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Maturity And Improvisation In 'Happy Christmas'

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 4:04pm

Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas perhaps chooses the wrong character to focus on, but the story has loose, improvisational charm.

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When It Comes To Creativity, Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 3:21pm

Joshua Wolf Shenk says it's time to debunk the myth of the lone genius. His new book explores creative partnerships — and explains how Emily Dickinson wasn't actually as much of a loner as we think.

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5 Things I Learned About TV's Future From The Critics Press Tour

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 3:19pm

From being mistaken for Randy Jackson to confronting network executives about diversity issues, TV Critic Eric Deggans runs down highlights of the two-week blizzard of parties and press conferences.

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'Tigerman' Will Get Its Claws Into You

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 3:12pm

Nick Harkaway's new novel mixes up a heady brew of comics, longing, tea, murder, post-colonial guilt and mystical tigers. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says it's "not just good, it's shake-a-granny good."

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'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 1:26pm

Yelena Akhtiorskaya's debut novel is about a family that emigrates from Odessa to the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. It's a funny tale full of insider knowledge and offbeat words.

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How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 10:58am

In the middle of a summer of sequels — from The Expendables 3 to 22 Jump Street — it seemed the right moment to have Bob Mondello look at the art of (Son of, Bride of) sequel titling (Part Deux).

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Patriotic Language

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

Why do we call them "French fries" even though they aren't French? When you're done pondering that question, you'll find that all answers in this final round contain nationalities.

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Fair-Weather Friends

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

There's a trivia storm in the forecast: All the answers in this quiz are celebrities and characters whose names are weather-related. Which poet's travels were blocked by ice crystals? Robert Frost!

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Place That Band

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

Geography rocks! Jonathan Coulton sings songs by classic rock bands named after cities, states, countries and continents, while rewriting the lyrics to hint at the locations.

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The Most Unusual Tea Shop In The World

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

At the Ask Me Another tea shop, we don't sell chai, but we do have tea that encourages faith and devotion: "loyal-tea." That's because all answers in this game sound like "tea." Share a cup with us!

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How To Succeed At Trivia

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

Is listening to our show the secret to succeeding at trivia games? And how! In this quiz, the answers are common phrases and titles that begin with "how," such as How I Met Your Mother.

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Andy Serkis: God Save The Queen's English

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

Serkis serves as accidental ambassador for his country in this game, as he must get a contestant to guess the American English equivalents of British slang, like "collywobbles." (Plus: Star Wars!)

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Random Questions With: Andy Serkis

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 9:13am

The versatile actor is known for disappearing into his roles, like Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Gollum in The Lord of the Rings. In this game, we get to know Serkis, the human being.

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Thanks To Backpack's Revival, Lugging Stuff Is Fashionable Again

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:35am

This age of bold (or pragmatic) entrepreneurialism calls for a bag that bellows adventure. Before you dust off your grade-school book bag, consider these designer options.

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Book News: Amazon Exec Says Hachette Is Using Authors 'As Human Shields'

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 7:18am

Also: President Obama will give the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 21 artists, writers, academics and journalists; Katie Crouch on Sylvia Plath.

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Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 6:04am

Get your comic fix this week with Bryan Lee O'Malley's Seconds and The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew. Both books take up the idea of re-writing the past — but in very different ways.

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With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

Thu, 07/24/2014 - 5:01am

Morning Edition host Renee Montagne talks to America's Test Kitchen's Chris Kimball about foods that are easier than you'd guess to make at home. Fresh Nutella or kale chips, anyone?

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'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:56pm

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day's Night, a spectacular restoration is in theaters and on DVD. The black-and-white photography of the Beatles is gorgeous, and the movie isn't half bad.

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Cat PDA Vs. Human PDA, And Other Animal Behavior Explained

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 1:56pm

Veterinarian Vint Virga works with pets and zoo animals on behavior disorders. He talks about how house cats are more fulfilled when they forage for food, and how to show animals affection.

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Two Prominent Museum Directors Encourage 'New Ways Of Thinking'

Wed, 07/23/2014 - 11:24am

Host Michel Martin speaks with the directors of the National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of the American Indian. Both institutions are celebrating important anniversaries this year.

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