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7:03 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Dreaming Of Justice: Hardscrabble Lives In Hallucinatory Prose

Alex Espinoza is the author of The Five Acts of Diego León.

Before becoming a novelist and educator, I was a manager at a shop in Santa Monica, Calif., selling sofas and custom-framed art to movie stars and wealthy Angelinos. Eventually I grew frustrated and, determined to reinvent myself as a writer, I quit and went back to school.

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Science
6:47 am
Sun April 14, 2013

A Poker Players Tells Are In The Hands As Much As The Face

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:11 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's talk poker. Dealer, let me see those cards.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "COOL HAND LUKE")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) King-three, you got a four. Queen-deuce gets a five. And a pair of sevens gets a john. And the big ace gets a slap in the face. OK, you still do the talking.

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Pop Culture
6:47 am
Sun April 14, 2013

In A Fragmented Cultureverse, Can Pop References Still Pop?

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 11:04 am

In film and TV, pop culture references are meant to give a knowing nod to those in the audience who understand the joke. But in an increasingly segmented and diverse country, those jokes may be pulling in fewer laughs. This story originally aired on Morning Edition on Jan. 18, 2013.

Middle East
5:12 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Syria Conflict Brings Middle East Leaders To White House

A Syrian rebel patrols the area in the Sheikh Maqsud district of the northern city of Aleppo, on Thursday.
Dimitar Dilkoff AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:54 pm

In the coming weeks, the Obama administration plays host to the leaders of several Middle Eastern nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Qatar and Jordan.

They are coming, in part, to register their concerns about the ongoing violence in Syria and to nudge the Obama administration to do more to tip the balance in favor of the rebels trying to oust President Bashar Assad.

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Around the Nation
5:09 am
Sun April 14, 2013

In Hazleton, A Mixed Welcome For City's Immigrants

Roads End bar on Broad Street in Hazleton, Pa., displays a sign in 2007 that reads "ALL Legals Served." Longtime residents of the city are divided over the recent influx of Spanish-speaking immigrants.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:33 pm

Many residents say Hazleton, Pa., continues life now as a divided city. While some Spanish-speakers build new lives, longtime residents remain split on how the influx has changed their home.

It's not hard to find a Latino business in Hazleton these days, including law firms, insurance agencies and even a migrant education program. Amilcar Arroyo, the publisher of a local Spanish-language newspaper, says Latinos are now firmly establishing themselves as a part of the city.

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Education
4:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

'Core' Curriculum Puts Education Experts At Odds

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:16 pm

At 2 p.m., it's crunchtime for students who write for The Harbinger Online, the award-winning, student news site at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan. They've been investigating an initiative to develop common curriculum and test guidelines for states.

The young reporters have pored over countless documents about the Common Core State Standards and talked to Kansas state legislators who pushed for their adoption, trying to understand why they're necessary.

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Education
4:58 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Jazz In The Cafeteria: Kids Learn To Listen While They Chomp

Saxophonist Harold Rapp plays during lunchtime at Alice Terry Elementary School in Sheridan, Colo.
Jenny Brundin for NPR

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 6:44 pm

School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower.

Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise.

When the music teacher told students here they'd occasionally have a "silent" lunch break, this was kindergartner Alyssa Norquette's reaction: "Why do we need a silent lunch? Is it because we're too loud or something?"

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Shots - Health News
4:57 am
Sun April 14, 2013

Scientists Race To Stay Ahead Of New Bird Flu Virus

Workers prepare an H7N9 virus detection kit at the Center for Disease Control in Beijing on April 3.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:01 am

A precious package arrived at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last Thursday afternoon.

Inside, packed in dry ice to keep it frozen, was a vial containing millions of viruses derived from a 35-year-old Chinese housewife who died last Tuesday of respiratory and kidney failure.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:53 am
Sun April 14, 2013

O Say Can You C The Answer?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 14, 2013 11:04 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-word phrase in which the first word starts with O. Drop the O, and you'll get a new word that ends the phrase.

Last week's challenge: Name something in nine letters that is commonly read on Sunday morning. If you have the right thing, you can rearrange all the letters to name a bygone car model that you still see on the road today. What are they?

Answer: Scripture; PT Cruiser

Winner: Pam Smith of Beaverton, Ore.

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Music Interviews
6:27 pm
Sat April 13, 2013

Thao Nguyen's Musical Life Is Far From 'Common'

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down's new album is titled We The Common.
Nick Walker Courtesy of the artist

Thao Nguyen, of the folk-rock group Thao & the Get Down Stay Down, has been on a musical journey since she started performing in her teens in Northern Virginia. Delicate yet fierce in her vocal delivery, she writes often about her social concerns — and it was a trip to a California women's prison that inspired much of her latest album, We the Common.

Ngyuen and her band are on the road for the first time in several years; she spoke with NPR's Jacki Lyden from a tour stop in Kansas City.

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