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StoryCorps
3:33 am
Fri June 5, 2015

A Life Spent 'Working Toward The Perfect Slice'

Len Berk slicing salmon at Zabar's food emporium in New York City.
Cosima Amelang StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 9:22 am

Len Berk loves lox, the salt-cured salmon that goes so well with bagels. The 85-year-old New Yorker is a veteran salmon slicer at Zabar's, the gourmet food shop in Manhattan.

But it wasn't always that way. For nearly four decades, Berk was an accountant.

"I never loved it, but accounting provided a decent living," he said to his friend Joshua Gubitz, during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "And it was very important for me to take care of my children. So after I retired I looked for something to do next."

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Music Interviews
5:11 pm
Thu June 4, 2015

Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Paul Dano (center) co-stars in Love & Mercy as Brian Wilson in the 1960s heyday of The Beach Boys.
Francois Duhamel Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 8:50 pm

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National Security
5:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Gen. Martin Dempsey On Iraq: A Fight That Will Take 'Multiple Years'

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaks during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 23. In an interview with NPR, he says he's not surprised by the slow going against the Islamic State, predicting it will be a "long campaign."
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:42 am

Gen. Martin Dempsey has spent more than a decade dealing with Iraq, and as his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs winds down, he sees a conflict that will long outlast his time in uniform.

Dempsey helped train the Iraqi military from 2005 to 2007 in what he describes as a "debacle" in the early stages. He saw the rapid rise of the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And now he oversees the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the extremist group in both Iraq and Syria.

And he has no illusions it will be quick or easy.

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Music Interviews
5:59 pm
Wed June 3, 2015

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Mumford & Sons' electrified new album is called Wilder Mind.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:07 pm

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
12:29 pm
Tue June 2, 2015

Debate: Is Obama's Iran Deal Good for America?

Samuel LaHoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

It's been 70 years since a nuclear bomb was used in war, but in spite of that passage of time, it still has a great deal of relevance as a strategic construct even if they are unlikely to ever be used. Countries that possess nuclear weapons can pursue a more aggressive projection of power and a more aggressive foreign policy than they might be able to do otherwise.

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The Salt
3:41 am
Tue June 2, 2015

A Tome For Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook.
Courtesy of Phaidon Press

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 2:42 pm

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

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Author Interviews
5:35 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Rich Housewives Go Under The Microscope In 'Primates Of Park Avenue'

Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:13 pm

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

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Music
5:17 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

Chris Joyner's Journey From Sideman To Spotlight

Chris Joyner.
Pamela Corey Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 6:20 pm

Next time you go see a concert with a famous singer hogging the spotlight, take a moment to consider all the other musicians playing behind that person. They may be incredibly talented with creative ideas of their own — and, for the most part, you may never know.

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Animals
1:39 pm
Sun May 31, 2015

At Vermont's Dog Mountain, Comfort And Community For Pet Lovers

The walls inside Dog Mountain's chapel are filled with thousands of notes, cards and photos, all heartfelt tributes to pets loved and lost.
Carlton SooHoo Courtesy of Dan Collison

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 4:59 pm

Vermont artists Stephen and Gwen Huneck were married for 35 years. They never had kids, but they always had dogs, their constant companions. In his mid-30s, Stephen Huneck taught himself to carve wood. Naturally, his subject was dogs — lots and lots of dogs.

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Music
7:35 am
Sun May 31, 2015

On Algiers' Debut Album, Southern Boys Find A Common Cause

Algiers' self-titled debut album is out June 2.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 12:12 pm

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Author Interviews
5:09 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

'Like An Avalanche': Otis Redding's Unstoppable Crossover

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as "bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history."
Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

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Movie Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

Fact-Checking 'San Andreas': Are Earthquake Swarms For Real?

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino star in the action thriller San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 1:11 am

The new movie San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock), is about a California earthquake so powerful that it destroys Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people can feel it all the way over on the East Coast.

Could this really happen? And can earthquakes ever be predicted, as one scientist (played by Paul Giamatti) succeeds in doing in this movie? We did some fact-checking with seismologist Lucile Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Music Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

When Nora Jane Struthers' Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

Nora Jane Struthers may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn't been stolen. Rebuilding her life allowed her to take a risk and do something she'd wanted to for years. It paid off: She has a new album out titled Wake.

