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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

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For late December, it was a warm and wet day in much of the Northeast today with temperatures in some areas topping 40 degrees. If you hate shoveling snow or paying big heating bills, that's good news, but for people who love winter sports and for thousands of businesses that rely on snow for winter tourism, this month's October-like weather has been painful.

North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann reports from New York's Adirondack Mountains.

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The Undertakers Of The Retail Industry

Dec 27, 2011

When the internet kills a big box retailer, Gordon Brothers is the undertaker.

"They're stuck with selling the things that are inside the box," says bankruptcy lawyer Steve Jakubowski.

Gordon Brothers specializes in retail liquidations. When a store dies, they put on a suit, greet the guests and sell them whatever remains. And that means everything — not just books and clothing and DVDs, but shelves, lighting fixtures, even the chairs.

Classical guitarist Sharon Isbin started the Juilliard guitar program. Her new album, Guitar Passions, features collaborations between Isbin — who studied with Andres Segovia, among others — and artists with very unclassical careers: jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan, rock singer Nancy Wilson of the band Heart, soprano saxophonist Paul Winter and several others.

There's Something About 'Matilda'

Dec 27, 2011

While pantomime performances of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty are traditional English holiday entertainment fare, there's a new hit in town. Londoners are flocking to Matilda the Musical, a souped-up version of Roald Dahl's well-known children's novel, playing in London's West End.

The production by The Royal Shakespeare Company has been proclaimed the best British musical in years. But despite most of the cast being under 16, this show is certainly not just for kids.

Swag: Hip-Hop's Word Of The Year

Dec 26, 2011

2011 was a good year for the word "swag". Not trinkets, or party favors, not an acronym for Stuff We All Get, "swag" comes from swagger. This year a term that hip-hop artists have been using for nearly a decade enjoyed a moment in the spotlight.

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In Iowa, All Eyes On Republican Hopefuls

Dec 26, 2011

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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A Jazz Pianist's Cinematic 'Fantasy'

Dec 25, 2011

Harold O'Neal is a jazz pianist with an unusual resume. Born in Tanzania and raised in Kansas City, Miss., O'Neal is also a hip-hop dancer, martial artist and actor. He's just released a new album with an unusual back story of its own: Marvelous Fantasy is a largely improvised collection of solo piano pieces, an homage to the music of silent films.

Ah, the joys of a houseful of family on Christmas — the tensions, the simmering resentments, the screaming children.

Bill Cosby's three grandchildren visit him every year for the holiday. But the comedian tells weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz that he's not a traditional sort of grandfather, who "believes they came from heaven above."

There are a lot of photo apps out there for the iPhone. With most of them, you take a picture, put a filter on it and maybe add some lens blur. But many of them don't have a built-in way for you to share the photo.

"When we combined those two key ingredients, we came up with something that became Instagram," says Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom, who is also one if its founders.

Back in May, followers of Harold Camping were preparing for the coming rapture. For some, that preparation included someone to look after their pets.

At the time, animal lover Bart Centre, the creator of Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, had 259 clients whose pets he promised to look after in the event that they were raptured in the next 10 years. Those clients paid $135 for the first pet and $20 for each additional pet.

A Jewish Perspective On The New Testament

Dec 24, 2011

The New Testament is constantly being re-interpreted from a variety of perspectives. From feminists, to socialists, to traditionalists; there's even a version as seen through the prism of Star Wars.

Well now, you can add to the collection The Jewish Annotated New Testament by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler.

2011: The Year In Stories

Dec 24, 2011

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From NPR News, it's weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Guy Raz.

Thanks for joining us this Christmas Eve. Today and tomorrow, instead of our usual cover story, we'll hear updates from some of the folks who appeared on this program this past year.

Ousted By Tea Party, Rep. Inglis Looks Back

Dec 24, 2011

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All this hour today and tomorrow, we're going to check in with some of the people we spoke with throughout the year to get an update on what's happening in their lives today.

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It's weekends on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

For Norway, A Horrific Memory Lingers

Dec 24, 2011

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Ten months ago, reporter Lucy Craft who's based in Tokyo was about to get the story of her career. The earthquake and subsequent tsunami left nearly 16,000 people dead, most of them in northern Japan. Here's a clip from her reporting on that day.

The Good Old Yule Log Spreads To HDTV

Dec 24, 2011

If history repeats itself, one of the most popular programs on television Christmas Day will be a looped, seven-minute piece of film that's more than 40 years old. In some cities, it's consistently in the top three programs on Christmas morning, and yet it has no plot, no actors and it never seems to end.

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LYNN NEARY, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Lynn Neary.

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And I'm Robert Siegel.

It's almost here. And by "it," we mean the new season of Downton Abbey, the UK-produced drama about the Crawley family and their servants that PBS imported for Masterpiece Classic with great success. Series two has already run in the UK, but if you've been good and patient and resisted the urge to obtain it by illicit means, your wait is nearly over: the new season begins on PBS on January 8th.

Bomb Attacks In Damascus Kill At Least 40

Dec 23, 2011

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Ben Dolnick is a writer based in Brooklyn.

Lately, just in time for Christmas, I've discovered that I've been acting in a play. A kind of holiday pageant, really. Working title: Things Are Always Better Before You Have Them.

Act One: I learn about the existence of something I want. Say, a book. (Ooh, a book of letters between William Maxwell and Eudora Welty!)

Act Two: I add the book to my Amazon wish list, which I proceed to circulate shamelessly to my family.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Fact-checking sites like PolitiFact referee assertions by politicians, public figures and pundits. The fact-checking movement has been gaining momentum — and fans. But PolitiFact has come under fire after announcing its "Lie of the Year": a claim by some Democrats and liberals about a House Republican plan to change Medicare.

In snowy Norway, nothing evokes Christmastime like a pot of glogg brewing on the stove. The traditional Scandinavian winter drink mixes wine and port with spices like clove, cardamom and cinnamon to make for a brew that smells divine and tastes even better.

Urd Milbury, cultural affairs officer from the Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C., teaches NPR's Lynn Neary how to make the holiday treat.


Recipe: A Simple Glogg

Ingredients:

Even heard in modern synthesizer arrangements, the melody of the carol "Good King Wenceslas" brings the words and images of the story into my head: "Good King Wenceslas looked out / on the Feast of Stephen / When the snow lay 'round about / deep and crisp and even.

Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. In one version of his legend, Wenceslas was murdered in a plot by his brother, who was under the sway of their so-called pagan mother.

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