Tue March 11, 2014

To Sell Health Care To Young People, Obama Steps 'Between Two Ferns'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 6:51 pm




Long-time fans of the comedy website, "Funny or Die," know this already. But for the rest of you, this is the theme song of "Between Two Ferns." The Web series mimics a low-budget, cable-access interview program.


It's the brainchild of actor and comedian Zach Galifinakis. He plays an unprepared host who fumbles through awkward conversations with celebrities. But the guest of his latest episode, released today, was a little different.

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Tue March 11, 2014

Joe McGinniss, Headline-Grabbing Author, Dies At 71

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 9:38 am



Journalist and bestselling author Joe McGinness has died. The author of classic books about politics and true crime was 71 years old. He suffered from complications due to inoperable prostate cancer. As NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik recalls, McGinness courted controversy throughout his career.

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Tue March 11, 2014
The Salt

For A Faster-Aged Bourbon, You Need The Motion Of The Ocean

Originally published on Thu March 13, 2014 10:48 am

Jefferson's Ocean bourbon is aged on the high seas, a technique that takes advantage of basic physical chemistry. The bottles sell for $200 a piece.
Courtesy of OCEARCH

From its earliest days as America's homegrown whiskey elixir, Kentucky bourbon has been traveling on boats.

In fact, boats were a key reason why Kentucky became the king of bourbon. In the late 1700s, trade depended on waterways, and distillers in the state had a big advantage: the Ohio River. They'd load their barrels onto flatboats on the Ohio, which flowed into the Mississippi, taking their golden liquor as far down as New Orleans.

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Tue March 11, 2014
Author Interviews

For Working Moms, Key To Balance May Lie In Elusive Leisure Time

Originally published on Wed March 12, 2014 5:33 pm

fourthexposure iStockphoto

If your to-do list is so long that you are overwhelmed just looking at it, and if your list has you mentally racing back and forth between your responsibilities to your children and your job, what Brigid Schulte has to say may be helpful.

Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time is about the pressures on working mothers and fathers that lead to a constantly racing heart, consuming guilt and the certainty that they've become inadequate at home and at work.

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Tue March 11, 2014
NPR Story

On Identity, Depression And Listening: Andrew Solomon Answers Your Questions

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 11:28 am

Writer Andrew Solomon speaking at TEDMED.
Courtesy of TEDMED

Writer Andrew Solomon delves deep into topics most wouldn't touch. His book Far From The Tree is a thoughtful look into parents raising children who are different from themselves: children with Down's syndrome, autism, or a complete loss of hearing and others. His TED Talk based on the book has been seen almost two million times.

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Tue March 11, 2014
Code Switch

These Cute Images Make Reading Chinese Characters 'Chineasy'

ShaoLan Hsueh worked with illustrators to develop pictograms that help readers learn Chinese characters.
Rick Pushinsky Courtesy of ShaoLan Hsueh

Growing up in Taiwan, ShaoLan Hsueh stuck out.

She liked writing in Chinese.

"I know all the children hated it, but I was a bit odd in that I loved writing Chinese characters," says Hsueh, the daughter of a Chinese calligrapher.

Now living in London, she later discovered that the love she had for Chinese language felt like "torture" to her two British-born children. "I found it really challenging to try to convince them that it's really cool to read Chinese," she said. "No one in their environment would be interested or have contact with Chinese-speaking people."

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Tue March 11, 2014
Monkey See

Every Reality Show Is A True Story, And Other 'Bachelor' Lessons

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:10 pm

Bachelor Juan Pablo. Sorry, Clare." href="/post/every-reality-show-true-story-and-other-bachelor-lessons" class="noexit lightbox">
This is what "I didn't pick you" looks like, coming from Bachelor Juan Pablo. Sorry, Clare.
Rick Rowell ABC

Every reality show is an entirely true story.

It is not the story that it claims to be — the story of two tribes building a new civilization, the story of America's search for its next superstar — but it is a true story nevertheless. It is, or at least it contains, the true story of the conception, creation, marketing, viewing, analyzing and evolution over time of a piece of entertainment that lives in the swampy, foggy, half-real version of the truth that it creates.

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Tue March 11, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: 'Fatal Vision' Author Joe McGinniss Dies

Joe McGinniss, who wrote a book about former Gov. Sarah Palin, poses for a photograph at the home he rented next to Palin's house in Wasilla, Alaska.
Dan Joling Associated Press

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

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Tue March 11, 2014
Book Reviews

Out Of Footsteps And Questions, Walking Man Makes A Song To Share

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 11:53 am

Listen. It's a command that Maud Casey's quick to utter, and it's one she repeats often in her new novel. With good reason: If you're listening closely enough, you might just hear her pull off a feat as graceful as it is clever. Out of the clanging of church bells, the ticking of watches, the snatches of overheard phrases, even the two clashing voices at the heart of her book — out of this hectic mess of sounds, she manages to create a delicate harmony.

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Tue March 11, 2014
Author Interviews

Not Enough Hours In The Day? We All Feel A Little 'Overwhelmed'

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:50 am

Milos Luzanin iStockphoto

Sometimes there just isn't enough time to get it all done. Washington Post journalist Brigid Schulte has certainly felt that way. "I was working all the time and yet never very good at what I was doing," she tells NPR's David Greene. " ... I felt all this pressure that I was a working mom and so I was always so guilty, and I didn't want to ruin their childhood. So I was up at 2 in the morning to bake cupcakes for the Valentine's party."

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