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5:24pm

Mon March 9, 2015
Author Interviews

Forget Big Sky And Cowboys: 'Crow Fair' Is Set In An Unidealized Montana

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 8:07 pm

Emily Jan NPR

"I think there's only one interesting story ... and that's struggle," says writer Thomas McGuane. Loners, outcasts and malcontents fill the pages of McGuane's latest book — a collection of short stories titled Crow Fair. There's a divorced dad who takes his young son out for an ill-fated day of ice fishing; A restless cattle breeder who takes a gamble on a more lucrative and dangerous line of works; A guy who abandons his blind grandmother by the side of a river to go get drunk, and chase after a corpse he's spotted floating by.

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6:27pm

Sun March 8, 2015
Author Interviews

Author Explores The Ripple Effects Of A Kidnapping In Mexico

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 9:52 am

Emily Jan NPR

Antonio Ruiz-Camacho's new book Barefoot Dogs is billed as a collection of short stories, but it could easily be called a novel. Each piece provides a perspective on one horrific event: the abduction of the patriarch of a wealthy Mexican family by a drug gang.

Throughout the book, readers see how this affects children, grandchildren, mistresses and others, as the tragedy follows the family through exile in the United States and Europe

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5:53pm

Sun March 8, 2015
Movie Interviews

No Joke: Hollywood Comedy Producer Finds Career In Prison Reform

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 10:03 pm

Scott Budnick (second from left) stands with (from left) Jimmy Wu, who served 16 years in prison and is now a mentor; Jesse Aguiar, former gang member and now a counselor; and Franky Carrillo, who was freed by the Innocence Project after 21 years in prison.
Reed Saxon AP

Los Angeles has been good to Scott Budnick. He arrived more than 15 years ago as an aspiring film producer. He found a home in comedy, and eventually became the executive producer of the Hangover trilogy — the wildly popular, profane buddy movies that are still the highest grossing comedy franchise ever made.

Now, he lives in the Hollywood Hills. He drives a fancy car, lives in a beautiful house and has lots of famous friends.

But in 2013, Budnick decided to leave Hollywood for a very different field: prison reform.

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5:01pm

Sun March 8, 2015
Television

Cyberpsychologist: Online, 'Every Contact Leaves A Trace'

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:25 pm

The Avery Ryan character is based on Mary Aiken (above) a real-life cyber psychologist and director of the RCSI CyberPsychology Research Centre.
Courtesy of CBS

The CSI franchise has a new lead investigator: Special Agent Avery Ryan.

Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette plays the head of the FBI's Cyber Crime Division on CSI: Cyber, which premiered this week on CBS.

The unit is called in on cyber stalking, identity theft, even cases involving hacked baby cams and ride-sharing services.

Agent Ryan's character is based on real-life cyber psychologist Mary Aiken, the director of the RCSI CyberPsychology Research Centre in Dublin, Ireland. She's also a producer on the show.

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5:01pm

Sun March 8, 2015
Music

A Jazz Pianist Taps Armenian Folk, Metal Riffs And A Sense Of History

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:25 pm

"Sometimes the music that I write doesn't need to have lyrics, it just needs vowels," says jazz artist Tigran Hamaysan.
Maeve Stam Courtesy of the artist

Musicians arrive at their signature sounds through all sorts of influences. For jazz pianist Tigran Hamaysan, that collection of sounds comes from far afield — he's a fan of progressive metal bands like Tool and Meshuggah — as well as from his backyard.

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5:00pm

Sat March 7, 2015
All Tech Considered

Grace Hopper, 'The Queen Of Code,' Would Have Hated That Title

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:45 pm

Grace Hopper joined the Navy during World War II and served on and off until 1986.
Courtesy of ESPN Films

In today's male-dominated computer programming industry, it's easy to forget that a woman — Grace Hopper — helped usher in the computer revolution.

During World War II, Hopper left a teaching job at Vassar College to join the Navy Reserve. That's when she went to Harvard to work on the first programmable computer in the United States: the Mark I.

Gillian Jacobs, best known for her role as Britta Perry in the comedy television show Community, has directed a short documentary about Grace Hopper titled The Queen of Code.

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5:00pm

Sat March 7, 2015
Television

'Kimmy Schmidt' Finds Optimism (And Jokes) In Dark Premise

Originally published on Sun March 8, 2015 8:45 pm

Ellie Kemper, right, stars alongside Tituss Burgess in Netflix's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which follows a former doomsday cult member as she adjusts to life in New York.
Eric Liebowitz Courtesy of Netflix

Two of the comedic minds behind 30 Rock, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, have returned to the world of half-hour comedies — this time, on Netflix.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new 13-episode series originally developed by Fey and Carlock for NBC, debuted on the streaming service on March 6.

Actress Ellie Kemper plays the title character in the show, which shares 30 Rock's energy, but mines comedy out of a much darker premise: A group of young women escape from 15 years of captivity in an underground bunker run by a doomsday cult leader in Indiana.

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8:02am

Sat March 7, 2015
Animals

These Tunes Are Music To Your Cats' Furry Ears

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 12:18 pm

Could this cat be enjoying "Spook's Ditty"?
iStockphoto.com

When you leave the house, do you ever turn on some music to keep your cat company?

What kind do you choose? Tom Jones crooning "What's New Pussycat?" A ballad by Cat Stevens? Perhaps Al Stewart's "The Year of the Cat"?

Nonsense. Cats don't to want to hear humans singing about them, says composer and University of Maryland music professor David Teie.

Researchers at U.Md. and the University of Wisconsin have teamed up with Teie to make music that was more feline friendly.

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5:48am

Sat March 7, 2015
Author Interviews

The Lusitania Mystery: Why British Codebreakers Didn't Try To Save It

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 10:29 am

A German U-boat sank the luxury ocean liner Lusitania, seen here in 1907, on May 7, 1915.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

One hundred years ago, 128 Americans died among more than a thousand in the sinking of what was then the greatest ocean liner in the world. In response, the U.S. entered World War I.

That's the story of the Lusitania, right? But Erik Larson, one of this country's most successful narrators of nonfiction, now retells the story a lot of people think they know. His new book, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania, has an appreciation for the lives that were lost and the impact the ship had on history.

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5:29am

Sat March 7, 2015
Performing Arts

After 60 Years Of Fabulousness, Dame Edna Embarks On Her Farewell Tour

Originally published on Sat March 7, 2015 10:29 am

Dame Edna Everage — a character created by Australian comedian Barry Humphries — models a hat based on the Sydney Opera House. She is currently performing Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour.
Wesley Getty Images

Dame Edna Everage says she's approaching 60 — but from the wrong direction. The housewife and superstar — a creation of Australian comedian Barry Humphries — has been making audiences laugh, weep, have acid reflux, and ruminate deeply on the human experience for six decades.

Now, she's embarked on Dame Edna's Glorious Goodbye: The Farewell Tour, which concludes in Washington, D.C., in April. Dame Edna tells NPR's Scott Simon that she's a "restless sprit" and it's not entirely clear what "retirement" will look like for her.

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