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All Tech Considered
6:31 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

Narcissistic, Maybe. But Is There More To The Art Of The Selfie?

To selfie, or not to selfie?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 7:24 pm

The smartphone has given us a whole new genre of cultural expression: the selfie.

If you're into selfies, it's safe to say you've probably taken one, and maybe wished you didn't have those dark circles under your eyes.

Now there are plenty of apps out there to fix that.

But whether you think your selfies can be elevated to art may depend on how much effort you are willing to put into them.

A Personal Brand Boost

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Latin America
6:11 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

A Day Of Triumph In A Time Of Change: Cuba's High Holiday Explained

Cubans gather in Santiago de Cuba to celebrate this year's Revolution Day, the 62nd anniversary of Fidel Castro's first open assault on the forces of President Fulgencio Batista, who would eventually be overthrown by the rebels.
Yamil Lage AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 11:23 pm

On this day 62 years ago, Fidel Castro launched the attack that marked the start of the Cuban revolution. In the years since, the day has taken on emotional significance for the Cuban people — and for the communist government that celebrates it annually.

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Global Health
5:13 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

Transgender Women Face Inadequate Health Care, 'Shocking' HIV Rates

Transgender performers walk backstage during an event to mark World AIDS Day in 2013. A new WHO report demonstrates extremely rates of HIV infection among transgender women in 15 countries.
Prakash Mathema AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 11:27 pm

Transgender people are not getting adequate health care, and widespread discrimination is largely to blame, according to a recent World Health Organization report. And the story is told most starkly in the high rates of HIV among transgender women worldwide.

JoAnne Keatley, one of the authors of that study, puts it plainly.

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Music Interviews
5:11 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

On Its New Album, Bomba Estereo Is 'Watching The World' From Colombia

Bomba Estereo's latest album is called Amanecer.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 6:12 pm

When Bomba Estereo began a decade ago in Bogotá, audiences didn't quite know what to make of it. The group was combining some of the most traditional Colombian sounds with some of the most modern electronic sounds, and not everyone appreciated the idea.

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Author Interviews
5:50 am
Sun July 26, 2015

In This Twist On Tricky Dick's History, A President's Secrets Can Save Us

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 10:38 am

"I promise you I will show the same contempt for the historical record that it has shown for me."

So intone the opening pages of Austin Grossman's Crooked, in what are supposed to be the thoughts of our 37th president, Richard Nixon — or, at least, those thoughts as Grossman imagines them.

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Newport Folk Festival
5:12 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

50 Years Ago, Bob Dylan Electrified A Decade With One Concert

Diana Davies Courtesy of the Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collections, Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 5:28 pm

In the early 1960s, burgeoning folk music scenes were burbling up all over the country, and the Newport Folk Festival was their confluence.

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Movie Interviews
5:12 pm
Sat July 25, 2015

Back To Walley World: The Griswolds Go On 'Vacation' Again

Skyler Gisondo (from left), Steele Stebbins, Christina Applegate and Ed Helms are the new Griswold family — en route to Walley World — in the 2015 follow-up to the 1983 movie Vacation.
Hopper Stone Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 5:28 pm

National Lampoon's Vacation has been resurrected: more than 30 years later, the Griswolds are back on another reckless, wild road trip.

In the new movie Vacation, Rusty Griswold, the son from the original series, is all grown up and taking his family on a cross-country trip to the theme park Walley World. It goes about as smoothly as you'd expect.

Co-writers and co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein say the R-rated movie is not a reboot or a remake, but very much a sequel.

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Race
7:48 am
Sat July 25, 2015

A Navajo Speaker Says The Language Connects Her With Her Culture

Supporters of Navajo presidential candidate Chris Deschene were unhappy last October when a court determined that he did not meet the language requirement.
Felicia Fonseca AP

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 10:55 am

Should the president of the Navajo Nation be required to speak fluent Navajo?

The Navajo Nation held a referendum on that question this week, and the majority voted no.

The vote was victory for supporters of a Navajo presidential candidate who was disqualified last fall because he didn't speak the language fluently. The next Navajo Nation election is in 2018.

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Music Interviews
7:48 am
Sat July 25, 2015

Fossils Of Technology: 'The Imitation Archive' Turns Near-Extinct Machines Into Music

The Harwell Dekatron Computer in Bletchley Park is one of the massive machines used by Matt Parker in his Imitation Archive music.
Courtesy of the National Museum of Computing

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 10:55 am

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Author Interviews
5:35 am
Sat July 25, 2015

In 'Wondering Who You Are,' A Man Wakes Up And Doesn't Know His Wife

Lea and Bandy met in 1976 at a high school dance. "He was the boy from out of town," Lea writes. "I was the girl who wanted out."
John Carswell Courtesy of the author

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 10:55 am

Sonya Lea and her husband Richard Bandy had a 23-year marriage filled with ups, downs and memories. In 2000 Bandy developed a rare form of appendix cancer and had an operation which was successful — sort of.

Bandy lived, but he was almost a different man. He had suffered a post-surgical complication called "anoxic insult" that cut oxygen to his brain and cleared much of his memory. He called his wife "Sweetness," but could not remember how they met, when they got married and the births of their two children. Twenty-three years more or less vanished from his mind.

