All Things Considered

Weekdays 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. and weekends 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m
Melissa Block, Michele Norris & Robert Siegal

Since its debut in 1971, this afternoon radio newsmagazine has delivered in-depth reporting and transformed the way listeners understand current events and view the world. Heard by more than 13 million* people on over 600 radio stations each week, All Things Considered is one of the most popular programs in America. Every weekday, hosts Melissa Block, Michele Norris, and Robert Siegel present two hours of breaking news mixed with compelling analysis, insightful commentaries, interviews, and special -- sometimes quirky -- features. Guy Raz hosts a one-hour edition of the program on Saturday and Sunday.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Tue October 25, 2011

My Accidental Masterpiece: The Phantom Tollbooth

Originally published on Thu November 10, 2011 6:32 pm

Norton Juster is the author of The Phantom Tollbooth.

"There was once a boy named Milo who didn't know what to do with himself — not just sometimes but always. When he was in school he longed to be out, and when he was out he longed to be in ... Nothing really interested him — least of all the things that should have."

It was, of course, the doldrums — his own special version of them.

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Around the Nation
2:51 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Families Broken Up As Immigrants Flee Alabama

Migrant worker advocate Lourdes Villanueva shows off the most popular playhouse at the Redlands Christian Migrant Association preschool in Mulberry, Fla. Despite the early arrival of kids from Alabama, the school can't open yet because it doesn't have enough money.

Scott Finn for NPR

Some immigrant families say Alabama's tough new immigration law is forcing them to split up, at least temporarily.

Every fall, migrant workers follow the tomato harvest south from Alabama to the Redlands Christian Migrant Association campus in Mulberry, Fla. It's an oasis of shady oak trees amid acres and acres of tomato fields.

But this year, women and children are showing up several weeks ahead of their husbands, who have stayed behind in Alabama to finish the tomato harvest. Other families who aren't migrant workers are showing up for the first time.

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Music Interviews
2:47 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Joe Henry's Raw, Raucous 'Reverie'

Joe Henry's new album, Reverie, was self-produced and recorded in his basement studio.

Lauren Dukoff

Originally published on Mon October 24, 2011 5:31 pm

When Joe Henry sets out to produce an album — and he's produced dozens, from the great soul singers Solomon Burke and Bettye LaVette to the actor and blues singer Hugh Laurie — he says he's looking for a point of view.

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Pop
2:21 pm
Mon October 24, 2011

Coldplay's 'Mylo Xyloto' Has Mass Appeal

Coldplay's new album, Mylo Xyloto, is out this week.

Sarah Lee

In a music world commercially dominated by pop singers, rappers and country artists, Coldplay is one of the rare modern superstar acts that actually is a rock band. But for a group as patently inoffensive as Coldplay, it's earned an impressive number of "haters." Many rock fans dismiss its music as milquetoast, and even The New York Times once called Coldplay "the most insufferable band of the decade." Me?

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You Must Read This
6:00 am
Mon October 24, 2011

Bound Together: Breaking Those Toxic Family Ties

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 26, 2012 5:21 pm

I found The Twin, by Gerbrand Bakker, sitting on a coffee table at a writers' colony in 2009. It carried praise from J.M. Coetzee for its "restrained tenderness and laconic humor," which seemed ample justification for using it to avoid my own writing.

I finished it, weeping, a day later, and have been puzzling over its powerful hold on me ever since. I've recommended it again and again, and while I can't say it's entirely undiscovered — it won the 2010 IMPAC Dublin Award — no one I know ever seems to have heard of it.

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Author Interviews
2:30 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Products R Us: Are We 'Brandwashed'?

In an article for Fast Company magazine, Martin Lindstrom writes that Whole Foods places flowers by the store's entrance "to 'prime' us to think of freshness the moment we enter the store."

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Martin Lindstrom got into the advertising business early on.

"I started up my own ad agency when I was 12 years old," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekend on All Things Considered. "I was a huge fan of Lego, so I built up my own Legoland in the backyard of my mom and dad's garden."

No one showed up on the first day, but Lindstrom persuaded a local ad agency to sponsor him. On the third day, he had 131 visitors.

