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5:32pm

Sun January 25, 2015
Code Switch

Black Doll Show Inspires With Wakandan Heroes And Jazz Superstars

Originally published on Sun January 25, 2015 6:38 pm

For the past 34 years, the William Grant Still Arts Center has held a Black Doll Show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country.
Priska Neely NPR

At The William Grant Still Arts Center in the West Adams neighborhood in Los Angeles, jazz superstars and comic book superheroes are gathered together β€” in miniature, as part of the Black Doll Show.

For the past 34 years, the center has held a doll show to showcase diverse dolls for children. The exhibit features dolls submitted by artists and collectors from around the country. This year's theme is A League Supreme: Jazz Superheroes.

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5:24pm

Sun January 25, 2015
My Big Break

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 7:46 am

After moving back home, Tom Toro didn't know what to do with his life. But a stack of magazines at a used book sale gave him an idea. "There they were," Toro says. "Cartoons in among the articles."
Courtesy of Tom Toro

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Tom Toro didn't always dream of becoming a cartoonist at The New Yorker. Sure, he drew cartoons in college, but he didn't see that as a career path. Instead, he went to film school at NYU.

Then he came to the sudden realization that he was in the wrong field β€” and he had no idea what he was going to do.

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6:14pm

Sat January 24, 2015
Research News

Study Says Creativity Can Flow From Political Correctness

As the U.S. workforce continues to become more diverse, researchers are now more than ever examining diversity and bias in the work place.
iStockphoto

There is a common belief that requiring the use of "politically correct" language in the workplace stifles creativity.

Michelle Duguid, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, tells NPR's Arun Rath that, intuitively, that assumption makes sense.

"People should be able to freely think, throw any crazy ideas, and any constraint would actually dampen creativity," Duguid says.

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12:00pm

Sat January 24, 2015
Author Interviews

Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 12:15 pm

In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."

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5:07pm

Thu January 22, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Red Army' Explores How The Cold War Played Out On Ice

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 10:14 am

The documentary Red Army profiles Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov β€” one of the most decorated athletes in Soviet history.
Slava Fetisov Slava Fetisov/Sony Pictures Classics

When the U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Soviet Union in 1980's "Miracle on Ice," President Jimmy Carter called coach Herb Brooks to congratulate him on the win.

"Tell the whole team that we're extremely proud of them," Carter said. "I think it just proves that our way of life is the proper way to continue on."

The other way of life, the Soviet way β€” which produced some of the best hockey players in the world β€” only went on for another decade or so.

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1:13am

Wed January 21, 2015
It's All Politics

State Of The Union Primer: What President Obama Proposed

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:56 am

President Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Jan. 20. Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio listen in the background.
Mandel Ngan AP

Facing a Republican-controlled Congress in his sixth State of the Union speech, President Obama took credit Tuesday for an improving economy and focused on proposals aimed at advancing the middle class.

After years of recession and war, Obama claimed "the shadow of crisis has passed." In its place, he asserted, is a future marked by "a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry, and booming energy production."

Here's what Obama proposed on the policy front:

Economy

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6:05pm

Mon January 19, 2015
Author Interviews

Markets May Stumble Or Skyrocket, But This Economist Says Hold On Tight

Originally published on Tue January 20, 2015 10:55 am

Burton Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, says investors in broadly based index funds do better in the long run than stock pickers.
Toby Richards AP

In 1973, Burton Malkiel published a very readable guide to investing called A Random Walk Down Wall Street. He didn't rest with the first edition, though. Over the past 42 years β€” as we've lived through bubbles and crashes, scandals and fads β€” Malkiel has returned more than a few times to his seminal Walk.

In fact, this year he plans to release the book's 11th edition.

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8:44pm

Sun January 18, 2015
History

From Wax Cylinders To Records, Saving The Sounds Of History

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 2:27 pm

Actor, playwright and composer Noel Coward rehearses for a show in 1951. A rare recording of Coward introducing his play Peace in Our Time is just one of the millions of sounds and recordings the British Library is looking to preserve.
Jimmy Sime Getty Images

History is literally fading away in London right now.

