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Author Interviews
2:39 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Tobolowsky: An Actor's Life 'Low On The Totem Pole'

Stephen Tobolowsky is an actor and writer. He also hosts the podcast The Tobolowsky Files.
Jim Britt Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:37 am

If you saw Stephen Tobolowsky on the street, you might think you know him from somewhere. The character actor has appeared in over 100 films and TV shows, with recurring roles in Heroes, Deadwood, Glee and now The Mindy Project.

In his memoir, The Dangerous Animals Club, Toboloswky charts the highs and lows of life as a character actor. Some of his roles have been so small, he says, his characters didn't even have names — as, for example, with his turn as "Buttcrack Plumber."

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Politics
2:07 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

The Political Junkie's Presidential Debate Preview

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:17 pm

President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off in Denver Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. The president continues to hold a slight lead in many swing states, but Romney's been able to close the gap in the weeks since the conventions.

Around the Nation
2:00 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Planning For A Sustainable Mississippi River

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 10:12 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan broadcasting today from the University of Missouri St. Louis at Grand Center, home of St. Louis Public Radio. T.S. Eliot, who grew up here, wrote a poem about the Mississippi, which flows about three miles from here.

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Music Interviews
2:00 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Carpenter's 'Ashes And Roses' Shaped By Grief

Mary Chapin Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards over the course of her career.
Russ Harrington

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:40 am

Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter's life has been drastically transformed. In 2007, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, her marriage ended soon after and, in the fall of 2011, her father died.

After those experiences, she tells NPR's Neal Conan, grief became a companion — but also a guide, a presence that dictated her outlook on life. The Grammy-winning artist channeled those emotions into her latest album, Ashes and Roses.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Manhunt For Manatee-Riding Lady Comes To An End In Florida

Ana Gloria Garcia Gutierrez is seen attempting to ride a manatee.
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 2:19 pm

For a short period, yesterday, the hunt was on in Pinellas County, Florida for a lady photographed riding a manatee.

The sheriff's department called a deadly serious press conference in which they asked the help of the public in identifying the perpetrator. The lady was wearing a white cap, red shorts and a black bikini top. Witnesses in the area, the sheriff said in a statement, took photographs and contacted police.

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Commentary
1:28 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

When Words Were Worth Fighting Over

In 1961, the publication of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary sparked an uproar with its inclusion of the word "ain't."
Flickr User Greeblie

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 3:10 pm

I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:58 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

In Nigerian Gold Rush, Lead Poisons Thousands Of Children

Women and their children wait for medication and instructions on how to use it at the clinic in Dareta, Nigeria. Treating children with high levels of lead is a painstaking process that works only if their environment at home is free from lead.
David Gilkey NPR

Originally published on Fri October 5, 2012 3:26 pm

Across a swath of northern Nigeria, a humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding, as lead from illegal gold mines sickens thousands of children.

More than 400 kids have died, and many more have been mentally stunted for life.

Doctors Without Borders, which has set up clinics to treat the children, is calling it one of the worst cases of environmental lead poisoning in recent history.

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The Two-Way
12:38 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

New, House-Cat-Sized Dinosaur With Massive Fangs Is Identified

With jaws only 1 inch in length, the plant-eating Pegomastax ("thick jaw") was one of the smallest dinosaurs ever discovered. The photo above is of a close relative of the Pegomastax.
Tyler Keillor The University of Chicago

Originally published on Sun October 7, 2012 5:09 pm

What we learn about dinosaurs keeps surprising us. Today in the journal ZooKeys we get a peek into an odd, new kind of dinosaur that was lighter than a house cat and just as small but had a terrifying set of teeth and a short, birdlike beak.

The fossil used to re-create the creature was actually discovered in southern Africa in the 1960s, but it is described for the first time today by Paul Sereno, paleontologist and professor at the University of Chicago.

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Law
12:22 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Interactive: Richard Aoki's FBI File

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 10:31 am

Documents from the FBI file released to author Seth Rosenfeld as part of research for his book, Subversives.

The Salt
12:03 pm
Wed October 3, 2012

Freshwater Shrimp: Still Not A Midwestern Cash Crop

A patron enjoys the offerings at this year's Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival.
Maureen Langlois NPR

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:07 pm

It's harvest time in the heartland, but not just for apples and squash. In small, back-lot ponds on farms across the Midwest, a different crop has been growing all summer. They're substantial, slightly sweet and a revelation to the land-locked palate, not to mention worth top dollar. Yep, it's shrimp season in Ohio.

But don't ask for any Midwestern shrimp at your local fishmonger. There aren't enough yet to make it to the store.

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