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Book Reviews
2:53 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Dickensian Ambition And Emotion Make 'Goldfinch' Worth The Wait

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:39 pm

"Dickensian" is one of those literary modifiers that's overused. But before I officially retire this ruined adjective (or exile it to Australia, as Dickens himself would have done), I want to give it one final outing, because no other word will do. Here goes: Donna Tartt's grand new novel, The Goldfinch, is Dickensian both in the ambition of its jumbo, coincidence-laced plot, as well as in its symphonic range of emotions.

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The Two-Way
2:51 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Hitler's Gestapo Chief Lies In Jewish Cemetery, Scholar Says

Dating to the 17th century, this Jewish cemetery may be the final resting place of Heinrich Mueller, the head of Adolf Hitler's Gestapo. A German historian says he has traced Mueller to the cemetery.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:12 pm

The fate of Nazi war criminal Heinrich Mueller, who led Adolf Hitler's Gestapo, has long been a mystery. Now a historian says he has traced Mueller to a Jewish cemetery in Berlin. If confirmed, the discovery would end 68 years of uncertainty about the man who ran the secret police.

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The Two-Way
2:48 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Capt. James Kirk To Command Navy's New 'Stealth Destroyer'

The USS Zumwalt, the first in a new class of "stealth" destroyers.
U.S. Navy/General Dynamics

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 5:00 pm

Capt. James Kirk always got the latest, most advanced ship in Starfleet, so it seems only fitting that the Navy's new stealth destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, is slated to be commanded by none other than Capt. James A. Kirk, USN.

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The Record
2:44 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Lonnie Holley: Self-Made Man

Lonnie Holley.
Courtesy of Force Field PR

Somebody does something a little different — they briefly step off the curb — and plenty of folks are ready to dub them a "self-made man" or "self-made woman." But what Lonnie Holley does, and what he has made of himself, demands a whole new term. He truly is his own invention.

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The Picture Show
2:35 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

On The Devil's Promenade, Searching For The Spook Light

spooklight007.jpg
Lara Shipley and Antone Dolezal

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 6:16 pm

In a certain region of the Missouri Ozarks called Devil's Promenade, there are tales of a "spook light." According to local accounts, it's a mysterious orb-like light that appears in the woods — but only on chance nights. And, as many local legends are, this one is shrouded in mystery: Is the spook light real? What is it? Is it evil? Is it good?

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Planet Money
2:04 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Amazon Reviewers Debate Whether To Keep Quiet About Free Stuff

Amazon Vine Program
via Amazon.com

Our story about Amazon's Vine program, which sends free stuff to some of the site's top reviewers, prompted some interesting online

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Parallels
1:52 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Thinking Of Working Abroad? Read This

This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week.
Dean Treml Red Bull/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 1, 2013 11:33 am

Thinking of living and working abroad for the experience? For those already doing it, Asia seems to be the preferred destination.

The HSBC 2013 Expat Survey asked 7,000 expatriates in 100 countries to rate nations on three factors: economics, experience and raising children.

China topped the list, followed by Germany, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Australia. The U.S. was No. 12.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Police Have Video That Led To Claim Toronto Mayor Used Crack

When he emerged from his home Thursday morning, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford found reporters in his driveway. As they peppered him with questions, he shouted that they had to get out of his way. He didn't respond to questions about a video that allegedly shows him smoking crack.
Mark Blinch Reuters /Landov

Last spring, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was compelled to say that "I do not use crack cocaine, nor am I an addict of crack cocaine" because of reports about a video that allegedly showed him doing just that.

Now he's back in the same uncomfortable spotlight.

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Code Switch
1:09 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Code Switch Roundup: Status Symbols, Sriracha And Soul Food

The maker of the popular Thai hot sauce Sriracha hot sauce is under fire — get it? — for allegedly fouling the air around its Southern California production site.
Nick Ut ASSOCIATED PRESS

Here are some things we've been musing on over the last few days. Share yours on Twitter or shout us out in the comments below.

"We shine because they hate us/floss 'cuz they degrade us." After two young, black customers accused the high-end retailer Barneys of racially profiling them after they made expensive purchases there, those customers themselves came in for criticism. Just why were these kids who probably aren't rich spending their money so recklessly?

