NPR Staff



Fri June 19, 2015

'I'm So Proud To Have You As A Daughter'

Originally published on Fri June 19, 2015 12:20 pm

Mario Loiseau and his daughter Mabou during a recent visit to StoryCorps.

Mario Loiseau works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant, to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter Mabou's tutoring. Mabou is a science and language prodigy and is already studying college-level algebra.

"So Daddy, how did you feel when I was born?" she asked her father during a recent visit to StoryCorps in New York City.

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Fri June 19, 2015
Movie Interviews

'Sadness Is Like A Superhero': Amy Poehler On Pixar's 'Inside Out'

Originally published on Sun June 21, 2015 12:37 pm

"[Sadness is] such a funny opposite energy to Joy, who is literally jumping up and down," Poehler says. "And Sadness just wants to lie down and kind of feel her feelings." Poehler plays Joy (left) and Phyllis Smith plays Sadness in the new film Inside Out.

A new animated feature from Pixar aims to do the near-impossible, as any parent would tell you: get inside the mind of a preteen girl. Inside Out is about an 11-year-old girl named Riley, but the real stars are her emotions — five colorful characters representing joy, sadness, anger, fear and disgust.

Pete Docter, the creative force behind Up and Monsters, Inc., wrote and directed the film, and actress Amy Poehler plays Joy. Both of them laugh about one of the biggest challenges of the movie: deciding how many emotions to include.

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Thu June 18, 2015
The Two-Way

The Victims: 9 Were Slain At Charleston's Emanuel AME Church

Originally published on Sat June 20, 2015 8:44 pm

Charleston residents visit a makeshift memorial for victims of Wednesday's mass shooting at the Emanuel AME Church on Calhoun Steet in Charleston, S.C.
Randall Hill Reuters /Landov

The nine people who were killed in a mass shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday have been identified by the authorities.

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Sun June 14, 2015
Author Interviews

'You Couldn't Make This Stuff Up': Inside The Lives Of The 'China Rich'

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 1:06 pm

Lydia Thompson NPR

In his 2014 novel Crazy Rich Asians, author Kevin Kwan took readers to Singapore and into the lives of Asia's elite, who live in a world of opulence so extreme, it's absurd.

The novel became an international best-seller, with a movie in the works.

Now those Crazy Rich Asians are back as a mix of old and new characters in Kwan's new novel, China Rich Girlfriend.

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Sun June 14, 2015

'Man With The Golden Arm' Donates Blood That Has Saved 2 Million Babies

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 11:20 am

James Harrison was recognized in 2003 with the Guinness World Record for the most blood donated by one person.
DAVID GRAY Reuters /Landov

When James Harrison was 14, he got really sick. One of his lungs had to be removed, and he needed a lot of blood.

"I was in the hospital for three months and I had 100 stitches," he recalls.

After receiving 13 units — almost 2 gallons — of donated blood, Harrison knew right away that he wanted to give back.

"I was always looking forward to donating, right from the operation, because I don't know how many people it took to save my life," he says. "I never met them, didn't know them."

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Sun June 14, 2015

In Massachusetts Lab, Scientists Grow An Artificial Rat Limb

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 7:00 am

In the study, muscle cells were injected into the cell-free "scaffolding" of a rat limb, which provided shape and structure onto which regenerated tissue could grow.
Bernhard Jank, MD Ott Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine

A team of scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston made news earlier this month when they published research in the journal Biomaterials describing how they'd created the world's first bioartificial limb in the laboratory.

Or, in other words: scientists have now grown the entire forelimb of a rat in a lab.

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Sat June 13, 2015
Author Interviews

'Seven Good Years' Between The Birth Of A Son, Death Of A Father

Lydia Thompson NPR

Israeli writer Etgar Keret is beloved around the world for his funny, haunting and frequently fantastical short stories. But he's hardly one to stick to a single medium: on top of his stories, he's written graphic novels, TV shows, movie scripts and a children's book. And public radio fans may know his work from its numerous appearances on This American Life.

But for 25 years — whether in print, on air, on screen or in comic-book form — he only wrote fiction.

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Sat June 13, 2015

Academic Foul: Some Colleges Accused Of Helping Athletes Cheat

Originally published on Sat June 13, 2015 6:21 pm

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faces charges of NCAA violations including the existence of sham classes and grade inflation for student-athletes.
Gerry Broome AP

Some college athletes are cheating, and the NCAA is cracking down on universities that enable them to do it. Earlier this year, the NCAA came down hard on Syracuse University for academic fraud.

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Tue June 9, 2015
Michel Martin, Going There

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement: Marches And Tweets For Healing

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 1:09 am

Desiree Griffiths of Miami holds up a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" during a protest over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Lynne Sladky AP

In 2013, after George Zimmerman was acquitted for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a young woman in California named Alicia Garza wrote an emotional Facebook post that ended with the words "Our Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter." Her friend, Patrisse Cullors, turned that into a hashtag.

