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Updated: 1 hour 4 min ago

Favorite Films Of 2014: Why Stop At 10?

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 2:24pm

Box office figures were gloomy in 2014, but movie critic Bob Mondello still found a lot to cheer about among the year's quirky offerings — and as usual, his annual 10 best list runneth over.

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Food Psychology: How To Trick Your Palate Into A Tastier Meal

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 12:45pm

Ingredients and preparation matter in making a delicious dinner. But so do a lot of other external factors, from your mood to room lighting. Here, a guide to enhancing the pleasures of the plate.

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In 'Death By Pastrami,' Charming Stories Of New York's Garment District

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 12:25pm

Leonard S. Bernstein — the writer, not the composer — once owned and managed a garment factory. In his first work of fiction the octogenarian crafts quaint parables about the comic futility of life.

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'A Most Violent Year,' But A Film With Restraint

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 11:03am

J.C. Chandor makes provocative use of the imagery of violence to explore the life of a bad man who wants to seem good.

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Grasping For Gravitas In 'A Most Violent Year'

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 11:03am

J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year wants to be an elegant statement on the tough truth about making it in America. Instead, it tries to import seriousness it can't back up with substance.

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'The Apprentice' Is Dead, Please Stop 'The Celebrity Apprentice'

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 9:43am

Believe it or not, before The Celebrity Apprentice was a really terrible and boring show, The Apprentice was kind of a dishy, fun show. No, it was.

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In 'The Rosie Effect,' An Unusual Romantic Hero Perseveres

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 7:33am

Graeme Simsion's follow-up to 2013's The Rosie Project finds his unusual protagonist confronting parenthood.

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Banish 2014's Woes With Our Stand-Up Comedy Picks

Wed, 12/31/2014 - 2:23am

NPR's Elizabeth Blair polled comedy-industry insiders to find out their favorite jokes of 2014. The results range from supermarket-checkout observations to a historically hysterical take on Oprah.

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Actress Luise Rainer Made Hollywood History — Then Walked Away

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 3:20pm

Luise Rainer was the first person to win back-to-back Academy Awards (in 1936 for The Great Ziegfield and 1937 for The Good Earth). Ranier died Monday at her home in London. She was 104 years old.

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In 'The Honorable Woman,' There's No One You Can Trust

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 3:20pm

Maggie Gyllenhaal says she had reservations about taking on the role of Nessa Stein in the Sundance series. The conflict in the Middle East is "really complicated and it goes back so far," she says.

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Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again'

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 12:38pm

The comic tells Fresh Air that after Season 3, he "aggressively forgot the show existed for a few months." Then he got back to work — for Louie's fourth season. Originally broadcast May 19.

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In 'Huckleberry Finn,' A History In Echoes

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 9:50am

Andrew Levy's searching book adds to, and comments on, the considerable scholarship surrounding an widely read and widely challenged American classic.

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Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play: How Libraries Reach Kids Before They Can Read

Tue, 12/30/2014 - 2:59am

This isn't your typical story time; public libraries are designing new programs to help parents and caregivers interact with toddlers in ways that will encourage future reading.

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Diversity In Space: Tracking The First Asian Pilot In The Star Wars Movies

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 9:33am

The Asian characters in the original Star Wars films are few, fleeting and often forgotten. But the Manager of the Holocron at Lucasfilm helps uncover their back stories.

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Playlist: Journey To Far Off Places

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 8:14am

Travel to unusual places with these TED Radio Hour stories.

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Playlist: Stories That Will Spark Your Imagination

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 8:08am

These TED Radio Hour stories will make you curious and maybe even ignite some creative ideas of your own.

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First Book Gets Reading Material Into The Hands Of Low-Income Students

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 4:06am

A study done in Philadelphia found a total of 33 books in a community of 10,000 children. A group is solving that problem by partnering with the publishing industry to get books to kids in need.

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Ladies Lead Whiskey Renaissance As Distillers And New Tipplers

Mon, 12/29/2014 - 2:16am

Whiskey was long considered a man's drink. But as sales of whiskey soar, it's women who are leading the new boom, thanks to a vanguard of female distillers, blenders and tasters.

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From Her Dad To Her 'Jamish' Roots, A Poet Pieces Her Story Together

Sun, 12/28/2014 - 4:22pm

Salena Godden grew up in 1970s England with a Jamaican mom and an absent English-Irish dad. In her memoir, Springfield Road, she looks back on her struggle to find her personal identity.

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