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Soundcheck

How To Be Smarter About... Tour Riders; The Creative Power Of Musical Duos; The Rosebuds Play Live

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In this episode: We’ve all heard the story about Van Halen’s famous anti-brown M&M tour rider. But, what is a tour rider, anyway? Why do bands have them? And what happens if their demands aren’t met? As part of Soundcheck's How To Be Smarter About... series, Jack “Skippy” McFadden, talent buyer for Austin City Limits Live, fills us in about what he does to keep artists happy backstage.

Then: The idea of the “genius” has existed for centuries – singlular people who stand out for their brilliance or ingenuity in a particular field. But a new book aims to broaden that scope, and take a look at not the lone genius, but at creative pairs. Author Joshua Wolf Shenk talks about his book, Powers of Two, and about history-altering musical duos.

And: The Rosebuds got its start a little over ten years ago, and along the way, the duo -- Ivan Howard and Kelly Crisp -- got married. Their 2011 album, Loud Planes Fly Low, chronicled the end of that marriage -- a breakup which, surprisingly, didn't break up the band. Since then, The Rosebuds has continued making music and just released its latest album. Hear the band perform songs from Sand + Silence in the Soundcheck studio.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Fine Particles, Fine Art, Fine Food

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

On today’s show: industrial hygienist Monona Rossol talks about the dangers of dust and how we can protect ourselves! Gabrielle Selz on her new memoir about growing up in the art world with her father, Peter Selz, who was the chief curator of painting and sculpture at MoMA. Bronx-born Salsa icon Willie Colón talks about his career as a singer, trombonist, composer, producer, actor and director, as well as a civil rights, community, political and health activist. Chef and author Rozanne Gold shares her ideas for making the most of summer fruits and vegetables with simple three-ingredient recipes!

Fresh Air

Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes

Monday, August 11, 2014

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, spent six years researching America's nuclear weapons. In Command and Control, he details explosions, false attack alerts and accidentally dropped bombs.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Statistics Tricks

Monday, August 11, 2014

Gary Smith, economics professor at Pomona College in Claremont, CA, looks at all the ways data, big and small, can be manipulated and offers a guide to gleaning the truth behind the trickery. He's the author of Standard Deviations: Flawed Assumptions, Tortured Data, and Other Ways to Lie with Statistics.

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Book News: Petitions, Orwell And The Amazon-Hachette Fight

Monday, August 11, 2014

Also, an interview with Ursula Le Guin; notable books coming out this week.

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Soundcheck

Know Your Riot Grrrls

Monday, August 11, 2014

Let's face it: as much as we all know and love about music, everyone has at least some blind spots. In this edition of our new series, How To Be Smarter About…, Soundcheck helps you feel more knowledgeable about the punk feminist movement known as riot grrrl.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

After a Fatal Plane Crash, a David-vs-Goliath Legal Battle

Monday, August 11, 2014

After a plane crash killed his wife and badly injured his two daughters, Toby Pearson was thrust into a David-vs-Goliath legal confrontation with a multi-billion dollar insurance company.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Dark Money in Politics

Monday, August 11, 2014

On today’s show, we’ll find out how dark money groups, like Super PACs—which don’t have to reveal their funders—have come to dominate independent spending in House political races. And we’ll learn about the latest advances in human flight: from skydiving to BASE jumping to wingsuit flying! Damian Fowler tells the story of a devastating plane crash that pitted one family against a multibillion-dollar insurance company. Annie Polland of the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, talks about the history, future, and politics of housing for the poor.

The Brian Lehrer Show

David Rees Teaches Brian Lehrer to Make the Perfect Paper Airplane

Monday, August 11, 2014

In his new TV series "Going Deep," one man investigates the science and process behind very basic tasks, like tying a shoelace or ice melting.

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WWII POWs Build A Deathly Railway In 'The Narrow Road'

Sunday, August 10, 2014

NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to Richard Flanagan, author of the new book The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

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Albert Camus' Poker-Faced 'Stranger' Became A Much Needed Friend

Sunday, August 10, 2014

At age 14, author Aaron Gwyn was lonely and angry. His dad was dead. His mom was addicted to pills. Then he discovered The Stranger, a novel of absurdity and detachment. Somehow, it helped him deal.

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'Blackboard' Chalks A Nostalgic Portrait Of School Days

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lewis Buzbee's account of his idyllic youth in the California public school system is relentlessly positive, though bracketed with criticism of current school policy and a firm call for more funding.

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Sept. 11 Changed Everything: Following 3 Women In The National Guard

Sunday, August 10, 2014

In spring 2001, Desma Brooks, Michelle Fischer and Debbie Helton signed up for the National Guard expecting just a few days of drills each month. Soldier Girls tells the stories of their deployments.

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A Beautiful Book, Whether Or Not It Makes You 'Happy'

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Eleanor Davis' gorgeous new How to Be Happy doesn't actually tell you how to be happy; rather, it dramatizes the promise of happiness, and the funny and tragic effects that follow on from it.

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All Things Considered

'Building A Better Teacher': Dissecting America's Education Culture

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Author Elizabeth Green argues that effective teaching is a craft, not a skill teachers have naturally. She says teachers need more mentorship — not just more mandates.

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Effort To Preserve Yiddish Works Not 'Bupkes'

Saturday, August 09, 2014

The preservation of Yiddish as a spoken language gets more attention, but Yiddish once had a vibrant written tradition as well, filled with plays, poetry, novels and political tracts.

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Lev Grossman: A 'Magician' Grows Up

Saturday, August 09, 2014

NPR's Petra Mayer sees the sights at San Diego Comic-Con with Magicians Trilogy author Lev Grossman — and discusses what happens when wizardly kids have to face an adult world, without mentors.

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In 'Dirty Work,' A Doctor Turns To Fiction To Talk About Abortion

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Gabriel Weston is an ear, nose and throat surgeon. She says writing Dirty Work — about an obstetrician-gynecologist who performs abortions — made her more sensitive to all sides of the debate.

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All Things Considered

Over 900 Authors Lend Their Names To A Letter Backing Hachette

Friday, August 08, 2014

Douglas Preston wrote an open letter supporting book publisher Hachette in its dispute with Amazon, which has since spread among his readers and throughout the literary community. More than 900 other writers have signed on, including John Grisham and Stephen King.

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NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of August 7, 2014

Friday, August 08, 2014

In A Spy Among Friends, Ben Macintyre explores the relationships and betrayals of Cold War spy Kim Philby. It debuts at No. 1.

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