Her story begins at a charter school in Brooklyn where Struthers worked as an English teacher.

"I started teaching sophomores and moved to teaching seniors in my last year," Struthers says. "I loved it."

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Author Interviews
5:05 pm
Sat May 30, 2015

North Korean Defector Reflects On Life 'Under The Same Sky'

Joseph Kim was born in North Korean in 1990, and he came to the United States in 2007. Currently, Kim attends college in New York City.
Martin Bentsen Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:13 pm

Few can imagine what it is like to be homeless and starving as a child. Few can imagine life in the hermit kingdom of North Korea. However, refugee Joseph Kim knows both very well and he gives us a window into those worlds in his new memoir Under the Same Sky: From Starvation in North Korea to Salvation in America.

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Iraq
8:47 am
Sat May 30, 2015

Thousands Who Run, Few Who Fight: A Journalist On Ramadi's Fall

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces patrol in central Ramadi, Iraq, on April 18. A month later, the city fell to the self-declared Iraqi State. Ayman Oghanna, a journalist who was embedded with Iraqi Special Forces in the city, says the Special Forces are capable precision fighters — but are being asked to fill the role of an entire military.
AP

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 7:58 am

More than a week ago, the Iraqi city of Ramadi, in Anbar province, was taken by the self-declared Islamic State.

The fall of that key city wasn't just a setback for Iraq: It was also a blow to the current U.S. strategy of trying to contain ISIS through air strikes.

Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias allied with the Iraqi government continue to move against ISIS in Anbar Province. The battles bring back American memories. Some of the fiercest fighting in the Iraq War ocurred there, and many Americans died trying to win back the city of Ramadi from Sunni insurgents.

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StoryCorps
3:45 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Grandpa The Gardener Helped Nurture His Seedling Grandson

Santiago Arredondo with his wife, Aimee, at StoryCorps.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 11:20 am

Jose Guadalupe Enrique Sanchez was a gardener for more than 50 years.

"He had, very dark skin, you could tell he spent his whole life out in the sun," Jose's grandson, Santiago Arredondo said to his wife, Aimee, during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

"His hands were those of someone who worked since the age of 6, but he was the cleanest gardener you would ever see, always wore button down shirts from JCPenney's," 32-year-old Arredondo said.

"And, as a kid, on top of me being overweight, I also stuttered," he continued.

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Television
3:44 am
Fri May 29, 2015

'Halt And Catch Fire' Explores What It Was Like For Women In '80s Tech

Actress Mackenzie Davis plays an '80s punk software developer in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. The second season premieres May 31.
RIchard DuCree AMC

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:23 pm

The TV series Halt and Catch Fire tells a story you might not expect about the personal computer revolution of the 1980s. For one thing, it's set in Texas, not Silicon Valley. And though there are plenty of bearded, bespectacled men building things in garages, the resident software genius is a woman. Cameron Howe, played by actress Mackenzie Davis, is a punk, anarchist loner who intimidates many of her co-workers.

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All Tech Considered
3:28 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Got A Voice For Radio? The Algorithm Speaks

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 9:46 am

Nearly a thousand of you heeded our call on All Tech Considered to submit a voice sample. The idea: Let a computer algorithm decide if you have a voice for radio.

Now, we've got the results.

Actor Wilbur Fitzgerald rated highly (surprise, surprise):

But most of you who responded are not actors. And it turns out, you don't need professional training to impress man or machine.

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Author Interviews
6:10 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

Courtesy of Dutton

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:46 am

TV recently lost its manliest man — a small-town government employee named Ron Swanson. Actor Nick Offerman's run on NBC's Parks and Recreation ended when the show went off the air in February. He's since shaved his mustache and gotten back to his normal self.

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Interviews
5:18 pm
Sun May 24, 2015

'It's For You To Know That You Forgive,' Says Holocaust Survivor

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor sits in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, on April 21, 2015. She testified at the trial of 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening.
Julian Stratenschulte AP

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Around this time 70 years ago, following the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Europe, the world was coming to grips with the scale of the holocaust, and how to deal with crimes so horrendous, they're almost incomprehensible.

That process is still ongoing.

Right now in Germany, a 93-year-old former Nazi who served at Auschwitz is on trial. Holocaust survivor Eva Kor flew to Germany to testify about her experience in the camp.

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