All Things Considered

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Award-winning news magazine from NPR.

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Monkey See
1:26 pm
Wed October 5, 2011

Do Rising Costs Have 'The Simpsons' On The Ropes?

The Simpsons is confronted with pressures that may require the voice cast to accept large pay cuts or face the possibility that the show won't continue at all.

FOX

The future of the The Simpsons hangs in the balance as negotiations continue between 20th Century Fox Television, which makes the animated series, and the actors who supply the characters voices. How does a TV classic that's been on the air a record 23 seasons find itself at death's door?

Well, the cartoon Simpsons aren't rich, but the real people who bring them to life sure are. Six main actors are responsible for everyone from Homer to Lisa to bartender Moe, and you won't believe how much each makes to do voices for these characters. Try $8 million a season.

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You Must Read This
5:00 am
Wed October 5, 2011

Drunk On Words: A Literary Escape From Adolescence

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 4:27 pm

Remember reading, as a child, and feeling the fine mesh of words catch you up so completely that you became enjoyably muddled about which was the real world and which the world of the book? For me, it was as though I gulped down the language of the story and grew fat with its cadences — they rang in my ears, colored my vision and pulsed in my throat.

As I got older, I lost some of that easy susceptibility. What had once been a permeable membrane between fiction and life solidified.

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Music
3:51 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Authentic Egyptian Music Is From The Streets

An Egyptian man sits watching as others take part in a sit-in at Tahrir Square demanding further reforms in Cairo, on July 27, 2011, months after the country's revolution which brought down the government.

Khaled Desouki AFP/Getty Images

This summer I spent a month in Egypt doing research for the public radio program Afropop Worldwide. In October, Afropop will begin airing a series of programs looking at Egypt — past and present — through the eyes of musicians. In one episode Egyptians are asked to imagine how the revolution will affect their popular music?

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Monkey See
2:12 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

DVD Picks: 'The Honeymooners'

MPI Home Video

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 4:52 pm

Time for our movie critic Bob Mondello to suggest something for home-viewing. Today, he's exploring a 15-disk collection of classic TV comedy that nobody's seen for a while: The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes.

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Opinion
1:52 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Drafting My Fantasy Picks & Tackling Nobel Trends

The statue of Alfred Nobel resides at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, opened a week of Nobel honors.

Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Commentator Dennis O'Toole is a writer and improv performer from Chicago.

Today, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that expansion in the universe is speeding up. That's great news for me, since I had Riess and Perlmutter in my fantasy league.

Honestly, I could have gotten Schmidt too, but I drafted Nathan Seiberg, mainly because he's worked with both supersymmetric gauge theories and with discrete light-cone quantization. That was a hedge.

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Monkey See
2:28 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Comedian Samantha Bee Makes A Parenting Meal Of 'Eating Over The Sink'

Comedian Samantha Bee, seen here in April 2011, is writing about parenting at her new blog.

Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 9:09 am

A discussion on today's All Things Considered between host Guy Raz and comedian Samantha Bee begins with his noting that she has reduced parenting to the words "vomit" and "urine."

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Music Reviews
12:57 pm
Mon October 3, 2011

Woody Guthrie's 'Note Of Hope' From Beyond The Grave

Woody Guthrie is the subject of a new tribute album, Note of Hope.

Robin Carson Courtesy of the Woody Guthrie Archives

When Woody Guthrie died in 1967, he left behind an enormous cache of unpublished lyrics and prose, which has resulted in an exceptionally rich posthumous career. Bob Dylan, who should know, has written of Guthrie: "He was so poetic and tough and rhythmic. There was so much intensity, and his voice was like a stiletto." Though I probably shouldn't admit it, I rarely listen to Woody Guthrie for pleasure.

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NPR Story
4:34 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

NPR Names New CEO

NPR has named a new president and chief executive officer: Gary Knell, president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, the company that produces Sesame Street.

Author Interviews
1:36 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

The Old Man And The Boat: Hemingway On The Pilar

Ernest Hemingway (left) and his guide Carlos Gutierrez navigate Hemingway's boat, Pilar, in 1934.
Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum

Originally published on Sun October 2, 2011 4:37 pm

In 1934, Ernest Hemingway was the reigning king of American letters. Just back from safari in Africa, where he'd shot rhinos and giant kudu, he seemed to be on top of the world.

The first thing he did after returning from safari was head to the Wheeler shipyard in Brooklyn, N.Y., and buy a 38-foot fishing boat he named Pilar.

