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Updated: 54 min 54 sec ago

From Glass To Artificial Light: The Innovations That Got Us To 'Now'

Sun, 09/28/2014 - 6:35am

NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks to Stephen Johnson about his new book and TV series, How We Got to Now. He looks at six innovations that he thinks shaped the modern world.

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Virtual Reality, Corporeality Collide In Cronenberg's First Novel

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 4:16pm

Director David Cronenberg's debut work of fiction is not for the faint of heart. Consumed follows two journalists as they chase stories of cannibalism, backroom surgeries, self-mutilation and murder.

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Not My Job: 'Eat, Pray, Love' Author Gets Quizzed On Dieting, Blasphemy, Hate

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 10:40am

We ask Elizabeth Gilbert about the opposites of eating, praying and loving. Her latest novel is called The Signature of All Things.

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Confined In China, Ai Weiwei Directs Alcatraz Exhibit From Afar

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 9:44am

The dissident Chinese artist uses San Francisco's former island prison to contrast themes of freedom and restriction.

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Writer Paul Theroux: The Short Story Is 'Diabolically Hard To Master'

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 8:04am

"It's only 10 or 15 pages," he says, "but still you got to get it right." Theroux's new collection, Mr. Bones, tells stories of the odd person out.

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'Art & Craft' Explores How One Forger Duped More Than 45 Museums

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 6:58am

For nearly 30 years, Mark Landis tricked dozens of museums into accepting his "philanthropic" donations. Landis, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teen, says "copying is reassuring."

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Culinary Diplomacy Takes Texan Chef To The Land Of Grilled Yak

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 6:03am

Is food the oldest instrument of diplomacy? The U.S. State Department just sent award-winning chef Tim Byres to Kyrgyzstan, where he ate a sheep's eye and wowed his hosts with Texan spices.

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'Love Is The Drug' For A Teen Caught In A Dystopian D.C.

Sat, 09/27/2014 - 6:03am

Alaya Dawn Johnson's latest is about senior at a Washington, D.C. prep school in the midst of a global pandemic. This book offers a chilling glimpse of a dystopia that could be just around the corner.

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'Boy On Ice' Explores The Emotional And Physical Toll Of Dropping The Gloves

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:35pm

In 2011, 28-year-old Derek Boogaard — one of the NHL's most fearsome fighters — was found dead of an accidental overdose of painkillers and alcohol. He also showed signs of serious brain injury.

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What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Pet's Behavior

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:32pm

Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw's books Cat Sense and Dog Sense detail what cat and dog owners should expect from their animals. Cat Sense originally aired Sept. 5, 2013. Dog Sense originally aired May 26, 2011.

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British Coalminers Strike With A Gay Coalition In 'Pride,' A Crowd-Pleaser

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:29pm

The film is based on a true story about the '80s strike Margaret Thatcher vowed to break. It's full of the Britain's best actors, and nearly every line makes you cackle or puts a lump in your throat.

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In 'Transparent,' A 70-Year-Old Divorced Dad Becomes A Woman

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:29pm

The new drama, which launches Friday on Amazon Prime, has Jeffrey Tambor playing a father who comes out as transgender to her three grown kids. Tambor acts the role without any hint of cheap humor.

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As The Ebola Outbreak Worsens, A Book About Compassion

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 3:11pm

This week, the CDC predicted there could be tens of thousands of Ebola cases if the disease is not controlled soon. Author Alaya Dawn Johnson turns to a favorite novel for wisdom amid this epidemic.

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Gilligan's Island At 50: A Goofy Show From A Time Of TV Innocence

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 2:35pm

As classic sitcom Gilligan's Island celebrates its 50th birthday, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans says it is an example of a show much loved by fans despite widely acknowledged mediocrity.

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Coal Miners And Gay Activists Partner In 'Pride'

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 12:11pm

The film offers a rousing, true-life take on a British coal miners' strike that led to an unusual union. Critic Bob Mondello says the storyline blends Norma Rae with sillier, Kinky Boots-ish stuff.

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Belgium Likes Underground Beer. No, Literally

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:21am

The historic city of Bruges is getting a 2-mile-long underground beer pipeline. Too bad it's from brewery to factory, not brewery to your door.

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25 Humble Suggestions For 'The Equalizer' Brand Extensions

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 9:14am

Sure, you've seen The Equalizer. But what about The Weakqualizer?

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'The Equalizer' Pits Mallet Against Man And Man Against Corkscrew

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 8:40am

Denzel Washington is a former special ops agent thrust back into action in this film adaptation of the '80s television show that's entertaining enough until it goes off the rails.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Fall Books And Great Detectives

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 8:15am

On this week's show, we dive into some of the fall books we're looking forward to and revel in a chat about detective stories.

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Book News: A Prize In Memory Of Peace Picks Its Winners

Fri, 09/26/2014 - 6:32am

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, honoring writers who use literature to further social justice, has recognized Bob Shacochis and Karima Bennoune. Also: Sub Pop has published some grunge-worthy haiku.

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