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Music Interviews
4:36 am
Sat March 21, 2015

'Wear Your Imperfections On Your Sleeve': A Moment With Shamir

Shamir's dance music has gospel, country, and disco influences, but it's his androgynous voice that surprises most people.
Ruvan Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 9:56 am

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Goats and Soda
4:29 am
Sat March 21, 2015

A Year Of Ebola: Memorable Moments From Our Reporters' Notebooks

Twins Watta and Fatta Balyon pose outside the home of their guardian Mamuedeh Kanneh in Barkedu, a village in Liberia.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 1:43 pm

It started in December 2013. A 2-year-old boy in Guinea was running a fever. He was vomiting. There was blood in his stool.

He was most likely "patient zero" — the first case in the Ebola outbreak that swept across West Africa.

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Music
3:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Seinabo Sey Touches Down In Austin

Seinabo Sey performs at The Fader Fort during this year's SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 6:58 pm

This week in Austin, Texas, Seinabo Sey gave her first performance at South by Southwest. It was an emotional moment for the singer, who told the crowd that if there's one thing she'd like them to learn from her music, it's that "anything is possible. You have to understand: I am from a tiny town on the west coast of Sweden."

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Music
3:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

'Still The King': A Tribute To An Icon Of Western Swing

Ray Benson (center) and his band, the Grammy-winning country outfit Asleep at the Wheel, have long been stewards of the sound co-pioneered by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.
Lisa Pollard Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 7:20 pm

"The essence of the Bob Wills sound, and the reason he picked and did what he did, is that it was dance music — period."

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Deceptive Cadence
2:23 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Pretty Yende: An Opera Star Whose Rise Began With A Fall

Soprano Pretty Yende in a Los Angeles Opera rehearsal. Starting Saturday, she'll be appearing in the company's production of The Marriage of Figaro.
Corin Cates-Carney NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:20 pm

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Code Switch
2:16 am
Fri March 20, 2015

'A Proud Walk': 3 Voices On The March From Selma To Montgomery

Demonstrators of different races and religions from across the country united to take part in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., 50 years ago.
AP

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 3:39 pm

Fifty years ago, civil rights protesters began their successful march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., two weeks after a crackdown by police at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday. NPR talked with three people from different parts of the country, of different races and religions, who answered the call from Martin Luther King Jr. to join the marchers.

Todd Endo:

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Author Interviews
2:27 am
Thu March 19, 2015

How A 1970s Fashion Faceoff Put American Designers In The Spotlight

Models show designs by Oscar de la Renta at the 1973 Versailles show. De la Renta was one of the first American designers to sign on for the catwalk competition.
Daniel Simon Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 12:48 pm

On Nov. 28, 1973, France's Versailles Palace hosted an impossibly glamorous moment in fashion: a competition between five French couture designers and five up-and-coming Americans. The event was a fundraiser to help restore the palace, but it also made for a groundbreaking runway show.

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
10:54 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Debate: Should The U.S. Adopt The 'Right To Be Forgotten' Online?

Jonathan Zittrain, co-founder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, says the right to be forgotten online is "a very bad solution to a real problem."
Samuel Lahoz Intelligence Squared U.S.

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 6:21 pm

People don't always like what they see when they Google themselves. Sometimes they have posted things they later regret — like unflattering or compromising photos or comments. And it can be maddening when third parties have published personal or inaccurate material about you online.

In Europe, residents can ask corporations like Google to delete those unflattering posts, photos and other online material from online search results. And under the right circumstances, those entities must comply.

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Fine Art
2:48 am
Wed March 18, 2015

25 Years After Art Heist, Empty Frames Still Hang In Boston's Gardner Museum

The empty frame from which thieves cut Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee remains on display at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The painting was one of 13 works stolen from the museum in 1990.
Josh Reynolds AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 11:23 am

Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum houses a world-class art collection. But in the last two decades it's been better known for the art that isn't there — half a billion dollars' worth of masterpieces that disappeared from its walls 25 years ago.

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The Record
2:18 am
Tue March 17, 2015

Winning In Country Music, With No Help From Nashville

Aaron Watson on stage during the National Finals Rodeo Cowboy Fanfest in Las Vegas in 2014.
Mindy Small Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 11:53 am

There's only one word to describe Aaron Watson's music: country. Watson, from Abilene, Texas, sings about rodeos, fence posts and family with a twang in his voice that would sound like a huge moneymaker if you're the kind of fan who stopped listening to country in the early 1990s, when George Strait and Garth Brooks were selling millions of albums and scoring hits on country radio.

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Fine Art
5:25 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

In Detroit's Rivera And Kahlo Exhibit, A Portrait Of A Resilient City

A detail from the north wall of Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry murals shows workers on the automobile assembly line. After Detroit declared bankruptcy, the murals were at risk of being sold. Click here for a larger view.
Detroit Institute of Arts

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 7:01 pm

This weekend, visitors to the Detroit Institute of Arts buzzed with excitement over a new exhibit — it was a big moment for the once-troubled museum. The DIA spent much of the last two years under threat as its owner, the city of Detroit, looked for ways to emerge from bankruptcy.

