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Movie Interviews
4:11 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Behind Optimus Prime (And Eeyore), One Man's Signature Voice

Voice actor Peter Cullen arrives at the premiere of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in June 2009.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 6:20 am

Transformers: Age of Extinction has smashed its way to the No. 1 spot at the box office. Director Michael Bay's film franchise has consistently topped charts since the first film arrived in theaters in 2007.

The live-action films have embraced the latest in visual affects — but the movies have also called back to the series' past, through the voice of Peter Cullen.

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The Impact of War
3:07 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

For U.S. Vets, Iraq's Newest Conflict Awakens Complex Emotions

A decade ago, U.S. soldiers were fighting and rebuilding in the Iraqi cities of Mosul and Tikrit. The past few weeks have seen those cities, among others, fall to the Sunni militant group ISIS. Here, a member of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces stands guard Thursday near an ISIS checkpoint in Mosul.
Karim Sahib AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 6:45 am

In Iraq this weekend, government forces launched an offensive against the Sunni militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. On Sunday, the government said it was using Russian-made jets to attack Sunni militants in the northern cities of Tikrit, the hometown of the late dictator Saddam Hussein, and Mosul. Both cities remain under insurgent control.

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Code Switch
4:22 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed In Biracial Family's Loss

Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng's debut novel about a Chinese-American family living in 1970s Ohio. She is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
Kevin Day The Penguin Press

It's May, 1977, in small-town Ohio, and the Lee family is sitting down at breakfast. James is Chinese-American and Marilyn is white, and they have three children — two girls and a boy. But on this day, their middle child Lydia, who is also their favorite, is nowhere to be found.

That's how Celeste Ng's new novel, Everything I Never Told You, begins.

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All Tech Considered
3:21 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Modern Video Games Go Beyond 'Jumping On Blocks'

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 10:35 am

The video game BioShock Infinite received widespread praise for having a rich narrative packed with philosophy when it debuted last year. The game sold millions of copies.

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Men In America
4:02 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

The New American Man Doesn't Look Like His Father

While life has changed significantly for American men in the past half-century, notions of masculinity remain tied to those that may have been passed down from this father to the son on his shoulders.
Evans/Three Lions Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 9:36 am

This summer, All Things Considered is exploring what it means to be a man in America today. In some ways, the picture for men has changed dramatically over the past 50 years. More women than men are going to college, and the economy is moving away from jobs that traditionally favored men, like manufacturing and mining. Attitudes have also changed on the social front, with young men having more egalitarian attitudes toward women and expectations of being involved fathers.

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All Tech Considered
2:40 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone

Take a break from catching up on social media and emails — even if it's only for a few days.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 9:15 am

The summer months are upon us again. It's the season to sit outside, decompress and finally put those accumulated sick days to good use: It's vacation season.

Vacation traditionally means taking a break from all of the stresses, worries and routines of our daily lives. We put the work down in order to pick up a cool drink and a new novel.

So let's make sure we have everything:

Flip-flops? Check.

Suntan lotion? Check.

Cellphone? Laptop? iPad? Hmm.

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Business
3:09 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

Puma's Pink And Blue Cleats Make A Bold Play At The World Cup

Italy's Mario Balotelli sports Puma's new evoPOWER Tricks cleats.
Frank Augstein AP

Originally published on Sun June 22, 2014 4:25 pm

Athletes aren't the only ones battling for supremacy on the World Cup pitch: Shoe brands are fighting for glory, too.

For the most part, it's the fluorescent Nike Vapors versus the Adidas Adizero Battle Pack cleats. But while those brands dominate the soccer market, Kyle Stock of Bloomberg Businessweek says Puma has a counterattack: the mismatched pink and blue soccer cleats called Tricks.

"You see a lot of yellows out there and oranges and reds, but in the blur of the feet, you notice [the Tricks]," Stock tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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StoryCorps
1:39 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Inheriting A Rare Skin Condition, And The Ability To Laugh About It

On a visit to StoryCorps, Cheri Lindsay, 25, and Phillip Lindsay, 52, discussed a rare skin condition they share, and how they both have coped.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 7:03 am

People with vitiligo gradually lose pigment in their skin, often in patches that appear randomly and grow over time.

