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Updated: 31 min 35 sec ago

How Do Our Near-Wins Motivate Us To Keep Going?

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 7:42am

Not everyone can win the gold medal, and historian Sarah Lewis says that's a good thing. It's the near-wins and bare losses that truly motivate us to master our destinies.

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Book News: 15 Unpublished Elmore Leonard Stories Coming Out Next Year

Fri, 07/18/2014 - 6:09am

Also: a gay bookstore said to be the oldest in the U.S. will reopen; Hilton Als on art and memory.

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Sizing Down Food Waste: What's The Worst Thing To Toss?

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 5:41pm

Americans throw out a lot of food. And a lot of meat. That means our waste has a bigger impact on the global food supply than vegetarian discards. Why? Blame it on hidden calories.

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William T. Vollmann's Ghost Stories Are Frighteningly Self-Indulgent

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 4:29pm

William T. Vollmann's 2005 novel Europe Central was a masterpiece. His latest work, a collection of ghost stories entitled "Last Stories and Other Stories" is flabby and cliched.

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'I Origins': There's More Than One 'I' In 'Ridiculous'

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 4:03pm

The very silly I Origins is ultimately not successful in spinning puns about eyes into mind-blowing epiphanies.

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In 'Mood Indigo,' A Luscious And Literal Feast Of Feeling

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 4:03pm

The wildly creative director Michel Gondry takes a couple through the perfect love story and what comes after in his latest visually inventive film.

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Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 3:44pm

In a career that stretched back to the '40s, Stritch did it all: theater, TV, movies. Candid about just about everything, she said she didn't mind the word aging — after all "it applies to everyone."

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Actress And Singer Elaine Stritch Has Died

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:34pm

Elaine Stritch, whose talent led to a substantial career on Broadway and in cabarets, died today at age 89. She had been living in her native Michigan, where she moved last year from New York.

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'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 1:33pm

Modeled after the groundbreaking feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves, the book details the social, political and medical issues faced by transgender people.

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How That Pinkish Goo Called Silly Putty Came Out Of Its Shell

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 11:23am

There is some debate over who actually invented the toy, but it's clear that a mix of science and marketing helped Silly Putty make a lasting impression.

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Really Hard Edition 2: Part 3

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 9:37am

In the home stretch, we test Radiolab's Jad Abumrad on accidental scientific discoveries. Plus, They Might Be Giants give a quiz chock full of trick questions, aptly titled, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong."

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Really Hard Edition 2: Part 2

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 9:37am

It's the definitive test of cultural references, from celebrities and commercial jingles, to comic strips and classic literature, in "Nick Names," "Jingle All the Way," and "Literary Comic Strips."

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Really Hard Edition 2: Part 1

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 9:37am

Can you remember two things at once? Combine the names of celebrities and countries in "International Doppelgangers," then nest words inside of other words in "Russian Dolls."

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Book News: Apple May Pay Consumers $400 Million In E-Book Settlement

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 7:01am

Also: Stephen Burt on trans literature; David Adams Richards on the difference between fiction and nonfiction.

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A Supernatural Family Reunion In 'The Book Of Life'

Thu, 07/17/2014 - 6:03am

Deborah Harkness' latest concludes the sprawling story begun in A Discovery of Witches. There's a bit too much plot to handle comfortably, but fans will be happy to see favorite characters again.

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Viola Davis Gets Groundbreaking Role As ABC Bets On Diversity

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 11:51am

This fall, ABC will offer its most ethnically diverse slate of new shows in recent memory. But getting people to talk freely about why that's happened is still difficult.

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Book News: Harper Lee Says New Biography Is Unauthorized

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 6:53am

Also: Marvel's Thor is now a woman; the origins of cool.

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'Pirates In The Heartland': At Least This Review Is Safe For Work

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 6:03am

Pioneering underground comic artist (and R. Crumb collaborator) S. Clay Wilson's work is not for the faint of heart — or uneasy of stomach. Volume 1 of a new anthology of his work is out now.

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The Grandes Dames Of The Sea Ply The Tuscan Waters

Wed, 07/16/2014 - 2:43am

A most unusual regatta recently celebrated vintage yachts, some more than 100 years old, and a time when sailing the oceans depended on well-trained crews with little more than compass and sextant.

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U.S. Customs Seize Giant African Snails Bound For Dinner Plates

Tue, 07/15/2014 - 3:06pm

Officials say the snails are "highly invasive, voracious pests" that eat paint and stucco off houses. But the snails are a prized delicacy in West Africa, where they're marinated or grilled on sticks.

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