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Around the Nation
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Solitary Confinement: Punishment Or Cruelty?

A hallway at Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia. The prison, opened in 1829 and closed in 1970, pioneered the use of solitary confinement.
Jacki Lyden NPR

An estimated 80,000 American prisoners spend 23 hours a day in closed isolation units for 10, 20 or even more than 30 years.

Now, amid growing evidence that it causes mental breakdown, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has decided for the first time to review its policies on solitary confinement.

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Theater
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

'The Last Five Years' Returns To New York

Adam Kantor and Betsy Woolfe star in the current off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.
The Hartman Group / Second Stage Theatre

The Last Five Years originally ran off-Broadway in 2002. Cited as one of Time magazine's "Ten Best of 2001," it won Drama Desk awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics.

There are only two characters in the musical, Jamie and Cathy. Jamie is a young novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress. Told in reverse chronological order, the drama shows what happens when an artistic couple's romance fizzles out.

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Author Interviews
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

A Twin Carries On Alone In 'Her: A Memoir'

Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.

In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.

Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.

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Three-Minute Fiction
5:49 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 10 Winner Is ...

Lisa Rubenson of Charlotte, N.C., wrote our Round 10 winning story, "Sorry for Your Loss."
Courtesy of Lisa Rubenson

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 5:26 am

Did you leave a message after our prompt? For Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, we asked you to submit a short story in the form of a voice mail message. For this contest, the original fiction must be read in about three minutes, no more than 600 words.

After four weeks and more than 4,000 stories, we have a winner.

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Latin America
5:04 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

What Will Be Hugo Chavez's Legacy?

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Coming up, remember that meteor shower in Siberia? Well, scientists are working to keep you safe from asteroids. And feeling the rhythm and the rapture - the deaf feel a symphony orchestra. But first...

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Foreign language spoken)

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Science
4:11 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Scientists Make Plans To Blast Threatening Asteroids

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 6:41 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ARMAGEDDON")

STANLEY ANDERSON: (as the President) What is this thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: It's enormous.

BILLY BOB THORNTON: (as Dan Truman) It's an asteroid, sir.

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

In the 1998 film "Armageddon," the character played by Bruce Willis saves the Earth by knocking aside an asteroid headed straight for us. Pure fiction, right? Well, maybe not.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:56 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

The Movie Emily Spivey Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Dolly Parton in a scene from the film 9 to 5.
Archive Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 5:04 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Jazz
2:22 pm
Sat March 9, 2013

Tadd Dameron, A Jazz Master With A 'Lyrical Grace'

Tadd Dameron (smiling at center) was an important figure in American jazz and bebop. He is shown here with Fats Navarro on trumpet, and Charlie Rouse and Ernie Henry on saxophone.
William Gottlieb Library of Congress

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 5:30 am

In the 1940s and '50s, Tadd Dameron worked with everyone who was anyone in jazz, from Miles Davis to Artie Shaw, Count Basie to John Coltrane. Everything Dameron touched had one thing in common, says Paul Combs, author of Dameronia: The Life and Work of Tadd Dameron.

"A penchant for lyricism," Combs says. "Almost everything that he writes has a very lyrical grace to it."

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Fresh Air Weekend
8:03 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Fresh Air Weekend: Mike White, Mike Piazza And David Bowie

In HBO's Enlightened, Laura Dern stars as corporate executive Amy Jellicoe, who returns from a post-meltdown retreat to pick up the pieces of her broken life. Series creator Mike White stars as Tyler, Amy's friend and co-worker.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 9:50 am

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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Simon Says
7:18 am
Sat March 9, 2013

Snowquester Fizzles, But We're Humbled Anyway

The failed Snowquester reminds us, during a time of national debate, that experts can still be wrong.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 9, 2013 1:22 pm

Snowquester fizzled.

Wednesday was more or less canceled this week in official Washington, D.C. An enormous winter storm bore down on the region, threatening ice, a foot of snow in the city (more in the suburbs), and wind and misery throughout the region.

Most of the federal government was closed. I know, I know. How could they tell? Local governments and schools, too. Flights were canceled, planes diverted, and throngs descended on grocery stores, picking the shelves clean of bread, milk and toilet tissue.

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