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Movie Interviews
6:03 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Playing The Big Room: An Oscars Joke-Writer Reflects

Billy Crystal hosts the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012. Writing jokes for hosts is a tricky game, says longtime joke writer Dave Boone.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 3:45 pm

Hollywood's biggest night is in just a few weeks. People tend to focus on the glitz, the glamour and — of course — the gowns. But we thought we'd take a moment to focus on the gags.

Or rather what goes into writing both the jokes that fall flat and the jokes that soar. For a bit of Oscars Writing 101, NPR's All Things Considered turned to Dave Boone, who has written for the Academy Awards eight times.

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Music Interviews
5:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Bryan Ferry: A Forward-Looking Musician Turns To The Past

The Bryan Ferry Orchestra's new album is titled The Jazz Age.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 3:05 am

Throughout his career, English musician Bryan Ferry has been one of popular music's most forward-looking performers. His band Roxy Music remodeled rock into an artsy, cosmopolitan sound in the early '70s and spearheaded the New Romantic style of the '80s.

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The Record
5:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Saving The Sounds Of America

A 16-inch lacquer disc, a format used in the 1930s, from the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the lacquer, the part of the disc where the sound was etched, has been lost to decay.
Abby Brack Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.

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Business
4:34 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Airport Suites Offer Travelers A Place To Nap On The Fly

Minute Suite's 7-by-8-feet rooms offer Wi-Fi, a sofa bed, a television and a workspace. One traveler compared the small spaces to having an MRI done, but others say the idea is overdue at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.
Courtesy of Minute Suites

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

When there's a big snowstorm or a plane has mechanical problems, airports often turn into uncomfortable holding pens, with people scrunched in chairs, lying on floors, filling up restaurants and otherwise trying to find something to do.

That's actually good news for one company. Minute Suites is building tiny airport retreats across the country. The suites are already operating in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Next up are Dallas-Fort Worth and Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

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Asia
4:29 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

How Do I Love Thee? Japanese Husbands Shout The Ways

A man shouts his love at an event in Tokyo on Jan. 29. The event comes two days ahead of Beloved Wives Day, a day on which husbands publicly scream their love for their wives before a crowd of onlookers. Husbands are also urged to head home early to express gratitude to their wives.
Kiyoshi Ota EPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Standing in front of a giant heart made of pink tulips, businessman Yoshiharu Nishiguchi tells his wife — along with a bank of TV cameras and curious bystanders — that he is utterly devoted to her.

"Rieko, I love you!" he screams, before yielding the spotlight to the next nervous husband.

"Miwa!" the man belts out, "I love you!"

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Music Reviews
4:20 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Jim James: On A Spiritual Quest In The Digital Age

Jim James' solo debut is titled Regions of Light and Sound of God.
Neil Krug Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

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Latin America
4:07 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Hungry For Energy, Brazil Builds Monster Dams In The Amazon

Construction continues at the Belo Monte dam complex in the Amazon basin in June 2012 near Altamira, Brazil. Belo Monte will be the world's third-largest hydroelectric project, and will displace up to 20,000 people living near the Xingu River.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Already Latin America's biggest economy, Brazil envisions a future requiring massive amounts of electrical power for its expanding industries and growing cities.

The response has been a construction boom that will install dozens of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon — and that's generating plenty of controversy, particularly from environmentalists.

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Music
4:03 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy Adjusts His Crown

Bonnie "Prince" Billy performing onstage at Lincoln Center's Allen Room February 7.
Kevin Yatarola Lincoln Center

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:31 am

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It's All Politics
4:02 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

How Rubio Spins The Bottle Could Matter Most. Just Ask Bill Clinton

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 4:46 pm

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's off-script, thirst-quenching moment during his rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union speech Tuesday night was the gulp heard 'round the world.

Or at least in Twitter World, the place where the trivial goes not to die, but to flourish.

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The Two-Way
4:01 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

VIDEO: Pope Benedict XVI Receives Standing Ovation

Pope Benedict XVI leads the Ash Wednesday service at St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday.
Franco Origlia Getty Images

Pope Benedict XVI made his first public appearance since he surprised the world by announcing his resignation.

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The Two-Way
3:27 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Ohio School Will Go To Court Over A Portrait Of Jesus

The Jesus portrait that hangs inside an Ohio middle school.
10TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:37 pm

A constitutional fight is now in play in Jackson, Ohio: The city's school district decided, Tuesday night, that it would fight the American Civil Liberties Union in court over a 66-year-old portrait of Jesus that hangs in the hallway of a middle school.

