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Animals
6:45 am
Sat July 11, 2015

For This Tarantula-Killing Wasp, Dinner's A Meal Best Served Living

Meal time for one species probably means sleepless nights for others.
Debbie Hall Flickr

Originally published on Sat July 11, 2015 9:38 am

It's been wet in Texas this year — exceptionally wet, as a matter of fact. With record amounts of rain, Texas is more than a little hot, green and rife with happy insects.

Take the tarantula hawk, for example. In case you've never heard of it, it's a wasp that's so big, and so nasty, that it attacks tarantulas — who happen to be quite big and nasty themselves.

So, what does a happy tarantula hawk look like? Ben Hutchins, an invertebrate biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes NPR's Wade Goodwyn through all the gruesome wasp-on-tarantula details.

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Code Switch
2:50 am
Fri July 10, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates Looks At The Physical Toll Of Being Black In America

Coates with his son Samori.
Random House

Originally published on Fri July 10, 2015 2:12 pm

When writer Ta-Nehisi Coates sat down at NPR's New York studios a few days ago, he got a little emotional.

It was the first time that Coates, who writes for The Atlantic, had held a copy of his latest book, Between the World and Me.

This book is personal, written as a letter to his teenage son Samori. In it, we see glimpses of the hard West Baltimore streets where Coates grew up, his curiosity at work on the campus of Howard University and his early struggles as a journalist.

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Goats and Soda
3:26 am
Thu July 9, 2015

He Fled Sudan And Made A New Life In The U.S. So Why Go Back?

Daniel Majok Gai revisits the two-bedroom apartment in Denver where he lived with seven other Sudanese refugees in 2001.
Kevin Leahy NPR

Originally published on Thu July 9, 2015 9:22 am

Daniel Majok Gai wants to go back to South Sudan.

He thinks he can help his homeland — the youngest nation in the world. Today marks the fourth anniversary of its independence. But there's little celebration. The country is being ripped apart by civil war.

Yet Gai, who suffered through years of violence and pain as a refugee, believes he can play a role in moving South Sudan toward peace and safety.

Against all odds, the 34-year-old is an incredible optimist.

He was 6 when a militia attacked his village.

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History
5:29 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Greek flags fly beside those of the European Union in Athens. Many people chalk the phrase up to Shakespeare, but its origins likely date back much earlier than that --€” to medieval monks eager for a cop-out.
Matt Cardy Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 9:11 pm

If you've been following the Greek financial crisis, you've certainly seen this old cliche in the headlines.

In USA Today, there was "If 'it's all Greek to you,' here's the skinny on debt crisis." The BBC says, "All Greek to you? Greece's debt jargon explained."

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Author Interviews
5:08 pm
Sun July 5, 2015

From Early Failures To New 'Trainwreck,' Judd Apatow Gets Serious

Director, writer and producer Judd Apatow has both a new memoir and a new movie right now. Trainwreck, which he directed, is in theaters starting July 17 and Sick in the Head was published in June.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 5, 2015 9:11 pm

It's a bit of an understatement to call Judd Apatow busy.

His new book, Sick in the Head, a 500-page collection of Apatow's conversations with some of the greatest minds in comedy, is on the New York Times best-seller list. Meanwhile, his film collaboration with the white-hot Amy Schumer, Trainwreck — his fifth movie as a director — is set for release within two weeks.

Oh, and he just wrapped up shooting another movie that's due out next year.

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Author Interviews
8:40 am
Sat July 4, 2015

An Outsider In Buenos Aires Goes Incognito, For Love Of Tango

Lydia Thompson NPR

Originally published on Mon July 6, 2015 2:52 pm

In the dirty, crowded, and impoverished immigrant barrios of Buenos Aires of 1913, a 17-year-old girl arrives with little more than some clothes and her grandfather's violin.

Her name is Leda, and she's the character at the heart of Carolina De Robertis' third novel, The Gods of Tango.

Leda, an Italian girl, was sent for by her cousin-husband, but widowed before her ship even lands in South America. She soon finds comfort and excitement in a new kind of music that's filling the city's courtyards, bars and brothels: the tango.

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It's All Politics
11:13 am
Wed July 1, 2015

Can The Candidate Move Beyond 'The Christie Show'?

A supporter at Gov. Chris Christie's announcement Tuesday.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 2, 2015 6:06 am

It was the least suspenseful cliffhanger in the history of cliffs.

Governor Christie has, essentially, been running for higher office for years. But as of Tuesday he is now, officially, a presidential candidate.

This week the Christie Tracker podcast, from WNYC and New Jersey Public Radio, headed to Livingston High School for analysis on the announcement.

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Music Interviews
5:48 pm
Sun June 28, 2015

The Sound Of Twin Danger: Frank Sinatra Meets The Clash

Twin Danger's Vanessa Bley and Stuart Matthewman
Sunny Khalsa Courtesy of the artist

Cocktail jazz isn't a sound you hear very much in pop music these days. But a duo known as Twin Danger is causing a scene with their self-titled debut album and live shows.

It's a familiar mood for saxophonist Stuart Matthewman; he co-wrote many of the biggest hits for Sade, like "No Ordinary Love" and "Your Love Is King."

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Governing
4:36 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

For Families Of U.S. Hostages, New Policy May Bring New Hope

Linda Boyle (left) and Lyn Coleman hold a photo of their children, who were kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2012. Caitlan Coleman, an American married to Canadian Joshua Boyle, was pregnant when the couple was abducted.
Bill Gorman AP

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 5:36 pm

More than 80 Americans have been taken hostage abroad since Sept. 11, 2001. Currently, 30 Americans are being held around the world.

Until this week, the families of those hostages would have faced the threat of prosecution from the U.S. government for trying to pay a ransom to kidnappers.

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Book News & Features
4:26 pm
Sat June 27, 2015

Marvel's Half-Black, Half-Latino Spider-Man Is Going Mainstream

Marvel has put half-African-American, half-Latino teen Miles Morales in the Spider-Man suit.
Courtesy of Marvel

Originally published on Sat June 27, 2015 5:36 pm

Step aside, Peter Parker: There's a new Spider-Man joining the Marvel Universe.

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