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Parallels
1:08 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

As Iraq's Leader Meets Obama, Here's Why The Stakes Are High

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is welcomed by Vice President Biden in Washington on Wednesday. Maliki is asking for U.S. military hardware to fight radical groups behind a recent surge in violence in Iraq.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:26 pm

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki last came to the U.S. in 2011 as American troops were pulling out of his country. But with violence again on the rise in Iraq, there's much at stake as he prepares to sit down with President Obama at the White House on Friday.

Here's a primer:

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The Two-Way
12:54 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

'I Was Very Shocked,' Says Driver Ticketed For Wearing Google Glass

A California driver who received a ticket for wearing a Google Glass headset this week says the existing laws are unclear.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:54 pm

The Google Glass is a hands-free device, but that didn't stop a California driver from getting a ticket for wearing the headset during a traffic stop this week. Cecilia Abadie, who's in Google's Explorer program of people testing Glass before its official launch, got a ticket for speeding — and for wearing a device that could block her view of the road.

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Monkey See
12:44 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Attention, Neighborhood Children! A Halloween Invitation

These aren't my actual neighborhood children. These are just examples of how happy my neighborhood children could be.
iStockphoto.com

Welcome, all you ghosts and goblins! Welcome, all you cats and princesses! Welcome, Iron Man Under That Down Jacket! Welcome, Werewolf Whose Mom Is On The Phone!

I am pleased to see you at my door. I welcome always the young people in whose vicinity I reside, provided they are not so old that they pause before picking up their candy to put down a lit cigarette, which really happened to my parents once. (I will be using that anecdote in my upcoming book, Signs That You Have Outgrown Trick-Or-Treating.)

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Shots - Health News
12:28 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Congress Moves Closer To Changing Medicare Pay For Doctors

Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill don't agree on much when it comes to health care.

But, believe it or not, leaders from both parties on two key committees have come up with a plan to fix a longstanding problem with the formula that pays doctors who treat Medicare patients.

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The Two-Way
12:15 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Stealing Candy From Your Kids? It's A Halloween Tradition

The Witch Head nebula, a spooky image from NASA. But is it scarier that more than half of adults think about the best way to eat candy corn?
NASA.gov

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:06 pm

We've rounded up some Halloween-related news. Think of this as our treat bag:

-- Bad Moms And Dads. "Eighty-one percent of parents surveyed say that they take candy from their children's Halloween candy haul for their own enjoyment (with 26 percent admitting that they sneak treats after the children go to bed or school)." National Confectioners Association

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Music Reviews
12:06 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Brandy Clark Tells The 'Stories' That Are Tough To Hear

Brandy Clark's new album is titled 12 Stories.
Becky Fluke Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 9:12 am

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Africa
11:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

In Uganda, "Cancer Is Death"

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the U.S. is a fanfare of pink paraphernalia. But in developing nations like Uganda, cancer is stigmatized to the point that families often lie about their loved one's cause of death. Host Michel Martin speaks with journalist Joanne Silberner about her award-winning reporting on cancer around the world.

U.S.
11:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Does The Word "Redskins" Cause Psychological Damage?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Health Care
11:59 am
Thu October 31, 2013

ACA Website: Is Government Technology Doomed To Fail?

The Obama administration is defending the Affordable Care Act over its faulty website, and reports that Americans are losing insurance coverage because of the law. To sort out the truth from the rumors, host Michel Martin speaks with Mary Agnes Carey of Kaiser Health News and technology developer Clay Johnson.

Code Switch
11:54 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Halloween And Blackface: Same Story, Different Year

Halloween: The day people think it's OK to dress in stereotypical garb.
adrigu Flickr

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 1:26 pm

Halloween is — uh, how do you say? — high season for writing about race and culture. The list of celebrities, stores and college freshmen sporting racist costumes — plus the inevitable backlash — means these stories practically write themselves.

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The Salt
11:48 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Secret, Steamy History Of Halloween Apples

Howard Chandler Christy's painting Halloween, as reproduced in Scribner's in January 1916.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sun November 3, 2013 6:22 am

A Halloween apple bob may seem as homespun as a hayride, but that shiny red apple has a steamy past. It was once a powerful symbol of fertility and immortality.

Apple bobbing and eating candy apples are "the fossilized remnants of beliefs that ultimately go back to prehistory," British apple expert and fruit historian, Joan Morgan, tells the Salt.

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