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best features 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The Main Rongbuk Glacier, 2007. (Courtesy of GlacierWorks)

Photographer and mountaineer David Breashears has been taking photos of the glaciers in the Himalayas, and comparing them side by side with historic photos, to show how the glaciers have changed.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Jeffrey Sachs says economists have been pushing free market principals to the country’s peril- he’s calling for higher taxes and a more active government to restore the country.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011
Clarisse Kambire, 13, a child laborer, center, holds a sack used for collecting fair trade organic cotton while other laborers pick cotton during a day's harvesting in a farmer's field near Benvar, Burkina Faso. (Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg)

A Bloomberg News investigation found children working in slave-like conditions growing and picking the cotton used in Victoria’s Secret clothing labeled “Fair Trade.”

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Friday, December 9, 2011
Jouster Charlie Andrews, in action. (The Knight Of Mayhem/Facebook)

Jouster Charlie Andrews says that getting hit with a solid wooden lance “feels like a head-on collision with another car and you don’t have your seat belt on.”

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Monday, December 5, 2011
Writer Merrill Markoe. (© John Dolan)

Former “Late Night” writer Merrill Markoe says her mom’s anger issues made for a tough childhood, but helped her in comedy. When you’re “raised by a heckler… you learn how to have comebacks,” she said.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Penn State sex abuse scandal is shining a light on the darker side of college football. A new book about another big time football program, this one at the University of Michigan, does the same thing.

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Friday, November 18, 2011
Cultural commentator Touré. (Jesse Costa/Here & Now)

We recently sat down with cultural commentator Touré who explained what “post-blackness” means to him. We met him at the Sportsmen’s Tennis and Enrichment Center in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a club founded by African Americans where Touré says he received his “black nutrients.”

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Fall of the Faculty

Political science professor Benjamin Ginsberg says the main reason behind college tuition tripling in the past 30 years is bloated bureaucracies. He’s even coined a word for what he considers an overabundance of assistant deans on university payrolls: “deanlets.”

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Thursday, October 20, 2011
Author Russell Banks. (Harper Collins/Nancie Battaglia)

Novelist Russell Banks sets his new novel in a community of homeless sex offenders living under a bridge in Miami.

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Friday, September 16, 2011
Hardwick, Vermont. (Rodale Books)

The local food movement has helped to revive hardscrabble Hardwick, Vermont, but with success comes new worries.

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Friday, September 9, 2011
Author Michael Benfante. (Courtesy of Michael Benfante)

On Sept. 11 Michael Benfante carried a woman in a wheelchair down 68 floors of the north tower of the World Trade Center to safety. Everyone called him a hero, but ten years on he can’t stop thinking of the firemen he passed on the way down.

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Cover of 'Reckless Endangerment' (Photo Courtesy of Time Books)

By: Gretchen Morgenson This is not the first book to be written about the epic financial crisis of 2008 and neither will it be the last. But Josh and I believe that Reckless Endangerment is different from the others in two important ways. It identifies powerful people whose involvement in the debacle has not yet […]

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

In her exhaustive new book, author Rachel Shteir traces shoplifting through the ages. In 18th Century England, countless petty thieves went to the gallows.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

A new method of echolocation is allowing those without sight to navigate through sound, and play extreme sports.

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle. (Jesse Costa)

Americans love pets, we spend over $45 billion a year on them. But at the same time, the Humane Society’s Wayne Pacelle says we put up with the animal abuse that happens at factory farms and puppy mills. Read an excerpt from his new book.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Steve Earle (Courtesy)

You might know Steve Earle as the country-rocker out of Nashville, but he’s also an author and an actor. Read an excerpt from his new book.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011
American tennis player Billie Jean King plays at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships at Wimbledon in London on July 8, 1967. (AP)

Billie Jean King won 12 Grand Slam singles titles and was ranked number one for five years, but she also changed women’s sports forever, and one author says the revolution needs to continue today.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

What started as a Ph.D. project using borrowed computers, today is perhaps the most influential Internet company in the world. We look Google’s new push into everything from video and shopping to digital books.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Ned Rogers with his rescue monkey Kasey. (Courtesy of Ellen Rogers)

Six years ago, Ned Rogers was a 22-year-old college student in Arizona when he was in a catastrophic car accident that left him a quadriplegic and severely brain damaged. Now he gets help from a rescue monkey, provided by the nonprofit Helping Hands.

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Monday, March 28, 2011
(Moby Duck)

When high school teacher Donovan Hohn first heard about the thousands of rubber ducks that fell off a container ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 1992, he wanted to find out what had happened to them. His curiosity took him to a toy factory in China, a beach in Alaska and deep into research about how plastics break down in the ocean.

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Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

April 21 Comment

Remembering Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter

We remember the boxing champion, who was twice wrongly convicted of murder, with his longtime friend and defender.

April 21 2 Comments

‘Wait Wait’ Host Peter Sagal Runs Boston Marathon As Guide

For the second year in a row, the host of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" is running with a legally blind athlete.

April 18 12 Comments

When Your Life Is On Fire, What Would You Save?

Erik Kolbell's new book asks what's most important to us in life -- loved ones, possessions, personal beliefs and more.

April 18 3 Comments

Adrianne Haslet-Davis Becomes Advocate For Amputees

The professional ballroom dancer reflects on the struggles and triumphs of the year since the marathon bombing.