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Do Diet Drinks Mess Up Metabolisms?

A body of evidence suggests artificial sweeteners — most often consumed in diet drinks — could raise the risk of weight gain and type 2 diabetes. Some researchers think that artificial sugar may confuse the body.
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Artist Clad In Spiderman Costume Honored By D.C. Council

A local artist was recognized by the D.C. Council on Wednesday, and he accepted the honor while dressed as a crime-fighting superhero.

NPR

Book News: 'Ender's Game' Author Responds To Boycott Threats

Also: Amazon launches a comics imprint; Reed Johnson on an uncrackable medieval code; a Colorado state Senate candidate writes erotica.
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Chuck Klosterman On Batman, Bad Guys And Wearing 'The Black Hat'

From Darth Vader's grown-up fan base to why people like mysterious vigilantes, Klosterman's I Wear The Black Hat is a meditation on villainy, both real and imagined.
NPR

Best Of The Summer: 6 Books The Critics Adore

Have you ever found yourself in the library or a bookstore, about to leave for vacation, with no idea what books to bring? Well, never fear. NPR's Lynn Neary talks to three book critics about the best reads of the summer.
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Two New Jazz Albums Recall The Wide Open Spaces of The West

Oregon saxophonist Rich Halley takes inspiration from the Wallowa mountain range on his new album Crossing the Passes. On Boss of the Plains, Chicago-based trio Wheelhouse makes music that evokes the Great Plains and wind chimes on a porch when the weather changes.
NPR

Drugs, Chaos And Violence Darken Mexico's 'Midnight'

Journalist Alfredo Corchado covers Mexico for the Dallas Morning News. His new book, Midnight In Mexico, is part memoir and part recent history of the upheaval in the country. He talks to Fresh Air about the power of the cartels, the rampant corruption and the hopes for the future of Mexico.
WAMU 88.5

Ballet Russes

Though few outside the ballet world here know his name,Serge Diaghilev revolutionized dance and music with the Ballet Russes, a radically modern dance company he created in the early 20th century.

NPR

Why Micro-Gardening Could Go Big

Micro-gardens are small spaces, such as balconies, patios and rooftops, cultivated with planting containers like wooden boxes and trash cans. Now, creative reuse of old materials and some new tools for sale are making it easier for urban dwellers to stretch their green thumbs.
NPR

Pedal Power To Horsepower: Toys Point Towards Future Of Cars

Toy cars — from pedal-powered roadsters to Matchbox and Hot Wheels sets — are more than just child's play. Kids' preferences in their toys can point towards future automotive trends, like a growing fondness for eco-friendly cars, and licensing deals can build brand loyalty at a very young age.

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