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6:12 am
Sun July 15, 2012

In 'Red Chamber,' A Love Triangle For The Ages

The romance between star-crossed lovers Jia Baoyu (left) and Lin Daiyu, depicted here in a relief panel, meets a tragic end in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber.
IvanWalsh.com Flickr

Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 2:48 pm

Before most readers in China learned of Romeo and Juliet, they were captivated by a love triangle between a boy and his two female cousins.

It's the "single most famous love triangle in Chinese literary history," says author Pauline A. Chen, who's written the latest retelling of the tale of Jia Baoyu and his cousins Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai. The three characters form the central love story of the Chinese novel Hong Lou Meng, often translated as Dream of the Red Chamber in English.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
6:11 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Don't Cry Over Burnt Milk In South Texas; Savor It

There are many kinds of leche quemada, or "burnt milk." But in South Texas, the kind made of goat milk is king.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 11:16 am

Stepping into a La Michoacana Meat Market in South Texas is a lot like crossing into Mexico — except you don't need a passport.

This grocery chain caters to the Mexican immigrant population, and it's filled with the sounds, ingredients, brands and products from south of the border.

My wife, Yvette Benavides, and I head straight to the candy.

There are different kinds of leche quemada in Mexico, but in South Texas, one of the most popular forms is known as cajeta, and it's made from goat milk.

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Monkey See
12:03 am
Sun July 15, 2012

The Id, The Ego And The Superhero: What Makes Batman Tick?

Christian Bale as Batman in The Dark Knight Rises.
Ron Phillips Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:11 am

When you look at Batman with a coldly analytical eye — and he's hard to avoid these days, with The Dark Knight Rises set to come out Friday — a few things stand out as potential red flags: the secrecy, the lair, the attraction to danger, the blithe self-sacrifice, the ... cape.

It's unusual, all of it, you have to admit. Sure, he's handy to have around in an emergency, and you can't beat a fella who can be summoned with a giant light in the sky in the event you've got no cellphone reception.

But is he entirely ... well?

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Sunday Puzzle
12:03 am
Sun July 15, 2012

Following The Trail

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 11:11 am

On-Air Challenge: For each category, name something in the category starting with each of the letters in the word "trail." For example, if the category were "books of the Bible," you might say Timothy, Ruth, Amos, Isaiah and Leviticus.

Any answer that works is correct. And you can give the answers in any order.

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The Picture Show
7:07 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Rare Photos: One Of Woody Guthrie's Last Shows

A rare set of 1950's photographs show one of Woody Guthrie's last performances before his decline with Huntington's disease.
Leonard Rosenberg Music Inn/Barber Family

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 9:25 am

After the dust of the Dust Bowl settled down, American folksinger Woody Guthrie moved to New York City and played more for the leftist East Coast intelligentsia than for migrant workers. Among these performances, one of the better documented was an informal concert in a remarkable carriage house in Lenox, Mass.

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Author Interviews
4:31 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

'Sunny Chernobyl': Beauty In A Haze Of Pollution

Garbage litters the banks of India's holy Yamuna River on World Water Day 2010. For decades, the Yamuna has been dying a slow death from pollution. According to Blackwell, even its most ardent defenders refer to it as a "sewage drain."
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 4:04 am

In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China.

Blackwell says his ode to polluted locales is a bid for re-engagement with places people have shrunk away from in disgust.

Radioactive To Its Core

His first stop was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.

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The Salt
2:16 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

Let Them Eat Kale: Vegetarians And The French Revolution

The execution of Marie Antoinette. Artist unknown.
Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 10:29 am

Saturday was Bastille Day, the French holiday commemorating a pivotal moment of the French Revolution: The storming of the Bastille prison. But in addition to remembering the revolutionaries with a spirited verse of "Do You Hear The People Sing?"* should we also celebrate with a plate of veggies?

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Food
5:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Three Beers To Cheer Your Summer Suppers

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:58 am

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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History
5:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Winston Churchill's Way With Words

Fox Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 4:54 pm

Winston Churchill is best remembered as the British prime minister whose speeches rallied a nation under a relentless Nazi onslaught in World War II. But few people know that he won the Nobel Prize in Literature — in part for his mastery of speechmaking.

Now, a new exhibition at the Morgan Library in New York City, Churchill: The Power of Words, holds a megaphone to Churchill's extraordinary oratory.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:11 pm
Fri July 13, 2012

Actress Brooke Shields Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Sat July 14, 2012 12:10 pm

Brooke Shields landed her first modeling job at 11 months old. When she was 16, she famously appeared in an ad for Calvin Klein jeans with the tagline: "You want to know what comes between me and my Calvins? Nothing."

We've invited her to play a game called, "OK, what about these Calvins?" Three questions about Calvins who are not Calvin Klein.

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