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3:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

The Electric Bassist With An In-House Composer

Steve Swallow switched from acoustic bass to bass guitar in 1970, and hasn't looked back.
Klaus Muempfer Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 2:15 pm

Steve Swallow started playing jazz as a teenager. While a student at Yale University, he played mostly in with Dixieland bands. And then the 20-year-old bassist got a gig with the avant-garde-leaning pianist Paul Bley at a nearby college, went home, went to bed — and dropped out.

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Shots - Health News
3:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Breaking Up With HealthCare.gov Is Hard To Do

Lara Imler has tried to cancel her enrollment on HealthCare.gov, but to no avail.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Radio Network

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:43 pm

Enrolling in HealthCare.gov is not easy, and it's been particularly difficult in Alaska. Just 53 people enrolled in the first month.

Anchorage hair stylist Lara Imler is one of the few who got through, as we previously reported. But Imler discovered problems with her application, and now she wants to cancel her enrollment.

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Music Interviews
3:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'It's Hard To Stay Patient': A Conversation With John Mayer

John Mayer in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:35 pm

John Mayer has a lot to be thankful for this year, including his return to the stage. A Grammy winner and a multi-platinum seller, Mayer is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade-plus — but a few events in his life have left him uncharacteristically quiet of late. He took a break from press after a pair of controversial interviews in 2010; not long after, he underwent surgery for damage to his vocal cords and had to stop speaking and singing publicly for more than a year.

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Asia
3:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

China's Latest Territorial Moves Renew Fears In Philippines

U.S. and Philippine navy personnel patrol the seas off a naval base west of Manila in June as part of joint exercises.
Ted Aljibe AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 8:24 pm

China is flexing its muscles these days. Over the weekend, it declared a sprawling air defense identification zone that covers disputed islands controlled by Japan. And it has sent its lone aircraft carrier for first-time trials in the South China Sea, where Beijing has territorial feuds with other neighbors, including Vietnam, Brunei and the Philippines.

None of this was making China any friends in Manila, where the Chinese government is particularly unpopular these days.

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Afghanistan
3:02 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay

A helicopter from the American security contractor DynCorp provides air support as members of an Afghan eradication force plow opium poppies on April 3, 2006, in the Helmand province, Afghanistan.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 3:35 pm

Should the Afghan government sign a security agreement, the U.S. plans to keep between 6,000 and 9,000 American troops in Afghanistan even after the U.S. and NATO's combat mission officially ends late in 2014.

Beginning in 2015, the remaining troops would train Afghan soldiers and mount operations against any remnants of al-Qaida.

But they wouldn't be the only ones who stay behind: U.S. troops would almost certainly be outnumbered by civilian contractors.

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History
2:43 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'Thanks' To The Woman Who Helped Make A November Thursday Special

This portrait of Sarah Josepha Hale, painted by James Reid Lambdin, hangs in Newport, N.H., where she was born.
Jim Cole AP

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 5:39 pm

Thursday's holiday has Sarah Josepha Hale to thank for helping it get national recognition.

Thanksgiving before 1863 was something of a moveable feast, with states honoring the holiday at various times or not at all. But as the Civil War dragged on, Abraham Lincoln needed a way to unite the country. And Hale, a prominent magazine editor, persuaded him to declare a national holiday.

Hale, who was from New Hampshire, was a prolific writer of biographies, cookbooks, novels, editorials and volumes of poetry, including the children's rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb."

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JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
2:03 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Jason Moran On JazzSet

Jason Moran and The Bandwagon perform in the KC Jazz Club.
Jati Lindsay Courtesy of the Kennedy Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:27 am

He's not 40 yet, but Jason Moran is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, the Artistic Advisor for Jazz at the Kennedy Center, and a Resident Artistic Director at SFJAZZ in San Francisco. He grew up in Houston, teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and lives in New York, home to an early 20th century piano tradition of which he is more than aware. Moran has led this trio, The Bandwagon, for more than a dozen years.

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It's All Politics
1:45 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving: A Very Brief Political History

President George W. Bush paid a surprise Thanksgiving visit to American troops in Baghdad on Nov. 27, 2003.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Of all the things Americans traditionally associate with Thanksgiving — turkey, family, football — politics doesn't rate high on the list.

But the national holiday and the political world have intersected at times and generated some headlines to remember.

Here are a few memorable Thanksgiving political moments:

Franksgiving (1939)

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Tradition: Snow Geese Migration In Vermont

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:34 pm

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Holiday Manners: Making The Most Of Being Polite

After your big holiday meal, you may ask, "Is it appropriate to ask my guests to help with the dishes?" We have answers from the Emily Post Institute. (Jenica/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:34 pm

It’s the holidays. You and your loved ones and friends have just enjoyed a beautiful meal. Now it’s time for the daunting pile of dirty dishes. Is it appropriate to ask your dinner guests to help with the dishes?

