All Things Considered

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Melissa Block, Audie Cornish, Robert Siegel

NPR's in-depth recap of the biggest stories of the day, thoughtful commentaries, and insightful features on the quirky and the mainstream in arts and life, music and entertainment.

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Music Interviews
9:03 am
Sat November 16, 2013

'Something That Is Very Real For Me': Ted Nash Completes His 'Chakra'

Ted Nash's new album, Chakra, is out now.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat November 16, 2013 2:29 pm

Working as a jazz musician in the 21st century is difficult enough, but hardly anybody tries to make a go of it with a big band anymore. Yet that's exactly what Ted Nash does on his latest album, Chakra.

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Energy
5:07 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Is Running Your Car On Rubbish The Future Of Fuels?

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The Environmental Protection Agency today proposed to scale back the amount of renewable fuels in our nation's gasoline supply, biofuels like ethanol made from corn. The EPA is responding, in part, to oil companies that say they're already taking as much ethanol as they can. They say any more and it will hurt quality. But there's another reason for the EPA's action. As NPR's Elizabeth Shogren reports, cheap biofuels haven't been developed as quickly as hoped.

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Television
1:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Amazon Opens An Entertainment Door With 'Alpha House'

Mark Consuelos (from left), John Goodman, Clark Johnson and Matt Malloy star as four Republican senators sharing a house in Washington in Alpha House, Amazon's first original series.
Amazon Studios

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:07 pm

There are about a dozen reasons I really wanted to love Alpha House, an original comedy series about four U.S. senators sharing a home on Capitol Hill. It premieres on Amazon — yes, Amazon — on Friday.

The biggest reason: often-underrated star John Goodman, playing a politician up for re-election who knows exactly what voters value in a legislator:

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Movie Interviews
1:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Steve Coogan, Tacking Toward The Funny Side Of Serious

Steve Coogan acts alongside Judi Dench in Philomena, the story of a woman searching for her son and the cynical journalist helping her find him.
Alex Bailey The Weinstein Co.

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:07 pm

Philomena is the true story of a retired Irish nurse (Judi Dench) whose child was put up for adoption — against her will, by the nuns at the convent where she gave birth — when she was a teenager, and unwed. Fifty years later, a journalist grudgingly joins in her search for that son. The British comedian Steve Coogan, who also produced the project and co-wrote the screenplay, plays the reporter.

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

After Further Review, MLB Says OK To Instant Replay

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 12:58 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. At their winter meetings in Orlando yesterday, Major League Baseball owners decided to join other sports, and expand the use of instant replay to adjudicate calls on the field. Sportswriter Stefan Fatsis joins us now to discuss that and other off-season baseball matters. Hi, Stefan.

STEFAN FATSIS, BYLINE: Hey, Robert.

SIEGEL: It's a big step for baseball. How will it work?

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NPR Story
1:46 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Can You Keep Your Old Health Plan? It May Depend On Where You Live

President Obama met at the White House with CEOs from across the health insurance industry on Friday. Insurers, he says, will be allowed to renew for one more year health policies that don't meet the new national standards set by the Affordable Care Act.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:36 pm

President Obama's proposal to try to let more people keep their canceled health insurance policies sounded so simple when he announced it Thursday.

"Insurers can extend current plans that would otherwise be canceled into 2014. And Americans whose plans have been canceled can choose to re-enroll in the same kind of plan," he said in unveiling the proposal at the White House.

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Code Switch
1:03 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

A Jewish Comic And A Muslim Researcher Walk Into A Party ...

Dalia Mogahed delivers a speech after being coached by comedian and author Judy Carter.
Roxana Pop The Chautauquan Daily

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:07 pm

This is a story about a pair of unlikely partners.

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Shots - Health News
1:01 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Federal Brain Science Project Aims To Restore Soldiers' Memory

President Obama has pledged millions of dollars to fuel research into understanding the workings of the human brain.
Zephyr Science Source

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:07 pm

When President Obama announced his plan to explore the mysteries of the human brain seven months ago, it was long on ambition and short on details.

Now some of the details are being sketched in.

The BRAIN Initiative will include efforts to restore lost memories in war veterans, create tools that let scientists study individual brain circuits and map the nervous system of the fruit fly.

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Around the Nation
11:58 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Once An Ancient Village, Soon An Entertainment Complex?

In the middle of downtown Miami, archaeologists excavate a site holding evidence of a more than 1,000-year-old Tequesta Indian village.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 5:07 pm

As work began on one of the last pieces of undeveloped ground in Miami's fast-changing downtown, archaeologists uncovered the site of an American Indian village. It was already centuries old by the time Columbus arrived in the New World.

The question now for the city and the developer of the planned entertainment complex is how much of the site will be preserved.

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Sports
3:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

End Of An Era: India's Greatest Cricketer Begins Final Match

Cricket fans holding an Indian national flag cheer in front of a billboard of superstar cricketer Sachin Tendulkar outside a stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. India's favorite son dominated the sport for nearly a quarter of a century. Now, that fabled career is coming to a close.
Danish Siddiqui Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 11:25 pm

Sachin Tendulkar: The very name evokes Indian national pride, and it resounded through Wankhede Stadium Thursday in the cricket superstar's hometown of Mumbai.

That's when Tendulkar took the field for the final test match of his fabled 24-year long career. There are fevered celebrations for the 40-year-old batsman who has dominated the Indian imagination on and off the field, and whose self-effacing demeanor masked a steely determination to win.