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Books
1:00 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

Three-Minute Fiction

The Three-Minute Fiction contest is over, but the fun is just beginning. We received 3,400 stories in Round 7 and our readers from Iowa Writer's Workshop and New York University are hard at work trying to get to them of all. NPR's Lynn Neary and Bob Mondello bring two of these stories to life: "Misshapen" by Aaron Maltz and "The Young and the Old" by Alex Swiatek.

Television
12:00 pm
Sun October 2, 2011

TV's Fixation With 'The New Breed' Of '60s Women

The cast of ABC's Pan Am.
Bob D'Amico AP

Originally published on Mon October 3, 2011 7:13 am

The fall television season is in high gear, and there seems to be a barrage of tight skirts, panty-hosed legs and perfectly made-up faces making their way from the 1960s to the small screen.

On ABC is Pan Am, a show about airline stewardesses. There's also NBC's The Playboy Club, which following the stories of fictional bunnies in Hugh Hefner's nightclub. The networks are hoping to get on the nostalgia bandwagon after the success of Mad Men, AMC's period drama.

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Science
11:15 am
Sun October 2, 2011

When Scientists Fail, It's Time To Call In The Gamers

Proteins are incredibly complex, yet tiny — so tiny that conventional imaging techniques often can't capture them.
istockphoto.com

Researchers at the University of Washington were stumped. They were looking at a protein that causes AIDS in rhesus monkeys, but after 14 years of study, no one was able to figure out the protein's exact structure.

Researcher Firas Khatib tells Rachel Martin, host of weekends on All Things Considered, that even the most advanced imaging techniques couldn't capture this little particle.

"The reason that the problem is so hard is that proteins are so small you can't see them with a microscope," he says.

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Music Lists
7:22 am
Sun October 2, 2011

World Music With A Latin Flavor

The Congolese street band Staff Benda Billi were discovered playing outside a zoo by a group of French filmmakers.
Courtesy of the artist

As he often does during weekends on All Things Considered, Betto Arcos visits the show this week to talk about some of the best new sounds he's been spinning on Global Village, his world music program on KPFK in Los Angeles. His picks this time around include a flamenco-jazz hybrid from Spain, joropo from Colombia, canchona from Washington, D.C. (by way of El Salvador), and a Cuban-inflected dance number from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Books
2:26 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

'The Cat's Table': A Romp Through Mystery And Memories

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 1:48 pm

In writer Michael Ondaatje's mind, the "cat's table" is where the undesirables sit in a boat's dining room. It's for the hecklers, the lowly ones and the ones farthest away from power. And it's also where you'll find the narrator of Ondaatje's new novel, Michael, an 11-year-old who's on a 21-day voyage from Sri Lanka to London all on his own.

He and his companions — two other boys who are travelling alone — live by only one rule: to every day do at least one thing that is forbidden.

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Opinion
2:07 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

For Grown-Ups, Missing Those Back-To-School Blues

While adults wax poetic about the merits of education, kids know the agony of being stuck in a classroom.
istockphoto.com

Ben Dolnick is a writer based in Brooklyn.

Lately my neighborhood has been colonized by a species that exists only for a few weeks each fall: excited students. They're brimming with gossip about each other and opinions about subjects they hadn't heard of two months ago. They seem thrilled, even at 8 in the morning.

When I was their age, I loathed school, even in September. It was dull, and worse — it was forced upon me. I longed for escape like a prisoner crossing off days on his cell wall.

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Art & Design
1:30 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Pop Art Master Oldenburg Unveils Another Big Idea

Tom Crane Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 9:22 am

Pop art master Claes Oldenburg will officially unveil his latest sculpture outside the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts on Saturday. Oldenburg is known for taking everyday objects and blowing them up to impossible sizes. At first, his giant clothespins and spoons made him a target for ridicule. But now you can find examples of Oldenburg's work all over the world, from Cologne to Cleveland. And they've been embraced — for the most part.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

Letters: Kindle Fire; Baseball Playoffs

Michele Norris and Melissa Block read letters from listeners.

Politics
12:58 pm
Fri September 30, 2011

The Man Behind The Illegal Immigration Crackdown

Alabama and Arizona have some of the toughest immigration laws in the country. Behind both states' laws, and many others, is Kris Kobach, a constitutional lawyer and the Kansas secretary of state.

Kobach has helped several other states shape immigration legislation, and he says there's more to come in 2012.

