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Olof Arnalds: An Icelandic Take On Heartland Rock

Ólöf Arnalds was born and raised in Iceland, and has been part of its experimental rock scene for years. That's what makes her new EP, Ólöf Sings, so surprising: It's a collection of English-language covers — songs originally performed by Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond.

Arnalds tells Weekend Edition Saturday's Scott Simon that she got interested in rock and pop during her childhood, after some unsatisfying years training as a classical violinist.

"I had a really hard time learning notation," Arnalds says. "I had been learning violin for three years when they discovered that I didn't read notes — I was just very good at following. And then I started teaching myself guitar as a teenager, which was a little bit to make up for all those horrible years of learning violin.

"That was very important for me, because nobody could tell me how to approach the instrument or how to understand what I was doing," she adds. "I could just go from my own inner understanding of music."

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Under The Streets Of Naples, A Way Out For Local Kids

A priest in Naples' tough Sanità neighborhood has put local kids — some from mob families — to work restoring underground catacombs full of early Christian art. The result? 40,000 tourists a year.
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Tasting With Our Eyes: Why Bright Blue Chicken Looks So Strange

The color of food can affect how we perceive its taste, and food companies aren't afraid to use that to their advantage. An artist tests perceptions by dousing familiar foods with unorthodox colors.
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Holy Bible Could Become Louisiana's Official Book

Lawmakers have proposed a bill that would make the Bible the state's official book, but critics say it is unconstitutional and would open Louisiana up to legal challenges.
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When Parents Are The Ones Too Distracted By Devices

Parents often complain that smartphones keep their kids distracted from conversation. What happens when it's the other way around, when kids can't get their smartphone-glued parents' attention?

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