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Holiday Music
1:03 am
Tue December 18, 2012

'What Christmas Means' To Soul Singer KEM

Of "Christmas Time is Here," Kem says, "It's one of those songs that I hear and it's like, 'I wish I wrote that.' "
Anthony Mandler Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 5:07 am

For KEM's What Christmas Means, the R&B singer wanted to cover several aspects of the season: the birth of Christ, for one, but also Christmas as a "romantic holiday."

"You spend time cuddled up by the fire, warm and cozy with your wife or your husband," KEM tells NPR's David Greene. "You spend more time being intimate with shopping — we're doing things with the kids, we're together. There's a lot of sincerity, a lot of warmth."

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Science
5:22 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

After A Year Of Study, Twin Probes Crash Into Moon

The GRAIL mission's gravity map of the moon. Very precise measurements between two lunar probes orbiting the moon allowed researchers to study the moon with great detail.
NASA/JPL/Caltech

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:19 pm

At about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, two washing machine-sized space probes crashed into the surface of the moon. It was all by design and marked the end of NASA's GRAIL mission. The two probes had been orbiting the moon for almost a year, and they've sent back data that have given scientists an unprecedented look inside our nearest solar system neighbor.

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Politics
5:17 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Hawaii Sen. Daniel Inouye Dies At 88 Of Respiratory Complications

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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It's All Politics
4:39 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Some Senators Show Willingness To Take On Gun Laws

Sen. Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, has an "A" rating from the NRA, but questions why anyone would need the kind of semi-automatic assault rifle used in the Newtown, Conn., killings.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:19 pm

As President Obama spoke to mourning families in Newtown, Conn., on Sunday night, he clearly seemed to suggest a need for tougher gun laws.

"Are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? That the politics are too hard?" he said.

For Congress, the politics have been too hard.

The combination of a powerful gun owners' lobby in the form of the National Rifle Association and a loss of public support for gun control has stymied efforts in recent years to tighten gun laws.

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The Salt
4:16 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Not Just For Coffee Anymore: The Rise Of Caffeinated Foods

The contents of a box of some of the new foods containing caffeine collected by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 7:45 am

That buzz from your morning cup of joe waning? How about a quick boost from caffeinated mints, gum, Perky Jerky or, from the makers of Cracker Jack, coffee-flavored Cracker Jack'd snacks?

It's not just coffee and tea and soda anymore. "There's a proliferation of foods; all kinds of things are now being caffeinated," says Michael Jacobson of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

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U.S.
4:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Federal-State Tug Of War: Drawing The Lines In Immigration Overhaul

Maria Lola Melisio, 18, entered the U.S. illegally with her mother when she was 7. Now she's an undocumented resident living in Alabama, which has one of the country's toughest immigration laws.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Inside a modest storefront in Loxley, Ala., 18-year-old Maria Lola Melisio points out the Mexican spices and other products for sale in her mother's market.

"There are the leaves where you make your tamales — you roll them up in that," she says.

Melisio has long dark curls and is wearing a houndstooth scarf in support of the Alabama Crimson Tide. When she was 7 years old, she entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico with her mother, and still has a scar on her back from crawling under the border fence. It's a story she's kept secret until now.

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Commentary
4:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Why Writers Can't Retire, Despite Their Best Intentions

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The literary world was abuzz this year with the runaway success of "Fifty Shades of Grey" and J.K. Rowling's books for grown-up muggles. But it was Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Philip Roth's retirement that got the attention of commentator Ben Dolnick.

BEN DOLNICK: This fall, in an interview with a French magazine, Philip Roth announced his retirement. I no longer have the stamina to endure the frustration, he explained. Instead, he's been entertaining friends, playing with his iPhone, and eating meals prepared by a personal chef.

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Beer
2:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Brewers Prepare Beer For The End Of Time, Mayan Or Otherwise

Great Basin's Mayan Maybe? beer has been a fast seller, the company's brewmaster says.
Jazz Aldrich Great Basin Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 12:50 pm

The world isn't going to end next Friday, but Dec. 21, 2012, has come to be known as the Mayan apocalypse because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. As scientists have told us repeatedly, the end of the calendar year was actually a time for celebration and renewal — the equivalent of an ancient New Year's Eve. So breweries around the country have decided to celebrate with — what else? — beer.

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World Cafe
1:54 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Next: The Henry Millers

The Henry Millers.
Courtesy of the artist

Naturally, the New York band The Henry Millers takes its name from the author, who was famous for creating his own genre of literature out of an assortment of preexisting ones. Miller was also notorious for his books' often-explicit sexual content, which was deemed illicit enough for his work to be banned in the U.S. While The Henry Millers' bright, buoyant songs aren't likely to cause a scandal, the band does share Miller's penchant for drawing from different styles — its debut album, Daisies, is equal parts indie-rock, folk and synth-pop.

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Around the Nation
1:25 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook Massacre Changes Gun Control Conversations

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last night President Obama broke a long silence and called for a meaningful response to Friday's atrocity in Newtown, where a gunman murdered 27 people, including 20 first grade students, and then shot himself.

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