All Things Considered

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All Things Consideredis a NPR radio newsmagazine that delivers in-depth reporting and transforms the way listeners understand current events and view the world. The program presents breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features.

One Of Last Movie Theater Organs Pipes On

Feb 24, 2012

Seattle has one of the country's few working movie theater organs. Jim Riggs plays the theater's Wurlitzer organ while silent movies are screened. Recently he performed during a screening of 1927's Wings, the only silent film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Melissa Block talks to Zouheir Jabbour, Chief of Mission of the Syrian Embassy in Washington, DC, about the call for a ceasefire in Homs and the allegations of atrocities by the Syrian regime.

Representatives from some 70 countries met in Tunis on Friday and issued an ultimatum to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, demanding an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian access to cities like Homs that have been under bombardment by the Syrian army. Audie Cornish talks to Michele Kelemen about the news.

The Martin Luther King Jr. memorial isn't the only monument in Washington, DC, that has grappled with how to make a correction. At the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, there are more than 58,000 names inscribed on the wall. More than 100 of them have been misspelled, but 62 have been fixed. Memorial fund president Jan Scruggs explains how they've made the corrections.

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Another legal question: What do a urine test and FedEx have in common? Well, today at least, they both relate to one of Major League Baseball's best players, Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, the National League MVP. Yesterday, an arbitrator overturned his 50-game suspension for violating the league's rules on performance-enhancing drugs. And today, Braun showed up for spring training in Phoenix and defended himself to the media.

Tuesday is the next big day for Republicans in choosing their presidential nominee, with primaries in Michigan and Arizona.

Then there's an even bigger day a week later: March 6 is this year's Super Tuesday, when 10 states hold primaries and caucuses. Possibly the most consequential one will be in the swing state of Ohio. It has 66 delegates at stake, and it will also be a key battleground in November.

Mitt Romney says his experience in private equity taking over troubled companies would make him a good manager of America's economy. So we're reporting on companies that Bain Capital bought while Romney was in charge of the firm. This morning, we told the story of one that went bust. Here's the story of one that succeeded.

How A Private-Equity Firm Turns A Company Around

The U.S. Supreme Court took up the subject of lying on Wednesday.

Specifically at issue was the constitutionality of a 2006 law that makes it a crime to lie about having received a military medal. But the questions posed by the justices ranged far beyond that — from advertising puffery to dating lies.

The Supreme Court engaged in a lively debate Wednesday when it heard oral arguments in a case testing whether the 2006 Stolen Valor Act is constitutional. The law makes it a crime to lie about military honors.

Before the rise of Def Jam as hip-hop's definitive record label, there was Profile, which helped shepherd in some of the genre's early shifts in sound and style. A new two-CD anthology, Giant Single: The Profile Records Rap Anthology, chronicles the label's 15-year history and legacy.

Galactic: A Funky Day In The Life Of Mardi Gras

Feb 21, 2012

Get ready to dance, because it's Mardi Gras — a day to cut loose before Lent begins. In New Orleans, that means a day of parades, costumes and music everywhere you turn.

For the members of Galactic, Mardi Gras actually started on Monday, with an "annual gig that goes until the sun comes up at local club Tipitina's," saxophonist and harmonica player Ben Ellman says. For the long-running New Orleans funk band, it's one of the biggest gigs of the year.

A Depressive Diarist Chronicles His Descent

Feb 20, 2012

Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.

"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.

On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.

When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.

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Now, a bit of movie magic straight out of the real world. The film, "Hugo," nominated for 12 Academy Awards is about an orphan who lives in a Paris train station. He keeps its clocks running and befriends a girl named Isabel.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

Screen Time: 3 Books That Should Be Movies

Feb 20, 2012

J.D. Salinger famously refused to sell the film rights to The Catcher in the Rye, saying it was "unactable." It's true the subtleties of such great novels can get lost in translation. But I thought I'd take a look at three of my favorite novels that have never made it to the multiplex in wide release. Each of these will transport you to another time and another place.

The Role Of Political Spouses: Decoding An Image

Feb 19, 2012

One of the most talked about personalities on the Republican presidential campaign trail, Callista Gingrich, rarely says a word. That hasn't kept her out of the spotlight, though. From their hair to their home life, potential first ladies get attention on the campaign trail.

The New Running Game Where 'Zombies' Chase You

Feb 19, 2012

The new iPhone app called "Zombies, RUN!" is not your standard running game.

It's designed to encourage folks, such as say, video gamers, who aren't usually associated with exercise to take up running.

British writer Naomi Alderman, who is a gamer herself as well as an Orange-award winning novelist, came up with the idea for "Zombies, RUN!" while in a class for amateur runners she tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Mary-Louise Kelly.

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It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Mary Louise Kelly. Today, the world lost a man who elevated a simple arcade game...

(SOUNDBITE OF PINBALL GAME)

KELLY: ...into an American obsession.

(SOUNDBITE OF PINBALL)

KELLY: Steve Kordek was Mr. Pinball. Before he came along, the game looked totally different.

DAVID SILVERMAN: The other companies had games that were six flippers per game.

KELLY: That's David Silverman, founder of the National Pinball Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

It was at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., where Whitney Houston first learned to sing, and it was there that friends and family gathered on Saturday to say goodbye to the pop superstar.

The star-studded service lasted more than three hours. Among those in attendance were Dionne Warwick, Kevin Costner and Alicia Keys.

A troubled starlet dies in a helicopter crash off the Irish coast after sending a series of mysterious text messages. Three years later, a hungry young reporter desperate for work takes an assignment to write a quickie celebrity biography of her — but finds complexity and danger.

That seemingly accidental death is the catalyst for the events in Bloodland, a new thriller by Irish author Alan Glynn.

In a victory for the White House, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed an extension of the payroll tax cut on Friday after weeks of refusal. Host Mary Louise Kelly speaks with James Fallows of The Atlantic about the political reasoning behind the vote.

The Future Of Children's Books

Feb 18, 2012

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

So here's a conundrum for parents. If you have kids, you get told over and over limit their screen time. And you're also told, instead of screen time, get them reading more, which is all well and good, except that these days, many children do their reading on a screen, which raises some interesting questions about how children read today and what direction things are headed in children's book publishing.

Country Music Award winner Gretchen Peters had an eventful 2010: The BP oil spill washed up on her doorstep, a good friend committed suicide, and her son announced that he's transgender. The last of those in particular, she says, got her thinking about personal conflict.

Who'd have thought a 77-year-old Canadian singer-songwriter would be hovering near the top of the pop charts?

Week In Politics: Primaries And Payroll Tax

Feb 17, 2012

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So, a Santorum surge and a Romney slump in Michigan. Go figure. Here to make sense of the political week is E.J. Dionne of the Washington Post. Hi, E.J.

E.J. DIONNE: Good to be with you.

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Greece is anxiously awaiting a bailout from its European partners. One reason for the holdup - the Europeans say the Greeks aren't trying hard enough to reform. The Greeks say they've already implemented austerity measures so severe that they are destroying the country's middle class.

Joanna Kakissis has the story of one family in Athens.

The TV show The Simpsons is airing its 500th episode on Sunday. In its run, the show has aired more than 170 prime-time hours and had 23 seasons with hundreds of guest stars. Melissa Block and Robert Siegel offer a look back on the long-running animated series with insight from a few of the people who know it best: the writers.

The wind howls on a blustery Sunday morning in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona, as well-dressed families pull into the parking lot of a Mormon church.

Mormon pioneer roots run more than a century deep in this part of the state, an isolated spot between two Indian reservations.

Karen Johnson is among the Mormon faithful, passionate about God and country.

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