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

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Economy
2:52 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Obama's Call For Higher Minimum Wage Could Have Ripple Effect

Wendy Brown of Schenectady, N.Y., holds a sign before an Occupy Albany rally pushing for a raise in New York's minimum wage on May 29, 2012.
Mike Groll AP

So maybe the Great Recession really is over.

After more than five years of recession and painfully slow recovery, President Obama has sent a powerful signal that he thinks the U.S. economy is now in much better shape — good enough, at least, to provide workers with raises.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday night, Obama called upon Congress to boost the federal minimum wage to $9 an hour by 2015, up from the current $7.25. The wage would rise in steps, and after hitting the maximum in two years, would thereafter be indexed to inflation.

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Health
2:50 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Fear Of Cantaloupes and Crumpets? A 'Phobia' Rises From The Web

Seeds of fear? To most of us, cantaloupe and horn melon look like a healthy breakfast or snack. But the clusters of seeds can evoke anxiety, nervousness and even nausea for some trypophobes.
Daniel M. N. Turner NPR

Originally published on Sat February 16, 2013 1:40 pm

Four years ago, my husband revealed one of his more peculiar qualities: He's freaked out by the sight of sliced cantaloupe.

The melon seeds, all clustered together, make his skin itch and his stomach churn. Then he gets obsessed and can't stop talking about it.

A bit concerned by his behavior, I started researching it on the Web. Boy, was I in for a treat. My husband was not alone.

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Music
2:49 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Billy Cobham On World Cafe @ 8PM on WCBE!

Billy Cobham.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 28, 2013 10:51 am

From his 1970s breakthrough as a founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra to his influential role as a leading drummer in the style of jazz and jazz-fusion, Billy Cobham remains a powerful musical explorer. Born in Panama, raised in New York and residing in Switzerland, he translates his multicultural experience into a blend of jazz, rock and funk.

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The Two-Way
2:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Deputy And Teacher Praised For Talking Down Alabama Gunman At School

WBRC-TV reporting from the scene at Chelsea (Ala.) Middle School, where a gunman briefly held some students.
WBRC-TV

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:12 pm

As the nation watched anxiously to see how the manhunt in California for accused cop-killer Christopher Jordan Dorner would turn out, a harrowing situation at an Alabama middle school thankfully ended peacefully.

AL.com reports that a man entered the school in Chelsea, Ala., Tuesday afternoon and "held several students at gunpoint."

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Health
1:54 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

SARS-Like Virus Spreads From One Person To Another

Virologists discovered the new coronavirus after it killed a Saudi Arabian man last summer.
Elizabeth R. Fischer Rocky Mountain Labs/NIAID/NIH

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:19 pm

A mysterious illness with a striking resemblance to the one caused by the SARS virus emerged in the Middle East last year.

But the new virus behind the latest cases didn't seem to be contagious – until now.

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

'Dead Sea Scrolls' Live On In Debate And Discovery

A part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:42 pm

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus that were found between 1947 and 1956 in caves by the Dead Sea. Since they were first discovered, they have been a source of fascination and debate over what they can teach — and have taught — about Judeo-Christian history. In his new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, Yale professor John J. Collins tells the story of the scrolls, their discovery and the controversies surrounding the scholarship of them.

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The Two-Way
1:41 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Center for Public Integrity: EPA Unaware Of Industry Ties On Cancer Review Panel

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 5:44 pm

Our investigative reporting colleagues at the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) continue their look at the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of toxic pollution with a new report scrutinizing the agency's delay in announcing that "even a small amount of a chemical compound commonly found in tap water may cause cancer."

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The Two-Way
1:34 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Carnival Apologizes For Triumph Conditions, Cancels 14 Upcoming Cruises

The Triumph cruise ship, set adrift in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire Sunday, is being towed to Mobile, Alabama. The Carnival cruise ship line has cancelled the ship's next 14 voyages.
U.S. Coast Guard

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:49 pm

With the Carnival cruise ship Triumph and its 3,143 passengers now being towed to Mobile, Ala., more reports are emerging from passengers aboard the ship that lost engine power Sunday. They describe a tent city on the upper deck and continuing problems with the sewage system.

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The Two-Way
1:21 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

From Desmond Tutu, A Scathing Rebuke Of U.S. Drone Program

Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Daniel Berehulak Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:28 pm

Hidden in the "letters to the editor" section of The New York Times, this morning is a scathing rebuke of the United States' targeted killing program.

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