Cousins Daniel Post Senning and Lizzie Post, who are descendants of Emily Post — the foremost manners and etiquette expert to the rich and rude from the 1920s on — join Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to share advice to help us navigate the holidays.

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NPR Story
1:38 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

What Makes Upworthy Wildly Successful

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:34 pm

Upworthy aggregates news stories and writes catchy — some say ‘cheesy’ — headlines for them. And then it makes those stories go viral.

The popular social media site started in 2012 and in October attracted 50 million unique visitors.

Now, Upworthy is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce original content focusing on global health and poverty.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Leonard Bernstein's Letters

Leonard Berstein seated at a piano in this 1955 photograph. (Library of Congress via Wikimedia)

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 11:12 am

Leonard Bernstein is widely considered one of the great American composers and conductors. He was the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, and he composed the music for “West Side Story” and other musicals, in addition to serious works of contemporary American classical music.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving In Liberia

The African nation of Liberia, which was founded by freed slaves, also celebrates Thanksgiving. The fixings aren't the familiar ones. (Denise Miller/Flickr)

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:34 pm

In the early 1880s, the Liberian government passed an act declaring the first Thursday of November as National Thanksgiving Day.

Historian and professor Elwood Dunn, the 2012 National Orator for Liberia, joins Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti to explain the political and religious origins of Thanksgiving in Liberia.

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NPR Story
1:14 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving In The Wake Of Midwestern Tornadoes

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:34 pm

The Midwest is still recovering from the deadly tornadoes that struck a week and a half ago. About 1,400 hundred homes were damaged or destroyed in hard-hit Washington, Illinois.

Nearby in East Peoria, volunteers are organizing a Thanksgiving dinner for the families who lost their homes and those working on the cleanup and recovery.

Amanda Uphoff, a travel agent and wedding planner from Germantown Hills, Ill., is organizing the Thanksgiving dinner and speaks to Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Brain Cells 'Geotag' Memories To Cache What Happened — And Where

Benjamin Arthur for NPR

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 5:13 am

Think back to an important event in your life: a graduation, a birth, a special Thanksgiving dinner. Chances are you're remembering not only what happened, but also where it happened. And now scientists think they know why.

As we form so-called episodic memories, the brain appears to be using special cells in the hippocampus to "geotag" each event, researchers report in Science. The process is similar to what some digital cameras do when they tag each picture with information about where the image was taken.

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The Protojournalist
12:13 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: An Air Force Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 101: Young students from around the world get a taste of the American tradition.
Sarah Kinzer

Thanking members of the U.S. military for their service is an American tradition – throughout the year. But what do those who are on the receiving end of our thanks have to be thankful for at Thanksgiving?

From somewhere in Southwest Asia, American expat Sarah Kinzer writes: "We are U.S. Air Force overseas... Due to host nation sensitivities I can't tell you a city — or country — but you can say we are stationed with the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing."

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Interviews
11:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

In Memoir, Linda Ronstadt Describes Her 'Simple Dreams'

Linda Ronstadt performs in 1970.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 2:42 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on Sept. 17, 2013.

With a career that spans rock, pop, country and everything in between, Linda Ronstadt knows no genre, only what her voice can accomplish. Her most famous recordings include "Heart Like a Wheel," "Desperado," "Faithless Love," and many more. But Ronstadt recently revealed that she has Parkinson's disease and can no longer sing.

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The Salt
10:31 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Why We Give Thanks For The Health Benefits Of Cranberries

Zac Visco for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 8:08 pm

Many of us sitting down for Thanksgiving feasts today have made cranberries a part of our holiday table. And from a health perspective, those bitter, bright red berries should be on your list of things to be thankful for.

As my colleague Allison Aubrey has previously reported, the Pilgrims believed that cranberries could cure scurvy. They were wrong on their reasoning but right on the cure: The berries are packed with vitamin C.

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World Cafe
10:25 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Vince Gill & Paul Franklin On World Cafe

Paul Franklin (left) and Vince Gill.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 1:34 pm

Country Music Hall of Famer and 20-time Grammy winner Vince Gill visited the WXPN studio, and in tow was renowned steel guitarist Paul Franklin. Together, they pay tribute to two other noteworthy figures in country music: Buck Owens and Merle Haggard.

