Fresh Air

Weekdays, 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Opening the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics.

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:35 am
Sat January 31, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Benedict Cumberbatch, 'American Sniper' Review And 'Teenage Brain'

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Movie Reviews
11:29 am
Fri January 30, 2015

When Islamists Impose Their Will In 'Timbuktu,' One Family Resists

Mehdi A.G. Mohamed (left) plays Issan, the orphaned boy who lives with a family outside Timbuktu. The family decides not to leave when radical Islamists come to impose Sharia, or Islamic law.
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 12:09 pm

The word "Timbuktu" is slang in the West for East of Nowhere, but in the film Timbuktu, this city in Mali on the edge of the Sahara is an epicenter, a volatile crossroads for several distinct cultures. There are African women in radiant colors, white-garbed Muslim men in mosques, fishermen who live along the river and nomadic herders who pitch their tents on dunes. And then there are the most recent arrivals: an al-Qaida-affiliated group called Ansar Dine that in 2012 took over Timbuktu and announced the enforcement of Sharia, or Islamic law.

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Remembrances
11:29 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Fresh Air Remembers Long-Time New York TV And Radio Personality Joe Franklin

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE JOE FRANKLIN SHOW")

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Author Interviews
11:29 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

Kids can be magical and maddening. The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of raising a child.

Originally broadcast Feb. 4, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Book Reviews
11:21 am
Thu January 29, 2015

In 'Outline,' A Series Of Conversations Are Autobiographies In Miniature

The narrator of Rachel Cusk's new novel Outline is a novelist and divorced mother of two who has agreed to teach a summer course in creative writing in Athens. The novel itself is composed of some 10 conversations that she has with, among others, her seatmate on the plane flying to Greece, her students in the writing class, dinner companions and fellow teachers.

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Religion
10:39 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Editor Picks Religions For The First Norton Anthology of World Religions

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 11:21 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Shots - Health News
11:38 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains

Dr. Frances Jensen is a professor and chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:26 am

Teens can't control impulses and make rapid, smart decisions like adults can — but why?

Research into how the human brain develops helps explain. In a teenager, the frontal lobe of the brain, which controls decision-making, is built but not fully insulated — so signals move slowly.

"Teenagers are not as readily able to access their frontal lobe to say, 'Oh, I better not do this,' " Dr. Frances Jensen tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Movie Reviews
11:38 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Full Of Complexity And Ambivalence, 'American Sniper' Shows The Cost Of War

Bradley Cooper (right) plays Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The film has become a cultural phenomenon and has spawned knee-jerk squabbling.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 12:03 pm

In the years following the invasion of Iraq, it became a truism that Americans simply didn't want to hear about the war — especially at the movies. While there were scads of films about Iraq, including Kathryn Bigelow's Oscar-winning The Hurt Locker, none was able to attract a big audience. Until American Sniper.

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Music Interviews
10:23 am
Tue January 27, 2015

At The BBC, The Beatles Shocked An Institution

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 3:46 pm

Between 1962 and 1965, The Beatles were featured on 53 BBC radio programs. For The Beatles: The BBC Archives, executive producer Kevin Howlett had to search for many of these recordings, and they weren't easy to find.

Originally broadcast Nov. 27, 2013.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
10:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Book Reviews
10:17 am
Mon January 26, 2015

These 13 'Almost Famous Women' Stirred Up Trouble, Or Trouble Found Them

One of Megan Mayhew Bergman's short stories is based on the life of dancer and actress Butterfly McQueen.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 11:17 am

Almost Famous Women is the kind of "high concept" short-story collection that invites skepticism. These stories are about 13 historical women whose names you mostly might sort-of recognize. Beryl Markham, Butterfly McQueen and Shirley Jackson are slam-dunks, but Romaine Brooks and Joe Carstairs are a bit blurrier. While the family names of Allegra Byron, Dolly Wilde and Norma Millay betray their relation to important figures, we don't know what they did. And who the heck was Hazel Eaton or Tiny Davis?

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:31 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Al Michaels, Review Of Sleater-Kinney's New Album, David Morris

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Music
10:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Producer Cosimo Matassa Always Believed In New Orleans

New Orleans music didn't do as well in the 1960s, a few hits notwithstanding, as it had done. Musicians left town, major labels lost interest, and Motown and Memphis took over the black music charts. Nonetheless, the late Cosimo Matassa, who owned the only recording studio in town, kept busy. Fresh Air rock historian Ed Ward has the story today.

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Author Interviews
10:25 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Music
10:19 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Tom Varner's Got 'Nine Surprises' And A Big Band Is All Of Them

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:20 am

In 2005, jazz composer and french horn player Tom Varner left New York for Seattle, where he put together a nine-piece band of local players. Their new album is called Nine Surprises. Fresh Air jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says that Varner can really write, and they can really play.

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