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Updated: 38 min 37 sec ago

For Australian Christmas, Everything's Overturned But The Pudding

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 10:42am

Cooking in 100-degree weather is no fun, which is why many Australians ditched roasts and other holiday mainstays long ago. Except for Christmas pudding, a tradition steeped in history — and alcohol.

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Book News: For A Deeper Sleep, Forgo The E-Reader Before Bed

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 9:37am

A new study finds that people who read print books at bedtime fall asleep easier — and sleep better — than those who use an e-reader. Also: JRR Tolkien may have survived war due to a timely illness.

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Videos Of Ray Rice, Eric Garner Among Biggest Media Moments Of 2014

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 6:03am

Some of the most interesting things on TV in 2014 weren't actually made for TV. NPR TV critic Eric Deggans lists the moments in television, viral video and social media that changed us all this year.

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Time For A Holiday Favorite: 'Santaland Diaries'

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 4:05am

About this time every year, we present an encore broadcast of the life and times of Crumpet the Elf. Crumpet is the alter ego of writer David Sedaris who once worked as a department store elf.

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A Vital Chapter Of American History On Film In 'Selma'

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:30am

Director Ava DuVernay speaks to NPR's Michele Norris about making Selma, a searing depiction of the battle for voting rights — and the first major movie about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Satirizing Dictators Is Nothing New — Just Ask Charlie Chaplin

Tue, 12/23/2014 - 2:27am

The Interview is hardly the first time a dictator has been portrayed on the big screen — Bugs Bunny, Mel Brooks and South Park have all taken aim at fearsome world leaders.

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Sandwich Monday: The 'Shroom Burger From Shake Shack

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 4:54pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a next-level veggie burger: the 'Shroom Burger from Shake Shack. It's a fried mushroom burger stuffed with two types of cheese.

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Yule Have To Try This Gingerbread Buche De Noel

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 3:22pm

In Paris, holiday buche de Noel cakes verge on art. Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has created her own Franco-American version that's fun to make and "just as good as birthday cake," she says.

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We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:35pm

Robert Alter, a leading secular scholar of Scripture, says the film was fun to watch, but "it's not exactly Exodus; it's panorama and pageantry, which is what film does." And, he adds, why not?

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In Slovakia, Christmas Dinner Starts In The Bathtub

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 1:19pm

Christmas carp is a holiday mainstay in many central European nations. Traditionally, it swims in the family tub for a day or two, sometimes becoming a sort of pet before it ends up on the plate.

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Book News: George R.R. Martin Rails Against Sony's 'Corporate Cowardice'

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 9:58am

The Game of Thrones author has blasted the studio for canceling its release of The Interview, offering to screen the film himself at his own movie theater.

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Nuns On The Ranch Give A Heavenly Twist To Beef

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 2:45am

At a Colorado ranch run by Benedictine nuns, prayer and farming go hand in hand. "We have kind of a corner on the market" for grass-fed beef, says one sister. "People just kind of believe in it."

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Smashing Snowglobes: A Writer On Essays, Novels And Translation

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 6:00pm

Valeria Luiselli, who was born in Mexico City and lives now in Harlem, released two slim, multinational books this year: the essay collection Sidewalks and her time-jumping novel Faces In The Crowd.

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Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 4:04pm

The actress stars in the new film Into The Woods, in theaters Thursday. On screen she's a natural. But as a kid, she had a stutter so severe she could hardly say her own name.

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The Whiteness Project: Facing Race In A Changing America

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 4:03pm

A filmmaker invited white residents of Buffalo, N.Y., to speak candidly about race. Karen Grigsby Bates finds the results are thought-provoking, often surprising and sometimes disturbing.

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Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 11:13am

So how does Santa know when you're awake? Our audio holiday card (fictionally) tells you how the North Pole operates — amid office politics, ethical conundrums and hours of surveillance video.

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Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 11:13am

So how does Santa know when you're awake? Our audio holiday card (fictionally) tells you how the North Pole operates — amid office politics, ethical conundrums and hours of surveillance video.

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In 'Two Days,' A Mother Lobbies Coworkers For Her Job

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 7:15am

The latest movie from filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne stars Marion Cotillard as a young mother who fights to keep from getting screwed over by her colleagues at work.

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Filmmaker: Sony Hack Will Make Satirists Think Twice About Content

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 7:15am

Sony has canceled its new film, The Interview, which depicts the assassination of North Korea's leader. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with filmmaker Kevin Smith about writing controversial comedies.

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Bradley Cooper And 'American Sniper' Widow Team Up To Tell SEAL's Story

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 3:58am

Cooper worked closely with Taya Kyle to turn her late husband's book, about his time as a Navy SEAL, into a film. "We all felt him the whole time we were shooting the movie," Cooper says.

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