Music

Thistle And Shamrock: Underneath The Stars

May 30, 2012

As the days grow longer our music looks to the Northern and Western skies for inspiration and draws meaning, guidance and solace from the sun, moon and stars.

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Note: As you may have guessed from the headline, there is disturbing content in this post.

It's that kind of news day: First Mark reported the latest in Florida's face-eating attack. And now there's a significant development in a crime story that has gripped Canada.

Some of us missed the Jeff Barth video when it first hit the Internet last week, which is like a year ago in web time.

Growing Up And Grasping Gone With The Wind

May 30, 2012

Jesmyn Ward's novel Salvage the Bones was the 2011 winner of the National Book Award for Fiction.

When I was 13 I went to a small, mostly white, Episcopalian, junior high school.

Much of my free time was spent lurking in the library. I'd transferred from a more diverse public school, and as a working-class black kid, I felt out of place.

That's about the time I pulled Gone With the Wind from the library shelf.

Summer Books 2012: Cool Reads For Hot Days

May 30, 2012

Summer is glorious and far too short to waste on the wrong book. Let the NPR critics you know and trust help you find the year's best fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, cookbooks and more.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Jodi Picoult's latest novel is Between the Lines.

One of my first childhood memories is of the moment I got my own library card, so it's clear that I grew up in a family of readers. I always had a book in my hand, and as I grew into my preteen years I began to veer away from the All-Of-A-Kind Family series to more modern Judy Blume novels, whose heroines held a mirror up to my own life. You can imagine my shock, then, when one day I came home from the library with Forever by Judy Blume — and was told by my mother that I wasn't allowed to read it.

A Sticky Situation: Baking the Tapes

May 30, 2012

With more than 40 years of audio, preserving and archiving the hundreds of interviews, reports, specials, and programs produced by NPR is no small task. It gets even more complicated when old reel-to-reel tape starts sticking together. Fortunately the NPR librarians know just the trick to get them unstuck: bake 'em.

Yesterday evening, All Things Considered host Robert Siegel lent his interview skills to an event sponsored by the Washington, D.C.'s Politics and Prose bookstore, the 6th & I Historic Synagogue, and NPR.

In front of a capacity crowd, Siegel talked to former Secretary of State Colin Powell about his life, career and new book, It Worked for Me.

Here are a few shots from the event:

The situation in Syria is obviously at a crossroads. After the massacre in Houla that killed more than 100 people — many of them women and children — the diplomatic engine has picked up steam.

Introducing the Planet Money iPhone App

May 30, 2012

Today we're proud to announce the launch of our Planet Money iPhone app, which represents a new direction in our mobile strategy.

You can find many of the features of the app in Caitlin Kenny's blog post this morning or you can download it for free from iTunes and try if for yourself.

Old People Smell Different, Not Worse

May 30, 2012

If you've ever spent time where the elderly congregate, you may have wondered: Do old people smell different?

German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, who died earlier this month at age 86, was a paragon of excellence for generations of singers and fans. After his passing, we called American baritone Thomas Hampson for his memories of Fischer-Dieskau, whom he has called "a Singer for the ages, an Artist for eternity."

We already know that budgets and austerity measures are controversial, especially when it concerns the pensions of public employees. Wisconsin is solid proof. But if you need another reminder of just how combustive it gets when you mix politics, unions and public employees, just take a look at this video:

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Feel like you're paying more out of pocket for medical expenses? You've got company, according to the latest data from health insurers.

Enrollment in health savings accounts grew 18 percent last year as employers continued to steer workers into high-deductible medical plans, an insurance group said this morning.

Franz Kafka published just a few short stories and a novella during his lifetime, yet he was considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers.

The rest of his work was largely kept secret, and literary scholars have long wondered what gems they might find among Kafka's papers.

The answer may ultimately lie on Tel Aviv's Spinoza Street, inside a small, squat apartment building covered with dirty, pinkish stucco that looks like it's seen better days.

New In Paperback May 28-June 3

May 30, 2012

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Daniel Orozco, Donald Rumsfeld, Jim Axelrod and Simon Kuper.

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This is the second of two stories we're doing this week on organ transplants. See the first story, Who Decides Whether This 26-Year-Old Woman Gets A Lung Transplant?

Nikolaos Trichakis is a Harvard Business School professor who studies air traffic. He was watching the news one night when a segment came on about the waiting list for kidney transplants.

Sizing Up The American Dream

May 30, 2012

In a nation as diverse as the United States, the idea of "the American dream" means different things to different people. Many associate the dream with intangible ideals like freedom of expression, freedom of religion, optimism and family ties. But the American dream has also long been associated with attaining a higher standard of living, particularly one that surpasses that of the previous generation.

The Pakistani doctor who American officials say was recruited by the CIA to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, and has since been sentenced to 33 years in prison, was convicted of having ties to a banned militant group, not for alleged treason.

One American's dream can be another American's nightmare.

Consider: Some people long to live in big cities; others think cities have ruined the landscape. Some Americans love to drive big old honking SUVs; others see huge cars as pollution-producing monsters. For some people, the American dream is a steady office job. For others, the office is a sinkhole and the real dream is freedom from the office.

A wildfire that has burned 265 square miles of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico is now burning across 170,000 acres. That makes it the biggest wildfire in state history.

As the AP reports, this fire eclipses a blaze last year that burned 159,593 acres in Las Conchas and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

'My RV': On The Road In A Rolling Home

May 30, 2012

Freelance writer and photographer Andy Isaacson rented a 19-foot motor home in the summer of 2011. He enlisted two friends, and together they spent eight days traveling from California to Oregon and back.

J. Lo

May 30, 2012

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(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

OK. We're going to roll right along. Shall we welcome our next two contestants?

JONATHAN COULTON: Let's do it.

EISENBERG: All right, let's welcome Brian Herrick and Sally Dankas.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Brian, you are a musician.

BRIAN HERRICK: Yes.

Fifty/Fifty

May 30, 2012

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right everybody, this is what we've all been waiting for. It's the Ask Me One More final round.

(APPLAUSE)

Who's That Girl?

May 30, 2012

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

This is ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, chosen for the job because my own name is a word game. Let me introduce you to our ASK ME ANOTHER puzzle guys. John Chaneski.

JOHN CHANESKI: Hi Ophira. Hey.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hi.

CHANESKI: Thank you.

Doctor Who

May 30, 2012

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(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's show for people who have multiple dictionaries, you know, just in case there's a word emergency. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and with me is our resident puzzle expert, John Chaneski.

(APPLAUSE)

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