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NPR Story
3:35 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

With Schisms In Both Parties, Midterms Will Offer Key Test

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

So the Republicans have their divide and though, in recent years, Democrats have appeared more united, they have their own schisms. These internal party politics will factor heavily in the elections of 2014. And in close elections, the party that manages its internal politics most successfully has an advantage at the polls. NPR's Mara Liasson joins us now. Hi, Mara.

MARA LIASSON, BYLINE: Hello, Robert.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Late Christmas Tree May Not Be A Beauty, But It's A Tradition

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For a lot of families, Christmas tree tradition spark household debate. For instance, tinsel or beads; white lights or multicolored; star or angel on top. And for some people, it's not how to decorate the tree. It is when to put it up, early or late, late being now, Christmas Eve. NPR's Martin Kaste falls into that last category.

MARTIN KASTE, BYLINE: Yes, I belong to that small and shrinking tribe. We're the ones lurking in the Christmas tree lots at the last possible moment. You guys shutting down already?

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

In New Hampshire, Christmas Lights Help Welcome New Immigrants

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Decking a house in thousands of lights is one way to spread holiday spirit. It can also serve as an education in American culture. Ibby Caputo, of member station WGBH, took a tour of Christmas lights in Manchester, New Hampshire. She went with a group of global refugees.

IBBY CAPUTO, BYLINE: On a chilly winter evening, Amadou Hamady ushers people from all over the world onto a school bus.

(SOUNDBITE OF BUS)

AMADOU HAMADY: Let's go. Let's go. Let's go.

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World Cafe
3:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

The Polyphonic Spree On World Cafe

The Polyphonic Spree.
Steve Wrubel Courtesy of the artist

This segment originally aired on Dec. 25, 2012.

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World Cafe
3:16 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Portland Cello Project: 'Winter' Songs On World Cafe

The Portland Cello Project.
Tarina Westlund Courtesy of the artist

For a special Christmas Eve episode of World Cafe, we welcome the Portland Cello Project to the WXPN studios for a festive live performance. This session takes place right after the collective's annual Holiday Sweater Spectacular, which has come to be a significant seasonal event in the band's hometown.

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Politics
3:12 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

'Living Wage' Effort Eclipsed By Minimum-Pay Battles

Wheelchair attendant Erick Conley (left) assists an elderly passenger at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in SeaTac, Wash. The small city recently raised the minimum wage to $15 for many airport jobs.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:08 pm

The close of 2013 has been marked by a vigorous national debate over income inequality, the plight of low-wage workers in America and the effect of boosting mandatory minimum wages.

The debate was magnified when Wal-Mart got unwanted attention for a store-based holiday food drive for its own needy workers, and when President Obama announced his support for legislation that would raise the national minimum hourly wage of $7.25 for the first time since 2007.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Teen Daughter Of New NYC Mayor Admits Drug And Alcohol Abuse

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 6:28 am

The teenage daughter of New York City Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio released a video on Tuesday discussing her struggle with clinical depression and substance abuse.

In the nearly five-minute video, Chiara de Blasio acknowledges that she drank alcohol and smoked marijuana, but says she's now clean after being treated at an outpatient center.

"Getting sober is always a positive thing," she says, encouraging others in her situation to also get help.

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Shots - Health News
2:40 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Could Pot Help Veterans With PTSD? Brain Scientists Say Maybe

There's data to support the notion that pot, or a drug based on its active ingredient, could help ease the fears of PTSD.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:50 am

Veterans who smoke marijuana to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder may be onto something. There's growing evidence that pot can affect brain circuits involved in PTSD.

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Music Reviews
2:22 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Luscious Jackson Hits A Sweet Spot With New Children's Album

Luscious Jackson released a children's album, Baby DJ, last month.
Doug Seymour Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

After going on hiatus in 2000, the members of Luscious Jackson settled down. Bassist Jill Cunniff was the first to have kids, and those children ultimately inspired her and the band to record some kid-friendly tracks.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Music From The Show

  • Serail East, “Lickets”
  • Beach House, “Wild”
  • Four Tet, “Slowjam”
  • Pinback, “Fortress”
  • The Ventures, “Sleigh Ride”
  • Daedalus, “Madlib Bonus Beats”
  • Heimweg 78, “Couch”
  • Chvrches, “The Mother We Share”
  • The Mariachi Kings, “Deck The Halls”
  • Stone Temple Pilots, “Press Play”
  • And Keep Smiling, “The Rachels”
  • Loose Fur, “Apostolic”
  • Washed Out, “New Theory”
  • Calexico, “Crumble”
  • Tame Impala, “Apocalypse Dream”
  • The Ventures, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”
  • C.S.S
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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

DJ Sessions: Christmas Edition

(Jacob Whittaker/Flickr)

This week, we bring you a special installment of the DJ Sessions: Christmas oldies.

