of cajoling to pry it out of its creator, Laurent Tavernier.

Tavernier cuts hair in Paris, where Greenspan, author of Baking Chez Moi, has lived part-time for years. He's a great cook, she says — but while he would show her photos of his creations on his phone, "I could never get a recipe.

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The Salt
10:37 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Native American Side Of The Thanksgiving Menu

Renee Comet Photography Restaurant Associates and Smithsonian Institution

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2012.

Everyone knows the schoolhouse version of the first Thanksgiving story: New England pilgrims came together with Native Americans to share a meal after the harvest. The original menu was something of a joint venture, but over the years, a lot of the traditional dishes have lost their native flavor.

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The Salt
2:16 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Gluten-Free? Vegan? Thanksgiving Recipes For Alternative Diets

Baked Squash Kibbeh: Middle-Eastern kibbeh is a finely ground combination of beef or lamb, bulgur and onions either formed into balls and deep-fried or pressed into a pan and baked. For a vegetarian version of this flavorful dish, why not pair butternut squash with the warm spices?
Steve Klise Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:05 am

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

More and more Americans are passing on gluten — some for medical reasons, most by choice. Others are adopting diets that exclude meat, or insisting on the kinds of unprocessed foods that early man would have hunted and gathered.

All of this is a challenge to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

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Author Interviews
3:08 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

Box Of Love Letters Reveals Grandfather Didn't Escape WWII With 'Everyone'

cover crop
Riverhead

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 4:31 pm

Karl Wildman was the hero of his family — he escaped Vienna at the start of World War II and became a successful doctor in the United States. When Karl died, his granddaughter Sarah Wildman found a hidden trove of love letters from a woman Karl left behind in Vienna.

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Television
3:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

'Getting On' Star Niecy Nash: 'I Never Wanted To Be Funny'

Niecy Nash (right) plays DiDi, a nurse at an extended care facility, in the HBO comedy series Getting On, which was modeled after the hit BBC series of the same name. Betty Buckley plays one of her patients.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 11:51 am

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My Big Break
3:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

After Injury, Tony Little Told Himself: 'You Can Do It!'

Tony Little calls himself America's Personal Trainer. He was first inspired to produce workout videos after an injury left him largely homebound, and he saw Jane Fonda's exercise program on TV.
Courtesy of Tony Little

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 1:31 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.

You probably recognize him as the energized muscle man with the ponytail selling his exercise machine, The Gazelle, on late-night infomercials: Tony Little, also known as America's Personal Trainer.

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Movie Interviews
3:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

'Madagascar' Director Polishes His Penguin Voice

Penguins of Madagascar follows a spy team of penguins, who first appeared in the film series Madagascar, as they work to stymie an evil octopus' plan to take over the world.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 7:36 am

The voice actors in Penguins of Madagascar, out Wednesday, include some of the boldface names you might expect on a big-budget animated film. John Malkovich voices an evil octopus, abducting penguins around the world. Benedict Cumberbatch voices a wolf who helps four penguins on their spy mission to stop the villain.

But the star of the film, a penguin named Skipper, is voiced by Tom McGrath — who co-directed the first three films in the "Madagascar" franchise, and is an executive producer of the new installment.

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Code Switch
3:45 pm
Sun November 23, 2014

Racial Disparities In Arrests Are Prevalent, But Cause Isn't Clear

Protesters and law enforcement officers face off during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department in October. Ferguson police statistics show the department arrest blacks at a higher rate than other racial groups — but that disparity is true for police departments across the country.
Charles Rex Arbogast AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:00 am

Ferguson, Mo., continues to watch and wait as a grand jury decides whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Brown's death was the spark for mass protests in Ferguson, but many of the city's black population say the problems go deeper, and that blacks are unfairly singled out by police.

Ferguson police statistics show the department does arrest blacks at a higher rate than other racial groups. But that disparity is true for police departments across the country.

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The Two-Way
12:59 am
Sun November 23, 2014

Former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry Dies

Washington, D.C., Councilman and former Mayor Marion Barry was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, but started out as a champion for the city's disenfranchised.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 11:28 am

Marion Barry, the fiery Washington, D.C., politician who was famously re-elected after going to jail for crack cocaine possession, has died after months of battling health issues. He was 78.

The four-term mayor, who was still serving his third term on the D.C. Council, was famous for fighting for the District's disenfranchised, but won national notoriety after he was caught on FBI video with an ex-girlfriend and crack cocaine in 1990.

He was considered by many to be the district's most charismatic and controversial politician.

