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Movie Interviews
2:35 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

In Exodus, Christian Bale's Moses is more of an action hero than a religious figure.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

For nearly a century, Hollywood has been turning out cinematic adaptations of the biblical book of Exodus. There have been Technicolor versions, animated versions and even a silent version. Now, filmmaker Ridley Scott has a 3-D contribution: Exodus: Gods and Kings.

NPR's Robert Siegel asks Robert Alter, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, for his thoughts on the film. Alter has translated most of the Hebrew Bible, including the five books of Moses, and he's a leading secular scholar of Scripture.

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Author Interviews
6:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Smashing Snow Globes: A Writer On Essays, Novels And Translation

Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is the author of the novel Faces in the Crowd and the book of essays Sidewalks. She is currently working on the novel The Story of My Teeth.
Alfredo Pelcastre Coffee House Press

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 9:29 am

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City, but she'll admit with a laugh that where she's from is a complicated question. She lived there for only two years before packing up for, at various times, Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India, Spain and France.

These days, Luiselli lives in Harlem. And that's the neighborhood where her novel Faces in the Crowd is set: both the Harlem of the recent past and the Harlem of the Harlem Renaissance, along with present-day Mexico City.

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My Big Break
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

As a child, Emily Blunt had a stutter that was so bad, she could hardly say her own name. "The misdiagnosis [was] that I was a tense child," Blunt says. "And I wasn't. I was desperate to speak."
John Phillips AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:07 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You may know British actress Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, where she played the senior assistant to Meryl Streep's fashion editor, or The Edge of Tomorrow, where she coaches Tom Cruise in combat skills as he relives a battle over and over again.

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Music Interviews
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Anthony Hamilton Brings Home Holiday Funk

Anthony Hamilton's first Christmas album is called Home for the Holidays.
LaVan Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Once a pop artist has been working long enough, the Christmas album feels like an inevitability. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try it out, but he was wary of falling into cliché and repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years.

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Games & Humor
11:13 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Photo Illustration by NPR

Santa sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake ... but how does he do it? Sure, the elves lend a hand — but, as it turns out, hours of surveillance video make the job a lot easier.

This year, we present an audio Christmas card to share the real* story on how the North Pole decides who's naughty or nice.

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StoryCorps
8:25 am
Sun December 21, 2014

30 Years Of Friendship, Through Fear And An Uncertain Future

Doug Neville (left) and Ryan Johnson have been friends for three decades. They met shortly before Neville found out he was HIV-positive.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 2:58 pm

StoryCorps' OutLoud initiative records stories from the LGBTQ community.

Doug Neville and Ryan Johnson met in 1986 — shortly before Neville was diagnosed as HIV-positive.

From grade school through college, Neville never really had a lot of friends. "I was frequently bullied," he tells Johnson during a StoryCorps interview in Chicago.

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Movie Interviews
3:58 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Bradley Cooper And 'American Sniper' Widow Team Up To Tell SEAL's Story

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:01 pm

In his book, American Sniper, Chris Kyle detailed his 150 plus kills of Iraqi insurgents during his time as a Navy SEAL. The book was on its way to being adapted into a film when Kyle was shot and killed by a troubled young veteran.

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Music Interviews
3:49 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Duke The Halls: Bo And Luke Go Caroling

John Schneider (left) and Tom Wopat, who met as costars on The Dukes of Hazzard, say they bonded right away over a shared taste in music.
Rick Diamond Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:01 pm

John Schneider and Tom Wopat have been friends ever since they met in the late 1970s as costars on The Dukes of Hazzard. Now, the men who played mischievous cousins Bo and Luke Duke have reunited — but not for a new season of the show. As Wopat explains, the pair has long nurtured a different creative partnership that never played out onscreen.

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The Salt
5:26 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Here's an experiment: take a bite of whatever food you have nearby and listen to some music, something with high notes. Now, take another bite, but listen to something with low notes.

Notice anything?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste. They've found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.

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Food
4:16 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 5:40 pm

If the bars of Los Angeles could talk, they'd have an awful lot of tales to tell — old Hollywood was full of famously hard drinkers. And while LA's watering holes are keeping their secrets, one author, Mark Bailey, has uncorked a slew of stories from the city's plastered past.

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