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5:05pm

Sat May 30, 2015
Movie Interviews

Fact-Checking 'San Andreas': Are Earthquake Swarms For Real?

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 1:11 am

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Carla Gugino star in the action thriller San Andreas.
Jasin Boland Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The new movie San Andreas, starring Dwayne Johnson (better known as The Rock), is about a California earthquake so powerful that it destroys Los Angeles and San Francisco, and people can feel it all the way over on the East Coast.

Could this really happen? And can earthquakes ever be predicted, as one scientist (played by Paul Giamatti) succeeds in doing in this movie? We did some fact-checking with seismologist Lucile Jones of the U.S. Geological Survey.

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5:05pm

Sat May 30, 2015
Music Interviews

When Nora Jane Struthers' Identity Was Stolen, She Created A New One

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 6:07 pm

Nora Jane Struthers' new album is titled Wake.
Courtesy of the artist

Nora Jane Struthers may never have become a singer-songwriter if her identity hadn't been stolen. Rebuilding her life allowed her to take a risk and do something she'd wanted to for years. It paid off: She has a new album out titled Wake.

Her story begins at a charter school in Brooklyn where Struthers worked as an English teacher.

"I started teaching sophomores and moved to teaching seniors in my last year," Struthers says. "I loved it."

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8:47am

Sat May 30, 2015
Iraq

Thousands Who Run, Few Who Fight: A Journalist On Ramadi's Fall

Originally published on Sun May 31, 2015 7:58 am

Iraqi anti-terrorism forces patrol in central Ramadi, Iraq, on April 18. A month later, the city fell to the self-declared Iraqi State. Ayman Oghanna, a journalist who was embedded with Iraqi Special Forces in the city, says the Special Forces are capable precision fighters — but are being asked to fill the role of an entire military.
AP

More than a week ago, the Iraqi city of Ramadi, in Anbar province, was taken by the self-declared Islamic State.

The fall of that key city wasn't just a setback for Iraq: It was also a blow to the current U.S. strategy of trying to contain ISIS through air strikes.

Iraqi soldiers and Shiite militias allied with the Iraqi government continue to move against ISIS in Anbar Province. The battles bring back American memories. Some of the fiercest fighting in the Iraq War ocurred there, and many Americans died trying to win back the city of Ramadi from Sunni insurgents.

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3:28pm

Tue May 26, 2015
All Tech Considered

Got A Voice For Radio? The Algorithm Speaks

Originally published on Wed May 27, 2015 9:46 am

iStockphoto

Nearly a thousand of you heeded our call on All Tech Considered to submit a voice sample. The idea: Let a computer algorithm decide if you have a voice for radio.

Now, we've got the results.

Actor Wilbur Fitzgerald rated highly (surprise, surprise):

But most of you who responded are not actors. And it turns out, you don't need professional training to impress man or machine.

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6:22pm

Sun May 24, 2015
Author Interviews

Post-Ron Swanson, Nick Offerman Has The 'Gumption' To Be Himself

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 10:46 am

Courtesy of Dutton

TV recently lost its manliest man — a small-town government employee named Ron Swanson. Actor Nick Offerman's run on NBC's Parks and Recreation ended when the show went off the air in February. He's since shaved his mustache and gotten back to his normal self.

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5:16pm

Sun May 24, 2015
Interviews

'It's For You To Know That You Forgive,' Says Holocaust Survivor

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 6:54 pm

Auschwitz survivor Eva Kor sits in a courtroom in Lueneburg, northern Germany, on April 21, 2015. She testified at the trial of 93-year-old former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening.
Julian Stratenschulte AP

Around this time 70 years ago, following the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Europe, the world was coming to grips with the scale of the holocaust, and how to deal with crimes so horrendous, they're almost incomprehensible.

That process is still ongoing.

Right now in Germany, a 93-year-old former Nazi who served at Auschwitz is on trial. Holocaust survivor Eva Kor flew to Germany to testify about her experience in the camp.

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9:48pm

Sat May 23, 2015
Author Interviews

What If The Drought Doesn't End? 'The Water Knife' Is One Possibility

Ariel Zambelich NPR

What if the devastating drought in the western U.S. doesn't end? A few years ago, the science fiction writer Paolo Bacigalupi started exploring what could happen.

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6:01pm

Sat May 23, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Sunshine Superman': A Love Story Against The Backdrop of BASE Jumping

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 5:40 pm

Jean and Carl Boenish in jump down a ledge towards camera.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Two climbers died May 16 as they attempted a wing suit flight in Yosemite National Park. Dean Potter and Graham Hunt were BASE jumping, a sport that involves parachuting from a fixed structure.

