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Jazz Night In America
4:59 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Christian McBride On 'A Love Supreme' And Its Descendants

John Coltrane during the recording of A Love Supreme in December 1964.
Chuck Stewart Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 7:04 pm

Christian McBride remembers very well the first time he heard A Love Supreme, the John Coltrane classic that turns 50 this month. The bassist, composer and host of NPR's Jazz Night in America was in high school in Philadelphia, and had grown friendly with the staff at record store he passed on his daily commute.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
10:35 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Debate: Are America's Best Days Behind It?

Josef Joffe, author of The Myth of America's Decline, says the U.S. remains a world leader in education, economic performance and innovation.
Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Is America in decline? Or an unparalleled leader on the global stage? Is the nation coping well with the challenges of the 21st century — from health care and education to the threat of terrorism — or is it falling behind other world powers?

Some argue that, while other developed nations have watched their share of global GDP shrink, the United States has remained an economic powerhouse. The U.S. military is unrivaled, they add, the world's top universities are American and the nation remains a leader in technological innovation.

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First Reads
1:03 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Exclusive First Read: Anna Lyndsey's 'Girl In The Dark'

Courtesy Doubleday

Anna Lyndsey — a pseudonym — was once an enviably ordinary woman. She had a good career working for the British government, a loving partner, and most importantly, she could walk outside, under the sun, whenever she wanted to. But then she developed a rare disorder: even the faintest light causes an agonizing burning sensation in her skin, making her a virtual prisoner in darkened rooms and smothering clothes.

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Sports
6:40 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Meet The Dogs Whose Names Are Too Long To Fit In This Headline

A French bulldog waits to enter the ring at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Fulla Bull Soulja Boy got the nod as best of breed.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 5:24 am

Plenty of people like to use their dog's name in their passwords. Yet, for many of the owners competing in this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, that might be a tough proposition. Some of these dogs may be small — but just about all of their names are big.

Take, for instance, the border terrier who answers to the name Gizmo. His real name is actually McHill's His Royal Highness Prince Gizmo House of Gremlin. Then there's the basset hound named Easthill Broxden Woodland Lettuce Entertain You.

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Arts & Life
1:33 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Watch This: The Akils On Black Film And TV You Can't Miss

Mara Brock Akil and her husband, Salim, are a Hollywood power couple. Mara's behind several of BET's hit shows, and Salim's a movie producer and director.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 5:58 am

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Author Interviews
1:31 am
Tue February 17, 2015

King, Tyrant, Beheaded Traitor: The Many Trials Of Charles I

King Charles I was sentenced to death on Jan. 27, 1649, and executed three days later.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 8:10 am

In 1642, England became a country torn apart by civil war. Tens of thousands would die as King Charles I and his royalist supporters battled Parliament and its army.

Over the course of the conflict, Charles I came to be perceived as a traitor and was blamed for the bloodshed. After he and his supporters were defeated, Charles I was seized, tried for treason and sentenced to death.

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Music
4:20 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

The Doctor Is In: Eddie Henderson On Life As 'The Funk Surgeon'

Eddie Henderson's latest album is Collective Portrait.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

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World
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

Thrilled By Chills? Take A Look At The World's Coldest City

Yakutsk, Russia is the world's coldest city: average winter temperatures hit -30 degrees. It's also the largest city built on permafrost.
Amos Chapple

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 6:27 pm

New Zealand-born photographer Amos Chapple was a long, long way from home. Out in the middle of Russia's vast Sakha Republic, an area that spans over 1 million square miles, he was heading towards the world's coldest city.

And he was alone.

In these far reaches of northeast Russia, Chapple says, "If people don't need to be outside, they won't be outside. So in the smaller towns, they all look abandoned. And if you see somebody, they're racing between doors with mitts clasped over faces hurrying to get inside again."