This week, Mike Haile, who is more commonly known by his DJ moniker, “Mike in the Morning” at WHMS in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to share his favorite Christmas music and reflect on his many decades as a DJ.

This is a special session for Jeremy, who hails from Champaign-Urbana, and grew up listening to Mike in the morning.

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NPR Story
2:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Late Wife's Christmas Wish For Her Husband

[Youtube]

David Schmitz was more than surprised when a local Des Moines, Iowa, radio show invited him to their studios. The program was in the habit of giving surprise Christmas gifts, but this was particularly special.

Schmitz’s wife, Brenda, had died two years earlier at age 46 of ovarian cancer. She had instructed a friend to give a letter to the radio station once David fell in love again.

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Movie Reviews
2:12 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Orbiting Dickens, An 'Invisible Woman' Or Two

Felicity Jones plays Nelly Ternan, longtime mistress of author Charles Dickens, in The Invisible Woman.
David Appleby Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:40 pm

The Invisible Woman is slow to build — but worth its wait in gold. A little over halfway through, this terrific drama bears fiercely down on the steep cost of being two of the significant women in the gilded life of Charles Dickens.

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Movie Reviews
2:03 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

In 'Osage County,' A Family Consuming Itself

Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Julianne Nicholson are three of the warring Weston women in a blistering film adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County.
Claire Folger The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 4:34 pm

"We shouldn't be here."

That's the sense you get watching August: Osage County -- that you're peering in on moments so intimate and painful that no one should witness them, perhaps not even those who are a part of it.

In fact, that's what many characters in the movie — an adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play — decide for themselves. They don't want to be part of it, either. In this story of an uncomfortable family reunion, time is marked by cars pulling out of their dusty Oklahoma driveway at regular intervals, never to be seen again.

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Movie Reviews
2:03 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

A Wall Street Predator With An Appetite For Excess

Leonardo DiCaprio plays a profoundly corrupt stock-market manipulator in The Wolf of Wall Street, based on the real-life story of convicted fraudster Jordan Belfort.
Mary Cybulski Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 2:21 pm

Several times during The Wolf of Wall Street, the wolf himself turns to the camera and offers to explain some stockbroker term or strategy. But then he stops himself and says it doesn't really matter.

It sure doesn't — not in this exuberant but profitless bad-behavior romp. It's based on the career of former penny-stock magnate Jordan Belfort, but might as well be about Keith Richards in the '70s or Robert Downey Jr. in the '90s.

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Parallels
1:11 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

As World Cup Looms, Qatar's Migrant Worker System Faces Scrutiny

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

Over the past decade, Qatar's population has soared from 660,000 to more than 2 million. Here's the catch: Qataris themselves number only around 260,000.

The rest, more than 85 percent of the population, are not citizens. As Professor Mehran Kamrava, an American scholar at Georgetown University's campus in Qatar, says, they are all migrant workers of varying types.

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NPR Story
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Helping Deaf Fans Feel The Music, Too

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

For most people, attending a concert is all about hearing the sounds of a live performance. But sign language interpreter Holly Maniatty makes concerts an experience for the hearing impaired too. She's worked with performers like Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Phish and the Wu Tang Clan.

Arts & Life
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

How Blind Voice Over Artist 'Reads'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Pete Gustin has voiced over national ads but he can't read scripts - he's legally blind. As he tells Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee, he didn't let his disability deter his talent.

Music
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

At 60, Oliver Mtukudzi Still 'Giving Life To The People' With Music

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi often says that you don't get to sing a song if you have nothing to say. He talks with guest host Celeste Headlee, and shares a few tunes.

Music
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Musician Oliver Mtukudzi Digs Deep In 'Sarawoga'

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

At 60, Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi now has more albums to his name than birthdays. His latest, Sarawoga, is an emotional response to the death of his son. Mtukudzi joins guest host Celeste Headlee in studio for a special performance chat.

Health
1:06 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

After A Cancer Diagnosis, Lessons In Priorities

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 9:30 am

Teaching high school English came naturally to David Menasche but a terminal brain cancer diagnosis forced him to leave the classroom. So he visited some of his former students to see what impact he's had on them. He writes about the experience in his forthcoming book, The Priority List.

