Author Interviews
2:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

The Motive Of The Mapmaker

In A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Jerry Brotton examines the maps of ancient history and the way Google Earth allows people to see the world today.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:56 am

World maps help us make sense of the world around us, and our place in it.

While mapmakers may portray their world maps as accurate, scientific and neutral, every single one describes the world from a certain worldview and culture. From ancient Babylonia to the Renaissance, cartographers have been driven by politics, religion, emotion and math.

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Arts & Life
2:48 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Bill Connolly's Funny, But Not Clever Comedy

Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
Tony Lyon

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years now. His TV credits include the sitcom "Head of the Class." He co-starred with Judi Dench in the movie "Mrs. Brown." New projects include Dustin Hoffmann's directorial debut, "Quartet," with, among others, Maggie Smith. And he plays a dwarf king in "The Hobbit." But what he does, as he puts it, is standup comedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF STANDUP SHOW)

BILLY CONNOLLY: Algebra was a mystery to me.

Connolly, 1A plus 1B?

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Environment
2:42 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

'Erin Brockovich' Town Faces New Threat

Hinkley, Calif., may soon become a ghost town as residents move away from contaminated water.
Gloria Hillard for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:20 pm

Hinkley, Calif., is the small town that battled toxic groundwater and inspired the 2000 film Erin Brockovich. Now residents say they are experiencing a sequel to their story.

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Europe
2:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Burgundy's Yield Fails To Meet Grape Expectations

Workers pick fruit Sept. 22 during the grape harvest at the Gevrey-Chambertin vineyard in France's Burgundy region. Bad weather has reduced the grape yield by as much as 70 percent in some vineyards.
Philippe Desmazes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:09 pm

Neat rows of grapevines run down the slopes of the Cotes de Beaune, all the way to the gravel driveway at Chateau de Corton Andre. The castle's traditional Burgundy black-and-yellow-tiled roof glistens in the autumn sun.

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Latin America
1:33 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Animals Seized From Colombian Narcos Find A Home

Ana Julia Torres cares for hundreds of abused animals at a refuge in Cali, Colombia, including this lion named Jupiter. Many of the animals were previously owned by drug traffickers who have been arrested.
Juan Forero NPR

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:09 pm

Villa Lorena, in southwestern Colombia, is an animal refuge like no other.

There are four lions, nine Bengal tigers, jaguars, cougars, a crocodile, a speckled bear and an ostrich. There's a chimpanzee named Jocko, spider monkeys and hundreds of brightly colored birds.

One thing they all have in common — they've been abused, says Ana Julia Torres. Monkeys have been beaten. Birds have had their beaks cut off.

"They're lame, or have lost limbs; they're blind, or can't focus, or have lost an eye," Torres says.

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All Songs Considered
12:08 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

An Early Peek At Our Favorite Music Of 2012

Sharon Van Etten's Tramp was released in February by Jagjaguwar.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 8:29 am

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Movie Reviews
11:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

'Hitchcock': Mr. And Mrs. 'Master Of Suspense'

Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), work together to produce Psycho.
Fox Searchlight

When my nieces were small, I took them on a day trip to the Museum of the Moving Image on London's South Bank. We had fun touring a puckishly curated journey through the history of cinema, until my younger niece flushed the toilet in the noir-inflected bathroom — and set off the famous shrieking strings that amp up the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, creating the most terrifying moment in American cinema.

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World Cafe
10:02 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Calexico On World Cafe

Calexico.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 1:33 pm

It's not easy to pin a single genre on Calexico. Joey Burns and John Convertino's band blends Americana, Tejano and indie rock music. Burns and Convertino began recording under the name — borrowed from the California border town — in 1996 in Tucson, Ariz., and have released several well-received albums, including this year's Algiers.

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Books
8:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

'Gershwins And Me' Tells The Stories Behind 12 Songs

Michael Feinstein (right) worked for six years as Ira Gershwin's cataloger and archivist.
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 9:46 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Oct. 17, 2012.

Long before singer and pianist Michael Feinstein became famous in his own right, he had the privilege of working closely with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, as his archivist and cataloger. In his book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs, Feinstein writes firsthand about the musical world of the American composers and brothers, George and Ira Gershwin.

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Around the Nation
8:03 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Table For One, Please. A Solo Thanksgiving

Some people just aren't into the big Thanksgiving Day extravaganza.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:19 pm

This is America, where Thanksgiving is portrayed in popular culture as a time for gatherings of loving families and friends, holding hands while saying grace over a roast turkey, passing casseroles and footballs, reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.

But. This being America, we also know that traditions — just like every other aspect of contemporary life — become more complex the more we examine them.

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