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6:01pm

Sat May 23, 2015
Television

Alfonso Ribeiro Wants To Let 'Funniest Home Videos' Shine

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:49 pm

Alfonso Ribeiro, best known as Carlton Banks from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air will host America's Funniest Home Videos for its 26th season starting in the fall.
Sam Diephuis

America's Funniest Home Videos has a new host.

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9:29am

Sat May 23, 2015
Iraq

Robert Gates: Obama Should Step Up Military Assistance To Iraq

Originally published on Sat May 23, 2015 9:48 pm

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates at the Boy Scouts of America's annual meeting in 2014. "There's no certainty about any of this," he says of the situation in Iraq.
Mark Zaleski AP

The self-declared Islamic State gained a real grip on Iraq and Syria this week, capturing the cities of Ramadi and parts of Mosul in Iraq, and the ancient town Palmyra, Syria.

Most recently, ISIS has claimed credit for a suicide bomb attack inside Saudi Arabia on a Shiite mosque during Friday prayers. That attack killed at least 19 and could represent a significant escalation of the extremist group's operations in the kingdom.

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7:06pm

Tue May 19, 2015
All Tech Considered

Reddit's New Harassment Policy Aimed At Creating A 'Safe Platform'

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 8:20 pm

A Reddit mascot is shown at the company's headquarters in San Francisco. Reddit has published a new policy aimed at harassment on the site.
Robert Galbraith Reuters/Landov

Reddit, billed by its founders as "the front page of the Internet," has long been known as a place of unbridled free speech on the Web where users, known as Redditors, post text, pictures and videos.

But that unbridled free speech sometimes spills over into harassment, sexism and racism. Over the past couple of years, Reddit has been at the center of several controversies concerning harassment, including the release of hundreds of private celebrity photos. It's also become infamous for its unbridled vitriol.

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6:09pm

Tue May 19, 2015
Author Interviews

In 'Out Of Line,' The Many, Many Acts Of Jules Feiffer

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 7:22 pm

Jules Feiffer Courtesy of ABRAMS Books

A critic once called Jules Feiffer "one of the best cartoonists now writing" and "the best writer now cartooning." That quote is in Out of Line, a new book about Feiffer, a man who does both words and pictures.

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5:22pm

Mon May 18, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Tech Behind Traffic Apps: How (Well) Do They Work?

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 10:50 pm

Four different apps can sometimes present four different routes. Screenshots of a few of the apps All Things Considered host Robert Siegel tested, from left to right: Google Maps, Inrix, Nokia Here, and Apple Maps.
Google; Inrix; Nokia; Apple

The challenge of strategizing the best route to work against the herd of other drivers can be as routine as the daily commute itself. A number of apps are out there to help shortcut one's route and evade traffic jams. But which ones are the most accurate? And how?

The All Tech Considered team put a few competing traffic apps to the test in Robert Siegel's usual short commute from Arlington, Va., to NPR's D.C. headquarters.

The Test Drive

This ride is about 15 minutes in no traffic. But it's now morning rush hour.

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7:11pm

Sun May 17, 2015
Race

Often Employees, Rarely CEOs: Challenges Asian-Americans Face In Tech

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:47 am

Google was one of five Silicon Valley companies included in a recent study that looked at executive-level representation for Asian-Americans in the tech industry.
Marcio Jose Sanchez AP

A new report on diversity in Silicon Valley shows that Asians and Asian-Americans are well-represented in lower-level positions — but, in comparison, severely underrepresented at the management and executive levels at five large, established tech companies.

Ascend, an Asian-American professional organization based in New York, found that although 27 percent of professionals working at those companies are Asian or Asian-American, fewer than 19 percent of managers, and just under 14 percent of executives, are.

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6:21pm

Sun May 17, 2015
Television

TV Thriller 'Wayward Pines' Offers Suspense — And An Ending

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 8:56 pm

In Chad Hodge's new Fox series, Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two missing federal agents.
Liane Hentscher FOX

The new Fox thriller Wayward Pines opens with a chilling scene. A man wakes up in the middle of the forest with cuts and bruises all over his body. Lost and confused, he stumbles into town. The audience soon learns the man is a Secret Service agent named Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon.

"He goes to the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, looking for two other Secret Service agents who went missing there and pretty soon he finds out he can't leave," Chad Hodge, showrunner and creator, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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9:31am

Sat May 16, 2015
It's All Politics

RedState Advises Less Meat-Throwing, More Substance In GOP Campaigns

RedState Editor Erick Erickson is asking Republican candidates attending this year's RedState Gathering to focus on what they would do for the country, not what red meat they can throw at Democrats.
Tony Gutierrez AP

After the Republican presidential candidates finish their first debate this summer, many will head to Atlanta for a summit hosted by Erick Erickson, conservative activist and editor-in-chief of RedState.com.

