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Updated: 1 hour 47 min ago

Why Do We Believe In Unbelievable Things?

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 7:49am

Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills.

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Can You Learn To Spot A Liar?

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 7:49am

We're surrounded by deception: in politics and pop culture, in the workplace and on social media. Pamela Meyer points out manners and cues that can help us suss out a lie.

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Does Technology Make Us More Honest?

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 7:49am

Who hasn't sent a text message saying "I'm on my way" when it wasn't true? But some technology might actually force us to be more honest, says psychologist Jeff Hancock.

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Book News: Salman Rushdie Wins PEN/Pinter Prize For 'Unflinching' Gaze

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 6:41am

Also: an excerpt from Marilynne Robinson's next novel; the problem of translating Proust.

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In 'Fever,' Town's Teen Tic Epidemic Gets A Chilling Novelization

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 2:36am

Megan Abbott was riveted by stories of a bizarre illness that seemed to consume the town of Le Roy, N.Y., in 2012. Her new book uses pieces of that true story to explore the mysteries of adolescence.

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How Rhythm Carries A Poem, From Head To Heart

Fri, 06/20/2014 - 2:33am

Poetry has deep roots in music — in fact, in some cultures, poetry and song are the same word. Edward Hirsch, author of A Poet's Glossary, explains how poets use rhythm to reach their readers.

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Hey Emmy Voters, Stop Ignoring 'Orphan Black' — And Other Suggestions

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 5:03pm

Emmy nominations can be tough time for a TV critic — so much of the work of choosing winners is done in the nominating process, which ends today. Eric Deggans has a few suggestions for Emmy voters.

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Never Tell Them The Odds: Cities Vie To Host 'Star Wars' Collection

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:12pm

Star Wars creator George Lucas wants to build a museum full of movie memorabilia and fine art. But where? His hometown of San Francisco and Chicago, his "second home," are both vying for it.

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'The Last Sentence': A Man Making History, But Made By It As Well

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:03pm

A biographical portrait of the man who urged Sweden to heed the dangers posed by Hitler wisely resists the urge to divide us into gods and monsters.

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Justice Proves Elusive In The Sprawling 'Norte'

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:03pm

Norte, the End of History examines the aftermath of a crime for which the wrong man is punished.

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You're A Little Flat, 'Boys'

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:03pm

Director Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys can be engaging and comic, but also often feels a little underdone.

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Writer, Wrong: A Complicated Road To Nowhere In 'Third Person'

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 4:03pm

Paul Haggis revisits the multi-threaded structure he used in the Oscar-winning Crash, but he winds up creating a puzzle not much worth solving.

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Viewed In 'Third Person': A Puzzle With Some Tough-To-Find Pieces

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 3:12pm

A new film by Oscar-winning writer and director Paul Haggis has drawn some scathing reviews. But he and actress Moran Atias defend the film as a puzzle — one story told with three sets of characters.

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John Oliver Is No One's Friend On His New HBO Show

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 12:23pm

The comedian who was a correspondent on The Daily Show for seven-and-a-half years now pokes fun on Last Week Tonight. Oliver talks about tasing his leg, temping for a thief and remaining an outsider.

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It's Not Tennessee Whiskey If It's Aged In Kentucky, State Says

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:18am

Tennessee recently began regulating whiskey carrying the state name, sparking a dispute between two liquor titans. A complaint over barrels stored in Kentucky added a new twist to the conflict.

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'We Could Be Those Role Models We Wish We Had': Living Openly With HIV

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:13am

William Brawner has been HIV-positive for most of his life. He kept his status a secret for years, even from friends and sexual partners. His life is the subject of a new documentary, "25 to Life."

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Two Flags, A Shelf Of Books, One Beautiful Game

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 11:08am

As Colombia's national team prepares to take the field again in the 2014 World Cup, critic (and proud Colombian-American) Juan Vidal muses on soccer, literature and national identity.

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Book News: Cache Of Unpublished Pablo Neruda Poems Found In Chile

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 8:15am

Also: Evie Wyld's gorgeous, grim novel All the Birds, Singing has won the Encore award; Clinton's Hard Choices sold more than 100,000 copies in its first week.

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A Thousand Stories, Brilliantly Collapsed In 'Bulletproof Vest'

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 6:03am

Maria Venegas' emotionally raw, technically complex new memoir chronicles her troubled relationship with her father, a man whose life was dominated — and eventually ended — by violence.

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The Return of 'Rectify,' A Critical Darling Sprung From Death Row

Wed, 06/18/2014 - 3:22pm

Rectify is a dark, contemplative TV drama about a man released from prison after two decades on death row. It was also a critical favorite in its first season. For a glimpse into its creation, NPR's Elizabeth Blair talks to show creator Ray McKinnon and actors Aden Young and Abigail Spencer.

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