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Author Interviews
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

In His Latest Book, Neil Gaiman Offers Readers A 'Trigger Warning'

Neil Gaiman's other books include The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Stardust.
Kimberly Butler Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 5:20 pm

Trigger Warning is a term used to warn someone about potentially harmful reading material. It's also the title of Neil Gaiman's newest collection of short-fiction.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

America Loves Smoothies And The Frozen Foods Industry Knows It

One of Dole Packaged Food's frozen fruit options. Over the years, frozen fruit companies have adjusted packaging to make it flashier and more colorful, and also put their products in stand-up bags, says Wall Street Journal reporter, Sarah Nassauer.
Dole.com

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 4:20 pm

Last year, frozen fruit sales in this country surpassed a billion dollars, shattering all previous records. Sales have more than doubled since 2011.

So what's behind this explosion of frozen fruit?

Sarah Nassauer, who reports on the food business for the Wall Street Journal, points to a pair of studies from the world's biggest seller of fresh fruit.

"Dole [Packaged Foods] got into this business, started selling frozen fruit in 2005," she says. "So in 2006, they did a big sort of frozen fruit usage study, and then they did another one last year in 2014."

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My Big Break
3:01 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

Fake It Till You Make It, Then Come Clean: A Sportscaster's Big Break

Before a Lakers game this season, Adrián García Márquez and the rest of the TWC Deportes crew tapes a pre-game intro.
Nadia Gonzalez TWC Deportes

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 4:20 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.

Before he called play-by-play for the Los Angeles Lakers, before he called the Olympics, before he called the World Series, before he called Monday Night Football, sportscaster Adrián García Márquez was handing out flyers and bumper stickers for a hip-hop station in San Diego.

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Author Interviews
5:32 am
Sun February 15, 2015

'The Room' Offers An Escape From The Office — Or Does It?

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 10:49 am

Bjorn's new job is not going well. His co-workers are insufferable, his boss is constantly belittling him, and it's all keeping him from getting any work done — or climbing the ladder in his faceless bureaucracy.

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Movies
3:20 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

At 'The Grand Budapest,' A Banquet Of Beards And Melange Of Mustaches

Actor Tony Revolori, who plays Zero Moustafa in The Grand Budapest Hotel, paints on a mustache. The movie was full of fake mustaches — but most were made of human hair and silk, rather than paint.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 3:07 pm

Director Wes Anderson is known for his especially exacting visual style — an attention to detail that goes right down to the individual hairs on his actors' faces.

Take The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson's historical fairy tale about a luxury central European hotel on the edge of war in the 1930s. Nearly every male character in the film has some kind of painstakingly designed facial hair.

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Movie Interviews
2:57 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

Filmmaker David Cross Says It's No Wonder We All Want Fame

David Cross makes his directorial debut with the dark comedy Hits.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 4:32 pm

If you know comedian David Cross, chances are you recognize him from his role as Tobias in the TV comedy Arrested Development. Now Cross is making his directorial debut with the dark comedy Hits, a film that explores how easy it is to become famous in our celebrity-obsessed culture.

The movie was released Friday on BitTorrent, an online file-sharing system that's often associated with piracy. The film's producers are asking downloaders merely to pay what they want.

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Code Switch
2:57 pm
Sat February 14, 2015

'Strange Fruit' Shares Uncelebrated, Quintessentially American Stories

Bass Reeves, depicted here in an illustration from Joel Christian Gill's Tales of the Talented Tenth, was one of the first African-American U.S. marshals. Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Fulcrum Publishing

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 4:32 pm

Illustrator and historian Joel Christian Gill is full of stories.

There's the one about Box Brown, a slave who escaped to freedom by mailing himself in a box, then became an abolitionist speaker.

And then there's the story of the first American stage magician, a black man from New Hampshire named Richard Potter.

And of course there's Spottswood Rice, a slave who escaped and then wrote two impassioned letters: a heartfelt message to his children still in slavery, and a threat to his former slavemaster.

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Author Interviews
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Dangerous Freedoms And Fading Memories In 'Find Me'

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:13 am

Laura Van Den Berg is one of the most admired short story writers in the country, and readers have been eagerly awaiting her first novel, Find Me. The book opens with a sickness sweeping the country: It obliterates memory, then kills. In the middle of this is Joy, a lonely young woman who works at a Stop & Shop outside of Boston. Her chief impulse in life seems to be to swill cough syrup (by the way, there's a lot of product placement in this book) — but Joy also seems to be untouched by this sickness. Is she somehow immune?

