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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright describes herself as an "optimist who worries a lot." And lately, it seems, there has been much to worry about.

Albright's new book, Fascism: A Warning, starts by describing how Hitler and Mussolini came to power in the 20th century, then warns about today's authoritarian rulers in Eastern Europe, North Korea, Turkey and Russia.

Near the beginning of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, a big black monolith appears in an African desert, leaving a group of prehistoric ape-men standing there baffled. And that was pretty much the reaction that greeted the film itself when it premiered 50 years ago this week.

Nobody was quite sure what to make of it. The critics were harsh, with Variety dismissively saying flatly, "2001 is not a cinematic landmark." It's hard to imagine being more wrong.

For many Americans, retirement is no longer the long vacation they once imagined. More older adults are in the workforce than ever, either because they want to work or they need the money. Or both.

If you're 60 or older, please tell us about your experience in putting together the puzzle of work and retirement.

You may be contacted by an NPR reporter or producer, and your responses may be used in an upcoming project.

At the beginning of Meg Wolitzer's The Female Persuasion, shy, bookish Greer Kadetsky is groped at a frat party. Her best friend, "innately, bracingly political" Zee, urges her to report it, but Greer feels sick at the thought. "The idea that something had been done to you seemed to implicate you, even though no one said it did, making your body — which usually lived in darkness beneath your clothing — suddenly live in light."

When the guy with a wicker bucket on his head (who only talks through androgynous android-clones in Tom Selleck mustaches and Beatle wigs) is the least weird thing about your show, that show can safely be called ... distinctive.

Welcome to season two of Legion, FX's not-your-daddy's-mutant-superhero-series, helmed once again by Noah Hawley, between gigs running FX's other stylish, genre-inflected offering, Fargo.

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This is what TV crime drama sounded like before "Hill Street Blues."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "DRAGNET")

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Miss Perkins stands on a creaking wooden floorboard, peering over wire-rimmed glasses. With a bang of her cane on a small wooden desk, she instructs her students to repeat after her: "Four farthing equals one penny."

"Four farthing equals one penny," answer the 9- and 10-year-olds. The children sit on stools, slate boards on their laps, alongside a wall with a replica 19th century sepia map showcasing the British Empire.

What Drives Men To Violent Extremism

Apr 1, 2018

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The movie Outside In tells the story of Carol, a middle-aged high school teacher trapped in her mundane job and marriage in Washington state. When Carol's former student, Chris (Jay Duplass), returns to their small town after serving 20 years in prison, Carol is thrilled to welcome him home. But Chris has no idea how to transition back into society, and Carol doesn't know how to help him.

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Pictures can be poems and vice versa: they're feelings captured in a phrase, a stroke, or an image. Leonardo da Vinci said, "Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen."

Lee Bennett Hopkins and the Metropolitan Museum of Art asked a number of poets to look at great classic art from the museum's collection and reflect their feelings in new poems.

The book that results is World Make Way: New Poems Inspired By Art From The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.

A generation after it won the Pulitzer Prize for drama, Edward Albee's Three Tall Women makes its Broadway debut this week.

Three women of different generations — one in her 90s, one in her 50s, one in her 20s — are brought together around a deathbed. They bark, joke, bicker and compare their different vantages in life.

The provocative and scandalous nature of Romeo and Juliet (Think the Leonardo DiCaprio version) meets the infamous Cellino and Barnes breakup in Alisha Rai's buzzy Forbidden Hearts series.

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What happens to a relationship when its rules change?

National Parody Radio

Mar 30, 2018

We here at NPR are self-aware enough to know that we're ripe for parody. Television knows it too. For this game, we've found clips of fake public radio shows and podcasts; contestants identify the TV shows they came from.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig

Mar 30, 2018

Tony Award winner Lena Hall comes from a long line of performers. "Seven generations back in the Philippines," Hall recounted to host Ophira Eisenberg, "my father's great-great-great-whatever ... was, like, a dancer." She continues, "My father's a choreographer; he had his own company. And my mother was his prima ballerina."

Ethereum. Mysterium. Cat Dealers. Are these things cryptocurrencies, top electronic dance music DJs, or board games?

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

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Happily Alone

Mar 30, 2018

We've rewritten the TLC classic "No Scrubs" to be about famous women who were never married. Guess what historical figure Jonathan Coulton is singing about.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

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Largest And In Charge-Est

Mar 30, 2018

Which has a greater diameter: the world's largest disco ball or the world's largest beach ball? Puzzle guru Art Chung presents Ophira and Jonathan with two Guinness World Records, and they must guess which of the two is bigger.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Quebec Uniform India Zulu

Mar 30, 2018

The NATO phonetic alphabet has many super-serious uses, but we primarily know it as those words you use when you're trying to spell your name over the phone. In this final round, each answer is one of those twenty-six words. Good luck, and may the best contestant W-as-in-Whiskey, I-as-in-India, N-as-in-November!

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

The Spoken Word

Mar 30, 2018

You know those parts in songs where the singing stops and there's a poem, or a monologue, or something oddly spoken? In this game, Ophira and Jonathan perform dramatic recitations of odd spoken sections from popular songs, and contestants must guess the artist or song title.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

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The Windy City and the Bayou City are fighting.

Depending on your perspective, it's over something very big or something very small — two beans.

Though Chicago and Houston have been longtime rivals, Houston's installment of an enormous silver art piece on Monday got people in both cities all fired up. Just wait for the plot twist.

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