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3:33 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Spine-Tingling With A Twang: Great Alabama Ghost Stories

This photo, taken at Katherine Tucker Windham's Selma house, shows reporter Nikki Davis Maute — and in the background, some say, the spirit the family calls Jeffrey.
University of Alabama Press

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:41 pm

Halloween is a day for ghost stories, but if you're a skeptic, don't fret. As the late Alabama storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham assured her listeners, tales of restless spirits are for everybody.

"I collect ghost stories," Windham said. "Now, the nice thing about ghost stories is that you don't have to believe in ghosts to enjoy hearing a good ghost story."

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 30, 2014

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 3:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of October 30, 2014

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 3:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of October 30, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of October 30, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of October 30, 2014

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
2:46 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

A Field Of Medicine That Wants To Know Where You Live

A map of toxic waste sites can be combined with maps of waterways and cities to reveal potential health risks.
Bill Davenhall Esri

In 1854, an English doctor named John Snow pinpointed an outbreak of cholera in London to a single contaminated water pump.

A pioneer of modern epidemiology, Snow used information about where the sick people lived to deduce that they were drinking tainted water from that source.

And while using clues about peoples' locations is an important tool in public health, it's now set to make individual health care even more personal.

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Goats and Soda
2:31 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Why Is North Korea Freaked Out About The Threat Of Ebola?

North Korean medical workers wore protective suits at Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport this week.
Wong Maye-E AP

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 6:25 pm

North Korea has a number of serious public health woes: malnutrition, tuberculosis and cardiovascular disease, just to name a few. Ebola isn't one of them. The disease hasn't hit anywhere in Asia, much less this isolated and rarely visited Northeast Asian nation.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

After Mass Protests, Hungary Gives Up On Internet Tax

Thousands of participants march across the Elisabeth bridge during a rally against the government's plan to tax Internet usage.
Attila Kisbenedek AFP/Getty Images

Days after some 100,000 people took to the streets in protest, Hungary's government has given up on plans to tax Internet usage.

As we reported, opponents said the tax was the government's attempt to "create a digital iron curtain around Hungary."

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

1 Dead After Commercial Spaceship Crashes During Test Flight

The commercial space ship, pictured here in an earlier test flight, crashed in the California desert.
Mark Greenberg Virgin Galactic

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 4:28 pm

In what could be a major setback for commercial space tourism, a manned spaceship has crashed in California's Mojave Desert.

The Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two was on a test flight this morning, with two pilots aboard. Minutes after its rocket fired, the company announced on Twitter that spacecraft experienced an "anomaly."

Capt. Tom Ellison of Kern County Fire Department said that Spaceship Two had a malfunction shortly after it separated from White Knight Two, the rocket that gives Spaceship Two a lift up to 45,000 feet.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Defense Department Invests In Brain Implants For Depression, PTSD

Liss Murphy, who had surgery to implant Deep Brain Stimulation for depression in 2006 and got much better, on Cape Cod in summer, 2014, with husband Scott, son Owen and sheepdog Ned. (Courtesy)

More than 100,000 people have electrical stimulation devices implanted in their brains to treat Parkinson’s disease. The implants block the abnormal nerve signals that cause Parkinson’s symptoms like tremor and stiffness.

Now the Department of Defense is putting up $70 million to develop a new generation of brain implants to target depression and PTSD. These devices would detect and correct abnormal brain activity in real time.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Ghost Stories From Around The World

The popobawa is a shape-shifting demon that stalks the Tanzanian island of Pemba. (Phoebe Boswell/NPR)

Are you afraid of ghosts, vampires and witches? What about Hanako-san, a little girl who waits to drag her victims to hell in the third stall of the third-floor bathroom of schools in Japan? There’s also La Llorona, a woman who drowned her children then herself and roams around, wailing in anguish.

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NPR Story
1:37 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

I Am A Teenage Witch

Youth Radio’s Akemi Weaver is a self-described "teen witch." (Screenshot from Youth Radio)

With Halloween upon us, images of witches abound. But for some, witching is a year-round thing. Youth Radio’s Akemi Weaver sent us this story to explain why.

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Music
1:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

'Merry Widow' Operetta: Stage Versus Screen

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 3:21 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Author Interviews
1:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

"The more carny it got, the better I liked it," King says of his new thriller, Joyland. The book, set in a North Carolina amusement park in 1973, is part horror novel and part supernatural thriller. King talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about his career writing horror, and about what scares him now.

Originally broadcast May 28, 2013.

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Television
1:32 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

In The Life Of 'Olive Kitteridge,' It's The Little Things That Add Up

Richard Jenkins plays Henry, Olive's husband.
JoJo Whilden Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 1:48 pm

Olive Kitteridge, a new two-part, four-hour miniseries that runs on HBO Sunday and Monday, sounds like the kind of long-form dramas TV used to make back in the '70s and '80s when miniseries ruled. Like them, Olive Kitteridge covers an entire generation in the lives of its characters — a 25-year span — but otherwise, it couldn't be more different. Most of those sprawling classic miniseries were set against major historical events, and were as much about passionate romance and glamorous costumes as anything else.

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The Two-Way
1:20 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

With Reports Of Doping, World Marathon Majors Postpones Awards Ceremony

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya crosses the finish line to win the Women's Elite division of the 118th Boston Marathon on April 21.
Timothy Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 3:09 pm

The World Marathon Majors has put its awards ceremony on hold because one of the sport's star athletes has reportedly tested positive for a banned substance.

The Majors, which was going to crown a champion on Sunday, wrote on its Facebook page that it was "disappointed to learn that Rita Jeptoo has apparently had an A test that proved positive for a banned substance under IAAF rules."