The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Highway In Iceland May Be Sidetracked By Elves

New Line Cinema Reuters /Landov

Here's a sentence we didn't expect to read today:

"Elf advocates have joined forces with environmentalists to urge the Icelandic Road and Coastal Commission and local authorities to abandon a highway project building a direct route from the Alftanes peninsula, where the president has a home, to the Reykjavik suburb of Gardabaer."

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Best Music Of 2013
12:20 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

12 For The Road: A Music Podcast Playlist For Holiday Travel

iStockphoto.com

Whether you're traveling for the holidays or waiting for those who are on the road to come back to you — or if you just need to wipe your eardrums clean after weeks of holiday shopping music — the next week should offer ample listening time.

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Movie Reviews
12:16 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

In A 'Miraculous Year' For Movies, Edelstein Picks His Favorites

In the sci-fi romance Her, a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) finds love in a rather unexpected place — with a computer operating system named Samantha.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:44 pm

"It was a miraculous year," film critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. At a time when Hollywood is churning out Blockbusters and superhero movies that are guaranteed to make money at home and overseas, "it's really great when so many interesting movies, somehow or other, manage to bleed through," he says. " ... You really feel as if directors are taking chances in their storytelling. They are creating a new syntax for every story."

Here are his favorite movies this year:

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Television
12:13 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

David Bianculli's Top 10 Shows: 2013 Was A 'Good Year For TV'

Kevin Spacey (left) and Robin Wright star in House of Cards, directed by David Fincher. The Netflix series, which follows a Machiavellian politician, is an adaptation of a BBC series of the same name. Hear an interview with Spacey and Fincher.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 3:44 pm

This was a good year for TV, says critic David Bianculli, and that had a lot to do with two new shows from Netflix: House of Cards, the American adaptation of the BBC political thriller series, and Orange Is the New Black, a dramatic comedy which takes place in a women's federal prison. "I was very impressed with the overall quality of what Netflix gave us," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... That was quite a string of good shows."

So, without further ado, here's Bianculli's top-10 TV list for 2013:

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Parallels
11:55 am
Tue December 24, 2013

A Portuguese Tradition Of 'Healing' Dolls For Christmas

At a hospital tucked away off one of Lisbon's main cobblestone squares, Manuela Cutileira does triage on incoming patients.
Lauren Frayer NPR

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 7:02 pm

At a hospital tucked away off one of Lisbon's main cobblestone squares, Manuela Cutileira does triage on incoming patients.

"First we do a checkup, create a chart and assign a bed number — like you would in an ordinary hospital," Cutileira, the hospital's owner, explains. "Then we try to figure out what the treatment should be. If it's a simple procedure, we'll inform the family right away of the cost. And if it's something more complicated, they may have to leave the patient here overnight for more tests."

But this is no regular hospital.

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Alt.Latino
11:42 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Festivo Alt.Latino: Cafe Tacvba, Molotov And Bajofondo In Concert

A driver disguised as Santa Claus drives a public bus at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

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Shots - Health News
11:40 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Drugmaker Names Pill After CEO Who Sought Daughter's Cure

Martine Rothblatt, CEO of United Therapeutics, is the namesake of the company's latest drug, Orenitram.
Ron Levine Getty Images

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 3:25 pm

It's not every day that the Food and Drug Administration approves a drug three months ahead of schedule. Or approves a pill that could take the place of injections. Or gives the OK to a medicine named for the CEO who started a company to help her sick daughter.

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The Salt
11:07 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Hair Dryer Cooking: From S'mores To Crispy Duck

Ready for a blowout: Blasting the duck with the dryer before roasting dehydrates the flesh so the skin gets firm and crispy.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 8:54 am

This past year, we've introduced you to some wacky cooking methods. We've made an entire lunch in a coffee maker and even poached salmon and pears in the dishwasher.

But a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon a crazy culinary appliance that may be the most legitimate of them all: the hair dryer.

Now, before you think we've fallen off the kitchen stool from too much eggnog, check out the science and history behind the idea.

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Food
11:00 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Spicing Up Your Holiday Drink List

General Harrison's Eggnog No. 3
David Kressler

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:24 pm

When it comes to holiday drinks, there's always the traditional recipes for mulled wine and eggnog. But what about a taste of something new and different?

James Beard Award-winning mixologist Dale DeGroff has some surprising ideas to spice up your drink menu this season. He is widely credited with reviving the art of the cocktail. He's also president and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

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