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Updated: 1 hour 50 min ago

Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:46am

Let's be clear: Making spirits at home with plans to drink it remains against federal law, folks. Even so, more and more people appear to be taking up home distilling as a hobby. For some, it's the first step toward a professional, legit operation.

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'Dear White People' A Hit At Sundance

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:28am

The Sundance Film Festival wrapped up this weekend. Host Michel Martin and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Wesley Morris talk about some of the hits, including the satire Dear White People.

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Pharrell Williams And The Power Hat

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:16am

What does it mean when you wear a really unusual hat to the Grammy Awards? Well, a lot, actually.

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'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:00am

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime.

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On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:00am

In The Empire of Necessity, historian Greg Grandin tells the story of a slave revolt at sea. The 1805 event inspired Herman Melville's Benito Cereno, and Grandin's account of the human horror is a work of power and precision.

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New Muslim Ms. Marvel Doesn't Drink, Date Or Eat Bacon

Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:00am

The Marvel Universe is filled with people with who can crawl along walls and shoot beams from their eyes. But comic book writer G. Willow Wilson saw one thing that was missing: Muslims. So she created the new Ms. Marvel: Kamala Kahn. She's the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream series. Wilson talks to host Michel Martin about expanding the religious horizons of the Marvel Universe.

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For 'SNL' Cast Member, The Waiting Was The Hardest Part

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 4:59pm

After years of working at a restaurant by day and performing improv comedy by night, Bobby Moynihan got the opportunity of a lifetime: an audition for Saturday Night Live. But as Moynihan recalls, actually getting his 'big break' on the show was much more difficult.

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In Fragments Of A Marriage, Familiar Themes Get Experimental

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 10:42am

Jenny Offill's new book, Dept. of Speculation, uses anecdotes and bits of poetry to tell a nonlinear story of love, parenthood and infidelity. Offill tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her experiences as a mother inspired the book — but that her own marriage is far less dramatic than the one in her novel.

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Watch The Grammy Awards With Us

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 9:24am

Linda Holmes and Stephen Thompson get together for the umpteenth time (well, sixth time) to provide live commentary on the Grammy Awards.

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Doyle's New 'Guts' Has Plenty Of Soul

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 8:44am

Roddy Doyle's new The Guts revisits the Commitments three decades later, grown up and dealing with life's blows. Mastermind Jimmy Rabbitte is out of the hospital after cancer surgery, and he's living life one day at a time. Critic Alan Cheuse says the dialogue-heavy novel is both foulmouthed and bursting with joie de vivre.

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Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 7:01am

For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 6:00am

Judaism has a rich history in Iran dating back millennia. But in the late 1970s, thousands of Iranian Jews fled to the U.S. in search of a new home. They have integrated their ancient Persian heritage into American life.

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They Came From Inner Space: Three Books About Solitude

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 6:00am

Novelists are famously prone to self-imposed exile and introspection; sometimes, they invent characters who are similarly solitary. Author Rachel Louise Snyder recommends three compelling books starring such loners. She says their isolation isn't what's compelling, but it's riveting to watch these recluses step back into the world of others.

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Take A Ride With Baltimore's Renegade Bikers, The '12 O'Clock Boys'

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 4:09am

A new documentary follows a dirt bike gang doing dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.

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8 Picture Books That Make Us Wish We Were Kids Again

Sun, 01/26/2014 - 4:07am

Every year, the Caldecott Medal goes to the artist of the most distinguished American children's book. The award committee doesn't bother with nominees, but that doesn't mean we can't wildly speculate about what could win.

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The Mystery Of Isabel Allende: Author Explores New Genre

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 3:00pm

"I'm not a fan of mysteries," says Isabel Allende. Strange words indeed from a woman whose mystery novel Ripper hits bookshelves this month. The renowned Chilean author talks about taking on a new genre and making it her own.

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'Le Divorce' Author Finds Stories Closer To Home In 'Flyover'

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:27am

Diane Johnson has spent much of her adult life living in France, writing novels like Le Divorce. But it was not until a visit home, to the Midwestern town of Moline, IL, that the Johnson discovered that her pioneer ancestors had lives worthy of writing about. Her new book, Flyover Lives reconstructs their stories.

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Not My Job: How Much Does A Former Hedge Fund Manager Know About Hedges?

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 11:00am

We've invited Jim Cramer, host of CNBC's Mad Money, to answer three questions about the world of topiary.

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Before He Fell To Earth, 'The Little Prince' Was Born In N.Y.

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 10:37am

Author Antoine Saint-Exupery was French, but his beloved book, The Little Prince, wasn't written in Paris. Saint-Exupery wrote it in New York, and even included references to the island in his original manuscript.

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DIY Lip Color That's Good Enough To Eat

Sat, 01/25/2014 - 8:50am

Bite is a little shop in New York City where you can design your own lipstick. The lipstick is so natural, it's said to be good enough to eat. NPR's Jacki Lyden visits the "lip lab" and hears from Bite's manager, Melissa Colon, about how she picks the perfect color for her clients.

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