This year, Erickson's RedState Gathering is scheduled for the same weekend as the Iowa Straw Poll.

Jeb Bush has already indicated he will go to the RedState Gathering rather than Iowa. Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Bobby Jindal, Marco Rubio and Rick Perry are also going. Most will try to attend both events, Erickson says.

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8:53am

Sat May 16, 2015
Religion

Losing Faith: A Religious Leader On America's Disillusionment With Church

Originally published on Sat May 16, 2015 11:23 am

The Very Rev. Gary Hall, dean of the Washington National Cathedral, stands outside the church in Washington, D.C., in 2013.
Evan Vucci AP

The U.S. is less Christian than it used to be, and fewer Americans choose to be a part of any religion, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

Of the more than 35,000 people surveyed, 70 percent say they are Christian — but the number of people who call themselves atheist and agnostic has nearly doubled in the last seven years.

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4:52am

Fri May 15, 2015
StoryCorps

Dad Aches For Son Killed By Policeman 20 Years Ago

Originally published on Fri May 15, 2015 12:51 pm

Nicholas Heyward Jr. the year before he was killed. "I would give my life today if I could, you know, just have him back," his dad said during a recent visit to StoryCorps.
Courtesy of Nicholas Heyward Sr.

Before Ferguson, Baltimore, Tamir Rice or Eric Garner, there was 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr.

In 1994, he was playing in the stairwell of the Gowanus Housing Project, where he lived in Brooklyn, when a police officer shot and killed him.

"He was an amazing kid and I don't just say that because he was my son," Nicholas Heyward Sr. says during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

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6:36pm

Wed May 13, 2015
The Salt

There's More To Farm-Fresh Prairie Food Than Steak And Soybeans

At ZJ Farm in Solon, Iowa, Susan Jutz, left, walks with her friend and mentor of Kate Edwards, right, of Wild Woods Farms. Once the plants get big enough at ZJ Farm Edwards transplants them to Wild Woods.
Dana Damewood Courtesy of Agate Publishing

Think local Nebraska food, and Omaha's famous steaks may come to mind. The Great Plains are indeed an agricultural powerhouse when it comes to commodities like feed corn, soybeans, beef and pork.

But as food journalist Summer Miller tells Meghna Chakrabarti of NPR's Here & Now, there's much more on offer these days in Nebraska, as well as in its Great Plains neighbors Iowa and South Dakota.

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7:08pm

Sun May 10, 2015
Mental Health

In Palo Alto's High-Pressure Schools, Suicides Lead To Soul-Searching

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 10:51 am

Since October of last year, four teenagers in California's Palo Alto school district have taken their own lives. Tragically, it's not the first cluster of teen suicides this area has seen: In 2009 and 2010, five local teenagers killed themselves by stepping in front of trains, and more suicides followed the next year.

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6:35pm

Sun May 10, 2015
Author Interviews

Danielewski Returns With A Long, Sideways Look At 'The Familiar'

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 6:46 am

On pages 68-69 from Mark Danielewski's The Familiar, Volume 1, the main character Xanther looks out the window of her father's car during a rainy drive.
Mark Z. Danielewski Courtesy of Pantheon, a division of Random House LLC.

If you met the author Mark Danielewski on an elevator, here's how your conversation might go:

"What are you doing these days?"

"I'm writing a novel," he replies. "It's 27 volumes long."

"Wow," you might say. "What's it about?"

"It's about this little girl who finds a little kitten."

"Twenty-seven volumes, huh?"

"Ah, it's a very intense subject."

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10:06am

Sun May 10, 2015
All Tech Considered

Coming Soon To A Highway Near You: A Semitruck With A Brain

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 9:14 am

The Daimler Freightliner Inspiration, a self-driving long-haul truck, is seen during an event at the Hoover Dam, May 5, 2015, near Boulder City, Nev.
John Locher AP

Imagine you're on the highway. You glance into the cab of the 18-wheeler next to you — and there's no driver. That day might be getting closer.

Automaker Daimler unveiled a truck last week that drives itself, called the Freightliner Inspiration. But the truck is not yet entirely autonomous.

