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Updated: 1 hour 33 min ago

The Great Bluff That Led To A 'Magical' Pill And A Sexual Revolution

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 2:09pm

In the '50s, four people collaborated to create a pill so women could enjoy sex. They fibbed about their motivations and skirted the law. Jonathan Eig details the history in The Birth of the Pill.

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Eating Comfort Foods May Not Be So Comforting After All

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 2:04pm

It's tempting to seek out the mac-and-cheese or a pint of ice cream after a terrible, horrible, no good day. But fresh research suggests such comfort foods might not be mood boosters after all.

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'The Flash' Winks At History And Keeps Its Superhero Tone Light

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 11:05am

The CW's remake of The Flash has an affection view of super-history, resting comfortably among the many version of many heroes already born.

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The 'Sioux Chef' Is Putting Pre-Colonization Food Back On The Menu

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:39am

Sean Sherman plans to open a restaurant serving food inspired by what was eaten in the Great Plains prior to the arrival of European settlers. Discovering those ingredients has been half the battle.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch: 'House Hunters International'

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 10:02am

Glen Weldon and Linda Holmes sit down for a little chat about flats in Paris, bad jokes, and wanting to live abroad but still be at home.

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Book News: Agatha Christie And The Secret Of The Lost Lockbox Jewels

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 6:28am

Long hidden in a common trunk, Christie's family jewelry is now heading to auction. And the day's secrets don't end there: J.K. Rowling also stirred Twitter with a cryptic hint about her new book.

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'Ancillary Sword' Examines Life On The Fringes Of A Galactic Empire

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 6:03am

Ann Leckie's eagerly-awaited sequel to last year's Ancillary Justice quickly wraps up dangling plot threads, and sends heroine Breq on a brand new adventure, this time at the helm of her own ship.

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The Unadaptable 'Curious Incident' Gets A Stage Adaptation

Tue, 10/07/2014 - 2:17am

Author Mark Haddon never imagined The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would work as a play — he judged his writing by its unadaptability. But now it is one, and critics are loving it.

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FDR Was A Great President — But Do We Really Want Another Great President?

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 3:26pm

In his new book, The End of Greatness, historian Aaron David Miller argues the nation might be better off without any more truly great presidents — or the national crises that produce them.

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'Florence Gordon' Isn't Friend Material, But You'll Appreciate Her

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:33pm

Brian Morton's novel features a 75-year-old woman — an icon of the Second Wave Women's Movement — who's a self-described "difficult woman." It's a witty, nuanced and ultimately moving novel.

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How The Cold War And George Orwell Helped Make The Internet What It Is

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:30pm

In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that Pentagon officials wanted a system the Russians couldn't attack, and 1984 made the public wary of new technology's Big Brother potential.

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How The Cold War And George Orwell Helped Make The Internet What It Is

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:30pm

In The Innovators, Walter Isaacson explains that Pentagon officials wanted a system the Russians couldn't attack, and 1984 made the public wary of new technology's Big Brother potential.

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Sandwich Monday: PB&J Balls

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 12:16pm

For this week's Sandwich Monday, we try a new take on a brown-bag lunch classic. Welch's has re-engineered the PB&J in ball form.

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Book News: Murakami Drops A New Story, Just As Nobel Week Begins

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 6:11am

In "Scheherazade," he tells the tale of a captive listener — in more ways than one. Also: A big week to come includes the Nobel Prize announcement, "Super Thursday" and several notable books.

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The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 2:28am

The Innovators, Walter Isaacson's new book, tells the stories of the people who created modern computers. Women, who are now a minority in computer science, played an outsize role in that history.

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A 'Post-Post-Colonial' Take On The Violent Birth Of Modern Jamaica

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 4:36pm

Marlon James' latest novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not brief, and it contains many more than seven deaths. It's a portrait of Jamaica in the '70s, when gang warfare and reggae reigned.

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Seeing Neurological Patients As Characters, Not Case Studies

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 9:29am

Legendary theater director Peter Brook is working on a new play centered on people with unusual conditions — like synesthesia, extraordinary memory or the inability to sense their own bodies.

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'Outpost': Stories Of Diplomacy In The World's Most Harrowing Places

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Former Ambassador Christopher Hill has written his memoir, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Hill about his tenure as a diplomat in Iraq.

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For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:57am

Smiley used to live in Iowa and says something about the place still pulls on her imagination. Her new book, Some Luck, begins on a family farm in 1920.

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This 'Book Of Witches' Casts A Fascinating, Sobering Spell

Sun, 10/05/2014 - 6:03am

A new Penguin compendium of documents relating to three centuries of witch trials lays the blame on fractured communities and cruel governments — and draws unsettling parallels to current events.

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