The only problem? "Visitor number 130 and visitor 131 were the lawyers from Lego suing me."

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World
2:00 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Tunisians Vote In Free Elections

Tunisians voted Sunday in their country's first free elections — the culmination of a popular uprising that ousted President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and touched off the wave of Arab Spring uprisings. Washington Post reporter Leila Fadel offers her insight from the Tunisian capital, Tunis.

Strange News
1:56 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Was It A Cat I Saw? (Nope: It Was A Palindrome)

Barry Duncan constructs a palindrome in a scene from Michael Rossi's documentary The Master Palindromist. "I happen to believe that I can change the world with reversibility," Duncan says.

Michael Rossi

Originally published on Sun October 23, 2011 6:19 pm

Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

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Music Interviews
1:03 pm
Sun October 23, 2011

Jane's Addiction: Breaking With A Turbulent Past

Perry Farrell performs with Jane's Addiction. The reunited band's new album is called The Great Escape Artist.

Kyle Dean Reinford Courtesy of the artist

Jane's Addiction defined the Los Angeles rock scene of the late 1980s, and by the beginning of the next decade, the band had become famous worldwide. But almost as soon as they'd gained the world's attention, Jane's Addiction split up.

Modest reunions have taken place since then. This month, three of the four original members are back with a new album, The Great Escape Artist. Weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz, who grew up listening to Jane's Addiction, spoke to the group's leader, Perry Farrell.

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From Our Listeners
2:00 pm
Sat October 22, 2011

Three-Minute Fiction: Closing In On A Winner

Transcript

GUY RAZ, host: It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

RAZ: All right. We're getting closer to finding the winning story in round seven of Three-Minute Fiction. That's our writing contest where we ask you to create an original short story that can be read in about three minutes.

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Music News
1:38 pm
Sat October 22, 2011

How Franz Liszt Became The World's First Rock Star

Illustration of Franz Liszt. The Hungarian composer and pianist revolutionized the art of performance.

Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

When you think of rock n' roll, Franz Liszt might not be the first name that comes to mind. But the classical pianist, born 200 years ago today, was in many was the first rock star of all time.

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Media
5:41 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Murdoch Confronts Critics At News Corp. Meeting

Protesters demonstrate outside the News Corp. annual shareholder meeting at Fox Studios in Los Angeles on Friday.

Eric Thayer Getty Images

On Friday, News Corp. held its first shareholder meeting since a phone-hacking scandal in the U.K. led the company to close a major tabloid. Outside the meeting at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, about 100 demonstrators assembled to condemn the Murdochs and News Corp.'s leadership.

But the complaints that followed inside were far more specific. There was a vote to approve the board of directors, but it was largely a formality because the Murdoch family and its allies control so many voting shares.

Rupert Murdoch wasted little time in reminding investors of his track record.

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NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

How Do Iraqis Feel About The Troop Withdrawal?

How do Iraqis feel about the U.S. decision to withdraw all its remaining troops by the end of this year? The issue of a residual American force to train the Iraqi military was hotly debated in Baghdad.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

New Camera Focuses Shot After It's Taken

Autofocus cameras hit the stores back in the 1970s, making it dramatically simpler for the average consumer to get a good shot. Later the digital camera made it possible for just about anyone to process their own pictures at home on a computer. Now comes a camera that could represent another kind of photography revolution: the light field camera. Take the picture, but focus it afterwards. Robert Siegel speaks with Lytro founder Ren Ng about the new light field camera that his company is producing.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Week In Politics: Troop Withdrawal; GOP Debate; Jobs

Melissa Block speaks with our regular political commentators E.J. Dionne, of the Washington Post and Brookings Institution, and David Brooks, of the New York Times.

NPR Story
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Libyan Americans React To Gadhafi's Death

As Libya looks toward a future without Moammar Gadhafi, Libyans living in the U.S. are taking stock of the situation as well.

Politics
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

Roig-Franzia Discusses Questions About Rubio's Background

Robert Siegel speaks Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia about Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's background — and why it is being questioned.