But that wasn't the case for Cheri Lindsay. The white pigment on her skin spread rapidly across her body and around her eyes, "like a mask," over the past four years, she says.

She imagines that she's dealt with it better than most, in part because of the example set by her father.

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Environment
4:15 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Plastics Don't Disappear, But They Do End Up In Seabirds' Bellies

Plastic floats ashore in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Bay Ismoyo AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:33 pm

The vast majority of debris in the ocean — about 75 percent of it — is made of plastic. It can consist of anything from plastic bottles to packaging materials, but whatever form it takes, it doesn't go away easily.

While plastic may break down into smaller and smaller pieces, some as small as grains of sand, these pieces are never truly biodegradable. The plastic bits, some small enough that they're called microplastics, threaten marine life like fish and birds, explains Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University in the U.K.

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Music Interviews
2:56 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

A Young Man's Loneliness, And His Soulful Falsetto

British singer Sam Smith has just released his debut album, In the Lonely Hour.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 6:36 am

The British singer Sam Smith broke through with a dance song: His is the voice snaking through "Latch," by the electronic-music duo Disclosure. It became an international club anthem.

In the U.K, he's mentioned in the same breath as superstars Adele or Florence and the Machine. He already has a sold-out U.S. tour, and he has performed on Saturday Night Live. Smith, 22, is now releasing his debut album, In the Lonely Hour. His songs of love and loss are powered by his moody, soulful voice.

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U.S.
3:52 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

Home, Food Or Health Care: A Choice Many Renters Can't Afford

As the number of renters in Los Angeles increases, construction of new apartments isn't keeping pace with demand, resulting in rents higher than many can afford.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 12:56 pm

The mortgage crisis that devastated the economy has received endless attention, but it's not just homeowners who have suffered badly in this economy.

As of 2012, renters made up 35 percent of American households. Their numbers are growing, reversing a decades-long uptick in homeownership.

And in the past 50 years, the percentage of income they're spending on the rent has increased dramatically. A quarter of renters are spending more than half their income on rent.

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Around the Nation
3:11 pm
Sun June 15, 2014

From Resumes To Romance, Giving Young Dads The Skills To Succeed

Members of the L.A. Fathers Program practice a role-playing exercise — standing on chairs and yelling to see what it feels like when an adult yells at a child.
Courtesy L.A. Fathers Program

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 4:38 pm

On a Wednesday night, just a few days before Fathers Day, a group of young men gather in a classroom on the fourth floor of Children's Hospital in Los Angeles. There's food — pizza, soda and cookies — and the men stack their paper plates high before settling into their seats around the table in the center of the room. The meeting is about to begin.

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Iraq
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Military Strongmen: Seeding Chaos In The Name Of Power

Iraqis inspect destruction in the street following an explosion in Sadr City, Baghdad's northern Shiite-majority district in May.
Ali al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 6:11 am

In a region torn apart by violence, a leader who promises security above all else can be appealing. Three years after the chaos of the Arab Spring, these strongmen types are rising again in the Middle East.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is one of them, though he has yet to overcome the disaster now unfolding in Iraq. Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali tells NPR's Arun Rath that Maliki is partly to blame for the crisis.

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From Our Listeners
2:49 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

A Tip From Ben Stiller: On Set, A 'Chicken' Is Not What It Seems

When Ben Stiller hears "chicken in the gate," rarely does he actually present someone with a live chicken.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:14 am

Each line of work has its own cryptic code: words and phrases that would baffle any outsider. These terms may sound like nonsense to someone with untrained ears, but to those who operate in a certain world, their meanings are as clear as day.

To get a better handle on some of the stranger things people say at work, All Things Considered is kicking off a new series called "Trade Lingo." It's a quest to mine the jewels of meaning beneath the jargon.

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StoryCorps
1:04 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Remembering A Civil Rights Swim-In: 'It Was A Milestone'

In June 1964, James Brock dumped acid into the water at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. He was trying to disrupt swimmers who were protesting the hotel's whites-only policy.
Bettmann Corbis

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:14 am

On June 18, 1964, black and white protesters jumped into the whites-only pool at the Monson Motor Lodge in St. Augustine, Fla. In an attempt to force them out, the owner of the hotel poured acid into the pool.

