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Updated: 21 min 5 sec ago

An App On The Search For The Secret To Happiness

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 7:00am

An app that helps researchers measure happiness? It's here! NPR's Guy Raz from the Ted Radio Hour speaks with social scientist Matt Killingsworth, who has developed the Happy App.

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The Thousands Of Ways To Tie A Tie

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 7:00am

NPR's Scott Simon notes a mathematician has calculated that there are 177,147 ways to tie a tie.

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'Eliot Ness': Actually Untouchable, Except When It Came To Women

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 7:00am

Author Douglas Perry's new book, Eliot Ness: The Rise and Fall of an American Hero, paints a portrait of the legendary lawman as a flawed but genuinely good guy who floundered when away from the excitement of police work. Ness "helped invent the modern police force," Perry says, but couldn't stop drinking and cheating on his wives.

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Through The Mind Of A Novelist, Lincoln Shares His Life Story

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 7:00am

Countless books and films have been made about Abraham Lincoln, but not many have been told in his voice. Jerome Charyn's latest novel, a sort of fictional autobiography, does just that. Charyn spoke with NPR's Scott Simon about Lincoln's poetry, depression, and fictionalizing a life.

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Drink Vodka, Eat Pickles, Repeat: Mastering The Zakuski Spread

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 4:15am

Zakuski are like Russian tapas. More than a delicious snack, these dishes also tell the story of Russia. From "Herring Under a Fur Coat" to pickled everything, zakuski teach us about harsh winters and state-sponsored products in the Soviet era.

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Drink Vodka, Eat Pickles, Repeat: Mastering The Zakuski Spread

Sat, 02/15/2014 - 4:15am

Zakuski are like Russian tapas. More than a delicious snack, these dishes also tell the story of Russia. From "Herring Under a Fur Coat" to pickled everything, zakuski teach us about harsh winters and state-sponsored products in the Soviet era.

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For The Love Of Oysters: How A Kiss From The Sea Evokes Passion

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 5:29pm

Scientists have made some attempts to link mollusks to increased libido. There's even evidence that consuming heavy doses of an amino acid found in oysters can increase sperm count – in rabbits. But do any of these findings actually prove that oysters can — ahem — amp up arousal? Not so much.

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Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 4:58pm

Last month, the best-selling writer told NPR that her new book, Ripper, which is itself a mystery novel, was written as a "joke." Fans of the genre, as well as booksellers and writers, weren't amused.

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Swoon Reads: The Next Romance Bestseller, Selected By You

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 3:00pm

Macmillan's new young adult romance imprint solicits manuscripts and then invites users to read and rate them. The author whose manuscript is most popular with the community gets a contract and a first printing of 100,000 copies.

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Shirley Temple And Bojangles: Two Stars, One Lifelong Friendship

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 3:00pm

When the pint-sized actress and the tap-dancing legend performed their "stair dance" in The Little Colonel, it was considered the first interracial dance performance. NPR's Elizabeth Blair explores the off-screen friendship of "Little Miss Sunshine" and Bill Robinson — both icons in their fields.

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To Strive, To Seek, To Find: The End Of A Baseball Era

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 3:00pm

Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter announced this week that he would retire at the end of the season. "For the last 20 years I've been completely focused on two goals: playing my best and helping the Yankees win ... It's time for something new." Author Julia Keller saw the move as a poetic flourish on a long career.

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Antihero Or Villain? In 'House Of Cards,' It's Hard To Tell

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 2:27pm

The second season of Netflix's political drama will be released on Friday, providing a new dose of bad behavior from Francis Underwood. Antiheroes are popular on TV right now — think Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy and The Blacklist. But Eric Deggans wonders just how bad is too bad.

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Romance Writers Offer Sweet Thoughts For Valentine's Day

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 1:00pm

Even if you hate the holiday, any day is a good day for chocolate and a swoony romantic read. But NPR's romance guru Bobbi Dumas is an unabashed lover of Valentine's Day, and she celebrating by asking five of her favorite authors to recommend their favorite romances — and describe their own Valentine traditions.

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Is There A Secret To Happiness?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00am

There may be no fool proof secret to happiness, but Pharrell's song 'Happy' definitely delivers some instant joy. Pharrell shares what inspires him to keep smiling.

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How Does Misfortune Affect Long-Term Happiness?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00am

We're doomed to be miserable if we don't get what we want - right? Not quite, says psychologist Dan Gilbert. He says our "psychological immune system" lets us feel truly happy even when things don't go as planned.

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What Does It Take To Be Grateful?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00am

We all want to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you're going, and above all, being grateful.

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Does Less Stuff Mean More Happiness?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00am

Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? Writer Graham Hill makes the case for taking up less space.

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Are We Happier When We Stay In The Moment?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00am

When are humans most happy? To answer this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment.

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Did Michael Sam Take A 'Huge Risk' To Come Out Before The Draft?

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:57am

NFL hopeful Michael Sam recently announced he's gay. But is that why his draft stock has reportedly dropped? The Barbershop guys weigh in.

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Remembering The Radio Stations That Got Loud With 'Black And Proud'

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:57am

Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio highlights a time when black radio stations were the only ones playing music by African-Americans. Host Michel Martin talks about the audio documentary with legendary music producer Kenny Gamble, who narrated the project.

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