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Author Interviews
5:06 pm
Sun March 30, 2014

In Civilian Snapshot Of Iraq, An Artist Is A 'Corpse Washer'

Courtesy of Yale University Press

In his latest novel, Iraqi author Sinan Antoon gives readers a stark portrait of contemporary Iraq. Originally written in Arabic and translated into English by Antoon himself, The Corpse Washer was nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize this year.

The book's protagonist is a young man named Jawad, an aspiring artist from a family of traditional Shiite corpse washers and shrouders in Baghdad. Jawad breaks from the family business and attends art school, where he devotes himself to the celebration of life rather than the ritual surrounding death.

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Education
9:18 am
Sun March 30, 2014

What A Small Town's Teen Pregnancy Turnaround Can Teach The U.S.

Michelle Nimmons (with the red shoe) poses with some of the students in her sex education program in Denmark, S.C.
Courtesy of Michelle Nimmons

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 11:57 am

Thirty years ago, the small town of Denmark, S.C., had one of the state's highest teen pregnancy rates.

"We had very young grandparents, grandparents were maybe [in their] 30s," says Michelle Nimmons, who has worked for the past 30 years on the issue of teen pregnancy. "Great-grandmamas were in their 40s, and parents were in their teens, so a lot of education had to happen."

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Music Interviews
7:40 am
Sun March 30, 2014

Out Of The Holler: Saintseneca's Driving Punk-Folk

Saintseneca's latest album is called Dark Arc.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun March 30, 2014 5:59 pm

With a twang and a yodel, Saintseneca's new album, Dark Arc, begins on a foreboding note. "You're drenched in blood, still warm with with wear," frontman Zac Little sings before leading the band into a driving rock chorus.

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It's All Politics
6:59 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

What's With This Video Of McConnell Doing Stuff?

The Kentucky Opportunity Coalition used footage from Mitch McConnell's campaign for its own ads.
AP

The video uploaded to Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell's YouTube channel on March 11 is no ordinary campaign ad:

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Movie Interviews
5:02 pm
Sat March 29, 2014

In Biblical Blockbuster, Aronofsky Rocks Noah's Boat

The heavens open on Russell Crowe, as Noah, in the new Bible-based film.
Niko Tavernise Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 6:59 pm

The Biblical tale of Noah's Ark isn't the likeliest of big screen blockbusters. But that didn't stop Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, Black Swan) from pitching it to a Hollywood studio.

"When I first went to the studio, I said, 'Hey, what's the only boat more famous than the Titanic?' " he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers.

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StoryCorps
7:59 am
Sat March 29, 2014

Never Truly Over: Discussing Deployment A Challenge Of Its Own

Army Capt. Drew Pham says his wife, Molly Pearl, helps him push through the difficulties of transitioning back to civilian life after deployment in Afghanistan.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sat March 29, 2014 11:27 am

Army Capt. Drew Pham, 26, returned from a tour in Afghanistan in October 2011. Since Drew's been back, it's been hard for him to make sense of what he saw there and adjust to his life at home. It's been difficult for his wife, Molly Pearl, to respond to some of the things he would tell her, too.

Pham called once to tell her he had shot a man. He says she didn't know what to say, so she replied, "Well, we'll deal with it when you get home."

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Music
4:12 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

It's Good To Gather Moss: A Young Artist On Missing 'Home'

Dan Croll's debut album is Sweet Disarray.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:03 pm

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Intelligence Squared U.S.
11:26 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Debate: Does Affirmative Action On Campus Do More Harm Than Good?

Martha Stewart Intelligence Squared U.S.

Many colleges and universities use race as a factor in admissions, but the approach has been a hot-button issue for decades — even making its way to the Supreme Court several times since the late 1970s.

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Around the Nation
7:36 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

Freeing Up California's Prisons: A Massive Undertaking

Inmates in a recreation yard at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, Calif. California is trying to address court-ordered reductions in overcrowding with a plan to shift thousands of those convicted of "nonserious" crimes to county jails.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 1:18 pm

It's been said you can judge the quality of a civilization by the way it treats its prisoners. If that's true, California in 2011 was in poor condition, at least according to the Supreme Court.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:15 pm
Sun March 23, 2014

John Adams' Psychedelic Oratorio Gives Voice To 'The Other Mary'

Composer John Adams.
Margaretta Mitchell

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 10:36 am

For the millennium, in 2000 American composer John Adams completed a compelling, large-scale oratorio based on the nativity story called El Niño. Now he's composed a companion piece, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a Passion oratorio mounted with his usual collaborator, the stage director and librettist Peter Sellars.

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