Vincent Acovino

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A new novel set in late summer on Cape Cod is all about desire. Even the writing seems to drip with secrets and longing. Here's the author, Miranda Cowley Heller, reading from the first few pages.

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The world's foremost sporting event kicks off next week in Tokyo, just in time for the world's most prestigious bike race to end this weekend in Paris. This year's Tour de France has been marked by the domination of a young phenom from Slovenia...

Robert Downey Sr., a filmmaker and writer who played a major role in New York's experimental film scene, died Wednesday in his home from complications due to Parkinson's disease. He was 85.

"Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson's..he was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout," his son, Robert Downey Jr., wrote on Thursday in an Instagram post.

Updated July 2, 2021 at 1:02 PM ET

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson knows you have probably heard a lot about Woodstock, the legendary summer concert festival of the late 1960s. But a few years back, Questlove, best known as drummer and composer with The Roots, was asked to direct a music documentary, Summer of Soul, about another legendary concert, one you probably haven't heard about.

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In the Brazilian Amazon, a species of monkey called the pied tamarin is fighting for survival, threatened by habitat loss and urban development.

But the critically endangered primate faces another foe: the red-handed tamarin, a more resilient monkey that lives in the same region.

They compete for the same resources, and the red-handed tamarin's habitat range is expanding into that of the pied tamarins'. Their clashes sometimes end in violent altercations.

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Nearly every prominent elected official who has spoken about the Derek Chauvin guilty verdict has used words of beginning. President Biden called it a chance to change the trajectory in this country.

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Three months after an angry mob attacked the Capitol...

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KELLY: ...Some of the lawmakers under siege that day tried to get to the bottom of what went wrong.

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OPEN WORLD POKEMON

Mar 6, 2021

For years, open-world video games, where players can explore all over the map, have been hugely popular. The Pokemon franchise is finally catching up, with the just-announced Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

From cartoons to trading cards to toys, Pokémon has been a succesful media franchise for 25 years, with tons of fans from all over the world.

But fans of the Pokémon video games have been begging for a major shake-up to the series — and now, with the announcement of the new Pokémon Legends: Arceus, they may get one.

The song "Strange Fruit" was written by a man named Abel Meeropol in the 1930s — but it will forever be associated with Billie Holiday. The lyrics vividly describe a lynching, and this haunting protest song is central to the new movie The United States Vs. Billie Holiday. The Grammy-nominated singer Andra Day plays the title character. The role is Day's acting debut, but she has already won a Golden Globe for her performance.

At the end of last month, two skiers achieved an unprecedented feat: descending the summit of Yosemite National Park's iconic Half Dome into the valley below.

In 1865, a report declared that the rock formation — at more than 8,800 feet above sea level — was a path that "never will be trodden by human foot."

Since then, Half Dome has become a popular, but challenging, hike.

But on Feb. 21, Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan made the nearly 5,000-foot trek down on skis.

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This year's most anticipated video game has also been its most controversial. It's called Cyberpunk 2077. And since its release on December 10, players and retailers have been criticizing the game. NPR's Vincent Acovino has more.

If Found... is a visual novel that begins like an interesting, albeit familiar, sci-fi story. Our protagonist, flying blissfully through the cosmos in a dinky space vessel, accidentally wades into a black-hole tearing through the universe.

But this is a game that surprises, thrills, and delights at every turn — and to call If Found... a classic sci-fi tale would be misleading. On the other side of that black hole is a story of mostly Earthly concerns, about being young and at odds with the forces and figures around you.

In early 2019, game developer and Youtuber Infernoplus had an idea — what if he took a classic video game and gave it a contemporary twist?

Penguins are known for huddling on Antarctic ice, or marching across windswept expanses of the frozen continent. But there are at least 18 species of penguins populating the Southern Hemisphere — and many don't fit that frigid stereotype.

There are actually only two species of penguin that really love ice, says Grant Ballard, chief science officer of Point Blue Conservation Science in Petaluma, Calif. Other species, like the Galapagos penguin, perch on dark volcanic rock, and can endure blasting hot air temperatures of 100 degrees.

At the turn of the '90s, the attention of the video game industry was locked onto two major companies battling for the lion's share of a growing industry. One was Nintendo, whose ubiquitous Italian plumber was a household name.

The other was SEGA, a brand known for its spiky hedgehog, sure, but also for signaling a specific kind of '90s cool that set itself against other video games of the time. While Nintendo stuck to their family friendly "games-for-all" aesthetic, SEGA put out video games that were thematically riskier and more mature.

Thomas E. Lo is an anesthesiologist who works at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York. Since the coronavirus outbreak, his job has gotten dangerous.

"The exposure risk as an anesthesiologist is extremely high because when we intubate a patient, we are literally less than a foot away from the patient, who is in distress, and we're right by their airway, which is where the virus is," Lo tells All Things Considered.

And that exposure risk is made worse by widespread shortages of crucial personal protective equipment, or PPE, like masks, gowns and gloves.

When Half-Life released in 1997, it was unlike any other first person shooter — a genre of video games predicated on the central mechanic of blasting things with a firearm. Popular pioneers of the genre, like Doom and Quake, were known for being over-the-top and full of bombast.

Half-Life is not like those games. It begins not with a bang, but with a slow, methodical tram ride.

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The video game designer Keita Takahashi is best known for Katamari Damacy, released in 2004. It's about a god named the "King of All Cosmos" who, while drunk, accidentally destroys the stars in the sky. His son "The Prince" is left to clean up his mess by rolling up objects on Earth into sticky masses that grow so large they become new stars.

In the world of cinema, we're led to believe that a given film lives or dies by the creative decisions of a single, all-powerful hand: the director. In the world of video games, things are (usually) different.

Instead, game players and critics tend to celebrate (or condemn) the work of studios and development teams. This focus on a collective group of individuals as opposed to a monolithic auteur feels more honest. After all, video games are made by hundreds — sometimes thousands — of hardworking creatives.

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MoviePass is no more. The movie ticket subscription service is shutting down. But despite its failure as a business, NPR's Vincent Acovino reports it may have succeeded in disrupting the movie theater business model.

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