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The Thistle & Shamrock
1:01 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

The Thistle & Shamrock: Tales For All Hallow's Eve

The Whistlebinkies.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 3:06 pm

Hear music for the season and spine-chilling Scottish tales, narrated by host Fiona Ritchie.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Song Travels
12:56 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Leftover Cuties On 'Song Travels'

Leftover Cuties.
Courtesy of the artist

The Los Angeles noir-pop band Leftover Cuties has a sound that's both retro and refreshing.

On this episode of Song Travels, host Michael Feinstein talks with Shirli McAllen, Leftover Cuties' lead singer and ukulele player. Here, the band performs a set of originals from The Spark And The Fire, along with its unique interpretation of "You Are My Sunshine."

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Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz
12:34 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Kenny Drew Jr. On Piano Jazz

Kenny Drew Jr.
Jack Vartoogian Getty Images

The son of pianist Kenny Drew, who rose to fame in the 1950s and '60s, Kenny Drew Jr. made his own way with a virtuosic career in both jazz and classical music. He favored direct, single-note lines, but could also play in a full orchestral style.

In this 1992 session, Drew interprets Monk's "In Walked Bud" — and he and host Marian McPartland collaborate in a performance of "Falling In Love With You."

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Shots - Health News
11:20 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Seeing Red During Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The lump first surfaced in my breast in 1989, when I was 36 years old.

To many young women, a small lump like that wouldn't be cause for alarm because most breast lumps are benign. But there's a long history of breast cancer in my family, so I immediately consulted a renowned breast surgeon. "It's nothing to worry about," she said. My mammogram was completely normal. She thought the lump was merely normal breast tissue.

But four years later I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer.

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Music
10:52 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Taylor Swift: The Peppiest Pop Star We Have Right Now

Taylor Swift's fifth album is called 1989, the year she was born. For the past few years, she's been the young queen of country music, by far its biggest-selling artist. But 1989 sidesteps country music entirely to become Swift's first pure pop album. Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker has a review.

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Books
10:43 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Halloween Makes Us Think Of ... Diversity In Romance!

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 1:33 pm

Once upon a time, when I was just out of college, I worked in a magical place called the Washington International School. The old Lower School building was a former D.C. public school on Olive Street in Georgetown, drafty and problematic, but full of character — and full of children from all over the world.

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Goats and Soda
10:40 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Why My Grandma Never Had A Pap Smear

A nurse uses a diagram of the female reproductive system to explain the do-it-yourself careHPV test at the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala.
Will Boase PATH

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 11:56 am

"So, did Grandma ever have a Pap smear?"

A strange question for a son to ask his mom, as I did last Thursday, but it came to mind because of careHPV.

The careHPV test is a quick, simple DNA test for the primary cause of cervical cancer — human papillomavirus (HPV) — could overcome serious obstacles to screening for cervical cancer in developing countries.

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Music Interviews
10:24 am
Fri October 31, 2014

In Conversation With George Clinton

George Clinton backstage at the Museum of the Moving Image, in Astoria, Queens, NYC.
NPR

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 12:15 pm

Earlier this week, the inimitable George Clinton sat for not one but two conversations about his work and where it comes from. First, he spoke with the host of NPR Music's R&B channel, Jason King, about soul music, swag and Kendrick Lamar.

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Tiny Desk Concerts
10:21 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Sun Ra Arkestra: Tiny Desk Concert

Marshall Allen and the Sun Ra Arkestra perform at the Tiny Desk.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Sat November 1, 2014 6:02 am

Sun Ra was a big-band innovator, a pioneer of recording and playing with electronics, a poet, a cosmic philosopher, a bandleader and a keyboard innovator who claimed to be from Saturn. Herman Poole Blount would have turned 100 in 2014 had he not left us more than 20 years ago. But his spirit lives on, and so does his long-running band.

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The Two-Way
10:12 am
Fri October 31, 2014

No Joke: French Town Cracks Down On Clown Costumes After Attacks

He's not welcome in Vendargues. The French town has banned people from dressing up as clowns for the next month following violent incidents across the country.
Hannibal Hanschke Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 11:36 am

It's not quite coulrophobia, but the French town of Vendargues has banned people from dressing up as clowns for a month starting on Halloween.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Maine Judge Rejects State's Bid To Restrict Nurse's Movements

Nurse Kaci Hickox and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur, take delivery of a pizza at their home in Fort Kent, Maine, on Thursday. A judge has ruled that the state cannot compel Hickox to remain in isolation if she's not showing signs of Ebola infection.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 1:40 pm

Updated at 12:55 p.m. ET

A judge in Maine has turned down a request by state officials seeking authority to compel nurse Kaci Hickox to remain in her home for the duration of a 21-day incubation for Ebola. Since returning from West Africa, where she treated Ebola patients, Hickox has refused to accept a voluntary quarantine.

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Drum Fill Friday
10:03 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Drum Fill Friday, From Otis Brown III

Drummer and composer Otis Brown III performing live earlier this year in New York City.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

This week's Drum Fill Friday comes courtesy Otis Brown III, a young jazz drummer and composer who's best known for his work with Joe Lovano, but who recently released his own debut solo album, The Thought Of You. Brown's selected a number of intros and fills from some of his favorite vintage jazz tracks, along with some funk, soul and R&B classics, showcasing some of the greatest drummers of all time. Good luck, careful listeners!

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The Two-Way
9:33 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling Exposes Origin Of Harry Potter's 'Twee' Nemesis

J.K. Rowling reads to children at the 2010 White House Egg Roll. According to a new essay, her own experiences as a young student helped inform the Harry Potter character Dolores Umbridge.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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