Martin Luther King Jr. had planned the sit-in during the St. Augustine Movement, a part of the larger civil rights movement. The protest — and the owner's acidic response — is largely forgotten today, but it played a role in the passing of the Civil Rights Act, now celebrating its 50th anniversary.

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Poetry
3:54 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New Poet Laureate: 'The Meaning Has Always Stayed The Same'

Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has been named the nation's next poet laureate.
Holly Wright Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 5:43 pm

The Library of Congress announced Thursday that the nation's next poet laureate will be Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia.

"I'm very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused," the poet told The New York Times. "I really don't know what I'm supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I'll do it."

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Author Interviews
2:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Former BP CEO: 'Glass Closet' Still Holds Many Gay Workers Back

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:30 pm

"It was time to leave the building."

So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."

During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Don't Be A Jerk. There's A Lot More To Island Cooking

The pillars of Caribbean cuisine, framing the front of a streetside stall.
Ellen Silverman Courtesy of Media Masters Publicity

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 2:29 pm

Anyone who has eaten many plates of blackened, mangy-looking jerk chicken might get the impression that Caribbean cooking is fairly limited. The cuisine of most of the English-speaking islands is often lumped under the umbrella of stews, dumplings and pineapple-strewn desserts.

But Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau say there's much more to island cooking. They're sisters and cooks based in Jamaica, and their cookbook Caribbean Potluck introduces a new way of thinking about food from their homeland.

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Politics
3:50 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Clinton Sought 'Tougher Deal,' But Won't Second-Guess Bergdahl Swap

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:38 pm

Below are excerpts from Hillary Clinton's interview Monday with NPR's Renee Montagne. Clinton's new book, Hard Choices, will be published Tuesday.

Portions of this interview will air on Morning Edition.

On running for president in 2016

HILLARY CLINTON: I have made some hard choices, and I face some hard choices. And, as I say in the book, I have not made a decision yet. ...

RENEE MONTAGNE: This is, may I say, a classic campaign book. ...

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Sports
4:54 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Baseball Has An Elbow Problem: More Pros Getting Ligament Surgery

After this pitch on May 27, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett left the game with a torn elbow ligament. Friday, he became the latest pro to undergo "Tommy John" surgery.
Elaine Thompson AP

Originally published on Mon June 9, 2014 1:13 pm

On Friday, Los Angeles Angels pitcher Sean Burnett became the latest player this season to undergo "Tommy John" surgery. In this weekend's MLB draft, at least four players selected had already had the infamous elbow surgery as amateurs.

The operation is named after the first player to undergo the procedure to fix an injured elbow ligament, in 1974. Pitchers are particularly vulnerable to this injury.

The procedure involves taking a tendon from somewhere else in the body — or from a cadaver — and grafting it into place. Pitchers get it most often.

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Around the Nation
4:43 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

When A Parent Goes To Prison, A Child Also Pays A Price

Ifetayo Harvey's father went to prison when she was 4 years old and released when she was 12. Now 22, she says the experience helped her empathize with others and understand people from a different perspective.
Courtesy of Ifetayo Harvey

When she was a child, 22-year-old Ifetayo Harvey's father was sentenced to prison for cocaine trafficking.

"My dad went to prison when I was 4 years old, and he was released when I was 12," Harvey says.

Harvey is one of millions of young people who grew up with a parent in prison. A recent study from the National Academy of Sciences examined the growth of incarceration in the United States, and among the topics was the effect on kids and families when a parent goes to prison.

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Business
5:45 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

'Downton Abbey' Craze Serves Up A Demand For Butlers

Jim Carter as Mr. Carson in Downton Abbey, which has helped fuel a growing demand for butlers around the world.
WGBH/PBS

Originally published on Sun June 8, 2014 3:05 pm

Butlers in American pop culture tend to provide comic relief — think The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air or The Birdcage. Or, like Batman's Alfred, the butler is more of a friend than an employee.

