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Author Interviews
2:22 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Tamari Greens, Miso Yams: Chef Gives Vegans Multicultural Flavor

Jennifer MartinΓ© Da Capo Lifelong Books

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:18 pm

Veganism has long been thought of as a bland, fringe diet typically associated with hippies or trend-setting Hollywood types. But chef Bryant Terry is trying to chip away at that stereotype.

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Arts & Life
2:21 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Let's Double Down On A Superstorm Of Malarkey: Picking 2012's Word Of The Year

Selfie, one of the candidates for 2012's Word of the Year, means a self-portrait photograph, usually posted to a social networking site.
textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/Original image by Diana Walker for Time

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 1:26 pm

There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching? Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?

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Remembrances
7:38 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Schwarzkopf, Commander In Gulf War, Dies At 78

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

General Norman Schwarzkopf has died. The military leader who earned the nickname Stormin' Norman was 78 years old. He became a household name in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, commanding the U.S.-led international coalition that drove Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

Joining us now is NPR's Pentagon correspondent, Tom Bowman. And, Tom, to begin, tell us a little bit about his background. How did Schwarzkopf rise through the ranks?

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Books
5:56 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Libraries And E-Lending: The 'Wild West' Of Digital Licensing?

About three-quarters of public libraries offer digital lending, but finding a book you want can be frustrating β€” every publisher has its own set of rules.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

Have you ever borrowed an e-book from a library? If the answer is no, you're a member of a large majority. A survey out Thursday from the Pew Internet Project finds that only 5 percent of "recent library users" have tried to borrow an e-book this year.

About three-quarters of public libraries offer e-books, according to the American Library Association, but finding the book you want to read can be a challenge β€” when it's available at all.

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The Two-Way
4:51 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Italians Outraged By Priest's Claim That Women Bring Violence On Themselves

In Italy, a Catholic priest has stirred widespread outrage after he blamed incidents of domestic violence on the way women dress. Father Piero Corsi's remarks were in a Christmas message he put on a church bulletin board; photos of the note soon went viral.

As NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports, "a record 118 women have been murdered this year alone in domestic violence" in Italy, reportedly the highest number in Europe.

Here's more from Sylvia, in Rome:

"The title of message was 'Women and Femicide, How often do they provoke?'"

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The Two-Way
3:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

After Apparent Abduction, Miniature Pony Returns To Circus

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:45 am

Sighs of relief were breathed in Austria today, after a missing pony made it back to his circus after an apparent horse-napping. While it might seem difficult to steal, and then conceal, a horse, consider that the animal, named Fridolin, is only about two feet tall.

The miniature pony, a main attraction of the Vienna Christmas Circus, was found after a tip came in that the pint-sized horse "had been abandoned at a bus stop," reports the Vienna Times.

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Books
3:56 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Margaret Atwood has written 13 novels, including The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
George Whiteside

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

If you're a Margaret Atwood fan β€” and you've got some spare change under the couch cushions β€” just a few dollars will get you a stand-alone episode of the new novel she's writing in serial form.

It's called Positron, and Atwood is publishing it on Byliner, a website launched last year that's one of many new sites billing themselves as platforms for writers.

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Books
3:24 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry

Penguin and Random House, two of the biggest players in publishing, announced in October that they would merge.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books β€” many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.

Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House β€” with whispers of further mergers to come.

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Books
3:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads β€” and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

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It's All Politics
3:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Federal Government Prepares For Uncertain Landing After 'Fiscal Cliff'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

With negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff" uncertain at best, the Obama administration is trying to tamp down anxiety in the federal workforce.

The administration's message to various federal agencies is that there will be little immediate effect on public employees from the budget cuts scheduled to take effect next week if a deal is not reached. Treasury Department employees, for instance, were told not to expect "day to day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2."

For workers, of course, that's good news.

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Shots - Health News
3:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Shootings Leave Sandy Hook Survivors Rethinking The Odds

People visit a memorial outside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:02 pm

About a month ago, Declan Procaccini's 10-year-old son woke him early in the morning in a fright.

"He came into my bedroom and said, 'Dad, I had a horrible, horrible dream!' " Procaccini says. "He was really shaken up. I said, 'Tell me about it,' and he told me he'd had a dream that a teenager came into his classroom at his school and shot all the kids in front of him."