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The Protojournalist
10:13 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Project Xpat: Thanksgiving Up, Down Under

Baby Partington
Susan Partington

For some expatriates there comes a point of surrender. Keeping the back-home traditions becomes too much trouble. Or the allures of the host country become too strong. Call it Thanksgiving Up.

Such is the case for Susan Partington who lives with her family in Gisborne, New Zealand. "After seven years down under, I've completely given up on the traditional foods. Spending a Thursday cooking lots of hot food during summer is absurd."

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All Tech Considered
9:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

HealthCare.gov Team Working Through Holiday To Meet Deadline

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visits navigators helping enroll people on HealthCare.gov.
Lynne Sladky AP

Originally published on Sun December 1, 2013 3:07 pm

Besides movie theaters and Wal-Mart, one place that will stay open this Thanksgiving is the new HealthCare.gov "exchange operations center." Staffers on the "tech surge" to fix the error-riddled site have just days to meet the Obama administration's self-imposed deadline for a functioning site.

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Favorite Sessions
8:36 am
Thu November 28, 2013

John Mayer, 'Waitin' On The Day' (Live)

"You may have to go someplace like Montana to 'get' this record." John Mayer tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his new album, Paradise Valley.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue December 3, 2013 2:20 pm

John Mayer has made multi-platinum albums, won Grammys, dodged paparazzi, kind of self-destructed, escaped to Montana and spent more than a year without speaking or singing publicly to allow his damaged vocal chords to heal.

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Shots - Health News
8:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

After The Cranberries And Pie, Let's Talk About Death

What seemed like a burden can become a gift.
iStockphoto

On Thanksgiving morning I'll be making pies with my mom, just as I have ever since I was a girl. But at some point I know we'll be talking about more than shortening versus butter. We'll be talking about how she would like to die.

A few months ago my mom fell at home and ended up being admitted to the ICU with four broken ribs and internal injuries. She was lucky. After two weeks in the hospital and a few more in a rehab unit, she's back home, using her new blue walker to get around.

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Krulwich Wonders...
7:08 am
Thu November 28, 2013

On Thanksgiving, Everybody Needs A Friend — And That Means Everybody

Blue_Cutler iStockphoto

Last December, a website called The Morning News asked me to describe the most important and unimportant events of my year. So I sent them a story that felt like both to me, something slight but at the same time deeply rich. Now that it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to post it here because it's about two girls who want the best for everybody — and that can get complicated.

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Books
6:03 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Get Cracking On That Novel — NaNoWriMo Is Almost Over!

National Novel Writing Month — or NaNoWriMo — ends November 30th, and writers around the world are scrambling to meet the 50,000 word goal.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 12:05 pm

The deadline is looming for "wrimos" — writers challenged to clock in a 50,000 word novel by November 30th.

"We're the largest writing event in the world," says Grant Faulkner, executive director of the Berkeley-based non-profit NaNoWriMo — short for National Novel Writing Month. "People's to-do list revolves around food and shelter, but I would say that creativity is a necessity of life, so we need to do what we can to nurture more creators in the world."

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Around the Nation
6:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Frugality Afforded Deceased Seattle Man To Donate Millions

Jack MacDonald wore old sweaters, rode the bus and clipped coupons all while amassing a fortune in the stock market. When he died in September at the age of 98, he left nearly $200 million to charity.

Around the Nation
6:01 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Michigan Friends Camp At Best Buy Waiting For Black Friday

Black Friday lines are probably already forming in front of big box stores, but at least one group has a head start. Zachary Davis and four friends have been in front of Best Buy since last Saturday.

NPR Story
3:43 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Church Shelters Those From Central African Republic Violence

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:11 am

David Greene talk to UNICEF Emergency Coordinator Bob McCarthy about the situation at a Catholic church in Bossangoa in the Central African Republic. Thousands of people are seeking shelter in the compound of the church. They are fleeing the violence that has engulfed the country after militias overthrew the government earlier this year.

NPR Story
3:42 am
Thu November 28, 2013

By Accident, Scientists Discover Lakes Beneath Greenland

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:34 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Flying to or from Europe, many a transatlantic traveler has gazed down at the brilliant white surface of Greenland and maybe wondered what is beneath those massive sheets of ice. Well, scientists have discovered jagged mountains, ravines that rival the Grand Canyon.

And now NPR's Richard Harris reports that for the first time they've come across some lakes under the ice as well.

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NPR Story
3:42 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Secret Talks Pave Way For Interim Iranian Nuclear Deal

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 4:28 am

Linda Wertheimer talks to Laura Rozen, a reporter for Al-Monitor.com, about her reporting on the secret talks between the U.S. and Iran. Those talks preceded the interim nuclear deal reached in Geneva last weekend.

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