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Music Interviews
6:04 am
Sun June 10, 2012

In Latest Album, Usher Takes To 'Looking 4' Himself

Usher.
Francesco Carrozzini Courtesy of RCA Records

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:43 pm

James Brown once remarked that singer Usher Raymond was "the Godson of Soul." With an accolade like that, it's no wonder that Usher is one of the bestselling artists in American music history.

Usher has won seven Grammys and was the second biggest selling artist of the 2000s. He's also acted in films and won critical praise for his Broadway performance in Chicago.

All this, and he's only in his early 30s.

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Books
6:04 am
Sun June 10, 2012

No One In 'The Red House' Gets Away Unscathed

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 12:50 pm

Ah, the family getaway. All of you together in one space — maybe a cabin in the mountains or a beach house. Delightful family meals, maybe some Scrabble. A time of togetherness and familial harmony.

That is decidedly not the kind of family vacation writer Mark Haddon draws inspiration from. In his latest novel, The Red House, Haddon peers inside the messy dynamics of a group of relatives, each grappling with their own fears and trying to make sense of themselves as a family, all while stuck in a vacation house in the remote English countryside.

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Books
6:03 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Audiobooks That'll Make The Family Road Trip Fly By

Chris Silas Neal

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 3:50 pm

It's time to rev up the old minivan and hit the road for summer vacation. One way to stave off those "are we there yet" questions is to get 'em hooked on an audiobook.

It just so happens that this is the season when there are a lot of new audiobooks to choose from. Last week, prizes for the best audiobooks of the year were announced at the annual Audie awards.

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History
6:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Return To Alcatraz: Will A Legend End After 50 Years?

Sometimes referred to as "The Rock," Alcatraz Island on San Francisco Bay in California served as a lighthouse, then a military fortification, and then a federal prison until 1972, when it became a national recreation area. Now the island is open to tours.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:43 pm

Fifty years ago, three men set out into the frigid waters of the San Francisco Bay in a raft made out of raincoats. It was one of the most daring prison escapes in U.S. history.

As one newsreel put it: The spoon proved "mightier than the bars at supposedly escape-proof Alcatraz prison."

"Three bank robbers serving long terms scratched their way through grills covering an air vent, climbed a drainage pipe and disappeared from the forbidding rock in San Francisco Bay," the report continued.

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Home Front: Soldiers Learn To Live After War
6:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Help And Hope, From Soldiers, For Soldiers

A recent Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program event in Boston offered help for members of the 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard as they transition back to being civilians.
Tom Dreisbach NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:43 pm

The 182nd Infantry Regiment of the Army National Guard landed back in the U.S. last March after a yearlong deployment to Afghanistan.

After two months of leave, however, their official transition time is over and the deployment paychecks have stopped. It's now time to get back to regular life, and for the members from Massachusetts, that means a mandatory check-in with the unit's leadership.

From Soldier To Civilian

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Space
6:02 am
Sun June 10, 2012

NASA Fishes For Tools To Tackle Asteroid

Astronauts Shannon Walker and David Saint-Jacques test a probe in the waters off Key Largo, Fla. Their research may help NASA set foot on an asteroid someday.
Miami Herald MCT via Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 8:32 pm

NASA may have retired its shuttles, but it has its sights on sending astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

These voyages are years away, but on Monday, astronauts are heading underwater to take part in a simulation that will help them figure out how they might explore one possible new destination: a near-Earth asteroid.

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Around the Nation
6:00 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Southern Farmers See Midwestern Bias In Farm Bill

Georgia farmer Donald Chase says the Senate's proposed farm bill favors farmers in the Midwest and leaves Southern farmers without a safety net.
Kathy Lohr NPR

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:58 pm

Southeast of Macon, Ga., near Oglethorpe, rows of peanuts planted six weeks ago have sprouted. Tiny yellow flowers dot the rich-green plants. Donald Chase, his father and grandfather have owned this farm since the 1950s.

Like many southern farmers, Chase objects to the version of the farm bill kicking around in the Senate this week. The bill aims to do away with direct payments to farmers by expanding crop insurance programs.

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Theater
12:03 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Behind The Stars, The Sets That Help Them Shine

The idea behind Ost's design was to keep the set out of the way of the storytelling --€” and of Newsies' kinetic ensemble.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 3:50 pm

Broadway caps off its 2011-2012 season June 10 at the 66th annual Tony Awards, and while the focus will mostly be on the nominated shows and actors, some attention must be paid to the set designers — the people who help create the environments that let those shows and actors shine.

Take Daniel Ostling: When he read Bruce Norris' script for Clybourne Park, a play that takes place in a very realistic Chicago bungalow, the veteran scenarist quickly came to a realization: "The house is actually a character."

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Theater
12:03 am
Sun June 10, 2012

Tony Predictions From A Record-Breaking Season

Philip Seymour Hoffman (center) and Andrew Garfield (left) with Finn Wittrock and Linda Emond in the revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. The play received seven nominations in total.
Brigitte Lacombe New York Magazine

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 7:43 pm

Let's get this out of the way: The most anticipated show of the past two Broadway seasons — Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark -- finally opened, after multiple delays, cast injuries, the firing of its writer-director Julie Taymor and the longest preview period in Broadway history, on June 14th, 2011, a few days after last year's Tony Awards.

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Politics
5:02 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Accusations, Investigation Follow Intelligence Leaks

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 6:35 pm

The Justice Department has launched an investigation to determine the source of a series of leaks about sensitive intelligence matters. President Obama denied his administration authorized the leaks, but some Senate Republicans accused the White House of deliberately leaking the stories in order to boost the president's national security credentials.

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