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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
12:19 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Defining Our Place In The Universe

An illustration shows how the planet Kepler-36c might look from the surface of the neighboring Kepler-36b.
David Aguilar/Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics NASA

A widespread critique of science is that it tells us that the more we know, the more insignificant we are. It's the famous after-Copernicus blues: everything went downhill ever since Earth was moved from the center of the cosmos. Since then, the Sun was pushed out from the center too, our Milky Way galaxy is but one among hundreds of billions of others in an expanding Universe. Even the atoms we are made of are less that 5 percent of the total stuff out there.

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Political Junkie
12:11 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Sanford And Weiner: Different Humiliations, Same Remorseful Script

On the 2013 redemption/apology tour.
Ken Rudin collection

In the past three decades or so, when writing about political sex scandals became an art form, the tendency has always been to lump everyone together. There are many differences between, say, what Anthony Weiner did and what Mark Sanford did.

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National Security
12:07 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Guantanamo Bay, One Piece Of Torturous Puzzle?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.

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Planet Money
12:07 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Most $100 Bills Live Outside The U.S.

An employee at a money changer counts $100 bills in Manila on October 25, 2012.
NOEL CELIS AFP/Getty Images

The world loves the U.S. dollar.

When, say, a South African businessman buys supplies from China, he pays in U.S. dollars. When central banks hold foreign reserves, they favor dollars. And, all over the world, when things start to get crazy, people start putting $100 bills under the mattress.

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The Record
12:03 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

This Was 1993: 20 Years Ago I Heard The Perfect Rap Song

Boots Riley, in the opening of The Coup's video for "Not Yet Free."
Courtesy of Wild Pitch Records

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:46 pm

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Asa Hutchinson: Gitmo, Guns, And Governorship Plans

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program we will speak with a man for whom art and politics were intertwined. South African musical great Hugh Masekela will be with us. He talks about his years in exile and how he stays creative after decades of performing. That's later.

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Politics
12:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

GOP Wooing Women & Minorities

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we head into the Beauty Shop. That's where we get a fresh cut on hot topics with our panel of women journalists, commentators, bloggers and activists.

Even though the next presidential election is several years away, the major political parties are already thinking about how to reach new voters. Republicans in particular have been in the news, both because of their poor showing with minorities last year and their efforts to address that by bringing more diverse perspectives and candidates to the Republican Party.

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Music
12:01 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Jazz Great Hugh Masekela, Fresh Because He's Fascinated

Mark Shoul Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:58 pm

"I was a good boy," South African jazz legend Hugh Masekela assures NPR's Michel Martin. But still, he says, "as a kid, I was whipped on a slow day at least three times."

Eventually, Masekela told his chaplain, "If I can get a trumpet, Father, I won't bother anybody."

His wish came true.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

A 'Whom Do You Hang With?' Map Of America

MIT Senseable City - "The Connected States of America"
MIT Senseable City Lab

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:31 pm

Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.

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Music Reviews
11:52 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Of Good Songs — And Intentions

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent To Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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Interviews
11:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Marathoner Amby Burfoot: 'Every Mile Out There Is A Gift'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.

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The Two-Way
11:01 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Iconic Gospel Singer George Beverly Shea Dies

George Beverly Shea talks at his home in Montreat, N.C. in Jan., 2009.
Chuck Burton AP

Grammy-winning gospel singer George Beverly Shea died in Asheville, North Carolina last night after a brief illness. He was 104.

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Monkey See
10:37 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Off Pitch': A Show-Choir Story From The American Midwest

Director Rob takes charge of a rehearsal in VH1's Off Pitch.
VH1

Beware, Midwesterners: reality television is coming for you.

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World Cafe
10:34 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jesse Dee: From The South By Way Of Boston, A Vintage R&B Sound

Jesse Dee.
Michael D. Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.

Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.

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Favorite Sessions
10:22 am
Wed April 17, 2013

KCRW Presents: Rhye

Rhye lit some candles and then dimmed the lights for their performance on KCRW.
KCRW

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:06 pm

For Rhye's first-ever radio performance, we turned the lights down and lit some candles to get in the mood. We were curious to hear how the band — the project of producer Robin Hannibal and singer Mike Milosh — would translate the intimacy of its sensual, soulful music into a live setting. With the help of incredible backing players, including a string section, Hannibal and Milosh pulled off a romantic, moving set.

Watch Rhye's entire session at KCRW.com.

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The Salt
10:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:25 pm

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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The Two-Way
10:11 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texas Prosecutor Murder: Wife Of Jailed Ex-Justice Arrested

A wreath of flowers in honor of slain District Attorney Mike McClelland at the Kaufman County [Texas] Courthouse in early April.
Richard Rodriguez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:44 pm

"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.

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Book Reviews
10:09 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Owls, Yes, But Also Kookaburras And Dentists In Sedaris' Latest

Plenty of personal essayists, including really good ones like Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen and E.B. White, burn out or switch to fiction after a few books. Even Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer often acknowledged as the father of the genre that combines intelligent reflection with anecdotes and autobiography, produced only one volume — albeit a massive one. Yet here's David Sedaris with his eighth collection, the absurdly titled Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls: Essays, Etc.

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The Two-Way
10:00 am
Wed April 17, 2013

American: 'Near Normal' Flights After Day Of Delays

American Airlines passengers wait in line for a flight at Miami International Airport on Tuesday.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:53 am

American Airlines has promised passengers that Wednesday's flight schedule will be nothing like the day before, when thousands were stranded due to a glitch in the reservations system that forced hundreds of flights to be canceled or delayed.

American Airlines and American Eagle scuttled 970 flights and delayed more than 1,000 others Tuesday, The Associated Press said, citing flight-tracking service FlightAware.com.

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