The atmosphere was electric as India's favorite son stepped onto the field.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

What's The Most Important Thing Food Labels Should Tell Us?

Illustration by Daniel Horowitz for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:29 pm

Food labels have become battlegrounds. Just last week, voters in Washington state narrowly defeated a measure that would have required food manufacturers to reveal whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients.

Supporters of the initiative — and similar proposals in other states — say that consumers have a right to know what they're eating.

But there are lots of things we might want to know about our food. So what belongs on the label?

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Roald Dahl Wanted His Magical 'Matilda' To Keep Books Alive

Author Roald Dahl stands with his wife, American actress Patricia Neal, and their newborn daughter, Lucy, outside their home in Buckinghamshire, England, in August 1965. Roald Dahl died in 1990.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 7:26 pm

Every night, author Roald Dahl told his children a story: "Most of them [were] pretty bad," he admitted in a 1972 BBC4 interview, "but now and again you'd tell one and you see a little spark of interest. And if they ever said the next night, 'Tell us some more about that one,' you knew you had something. This went on for quite a long time with a story about a peach that got bigger and bigger and I thought, 'Well heck, why don't I write it.' "

That bedtime story became Dahl's first children's book, James and the Giant Peach.

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All Tech Considered
2:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

For Ridesharing Apps Like Lyft, Commerce Is A Community

A Lyft driver in San Francisco drops off a passenger as a taxi passes by. The smartphone app lets city dwellers hitch rides from strangers.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:34 pm

This week on-air and online, the tech team is exploring the sharing economy. You'll find the stories on this blog and aggregated at this link, and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just email, leave a comment or tweet.

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All Tech Considered
1:26 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Electric Cars Drive Demand For Cheaper, More Powerful Batteries

A prototype of a flexible battery from Imprint Energy, one of 40 companies working on battery technology in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Imprint Energy

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 4:29 pm

If there's one person you'd expect to have an electric car, it's Venkat Srinivasan. He's in charge of battery research at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California.

"I'm actually in the market for a new car and would love to buy an electric car," he says. "But there are practical problems."

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Found Recipes
1:26 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

A Quest For The Perfect Quince Paste Yields A Great Sauce

Courtesy of Tammy Donroe Inman

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 10:03 am

A good quince can be hard to find. And for many, they're also hard to define.

Tammy Donroe Inman, who wrote the dessert cookbook Wintersweet and blogs at Food on the Food, says the tough yellow fruits are rock hard straight off the bush, and have a strong fragrance when raw – kind of like a green apple Jolly Rancher.

"But when you cook them, the flavor is different," says . "It's more like a cross between an apple and a pear, with a little hint of an exotic flower fragrance."

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NPR Story
1:26 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Mobster 'Whitey' Bulger Gets Two Life Terms And Then Some

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 7:22 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel.

Victims wept in court today as a federal judge sentenced Boston mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger to two life terms in prison, plus five years, ensuring that the now 84-year-old will never walk free. Bulger was convicted in August of running a massive racketeering operation that spanned decades and included extortion, drug running and at least 11 murders. NPR's Tovia Smith was in court and joins us now. Hi, Tovia.

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Animals
11:02 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Old Dogs, New Data: Canines May Have Been Domesticated In Europe

A dog burial in Greene County, Ill. This fossil dates back to about 8,500 years ago.
Courtesy of Del Baston, Center for American Archaeology

Originally published on Thu November 14, 2013 5:34 pm

Scientists have used some new tricks and old dogs to show that thousands of years ago, wolves may have first become man's best friend in Europe.

Researchers extracted DNA from ancient wolf or dog fossils and compared it with DNA from modern dog breeds and wolves. Until recently, labs didn't have the kind of genetic tools they'd need to work with such old dog DNA and do this kind of detailed comparison.

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All Tech Considered
4:04 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Print Your Own Revolutionary War Boat, In 3-D

Even visitors to the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., can't see the Gunboat Philadelphia from every angle. But online, viewers can flip the boat in every possible direction using the Smithsonian Institution's new 3-D viewer.
Smithsonian Institution

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:01 pm

Have you ever wanted to see a woolly mammoth skeleton? How about Amelia Earhart's flight suit (one worn before her fateful last flight, mind you)?

To see them in person, you can visit the Smithsonian's Natural History and Postal museums, respectively, in Washington, D.C. But now you can take a closer look — in 3-D — on the Smithsonian website, too. The institution has made 20 digitized objects from among its vast holdings available online to the public for viewing from every possible angle.

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Movie Reviews
3:59 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Chasing Money, And Meaning, In 'Nebraska'

After receiving a dubious letter, the aging Woody (Bruce Dern) heads off on a quest to collect $1 million, dragging his son David (Will Forte) along with him.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:32 pm

Woody Grant has white hair, a cranky disposition and a stubbornness that just won't quit. When we meet him, he's being stopped by a highway patrolman as he's walking down the shoulder of a Montana interstate. His son David picks him up at the police station, and it turns out Woody was on an 850-mile stroll to Nebraska, to collect the million dollars promised to him in a letter.

David points out gently that the letter is an ad for magazine subscriptions, but he's no sooner got the older man back to his house then he gets a call from his mom: Woody has hit the road again.

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It's All Politics
3:05 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

President Obama's response to the NSA spying revelations has changed over the past five months.
Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 5:01 pm

A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies.

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