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Mon June 8, 2015
Music News

Amid Violence In Baghdad, A Musician Creates A One-Man Vigil

Originally published on Mon June 15, 2015 5:11 pm

Karim Wasfi, conductor of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra, at his home in Baghdad, has been playing his cello at the sites of explosive attacks in Baghdad.
Ahmed Qusay for NPR

The roar of a car bomb has been the prelude to Karim Wasfi's performances of late.

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Sun June 7, 2015
Author Interviews

In Debut Novel, Air Force Officer Questions How We Honor Our Veterans

Originally published on Sun June 7, 2015 6:21 pm

Lydia Thompson NPR

Why do we honor combat veterans? In his new novel, Air Force officer Jesse Goolsby asks that question through the stories of three veterans, their experiences in war and their lives back at home.

I'd Walk with My Friends If I Could Find Them is grounded in the wars of the last 15 years, but Goolsby points out the action takes place as much in the private lives the men lead in America as it does on the battlefield.

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Sun June 7, 2015
All Tech Considered

What Makes Algorithms Go Awry?

Originally published on Wed June 10, 2015 2:23 pm

By clicking "Like" and commenting on Facebook posts, users signal the social network's algorithm that they care about something. That in turn helps influence what they see later. Algorithms like that happen all over the web — and the programs can reflect human biases.

Like it or not, much of what we encounter online is mediated by computer-run algorithms — complex formulas that help determine our Facebook feeds, Netflix recommendations, Spotify playlists or Google ads.

But algorithms, like humans, can make mistakes. Last month, users found the photo-sharing site Flickr's new image-recognition technology was labeling dark-skinned people as "apes" and auto-tagging photos of Nazi concentration camps as "jungle gym" and "sport."

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Fri June 5, 2015
Code Switch

Former Baltimore Mayor: City Must Confront The 'Rot Beneath The Glitter'

Originally published on Fri June 5, 2015 7:58 am

Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, is now the president of the University of Baltimore.
Courtesy of the University of Baltimore

It's the end of a tough week in Baltimore. Tensions continue in the Freddie Gray case. And now the murder rate has spiked to a 40-year high. One man who understands well what the city is going through is Kurt Schmoke. He's a native son and was elected as Baltimore's first black mayor in 1987. He served three terms, grappling with high unemployment, poor schools and violent crime.

Now the president of the University of Baltimore, Schmoke shares his memories of the city and his thoughts about moving it forward with Morning Edition.

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Thu June 4, 2015
Music Interviews

Telling Brian Wilson's Fractured Life Story On Film

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 8:50 pm

Paul Dano (center) co-stars in Love & Mercy as Brian Wilson in the 1960s heyday of The Beach Boys.
Francois Duhamel Roadside Attractions


Wed June 3, 2015
National Security

Gen. Martin Dempsey On Iraq: A Fight That Will Take 'Multiple Years'

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:42 am

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey speaks during the graduation ceremony at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on May 23. In an interview with NPR, he says he's not surprised by the slow going against the Islamic State, predicting it will be a "long campaign."
Mike Groll AP

Gen. Martin Dempsey has spent more than a decade dealing with Iraq, and as his tenure as chairman of the Joint Chiefs winds down, he sees a conflict that will long outlast his time in uniform.

Dempsey helped train the Iraqi military from 2005 to 2007 in what he describes as a "debacle" in the early stages. He saw the rapid rise of the self-described Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. And now he oversees the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the extremist group in both Iraq and Syria.

And he has no illusions it will be quick or easy.

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Wed June 3, 2015
Music Interviews

Mumford & Sons On Plugging In And Turning Up

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 7:07 pm

Mumford & Sons' electrified new album is called Wilder Mind.
Ty Johnson Courtesy of the artist


Tue June 2, 2015
The Salt

A Tome For Peruvian Food, By Its Most Acclaimed Ambassador

Originally published on Tue June 2, 2015 2:42 pm

Mixed ceviche from Peru: The Cookbook.
Courtesy of Phaidon Press

Maybe you've noticed a dish that keeps popping up in more restaurants across the U.S.

Peru is one of the countries that lays claim to ceviche, which is made of raw fish and chilies, cured in lime juice.

So how do you know you're tasting a perfect ceviche?

"In the first bite, you want to find a strong citrus flavor balanced with the fish, and a little bit spicy, but a fresh spicy given by a fresh chili," says chef Gaston Acurio.

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Sun May 31, 2015
Author Interviews

Rich Housewives Go Under The Microscope In 'Primates Of Park Avenue'

Originally published on Thu June 4, 2015 12:13 pm

Emily Bogle NPR

On the hunt from a good public school for her son, Wednesday Martin moved from her old home in downtown Manhattan to a new one just a few miles north. The spots were no more than a short cab ride away from one another, yet she soon found they were galaxies apart in personality.

For one thing, the moms around her looked entirely different.

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Sat May 30, 2015
Author Interviews

'Like An Avalanche': Otis Redding's Unstoppable Crossover

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

Author Mark Ribowsky describes Otis Redding as "bigger than the music he sang, because of how he sang and interpreted it during the most traumatic, metamorphic decade in history."
Volt Records / Wikimedia Commons


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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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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Sat May 30, 2015

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.

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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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


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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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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Sun May 24, 2015

'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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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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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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Sat May 23, 2015

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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Sat May 23, 2015

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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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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