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American Beer Fans, Praise The Heavens: A Trappist Brewery In U.S.

Trappist monks are known for producing some of the world's finest beers. But until recently, all of them were brewed in Europe. Next week, Spencer Trappist Ale, made by the monks of St. Joseph's Abbey in Massachusetts, hits retail shelves.
NPR

Cate Blanchett Finds Humor In The Painfully Absurd

After devoting the past several years to theater acting, Cate Blanchett starred this past summer in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, for which she's been nominated for a Golden Globe. She spoke with NPR's Robert Siegel about the similarities between theater and film — and the need for lightness in even the darkest drama.
NPR

Remembering Activist Poet Amiri Baraka

Baraka was one of the key black literary voices of the 1960s. The political and social views that inspired his writing changed over the years, from his bohemian days as a young man in Greenwich Village to his later years as a Marxist. He spoke to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1986.
NPR

'Invisible Woman' Charts Charles Dickens' Hidden Relationship

A new film explores the affair between Dickens and a young actress for whom he left his wife, but who for years never showed up in biographies of Dickens. It's the second film directed by Ralph Fiennes, who also plays Dickens.
NPR

A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

If you're confused by the fight over genetically modified food — and even more if your mind is already made up — you might want to turn to an investigation of the topic carried out by the environmental website Grist. Instead of preaching to the deep-green choir, Grist's in-depth series questioned its faith.
NPR

Picture This: Illustrator Gets Inspired By The Morning News

Last year, illustrator Maria Fabrizio was having a slow day at work, so she drew a picture of the pope "hanging up his hat." The idea caught on, and now she creates a news-inspired image every day on her Wordless News blog. Next week, all of her pictures will be inspired by Morning Edition.
NPR

Spalding Gray's Family Remembers A Man Who Was 'Never Boring'

On the 10th anniversary of Spalding Gray's disappearance, his widow and stepdaughter remember the writer and monologist — and the difference he made in their lives.
NPR

Food Firms Trim Trillions Of Calories From Packaged Treats

In the past few years, major food manufacturers have introduced more healthful versions of their products, such as low-fat ice cream and "light" soups. These efforts have slashed 6.4 trillion calories from packaged foods sold in 2012, a study finds. But does that calorie drop help shrink Americans' growing waistlines?
NPR

A Story Of Pluck And Courage In An Unforgiving Future

Novelist Chang Rae Lee is known for his sober depictions of things you can probably imagine — like war and spies, family and immigration. So it might surprise you that his newest novel, On Such a Full Sea, is a dystopia that begins in a place called B-mor, a town that — a very long time ago — was known as Baltimore.
NPR

Slow Cook Your Way To The Colonel's Secret Recipe

Slow-cooking expert Stephanie O'Dea shares the story behind her KFC-inspired chicken: It was an attempt to recreate the Colonel's secret recipe so that her daughter, who has celiac disease, could experience a taste most Americans take for granted. In a twist, O'Dea also wanted to cook the chicken in a Crock-Pot.

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