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7:43am

Sat May 30, 2015
Author Interviews

How Bad Risotto Led To A House 'Full Of Yogis': A Critic's Childhood Story

Originally published on Sat May 30, 2015 11:14 am

Brahma Kumaris fill Will Hodgkinson's suburban living room on a Saturday in 1982.
Liz Hodgkinson Courtesy of Will Hodgkinson

When Will Hodgkinson was a kid just outside of London, his whole family was laid low after eating some bad chicken risotto. His father, Nev (short for Neville), a well-regarded science writer, was especially sick and took months to recover. During that time, he rethought his life and put it back together in a way that upended his happy family, but may also have enriched them.

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3:44am

Fri May 29, 2015
Television

'Halt And Catch Fire' Explores What It Was Like For Women In '80s Tech

Originally published on Fri May 29, 2015 3:23 pm

Actress Mackenzie Davis plays an '80s punk software developer in AMC's Halt and Catch Fire. The second season premieres May 31.
RIchard DuCree AMC

The TV series Halt and Catch Fire tells a story you might not expect about the personal computer revolution of the 1980s. For one thing, it's set in Texas, not Silicon Valley. And though there are plenty of bearded, bespectacled men building things in garages, the resident software genius is a woman. Cameron Howe, played by actress Mackenzie Davis, is a punk, anarchist loner who intimidates many of her co-workers.

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2:50pm

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

iStockphoto

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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6:22pm

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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5:18pm

Sun May 24, 2015
Interviews

'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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7:31am

Sun May 24, 2015
Code Switch

Novelist Mat Johnson Explores The 'Optical Illusion' Of Being Biracial

Originally published on Tue May 26, 2015 9:34 am

Mat Johnson is the author of Pym, Drop, Hunting in Harlem and The Great Negro Plot as well as several graphic novels including Incognegro, Dark Rain and Right State.
Meera Bowman Johnson

Growing up in Philadelphia, Mat Johnson lived mostly with his mother in a black neighborhood. The son of an African-American mother and an Irish-American father, his skin was so light that he might have passed for white. But being biracial meant only one thing back in the '70s: "Um, it meant: black," Johnson says with a laugh. "There wasn't a lot of ambiguity there. I didn't hear the world biracial or didn't think of myself as biracial. And when I did hear that, I reacted to it defensively.

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5:45am

Sun May 24, 2015
Book News & Features

This Weekend, Navigate The Changing World Of 'Vikram Lall'

Originally published on Sun May 24, 2015 11:15 am

It's the 1950s in Kenya, and young Vikram Lall is a third-generation Indian boy coming of age during a time of great political unrest, as a group of fighters known as the Mau-Mau try to break free of British rule.

The In-Between World of Vikram Lall is his story, told by the adult Vikram, who's living in exile, decades after his African childhood. He's reflecting on his life — a life in which friends were murdered and few could be trusted.

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9:48pm

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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5:35pm

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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8:56am

Sat May 23, 2015
Iraq

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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