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The Two-Way
3:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Ski Resort Makes Snow With Treated Wastewater, After A Long Dispute

The Arizona Snowbowl resort began making snow exclusively with reclaimed wastewater this week. In this file photo, employees go up a ski lift at the resort.
Khampha Bouaphanh AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 5:14 pm

An Arizona ski resort is making snow for the first time this year, ending more than seven years' worth of legal battles over its snowmaking system, which relies entirely upon treated wastewater to coat its slopes when the snowfall has been uneven.

The resort, Arizona Snowbowl, has long been a target of American Indian tribes, who say it defiles sacred land. Critics have also said the snowmaking system might threaten an endangered plant. The resort sits on more than 700 acres of land that it leases from the U.S. Forest Service.

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Research News
3:20 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Birds Hang Around Mistletoe For More Than A Kiss

Researchers in Australia found that when they removed mistletoe from large sections of forests, vast numbers of birds left.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

For the Druids, mistletoe was sacred. For us, it's a cute ornament and maybe an excuse to steal a kiss. And of course it's a Christmas tradition.

But for a forest, mistletoe might be much more important. It's a parasite, shows up on tree branches and looks like an out-of-place evergreen bush hanging in the air.

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U.S.
2:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

A parking lot full of yellow taxis is flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 in Hoboken, N.J.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 8:40 pm

Opinion polls show 2012's extreme weather β€” producing wildfires, floods and drought β€” has more people making a connection with climate change. For Marti Andrews in southern New Jersey, a turning point was the summer's hurricane-like derecho.

"I don't want to say I freaked out about it, but holy crap, it scared me," she says. It packed winds up to 90 miles per hour and nonstop lightning, which Andrews says looked like some wild disco display in the sky.

"I've never seen anything like that," she says. "I sat there on the couch thinking, 'Oh my God, we're all gonna die!' "

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World
1:59 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Gerard Depardieu's Tax Flight Stirs Fierce Debate In France

French actor Gerard Depardieu speaks outside Paris in March. He recently said he was moving to neighboring Belgium to avoid France's new top tax rate of 75 percent. The news ignited a debate in France over taxes and patriotism.
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:02 pm

Gerard Depardieu, one of France's most iconic and beloved film stars, is now at the center of a national uproar over French taxes and patriotism.

Depardieu, who has been in around 200 films, says he's moving to Belgium to avoid paying a new 75 percent tax on the superwealthy. The move has divided the country and has focused attention on the Socialist government's controversial new tax policy.

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The Two-Way
1:30 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Woman Who Allegedly Posed As Newtown Victim's Aunt Is Arrested

After the attack: Balloons hung from the Sandy Hook Elementary School sign on Dec. 15. On Dec. 14, six adults and 20 children were killed there before the gunman took his own life.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

A woman who authorities say posed as an aunt of one of the 20 children killed in the attack on an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., and used a Facebook account to solicit money for a "funeral fund" has been arrested and charged with lying to federal agents.

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Author Interviews
1:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Talking About What It Means 'To Be Black'

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee in Washington. Each December, we try to catch up on a few of the important books we missed earlier in the year. "How to Be Black," by Baratunde Thurston is our choice for today; part memoir, part commentary on what it's like to be black in the U.S. right now.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

At The End Of The Day, Cliches Can Be As Good As Gold

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

So I'm wondering, how often have you actually counted your chickens before they'd hatched, or maybe thrown up a single stone and then hit two birds, not to mention having one of those critters in your hand that was worth two of them in the bush. Cliches are very often denounced as the most over-used and contemptible phrases in the English language.

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

With Clock Ticking, 'Fiscal Cliff ' Looms Ever-Closer

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:23 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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NPR Story
1:07 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

As Families Change Shape, Societies May, Too

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:16 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Celeste Headlee, in Washington, Neal Conan is away. For centuries, the foundation of human society, the basic building block, was the family: parents, children, grandchildren, passing knowledge and wealth down through generations. But all signs seem to indicate that in many parts of the world, the family is on the decline, and singles are on the rise.

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Shots - Health News
12:25 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Stores Recall 'Nap Nanny' After Feds Say It's A No-No

Nap Nanny Generation Two
CPSC

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 4:43 pm

The Consumer Products Safety Commission is fed up with the Nap Nanny.

