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Eternal Vanity: 'The Art Of The Dressing Table'

Ever since there have been puddles of water, human beings have gazed at their reflections. Our need to primp and preen, whether we live in the Bronze Age or the Space Age, is on display in a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum in New York called Vanities: The Art of the Dressing Table.
NPR

Movie Buff Or Not, There's Something 'Beautiful' About Hollywood

Welcome to awards season. Between the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and the upcoming Oscars, it's enough to make anyone question America's fixation on movies. But author Kevin Roose says that Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel with a funny take on the movie industry, shows that there's something important going on behind the glitz.
NPR

A Parenting Paradox: How Kids Manage To Be 'All Joy And No Fun'

We call babies "bundles of joy," but decades of social science research show that kids don't make parents happier. In her new book, Jennifer Senior takes a closer look at how we quantify joy.
NPR

Can Mom's Pregnancy Diet Rewire Baby's Brain For Obesity?

Expectant moms are eating for two, but that isn't a license to indulge. A convincing body of research suggests that what happens in utero can set the stage for obesity. And a new study in mice suggests one way that poor maternal diet might play a role: by rewiring a part of the brain that regulates appetite.
NPR

Middle-Aged And Divorced, 'Gloria' Takes On Life's Uncertainties

Gloria is a new film from Chile that centers on a late-middle-aged divorced woman whose life is full of ambiguity. She's played by Paulina Garcia, who won the top acting prize — the Silver Bear — at the 2013 Berlin Film Festival, where the movie was a surprise hit. It opens this week in New York and Los Angeles, and wider next month.
NPR

Dry January: Giving Up Booze For A Month Does Have Benefits

For regular drinkers, the New Year's resolution tradition may involve what's known as a dry January: giving up booze for a month. But could such a short-term breakup with alcohol really impart any measurable health benefits? A small but intriguing study suggests yes.
WAMU 88.5

Billy Joel Chooses Nats Park For One Of Four U.S. Shows

The Piano Man isn't touring a whole lot this year, but of the four places in the U.S. he'll be playing in 2014, one is in our backyard.
NPR

Potential Carcinogen In Colas Has FDA Reviewing Data

A new study from Consumer Reports finds varying levels of 4-MEI –listed as a carcinogen in California — in popular sodas. The chemical is created during the manufacturing of caramel color used to dye sodas brown. Coke has reformulated its sodas to bring down levels, but Pepsi is still transitioning.
NPR

'Speculation' Shows Good Stories Come In Small Packages, Too

Jenny Offill's sparse and experimental novel Dept. of Speculation is a reminder that bigger isn't always better. Through short vignettes, Offill builds a narrative about an unnamed husband and wife. It's a sly, profound glimpse into a fragile domestic sphere — and, while the form may be unusual, the book is highly readable.
NPR

From Down Under, A Paprikash To Warm You All Over

Cold weather means "Mum's Rice Paprikash" for Merelyn Chalmers, a member of The Monday Morning Cooking Club. The club is dedicated to preserving recipes from Sydney's Jewish community. For our Found Recipes series, Chalmers shares the dish that she considers the ultimate comfort food.

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