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NPR

The 'Calm Act' Will Quiet Down Commercials, So What Should Congress Do Next?

Congress isn't sitting around quietly while commercials get louder. It's actually illegal now for commercials to blast into your ears more loudly than programming. But why stop there? We've got suggested ordinances to reduce noise from construction, bagpipes, and snowblowers.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 13

Art installations in the District help deconstruct the mass media we consume in our homes, but you have to turn off the TV and head outside in order to see it.

NPR

Africa's Wisdom, Woes Occupy Soyinka's Existence

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1986. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that the best part about it was the money. His latest work, Of Africa, is a study of the continent that has dominated his career.
NPR

Oprah's Book Club Turns Over A New Page

Oprah Winfrey says her Book Club grew out of a desire to talk to authors after finishing their books. While the original version of the club ended when Winfrey's television show went off the air in 2011, it has now been rebooted online and on the new Oprah Winfrey Network as Book Club 2.0.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 12

It's story-time. Check out these tales from the Americas explored through theater and art.

NPR

Oprah's Second Pick: A First-Time Novelist

Oprah Winfrey's second pick for her rebooted book club is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by first-time novelist Ayana Mathis. It's a chronicle of the Great Migration of African-Americans leaving the rural South, following a family matriarch who leaves Georgia to start a new life in Philadelphia.
WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, Dec. 11

Before the seasonal blues kick in, why not fire up your week with a little music and color?

NPR

'Torn': Living As An Openly Gay Christian

Justin Lee grew up in a Southern Baptist family. At age 18, he came out to his family and church, who had trouble accepting him as a gay man. Lee later started the Gay Christian Network to encourage a dialogue between gay Christians, their families and their churches. His new book is Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays Vs. Christians Debate.
NPR

A Wintry Mix: Alan Cheuse Selects The Season's Best

Critic Alan Cheuse maps out a winter wonderland of fiction and poetry — from ancient Greece to the near-future visions of Walter Mosley, a selection of the best books to give and receive this holiday season. Cheuse says these five books strike the perfect balance between lyricism and narrative.
NPR

Hollywood Heights: The Ups, Downs And In-Betweens

When we go to the movies, we want our heroes big and our villains bigger. But Hollywood actors are only slightly taller, on average, than their fans. NPR critic Bob Mondello takes a look at actors' heights: who's commandingly short, or diminutively tall.

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