But one show has brought back the classic butler, with a vengeance. Since the British period drama Downton Abbey made its debut on PBS in 2010, the demand for butlers in some parts of the world has surged.

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Religion
5:45 pm
Sat June 7, 2014

Lessons From The Language Boot Camp For Mormon Missionaries

Mormon missionaries pray before the start of their Mandarin Chinese class at the Missionary Training Center, in Provo, Utah.
Rick Bowmer AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 10:01 am

On a sunny Wednesday in Provo, Utah, a long line of cars spits out about 300 new arrivals to the Missionary Training Center. The facility, known as MTC, is the largest language training school for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Every year, about 36,000 students come to the center before they leave on missions around the world to spread the Mormon faith.

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Law
1:28 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

'Burning Down The House' Makes The Case Against Juvenile Incarceration

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 2:57 pm

The American rate of juvenile incarceration is seven times that of Great Britain, and 18 times that of France. It costs, on average, $88,000 a year to keep a youth locked up — far more than the U.S. spends on a child's education.

But the biggest problem with juvenile incarceration, author Nell Bernstein tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, is that instead of helping troubled kids get their lives back on track, detention usually makes their problems worse, and sets them in the direction of more crime and self-destructive behavior.

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Author Interviews
3:54 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

From Lunch (n.) To Balding (adj.), Some Words Are Just 'Bad English'

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 9:02 pm

Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED, has just come out with a new book about words — words like "dilapidated," "balding" and "lunch." Shea says those words were once frowned upon, as were more than 200 other words he has compiled.

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Around the Nation
5:07 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

When A Bullet Misses Its Target, It Can Still Kill

Chicago police detectives investigate the scene where a number of people, including a 3-year-old child, were shot in a city park in Chicago in 2013.
Paul Beaty AP

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 11:08 am

In May, multiple people were struck or even killed by stray bullets in cities across the country, including Sacramento, Calif., and Des Moines, Iowa. In Washington, D.C., a 6-year-old is recovering from getting shot on a playground.

Thursday, Betty Howard, a 58-year-old special education teacher, was talking with friends inside a real-estate office in Chicago's South Side when she was killed by a stray bullet.

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Music Interviews
3:20 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Meshell Ndegeocello Trades Songs And Stories, Live In L.A.

Meshell Ndegeocello's latest album is Comet, Come To Me.
Jason Rodgers Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 4:58 am

After two decades recording and performing, Meshell Ndegeocello no longer has any illusions about the way music publicity works. "You need those generalizations to create a marketing scheme," the celebrated bassist and songwriter says, "and it's hard to make a generalization about me."

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The Salt
3:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

The Humble Knish: Chock-Full Of Carbs And History

A woman in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child.
Courtesy of the University Press of New England

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 5:45 am

When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop in New York closed it doors, she started to investigate why it shut down. And that led to a years-long research project, she tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin.

Her book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food explores the history of the baked delicacy filled with meat or vegetables and what it means to the people who love it.

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Movie Interviews
4:20 pm
Sat May 31, 2014

What Is Courage?: 'Korengal' Breaks Down War In Afghanistan

Sgt. 1st Class Mark Patterson checks his men at Outpost Restrepo in Afghanistan, as documented in the new film Korengal.
Outpost Films

Originally published on Sat May 31, 2014 4:42 pm

In the new documentary Korengal, journalist and director Sebastian Junger again takes viewers into Afghanistan's Korengal Valley — once considered one of the military's most dangerous postings.

The film uses footage shot by Junger and the late photojournalist Tim Hetherington. Between 2007 and 2008, Junger and Hetherington spent 10 months with a platoon of about 30 men at an outpost called Restrepo.

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Technology
1:07 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Techies, White House Take Part In National Day Of Civic Hacking

Sameer Verma

This weekend, software developers, entrepreneurs, and local governments from around the world are coming together to design and build tools for the common good.

Using publicly released data, participants in the National Day of Civic Hacking will work together to integrate new technology tools to solve community problems.

Todd Khozein is one of the organizers of #HackForChange. He is the co-founder of SecondMuse, a collaborative innovation lab that helps find technological solutions to everyday issues.

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