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Participation Nation
11:09 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Americans In Action, Helping Each Other And Making The Whole Country Better

With your help, we spent a month sharing stories about Americans taking action to make their world a better place.
Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 1:32 pm

Like a quietly efficient operating system whirring away in the innards of a supercomputer, a vast array of Americans — mostly unseen and unsung — spend hours and hours of every week working together to find ways to make their communities — and the whole country — better.

This is Participation Nation.

In a monthlong blog that ended Aug. 31, NPR collected stories of people actively helping other people, animals and the planet. Here is an executive summary of what we discovered.

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Music Interviews
11:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Garfunkel Defends His Art

Art Garfunkel performs at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2010.
Barry Brecheisen WireImage

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 5:40 pm

Art Garfunkel is best known as half of the legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel. The harmonies he created with Paul Simon left an indelible mark on American music, but less remembered is his string of Top 40 hits as a solo artist.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Regina Spektor, Victor LaValle

"To me, the voice is an instrument, just like any other instrument," Regina Spektor says.
Shervin Lainez

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 11:08 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Regina Spektor: On Growing Up A 'Soviet Kid': The singer spent the first nine years of her life in the Soviet Union, where she and her family faced discrimination as Jews. She talks about Russia and her new album, What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Husky: Music For The Heart And Head

The Current

After years on the Melbourne scene, the Australian band Husky is making inroads to the world of American folk and chamber-pop with its new album, Forever So.

Husky's support in Australia grew after the group won Triple J's "Unearthed" contest, which gave it national exposure. No stranger to big crowds, Husky has opened for the likes of Laura Marling, Gotye, Noah and the Whale, and The Shins. The group's acoustic, folk-inspired songs are captivating and marked by sweet harmonies, like those heard in this performance of "History's Door."

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The Salt
7:03 am
Sat September 1, 2012

Want To Grill Like A Zillionaire? There's An App For That

The iGrill on display at Macworld 2011in San Francisco.
Tony Avelar Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 3:14 pm

There are so many cooking apps out there, it's easy to get lost. Good thing the iGrill has Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on its side.

Sales of the $80 device spiked by 400 percent after Zuckerberg updated his Facebook status on Aug. 19 with an enthusiastic thumbs up for the iGrill, a cooking thermometer that uses Bluetooth to connect to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

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