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Updated: 41 min 27 sec ago

HBO's 'True Detective' Brings Big Stars To Tell A Brutal Tale

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 12:39pm

Eric Deggans explains how HBO's new crime drama anthology with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson lured its stars with a combination of a great script and a limited commitment.

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A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:19am

If you're confused by the fight over genetically modified food — and even more if your mind is already made up — you might want to turn to an investigation of the topic carried out by the environmental website Grist. Instead of preaching to the deep-green choir, Grist's in-depth series questioned its faith.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: In One Year And Out The Other

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 10:30am

On this week's show, we look ahead to 2014 and make our resolutions and predictions. That goes pretty well! We also look back at how our resolutions and predictions for 2013 turned out. That goes ... a little less well.

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Book News: Will Your Book Sell? There's An Algorithm For That

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:48am

Also: Poet Amiri Baraka has died at age 79; Augusto Pinochet's personal library.

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Spalding Gray's Family Remembers A Man Who Was 'Never Boring'

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 2:03am

On the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Spalding Gray, his widow and stepdaughter remember the writer and monologist — and the difference he made in their lives.

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Picture This: Illustrator Gets Inspired By The Morning News

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 2:02am

Last year, illustrator Maria Fabrizio was having a slow day at work and so she drew a picture of the pope "hanging up his hat." The idea caught on and now she creates a news-inspired image every day on her Wordless News blog. Next week, all of her pictures will be inspired by Morning Edition.

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A 'Wolf' On The Loose, And Loving The Carnage

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 2:00am

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who stars as a high-living stock swindler in The Wolf of Wall Street, tells NPR's David Greene that it was "incredibly freeing" to play a character with no moral high ground.

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Food Firms Trim Trillions Of Calories From Packaged Treats

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 6:37pm

In the past few years, major food manufacturers have introduced more healthful versions of their products, such as low-fat ice cream and "light" soups. These efforts have slashed 6.4 trillion calories from packaged foods sold in 2012, a study finds. But does that calorie drop help shrink Americans' growing waistlines?

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Amiri Baraka, Poet And Co-Founder Of Black Arts Movement, Dies At 79

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 4:02pm

Former New Jersey poet laureate Amiri Baraka, born LeRoi Jones, died on Thursday. A contemporary of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, his later work was strongly influenced by his commitment to Black Nationalist ideals. His poems were as controversial as they were influential.

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A Tournament Of Terror, But It's All About ... Empowerment?

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 4:00pm

In Raze, women are made to fight each other to the death in the name of feminine self-determination. Critic Ian Buckwalter says John C. Waller's directorial debut doesn't have much to say about the violence-as-entertainment it purports to examine.

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In A Past-Plagued Laos, A Youth Chases A Future

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 4:00pm

In The Rocket, the debut feature from documentary director Kim Mordaunt ("Bomb Harvest"), an unlucky outcast in search of a new home enters a sports festival in rural Laos. It's risky — but the Rocket Festival could help him save his struggling family.

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A Nation And Its Youth, Struggling To Be 'In Bloom'

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 4:00pm

Set in Georgia shortly after the country's 1991 independence, In Bloom follows two 14-year-old girls as they navigate the violence and confusion of everyday life. (Recommended)

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Mommy Issues Writ Large For A Troubled Teen

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 4:00pm

In The Truth About Emanuel, her second film about teen angst, director Francesca Gregorini (Tanner Hall) trains her eye on Emanuel (Kaya Scodelario), a tightly wound adolescent whose mother died giving birth to her.

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Writer And Activist Amiri Baraka Dies At Age 79

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:38pm

Amiri Baraka, the writer who was born LeRoi Jones, has died at age 79. Baraka is primarily known for having a unique career that spanned art and activism. He was an influential poet and an award-winning playwright who didn't shy away from social criticism.

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Many Younger Facebook Users 'Unfriend' The Network

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:00pm

Some younger users of Facebook say that using the site often leaves them feeling sad, lonely and inadequate. A new trend is emerging among these most intense of digital users: Many in their teens and 20s are leaving the social network altogether.

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Revenge Of The 'Nerdist': Chris Hardwick Takes Over Your TV

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:00pm

Chris Hardwick might be the best example of how the nerds triumphed over pop culture in 2013. A standup comic and actor, Hardwick created the Nerdist podcast and hosts Talking Dead (a talk show that discusses The Walking Dead); now, his social media-centered comedy game show @midnight has been picked up by Comedy Central.

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Slow Cook Your Way To The Colonel's Secret Recipe

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:00pm

Slow-cooking expert Stephanie O'Dea shares the story behind her KFC-inspired chicken: It was an attempt to recreate the Colonel's secret recipe so that her daughter, who has celiac disease, could experience a taste most Americans take for granted. In a twist, O'Dea also wanted to cook the chicken in a Crock-Pot.

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A Story Of Pluck And Courage In An Unforgiving Future

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 3:00pm

Novelist Chang Rae Lee is known for his sober depictions of things you can probably imagine — like war and spies, family and immigration. So it might surprise you that his newest novel, On Such a Full Sea, is a dystopia that begins in a place called B-mor, a town that — a very long time ago — was known as Baltimore.

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'Stringer': Finding Your Feet In The Chaos Of Congo

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 2:00pm

Anjan Sundaram's new memoir Stringer chronicles his adventures as a budding journalist in one of the world's most chaotic spots: the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Reviewer and veteran journalist Ted Koppel says Stringer "is a book about a young journalist's coming of age, and a wonderful book it is, too."

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Colorful Names

Thu, 01/09/2014 - 11:00am

What do Vanna White, James Brown, and Ron Burgundy have in common? In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung asks you to identify famous people or fictional characters who has a color in their name.

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