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Updated: 23 min 15 sec ago

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 3:46pm

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of 4-MEI –listed as a carcinogen in California — in popular sodas. The chemical is created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown. Coke has reformulated its sodas to bring down levels, but Pepsi is still transitioning.

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'Speculation' Shows Good Stories Come In Small Packages, Too

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 3:00pm

Jenny Offill's sparse and experimental novel Dept. of Speculation is a reminder that bigger isn't always better. Through short vignettes, Offill builds a narrative about an unnamed husband and wife. It's a sly, profound glimpse into a fragile domestic sphere — and, while the form may be unusual, the book is highly readable.

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From Down Under, A Paprikash To Warm You All Over

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 2:47pm

Cold weather means "Mum's Rice Paprikash" for Merelyn Chalmers, a member of The Monday Morning Cooking Club. The club is dedicated to preserving recipes from Sydney's Jewish community. For our Found Recipes series, Chalmers shares the dish that she considers the ultimate comfort food.

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Patchett: In Bad Relationships, 'There Comes A Day When You Gotta Go'

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:29am

Ann Patchett got married and divorced young. When she met the man who would eventually become her second husband she said: "I'll be true; I'll be faithful; I'll see you every day ... but I don't want to get married and I don't want to live together.'" Her new book is This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage.

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An Innovative Plan To Reel In Sport Fishermen To Feed The Hungry

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 9:55am

Fish is an important part of a healthful diet, but it can be hard to come by for groups that feed the hungry. A brand-new scheme being launched this week in Maine aims to change that, by getting the state's many sport fishermen to donate catch that would otherwise be discarded.

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An Innovative Plan To Reel In Sport Fishermen To Feed The Hungry

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 9:55am

Fish is an important part of a healthful diet, but it can be hard to come by for groups that feed the hungry. A brand new scheme being launched this week in Maine aims to change that, by getting the state's many sport fishermen to donate catch that would otherwise be discarded.

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Thanks For The Fan Service, But What About The Story?

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 8:23am

Kelly Lawler takes a look at two seasons that have kicked off with substantial fan service and attention to external narratives and asks: How much meta is too much?

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Book News: Maker Of 3-D Printed Guns Has A Book Deal

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 6:13am

Also: Mary Miller on writing; Simon & Schuster acquires a book from the man behind the Twitter account @GSElevator; Mallory Ortberg imagines a "Choose Your Own P.G. Wodehouse Adventure."

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All The Varieties Of Love And Madness, On Display In 'Carthage'

Thu, 01/23/2014 - 6:00am

Joyce Carol Oates' new Carthage explores the familiar but important territory of family anguish. Oates has written more than 40 novels — critic Alan Cheuse praises her prodigious imagination, and says her latest effort is a "roller coaster, demon-twister" of a ride.

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Does It Matter That Lena Dunham Was Photoshopped By 'Vogue?'

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 3:34pm

Writers at the online magazine Jezebel criticized the fashion glossy for retouching images of the Girls writer and star. Adweek's media reporter tells Here & Now that Vogue should get kudos for putting "such a real girl" on its cover.

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'Boyhood' And 'Happy Valley' Are Sundance Standouts So Far

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 3:00pm

Steven Zeitchik of the Los Angeles Times has been binge watching films at the 10-day festival. So far he's been impressed by Richard Linklater's Boyhood, Zach Braff's Wish I Was Here and Amir Bar-Lev's documentary Happy Valley.

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Long John Silver's Throws Trans Fats Overboard

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 11:31am

Last year, the fast food chain earned the dubious distinction from a health watchdog group of serving "America's worst restaurant meal." Now, Long John Silver's is winning praise for removing all trans fats from its menu.

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New Mavis Staples Biography Will 'Take You There'

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 11:00am

Music critic Greg Kot's new I'll Take You There chronicles the life and times of gospel star Mavis Staples and her family — from their hardscrabble beginnings in postwar Chicago to the civil rights movement and stardom. Reviewer Richard Torres praises the book's emotional honesty — but says it really needs a companion album.

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

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 10:00am

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.

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Book News: Kenyan Writer Comes Out In Defiance Of Anti-Gay Laws

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 7:07am

Also: Finalists announced for the Costa prize; Greg Mortenson on Three Cups of Tea; Ben Marcus on why he loves Kafka.

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Sea Scallops: A Winter Treat From Maine's Chilly Waters

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 6:47am

This fresh, fleeting delicacy, harvested through March, softens the harsh blow of winter. One or two large, plump scallops — raw, seared or tucked in crisp, maple-roasted bacon — can serve as the crowning jewels of a dish.

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Music And Chemistry Are An Explosive Combination In 'Orfeo'

Wed, 01/22/2014 - 6:00am

Richard Powers' new novel follows an avant-garde composer who's sacrificed everything in his pursuit of transcendent music — and who gets into trouble when he attempts to combine his twin obsessions of music and chemistry. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Powers hits a high note with Orfeo.

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Which Artworks Should We Save? Cash-Strapped Italy Lets Citizens Vote

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 3:00pm

With money tight, Italian officials are faced with an unbearable choice: Which works of art should be saved, when the government can't afford to save them all? At the end of 2013, the government organized an online vote to give citizens a say in the matter.

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As NBC Prepares For A Late-Night Transition, Everyone Is On Message (So Far)

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 1:05pm

Eric Deggans reports that NBC's approaching transition, which will see the second exit Jay Leno has made from the same late-night franchise, is on pace to elevate a former counterculture producer to the ultimate mainstream gig.

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Phoenix To Self: 'Why Am I Talking About This? ... Joaquin, Shut Up.'

Tue, 01/21/2014 - 10:00am

The elusive actor tells Fresh Air about his new film, Her; his wacky 2009 David Letterman interview; and what it was like to be a child actor. But he insists he's not really that interesting: "If I was driving and I heard this, I'd change the channel."

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