NPR Story
5:00 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Syrians Head To The Polls, Violence Continues

Syrians vote on a new draft constitution Sunday, though the opposition has called for a boycott. Violence has been reported across the country. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Peter Kenyon about the latest on the bombardment of Homs and other developments in Syria.

Monkey See
4:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Throwing An Oscar Bash? Here Are Some Ideas

Oscar fans in New York take a closer look at the statuettes on display during the "Meet the Oscars, Grand Central" exhibition at Grand Central Station on Feb. 22.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:00 am

Hollywood's elite are gathering in Los Angeles tonight for the Academy Awards. If you're hosting your own viewing party, here are some tips on how to keep your guests flush with Oscar-themed food, drinks and challenging trivia, courtesy of Dan Shapiro. He's a big-time movie buff and co-owner of Modern Bite Bakery in Los Angeles, and he knows how to host festive Oscar parties.

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Author Interviews
2:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Meet The Mathematical 'Genius In My Basement'

iStockPhoto.com

In the mid-1980s, Simon Norton was considered one of the great mathematical prodigies of the 20th century. He worked on a hyper-dimensional math problem so complex it was called "The Monster." But then things fell apart for Norton, and he ended up in a dingy basement packed with bulging plastic bags and piles of bus timetables.

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The Salt
2:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Popcorn Gets Its Moment On The Red Carpet

Popcorn now comes candied in ruby red, indigo blue and more. And don't be surprised by the popcorn buffet at the next wedding you attend.
Bradley P. Johnson via Flickr

Popcorn and movies (or the Oscars) go together like Batman and Robin. And nowadays, options stretch far beyond plain or buttered.

Food critics call one brand the Rolls Royce and another the Prada. They are designer labels for the simplest, most American snack food.

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National Teachers Initiative
2:29 am
Sun February 26, 2012

A Vietnam Vet Teaches More Than The Alphabet

Ron Cushman taught kindergarten and second grade for nearly 30 years. Jamie Marks, 16, is one of many students Cushman is still in touch with.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:20 am

Ron Cushman's journey to teaching started when he was wounded in the Vietnam War. He joined the Marines in 1968, at the age of 19. He was severely injured the following year.

"I was a scout in the Marine Corps, and I must have stepped on a land mine or a booby trap. That's all I remember," he says.

Cushman's right hand was mangled and eventually amputated.

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Presidential Race
2:28 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Why Mich. Catholics Favor The Mormon Candidate

Rick Santorum signs Joe Boulus' apron at a Lenten fish fry Friday in Michigan. Mitt Romney is ahead of Santorum among Catholic voters in the state, despite the fact that Santorum is Catholic.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:20 am

Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are neck-and-neck in the polls in the run-up to the Michigan Republican primary on Tuesday.

One group that Romney appears to have an advantage with is Roman Catholic voters despite the fact that he is Mormon and Santorum Catholic.

The disconnect between faith and politics highlights differences among Catholics and shows that some religious voters are focusing more on other issues.

Declaring Faith

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Europe
2:28 am
Sun February 26, 2012

Will France's First Lady Be Able To Seduce Voters?

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni Sarkozy, greet supporters during a campaign rally in Marseille, France, on Feb. 19.
Patrick Aventurier Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:20 am

In the traditional world of French politics, spouses don't usually jump into the fray. But French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy is anything but a traditional political spouse.

Her husband, President Nicolas Sarkozy, has just announced he is running for re-election this spring. It's a challenge: Polls show him trailing the Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

Sarkozy's wife has promised to do everything she can to help her husband win — and that includes hitting the campaign trail.

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Sunday Puzzle
9:01 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

And The Best Picture Oscar Goes To ...

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a film that won an Academy Award for Best Picture. Identify the films from their anagrams.

Last Week's Challenge: What is the longest common English word you can spell by taking the beginning letters of consecutive states in order as you travel through them? Puzzlemaster Will Shortz's answer has eight letters, but maybe you can top that.

Puzzlemaster's Answer: "Millions," which consists of the beginning letters of Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.

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Music Interviews
4:56 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Jenny Scheinman: The Right Amount Of 'Mayhem'

Jenny Scheinman, far right, with her Mischief & Mayhem quartet. Left to right: drummer Jim Black, bassist Todd Sickafoose, guitarist Nels Cline.
Michael Gross

Originally published on Wed February 29, 2012 8:20 am

You may not know violinist Jenny Scheinman by name, but she's all over the place.

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What's in a Song?
4:42 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Open Wide And Say Yee-Haw! Dentist Goes West In Song

D.W. Goethe performs at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nev.
Jessica Brandi Lifland

"I'm living the dream." Just hearing the phrase is probably enough to make you roll your eyes and groan. Yet Montana songwriter D.W. Groethe knows someone who, years ago, managed to do just that.

"He was my dentist," Goethe says.

No joke. In fact, Goethe wrote a song in honor of the man who at one time cleaned his teeth.

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