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Arts & Life
2:52 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Our Media, Ourselves: Are We Headed For A Matrix?

Design Within Reach? The cool sterility of 2001: A Space Odyssey is just one example of how pop culture expresses an anxiety that's seemingly about technology, but may be as old as time.
MGM

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 9:31 am

When Hollywood imagines the future, from Logan's Run to Avatar, it tends to picture living spaces as sterile and characterless, without any cultural clues to the person who lives there. No record library, no DVDs, no Hemingway on bookshelves ... often no bookshelves.

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Economy
2:13 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

With Business Up, Owners Say Banks Lending Again

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 10:26 am

A big reason for the slow recovery has been that the nation's battered banks haven't been able or willing to lend. There are signs that's changing and that bank lending is helping to support stronger growth.

Paul Kasriel, chief economist at Northern Trust, a Chicago-based bank, say his reading of Federal Reserve data has convinced him that banks have finally taken the baton from the Fed and are now making credit more available.

"We've seen a sharp increase in business loans on the books of banks," he says.

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World Cafe
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Julia Nunes On 'World Cafe Next'

Julia Nunes is this week's World Cafe: Next featured artist.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist.

Before the eyes of her YouTube subscribers, Julia Nunes went from being a teen covering her favorite artists to a young woman playing live shows with them.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Eurozone Ministers Close To Greek Bailout Deal

Host Audie Cornish talks with Eric Westervelt about the decision on whether to grant Greece another bailout, this time worth $171 billion.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

'Hugo' Author Explores His Inspiration Up Close

When Brian O. Selznick wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabaret — a graphic novel about an orphan in 1930s Paris — he imagined the secret spaces of a Paris train station. For inspiration, he visited Grand Central Terminal in New York City. But the scenes in the book — hidden tunnels, secret rooms, the giant clock tower — were all drawn from Selznick's imagination and later turned into the movie Hugo by Martin Scorcese, which is nominated for 12 Academy Awards.

Election 2012
2:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Lawsuits Flying Over Florida's Redistricting

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 4:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In Florida, members of Congress and the state legislature are scrambling to decide what districts they'll run for in this year's election. The legislature recently released maps that redraw the districts. It's a once-in-a-decade process every state goes through to reflect population changes since the last census. Because of its growth, Florida is gaining two seats, but there is bipartisan unhappiness with the maps. And NPR's Greg Allen reports that the battle over how they were drawn may ultimately be decided by the courts.

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Europe
1:58 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Portugal Plays By The Rules, But Economy Slumps

A once-bustling vegetable market in Lisbon is now beyond the reach of many Portuguese — a sign of their country's economic problems.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Tue February 21, 2012 10:25 am

The eurozone crisis has focused attention on debt-burdened Greece spiraling into decline. Meanwhile, Portugal is seen as the international creditors' poster-child for obediently slashing spending and welfare benefits.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese national debt continues to grow, and the country is mired in recession and soaring unemployment.

The Portuguese national character has long been identified with Fado music. Raquel Freire, an activist with the local Occupy movement, says the melancholy style helps explain decades of resignation.

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Oscar's Top Documentaries
12:54 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

One Marine's Journey To 'Hell And Back Again'

Hell And Back Again focuses on Sgt. Nathan Harris' life at home and on the battlefield.
Courtesy Danfung Dennis

Photojournalist Danfung Dennis has captured the brutalities of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for major publications, including The New York Times, Time magazine, The Guardian and The Washington Post.

Inspired by these experiences, Dennis embedded with the U.S. Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan and created the documentary Hell And Back Again.

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NPR Story
12:54 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Ojibwe Writer Seeks Out The Beauty Of 'Rez Life'

Novelist David Treuer is the son of an Ojibwe trial judge.
Jean-Luc Bertini

Stories about life on Native American reservations often focus on the hardships — alcoholism, drugs, violence and poverty. In Rez Life: An Indian's Journey Through Reservation Life, Ojibwe writer David Treuer strives to capture stories about the beauty of life on Indian reservations.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Sorting Out Iran's Regional Ambitions

Originally published on Sun February 26, 2012 7:57 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. A team of U.N. inspectors has arrived in Tehran, and a few days ago, the Iranian government sent a letter that proposed a new round of talks with the U.S. and five other big powers.

But conditions are so tense right now that some believe the failure of either effort might trigger an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and no one knows what might happen after that.

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Opinion
12:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Op-Ed: Criminalizing Lies Is Dangerous, Unnecessary

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 2:23 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

And now, The Opinion Page. Does freedom of speech include the right to lie? After he boasted about his Medal of Honor, Xavier Alvarez became one of the first people convicted under the Stolen Valor Act, a law that makes it a crime to falsely claim military decorations. The case goes before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

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The Two-Way
11:18 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Holiday News Roundup: Mardi Gras, Greece And John Glenn

An image captured on Feb. 20, 1962, by NASA shows astronaut John Glenn during his space flight in the Friendship 7 Mercury spacecraft, weightless and traveling at 17,500 mph. The image was made by an automatic sequence motion picture camera.
NASA AP

The Two-Way is formally off-duty for the Presidents' Day holiday. But not only does the news not take a holiday — often, holidays are the news. Here's a quick roundup of some of today's important and most-discussed stories:

  • Syria is reinforcing its military in what seems to be a bid to control Homs. (AP)
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The Two-Way
10:07 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Baseball's Spring Training Begins; Opening Day Is April 4

Catcher Buster Posey, seen here during a spring training workout Sunday, has been told by the San Francisco Giants that he should avoid blocking home plate. Posey broke his leg on a scoring play at the plate last season.
Darron Cummings AP

Major League Baseball's spring training has begun, as catchers and pitchers have made their way to Florida and Arizona to prepare for the 2012 season. Games in the Grapefruit League and Cactus League won't begin until early March, when all players will report to camp.

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World Cafe
8:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

World Cafe Looks Back: Blues And Gospel

Mavis Staples performs with The Roots at the Climate Rally on the National Mall on April 25, 2010, in Washington, D.C.

Brendan Hoffman Getty Images

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe by revisiting some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Stephen Colbert Set To Return Tonight, After A Delay In Taping

Stephen Colbert, seen here in a file photo from November 2011, postponed production of his Colbert Report due to concerns about his mother's health, according to reports. The show will resume taping Monday, according to Comedy Central.
Fernando Leon Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 20, 2012 10:17 am

The Colbert Report is set to resume production Monday, after a hiatus last week brought on by concerns over the health of Stephen Colbert's mother, according to reports. Lorna Colbert, 91, lives in Charleston, S.C., where the Comedy Central star grew up.

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