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Updated: 46 min 13 sec ago

'Rum, Rumba, And Romance': A Book On Cuba's Enduring Mystique

December 19, 2014 - 6:33pm

This week, President Obama announced that he will begin to normalize relations with Cuba. Cuban-American writer Richard Blanco recommends a book about Cuba's imprint on the American imagination.

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'Mr. Turner' Is A Snuffling, Growling Work Of Art

December 19, 2014 - 4:43pm

Critic Bob Mondello says Mike Leigh's earthy new biopic about the famed British painter J.M.W Turner shows viewers the incandescent beauty of the world as Turner himself must have seen it.

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Pride And Prejudice: For Latinos, Tamales Can Taste Of Both

December 19, 2014 - 2:30pm

Tamales are a Christmas Eve tradition throughout Latin America, but there are hundreds of different versions. Whose is best? That's a question likely to elicit a fiercely partisan response.

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The Strange World — And Life — Of 'Mr. Turner'

December 19, 2014 - 1:15pm

The biopic of landscape painter J. M. W. Turner depicts a man whose mind is barely engaged by anything other than his work. He's a mystery, and his art is magically indefinite — just like the movie.

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Meryl Streep: The Fresh Air Interview

December 19, 2014 - 1:15pm

Meryl Streep won a Golden Globe for her performance as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. She talks about preparing for that role and how her perceptions of herself have changed over the years.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Top Five' And The Art Of The Mixtape

December 19, 2014 - 11:11am

On this week's show: Chris Rock's Top Five, mix tapes and loved music, and what's making us happy this week.

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Book News: Macmillan Inks Deal With Amazon, But Doesn't Sound Happy About It

December 19, 2014 - 10:07am

The publisher makes peace with Amazon — and takes the opportunity to vent some frustration. Also: Paulo Coelho offers to buy The Interview off Sony.

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A Different 'Annie,' But Still A Good Kid

December 19, 2014 - 9:52am

The new adaptation of Annie, starring Quvenzhane Wallis and Jamie Foxx, isn't the same Annie some of us knew in childhood. But on her own terms, she's still a charmer.

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Playlist: What Music Means

December 19, 2014 - 9:47am

Our favorite interviews about music from the TED Radio Hour.

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Playlist: Writers On Writing

December 19, 2014 - 9:38am

In this playlist, TED speakers explore the nature of creativity, the source of a good story, and the impact of the written word.

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Why Aren't We More Compassionate?

December 19, 2014 - 9:34am

Psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence, examines why we aren't more compassionate more of the time.

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How Can We Make The World More Compassionate?

December 19, 2014 - 9:34am

Religion scholar Karen Armstrong describes how compassion is the core principle in all world religions — in the form of the golden rule.

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Are We Wired To Be Compassionate?

December 19, 2014 - 9:34am

Author Robert Wright says humans are not only wired to be compassionate but we have evolved to feel compassion out of self-interest.

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Is It Enough To Be Politically Correct?

December 19, 2014 - 9:34am

Political pundit Sally Kohn says we shouldn't worry as much about being politically correct, but instead we need to focus on being emotionally correct.

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The Eye-Opening Saga Of Walter And Margaret Keane, Now On Screen

December 19, 2014 - 4:01am

Walter Keane made his name with wistful paintings of big-eyed children — paintings actually done by his wife. Tim Burton directs and Amy Adams stars in Big Eyes, a new movie about the Keanes.

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5 Under-The-Radar Reads From Librarian Nancy Pearl

December 19, 2014 - 4:00am

Pearl shares the books she loved this year that you might not have heard of. Her list includes a Hollywood satire, two thrillers, a young adult novel and a nonfiction book about World War I.

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A Married Couple In Decline

December 18, 2014 - 5:03pm

The film If You Don't, I Will has some strong dialogue and performances, but its tale of a marriage in peril sags too often in its recounting of the journey.

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Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

December 18, 2014 - 4:45pm

Serial, the hugely popular (and sometimes controversial) podcast spun off from This American Life, wraps up its first season today. NPR's Audie Cornish speaks with Serial creator Sarah Koenig.

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A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

December 18, 2014 - 3:24pm

Ahead of The Colbert Report's last episode, Fresh Air listens back to interviews with Colbert. "I didn't realize quite how liberal I was until I was asked to make passionate comedic choices," he said.

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Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

December 18, 2014 - 1:09pm

On Christmas Eve, many French-Canadians will gather after midnight Mass for reveillon, a lavish dinner party that lasts into the wee hours. The traditional centerpiece is a savory, spiced meat pie.

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