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Strange News
8:38 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Man Retires, Moves, Discovers His Doppelganger

Neil Richardson (left) and John Jemison even fold their arms the same way.
Toby Van de Velde Courtesy of Neil Richardson

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 11:19 am

This story starts when Neil Richardson retired and moved to Braintree, a small town in Essex, northeast of London. Richardson didn't know his new neighbors, but strangely, they knew him.

"[As] I walked through the streets," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin, "I was really surprised at how many people waved to me and said, 'Hello, John!' 'Hello, John!' "

One person in a cafe even said to him, "You're John Jemison, aren't you?"

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Music
8:33 am
Sun April 5, 2015

Tobias Jesso Jr. Explains His Swift Ascent From Rock Bottom

Los Angeles-based songwriter Tobias Jesso Jr.
Kai Jacobson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun April 5, 2015 11:19 am

It's an endorsement most fledgling songwriters can only dream of: Adele enthusiastically tweeting your new song to her 22 million followers.

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Shots - Health News
6:25 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

When It Comes To Insurance, Mental Health Parity In Name Only?

Mental health care advocates say patients face challenges in insurance coverage.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 4:02 pm

By law, many U.S. insurance providers that offer mental health care are required to cover it just as they would cancer or diabetes care. But advocates say achieving this mental health parity can be a challenge.

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Author Interviews
5:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Florida Teen, War Criminal: The Life Of An 'American Warlord'

Chuckie Taylor in Liberia at an unknown date and location.
Courtesy of Johnny Dwyer and Lynn Henderson

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 3:33 pm

Only one American in history has ever been convicted of torture committed abroad: Chuckie Taylor, the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor.

His father led militants to take control of Liberia in the late '90s, went in exile after Liberia's Second Civil War and was found guilty of abetting war crimes in Sierra Leone. But young Chuckie Taylor seemed far removed from that warlord life — he lived in America with his mother and stepfather, just another teenager listening to hip-hop and watching TV in his room.

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My Big Break
5:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Salad Ties And Breadsticks: Star Chef Started At The Olive Garden

Stephanie Izard says the Olive Garden helped to reignite a childhood passion for food. She went to Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona and later moved to Chicago where she opened up her first restaurant.
Jonathan Robert Willis Courtesy of Stephanie Izard

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 6:25 pm

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.

Stephanie Izard is the rock-star chef behind Chicago's award-winning Girl and the Goat restaurant, as well as Little Goat.

But the chain of events that brought her there started at, well, a chain.

"I got my first job at the Olive Garden," Izard says.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:30 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

Violinist Hilary Hahn Remembers Her Earliest Influences

Violinist Hilary Hahn.
Peter Miller Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 6:25 pm

Violinist Hilary Hahn is known for putting together some unusual programs. On her latest album, she pairs Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major with 19th century Belgian composer Henri Vieuxtemps' Violin Concerto No. 4 in D minor.

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Strange News
8:42 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Pondering The Popularity Of The Pet Rock — And Other Fads

Pet Rock creator Gary Ross Dahl became a millionaire from his rock sales in the 1970s. Each rock came in a special box (bottom left) with a detailed instruction manual.
San Francisco Chronicle AP

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 10:30 am

The Hula Hoop. The pogo stick. The Tamagotchi.

Fads, crazes and must-have toys all sweep the country from time to time. But in the annals of faddish toys, one achievement stands tall — or rather, sits small: the Pet Rock.

It was exactly what it sounds like: a rock (a Mexican beach stone, to be precise) marketed in the mid-'70s as a pet. Each came in its own box with air holes and a detailed owner's manual.

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Author Interviews
5:13 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Just 'Between You & Me,' Here Are Some Handy Grammar Tips

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 2:37 pm

In radio, we don't punctuate — at least, not on the air. Nevertheless, we're honored to meet a woman who is at the pinnacle of punctuation. Mary Norris is a copy editor at The New Yorker, a magazine justly famous for the care it takes with words. The work of very well-known authors has felt the authoritative pressure of her pencil since 1978 — and after a lifetime of improving the words of others, she has written her own book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen.

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Music
2:03 am
Sat April 4, 2015

'The Man From Muscle Shoals' On Shame And FAME

Producer and FAME Studios founder Rick Hall, left, with R&B singer Clarence Carter.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sat April 4, 2015 10:30 am

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

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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The Salt
7:07 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Straight Out Of Brooklyn: 'Encyclofoodia' Pokes Fun At Foodies

Bloomsbury Publishing

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 12:55 pm

If you're trying to feed some of the lumberjack hipsters of Brooklyn, you might try serving up some Huevos Machismos. And if you're seeking the next cleanse trend, look no further than the Ultimate Gushy Protein Sewage Blast. Like any balanced smoothie, it incorporates one ounce of "pure, uncut cocaine (for the boost)."

These are the recipes and advice you'd receive from the Mizretti brothers, two fictional restaurateurs who just published an "encyclofoodia" and cookbook called FUDS.

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Author Interviews
4:00 am
Thu April 2, 2015

In Bhutto's 'Crescent Moon,' Pakistan 'Demands A Sacrifice From Its People'

Fatima Bhutto is also the author of Whispers of the Desert, Songs of Blood and Sword and 8.50 a.m. 8 October 2005.
Paul Wetherell Courtesy of Penguin Press

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 10:22 am

Fatima Bhutto is a member of one of the most famous families in Pakistan — a family that produced two prime ministers, her aunt Benazir Bhutto and her grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. And yet her latest book explores the lives of people who feel alienated from her country.

The Shadow of the Crescent Moon is about Pakistan's remote tribal regions. The country's national flag includes a white crescent moon against a green background.

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Author Interviews
5:12 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Artist Goes Outside The Lines With Coloring Books For Grown-Ups

A spread from Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford.
Sam Brill Courtesy of Laurence King Publishing

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 7:51 am

We've learned about a secret some of you have — a secret that involves crayons, markers and colored pencils. Last week, we asked our Facebook followers to tell us if they were an adult who likes to color, and we received hundreds of responses saying, "yes," and, "I thought I was alone."

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Remembrances
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Centenarian Poet Was A Fearless Guide To 'The Country Of Old Age'

Margaret Howe Freydburg — seen here at 104 — was still writing and publishing well past her 100th birthday.
Mark Lovewell Vineyard Gazette

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:00 pm

Old age is in the news today — very old age. According to media reports, a 117-year-old Japanese woman has died; she was said to be the world's oldest person.

So we're going to take a moment to remember poet and author Margaret Howe Freydberg, who died last week at the age of 107. She was was young at heart — but also very honest about her thoughts on aging. "I think growing old, I think old age is disgusting," she told a historian in 2009.

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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 5:22 pm

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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