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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Wed April 1, 2015

Scott Simon: 'We Don't Fully Grow Up' Until We Lose Our Parents

Courtesy of Flatiron Books

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 5:54 am

In July 2013, some 1.2 million Twitter users followed a remarkable series of tweets from NPR's Scott Simon. He was sending updates from the hospital room where his mother was living the last days of her life.

Simon's mother died on July 29, 2013, just shy of her 85th birthday.

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Author Interviews
5:02 am
Tue March 31, 2015

'Publicly Shamed:' Who Needs The Pillory When We've Got Twitter?

cover crop

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 12:47 pm

Writer Jon Ronson has spent a lot of time tracking people who have been shamed, raked over the coals on social media for mostly minor — but sometimes major — transgressions. He writes about some of them in his new book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed.

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Author Interviews
5:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 2:57 pm

Writer Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather Liu Feng Shu was a scholar in China's Qing dynasty during the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a patron of the arts, he built up an immense porcelain collection.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese landed near his village on the Yangtze River. As the army approached, Liu and one of his workmen dug a giant hole in their garden, to keep the collection safe.

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My Big Break
5:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

For 'Dexter' Star David Zayas, Acting Was A Long Shot Away

Zayas is best known for his role as Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter. "The one through line of all 8 years of that character was his integrity and honesty," Zayas says.
Randy Tepper Showtime

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

David Zayas used to dream of being an actor. And he made it: he played Enrique Morales, the infamous inmate on HBO's Oz, as well as his most notable role, Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter.

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Music
5:43 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

DJ Betto Arcos Spices Up The Accordion

Marco Ambrosini and Jean-Louis Matinier, who respectively hail from Italy and France, are among Betto Arcos' favorite musicians currently testing the sonic limits of the accordion.
Daniel Vass Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 5:56 pm

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The Howard Project
8:59 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Love Is In The Air: Howard Students Talk Romance, Relationships

Howard University students (left to right) Kevin Peterman, Taylor Davis, Leighton Watson and Ariel Alford are the subjects of NPR's Project Howard. They'll be keeping audio diaries as they finish their final semester of college and look toward their futures.
Robb Hill for NPR

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:48 am

Spring has arrived and young people's fancies might be turning (lightly or not-so-lightly) to thoughts of love.

With that in mind, NPR's Weekend Edition asked the college students of The Howard Project — who have spent the last few weeks giving us insights into their lives during their last semester of college — about how dating and romance fit into their college experience.

Click on the audio link above to hear their stories, to a soundtrack of their favorite love songs — or read some of their answers below.

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Afghanistan
8:43 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Afghan Chief Executive: Leaders Set Aside Egos To Rally For Nation

Afghanistan's Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah (left) stands with President Ashraf Ghani, Vice President Joe Bidden, Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Tuesday.
Andrew Harnik AP

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

Afghanistan's leaders were in Washington last week asking for more assistance from the U.S. They got what they wanted: President Obama announced he would postpone the withdrawal of thousands of U.S. troops this year. Those forces are needed to help Afghanistan troops battle the Taliban as the spring
fighting season heats up.

President Ashraf Ghani was accompanied on this trip by Abdullah Abdullah, the chief executive of the Afghan government. They were bitter rivals in Afghanistan's presidential election last year and are now sharing power in a unity government.

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StoryCorps
7:51 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Accepting His Daughter As Gay Was Like A Weight 'Lifted Off Me'

Deidra Robinson and her father, William Watford III, were extremely close — until she told him she was gay.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative records stories from the LGBTQ community.

Deidra Robinson and her father, William Watford III, were extremely close — until she told him she was gay.

They came to StoryCorps in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham, Ala., to talk about that moment.

Their story may sound familiar to many families.

"I looked at you and I said, 'Do you want to hear it?' " Robinson tells her father. "Do you remember what you told me?"

"No," Watford answers.

"You were like, 'No, I don't want to hear it,' " she recalls.

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Music
7:37 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Courtney Barnett Talks Songwriting And Shyness

Courtney Barnett.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

For more conversations with music-makers, check out NPR's Music Interviews.

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Music Interviews
7:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Big Data: Dance Floor Jams For The Cyber-Paranoid

Alan Wilkis is the founder of the electronic act Big Data.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

The electronic act Big Data made its opening salvo to the music world in 2013 with a single called "Dangerous." The lyrics, which exuded digital-age fears about privacy and surveillance, couldn't have been further in tone from the hard-grooving, extremely danceable music — and that, says founder Alan Wilkis, was precisely the point.

