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Author Interviews
2:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

'Blockbusters': Go Big Or Go Home, Says Harvard Professor

Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:54 am

Movies like The Dark Knight or the Harry Potter series are touted as blockbusters — big-budget spectacles sure to make box office bank.

And though wannabe blockbusters can — and do — flop, like the $120 million disappointment Speed Racer, big budget is still the way to go, according to Harvard Business School professor Anita Elberse.

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Books News & Features
2:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden

J.D. Salinger wrote nine letters and postcards to aspiring Canadian writer Marjorie Sheard.
Graham Haber The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 8:47 am

Fans of the reclusive J.D. Salinger are in their element these days.

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Shots - Health News
2:16 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Therapists Explore Dropping Solo Practices To Join Groups

The goals of therapy remain the same, but the business side is undergoing big changes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:26 am

In the corporate world of American health care, psychologists and other mental health therapists are still mostly mom-and-pop shops. They build their own solo practices, not unlike Lucy in the Peanuts comic strip gang who hung her own shingle: "Psychiatric Help, 5 [Cents] — The Doctor Is In."

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StoryCorps
2:16 am
Thu October 24, 2013

A 'Not Normal' Family That Knows How To Laugh At Itself

Rebecca Greenberg made her first visit to StoryCorps with her mother. This time her father, Carl, joined them for some laughter and reminiscing.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:27 am

When we first heard from Laura Greenberg and her daughter, Rebecca, in 2011, Laura recounted what it was like to grow up in a family that was, as she explained it, "not normal."

"We're yelling, and we're pinching, and we're hugging, and we're cursing, and we peed with the door open," she said about her childhood in Queens, N.Y., in the 1950s. "I didn't know this was not normal behavior. I didn't know people had secrets; you didn't tell your mother everything."

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Parallels
2:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Following Bloomberg's Lead, Mexico Aims To Fight Fat

A street vendor fries food for lunch customers in Mexico City on July 10. Mexico has now surpassed the United States in levels of adult obesity, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Ivan Pierre Aguirre AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:10 am

Nearly a third of all Mexicans are obese, putting Mexico at the top of the list of overweight nations — ahead of the United States.

In the battle against the bulge, lawmakers are taking aim at consumer's pocketbooks. They're proposing a series of new taxes on high calorie food and sodas. Health advocates say the higher prices will get Mexicans to change bad habits, but the beverage industry and small businesses are fighting back.

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Around the Nation
2:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Proposed Minimum Sentencing Law In Illinois Faces Scrutiny

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says police have at least 108 examples of shootings or murders in 2013 alone that would not have happened if the proposed mandatory minimum sentencing law was in effect.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:45 am

In Illinois, you can face a prison term of one to three years if you use a weapon unlawfully. But you might serve only half that time, or you could get probation or even boot camp.

Chicago alone saw more than 500 murders last year, most by gunfire. Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the current law is not what's needed to fight gun violence in the city.

"In fact, I would like to ... note that the same minimum penalty we have for a gun law is what we have for shoplifting," Emanuel has said.

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Around the Nation
2:09 am
Thu October 24, 2013

How One D.C. Suburb Set A Gold Standard For Commuting

Becca Bullard commutes every day from Arlington, Va., via Metro's Virginia Square station to her work in downtown Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Becca Bullard

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 10:33 am

It may come as a surprise to riders on Metro's Orange Line in Arlington, Va., just outside Washington, D.C., but the area sets the bar for suburban transit.

That's because a risky, expensive decision by local planners in the 1960s as the Washington subway system was about to be built helped this once-sleepy community come alive. It led to an increase in residents and decrease in traffic. Instead of having a line bypass these nearby Virginia suburbs aboveground, next to a highway, planners decided to run it underground and redevelop the neighborhoods above.

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Author Interviews
2:08 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Krauthammer's Tactical Advice For The Republican Party

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:17 am

Long before he was a conservative writer, Charles Krauthammer was a psychiatrist. He tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he changed career paths because he didn't buy into popular beliefs about a psychiatrist's power: "There is a mystique about psychiatry," he says, "that people think that you have some kind of a magical lens ... Superman's X-ray vision into the soul. One of the reasons I left psychiatry is that I didn't believe that."

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Peace And War

Contestants gather for a tense final round at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:37 am

It's Opposite Day for this final round, in which puzzle guru Art Chung will give you the "opposite" of a well-known book title, and you must figure out the real one. For example, "The Visible Woman," is a clue to The Invisible Man. So if we tell you "bad misfortune," what we really mean is--good luck.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Piper Kerman: Recipes For Survival

Piper Kerman at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 11:35 am

  • Piper Kerman explains the recipe for 'Prison Cheesecake'

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Grammatically Incorrect Songs

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jess Banks and Paul Reyburn.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Paul, you're an actor and director?

