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5:57am

Sat January 10, 2015
Author Interviews

'West Of Sunset' Imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's Last Years In Hollywood

Originally published on Sat January 10, 2015 11:31 am

This portrait of F. Scott Fitzgerald was done in 1925, back when things were going well for the young writer. "Everything was golden for him early on," says writer Stewart O'Nan, "and then things started going against him ... it's a spiral."
Hulton Archive Getty Images

In West of Sunset, novelist Stewart O' Nan imagines F. Scott Fitzgerald's final years, which he spent in Hollywood. It's a time when the glow of The Great Gatsby has dimmed, and he's trying to punch up scripts — most of which will never be produced — with a few lines of dialog for $200 a day. Holed up in the Garden of Allah apartments on Sunset Boulevard, he's supporting his daughter and the lost love of his life, Zelda, who is in a North Carolina sanitarium.

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6:04pm

Fri January 9, 2015
Movie Interviews

'I Was A Dramatic Kid': For Jessica Chastain, Acting Came Naturally

Originally published on Mon January 12, 2015 5:06 pm

Jessica Chastain says her grandmother has played a key role in her career. "I've taken her to the Oscars both years," Chastain says. "She's really a special lady and has helped me in more ways than I could ever explain."
Rafa Rivas AFP/Getty Images

The new movie A Most Violent Year is set in New York City in 1981 — a chaotic time of spiraling crime. The story involves corruption in the heating oil industry: the hijacking of fuel tankers, a businessman trying to stay on the straight and narrow, and a prosecutor who has that businessman in his sights. And finally, there's the story of the businessman's wife ... who may hold all the cards.

Jessica Chastain plays Anna Morales, the upwardly mobile daughter of a Brooklyn gangster. She keeps the books for her husband's fuel business — as well as a number of secrets.

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8:54pm

Sun January 4, 2015
Environment

A Shadow Economy Lurks In An Electronics Graveyard

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 3:51 pm

Kwesi Bido, 14, (right) stops to fix 13-year-old Inusa Mohammed's flip flop. Both spend evenings and weekends searching for scrap at Agbogbloshie, an electronic waste dump in Accra, Ghana.
Courtesy of Yepoka Yeebo

The average American produces an estimated 66 pounds of electronic waste every year. You can't compost it; it's gotta go somewhere.

Often, in violation of the law, that means a dump in the developing world — like the region of Agbogbloshie in the West African nation Ghana.

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6:42pm

Sun January 4, 2015
Author Interviews

How 'Star Wars' Helped Patton Oswalt Beat His Movie Addiction

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 9:37 pm

Before he made it big in Holloywood, actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt was a junkie — addicted to movies, as he explains in a new memoir, Silver Screen Fiend.

The word addiction gets thrown around a lot, but Oswalt tells NPR's Arun Rath that his relationship to movies was downright pathological.

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8:08am

Sun January 4, 2015
Politics

Newark's New Mayor Proves His Crime-Fighting Powers Early

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 5:21 pm

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, speaks during a news conference in November. He had met with city Police Chief Anthony Campos and protest organizers after a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury chose not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown.
Julio Cortez AP

Across the Hudson River in Newark, N.J., the murder rate is down, but the new mayor there says that's just a small step in a very long effort to make Newark a safer place to live.

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8:08am

Sun January 4, 2015
Movie Interviews

'I Was So Grateful For My Body': Jennifer Aniston Portrays Chronic Pain

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 2:14 pm

In the new movie Cake, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman suffering from chronic, debilitating pain. Her pain is both emotional and physical — her anger is so uncontrollable that she has been kicked out of her chronic pain support group. "You really do not know what happened to this woman," Aniston tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "As the story unfolds you slowly start to discover bits of information as to what happened and why she is in this state."

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7:01pm

Sat January 3, 2015
The Salt

Marketers Turn To Memories Of Sweeter Times To Sell Cereal

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:54 am

General Mills is bringing back the popular '90s cereal in a nod to nostalgia and in the hopes of boosting its weak cereal sales.
General Mills AP

The taste of foods from our childhood can trigger intense emotional reactions. It's a fact well known to students of French literature and marketing executives.

And it's changing the make-up of the cereal aisle. Thanks to the power of food nostalgia, General Mills is bringing back the sugary cereal French Toast Crunch.

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6:20pm

Sat January 3, 2015
My Big Break

Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots: Mireya Mayor's Big Break

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:54 am

During a wildlife survey in Madagascar, Mayor discovered a new species of mouse lemur. "[It] weighs less than two ounces, fits in the palm of your hands," she says.
Mark Thiessen Courtesy of Mireya Mayor

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Mireya Mayor's life plays out like an adventure film.

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11:42am

Sat January 3, 2015
Code Switch

The Goal: To Remember Each Jim Crow Killing, From The '30s On

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 2:00 pm

Police watch a crowd of African-Americans as they wait for a car pool lift in 1956 during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Don Cravens The LIFE Images Collection/Getty

The state of race relations in the United States has captivated the country for months. But a group of Northeastern University law students is looking to the past to a sometimes forgotten, violent part of American history.

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8:00am

Sat January 3, 2015
Author Interviews

In 'Citizen,' Poet Strips Bare The Realities Of Everyday Racism

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:59 am

Here's a common complaint about poetry: It's the oldest form of expression, but what can it do for us now, in an age of social media, Twitter, Facebook and national urgency?

African-American poet Claudia Rankine's latest collection, Citizen: An American Lyric, has an answer. It's a very personal meditation on race in America with a cover that recalls Trayvon Martin — a black hoodie against a white background.

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