Many of the items in The British Library's vast collection of recorded sound are in danger of disappearing. Some just physically won't last much longer. Others are stored in long-dead formats.

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5:35pm

Sun January 18, 2015
My Big Break

A Tattooist And A Tweet Take A Band From Tiny Clubs To Tours

Noelle Scaggs and Michael Fitzpatrick provide the vocals for the band Fitz and the Tantrums.
Courtesy of the artist

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

The Los Angeles-based band Fitz and the Tantrums has been called a "genre-smashing" group β€” blending retro soul and R&B with indie pop.

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5:19pm

Sun January 18, 2015
Shots - Health News

Calif. Strike Highlights Larger Issues With Mental Health System

Originally published on Sun January 18, 2015 5:22 pm

A Kaiser mental health worker with the National Union of Healthcare Workers looks through a pile of signs Monday during day one of a week-long demonstration outside of a Kaiser Permanente hospital in San Francisco.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

This past week, more than 2,000 mental health workers for the HMO health care giant Kaiser Permanente in California went on strike.

The strike was organized by the National Union of Healthcare Workers. The union says Kaiser Permanente patients have been the victims of "chronic failure to provide its members with timely, quality mental health care."

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5:19pm

Sun January 18, 2015
Around the Nation

Welcome To Whittier, Alaska, A Community Under One Roof

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 12:22 pm

Begich Towers is located at the edge of town. Photographer Reed Young wanted to capture the dry-docked boat in the foreground. "You see a ton of boats that are just scattered all over," he says.
Reed Young The California Sunday Magazine

Whittier, Alaska, is a sleepy town on the west side of Prince William Sound, tucked between picturesque mountains. But if you're picturing a small huddle of houses, think again.

Instead, on the edge of town, there stands a 14-story building called Begich Towers β€” a former Army barracks, resembling an aging hotel, where most of the town's 200 residents live.

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5:27pm

Sat January 17, 2015
Technology

Sit. Stay. Call 911: FIDO Vest Gives Service Dogs An Upgrade

Originally published on Sat January 17, 2015 7:31 pm

A dog named Sky activates the tug sensor on the FIDO vest. The vest is a piece of wearable technology designed to allow working dogs to perform more tasks and communicate more information.
Rob Felt Courtesy of Georgia Tech

Google announced this week they're ending individual sales of the much celebrated, and maligned, Google Glass. And as we reported last week, a recent Fortune study found relatively low interest in wearable gadgets.

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4:56pm

Thu January 15, 2015
Goats and Soda

14 Takeaways From The 14-Part WHO Report On Ebola

Originally published on Fri January 16, 2015 2:20 pm

Ebola was out of control in Liberia in August, when this picture was taken.
Dominique Faget AFP/Getty Images

Today, the World Health Organization issued a 14-part report on Ebola, from the moment it started until now.

We asked our team of Ebola correspondents to look at the sections and pull out the points that seemed most interesting β€” that may have been overlooked or forgotten, stories that show how the virus turned into an epidemic.

Where it all began

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4:18pm

Mon January 12, 2015
All Tech Considered

Bored ... And Brilliant? A Challenge To Disconnect From Your Phone

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 4:57 pm

Illustration by John Hersey Courtesy of WNYC

Hey smartphone owners β€” when was the last time you were truly bored? Or even had a moment for mental downtime, unattached to a device?

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6:02am

Sun January 11, 2015
The Salt

'Tasty': How Flavor Helped Make Us Human

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 11:43 am

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," John McQuaid writes in his book Tasty: The Art and Science of What We Eat.
Getty Images

Our current cultural obsession with food is undeniable. But, while the advent of the foodie may be a 21st century phenomenon, from an evolutionary standpoint, flavor has long helped define who we are as a species, a new book argues.

In Tasty: the Art and Science of What We Eat, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist John McQuaid offers a broad and deep exploration of the human relationship to flavor.

"Flavor is the most important ingredient at the core of what we are. It created us," McQuaid writes.

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5:48pm

Sat January 10, 2015
Author Interviews

'Blood Of The Tiger': Shedding Light On China's Farmed-Tiger Trade

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 6:47 pm

Joanne Stemberger iStockphoto

In 1991, wildlife investigator J. A. Mills went to China to verify rumors about tiger farming. She worked undercover, for the World Wildlife Fund and an organization called Traffic.