PAUL REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And you were once in the "Full Monty." Did you go full monty?

REYBURN: We certainly did.

EISENBERG: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: How was it?

REYBURN: Revealing.

EISENBERG: Revealing.

REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And Jess, interesting job, a game publisher.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Celebrity Spoonerisms

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Joining us now are Susan Herder and Kelly Guncheon.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello, Susan.

SUSAN HERDER: Hi.

EISENBERG: You work helping teachers adapt new technology.

HERDER: I do.

EISENBERG: Is it like helping them post on their students' Facebook walls or what's going on here?

HERDER: No, we don't quite go that far. Not yet.

EISENBERG: Oh, that's too advanced.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

This, That Or The Other VI: Bad Movie Edition

Choose Your Own Adventure book, naturally.)" href="/post/or-other-vi-bad-movie-edition" class="noexit lightbox">
Kevin Murphy (left) comforts Bill Corbett after Bill incorrectly guessed that "War With The Mutant Spider Ants" was a movie title. (It's a Choose Your Own Adventure book, naturally.)
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 11:03 am

Few people love bad movies like Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett love bad movies--you know, movies that are "so bad, they're good"? The pair is known for their work on the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, and now are part of the team that creates RiffTrax--downloadable commentaries that you play along with a cheesy or shlocky film to create the sense that you're hanging out with your friends and making fun of the movie. Only your friends are professional comedians.

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

License To Ill

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Onstage right now we have Katie Sisneros and Zach Wilson.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Katie, Zach, you know James Bond had all these cool gadgets like a hydro car and a pen that shoots poison darts. So, Katie, you're studying to be an English teacher.

KATIE SISNEROS: Yes, you got it.

EISENBERG: What neat gadget, if you were a spy, would you like to have in your repertoire?

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Ask Me Another
5:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

City of Twins

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

And we have our first two contestants, Nate Metcalf and Collette Smith.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nate, you are an actor and a playwright.

NATE METCALF: I work for a company that does theater for children. We go into elementary schools and do shows for kids on electrical safety, water conservation, recycling, that kind of thing.

EISENBERG: Well, that is very educational.

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The Two-Way
5:49 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Bank Of America Liable For Fraud In Countrywide Mortgages

The Countrywide Banking and Home Loans office in Glendale, Calif., in an April 2007 photo.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:59 pm

A Manhattan jury has held Bank of America liable for fraud related to bad loans its Countrywide Financial Corp. unit sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as the housing market soured.

The verdict was returned on Wednesday after several hours of deliberation in a month-long trial that focused on loans Countrywide completed in 2007 and 2008, as the housing crisis was already underway. Countrywide was acquired by Bank of America in 2008.

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Art & Design
5:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Getting 'Banksied' Comes With A Price — And Maybe A Paycheck

Cara Tabachnick's family owns the East Williamsburg building that Banksy chose as the canvas for one of his latest works. They installed a metal gate and commissioned a guard to protect the art from vandalism or removal.
Alyssa Goodman AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:04 pm

The elusive British graffiti artist Banksy has taken to the streets of New York this month, tagging buildings throughout the city. Last week we brought you the story of his fans, who have been on the hunt, early each day, to find his latest creation. They have to move quickly; Banksy creations are often vandalized after their locations become known.

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All Tech Considered
5:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

U.K. Official Urges U.S. Government To Adopt A Digital Core

Mike Bracken is executive director of digital for the U.K. government.
Lisbon Council Flickr

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

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The Two-Way
5:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Netflix On The Moon? Broadband Makes It To Deep Space

NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer probe, seen in this artist's rendering, is orbiting the moon to gather detailed information about the lunar surface.
Dana Berry NASA

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 7:20 pm

Here's a funny quirk of the modern age: It takes just seconds to pull up a bad sci-fi movie about invaders from the moon and watch it in HD. But actual communications between the Earth and moon are just as static-filled as they were back in the 1960s.

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Environment
5:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Delegates To Debate Watered-Down Plan For Antarctic Marine Preserve

A lone emperor penguin makes his rounds, at the edge of an iceberg drift in the Antarctic's Ross Sea in 2006.
John Weller AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 6:57 pm

Less than 1 percent of the world's oceans are set aside as protected areas, but diplomats meeting now in Australia could substantially increase that figure.

Delegates from 24 nations and the European Union have convened to consider proposals to create vast new marine protected areas around Antarctica.

This same group met over the summer and didn't reach consensus, so it's now considering a scaled-back proposal.

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NPR Story
5:01 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Widespread Plague In Wildlife Threatens Western Ecosystems

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:26 am

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish.

