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Ask Walter Mosley what he does, and he'll say, simply, "I'm a writer." And he's written a lot: 52 books, about 30 short stories and another 30 or 40 articles, he says. While most writers specialize in one or two types of books, Mosley refuses to be constrained. He has written mysteries, science fiction, erotica, young adult fiction, plays, opinion pieces and essays. He has even penned a slim book that instructs would-be fiction writers on how to get started.

Elvis Costello might be best known for early-career songs like "Alison" and "Every Day I Write The Book" — literary pop masterpieces he wrote and recorded either solo or with his longtime band, The Attractions. But in more recent years, Costello has become a serial collaborator.

For Lucy Dacus, a 21-year-old with a warm and deep voice, singing comes as naturally as talking. As an adopted child in Richmond, Va., she was raised by a piano-playing mother; now, she writes songs that can be thoughtful, playful and powerful, with tremendous arrangements from guitarist Jacob Blizard.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Astro Teller's TED Talk

Entrepreneur Astro Teller rewards colleagues when their ambitious projects fail. Teller says this helps people take risks so they can achieve their "moonshot" goals, like a balloon-powered internet.

About Astro Teller

Why Do Complex Systems Thrive on Trial And Error?

Jul 29, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Tim Harford's TED Talk

Economist Tim Harford identifies similar characteristics in successful industrial and economic systems. They work much better, he says, when they're constantly evolving through trial and error.

About Tim Harford

When Beliefs Fail Us, How Do We Move Forward?

Jul 29, 2016

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Casey Gerald's TED Talk

Over the course of his life, many of Casey Gerald's core beliefs have failed him. He says he's learned that clear-eyed doubt can sometimes be better than belief.

About Casey Gerald

How Can Success Still Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Jul 29, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Failure Is An Option

About Lidia Yuknavitch's TED Talk

Writer Lidia Yuknavitch's early failures made her feel unworthy of success. Now, she says, those moments push her to find worth in herself as a writer.

About Lidia Yuknavitch

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

It's a balmy Sunday night in late June in San Francisco, post-Pride parade, and I'm about to eat dinner in a pristine blue dumpster in a dead-end SOMA (South of Market) street. The event, Salvage Supperclub, seeks to draw attention to food waste and encourage home cooks to not throw out less than ideal, yet still edible stuff.

A glance at the menu and the evening looks promising. The hosts are gracious, the guests friendly and the organizers earnest. The dumpster is simply but tastefully decked out: glass tea lights, long wooden benches, bar towel napkins.

When we first learned that Great Performances would have a film about Hamilton, there were those who hoped it would be a full performance by the original Broadway cast that's gradually been departing in recent weeks and months. It's not; it's a film called Hamilton's America, and PBS presented it at the Television Critics' Association press tour on Thursday, where its director, Alex Horwitz, was joined by Daveed Diggs, who just wrapped up his run as both Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson on Broadway.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Hillary Clinton made her own direct appeal last night to young voters here in Philadelphia when she thanked Bernie Sanders. And that drew raucous applause.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MTV's Rewinding The '90s With A New Channel

Jul 29, 2016
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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Will This 'David' Go Under Cover?

Jul 29, 2016
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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Even those who have never seen the movies know the name - secret agent Jason Bourne, a human wrecking machine played by Matt Damon.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "JASON BOURNE")

MATT DAMON: (As Jason Bourne) I remember. I remember everything.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

We've reached the part of every summer when the PCHH gang begins to scatter to the four winds. Linda Holmes, for example, recorded this week's episode the day before leaving for the Television Critics Association's two-and-a-half-week Press Tour, while Glen was still home recuperating from the ever-exhausting San Diego Comic-Con. So it only makes sense that this week's panel is itself scattered, albeit to only three winds: Linda and I were in D.C., while our producer emeritus and music director, Mike Katzif, was in a New York studio — and intrepid Margaret H.

No, we weren't just looking at the women. The fashion at the Republican and Democratic conventions gave us clues about everyone — men, women, politicians and celebrities. Don't even get us started on the delegates (really, that's a photo essay of its own).

This month's Recommended Dose dance mix features the premiere of a new Hieroglyphic Being track, new music from renowned record labels like Lobster Theremin and PAN, and a remix of one of the 1990s' greatest house tracks.

If you've been watching the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on TV, you've probably seen it happen a few times already: Every few minutes, a fresh wave of brightly colored signs — bearing campaign slogans like "Stronger Together" or "Love Trumps Hate" — spreads across the convention floor like wildfire.

California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has been in politics since the 1960s, and launched multiple runs for president himself.

In 1992, he ran as the outsider candidate — chastising the incumbent parties that had "failed their duty."

"They've placed their own interest about the national interest," he said during the speech that kicked off his campaign. They've allowed themselves to be trapped and in some cases corrupted by the powerful forces of greed. It's time for them go!"

Earlier this year, a 6-year-old girl was shot and badly wounded during a firefight between U.S. and Afghan forces and the Taliban. Her father, a Taliban fighter, her mother and some siblings were all killed in the gun battle.

Dr. Chance Henderson, a Texas-born orthopedic surgeon, was there when the girl, whom NPR is calling Ameera, was brought to the hospital at the Bagram Airfield outside Kabul.

"I remember her quite vividly there on that stretcher, and how tiny she looked," he says.

This Time Out, Matt Damon's Not Feeling The 'Bourne'

Jul 28, 2016

Once upon a time, a hugely successful spy franchise lost its star. A more affordable, less charismatic actor was secured for one underperforming installment before the original guy was coaxed back for a much-ballyhooed homecoming sequel set largely in Las Vegas.

Indignation, a first feature written and directed by the distinguished indie producer James Schamus (now in his 50s), begins and ends with an old woman gazing wistfully at floral wallpaper. She lives in an institution of some kind — assisted living, or a mental hospital, and the flower motifs clearly signify something to her, a past sadness or happiness or both.

Halfway through Tallulah, an unwieldy but affecting showcase for Ellen Page and Allison Janney, Lu (Page), a drifter suddenly confronted by an enormous responsibility stares up at blue sky above Washington Square Park and muses about gravity. What if it just stopped? What if we left these earthly bounds and floated off into the ether? It's not a suicidal fantasy on Lu's part, though circumstances have landed her in a terrible spot. She just wants to be free.

The boys-club mentality of the finance industry has long extended into finance films, as well. From the razor-sharp original Wall Street to the violent satire of American Psycho to our current era of bank statements both serious (Margin Call) and farcical (The Wolf of Wall Street, The Big Short), movies about money tend also to be about the destructive nature of the male ego. Whenever penthouse-suite guys compete in these films to see who can swing the bigger pile of green, innocent people get hurt.

His art appeared in a range of places, from the Navy News and Tales from the Crypt to Time and TV Guide. Jack Davis, a founding member of Mad magazine, has died at 91. The influential cartoonist was one of the humorists known as the "Usual Gang of Idiots."

Davis' knack for dry caricature created iconic parodies for Mad, spoofing TV and films from High Noon to Raiders of the Lost Ark, Gone with the Wind and M*A*S*H.

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