Three models of the infant recliners β€” Nap Nanny Generations One and Two, and the Chill β€” are being recalled voluntarily by some of the nation's biggest retailers, including Amazon.com and Buy Buy Baby. Consumers can get refunds or credit toward another purchase.

The consumer agency says the recliners "contain defects in the design, warnings and instructions, which pose a substantial risk of injury and death to infants."

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Music
11:33 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Former PM Edward Seaga Heralds Jamaica's Music

Former prime minister and music producer, Edward Seaga, compiled an album to mark Jamaica's 50th anniversary of independence. It's called, Reggae Golden Jubilee: Origins of Jamaican Music. Host Michel Martin speaks to Mr. Seaga about what he sees as the 100 most significant songs to emerge from the country.

The Two-Way
11:24 am
Thu December 27, 2012

George Carlin, Van Halen & '27 Yankees Land On One Great 'Best Lists' List

George Carlin in 1981. The comedian's seven dirty words made the list of best lists.
Ken Howard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:54 pm

We continue to be on the watch for the best of the year-end "best-of lists." This one from The New Yorker stands out in our mind:

"The Hundred Best Lists Of All Time."

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It's All Politics
11:14 am
Thu December 27, 2012

When It Comes To Politics, States Are Barely United

Rather than a wave moving in one party's favor, crosscurrents have moved the states apart. One political scientist says, "This hardly ever happens, where the blue states get bluer and the red states redder, instead of the whole country going in one direction."
martinwimmer iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 1:10 pm

States in this country are becoming like an unhappy couple. They've always had their differences, but their arguments have gotten so chronic that they're hardly talking to each other.

Whether the topic is abortion, tax policy, marijuana or guns, Democratic "blue" states such as California and Illinois are bound to take a different tack than Republican "red" states such as Georgia and Kansas.

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Politics
11:10 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Poking Fun At Politics: A Year In Review

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. My thanks to Celeste Headlee for sitting in while I was away. Coming up, a new way to retire or keep a frail, aging loved one close. It's a new kind of prefab housing that you can set up in your back yard. We'll tell you more about it later in the program.

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On Aging
11:10 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Putting Granny Into A Pod

People hoping to provide care and independence for aging loved ones may want to consider the 'granny pod.' That's a high-tech cottage set up in your backyard. Host Michel Martin speaks to Socorrito Baez-Page, who bought one for her mother. Also with them is Susan Seliger, regular contributor to The New York Times' 'New Old Age' blog.

Author Interviews
10:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

R.A. Dickey On 'Winding Up' As A Knuckleballer

R.A. Dickey currently plays for the New York Mets. He was previously with the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
courtesy of the author

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:18 am

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on April 10, 2012.

Most pitchers in the majors stick to fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups when facing batters at the plate.

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Television
10:51 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Aaron Sorkin: The Writer Behind 'The Newsroom'

Aaron Sorkin's work includes A Few Good Men, The American President, The West Wing, Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War and The Social Network.
HBO

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:18 am

As part of our year-end wrap up, we are sharing the best Fresh Air interviews of 2012. This interview was originally broadcast on July 16, 2012.

Aaron Sorkin's HBO drama The Newsroom follows the inner workings of a fictional cable network trying to challenge America's hyperpartisan 24/7 news culture. It's a typical Sorkin drama, complete with fast-paced dialogue, witty scenes and a strong ensemble cast.

So why a newsroom?

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Race
10:42 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Census Bureau Rethinks The Best Way To Measure Race

A crowd crosses the street in midtown Manhattan.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Possible revisions to how the decennial census asks questions about race and ethnicity have raised concerns among some groups that any changes could reduce their population count and thus weaken their electoral clout.

The Census Bureau is considering numerous changes to the 2020 survey in an effort to improve the responses of minorities and more accurately classify Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern and multiracial populations.

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Shots - Health News
9:39 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Random Acts Of Kindness Can Make Kids More Popular

A hug is good for Mom, and good for her daughter.
iStockphoto.com

In the aftermath of Christmas, a parent could be forgiven for thinking that materialism has trumped human kindness.

Take heart. Children can easily become kinder and more helpful. And that behavior makes them more positive, more accepting and more popular.

At least that's how it worked for fourth- and fifth-graders in Vancouver, Canada. Researchers there have been studying empathy and altruism in schoolchildren for decades.

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