"I mainly pretended I was a student of traditional Chinese medicine to try to figure out not only what was being traded, but why it was being traded," Mills tells NPR's Arun Rath.

She says she found China's first tiger farm β€” complete with a hand-written ledgers filling up with orders for tiger bone.

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5:08pm

Sat January 10, 2015
All Tech Considered

Forget Wearable Tech. People Really Want Better Batteries.

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 4:58 pm

Smart watches based on Qualcomm chipsets are displayed at CES β€” but do consumers want them?
Jae C. Hong AP

The International Consumer Electronics Show has wrapped up its showcase of the latest in high-tech, from wearables to curved-screen phones to extremely high-definition 4K televisions.

But according to a survey from the magazine Fortune, many Americans have a simpler wish: better batteries.

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5:56pm

Fri January 9, 2015
Movie Interviews

'I Was A Dramatic Kid': For Jessica Chastain, Acting Came Naturally

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:06 pm

Jessica Chastain says her grandmother has played a key role in her career. "I've taken her to the Oscars both years," Chastain says. "She's really a special lady and has helped me in more ways than I could ever explain."
Rafa Rivas AFP/Getty Images

The new movie A Most Violent Year is set in New York City in 1981 β€” a chaotic time of spiraling crime. The story involves corruption in the heating oil industry: the hijacking of fuel tankers, a businessman trying to stay on the straight and narrow, and a prosecutor who has that businessman in his sights. And finally, there's the story of the businessman's wife ... who may hold all the cards.

Jessica Chastain plays Anna Morales, the upwardly mobile daughter of a Brooklyn gangster. She keeps the books for her husband's fuel business β€” as well as a number of secrets.

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8:54pm

Sun January 4, 2015
Environment

A Shadow Economy Lurks In An Electronics Graveyard

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 3:51 pm

Kwesi Bido, 14, (right) stops to fix 13-year-old Inusa Mohammed's flip flop. Both spend evenings and weekends searching for scrap at Agbogbloshie, an electronic waste dump in Accra, Ghana.
Courtesy of Yepoka Yeebo

The average American produces an estimated 66 pounds of electronic waste every year. You can't compost it; it's gotta go somewhere.

Often, in violation of the law, that means a dump in the developing world β€” like the region of Agbogbloshie in the West African nation Ghana.

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6:25pm

Sun January 4, 2015
Author Interviews

How 'Star Wars' Helped Patton Oswalt Beat His Movie Addiction

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 9:37 pm

Before he made it big in Holloywood, actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt was a junkie β€” addicted to movies, as he explains in a new memoir, Silver Screen Fiend.

The word addiction gets thrown around a lot, but Oswalt tells NPR's Arun Rath that his relationship to movies was downright pathological.

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5:06pm

Sun January 4, 2015
Opinion

In This New Year, Is It Time To Nix The Thank-You Letter?

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:09 pm

Peter Ormerod argues that parents shouldn't force their children to write thank-you cards β€” it's an exercise in insincerity, he says, and there are better ways to promote gratitude.
Diego Cervo iStockphoto

Now that the holidays are over, another season has arrived. It's time for children to put pen to paper and scratch out thank you letters β€” all under the watchful eye of their parents.

In a recent piece for The Guardian, Peter Ormerod argues that it's time to do away with that ritual. He writes that thank you letters "represent arguably the first instance in our lives when insincerity is officially sanctioned, which is particularly sad given that the best thing about children is their honesty."

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8:08am

Sun January 4, 2015
Politics

Newark's New Mayor Proves His Crime-Fighting Powers Early

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 5:21 pm

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, speaks during a news conference in November. He had met with city Police Chief Anthony Campos and protest organizers after a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
Julio Cortez AP

Across the Hudson River in Newark, N.J., the murder rate is down, but the new mayor there says that's just a small step in a very long effort to make Newark a safer place to live.

