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Not My Job: We Quiz NASA Engineers On Mars Candy

On Sunday night, while the rest of us were ooohing and aahing over gymnastics, a bunch of propeller heads at NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory were flawlessly steering a billion-dollar robotic space laboratory the size of a minivan to a landing on Mars.
NPR

David Rakoff Saw The World In All Its Dark Beauty

Known for his sobering honesty and biting wit, David Rakoff said it was healthy to employ "a certain kind of clear-eyed examination of the world as it is." Rakoff died Thursday in New York City after a long battle with cancer. He was 47.
NPR

Can NBC Get Its Fall Shows Into The Olympic Spotlight?

Commentator Andrew Wallenstein says that NBC is trying hard to use the Olympics to promote its fall lineup, but history demonstrates it's not going to be easy to find success with that strategy.
NPR

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

Jennie Fields' new novel, The Age of Desire, reimagines Edith Wharton's fling with a young journalist and the obsession that accompanied its fallout. Without that experience, Fields says, Wharton's The Age of Innocence would not have been the same.
NPR

David Rakoff: 'There Is No Answer As To Why Me'

Writer and humorist David Rakoff, who died Thursday at the age of 47, wrote with a perfect balance of wit and gravity about the cancer that would ultimately take his life. Fresh Air remembers Rakoff with excerpts from two interviews in 2001 and 2010.
WAMU 88.5

Storytelling In The Digital Age

Many new technologies shorten our attention spans. But New York Times technology reporter Matt Richtel says e-books are breathing life into an old genre: short stories.

NPR

'Swim Your Own Race' Wins NPR's Poetry Games

Poet Mbali Vilakazi was inspired by a fellow South African, swimmer Natalie du Toit, who lost one of her legs at age 17 and is the first female amputee to qualify for the Olympic Games. "It's not about what happens to you, it's about how quickly you can get up," Vilakazi says.
NPR

In Krasikov's World, Dreamers Can't Afford Dreams

Tell Me More is reading literature from countries on the rise in the global arena: the so-called BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Sana Krasikov's short story collection, One More Year, focuses on Russia. She talks with host Michel Martin about her characters and what it takes to make it in Russia.
NPR

Smoked Chocolate, For National S'More Day And More

If you can't get to a campfire to roast s'mores today, check out some smoked chocolate. Smoking chocolate is a technique that takes time and precision, but has produced some tasty results for former Girl Scout Autumn Martin and her Seattle bakery.

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