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Updated: 31 min 11 sec ago

Comedian's Career Is Central To 'Quality Balls'

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 7:00am

Legendary comedian David Steinberg is the subject of a new Showtime documentary called Quality Balls. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Steinberg, whose controversial routine was responsible for the cancellation of the Smothers Brothers' TV show in the 1960s.

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A Major Oscar Dust-Up Over A Song From A Minor Movie

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 7:00am

The song "Alone Yet Not Alone" had been nominated for Best Original Song at this year's Oscars. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter tells NPR's Scott Simon why the Academy rescinded the nomination.

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What's Best To Drink With Pizza And Football?

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 7:00am

Americans will consume a lot of pizza during the Super Bowl. Before you reach for that beer to go with it, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with food writer Katie Parla about the perfect beverage pairing.

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A Winter Straight Out Of Dante's 'Inferno'

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 7:00am

Writer Sally Franson compares Minneapolis winters to the many stages of hell in Dante's Inferno. She tells NPR's Scott Simon that reading the epic poem is her way of getting through an especially harsh winter.

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Through The 'Dust,' Glimmers Of Brilliance

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 6:00am

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor has been a voice in the literary world since one of her short stories won the Caine Prize for African Writing in 2003. Colin Dwyer reviews her debut novel, Dust, and says that while Owuor's talent shines in parts, the book gets bogged down in melodrama.

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Born Together, Then Torn Apart, In Civil War-Era Minnesota

Sat, 02/01/2014 - 3:56am

Nicole Helget's new novel, Stillwater, follows the lives of twins separated at birth — and raised on opposite sides of the tracks. Helget, who is proud to be called a "Minnesota novelist," tells NPR's Scott Simon about the photograph that inspired one of the book's central characters.

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Celebration Is In The Air. Or Is That Just Snow?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 3:00pm

Patty Chang Anker recommends a cookbook that eases the anxieties of anyone trying to cook Chinese-American meals and Lev Grossman reminds us that there is a Seussian storm comparable to the one that shut down Atlanta this week.

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Yes, Jesse Eisenberg Should Absolutely Play Lex Luthor

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 1:51pm

Don't dismiss the idea of Jesse Eisenberg being a great Luthor — he's played a pretty impressive megalomaniac before.

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The Super Bowl: Looking Forward To The 'Spectacle'

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:02am

The Super Bowl is upon us! From the commercials, to counting how many times Peyton Manning yells "Omaha," the Barbershop guys share what they're looking forward to the most.

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Does More Convenience Mean Less Privacy?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:00am

Behavioral economist Alessandro Acquisti studies how everyday decisions blur the line between our public and private lives.

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Is Too Much Privacy Bad For Your Health?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:00am

Health IT expert John Wilbanks explores whether the desire to protect privacy is slowing research, and if opening up medical data could create a wave of health care innovation.

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Can The Open-Data Revolution Change Our Democracies?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:00am

Former White House deputy CTO Beth Noveck shares her vision of practical openness: connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data, and creating a truly participatory democracy.

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Why Should You Be Worried About NSA Surveillance?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:00am

Virtually every international Internet user is being watched, says hacker and security expert Mikko Hyppönen. He calls for digital privacy in the age of government surveillance.

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What Would You Do If The Feds Were Watching You?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 11:00am

When Hasan Elahi's name was mistakenly added to the U.S. government's watch list, he fought the assault on his privacy by turning his life inside-out for the world to see.

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Midwestern Memoir Tracks 'Flyover Lives' Of Author's Forebears

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 10:14am

Diane Johnson often writes about American heroines living in France, but when she began her memoir, she found herself drawn back to her native ground in America's heartland. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Flyover Lives "lets scenes and conversations speak for themselves, accruing power as they lodge in readers' minds."

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Is Privacy Over? Tell Us Your Thoughts

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 9:59am

Is losing our privacy the cost of living in a modern world? Or can we have both? Let us know on TEDWeekends, a special collaboration with NPR, TED and the Huffington Post.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Grammys Postmortem And Reality TV In Middle Age

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 8:43am

On this week's show, we dive into the Grammy Awards, including the performances, the winners and losers, and the very complicated conversations about cultural spaces that followed.

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Book News: U.N.-Backed Report Finds 'Shocking' Levels of Youth Illiteracy

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 6:45am

Also: Eleanor & Park author Rainbow Rowell has a deal for two graphic novels; Susan Sontag's biographer on reading her emails; Gary Shteyngart on his reading habits.

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What Wakes B.J. Novak Up In The Middle Of The Night?

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 4:00am

B.J. Novak is a triple threat. He got his start in show business as a standup comedian which led to a job on the hit comedy series The Office. Novak had a regular part on the show but he was also one of the writers. Now he has put his writing talent to work on a book of stories: One More Thing.

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Super Bowl Ads Go Healthy: Selling Yogurt With A Steamy Kiss

Fri, 01/31/2014 - 2:01am

Advertising during the big game is traditionally the realm of beer, chips and soda. But better-for-you foods will also make a play for viewers' wallets this year. Expect clever ads pitching nuts, yogurt and whole grain cereals.

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