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Updated: 6 min 47 sec ago

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 4:17pm

The Japanese Christmas Cake takes its name from the Christian holiday, but it actually symbolizes building a life of prosperity from nothing. And it's ubiquitous (it's even in your smartphone).

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India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 3:33pm

Her name is Priya and she is the star of a new graphic novel in India. After she is gang-raped, her family and neighbors shun her — but then a Hindu goddess grants her special powers.

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Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 3:19pm

What became Marvel Comics got its start in 1939 as Timely Publications. It went through many changes — but one constant has been writer Stanley Lieber, better known as Stan Lee.

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Hanukkah Lights 2014

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 3:13pm

Join Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for new original tales for the season from authors Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and more.

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Playlist: I Never Knew That!

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 2:13pm

TED Radio Hour stories that will stay with you long after you listen.

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Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says He Had Good Timing, But Little Else

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 1:04pm

The co-founder of the Monty Python troupe admits he wasn't "naturally gifted" at physical comedy, and learned a lot by imitation. His new memoir, So, Anyway..., covers his boyhood and early career.

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Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:53am

At a time when there is so much good TV around, NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans says any Top Ten list says as much about the critic as the shows they are picking.

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Yes, 'Serial' Is True Crime — And That's OK

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 11:05am

Our continuing discussion of Serial turns to a consideration of the true crime genre, its tendency to reveal the oddities of human behavior, and what can be taken away from this series.

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At Last, Muslims Can Savor A Halal Spin On Spain's Famous Jamon

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 2:22am

Authentic jamón ibérico from free-range pigs fed on acorns is a key Spanish food that observant Muslims can't enjoy. But a Tunisian émigré is now making halal ham from lamb and beef in southern Spain.

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Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 2:21am

The American artist starts by taking dozens of photos of the same thing. Then he paints it, staying as faithful to photos as he can. The Smithsonian American Art Museum has an exhibition of his work.

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'Serial' Isn't About Ferguson (But It's Kind Of About Ferguson)

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:50pm

In Part 2 of a roundtable on the Podcast Everyone's Talking About, Code Switch's Gene Demby says that a lot of Serial's themes echo news stories that focus attention on how our justice system works.

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Murakami's 'Library' Is Dark, Creamy And Grainy At The Same Time

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:46pm

Alan Cheuse reviews "The Strange Library" by Haruki Murakami.

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How To Talk To Boys About Sex And Consent

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:34pm

Given recent stories about violence against college women, what should parents say to college-age sons? NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with author Rosalind Wiseman about guiding boys through adolescence.

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Sandwich Monday: The Hanukkah Miracle

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 3:26pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, guest eater Dan Pashman shares with us a creation that members of every faith can enjoy. It's a latke-donut sandwich called the Hanukkah Miracle.

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Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:24pm

The 19th century painter wasn't always "very pleasant" and he was a "man of massive contradictions," Spall says. So Spall says he had to "dig deep" to play the title role in Mr. Turner.

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Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 2:00pm

This year, Fresh Air's book critic rejects the tyranny of the decimal system and picks 12 titles published in 2014 — all with characters, scenes and voices that linger long past the last page.

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Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:23am

If you've never seen hundreds of thousands of lights used to do things like animate wire-frame animals, you're going to love this bonkers piece of television.

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Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 9:48am

Apple goes before an appeals court in a battle expected to help clarify the legal line between business agreements and outright collusion. Also: Hilary Mantel denounces her critics' "froth and bile."

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Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 9:58pm

A bright, blinking, tinsel-covered, delightfully tacky peek inside of NPR listeners' closets — check out some of our favorite photos of your favorite Christmas attire.

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'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Sun, 12/14/2014 - 5:09pm

Navigating elementary school is already hard enough — try adding in a bulky metal hearing aid. Cece Bell's new young adult graphic memoir captures the experience in a poignant and humorous way.

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