Mon March 31, 2014
Author Interviews

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Marijuana plants grow at a farm near Medellin. Tony Dokoupil's father made hundreds of thousands of dollars smuggling marijuana into the U.S. from Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

If you smoked Colombian weed in the '70s and '80s, Tony Dokoupil would like to thank you: He says you paid for his swim lessons and kept him in the best private school in south Florida — at least for a little while.

Dokoupil's father started selling marijuana during the Nixon era, and expanded his operation until he became a partner in what his son describes as the biggest East Coast dope ring of the Reagan years, smuggling marijuana into the U.S.

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Mon March 31, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Waffle Taco From Taco Bell

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 2:05 pm

Taco and waffle go together even better than Terry Gross and Gene Simmons.

For most people, the morning goes like this: Wake up, take a shower and wait six hours in painful agony until it's an appropriate time to eat Taco Bell.

But, finally, times have changed: Taco Bell has introduced a breakfast menu. The centerpiece is unquestionably The Waffle Taco.

Peter: I was driving in after picking them up, and I was terrified of getting in a fatal car crash. "Local radio host found dead next to bag of four Taco Bell Waffle Tacos."

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Mon March 31, 2014
Book News & Features

We Read The Year's Best New Sci-Fi — So You Don't Have To

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 4:17 pm

The 2014 Campbellian Anthology is a free download.

The World Science Fiction Convention is a gathering of fans ranging from sci-fi movie buffs to gamers to comics aficionados — but at its heart, WorldCon is for lovers of literature, and it hosts the Hugo Awards, the Oscars of sci-fi and fantasy.

During the ceremony, one award is given that's not a Hugo: the John W Campbell Award for Best New Writer. The Campbell celebrates potential: Nominees are often young, just starting out in the field (though not always), and it serves as a kind of signpost for fans, pointing the way to the next great read.

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Mon March 31, 2014
Monkey See

Essie Davis: On Playing A Sexually Liberated 'Superhero' Without Apology

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:11 am

Essie Davis has read about how Phryne is a "hussy." She doesn't mind.
Ben King Acorn.TV

In the first-ever episode of the Australian series Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, the central figure, Phryne Fisher, has to explain to her young, extremely Catholic new maid Dot what exactly is in the round, plastic case that Dot is holding in her hands. "Family planning," she says casually.

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Mon March 31, 2014
Monkey See

It's 'Mother' Time: A Show With One Last Chance To Get It Right

Cristin Milioti joined the cast of How I Met Your Mother to play the mother herself in the final season. Josh Radnor has played Ted for nine years. Tonight, they meet.
Ron P. Jaffe CBS

Kids, after nine long years, How I Met Your Mother is finally coming to an end.

That the show has been on this long is still strange to me. I remember when it was consistently almost cancelled in the first few years, and I passed around the early seasons on DVD (remember those?) trying to get my friends as hooked as I was. But here we are, nine years in, and a whole mess of fans are eagerly awaiting the show's conclusion.

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Mon March 31, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Stock Market Is 'Rigged,' Author Michael Lewis Says

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 9:28 am

Michael Lewis' latest book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, was released Monday.
Tabitha Soren

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Mon March 31, 2014

In Kitchens Around The World, Comfort Foods Bring Us Together

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:58 pm

Hall makes the hors d'oeuvres version of spanakopita.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

There's nothing like a warm, home-cooked meal to bring everyone to the table. And in her new cookbook Carla's Comfort Foods, Chef Carla Hall celebrates the meals that unite us — no matter where we're from.

Hall is one of the hosts of ABC's talk show The Chew and was a finalist on the reality TV show Top Chef. She invited NPR's David Greene over to bake spanakopita — a Greek dish, and just one of the many recipes she loves from around the world.

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Sun March 30, 2014
My Big Break

Cesar Millan's Long Walk To Becoming The 'Dog Whisperer'

Cesar Millan's television show Dog Whisperer on National Geographic debuted in 2004, but Millan previously spent years struggling to pursue a career as a dog trainer.
Robin Layton Courtesy of Cesar Millan

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.

Long before Cesar Millan became the "Dog Whisperer," with TV shows and a best-selling series of books, he had to learn how to ask for a job in English.

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Sun March 30, 2014

3 Bedtime Picture Books That Won't Put Parents To Sleep

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 1:49 pm

At the end of a long day, there's a phrase that parents of small children can come to dread hearing: "Read me a story!"

Though bedtime reading can be fun, reading the same book over and over and over again can be excruciating for parents.

Margaret Willison, a librarian who specializes in young readers, tells NPR's Kelly McEvers she recommends three picture books in particular that appeal to children without boring the pants off their parents.

Of course, you don't have to eschew words altogether to make repetitive reading more fun.

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Sun March 30, 2014
Author Interviews

In Civilian Snapshot Of Iraq, An Artist Is A 'Corpse Washer'

Courtesy of Yale University Press

In his latest novel, Iraqi author Sinan Antoon gives readers a stark portrait of contemporary Iraq. Originally written in Arabic and translated into English by Antoon himself, The Corpse Washer was nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize this year.

The book's protagonist is a young man named Jawad, an aspiring artist from a family of traditional Shiite corpse washers and shrouders in Baghdad. Jawad breaks from the family business and attends art school, where he devotes himself to the celebration of life rather than the ritual surrounding death.

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