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Goats and Soda
6:43 am
Sat November 22, 2014

Obama's Step-Grandmother Continues Educating Young Kenyans

Sarah Obama, left, and her translator, Mama Sarah Obama Foundation Executive Director Debra Akello, spoke at the United Nations on Wednesday.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 1:58 pm

The United States has seen many fundraisers headlined by an Obama in recent years, but this week it won't be the president or the first lady — it will be his step-grandmother, Sarah Obama, who is raising funds to build a school and hospital in her hometown, Kogelo, Kenya.

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Movie Interviews
2:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Benedict Cumberbatch: Code Breaker Alan Turing Was A Puzzle Himself

Benedict Cumberbatch plays British mathematician Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. "You're not asked to like the character," Cumberbatch says. "You're introduced to him, warts and all."
Black Bear Pictures

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:57 pm

The Imitation Game is the story of Alan Turing: British mathematician, World War II code breaker and seminal theoretician of computer science. "It's a war thriller, it's a love story and a tragic testament to a genius wronged," the star of the film, Benedict Cumberbatch, tells NPR's Robert Siegel.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
2:49 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Debate: Should Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?

Bioethicist Peter Singer argues that, under certain circumstances, people should have the right to die at a time of their choosing.
Samuel La Hoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:17 pm

Since Oregon legalized physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in 1997, more than 700 people have taken their lives with prescribed medication — including Brittany Maynard, a 29-year-old with an incurable brain tumor, who ended her life earlier this month.

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Parallels
1:50 am
Mon November 17, 2014

In A Dutch Town, A Glowing Bike Path Inspired By Van Gogh

Artist Dan Roosegaarde pays tribute to Vincent Van Gogh's painting Starry Night by creating this bike path in Van Gogh's hometown of Eindhoven.
Courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 10:27 am

In the Dutch town of Eindhoven, artist Daan Roosegaarde has paid homage to its most famous resident, Vincent Van Gogh, by creating a glowing bike path that relies on solar-powered LED lights and interprets his classic painting Starry Night.

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Around the Nation
4:22 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

Criminal Law Says Minors Can't Consent — But Some Civil Courts Disagree

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 7:00 pm

Protecting young people from sexual predators would seem to be a universally-held value in this country: No state has an age of consent lower than 16.

But in some courtrooms, attorneys argue that children can make decisions about whom they have sex with — and in some cases, those attorneys are winning.

One of those cases is currently under appeal in California. In 2010, a 28-year old middle-school math teacher began a six-month sexual relationship with a 14-year-old female student at his school.

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Goats and Soda
9:59 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Google Asks Users To Help Fight Ebola — And They Answer With Cash

Google CEO Larry Page.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:26 am

When you think philanthropy, Facebook and Google don't usually come to mind.

But maybe in your travels across the Internet this week, you notice that both companies placed banners ads on their pages asking you to help end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Google pledged to match every dollar donated by its users with $2. The company has already reached its limit of $7.5 million — $5 million from Google and $2.5 million from donors.

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Author Interviews
6:07 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Today's Fairy Tales Started Out (Even More) Dark And Harrowing

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:22 am

It's well-known that our favorite fairy tales started out darker than the ones Disney animators brought to life. But you might be surprised by how much darker the originals were.

For the first time, a new translation of the Brothers Grimm's tales reveals exactly how unsanitized and murderous the bedtime stories really were. Jack Zipes, author of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is the only person who has ever translated the first edition of their tales into English.

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History
2:37 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Family Film Offers Glimpse Of 'Three Minutes In Poland' Before Holocaust

During a 1938 vacation to his hometown, Glenn Kurtz's grandfather filmed the townspeople of Nasielsk, a Jewish community in Poland, just before World War II.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:25 am

In 2009, Glenn Kurtz stumbled across some old family films in a closet in his parents' house in Florida. One of the films, shot more than 70 years earlier by his grandparents while on vacation in Europe, turned out to include footage of his grandfather's hometown in Poland.

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My Big Break
4:03 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

How'd Karyn Parsons Get Her Gig On 'Fresh Prince'? Brattiness

Alfonso Ribeiro (from left), Will Smith and Karyn Parsons on the set of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1991.
Ron Tom NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:02 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.

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Music Interviews
3:52 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

When The Lights Go Down, Who Will Hear 'The Last Transmission'?

Filmmaker and musician Melvin Van Peebles' new album with the London band The Heliocentrics is titled The Last Transmission.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 7:35 pm

A lot of popular musicians in the 1960s and '70s showed a passionate interest in getting extremely high — higher than any human had ever been.

We're talking, of course, about space exploration. David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Sun Ra, Funkadelic; all contributed to our shared space mythology. That doesn't happen so much these days.

But a new record from London band The Heliocentrics is a welcome, and trippy, exception.

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