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Updated: 46 min 13 sec ago

How Self-Improvement Became Self-Destruction On 'Diamond Mountain'

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 9:03am

Scott Carney's new book unpacks the complicated story of Ian Thorson, who died in the Arizona wilderness after becoming involved with an unorthodox Buddhist group led by a charismatic American monk.

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'The Mechanical' Will Make Your Clockwork Pulse Pound

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 6:03am

Ian Tregillis' new novel is the start of a series, set in an alternate 1926, that follows a robot's search for humanity against a backdrop of science, philosophy and a grand struggle between empires.

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

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 2:13am

On March 18, 1990, robbers stole $500 million in art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Author Stephen Kurkjian explains why robbers bothered to steal work so priceless it couldn't be sold.

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Do TV Cooking Shows Make Us Fat?

Wed, 03/18/2015 - 2:12am

Women who cooked the meals they saw prepared on television weighed more, on average, than those who simply watched, a study shows. The findings challenge the notion that home cooking is always best.

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Cervantes' Remains Have Been Found In Madrid, Scientists Say

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 7:07pm

Almost 400 years after his death, researchers have found bone fragments that seem to match what they know about the celebrated author's burial.

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Tea Tuesdays: South America Runs On Yerba Mate

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 4:31pm

Legend has it the moon gifted this drink to the Guaraní people of South America. It was banned by the colonial government. The Jesuits made it their most profitable crop. Oh, and the pope drinks it.

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WWII Novel-Memoir Explores The Blurry Line Between Fact And Fiction

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 1:10pm

In Dan Torday's The Last Flight of Poxl West, a Jewish refugee tells his heroic World War II story in a best-selling — and partly fabricated — memoir.

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To Eat Authentically Irish This St. Patrick's Day, Go For The Butter

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 12:47pm

From 3,000-year-old peat bogs to 19th-century Brazil to modern foodies, the love of Irish butter has spread far. The secret to Ireland's deliciously rich, creamy butter is in its rolling green hills.

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Meet Chef Chane, Ethiopia's Version Of The Infamous 'Soup Nazi'

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 11:35am

Like the famously curt broth ladler on Seinfeld, Addis Ababa's Chef Chane is known for serving up both delectable cuisine and insults. He says he learned his vaunted culinary skills in royal kitchens.

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'Community': No Longer A Broadcast Show, But Still A Lovable Weirdo

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 10:21am

As a frequently embattled comedy moves from broadcast television to an online outlet, it remains its goofy self with a somewhat smaller cast.

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'Escape' Is A Searing Indictment Of Nation-Building

Tue, 03/17/2015 - 6:03am

Saad Hossain's new novel is a wild ride through war, tyranny and the supernatural, set in Baghdad during the U.S. invasion. Critic Daniel José Older praises the book's 'poetic and brutal precision.'

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

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 4:31pm

This is first exhibit to focus on the time Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent in Detroit. It's a big step for the Detroit Institute of Arts as it recovers from the tumult of the city's bankruptcy.

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There's No Wrong Place To Start Reading Pratchett

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 2:08pm

Terry Pratchett wrote so many books that it can be hard to know where to start, especially with the lengthy Discworld series. Critic Tasha Robinson says there's really no wrong place to dive in.

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Does Success Of HBO's 'The Jinx' Herald New Form Of True-Crime TV?

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 2:03pm

HBO's docu-series The Jinx ended Sunday with murder suspect Robert Durst seeming to admit guilt. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says that moment may also have created a TV genre with its own set of rules.

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Sandwich Monday: Bone-In Pork Chop Sandwich

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:45pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a Chicago sandwich classic from Jim's Original. They leave the bone in — for flavor, and for danger.

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Barney Frank's Journey From Closeted To An Openly Gay Member Of Congress

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:34pm

In his new memoir, Frank describes how early in politics he feared people would "draw inferences" that he was gay if he supported gay rights. But his drive to fight discrimination was stronger.

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Elton John Leads Boycott Against Dolce & Gabbana Over 'Synthetic Children' Remarks

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 12:27pm

Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana are locked in a public argument with Elton John over their recent remarks condemning in vitro fertilization and saying same-sex couples shouldn't raise children.

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Looks Matter: A Century Of Iconic Food Packaging

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 11:23am

Many of the boxes, bags and bottles that contain our edibles were once groundbreaking —both in their design and in how they changed our perception of what's inside. Designers tell us their favorites.

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Documentary Makers Worry About Being Squeezed Out Of PBS Prime Time

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 4:48am

PBS and some of big public television stations are moving news and public affairs documentaries out of prime time. Thy're putting in audience favorites like Downton Abbey and Antiques Roadshow.

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With Sunny, Modern Homes, Joseph Eichler Built The Suburbs In Style

Mon, 03/16/2015 - 2:09am

The developer was known for well-crafted tract homes that dotted California suburbs after World War II. "The architechture really does inform the way you live," says Eichler home owner Adriene Biondo.

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