Finally, in November, a "grand bargain" was struck. Foundations, private donors and the state of Michigan together raised more than $800 million to help rescue public employee pensions. In return, ownership of the DIA was transferred to a trust — thereby securing its future.

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National Security
6:31 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

An 'Upstream' Battle As Wikimedia Challenges NSA Surveillance

The lawsuit by Wikimedia and other plaintiffs challenges the National Security Agency's use of upstream surveillance, which collects the content of communications, instead of just the metadata.
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 6:52 am

Earlier this week, Wikimedia, the parent company of Wikipedia, filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency, saying that the NSA's use of "upstream" mass surveillance violates the First and Fourth Amendments.

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Deceptive Cadence
4:27 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Oboist Reclaims Mozart's Lost Contemporaries

Berlin Philharmonic Principal Oboist Albrecht Mayer introduces neglected composers from Mozart's time on the new album Lost and Found.
Harald Hoffmann Deutsche Grammophon

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 5:22 pm

Does the name Jan Antonín Koželuh mean anything to you? It doesn't register even to most classical music geeks. But Albrecht Mayer would like to change that.

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My Big Break
4:21 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

From Waitress To TV Writer: A 'Surreal, Fantastic Cinderella Story'

Diane Ruggiero-Wright is a writer and producer for shows including Veronica Mars and the new CW show iZombie.
Priska Neely NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 10:28 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Diane Ruggiero-Wright has written and produced a number of TV shows, including the cult classic Veronica Mars. She's the co-creator of the new show iZombie — about a zombie who pretends to be a psychic and solves murders — which premieres on The CW on Tuesday.

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Author Interviews
4:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

'State Of Terror': Where ISIS Came From And How To Fight It

Heavy smoke rises following an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and the militants of the self-declared Islamic State in October 2014.
Gokhan Sahin Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:34 am

There have been mixed results in the fight against the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS. Iraqi government forces and their Iranian allies are fighting to retake the central city of Tikrit, but it's unclear how much longer this will take.

Meanwhile, ISIS has established a foothold in Libya. They also recently accepted the allegiance of Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist organization.

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Music
4:27 am
Sun March 15, 2015

What Glen Hansard Learned From His Friend Jason Molina

Glen Hansard's new tribute EP is called It Was Triumph We Once Proposed: Songs of Jason Molina.
Zoran Orlic Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 15, 2015 10:03 am

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U.S.
5:36 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

When Police Are Given Body Cameras, Do They Use Them?

Body cameras, like this one shown at a 2014 press conference in Washington, D.C., are small enough to be clipped to an officer's chest. Washington and Denver are among U.S. cities trying the cameras.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 5:55 am

Back in December, following the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., President Obama called for $75 million in funding for 50,000 body cameras to be used by police around the United States. The cameras record police activity, and their use is intended to boost accountability.

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Movies
4:19 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

People With Disabilities, On Screen And Sans Clichés

From left, Bastian Wurbs (as Titus), Joel Basman (as Valentin) and Nikki Rappl (as Lukas) star in Keep Rollin', a coming-of-age drama featured in the seventh annual Reelabilities film festival.
Courtesy of EastWest Film Distribution

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 9:43 pm

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Poetry
4:19 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

'Windows' That Transform The World: Jane Hirshfield On Poetry

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 8:23 pm

Jane Hirshfield is one of our country's most celebrated poets. She's been a Guggenheim fellow. The Academy of American Poets bestowed her a fellowship for her "distinguished poetic achievement," an honor shared with Robert Frost and Ezra Pound.

Oh, and she's an ordained lay practitioner of Zen.

"I'm [also] a Universal Life minister, but that was just so I could marry some friends," she laughs.

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Music
4:19 pm
Sat March 14, 2015

Albert 'Tootie' Heath, Drummer Extraordinaire, Turns The Tables

Albert Heath
Michael Perez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 5:36 pm

Albert "Tootie" Heath is one of the most accomplished jazz drummers of the past 60 years. The 79-year-old has played with everyone from John Coltrane to Ethan Iverson, the piano player for The Bad Plus. Iverson and bassist Ben Street join Tootie Heath for his new album, Philadelphia Beat, named for the fertile jazz city of Heath's upbringing — where, as a young man starting out, he once piloted a group consisting only of the drums and two horns.

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Shots - Health News
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

From Freud To Possession, A Doctor Faces Psychiatry's Demons

Benjamin Rush, a physician and one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, invented the rotational chair as a treatment for psychotic patients. He believed the chair helped improve circulation to the mentally ill brain.
U.S. National Library of Medicine Courtesy of Little Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue March 17, 2015 8:58 am

People don't talk about psychiatrists the way they talk about neurologists, dentists or vets. In fact, there are those who call psychiatry voodoo or pseudoscience; and, to be fair, the specialty does have a history of claims and practices that are now considered weird and destructive.

