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A Fable's Foibles: In Gilded Language, This Folk Tale Gets To The Point

Sat, 09/12/2015 - 6:03am

Author Patrick DeWitt knows well how to mine delight from despair. But his distinctive dark humor gathers a few rays of light in Undermajordomo Minor -- a scrambled folk tale that keeps a quick pace.

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For Josh Brolin, 'Everest' Was A Test Of Acting Limits

Sat, 09/12/2015 - 4:41am

During filming, the crew shoveled salt in front of 100 mph fans to look like a snowstorm. "We were getting the great exfoliation of our lives," Brolin says. "And it was just horrible."

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Doomsday For The Dunes Of Plastic Balls: The End Comes For 'The Beach'

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 4:45pm

Dozens of volunteers moved more than 750,000 plastic balls this week from the National Building Museum's Beach installation to Dupont Underground, a creative arts institution in Washington, D.C.

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An Afghan Writer Wants To Return Home, But It Could Cost Him His Life

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 3:36pm

Qais Akbar Omar's memoir has been translated into more than 20 languages. But his outspoken criticism of Afghanistan's government has created problems for him and his family back in Kabul.

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'Meet The Patels': One Man's Quest To Find Love, The Old-School Indian Way

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 3:27pm

Ravi Patel had tried and failed to find "The One." So he reluctantly let his parents arrange for him to meet dozens of prospects. And his sister has filmed the whole thing — for our viewing pleasure.

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'Sleeping With Other People': A Romantic Comedy That Breaks With Convention

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 12:21pm

In Leslye Headland's new sex comedy, two serial cheaters meet up years after a one-night stand. Critic David Edelstein says the film mixes emotional weirdness with sexual frankness — in a good way.

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A Food Museum Grows In Brooklyn

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 10:57am

An ambitious plan to create an interactive, world-class museum dedicated to the edible comes closer to reality. The Museum of Food and Drink will have its first permanent home starting next month.

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'Little Rascals' Actor Dickie Moore Dies At 89

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 9:23am

Moore was part of the Our Gang crew for one year, from 1932-33. Over a very busy career as a young actor, he appeared in more than 100 films.

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'Not Funny' Proves Potent On A Tough Subject

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 9:03am

Leah Hayes' new graphic novel presents, in simple terms and unassuming pinkish illustrations, the story of two women who decide to get abortions, the choices they make and the steps they go through.

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What Happens When We Step Inside The Screen?

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 8:31am

Filmmaker Chris Milk uses cutting-edge technology to create a film experience that immerses the viewer. He explains how virtual reality has allowed him to create the "ultimate empathy machine."

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When It Comes To Kids, Is All Screen Time Equal?

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 8:31am

Pediatrician Dimitri Christakis explains how different forms of screen time affects kids and their ability to learn and develop.

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Will Our Screens Soon Be Able To Read Our Emotions?

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 8:31am

Despite their powerful computing capability, our screens have no way of knowing how we feel. Computer scientist Rana el Kaliouby says that's about to change.

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Are Our Devices Turning Us Into A New Kind Of Human?

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 8:31am

Anthropologist Amber Case says our technology is changing us into cyborgs. She argues we have become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of Homo sapiens.

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With A Touch Of Snark, 'Harriet Chance' Lays Its Protagonist Bare

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 6:03am

The heroine of Jonathan Evison's new novel is 78 years old, chronically drunk and talks to the ghost of her dead husband. Critic Jason Sheehan says the book portrays "darkness with a forced smile."

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Alice Waters, Healthy Food Advocate, Receives Humanities Medal

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 4:09am

President Obama awarded chef and educator Alice Waters with the National Humanities Medal on Thursday. The advocate of sustainable eating explains what it means to have her work recognized this way.

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After Sandy, Katrina And Sept. 11, This Sculptor Finds Art In Survival

Fri, 09/11/2015 - 3:57am

Christopher Saucedo lost a brother in the twin towers, and two of his houses were flooded in the storms. He says he hopes his art shows people what it means to lose and how we manage to survive.

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A Gargantuan Error: Quixotic Is Not The Only Word From A Book Character

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 4:52pm

NPR's Robert Siegel speaks with Bruce Conforth, professor of American culture at the University of Michigan, about words that have entered colloquial language after originating as book characters.

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A Mom Might Not Be A Mom, And Yes, That's Scary

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 4:33pm

The new thriller Goodnight Mommy follows a child's simple what-if question to horrific lengths.

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Richard Gere Shines In The Bleak 'Time Out Of Mind'

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 4:33pm

A new film follows a homeless man working constantly to survive on the streets of New York City and traces his challenge to hold on to his identity.

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Why A White Poet Posed As Asian To Get Published, And What's Wrong With That

Thu, 09/10/2015 - 3:47pm

A white man called Michael Derrick Hudson used the name Yi-Fen Chou as a strategy to get published. Ken Chen of the Asian American Writers' Workshop in New York says the writer wanted to be "special."

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