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Arts Life

With Modern Makeovers, America's Libraries Are Branching Out

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Library or Apple store? The Digital Commons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., has more screens than it does books. It's just one example of the many ways libraries are remodeling to meet the needs of 21st century users.

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Restaurant Critic Finds Meaning At The Olive Garden In 'Grand Forks'

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Eighty-seven-year-old restaurant critic Marilyn Hagerty gained viral fame last year with a positive review of the Olive Garden in Grand Forks, N.D. Her work has now been collected in a new book, Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews.

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A Return To Trollope: Did The Book Change — Or Did I?

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Author Ann Kirschner first read Anthony Trollope's Palliser series as a graduate student. Now, returning to it after more than 20 years, she finds her impression of the Victorian tale has transformed along with her life.

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Discovering The Small Miracle Of The Soup Dumpling

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Soup dumplings are a miracle of transubstantiation, and the reciprocal of every other dumpling you've had. If they're made right, the dough will release the broth and fade away as you snap through the meaty filling.

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Welcome To 'Night Vale' — Watch Out For The Tarantulas

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The popular Welcome to Night Vale podcast imagines a creepy desert town where conspiracies are real. From the hooded figures lurking in the closed-up dog park to the mysterious lights above the Arby's, Night Vale is a standard small American town that's just not quite right.

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Shacochis Spans Generations In 'The Woman Who Lost Her Soul'

Saturday, August 31, 2013

In his new book, The Woman Who Lost Her Soul, Bob Shacochis returns to Haiti, but also takes the reader across continents and generations. The 700-page book has been compared to the work of Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and Norman Mailer.

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Not My Job: Pianist Emanuel Ax Takes A Quiz On Axe Body Spray

Saturday, August 31, 2013

The classical pianist has won seven Grammy awards and recorded with the world's greatest orchestras. We've invited him to play a game called "You make men irresistible to women!"

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The Rise And Fall Of Slackers

Saturday, August 31, 2013

As we pause this Labor Day weekend to celebrate the Great American Worker, we can't help but wonder: Where have all the do-nothings gone? Like pay phones and video parlors, slackers seem to have disappeared.

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Call Me, Haiti? One Man's Quest To Skype Around The World

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Mark Malkoff has lived inside of an IKEA store, consumed beverages at 171 Starbucks in Manhattan in less than 24 hours and proved that his kid's Big Wheel bike could beat a New York City bus. Now, the comedian has video chatted with people in 162 different countries — including North Korea.

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This Pork Loin Sandwich Starts With Happy Pigs

Saturday, August 31, 2013

One Rhode Island chef collects all of the ingredients for his sandwich, including the meat, at the local farmer's market. It's piled high with herb-marinaded slaw and greens for a picnic lunch that requires plenty of napkins.

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Questions For Hugh Howey, Author Of 'WOOL'

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Hugh Howey is the author of the dystopian WOOL series, about a future in which the remains of humanity are living underground in giant self-sustaining silos. The first volume of WOOL was a self-publishing sensation; the latest volume, Dust, has just been released.

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Don't Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Our story on the food safety risks posed by rinsing raw birds — a step advocated by many chefs and cookbooks — inflamed passions and prompted many questions. Here, we tackle some of your most frequently raised concerns.

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Heaney's Poems — Great, Dangerous, Healing — Live On

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney died this morning in Dublin at the age of 74. In a remembrance, poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher writes that Heaney had mastered sound and nuance, crafting poems you can taste and feel, alive and powerful, as you speak them aloud.

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How Do You Say ...? For Some Words, There's No Easy Translation

Friday, August 30, 2013

The feeling of solitude in the woods ... the sunlight that filters through trees ... someone who tells a joke so badly that you have to laugh. In English, these things require a whole string of words. Not so in German, Japanese and Indonesian, respectively.

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Too Weird To Be True? In China, You Never Can Tell

Friday, August 30, 2013

Foreign news coverage of China is often deadly serious: corruption, pollution and the like. Then there's the funny and bizarre that often goes viral — like the zoo that swapped a dog for a lion. A number of websites are making these offbeat and satirical tales increasingly available in English.

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Really Hard Edition: Part 2

Friday, August 30, 2013

The hour continues as host Ophira Eisenberg, house musician Jonathan Coulton and puzzle editor Art Chung unearth notorious stumpers from the Ask Me Another archives. Play along with spelling game "Top Row," mix pop music with mental math in "Algebraic Music," and make puns of world leaders' names in "Imperial Pets."

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If Revolution Isn't Televised, Can It Be Tweeted?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Host Michel Martin and editor Ammad Omar crack open the listener inbox for backtalk. This week, listeners tweet about online activism, and education.

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Does The NFL's Proposed Settlement Change The Game?

Friday, August 30, 2013

The National Football League has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in a settlement over concussion-related injuries. But the league also denies any wrongdoing. So is it a victory for the players? The Barbershop guys weigh in.

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Really Hard Edition: Part 1

Friday, August 30, 2013

This hour, revisit some of Ask Me Another's hardest games with host Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle editor Art Chung. This segment includes "The Philosopher's Comedy Club," which imagines that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard were actually hacky comedians, and "Presidential Middle Names," a mash-up round that may melt your brain.

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Really Hard Edition: Part 3

Friday, August 30, 2013

In this final segment, puzzle editor Art Chung explains how he creates games specifically for our V.I.Ps. Hear chess Grandmaster play a game about the quirks of fellow chess players, plus an interview with NPR puzzlemaster Will Shortz and a diabolical anagram of Shortz' own devising.

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