Michael Shermer says the human tendency to believe strange things boils down to two of the brain's most basic, hard-wired survival skills.
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.
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.
Also: an excerpt from Marilynne Robinson's next novel; the problem of translating Proust.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Norte, the End of History examines the aftermath of a crime for which the wrong man is punished.
Director Clint Eastwood's adaptation of the Broadway musical Jersey Boys can be engaging and comic, but also often feels a little underdone.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.