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Movie Interviews
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

Hugh Grant On Smart Romantic Comedies And Standing Up To The Tabloids

In The Rewrite Grant plays a washed-up Hollywood screenwriter who takes a job teaching at a university in upstate New York.
Anne Joyce RLJE/Image Entertainment Films

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:12 am

Hugh Grant is a British fish out of water — again. In The Rewrite he plays Keith Michaels, a screenwriter who won an Oscar 15 years ago, but hasn't done much since. Divorced and nearly broke, he reluctantly takes a one-semester teaching job at Binghamton University in upstate New York.

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Author Interviews
5:32 am
Sat February 14, 2015

A Berkeley Student Comes Home In 'Braggsville,' With Consequences

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 8:14 am

D'aron Davenport feels like a catfish out of his pond when he leaves his Georgia town of about 700 people to go to school in Berkeley, Calif. But within just a few months, it's his hometown that becomes a little hard to understand in his own, changed eyes.

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StoryCorps
1:30 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Chapel Hill Shooting Victims Were 'Radiant,' Teacher Says

Yusor Abu-Salha was one of the victims in Tuesday's shooting in Chapel Hill, N.C. She sat down with her teacher, Mussarut Jabeen, at StoryCorps last May.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 9:54 am

Yusor Abu-Salha was one of the young students killed in Tuesday's shooting in Chapel Hill, N.C.

She and her former third-grade teacher, Mussarut Jabeen, spoke to StoryCorps in May. In fact, all three victims in the shooting — Abu-Salha, 21, her husband, Deah Barakat, 23, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19 — attended the Al-Iman School in Raleigh, N.C., where Jabeen taught.

Jabeen returned to StoryCorps Wednesday to talk about that 2014 conversation with Abu-Salha.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Tumultuous Relationships, But Not Much Gossip, In Langston Hughes' Letters

Langston Hughes, pictured above in 1961, was a poet, novelist, playwright and "inveterate letter writer," says editor Arnold Rampersad.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 4:27 pm

In addition to poems and plays and stories, Langston Hughes also wrote letters — a lot of letters. The letters — compiled for the first time in Selected Letters of Langston Hughes -- offer insight into a man deeply devoted to his craft, and chronicle his often tumultuous personal and professional relationships.

"He was an inveterate letter writer," Arnold Rampersad, co-editor of the compilation, tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He would write sometimes 30 or 40 working late into the night, into the early morning. He believed in letters and he also saved them."

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Author Interviews
12:44 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Twice Kidnapped, Photographer Returns To War Zone: 'It's What I Do'

Lynsey Addario is a photojournalist who has worked in war zones for well over a decade.
Kursat Bayhan Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 7:07 am

In March 2011, photojournalist Lynsey Addario was kidnapped in Libya while covering the fighting between dictator Moammar Gadhafi's troops and rebel forces. She was with Anthony Shadid, Tyler Hicks and Stephen Farrell in the town of Ajdabiya, all on assignment for The New York Times.

Looking back, Addario says she had a premonition that something bad would happen.

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All Tech Considered
3:07 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Q&A: Sen. Ed Markey On Protecting Data Our Cars Are Sharing

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., says our cars are becoming increasingly vulnerable to hacking.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:27 pm

Cars and trucks today are computers, and a new report overseen by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., comes with a warning: As more vehicles have wireless connections, the data stored in them is vulnerable to stealing, hacking and the same invasions faced by any technical system today.

How safe are we in our connected cars?

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Around the Nation
5:19 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

To End Solitary Confinement, Rikers Steps Out Of The Box

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tours and meets with youth Dec. 17 at Second Chance Housing on Rikers Island in New York City. Second Chance Housing is an alternative for incarcerated adolescents, instead of punitive segregation, also known as solitary confinement.
Susan Watts Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 11:09 am

New York's Rikers Island is the second-largest jail in the U.S., and one of the most notorious.

