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Passover is a holiday celebrating the Jews' exodus from slavery — and also a broader embrace of the coming spring, of fresh green shoots both literal and metaphorical. But the menu? More often than not, in America, you're talking stodgy winter foods like gefilte fish and brisket, seasoned (if at all) with heavy aromatics. These aren't dishes that point to the coming spring. They're dishes that come from the root cellar.

It's no secret that Easter, a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has deep ties to ancient pagan rituals celebrating the renewal of spring.

And hot cross buns, the classic Easter treat, is a perfect example of how traditional foods can be repurposed to support new ideas and beliefs.

Penny can't wait to go away to college. She is tired of dealing with her mother, who acts more like her best friend than her mom; Penny has always had to be the grown-up for both of them, and she is done. She heads to school in Austin, Texas, feeling awkward and unsociable and hoping to channel her angst into learning to be a writer.

We snap a selfie with the tap of a finger. We're used to preserving smiling moments.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, there's an exhibit right now which goes to darker places with a camera. The images in "Real Worlds" are from three major photographers, taken over half a century.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

For many elected officials, it's something of a rite of passage: After getting to Capitol Hill, bearing their constituents' hopes and fears on their shoulders, virtually every politician finally decides to take a stand — in front of a painter paid to make their portrait. Some even decide to sit for it.

But either way, for a long time many of those official portraits were paid for by the same patrons: U.S. taxpayers.

Not anymore.

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When people talk about immigration, they talk in numbers. Take the migration policy proposals France's President Emmanuel Macron introduced last month: 90 days was the proposed amount of time a person without papers could be detained (up from the current 45). 12 months in jail, plus fines, would be the penalty for illegally crossing borders. Six months would be the new period for considering asylum applications (down from one year).

Solo Karaoke Booths Open In China

Mar 28, 2018

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The FX series The Americans has never been a ratings juggernaut, but over the course of five seasons it has earned the unstinting devotion of fans and critics. That's at least partly attributable to its willingness to put its characters, and its audience, through something that's become a hallmark of the era of "Prestige Television": Change.

Award-winning composer Dan Romer is best known for scoring TV shows and films like Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Beasts Of No Nation. Recently, his career took a turn from movies to video games. He's written the music for the latest installment in the popular series Far Cry.

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There will be grunts.

Grunts of recognition, that is. If you watch Steven Spielberg's solidly built sci-fi phantasmagoria Ready Player One in a crowded theater, there will be grunts aplenty, so prepare yourself for them.

You can't, you won't — but try.

For over 40 years, Jan Morris' admiring readers have followed her wherever she's chosen to go. Perhaps best known for her grand descriptive powers as a travel writer, Morris, now 91, has also written acclaimed works of history and biography.

In 1974, she published a groundbreaking memoir called Conundrum about the other thing she's best known for: her courage in going public about being a transgender woman, at a time when that term wasn't even used. Two years earlier, Jan — then James, a married man and father of five — underwent gender reassignment surgery in Morocco.

At first glance, Broken Eggs, a 1756 oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, seems to depict a fairly innocuous domestic scene of a young woman on the floor next to a basket of broken eggs while a young man is being scolded by the family matriarch. The subtext, however, is a little different, because the broken eggs symbolize the loss of the young woman's virginity.

'Tangerine' Charts An Obsessive Friendship Turned Sour

Mar 27, 2018

Christine Mangan's vaunted new novel Tangerine (it's already in production by George Clooney, with Scarlett Johanssen as lead) has been called out by some reviewers for its tired "evil-lesbian plot," by which they mean the weird and sinister tension between protagonist Alice Shipley and her former Bennington College bestie, Lucy.

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A great maestro has died.

(SOUNDBITE OF SIMON BOLIVAR YOUTH ORCHESTRA OF VENEZUELA PERFORMANCE OF EVENCIO CASTELLANOS' "SANTA CRUZ DE PACAIRIGUA")

SHAPIRO: Jose Antonio Abreu, founder of Venezuela's El Sistema Youth Orchestra.

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Dystopian thriller, The Walk, is a tale of mistaken identity, terrorism, and a life-or-death mission to walk across Scotland. But the format of this story is — unusual.

The Walk is an immersive fiction podcast, and the creators want you to listen to it while walking. It begins with a terrorist attack at a train station; you are the protagonist, known only as Walker, and the police think you're a member of a shadowy terror group called The Burn.

Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester and author of the upcoming book Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth. His scientific studies are funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Department of Education.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Here's a couple of memorable moments from the 2012 presidential campaign.

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UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Corporations...

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For the first hour or so of HBO's two-night documentary event, The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling, you'd be forgiven for assuming the key word in that title is Diaries. In a brief opening, Shandling himself, who died almost exactly two years ago now, shows the diaries he kept all his life to the camera, and reads a particularly banal passage.

He grins. Or maybe he winces. It's a little of both, really. And there it is: That pained smile was the patch of comedy real-estate Shandling staked out for himself, and still owns.

Judd Apatow was just a kid when he first saw the comedian who would change his life. He was watching The Tonight Show.

"Like a lot of people in America, I just thought: what a fascinating, hilarious, odd man," Apatow says. "And I tracked his career. Some kids would track baseball players and their averages. I would watch comedians and watch them develop."

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire of 1911 was an industrial disaster that killed 146 garment workers in New York City. The fire became a touchstone for the labor movement of the 20th century. An opera inspired by the disaster tells the story from a different point of view and it's getting a special type of New York debut.

Great artists are known to have big egos — they can suck up all the air in a room if given half a chance. And living in the shadow of such greatness can stunt a person's growth, which is exactly what happens to the central character in Tom Rachman's new novel, The Italian Teacher. Rachman takes us through the life of Pinch Bavinsky, from his childhood adoration of his famous father to the disappointments of adulthood, and in the process, explores what it means to be an artist.

The narrator of Ariel Lawhon's new novel asks readers on the first page: "Am I truly Anastasia Romanov? A beloved daughter. A revered icon. A Russian grand duchess? Or am I an impostor?"

Since the Disney animated musical Frozen premiered five years ago, the song "Let It Go" has been inescapable. Even the daughters of its songwriters were a bit tired of it.

"Like many people in our culture, there was a feeling of Frozen fatigue, if you will," says co-songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez.

Mari Andrew is the dark-haired woman in black glasses, both in real life and in the cartoons she draws for her Instagram account. She illustrates what she learns as she goes along — about loss, love and trying to grow up by the time you're 30 and accused of being an adult.

In Am I There Yet?: The Loop-De-Loop, Zigzagging Journey To Adulthood, Andrew has produced a book of cartoons, short essays, and pointed observations drawn — in all ways — from a couple of difficult years.

Everybody likes Levar Burton, but the reason depends on your age. If you're a bit older, it's probably his starring role in the '70s miniseries Roots. A little younger, and it's his starring role on Star Trek: The Next Generation. If you were too young for all of that, then it was his PBS show Reading Rainbow. And kids born today will know him for his brand-new podcast LeVar Burton Reads.

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