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Books
6:48 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Murder City Earns Its Name In 'Blood Runs Green'

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 4:20 pm

Chicago's reputation for dramatic crime and corruption predates Al Capone and Prohibition — by decades. In May, 1889, Dr. P.H. Cronin, an esteemed physician, was found in a sewer. He was naked, dead, and savagely beaten.

The investigation and trial caused an international sensation, and one of the world's first media circuses, over a story that involved Irish revolutionaries and reactionaries, secret societies, and even a French spy. Or was he British? All at a time when Chicago had been burned down, and was reborn as the fast-growing city in America.

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Author Interviews
4:36 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

If Drugs Could Talk: In 'Delicious Foods' They Do

person cover detail

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 12:11 pm

There's a certain type of supporting character that author James Hannaham has always wanted to put into the spotlight. Critics call this character the "Magical Negro" — and you may recognize him from movies or TV shows. He's someone who "has incredible abilities and has been through some kind of hardship but it's usually a little vague ..." Hannaham tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "Whenever I see that character, I want the book or the movie or the TV show to take a detour and tell me that story."

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Food
4:36 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

A Pie For A Pie ... Day, That Is

"It's sunshine on a plate," says pastry chef and cookbook author Gesine Bullock-Prado, of her Mango Key Lime Pie.
Tina Rupp Stewart, Tabori and Chang

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:00 pm

"Never underestimate the power of pie."

Those wise words come from pastry chef and pie maven Gesine Bullock-Prado, and are especially timely this weekend. That's because Saturday is March 14, also known to math students as Pi Day.

Pi, in case you've forgotten your middle school algebra, is the mathematical constant that represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. It's a number with infinite digits that has been calculated to more than 1 trillion digits beyond the decimal point — but most people know it simply as 3.14.

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Music Interviews
3:21 am
Fri March 13, 2015

'We Knew Things Were Different For Us': Heems On Rap, Race And Identity

Heems' first proper solo album, Eat Pray Thug, focuses on his experiences as an Indian-American raised in Queens, N.Y.
Shivani Gupta Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 9:57 am

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Music Interviews
1:03 am
Wed March 11, 2015

How Mexico Learned To Polka

Legendary norteño group Los Alegres de Terán, in a promotional still from the 1976 documentary Chulas Fronteras.
Courtesy of The Arhoolie Foundation Frontera Archive/UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press

Originally published on Sat March 14, 2015 11:59 am

A casual listener would be forgiven for not knowing one kind of accordion music from another. But where two cultures in particular are concerned, the similarity comes with a century-old backstory involving immigration and imitation.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: The Scottish Spy Who Stole China's Tea Empire

Robert Fortune was a 19th-century Scottish botanist who helped the East India Trading Company swipe the secrets of tea production from China.
Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 10:44 am

Editor's Note: A version of this story originally ran in March 2010.

In the mid-19th century, Britain was an almost unchallenged empire. It controlled about a fifth of the world's surface, and yet its weakness had everything to do with tiny leaves soaked in hot water: tea. By 1800, it was easily the most popular drink among Britons.

The problem? All the tea in the world came from China, and Britain couldn't control the quality or the price. So around 1850, a group of British businessmen set out to create a tea industry in a place they did control: India.

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Latin America
3:19 am
Tue March 10, 2015

Explorers Discover Ancient Lost City In Honduran Jungle

A view of part of the vast Mosquitia jungle in Honduras. A team of explorers, guided by scans made from airplanes, recently discovered an important ancient city in the region.
Courtesy of UTL Productions

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 12:43 pm

For almost a century, explorers have searched the jungles of Honduras for a legendary lost city known as the White City, or the City of the Monkey God.

A team of explorers — including archaeologists and a documentary filmmaker — have just returned from an expedition in person, after using a new technology to search for evidence of ruins by plane.

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Author Interviews
4:24 pm
Mon March 9, 2015

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 7:07 pm

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of McGuane's latest book — a collection of short stories titled Crow Fair. There's a divorced dad who takes his young son out for an ill-fated day of ice fishing; A restless cattle breeder who takes a gamble on a more lucrative and dangerous line of works; A guy who abandons his blind grandmother by the side of a river to go get drunk, and chase after a corpse he's spotted floating by.

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Author Interviews
5:27 pm
Sun March 8, 2015

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:52 am

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's new book Barefoot Dogs is billed as a collection of short stories, but it could easily be called a novel. Each piece provides a perspective on one horrific event: the abduction of the patriarch of a wealthy Mexican family by a drug gang.

Throughout the book, readers see how this affects children, grandchildren, mistresses and others, as the tragedy follows the family through exile in the United States and Europe

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