Many national stories have called the 45-year-old conservative a "movie star," handsome and loaded with charisma. He looked the part greeting some 60 guests during a recent address to the Pachyderm Club in Topeka, Kan.

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Music Reviews
1:32 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Mates Of State: Reaching Surprising New 'Mountaintops'

Mates of State's newest album is Mountaintops.
Glynis Selina Arban

Mates of State's members are literally mates: Kori Gardner and Jason Hammel have been a duo since 1996, married since 2001, and parents on tour since 2004. Their basic concept is two strong voices, Gardner's slightly predominant, over her keyboards and Hammel's drums. Over the years, the band has expanded its instrumental range and brought in guests for sonic color. But nothing in the pair's catalog anticipated "Palomino," the opening track from the new Mountaintops.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Thu September 29, 2011

Proposed Alaska Mine Faces Fierce Opposition

In Alaska's picturesque Bristol Bay region, developers are looking to build an enormous copper and gold mine. They promise the effort will be carried out in an environmentally responsible way — and provide area jobs. But fisherman, conservationists and native groups have joined efforts to thwart the mine, fearing it will pollute area fish and wildlife. Melissa Block talks about the battle for Bristol Bay with reporter Daysha Eaton of member station KDLG in Dillingham, Alaska.

The Record
11:15 am
Thu September 29, 2011

Sylvia Robinson, Who Helped Make 'Rapper's Delight,' Has Died

A press photo of Sylvia Robinson from around 1992.
Al Pereira Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 29, 2011 4:15 pm

Sylvia Robinson, who died Thursday morning in a New Jersey hospital, built the very first rap label. She was 75 years old and reportedly suffered congestive heart failure.

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Health
4:10 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Health Officials: Listeria Outbreak Linked To 13 Deaths

A listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupes from Colorado has infected 72 people in the United States and killed 13, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday. The food-borne outbreak is the deadliest in the United States in more than a decade, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

How Will Amazon's Fire Impact Apple?

On Wednesday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the release of a tablet device called Fire. Michele Norris will talk with NPR's Laura Sydell about what this means for Amazon, Apple and consumers.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Despite Protests, Bahrain To Hold Runoff Election

The Sunni-led Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain is in the process of replacing 18 Shiite members of parliament who walked out of the 40-seat legislature to protest the crushing of street protests in March. An opposition boycott ensured dismal turnout in last Saturday's special election, and a run-off for nine seats is set for Oct. 1. The government insists it can move forward on its own with reforms that will restore Bahrain's reputation as a secure and moderate banking hub.

Education
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Obama Delivers Back-To-School Speech

President Obama delivered his annual back-to-school speech at Benjamin Banneker High School, one of Washington, D.C.'s top performing schools.

World
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Saudi Woman Sentenced To Lashings After Violating Driving Ban

A group of activists in Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign to overturn a court ruling against a woman who defied the kingdom's ban on driving by women. The woman was sentenced to 10 lashes with a whip after she defied the ban in her home city on the Red Sea Coast. Melissa Block talks with NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson for the details.

Law
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Loughner Appears In Court

Originally published on Wed September 28, 2011 5:04 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

In Tucson, Arizona, a federal judge has sent Jared Lee Loughner back to a prison hospital for more treatment. Loughner is the 23-year-old charged with the January shooting rampage in Tucson that killed six and left 13 wounded, among them Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Loughner was in court today for a hearing to assess his competency to stand trial. A psychologist told the judge that Loughner's condition has improved with antipsychotic medication and that he could be made competent with more treatment.

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NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Cast Of Characters Compete In Irish Elections

Melissa Block talks to Irish Times reporter Ronan McGreevy about the interesting mix of candidates in this year's presidential election in Ireland. Among those in the race: a gay rights campaigner, a former IRA commander and a singer who won the Eurovision song contest back in 1970.

NPR Story
1:00 pm
Wed September 28, 2011

Amazon Debuts Its New Tablet

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced Wednesday the release of a full-color tablet device called Fire, as well as three new Kindle E-Ink models starting at $79.

Monkey See
1:41 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

DVD Picks: 'Ben-Hur'

Warner Home Video

Time for our movie critic Bob Mondello's suggestions for home-viewing. Today he's recommending a wide-screen 1950s epic that was specifically designed to draw people away from their TV sets: Ben-Hur.

Everything about Ben-Hur was big. Reeeeally big. The sound was stereophonic (which was new back then), the screen wider than all outdoors, and that chariot race — flat-out enormous.

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