First And Main
4:07 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Even In Florida Swing County, Minds Seem Made Up

Michael Bailey, 2, was the last baby baptized in St. Paul's AME church in downtown Tampa. Rev. Jesse Jackson preached here and Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall and President Clinton all spoke here, but the dwindling congregation forced the church to close.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 10:04 pm

Let's take a picture of America in the latter months of an election year. We want to sense what's on this country's mind. So Morning Edition begins a series of reports from First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county we find a starting point for our visit — an iconic American corner — First and Main streets.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:29 am
Mon August 6, 2012

An Anthropologist Walks Into A Bar And Asks, 'Why Is This Joke Funny?'

Amateur comedian Robert Lynch takes the mic at the Metropolitan Room in New York City on July 21. Lynch is also an evolutionary anthropologist who is studying what laughter reveals about us.
Melanie Burford for NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:26 pm

It's Saturday night at the Metropolitan Room, a comedy club in New York City. Host Jimmy Failla is warming up the crowd.

"Where you guys from?" he asks one group in the audience. "Boston? Home of the Red Sox. Personally, we'd prefer you rooted for the Taliban!"

There are 50 or 60 people in the audience, sipping cocktails. Failla has a system. He asks people where they're from. Most are locals. He then hits them with something they can relate to.

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Author Interviews
3:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 7:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

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Crime In The City
3:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Author Peter James And Sidekick Track Seaside Crime

After turning over a book to his publisher, Peter James wakes up the next day and starts on the next one.
Gareth Ransome

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:39 am

Any tour of Brighton, England, has to begin at the Royal Pavilion, according to crime writer Peter James. Built by a king for his mistress 200 years ago, its Taj Mahal-like spires are the city's best-known landmark.

James' latest novel, Not Dead Yet, features — spoiler alert! — a pivotal scene in the pavilion's dining room, with its one-and-a-half ton crystal chandelier. Without giving too much away — the book won't be released in the U.S. until November – let's just say it might have something to do with the aforementioned chandelier.

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Dead Stop
2:59 am
Mon August 6, 2012

In Warhol's Memory, Soup Cans And Coke Bottles

Fans leave all manner of mementos at Andy Warhol's grave site, near Pittsburgh. This spring, a local Warhol impersonator wrapped the grave stone in colorful paper for an entire month.
Madelyn Roehrig

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:02 pm

Andy Warhol is often remembered as larger than life, but it's all too easy to miss where he's buried.

The pop artist's grave is in the modest St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, on a hill overlooking a highway about 20 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh.

Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, says it's a pretty typical cemetery for Pennsylvanians with Eastern European roots.

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The Two-Way
12:02 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Mars Rover Pulls Off High-Wire Landing

An artist's rendering shows a rocket-powered descent stage lowering the one-ton Curiosity rover to the Mars surface.
NASA/JPL-Caltech

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 6:26 am

The best place to stand in the entire solar system at 1:14 a.m. ET Monday was about 150 million miles away, at the bottom of Gale Crater near the equator of the Red Planet.

Looking west around mid-afternoon local time, a Martian bystander would have seen a rocket-powered alien spacecraft approach and then hover about 60 feet over the rock-strewn plain between the crater walls and the towering slopes of nearby Mount Sharp.

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The Record
10:12 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Chavela Vargas, Legendary Ranchera Singer, Dies

Chavela Vargas performing in Buenos Aires in 2004.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 7:23 pm

A legend of Latin American song has died. Chavela Vargas was a cultural icon across the Spanish-speaking world, with a voice that redefined notions of beauty and an attitude that brashly bent gender roles. Vargas died Sunday; she was 93.

She was born Isabel Vargas Lizano in Costa Rica, but audiences knew her as Chavela, a hard-partying, rabble-rousing, fiery singer who adopted Mexico as her homeland and began singing on the streets in her early teens.

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Space
5:55 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Life On Mars? Try One Of Saturn's Moons Instead

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 6:46 pm

One of the things the Mars rover will look for is organic molecules that could at least indicate whether there was once life on the Red Planet. But if searching for life in outer space is the goal, many scientists now say we might have better luck elsewhere — specifically one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus.

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Election 2012
5:38 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Could 2012 Be The Year Of The Asian Voter?

Mitt Romney and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell were featured on the front page of a Chinese-language newspaper following a visit to the Northern Virginia's Asian-American community in June. Such engagements with the Asian community helped McDonnell win his current office.
Courtesy of Peter Su

Originally published on Sun October 14, 2012 5:33 pm

There's a man in Virginia who could quite possibly hold the key to a Mitt Romney victory in November.

His name? Peter Su.

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NPR Story
5:10 pm
Sun August 5, 2012

Syria Fighting Continues

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:49 pm

Fighting continued Sunday in Syria between government forces and rebels for control of the country's second city, Aleppo. In another development, rebels say they are holding a group of Iranians, who they accuse of being on a reconnaissance mission in Damascus. Iran says the group comprises pilgrims.

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