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8:03am

Sat May 9, 2015
Sports

A Cup's Adventures And Oddities On Ice: 140 Years Of Hockey Trivia

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 3:31 pm

An ice hockey match between the U.S.A. and Canada in February 1936, during the Winter Olympics at Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Central Press Getty Images

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are well underway. Fans of the Winnipeg Jets are heartbroken; Chicago Blackhawk lovers are feeling great.

But you don't need to be an NHL superfan to find something fascinating about hockey. A.J. Jacobs, an editor-at-large for Esquire and a professional know-it-all, joined NPR's Scott Simon to talk about quirky facts from the sport's past and present.

How much hockey trivia do you know? Take a guess at which of the facts below are true, then hit "play" to see if you were right.

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8:10pm

Fri May 8, 2015
Animals

In 'Rise Of Animals,' Sir David Attenborough Tells Story Of Vertebrates

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:23 pm

Sir David Attenborough at the Beijing Museum of Natural History with fossil of Juramaia, as featured in the Smithsonian Channel series Rise of Animals: Triumph of the Vertebrates.
Courtesy Smithsonian Channel

Famed British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough has been lending his calming voice to nature documentaries ever since TV was in black and white.

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5:47am

Wed May 6, 2015
The Race Card Project: Six-Word Essays

6 Words: 'My Name Is Jamaal ... I'm White'

Originally published on Wed May 6, 2015 2:09 pm

Jamaal Allan is a teacher in Des Moines, Iowa. His name has taken him on a lifelong odyssey of racial encounters.
Courtesy of Jamaal Allan

NPR continues a series of conversations from The Race Card Project, in which thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words.

People make a lot of assumptions based on a name alone.

Jamaal Allan, a high school teacher in Des Moines, Iowa, should know. To the surprise of many who have only seen his name, Allan is white. And that's taken him on a lifelong odyssey of racial encounters.

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3:22am

Mon May 4, 2015
Photography

A Landscape Of Abundance Becomes A Landscape Of Scarcity

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 11:44 am

Courtesy of Matt Black

Photographer Matt Black grew up in California's Central Valley. He has dedicated his life to documenting the area's small towns and farmers.

Last year, he says he realized what had been a mild drought was now severe. It had simply stopped raining.

"It was kind of a daily surreal thing to walk outside," Black says.

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6:52pm

Sun May 3, 2015
All Tech Considered

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 9:37 am

ResearchKit, presented by Apple's Jeff Williams in March, enables app creation to aid medical research.
Eric Risberg AP

Most of the tech buzz these days has centered on the new Apple Watch — including on the potential for health-related apps. Less attention has been given to Apple's ResearchKit, an open-source mobile software platform released in March.

But the medical world is paying attention.

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10:11am

Sun May 3, 2015
Asia

Nepal's Medical Worries: Crowded Hospitals, Open Wounds

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 2:09 pm

Hospital staff members work at the reception area of a hospital in Kathmandu. Some 14,000 were injured in Nepal's earthquake.
Nicolas Asfouri AFP/Getty Images

An estimated 14,000 were injured in April's earthquake in Nepal. The caseload is overwhelming hospitals in Kathmandu, says Dr. Bianca Grecu-Jacobs, a resident in emergency medicine from California who was working in Nepal when the quake struck.

"[In] the lobby areas, patients just are on the floor waiting," Grecu-Jacobs says via Skype from Katmandu. "They strung up IVs for patients who need them in whatever manner they can."

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7:53pm

Tue April 28, 2015
Book News & Features

Graphic Novel About Holocaust 'Maus' Banned In Russia For Its Cover

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 12:17 pm

Cartoonist Art Spiegelman attends the French Institute Alliance Francaise's "After Charlie: What's Next for Art, Satire and Censorship" at Florence Gould Hall on Feb. 19 in New York City.
Mark Sagliocco Getty Images

Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning graphic novel about the Holocaust, Maus, has some very memorable cover art. It pictures a pair of mice — representing Jews — huddling beneath a cat-like caricature of Adolf Hitler. Behind the feline Hitler is a large swastika.

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3:49am

Tue April 28, 2015
Author Interviews

'Ashley's War' Details Vital Work Of Female Soldiers In Afghanistan

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 5:56 pm

First Lt. Ashley White was one of some 55 to 60 women selected for cultural support teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. She did not make it home. She was the first woman to die and be honored alongside the Army Rangers with whom she served.
Courtesy of the White Family

The Pentagon says women could be eligible for all combat roles in the military by next year, but some women already have been fighting — and dying — for their country. They're serving right alongside elite special operations units, such as the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers.

It's part of an effort to connect with half of the Afghan population that was off-limits to male soldiers: the women. Some military leaders considered reaching them one of the keys to winning the war.

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