It's All Politics
4:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

A Second, Chance Interview With Subject Of Controversial First Lady Remarks

Mitt Romney speaks Thursday at American Legion Post 176 in Springfield, Va.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 5:17 pm

During the Republican National Convention last month, I traveled with Mitt Romney's campaign from Tampa, Fla., to the American Legion conference in Indianapolis.

Romney delivered a speech about foreign affairs and national security. Among the thousands of attendees from around the country, I interviewed one woman from Virginia whose quote sparked a conversation among NPR's audience and staff.

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NPR Cities: Urban Life In The 21st Century
4:28 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Aurora, Colo., Tries To Capitalize On Its Ethnic Riches

Families in a predominantly Latino youth soccer league gather for matches in Aurora. Hispanics make up nearly a third of the city's population, according to the 2010 Census.
Megan Verlee for NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:00 pm

Aurora, Colo., became a familiar name this summer, in the wake of a mass shooting at a local movie theater.

But there's much more to this Denver suburb than the recent tragedy. Just ask Ethiopian immigrant Fekade Balcha. Balcha's apartment, on Aurora's north side, sits in a dense neighborhood of squat brick apartment buildings and tiny homes.

"You see, in our apartment, there are Russians, Mexicans, Africans," Balcha says. "From Ethiopia, Somalia, Nigeria, and something like that."

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The Two-Way
4:28 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Renoir Found At Flea Market May Be Real, But It's Also Stolen

This weekend's auction of a flea-market find that turned out to be a work by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been put on hold, after evidence turned up the painting had been pilfered from a Baltimore museum decades ago.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 4:42 pm

Turns out there's a bigger story behind the Renoir painting purchased for $7 a couple of years ago at a West Virginia flea market — a mystery, and an alleged theft, in fact.

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Around the Nation
4:26 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Despite Record Drought, Farmers Expect Banner Year

With far less than half of their normal corn yield, the Ulrich brothers are relying in part on government-subsidized crop insurance to keep their farm afloat.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:39 am

After one of the driest summers on record, recent rains have helped in some parts of the country. But overall, the drought has still intensified. The latest tracking classifies more than a fifth of the contiguous United States in "extreme or exceptional" drought, the worst ratings.

In some parts of the Lower Midwest, water-starved crops have collapsed, but the farmers have not. Farmers across the country are surviving, and many are even thriving. This year, despite the dismal season, farmers stand to make exceptionally good money, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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All Songs Considered Blog
4:23 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

First Watch: J.Viewz, 'About The Sea'

Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 3:35 pm

Brooklyn-based electronic-music producer Jonathan Dagan, a.k.a. J.Viewz, writes songs that whirl and clatter like tiny Rube Goldberg devices. So it's only reasonable that his videos might function the same way. Witness "About the Sea," in which small green squares reveal a series of patterns before giving way to gorgeous animated nature scenes.

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A Blog Supreme
4:05 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Five Essential Bud Powell Recordings

Bud Powell pioneered bebop-style improvisation on the piano.
Metronome Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 11:12 am

Ever wish you could travel back in time to New York's 52nd Street — circa 1950, during the heyday of bebop — and whisper into Charlie Parker, or Dizzy Gillespie, or Thelonious Monk's ear, and ask them: Who was their favorite pianist to listen to? They would all give the same answer: Bud Powell.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Time And Crime, Thoroughly Crossed Up In 'Looper'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as present and future versions of the same man in Looper.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

The main problem with time-travel movies is the many black holes that the plot can stumble into; for a certain kind of viewer, they can be more than a little distracting. While the story presses forward, we're stuck wondering, for instance, how a character can safely hang out with his future self in the same time period — an anomaly that, despite Spock's shenanigans in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, aficionados of Doctor Who know is a Very Bad Thing.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Pitch Perfect': In Tune Where It Counts Most

The Bellas, an all-female a cappella group, battle the boys to sing their way to the top in Pitch Perfect.
Universal Pictures

When it's done right, there's nothing so miraculous as the sound of human voices blending into a creamy swirl of color, with neither the help nor the distraction of musical accompaniment. Pitch Perfect banks on that magic — the purely human wizardry of a cappella singing — though it also attempts to be several other things: a mild gross-out comedy, a paean to the awkward early stages of new love, a Mean Girls-style riff on campus hierarchies. That may be too much for one modest comedy to carry, but one thing's for sure: Pitch Perfect doesn't skimp on the singing.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Vulgaria': Raunch Comedy With An Asian Accent

Guangxi gangster Brother Tyrannosaurus (Ronald Cheng, left) agrees to back a film for producer To Wai-Cheung (Chapman To) — with a few conditions.
China Lion Entertainment

Some men, it's said, think about only one thing. Hong Kong movie producer To Wai-Cheung, for example, is absolutely obsessive about film. Yet when he discusses it, he always seems to be talking about something else that's often on men's minds.

To (Chapman To) is the protagonist of Vulgaria, a Hong Kong movie-biz satire and sex comedy. Directed by Pang Ho-Cheung, the film boasts the spontaneity of a French New Wave romp, while including raunchy gags worthy of The Hangover and Clerks II.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Solomon Kane,' Hellbound And Down In Old England

William Crowthorn (Pete Postlethwaite) and his Puritan family earn the respect of master warrior Solomon Kane (James Purefoy), the brooding antihero of a bleak comic-book adaptation.
RADiUS-TWC

Published mainly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales — also the preferred outlet for his most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian — the serial adventures of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane character provided an early model for the "sword and sorcery" subgenre, that crude yet irresistible fusion of the superpowerful and the supernatural.

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