Fresh Air

News & Information: Mon-Fri • 3pm-4pm | 6pm-7pm
Terry Gross

A weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues featuring in-depth yet intimate conversations with top news makers. Interviews are complemented with contributions from well-known critics and commentators.

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Shots - Health News
11:42 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built, but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Movie Reviews
11:38 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:03 pm

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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Music Interviews
10:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution

Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs. For The Beatles: The BBC Archives, executive producer Kevin Howlett had to search for many of these recordings, and they weren't easy to find.

Originally broadcast Nov. 27, 2013.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
10:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Book Reviews
10:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

One of Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories is based on the life of dancer and actress Butterfly McQueen.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:17 am

Almost Famous Women is the kind of "high concept" short-story collection that invites skepticism. These stories are about 13 historical women whose names you mostly might sort-of recognize. Beryl Markham, Butterfly McQueen and Shirley Jackson are slam-dunks, but Romaine Brooks and Joe Carstairs are a bit blurrier. While the family names of Allegra Byron, Dolly Wilde and Norma Millay betray their relation to important figures, we don't know what they did. And who the heck was Hazel Eaton or Tiny Davis?

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:31 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Al Michaels, Review Of Sleater-Kinney's New Album, David Morris

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Music
10:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Producer Cosimo Matassa Always Believed In New Orleans

New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Music
10:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

Sports
10:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Music
9:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Sleater-Kinney Comes Roaring Back With 'No Cities To Love'

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:27 am

Sleater-Kinney is one of the most widely-praised rock bands of the last 20 years. The band formed in the mid-90s in Olympia, Wash., and went on to record seven albums. The group split up in 2006, but have reunited to release a new album, called No Cities to Love, and Fresh Air rock critic Ken Tucker says it's a strong comeback.

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Movie Reviews
9:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'Leviathan' And 'Red Army' Deliver A Peek Inside Russia, Now And Then

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 10:27 am

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Movie Interviews
9:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch On Alan Turing's Awkwardness And Sherlock's Sex Appeal

The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the story of mathematician Alan Turing — from his efforts to break Germany's Enigma code during World War II to his conviction for homosexuality.
Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Films

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 5:58 am

It's been a good year for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor has earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film The Imitation Game, and he's won critical acclaim — and a big following — for his performance on TV's Sherlock.

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Television
11:02 am
Tue January 20, 2015

'The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore' Debuts In Slot Vacated By Stephen Colbert

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Author Interviews
11:02 am
Tue January 20, 2015

In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 2:35 pm

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Author Interviews
7:16 am
Tue January 20, 2015

'Gateway To Freedom': Heroes, Danger And Loss On The Underground Railroad

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 8:35 am

Until 2007, when it was unearthed by a Columbia University undergraduate, few scholars were aware of the record of fugitive slaves written by Sydney Howard Gay. Gay was a key Underground Railroad operative from the mid-1840s until the eve of the Civil War. He was also the editor of the weekly newspaper the National Anti-Slavery Standard.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:29 am
Sat January 17, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: 'Boyhood' Stars, 'Broad City' Co-Creators, A Review Of Ty Segall

On Broad City, Abbi Jacobson (left) and Ilana Glazer play two single, 20-somethings living in New York City with dead-end jobs. They spend a lot of time hanging out, smoking weed and making each other laugh.
Walter Thompson Courtesy of Comedy Central

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

The Magic Of The 'Boyhood' Experiment: Time And Patience: If the story fell apart after 12 years of filming, it would have been a "real drag," says Patricia Arquette, and a "colossal waste of time," says Ethan Hawke. Instead, it won three Golden Globes.

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Author Interviews
10:59 am
Fri January 16, 2015

Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent most of her life recoiling from the self-help industry. But eventually, her curiosity got the best of her. She tells Fresh Air about self-help's high- and low-brow iterations and the ways the industry helped her address her fears.

Originally aired Jan. 22, 2014.

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Movie Reviews
10:59 am
Fri January 16, 2015

'Still Alice' Is A Triumph For Julianne Moore, But The Rest Of Film Is Thin

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World
11:06 am
Thu January 15, 2015

How Orwell's 'Animal Farm' Led A Radical Muslim To Moderation

At age 16, Maajid Nawaz joined the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But after four years in prison, he decided to leave the group. He co-founded the think tank Quilliam, which is dedicated to countering extremist beliefs, and he's now running for Parliament in England.
Courtesy of the Quilliam Foundation

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 4:00 pm

When Maajid Nawaz was growing up in Essex, England, in the 1990s, the son of Pakistani parents, he first found his voice of rebellion through American hip-hop.

"It gave me a feeling that my identity could matter — and did matter — growing up as a British Pakistani who was facing racism from whiter society," Nawaz tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "but also confusion about where my family was from and not really fitting into either culture."

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