Fri March 14, 2014

NBC Hostage Drama 'Crisis' Takes Viewers On A Rare TV Trip

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 4:44 pm

Lance Gross plays Marcus Finley. Think of him as the show's Jack Bauer.
Vivian Zink NBC

When I slipped in the preview DVD to watch the opening episodes of NBC's new drama series Crisis, which premieres Sunday, I have to admit I wasn't expecting much. Oh, there was some anticipation in seeing Gillian Anderson of The X-Files in a series lead again; but I wasn't sure whether we'd be getting the demand-your-attention actress from such marvelous British imports as Great Expectations and Bleak House, or the underused supporting actress from NBC's Hannibal.

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Fri March 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Is The Law Making Us Less Free?

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:32 pm

"We need to rewrite and radically simplify and re-humanize the structure of public law in our society." —Philip K. Howard
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Philip K. Howard's TED Talk

Lawyer Philip K. Howard says the U.S. has become a legal minefield — especially for teachers and doctors, whose work has been paralyzed by fear of lawsuits.

About Philip K. Howard

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Fri March 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

What If Our Health Care System Kept Us Healthy?

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:53 pm

"We all harbor one fiercely held aspiration for our health care: that it keep us healthy." —Rebecca Onie
Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Rebecca Onie's TED Talk

Health advocate Rebecca Onie describes how our health care system can be restructured to prevent — and not just treat — illness.

About Rebecca Onie

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Fri March 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Has Money Taken Over American Politics?

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:34 pm

"There is no sensible reform possible until we end this corruption." —Lawrence Lessig
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Lawrence Lessig's TED Talk

Legal scholar Lawrence Lessig says corruption is at the heart of American politics. He says the campaign funding process weakens democracy and he issues a bipartisan call for change.

About Lawrence Lessig

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Fri March 14, 2014
TED Radio Hour

Why Can't We Talk About An Injustice?

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 2:55 pm

"It makes sense to fight for peace and justice and to protect basic human rights and dignity." —Bryan Stevenson
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Solving It.

About Bryan Stevenson's TED Talk

Lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about how America's criminal justice system works against the poor and people of color. He argues that these issues are wrapped up in America's unexamined history.

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Fri March 14, 2014
Monkey See

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Naked And The Nerds

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

A while ago, we devoted a segment to the matter of profanity, and now, as summer follows spring and spring (supposedly) follows winter, we are moving on to the issue of nudity. When is it decorative? When is it exploitation? And how would they see all of this from Europe?

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Fri March 14, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Children's Books From North Korean Dictators?

Kim Jong Il (right) and his father, Kim Il Sung, are pictured on what is believed to be Paekdoo San, a mountain located along the Sino-North Korean border in this image released by the North Korean news agency in 1994.

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

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Fri March 14, 2014
Author Interviews

In 2009, 3 Americans Went For A Hike, And Ended Up In A Tehran Prison

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 11:27 am

Joshua Fattal (from left), Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer were on a hike in 2009 when they unknowingly crossed a road that bordered to Iran. They were stopped by border patrol and imprisoned in Tehran.
Mia Nakano Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin

In the summer of 2009, three young Americans went for a hike. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd were living together in Syria, teaching and writing. Their friend Josh Fattal was visiting from the U.S. The three took a tour to a waterfall in the Kurdish highlands of Iraq, and as they hiked along a road that turned out to be the border with Iran, an armed man in uniform waved them over.

The next thing they knew, they had embarked on a two-year ordeal in the infamous Evin prison in Tehran. They join NPR's Renee Montagne to talk about their new memoir, A Sliver of Light.

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Fri March 14, 2014
Pop Culture

Forget Nancy Drew: Thanks To Fans, 'Veronica Mars' Is Back On The Case

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 5:03 pm

In the movie, Veronica Mars (Kristen Bell) is a recent law school grad living in New York when an old flame — Logan Echolls — calls her back to her home town of Neptune, Calif.
Robert Voets Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment

When Rob Thomas created Veronica Mars, his show about a sharp-elbowed girl detective, he had an ulterior motive: He wanted to kill off the reigning queen of teenaged sleuths — one who's been around for more than 80 years.

"Nancy Drew," Thomas says, his soft-spoken affect barely betrayed by a trace of a snarl. "Like, I feel like she had her run."

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Thu March 13, 2014
Movie Reviews

In LA's Iranian Set, A Two-Sided Love Triangle With A Side Of Clichés

Nazanin Boniadi (left) occasionally lights up the screen as the lovestruck Shirin, but in the end her performance is hemmed in by the flatness of the film she anchors.
Katrina Wan PR

There's a lot that needs forgiving if you want to enjoy the few simple pleasures offered by Shirin In Love, but the most egregious fault is perhaps too structural to overlook: The love triangle set up for the title character (Nazanin Boniadi) by writer-director Ramin Niami angles too obviously in one direction. The end result is too much of a foregone conclusion even for a predictable romantic comedy.

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