Europe
2:00 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

French Appear Unfazed By Financial Troubles

The French never let a crisis spoil a weekend — as you can tell. As the working week draws to a close in a cafe off the Champs-Elysee in Paris, there's a mood of keen anticipation. The wine's flowing with extra velocity. The French are preparing for two days of sports, food and family fun. They seem unperturbed by, or perhaps unaware of, the fact that their fate depends on what happens this weekend and the days that follow. If things go wrong, life won't be much fun any more.

Movie Reviews
12:04 pm
Fri October 21, 2011

High Anxieties Make For A Mad, Mad Movie World

Here Bums The Bride: Lars von Trier's Melancholia centers on a newlywed (Kirsten Dunst) whose chronic depression leaves her singularly well-equipped to confront the end of the world.

Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:42 pm

In the space of a few weeks, Hollywood will give us four serious dramas about mentally unstable characters. It's a minitrend at best, and most likely coincidental. But it got me thinking about how filmmakers use narrative form to shake up audiences and put them in the same frame of mind as the characters they're watching.

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Opinion
4:18 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Goodbye, Gadhafi: A Dream Made Into Reality

A woman is overcome with emotion during celebrations outside the Libyan Embassy in London on Thursday, after the news that former Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi was killed after an assault on his hometown of Sirte.

Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Sarah Burshan is a student at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

Thursday, Oct. 20 is a day I will never forget.

My brother woke me up at 5 a.m. He kept repeating, "They got him, they caught Gadhafi!" I was so dazed, I didn't believe it. A world without Moammar Gadhafi? It seemed too good to be true.

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Remembrances
3:22 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Gadhafi: An Iron-Fisted, Often-Brutal Leader

Gadhafi ruled Libya for more than four decades with an iron fist. Gadhafi was a complex, often brutal leader with a grand vision of himself — one he displayed up until the final moments of his leadership.

Television
3:03 pm
Thu October 20, 2011

Fairy-Tale Adaptations: It's Ever After, All Right

Seeds Of Change: Once Upon A Time's Regina (Lana Parilla) has an apple (or six) with Snow White's name on it. The ABC show — which transports the population of the Enchanted Forest into modern-day Maine — is one of two new network dramas that put a new twist on old tales.

Jack Rowand ABC

With NBC's Grimm, the ABC series Once Upon A Time makes two new fairy tale-based shows premiering on network television within a week. That, plus a movie release schedule peppered with fairy tale remakes, raises a question: What's put them in the zeitgeist?

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Planet Money
11:59 am
Thu October 20, 2011

What If We Paid Off The Debt? The Secret Government Report

This Feb. 1, 2010, file photo shows the National Debt Clock in New York.

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Fri October 21, 2011 8:14 pm

Planet Money has obtained a secret government report outlining what once looked like a potential crisis: The possibility that the U.S. government might pay off its entire debt.

It sounds ridiculous today. But not so long ago, the prospect of a debt-free U.S. was seen as a real possibility with the potential to upset the global financial system.

We recently obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act Request. You can read the whole thing here. (It's a PDF.)

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NPR Story
4:41 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

Amish Reel From Bizarre Beard-Cutting Attacks

Sam Mullet, father of two of the three men arrested for allegedly going into the home of other Amish and cutting their hair and beards, is seen outside his home in Bergholz, Ohio. Some who have left Mullet's community have accused him of abuse.

Amy Sancetta AP

Originally published on Wed October 19, 2011 5:56 pm

On the night of Oct. 4, Myron and Arlene Miller were asleep in their home in Mechanicstown, Ohio, when they heard a knock on the door. According to their friend Bob Comer, when Myron came downstairs, he found five men standing on his doorstep.

"They pulled him out in the front yard, and they have scissors and a battery-powered shaver and everything," Comer says. "They're trying to hold him down and cut his beard off and cut his hair off."

Miller yelled at his wife to call 911. Then the men let him go and ran back to the trailer and had the driver take off, Comer says.

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Business
2:00 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

UAW President Discusses Ford Contract

Robert Siegel speaks with United Auto Workers president Bob King about the contract ratified by Ford workers Tuesday night — and the future of the auto business in the U.S. King says although he's used to seeing higher margins of support from the rank and file, he's satisfied that 62 percent of the Ford workers who voted approved of the contract.

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