All Things Considered

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Remembrances
4:59 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

David Rakoff Saw The World In All Its Dark Beauty

David Rakoff, the author of Half Empty, Don't Get Too Comfortable and Fraud, was a frequent contributor to This American Life. He died Thursday at the age of 47.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 7:04 pm

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer — an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

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Middle East
4:40 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Sunni Cleric Rises To Challenge Hezbollah In Lebanon

Sheik Ahmad Assir speaks to supporters at a tent encampment set up in protest against Hezbollah in Sidon, Lebanon. He accuses the Islamist militant group of using resistance against Israel as a smokescreen for another aim: advancing Iranian regional hegemony.
Mohamad al-Baba NPR

Originally published on Sun August 12, 2012 9:45 am

On a recent day, baffled motorists honked their horns and veered around the blocked entrance to a major street in Sidon. Now Lebanon's third-largest city, Sidon was once a flourishing Phoenician city-state on the Mediterranean.

The street was closed off by Sunni cleric Sheik Ahmad Assir, who erected a small tent encampment in protest against the country's most powerful military and political force, the militant Islamist group Hezbollah.

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U.S.
4:38 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Puedes Believe It? Spanglish Gets In El Dictionary

Spanglish, a mixture of English and Spanish, has been spoken for more than a century. A sign in Spanglish advertises a yard sale in Los Angeles in 2009.
Aurelio Jose Barrera Landov

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

The Royal Spanish Academy — the official arbiter of the Spanish language — recently announced that it will add the word "Espanglish" to the 2014 edition of its dictionary. This is a big deal for the traditionally conservative academy, and it's a big deal for supporters who feel that mix of Spanish and English has officially been ignored for more than a century.

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Monkey See
4:26 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

Can NBC Get Its Fall Shows Into The Olympic Spotlight?

Matthew Perry and Brett Gelman of NBC's Go On appear in a promo shot especially for the Olympics.
Justin Lubin NBC

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

With the Olympics drawing to a close, NBC is looking especially golden. They have had two weeks of great ratings — including record highs. What better time than on the eve of the network's new fall season to rack up two weeks of record audiences? But what might seem a slam dunk for the network is anything but.

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Books News & Features
4:11 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

'Age Of Desire': How Wharton Lost Her 'Innocence'

Edith Wharton moved to Paris in the early 1900s. Not long after, in 1913, after her affair with Morton Fullerton had ended, she divorced her husband of more than 20 years.
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 5:47 pm

Jennie Fields was well into her new novel about Edith Wharton — and her love affair with a young journalist — when she heard that a new cache of Wharton letters had been discovered. They were written to Anna Bahlmann, who was first Wharton's governess and later her literary secretary. Bahlmann had never been considered a major influence on Wharton, but Fields had decided to make her a central character in her book, The Age of Desire, even before she heard about the letters.

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Planet Money
2:05 pm
Fri August 10, 2012

How A Pasta Factory Got People To Show Up For Work

Robert Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:06 am

Zoe Chace and Robert Smith are reporting from European borders this week. This story is about the unofficial border within one country — the border that divides northern and southern Italy. This is the fourth story in a four-part series.

A decade ago, the Barilla pasta factory in Foggia, Italy, had a big problem with people skipping work. The absentee rate was around 10 percent.

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It's All Politics
5:29 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

On The Trail, Even Republicans Spin Clinton Years Into Gold

What a difference 14 years makes. Here, Bill Clinton departs the White House on July 31, 1998, after telling reporters he wouldn't take questions about the Monica Lewinsky investigation.
Tim Sloan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

This week, the presidential campaign has been dominated by debate over the welfare law from the 1990s. It's just the latest example of how both sides are trying to use the Clinton years to their advantage — portraying them as a halcyon golden age.

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Wish You Were Here: My Favorite Destination
4:56 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Wish You Were Here: Listening To Loons In Maine

Hearing the call of the loons is like "a blessing."
Flickr

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Writer Roxana Robinson's most recent novel, Cost, is set in Maine.

Mount Desert Island, off the coast of northern Maine, is known for dramatic scenery. Most of the island is Acadia National Park: steep forests, plunging down to a cobalt sea. Cadillac Mountain, the tallest peak, is the first place where light touches the American continent, each morning at dawn. Trails follow the windswept ridges; they wind along the smooth pink granite bluffs, rising from the deep, icy water, along the wild swirl of the great tides.

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The Torch
4:22 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Usain Bolt Cements His Place In History, Winning 200 Meter Gold

Usain Bolt of Jamaica crosses the finish line ahead of Yohan Blake of Jamaica to win gold during the Men's 200m Final.
Cameron Spencer Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

Usain Bolt cemented his place as one of the greatest sprinters in history, when he won the 200 meter final today.

Bolt was challenged by his Jamaican teammate Yohan Blake, who closed in with less than 100 meters to go. Bolt kicked on his burners and ended up taking back the lead and beating Blake 19.32 to 19.44 seconds.

The big deal here is that this makes Bolt the first Olympian to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter races two Olympics in a row.

Warren Weir, another Jamaican, took third.

The AP adds:

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Shots - Health Blog
3:32 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Gonorrhea Evades Antibiotics, Leaving Only One Drug To Treat Disease

Health officials say they're worried that one day there will be no more antibiotics left to treat gonorrhea.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 11:02 am

There's some disturbing news out today about a disease we don't hear about much these days: gonorrhea. Federal health officials announced that the sexually transmitted infection is getting dangerously close to being untreatable.

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