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Television
5:32 am
Sun March 29, 2015

In The TV Show 'Younger,' You're Only 26 Twice

With the help of her friend Maggie (Debi Mazar), single mom Liza (Sutton Foster) recasts herself as a 26-year-old in order to get a coveted publishing job. The new TV Land comedy Younger, made by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, premieres March 31.
Photo courtesy of TV Land

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 10:33 am

Tony award-winning actress Sutton Foster just turned 40, but in the TV Land show Younger she gets to be 26 again. Foster plays Liza, a middle-aged woman who needs to get back into the job market. The last time Liza applied for jobs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram didn't exist. Now, she's convinced that no one wants to hire someone her age. So she moves to Brooklyn, gets a few highlights, learns how to tweet, and applies for a job as an assistant to a fancy New York publisher.

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Sports
6:35 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

The Cautionary Tale Of A Big-Time Bracket Bust

Oklahoma's Buddy Hield (right) and Denzel Valentine of Michigan State played in Friday's East Regional Semifinal of the 2015 NCAA tournament in Syracuse. If you've got money riding on this year's NCAA tournament, you might want to hear about what happened to John Bovary's football pool.
Maddie Meyer Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:22 pm

About 25 years ago, John Bovery started a modest football pool out of his home in New Jersey. It had 57 participants, all friends and co-workers.

But thanks to word of mouth — and the multiplying factor of email — Bovery's pool grew to staggering proportions. At one point, it got too large for Bovery to handle himself, so he contacted a software company to custom-build something suited to his needs.

By 2009, it included more than 8,000 entries from people around the globe, with a total payout of more than $800,000.

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Author Interviews
5:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

'Night At The Fiestas' Spins Stories Of Faith And Family

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 5:29 pm

When writer Kirstin Valdez Quade talks about her New Mexican roots, it's not just her own childhood, growing up in the region, that she means — it's a connection much deeper than that.

"My family has been in northern New Mexico for hundreds of years," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "My family's presence can be traced back to 1695 and some of the earliest conquistadors. So there's a long family history in the region."

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Deceptive Cadence
5:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

A Young Composer's Evening Prayers For Troubled Times

Missy Mazzoli
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 5:30 pm

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Author Interviews
7:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Hunting Mythical Monsters 'At The Water's Edge'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 10:56 am

Maddie Hyde is a Sara Gruen heroine. She's bold, she's warm, and she's been cast out of Philadelphia polite society — in this case the family of her husband Ellis, who is 4F in the middle of World War II. To avoid the glares and scowls, and to earn their own way in the world after being cut off from a family fortune, they cross the Atlantic during a high tide of submarine warfare to try to burnish their family name by hunting down an older kind of monster in a Scottish village.

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The Salt
4:44 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Was Your Seafood Caught By Slaves? AP Uncovers Unsavory Trade

A 3,000-ton cargo ship at Thajeen Port in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, 15 days after it set sail from Benjina, Indonesia. The company that owns the ship said it is not involved with the fishermen. "We only carry the shipment and we are hired, in general, by clients," said owner Panya Luangsomboon. "We're separated from the fishing boats."
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 4:04 pm

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

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Goats and Soda
4:41 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

Ugaaso Boocow is back — and instagramming — in her homeland of Somalia.
Courtesy of Ugaaso A. Boocow

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 10:23 am

Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's civil war, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.

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Shots - Health News
3:38 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Critic Faults Alcoholics Anonymous For Lack Of Evidence

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:34 am

Founded by two men in Akron, Ohio, in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous has since spread around the world as a leading community-based method of overcoming alcohol dependence and abuse. Many people swear by the 12-step method, which has become the basis of programs to treat the abuse of drugs, gambling, eating disorders and other compulsive behaviors.

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The Salt
6:22 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Heinz And Kraft: Before They Were Food Giants, They Were Men

Henry J. Heinz
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

Heinz and Kraft.

When we hear those names we think ketchup and Velveeta, right?

But before they were products and companies that will merge to become a giant with $28 billion in revenue, Heinz and Kraft were men.

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Music Interviews
3:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Cuban Music's Most Successful Accident Rises Again

The new album Lost And Found compiles unheard recordings from the Buena Vista Social Club sessions, as well as solo work from the musicians involved.
Alejandro Perez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 8:00 pm

In Cuba, there are songs you're just as likely to hear on a street corner today as you would have been in the 1950s. For decades, that Cuban traditional music went largely unheard and unnoticed by the rest of the world — and then came an album called Buena Vista Social Club.

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