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7:01pm

Sat January 3, 2015
The Salt

Marketers Turn To Memories Of Sweeter Times To Sell Cereal

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:54 am

General Mills is bringing back the popular '90s cereal in a nod to nostalgia and in the hopes of boosting its weak cereal sales.
General Mills AP

The taste of foods from our childhood can trigger intense emotional reactions. It's a fact well known to students of French literature and marketing executives.

And it's changing the make-up of the cereal aisle. Thanks to the power of food nostalgia, General Mills is bringing back the sugary cereal French Toast Crunch.

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5:57pm

Sat January 3, 2015
My Big Break

Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots: Mireya Mayor's Big Break

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:54 am

During a wildlife survey in Madagascar, Mayor discovered a new species of mouse lemur. "[It] weighs less than two ounces, fits in the palm of your hands," she says.
Mark Thiessen Courtesy of Mireya Mayor

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Mireya Mayor's life plays out like an adventure film.

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11:11am

Sat January 3, 2015
Race

The Goal: To Remember Each Jim Crow Killing, From The '30s On

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 2:00 pm

Police watch a crowd of African-Americans as they wait for a car pool lift in 1956 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Don Cravens The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

The state of race relations in the United States has captivated the country for months. But a group of Northeastern University law students is looking to the past to a sometimes forgotten, violent part of American history.

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8:00am

Sat January 3, 2015
Goats and Soda

U.N.'s Anthony Banbury: Zero Cases Of Ebola Is The Only Option

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:59 am

Anthony Banbury (second from left) just completed his final tour of West Africa before stepping down as the head of U.N.'s Ebola mission.
Reuters/Landov

As the new year begins, the Ebola virus continues its deadly spread in West Africa. More than 20,000 are infected and nearly 8,000 have died throughout the region. The number of victims keeps climbing in Guinea and Sierra Leone, and dozens of new Ebola cases in Liberia this week mark a setback after recent improvements.

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3:49am

Thu January 1, 2015
The Salt

Pastry With Soul. It's That Simple

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 9:02 am

Grilled lemon pound cake topped with slow-roasted nectarines, basil gelato and olive oil drizzle. Yum.
Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

NPR's David Greene enjoyed a little time in the kitchen just before the holidays with Brooks Headley, a punk-rock musician and award-winning pastry chef at New York's Del Posto. Other chefs may revel in fancy technique, but Headley prefers keeping things simple. He says he never wanted to be so obsessed with presentation that the conversation at the dinner table stopped when dessert arrived.

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5:53pm

Wed December 31, 2014
Found Recipes

A Cure For The Common Hangover, Found On The Stove

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 11:52 am

After a long night, don't head to the medicine cabinet β€” head directly to the stove and a simmering pot of posole.
Jesse Hendrix Inman Courtesy of Estes PR

On New Year's Day, there's one comfort food that could be your magical hangover remedy, according to chef Anthony Lamas.

"If you're cold, you're hung over, you've had a long night, posole is that Latino cure for you in a bowl," he says.

That's right β€” don't head to the medicine cabinet, head directly to the stove and a simmering pot of posole, a traditional hominy stew from Mexico, says Lamas, the owner of the restaurant Seviche in Louisville, Ky.

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12:40pm

Wed December 31, 2014
Goats and Soda

Fallen Heroes: A Tribute To The Health Workers Who Died Of Ebola

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 4:51 pm

Theses 32 health workers are among the 360-plus who sacrificed their lives in the fight against Ebola. Their names are listed below. The photos are displayed at the Liberian Midwives Association in Monrovia.
NPR Composite

More than 360 African health workers died of Ebola this year. Some of them made headlines around the world, such as Dr. Umar Sheik Khan, the Sierra Leonean physician who treated more than 100 Ebola patients before contracting the disease himself.

But most of the fallen health workers didn't get that degree of attention. They were doctors, nurses, midwives, lab technicians. They didn't have the proper protective equipment. As they tried to save the lives of others, they sacrificed their own.

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3:25am

Wed December 31, 2014
Code Switch

Roxane Gay: 2014 Was The Year Of 'Enough Is Enough'

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 12:32 pm

Roxane Gay is an author who examines race, culture and gender.
Jay Grabiec Roxanegay.com

In an interview this week with NPR, President Obama asserted that the country is less racially divided than when he took office:

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