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NPR

Grandma The Clown Is Leaving The Tent

Barry Lubin, better known as the clown named "Grandma," has inhabited that character throughout his 25 years with the Big Apple Circus. Host Scott Simon speaks to Lubin on his Grandma farewell tour.
NPR

Comedian Bill Maher Plays Not My Job

Maher is following up his 2005 book, New Rules, with a book called The New New Rules. We've invited him to answer three questions about old rules — arcane laws that have been on the books for a long, long time.
WAMU 88.5

Congregation Hopes Messiah Will Help Save Instrument

A downtown D.C. church is hoping that a fundraiser featuring a special performance of Handel's Messiah will be enough to get their organ back in shape after the August earthquake.

NPR

Marshmallows From Scratch: A Simple, Sticky How-To

In Make the Bread, Buy the Butter, Jennifer Reese tries her recipes for foods that you might never think to make at home. She walks NPR's Melissa Block through make-your-own marshmallows. Turns out, it's not so hard.
NPR

For Hitchens, In Life And Death, An Unaware Cosmos

Christopher Hitchens, the author and essayist who died on Thursday, was known for his assertive atheism. From scathing books about Mother Teresa and God, to the way his final days played out as a debate over the harm or benefit of prayer, his most lasting legacy may be his duel with religion.
NPR

Tracing Ballet's Cultural History Over 400 Years

Ballet's history is not just about choreography and technique — it's also a history of nationalization, the changing ways we view the body, shifting gender norms and class struggles. Historian Jennifer Homans chronicles the art form in a cultural history, Apollo's Angels.
NPR

An 'Impossible' Mission Full Of Fun And Wonder

Director Brad Bird makes his live-action debut with Ghost Protocol, the latest film in the Mission: Impossible franchise starring Tom Cruise. Critic David Edelstein says the movie is "wonderful fun" and "in a different league than its predecessors."
NPR

American Dialect Society To Choose Word Of The Year

Lovers of the English language are coming together to select the coolest word or phrase. Last year, app was voted the word of the year by the American Dialect Society. Now that group of etymologists, writers, historians and other language experts are considering new words for 2011. Linguist Ben Zimmer talks to Renee Montagne to offer his picks for 2011.

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