Most Americans' experience with plague is limited to history books. In the 14th century, it famously wiped out half of Europe's population. But right now, the bacteria is quietly ravaging wildlife in parts of the American West.

NPR's Elizabeth Shogren has the story.

(SOUNDBITE OF A PRAIRIE DOG)

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All Tech Considered
4:39 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

It's Easy To Blame The Canadians For HealthCare.gov Problems

Heavy Internet traffic and system problems plagued the launch of the new HealthCare.gov insurance exchange site.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:43 pm

President Obama is putting former CEO Jeff Zients in charge of the "tech surge" — the administration's emergency effort to fix the Web portal at the heart of the federal government's new health care market. But what about the contractors that built the system? What's their responsibility?

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Two Blond Children Taken From Roma Families In Ireland Are Returned

A newspaper vendor wears a vest displaying front page of The Herald on Wednesday in Dublin. Irish authorities were waiting for DNA test results in relation to a girl removed by Gardai from a Roma family in Dublin, days after a similar case in Greece. The test showed the girl was the biological daughter of the Roma family.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:33 pm

Over the past week, two children were taken from Roma families in Ireland. Authorities said they suspected the blond-haired and blue-eyed children might had been abducted because they did not look like their parents.

Today, we get news that after a DNA test and other proof was presented to authorities, the boy and the girl are back with their biological parents.

Meanwhile, the Justice Minister Alan Shatter called for a report about how this happened.

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World Cafe
4:22 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Dennis Coffey On World Cafe

Dennis Coffey.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:18 am

The Motor City's own Dennis Coffey joins us for this installment of Sense of Place: Detroit. The veteran musician holds strong ties to the city's R&B and soul sound. As a guitarist and producer, Coffey spent a good amount of time in Motown's Studio A, which artists dubbed "the snake pit."

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World Cafe
4:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

The Hounds Below On World Cafe

The Hounds Below.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 9:09 am

Continuing this week's feature Sense of Place: Detroit, we welcome The Hounds Below to the World Cafe. Even before the popular garage rock band The Von Bondies started to dissolve in 2009, lead singer Jason Stollsteimer was already writing the poppier songs that make up the repertoire of the Hounds. Stollsteimer committed to the new band in 2011; the group released its debut, You Light Me Up In The Dark, the following year.

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Shots - Health News
4:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

A Toddler Remains HIV-Free, Raising Hope For Babies Worldwide

HIV-positive babies rest in an orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya. Treatment right after birth may make it possible for HIV-positive newborns to fight off the virus.
Brent Stirton Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:31 pm

A 3-year-old girl born in Mississippi with HIV acquired from her mother during pregnancy remains free of detectable virus at least 18 months after she stopped taking antiviral pills.

New results on this child, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, appear to green-light a study in the advanced planning stages in which researchers around the world will try to replicate her successful treatment in other infected newborns.

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It's All Politics
3:59 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

White House Turns To 'Rock Star' Manager For Obamacare Fix

Jeffrey Zients was tapped to help fix problems with the Obama administration's heath care website.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:58 pm

Jeffrey Zients isn't exactly a household name. But if he can cure what ails the Affordable Care Act website, he'll be one of the best-known figures in the Obama administration.

Zients (rhymes with Heinz) is the professional manager President Obama turned to in order to solve the by-now-infamous problems with the federal government's health care exchange website.

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Politics
3:57 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

'Insurgent' Wing Grapples For Control Of The GOP

Tea Party and conservative leaders including Sen. Ted Cruz, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Sen. Mike Lee gather for a press conference on Capitol Hill in May.
Brendan Smialowski AFP/Getty Images

There's a battle for control of the GOP between establishment Republicans and a new brand of conservatives.

"You can call them populist, you can call them insurgents, you can them Tea Party adherents. ... I think the general term I try to use is the 'insurgent' wing," says New York Times national political correspondent Jonathan Martin.

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Music Reviews
3:48 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Europe Swings The Body Electric

The members of Caravan Palace are practitioners of electro-swing.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:46 pm

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Ex-Navy Carrier USS Forrestal Sold For 1 Cent

The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Forrestal departs Newport, R.I., for a three-day cruise to Philadelphia in 2010.
MCCS Melissa F. Weatherspoon U.S. Navy

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:45 pm

The U.S. Navy's first "supercarrier" is being sold for just 1 cent to a ship breaker.

The USS Forrestal, launched in 1954 and decommissioned in 1993, is the first of three conventional (non-nuclear) carriers due to be scrapped in the coming years. The Forrestal is best known for a devastating fire in 1967 that engulfed the ship's flight deck, killing 134 sailors and wounding 161 others.

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