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The Best Music Of 2016

Dec 5, 2016

The Best Music Of 2016

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The Best 50 Albums Of 2016

Dec 5, 2016
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The Top 100 Songs Of 2016

Dec 5, 2016
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The people of southern Madagascar are on the brink of a famine and need immediate humanitarian aid, according to United Nations food agencies. A three-year drought, exacerbated by this year's El Niño, has caused harvests to continue to fail. And people are left with no money and almost nothing to eat.

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You can re-enact that scene in the old movie Christmas Vacation.

A family goes into a forest and cuts down a ridiculously tall tree.

The U.S. Forest Service is selling Christmas tree removal permits for $5 in the Green Mountain National Forest of Vermont.

You go into the forest. You cut down the tree yourself. There's only one catch: the tree you choose cannot be more than 20 feet tall.

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OK, for more on the politics of the pipeline, we're going to talk now with NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley. He's on the line. Hi, Scott.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.

Lots of us try to be cool, but the trick has always been in the subtleties; they're what allow us to walk that thin line between cool and corny. Enter Ro James.

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The Army Corps of Engineers has denied a permit for the construction of a key section of the Dakota Access Pipeline, granting a major victory to protesters who have been demonstrating for months.

The decision essentially halts the construction on the 1,172-mile oil pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Thousands of demonstrators from across the country had flocked to North Dakota in protest.

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NFL Targets Kids In Outreach Campaign

Dec 4, 2016
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The Surreal Cookbook Of Salvador Dalí

Dec 4, 2016
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The new film Jackie, opening in theaters across the country this weekend, begins with a blank, black screen, underscored by melting strings. It's our first indication that music will play a central role here, at times even more so than the title character.

Einstein's Age Of Extremism

Dec 4, 2016

To see the effect that xenophobia, anti-intellectualism and populist rage can have on a nation's culture, we need look no further than the life of Albert Einstein.

Germany in Einstein's lifetime had never been particularly hospitable to Jews, but by the early 1920s, German Jews like him were being treated like aliens in their own land. In 1922, when the Jewish foreign minister of Germany, Walter Rathenau, was assassinated — to the glee of conservatives across the country — Einstein realized that serious danger was beginning for prominent Jews like himself.

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Chef Behind General Tso's Chicken Dies

Dec 4, 2016
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(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GILMORE GIRLS")

Minneapolis vocalist Lizzo grew up deep in the Pentecostal church, so it seemed natural to title one of her songs "Worship." But the track, like most of what the rapper and singer writes, would never have played in her childhood home. As she tells it, the family's attitude on secular music was clear.

In Florida, oranges are so important that they're on the state's license plates. But after 11 years of fighting a debilitating disease, Florida's citrus industry is in a sad state. The disease, called citrus greening, is caused by a bacterium that constricts a tree's vascular system, shriveling fruit and eventually killing the tree. The bacterium is spread by a tiny insect called a psyllid.

Dava Sobel is as adept at spotting promising subject matter as the extraordinary women astronomers she writes about in The Glass Universe were at spotting variable stars. By translating complex information into manageable bites sweetened with human interest stories, Sobel makes hard science palatable for the general audience. Even more than her 1999 book Galileo's Daughter, this new work highlights women's often under-appreciated role in the history of science.

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Now we'd like to take a minute to consider how Castro influenced the country in one particular way - its music. To do that, we're joined by NPR contributor Betto Arcos. Betto, thanks so much for joining us.

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