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NPR

Going Under The 'Boardwalk' With Michael Shannon

The actor plays a righteous federal agent who succumbs to all sorts of temptations on the HBO drama Boardwalk Empire. To build the character of Nelson Van Alden, he says, he worked out an elaborate back story about the agent's childhood. The third season starts Sunday.
NPR

From Topless Bar To Biology: A Love Story

Susan McClinton says when she met her husband, Philip, 40 years ago, her life was headed in a bad direction. Together, they went back to school and helped each other change their lives.
NPR

'Totally Biased' Comic On Race, Politics And Audience

Comic W. Kamau Bell's new show, produced by Chris Rock, mixes standup, sketches and interviews. Bell tells Fresh Air about the origins of his political humor and why it's important for him to have a multiracial audience.
NPR

In Meetings, On The Court To Discover 'Obama's Way'

Writer Michael Lewis was given unusual access to the president for six months for an article for Vanity Fair. Lewis tells Fresh Air that he found a "weird disjuncture between his powers and his powerlessness."
NPR

New Center Trains Detection Dogs To Save Lives

A center for scientists to study what helps dogs succeed in search-and-rescue operations opens Tuesday at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Cynthia Otto, who created the center, and Annemarie DeAngelo, the center's training director, tell Fresh Air why they depend on their canine companions.
NPR

Andrew Rannells: Gay And Serious In 'New Normal'

Andrew Rannells stars in the new comedy TV series The New Normal about a gay couple who want a child so they hire a surrogate. Rannells tells Fresh Air that he didn't want to "dumb down" the serious role with "stereotypical over-the-top gay flash and sass."
NPR

Fresh Air Weekend: Feathers, Cellphones As Trackers

A new book analyzes feathers in birds. A reporter says cellphones collect more than we realize. An advocate who entered an assisted living facility at 53 talks about recording residents' final days and how death is handled "very poorly" in facilities.
NPR

Advocate Fights 'Ambient Despair' In Assisted Living

Martin Bayne entered an assisted living facility at 53 after he was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease. Now he writes about long-term care reform. He tells Fresh Air about recording residents' final days and how death is handled "very poorly" in facilities.

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