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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

In 'Imitation Game,' An Outsider Takes Center Stage

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 3:57pm

Director Morten Tyldum says he wanted the film, about World War II code breaker Alan Turing, to show "how important it is to actually celebrate those who are different than us instead of fear them."

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Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand Dies At 80

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 2:10pm

The Canadian-born poet was known for his wit and introspection. He also won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and Yale University's Bollingen Prize.

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Jesus Started The First Chain Letter — And Other Hoaxes

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 10:07am

After Jesus died, he supposedly wrote a letter to Earth. A copy of that letter is now on display, along with other historic fakes and forgeries including a famous — and bogus — anti-Semitic tract.

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Art And Death Are Two Things At Once In 'How To Be Both'

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 6:45am

It's hard to say where Ali Smith's new novel begins and ends; it depends on which copy you hold in your hands. She tells NPR's Scott Simon why she made two versions of How to be Both.

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Documentary Recalls The Talented, Difficult Life Of Bing Crosby

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 6:45am

Bing Crosby has long been the voice of the Christmas season, and now he's the subject of a new American Masters documentary. NPR's Scott Simon talks to Kathryn and Mary Crosby about his legacy.

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The Mystery Of The Missing Brains

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 6:45am

For decades, a rare collection of human remains sat in a basement closet at the University of Texas. A new book tells the story of that collection — and the enduring mysteries that surround it.

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Purple Spirit Ninjas And Mohawked Foxes: 'Shutter' Is A New Adventure

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 5:03am

The first six issues of Shutter have been released as a trade paperback, and critic Etelka Lehoczky praises the comic's decidedly pointed take on classic exploration and adventure narratives.

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Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Sat, 11/29/2014 - 4:40am

Andrew Lawler's Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? explores the secret to the domesticated bird's success: "You can turn the chicken into almost anything," he says, from religious symbol to dinner.

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From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 4:57pm

You don't need to have liquid nitrogen at your next cocktail party — but it's certainly a sure-fire way to impress your guests. Expert mixologist Dave Arnold walks you through it.

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After The Ferguson Decision, A Poem That Gives Name To The Hurt

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 3:51pm

This week, a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the officer who killed Michael Brown. Writer Syreeta McFadden turns to Audre Lorde's poetry to make sense of this decision.

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Diversity On 'The Walking Dead' Wasn't Always Handled Well

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 3:51pm

AMC's hit zombie drama The Walking Dead airs its midseason finale Sunday. It's now one of TV's most diverse shows, but critic Eric Deggans says it hasn't always served non-white characters well.

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'New Yorker' Cover Shows A Divided St. Louis

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 3:51pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks with Bob Staake, illustrator of the controversial cover of The New Yorker, which depicts the St. Louis skyline divided in half by the colors black and white.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Kid Stuff And Leftover Outtakes

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 9:21am

On this week's show, Guy Raz of NPR's TED Radio Hour joins us to talk about kids' movies and the cultural fascination with outtakes.

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Gold-Plated Gowns And 8-inch Pumps: The Stuff That Made Starlets Shimmer

Fri, 11/28/2014 - 3:00am

Actress Mae West was petite, but on screen — thanks to a pair of platform shoes — she looked larger than life. A show in Boston examines the fashion and jewelry of Hollywood's golden age.

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'Queen Of Crime' PD James Was A Master Of Her Craft

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 3:18pm

A remembrance of murder mystery writer PD James, who died Thursday at her home in Oxford, England.

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The Holiday Films Are Coming, From 'Moses' To 'Annie'

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 3:18pm

Bob Mondello offers a selective preview of what Hollywood has in store for the holidays. There are musicals, there are biopics, and the seas will literally part.

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Beware The 'Babadook,' The Monster Of Your Own Making

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 3:18pm

The monsters of repression are what terrorize a mother and her son in this independent, Australian, horror movie. "I wanted it to look more low-fi and more handmade," says director Jennifer Kent.

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For P.D. James, A Good Mystery Celebrated Human Intelligence

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 11:12am

The British author of best-selling detective stories has died at age 94. "In a sense, the detective story is a small celebration of reason and order in our very disorderly world," she told NPR.

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British Mystery Novelist P.D. James Dies At 94

Thu, 11/27/2014 - 8:00am

The author of such books as The Black Tower was best-known for her series featuring Scotland Yard detective Adam Dalgliesh.

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Christmas Bells Are Ringing, And Cable Holiday Movies Are Unrelenting

Wed, 11/26/2014 - 3:53pm

Christmas cable movies are a genre unto themselves. We take a look at some of the Hallmark (and other) romances that are surprisingly big business this time of year.

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