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Animals
5:27 am
Sat July 25, 2015

When Detecting Land Mines, The Nose Knows — Or, In This Case, The Trunk

An elephant in South African offers an up-close glimpse of its prodigious instrument. According to Sean Hensman of Adventures with Elephants, trunks like this one could help the U.S. Army develop a better landmine sensor.
Greatstock/Barcroft Media Barcroft Media/Landov

Originally published on Sat July 25, 2015 11:41 am

In Angola, a civil war that raged for decades has left lingering, and dangerous, reminders of the violence across the countryside. Long since the worst of the fighting ended in 2002, land mines continue to claim lives — and not just those of humans.

Even as the elephant population there saw a replenishment in numbers following the war, many of the mammoth animals were being killed by leftover land mines, as well.

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Code Switch
10:30 am
Fri July 24, 2015

'Almost Another Dead Black Male': Remembering A Traffic Stop That Got Ugly

Courtesy StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 1:49 pm

Alex Landau, who is black, was raised by his adoptive white parents to believe that skin color didn't matter. But when Alex was pulled over by Denver police officers one night in 2009, he lost his belief in a color-blind world — and nearly lost his life.

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StoryCorps
5:03 am
Fri July 24, 2015

The Teen Who Didn't Make It — And The Nurses He Moved Along The Way

Stephen Wright, on his front porch in fall 2000.
Courtesy of the Wright family

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 10:04 am

For more than a decade, Wilson Matthews and Jeanne Yeatman worked together as flight nurses on emergency response helicopters. Over that time, they cared for countless patients as they were being transported to hospitals. One flight in particular, though, remains impossible for them to forget.

They had been trying to save a 13-year-old named Stephen. He'd been riding his bicycle over a dirt jump when he fell and suffered severe head trauma.

By the time he made it into the helicopter, nothing that Wilson or Jeanne tried was doing any good.

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Author Interviews
5:11 am
Tue July 21, 2015

A Lifelong Surfer Explains Why There's No Such Thing As A 'Perfect' Wave

William Finnegan surfs Cloudbreak, off the island of Tavarua in Fiji, in 2005.
Scott Winer

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 2:24 pm

William Finnegan is a New Yorker journalist, but his new memoir doesn't focus on the wars or controversies he's covered. It's about surfing.

Finnegan traces his love of surfing back to his childhood, when he used to watch surfers in Ventura, Calif. He remembers being 10 years old, sitting with his family in a diner, watching waves break on the coast.

It seemed "like they were arriving from some celestial workshop ... carved by ocean angels," he writes. "I wanted to be out there, learning to dance on water."

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All Tech Considered
6:16 pm
Mon July 20, 2015

With Ad Blocking Use On The Rise, What Happens To Online Publishers?

The rise of ad blockers threatens the business model that drives much of the Internet economy.
Danae Munoz Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 21, 2015 1:56 pm

Advertising is the basic business model of the Internet. It's one reason we can view online content free of charge.

Millions of Web surfers already download software to block ads online, and that number is growing. Soon, Apple could be making mobile ad blocking easier.

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Animals
6:28 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

PETA Says Undercover SeaWorld Employee Posed As Animal Rights Activist

During the 2014 Tournament of Roses Parade, SeaWorld's float was accompanied by police in Pasadena, Calif. PETA supporters were arrested for protesting the float that day, and PETA claims that a SeaWorld employee posing as a PETA volunteer tipped police off to the protest.
Ringo H.W. Chiu AP

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 11:31 am

In recent years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has waged a protest campaign against SeaWorld, saying that the U.S. theme parks' treatment of trained orcas is cruel. Now, PETA says it has identified a SeaWorld "agent" in its midst.

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Music Lists
5:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Written Then, Heard Now: Reimagining Old Texts Through Global Songs

On her album Dallëndyshe, Albanian singer Elina Duni takes up folk songs once used as propaganda by the Communist regime in her home country and reimagines them as modern-day jazz.
Nicolas Masson Courtesy of the artist

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Author Interviews
5:12 pm
Sun July 19, 2015

Written In Spanish About Belgium By A Colombian, 'It Feels American'

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 5:22 pm

Juan Gabriel Vásquez is best known for his 2013 blockbuster novel The Sound of Things Falling. But more than a decade before that book vaulted him onto the international literary stage, he published a well-reviewed collection of short stories in Spanish.

Now, that collection, Lovers on All Saints' Day, is getting an English translation.

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The Sunday Conversation
7:44 am
Sun July 19, 2015

Pastor's Daughter Taps Into The 'Spicy Stuff' To Help Save Marriages

DiShan Washington is the author of several books of Christian erotica, as well as a film called Let's Get It On.
Anthony Thomas Courtesy DiShan Washington

Originally published on Sun July 19, 2015 9:35 am

In The Sunday Conversation, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.

DiShan Washington is a pastor's daughter, and when she was 16 years old, she married a young minister at her dad's church. She didn't know a lot about sex, let alone what she describes as the "spicy stuff."

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Environment
6:33 pm
Sat July 18, 2015

Birds, Bees And The Power Of Sex Appeal: The Ribald Lives Of Flowers

Stephen Buchmann Scribner

Flowers, bugs and bees: Stephen Buchmann wanted to study them all when he was a kid.

"I never grew out of my bug-and-dinosaur phase," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "You know, since about the third grade, I decided I wanted to chase insects, especially bees."

These days, he's living that dream. As a pollination ecologist, he's now taking a particular interest in how flowers attract insects. In his new book, The Reason for Flowers, he looks at more than just the biology of flowers — he dives into the ways they've laid down roots in human history and culture, too.

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