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Movie Reviews
3:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:37 pm

When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.

But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.

Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.

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World Cafe
3:05 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

The James Hunter Six: 'Minute By Minute,' A Classic Soul Sound

The James Hunter Six.
Ruth Ward Courtesy of the artist

James Hunter fell in love with vintage R&B during his youth in England, with his grandmother's records providing a foundation. Hunter sang in workingman's clubs and got a break in the early '90s, when Van Morrison heard him singing and invited him on tour as a backing vocalist.

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:14 pm

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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Around the Nation
2:49 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

'The Hell Of American Day Care': Expensive And 'Mediocre'

iStockphoto.com

In his cover story for the April 29 issue of The New Republic, "The Hell of American Day Care," Jonathan Cohn writes that "trusting your child with someone else is one of the hardest things a parent has to do — and in the U.S., it's harder still, because American day care is a mess. And about 40 percent of children under 5 spend at least part of their week in the care of somebody other than a parent."

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Shots - Health News
2:33 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

As Bird Flu Spreads In China, The Source Remains A Mystery

A vendor weighs a live chicken at the Kowloon City Market in Hong Kong Friday. Health authorities there have stepped up the testing of live poultry from China to include a rapid test for the H7N9 bird virus.
Lam Yik Fei Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 3:19 pm

The new bird flu in China has come with a long list of questions.

Are the 82 cases reported so far just the tip of a larger outbreak? Why does the virus cause mild symptoms in some people and severe pneumonia in others?

Perhaps the most critical question is also the simplest: How do people catch the bug?

The H7N9 virus clearly infects birds. Health workers have detected it in chickens, ducks and pigeons.

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The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

U.S. Calls On Venezuela 'To Respect ... Free Speech' Of Its Citizens

A woman walks past a message painted on a wall in the streets of Caracas reading "Fraud. Maduro Illegitimate."
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 8:29 pm

The United States called on the Venezuelan government to be transparent in its effort to "audit the ballots" of the presidential election held this weekend.

If you missed it, the news that Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor Nicolás Maduro had won by a razor-thin margin unleashed protests in the streets of Caracas.

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The Two-Way
1:13 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Updated: Glitch Delays Antares Rocket Launch

Antares ready for liftoff.
NASA Wallops Flight Facility NASA

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:06 pm

Update at 6:21 p.m. ET. Launch Delayed:

Space.com reports that the Antares rocket launch has been delayed for two days, "after an unexpected glitch."

Space.com reports:

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Why Use A Pressure Cooker To Build A Bomb?

This photo, produced by the Joint Terrorism Task Force of Boston, shows the remains of an explosive device at the Boston Marathon bomb scene.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:19 pm

They are cheap, easy to build and inconspicuous. And as the explosions this week at the Boston Marathon show, pressure cooker bombs can be devastatingly effective weapons.

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U.S.
12:56 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

What Boston Means To America

Faneuil Hall, in downtown Boston, was built in the 1740s.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:20 pm

As a city, Boston is at the crux of this country's past, present and future.

This was brought home on April 15 — Tax Day, Patriots Day, Marathon Day — when two deadly bombs exploded on historic Boylston Street near the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon.

The tragic blasts occurred so close to the Boston Public Library that the building — home to the personal book collection of Founding Father John Adams — is included in the crime scene.

The bombs struck at the very heart of the heart of America.

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National Security
12:07 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Guantanamo Bay, One Piece Of Torturous Puzzle?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, leading Republicans have been making news lately talking about outreach to African-Americans, Latinos, and LGBT voters, but what about women? They've also been trending Democrat for decades. We're going to speak with a diverse group of women writers and commentators about this. That's later in the program.

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Krulwich Wonders...
11:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

A 'Whom Do You Hang With?' Map Of America

MIT Senseable City - "The Connected States of America"
MIT Senseable City Lab

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 1:31 pm

Look at the center of this map, at the little red dot that marks Kansas City. Technically, Kansas City is at the edge of Missouri, but here on this map it's in the upper middle section of a bigger space with strong blue borders. We don't have a name for this bigger space yet, but soon we will.

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Music Reviews
11:52 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Brad Paisley's 'Wheelhouse' Of Good Songs — And Intentions

Brad Paisley's new album is titled Wheelhouse.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Brad Paisley's Wheelhouse is yet another very good album from a singer, songwriter and guitarist who's made a bunch of them in a row. It features a slew of shrewd songs about finding pleasure and comfort in a frequently unpleasant, uncomfortable world. The music includes a bone-cracking song about domestic violence written from a woman's point of view, one that praises Christian values from the perspective of a jealous skeptic, and one that samples the great Roger Miller as deftly as any hip-hop production.

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The Two-Way
11:36 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent To Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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Health
11:28 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Those About To Rock, We Salute Your Ears

Musician Jake Orrall performs onstage at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival on April 14. Temporary hearing loss following concerts and other loud events may protect our ears from more permanent damage.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images for Coachella

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:33 pm

If you went to Coachella last weekend, you probably had a ball. But will your ears pay the price?

While short-term hearing loss caused by loud noise can be unnerving, it may not be an automatic sign of permanent damage.

Temporary hearing loss may actually be the ear's way of protecting itself from lasting damage, suggests a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Well, if you're a mouse, at any rate.

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Science + Technology
11:28 am
Wed April 17, 2013

There's Trouble Brewing At The Birth Of The Universe

Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB) as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old.
Planck Collaboration ESA

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 5:59 pm

Scientists can't just agree to disagree. It's not because we are stubborn or ornery (OK, maybe we are). It's because the whole point of science is to establish "public knowledge" — an understanding of the cosmos on which we can all agree. That is why there is trouble brewing at the beginning of the Universe.

There is a number, the Hubble Constant, that's fundamental to the study of the cosmos. The problem is, different folks are finding different values for that number and no one yet knows what that means.

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Science + Technology
11:27 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Who Stands Where In A Crowded Elevator And Why?

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:22 pm

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Interviews
11:07 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Marathoner Amby Burfoot: 'Every Mile Out There Is A Gift'

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:15 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. When the bombs went off Monday, my guest Amby Burfoot was seven-tenths of a mile from the finish line. Burfoot has a special place in the history of the Boston Marathon - he was the winner 45 years ago in 1968. To celebrate the anniversary of his win every five years he runs the Boston Marathon again. Many runners have turned to Burfoot for advice over the years.

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Health
10:37 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Blasts A Reminder Of 'The Fragility Of Life'

Jillian Blenis, 30, of Boston reacts while stopping at a makeshift memorial to marathon bombing victims Wednesday.
Julio Cortez AP

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 5:33 pm

From the first explosion in Boston on Monday to the second, just 15 seconds elapsed. And in those 15 seconds, three people were mortally wounded, including an 8-year-old boy. The number of injured topped 100, and for those of us watching, it was a profound reminder of a reality we'd prefer to ignore.

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World Cafe
10:34 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Jesse Dee: From The South By Way Of Boston, A Vintage R&B Sound

Jesse Dee.
Michael D. Spencer Courtesy of the artist

Jesse Dee grew up in Boston — far from the South, where the music he loves has its roots — and could never quite shake the '50s and '60s R&B he'd heard on the radio as a kid. He started writing his own material in high school because he wanted his music to be contemporary.

Dee's first album, Bittersweet Batch, came out in 2008; his latest is On My Mind/In My Heart. His love of singing shines through, in both our conversation and this live session.

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The Salt
10:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:25 pm

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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