Ben Mattlin was born with a condition called spinal muscular atrophy. Many infants with the disease don't live past age 2, but Mattlin went on to attend Harvard, get married and have kids. "I had this dumb idea from childhood that I could do anything anybody else could do," he says.
SongPop is the fastest growing social game on Facebook right now. Around the world, four million people a day play it, according to the company. It's a social name-that-tune kind of game but it's about nostalgia and connection as much as it's about music.
Mark Twain found the inspiration for his classic works while growing up in the river town of Hannibal, Mo. Today, there's a new set of artistic characters in Twain's boyhood home; the town of 18,000 boasts a vibrant arts community.
As a kid, author Victor LaValle loved horror stories. But it wasn't until he read Books of Blood by Clive Barker that he found one set in his own hometown. Have you ever read a book that took place where you live? Tell us in the comments.
In his new book Ascent of the A-Word, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg looks at how the term took root among griping World War II GIs — and how its meaning evolved in the '60s and '70s. He tells Fresh Air that crude words are "wonderfully revealing."
In the author's latest novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night. LaValle tells Fresh Air why he picked monsters, about his family history of mental illness and how he had his own brush with psychological problems.
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