But with a single move, Rikers has taken the lead on prison reform on one issue: Last month, the prison banned the use of solitary confinement for inmates under 21 years old.

Amy Fettig, senior staff counsel for the ACLU's National Prison Project, says the use of isolation is too widespread and that it's being used for the wrong reasons. Often young people are even isolated for their own protection.

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Code Switch
4:40 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Korean Dictator, All-American Dad: One Actor's 'Very Unique Year'

Randall Park and Constance Wu co-star as husband and wife Louis and Jessica Huang in Fresh Off the Boat.
Gilles Mingasson ABC

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 7:53 am

When Randall Park realized just how big a deal Fresh Off The Boat was going to be, he got cold feet. The stakes were high for the first network sitcom in 20 years to feature an Asian-American family.

But he'd already filmed the pilot, in which he starred as family patriarch Louis Huang, a Taiwanese immigrant and firm believer in the American Dream. (The sitcom, which centers on Louis' son Eddie, begins as Louis uproots his young family from Washington, D.C., to suburban Orlando to open a steakhouse.)

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Code Switch
3:56 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

100 Years Later, What's The Legacy Of 'Birth Of A Nation'?

Actors dressed in full Ku Klux Klan regalia for scenes in 1915's The Birth of a Nation.
Hulton Archive/ Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 5:56 pm

One hundred years ago Sunday, the nascent film industry premiered what would go on to be its first blockbuster: The Birth of a Nation.

As the house lights dimmed and the orchestra struck up the score, a message from director D.W. Griffith flickered on the screen: "This is an historical presentation of the Civil War and Reconstruction Period, and is not meant to reflect on any race or people of today."

But its effects on race relations were devastating, and reverberations are still felt to this day.

Epic Film, Embedded Bigotry

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Music Interviews
3:35 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Bird Of A Feather: Rudresh Mahanthappa On Learning From Charlie Parker

Rudresh Mahanthappa's latest album is Bird Calls.
Jimmy Katz Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 7:53 am

In the early 1980s, when a young sixth-grader in Colorado first heard Charlie Parker, his life was transformed. Now a world-class saxophonist, Rudresh Mahanthappa is paying homage to Parker with his new album, Bird Calls. Mahanthappa says it's a tribute to Charlie Parker — but there are no Charlie Parker songs here.

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Monkey See
3:21 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Live-Blogging The Grammy Awards

Beyonce performs onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. The singer is up for six Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.
Mark Davis Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 8, 2015 7:42 pm

UPDATE: Perhaps it's a sign that we have to give up our nostalgic attachment to live-blogging, but technical difficulties and a totally broken live-blog have sent Stephen and me back to Twitter, where we — at @nprmonkeysee and @idislikestephen — will be tweeting at the hashtag #NPRGrammys. Thanks for your patience.

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Author Interviews
2:55 pm
Sun February 8, 2015

Obama's 'Body Man' Looks Back On His Presidential Education

Barack Obama hands a gift from a supporter to his assistant Reggie Love during his 2008 campaign for presidency.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 11:54 am

Reggie Love was Barack Obama's body man during his first campaign for president and into his time in office. It was a demanding job: part personal assistant, part aide, part whatever the boss needs you to do, whenever he needs it.

Love, the author of the new memoir Power Forward: My Presidential Education, tells NPR's Arun Rath that he remembers the first time he met then-Senator Obama. He had traveled to Washington for a job interview.

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Law
8:12 am
Sun February 8, 2015

Next Witness: Will The Yellow Smiley Face Take The Stand?

Are these jokers ready to appear in court?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 12:21 pm

Emojis can be a lot of fun. Little pictures on our phones seem to express sentiments when words just fall short. Sometimes we need to punctuate our sentences with a sad cat, floating hearts, maybe an alien head.

They aren't complicated when they appear in our personal email or texts, but emojis are now popping up in a place where their meanings are closely scrutinized: courtrooms.

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Movie Interviews
3:48 am
Sun February 8, 2015

What Do We Do 'In The Shadows'? Dishes, Mostly

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi (top) play bloodsucking housemates struggling with mundane things like rent and chores.
Unison Films

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 4:31 am

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