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Crime In The City
1:57 am
Mon June 17, 2013

In Neville's Thrillers, Belfast's Violent Past Still Burns

Bonfires light up the Belfast skyline on July 12, 1997, as Protestant loyalists commemorate the 17th century victory of a Protestant king over his deposed Catholic predecessor. Known as the Battle of the Boyne, the confrontation is part of a long history of tensions in the region.
Paul McErlane AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:13 pm

At 41, with long black hair, Stuart Neville looks more like the rock guitarist he used to be than the author he is now. He lives in a small town with his family β€” not in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the city that plays a central role in his thrillers, but just outside it.

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U.S.
1:56 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Visa Exchange Program Draws Scrutiny Under Immigration Bill

Australian counselors at the French Woods camp in upstate New York celebrate their culture on July 4, 2012. All of French Woods' foreign employees work in the United States through the J-1 visa program.
Courtesy of French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:33 pm

Landing a job at a summer camp or at an amusement park is a rite of passage for many young Americans. Those jobs also appeal to foreigners participating in a cultural exchange using J-1 visas. But with U.S. youth unemployment at 25 percent, Congress is now taking a close look at the J-1 visa exchange program.

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Books News & Features
1:56 am
Mon June 17, 2013

This Blumesday Celebrates Judy, Not Joyce

Judy Blume is the author of many books for kids and teens, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber. Her fans have riffed on Bloomsday (a celebration of James Joyce's Ulysses) and created Blumesday in her honor.
Suzanne Plunkett AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:31 pm

Today is Blumesday. Not the Bloomsday where readers celebrate James Joyce's novel Ulysses β€” that was Sunday. Today's Blumesday is also a holiday for literature lovers, but of a different sort.

Blumesday creators Joanna Miller and Heather Larimer are writers, and they're pretty well-read. But they were never huge fans of Ulysses. "We sort of self-deprecatingly said, 'Well, the only way we could participate in Bloomsday was if it were Judy Blumesday.' And then the joke turned into, 'Wait, why aren't we doing this?' " Miller explains.

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It's All Politics
1:53 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Wisconsin's Walker Downplays Presidential Buzz

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker reacts at his victory party in Waukesha, Wis., in June 2012 after defeating Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in a special recall election.
Morry Gash AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:13 pm

A little more than a year ago, Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker survived a recall election after an epic battle with unions that gave him folk-hero status with many conservatives. Some political observers now consider him a presidential contender.

But Walker is downplaying that talk, even as he takes steps that hint at national ambition.

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Movie Reviews
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

It Takes A (Gay) Village In 'Call Me Kuchu'

David Kato, a teacher and LGBT rights activist β€” as well as the first openly gay man in Uganda β€” is at the forefront of Call Me Kuchu's story.
Cinedigm

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:22 pm

Horrific and uplifting, the excellent documentary Call Me Kuchu is partly framed as a portrait of David Kato, Uganda's first openly gay man. An activist of enormous courage and persistence β€” against odds that make the U.S. fight for marriage equality seem like a cakewalk β€” Kato was a savvy political strategist, with wit, charm and joie de vivre to burn. And he loved a good party, with his friends in drag where possible. But he was terrified of sleeping alone on his farm.

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The Record
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Johnny Smith, Revered Guitar Player, Has Died

The cover image of The Complete Roost Johnny Smith Small Group Sessions, a 2002 box set of work from across the jazz guitarist's career.
Album cover

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 5:12 pm

The man who wrote the surf guitar anthem "Walk, Don't Run" has died. Guitarist Johnny Smith died Tuesday night at his Colorado home of natural causes. He would have been 91 years old on June 25.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Where Did We Go Wrong?

It's looking at you. But is it conscious? How do we know?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 1:44 pm

This text is adapted from Alva's book Out of Our Heads.


Who, or what, is conscious? How can we decide? Where in nature do we find consciousness? This can seem like the hardest problem in this whole field: the question of the consciousness of others. I am aware. So are you. We think, we feel, the world shows up for us. But what about an ant, or a snail, or a paramecium? What about a well-engineered robot? Could it be conscious? Is there a way of telling, for sure?

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Movie Reviews
9:56 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

'Sound' Scares In An Homage To '70s Italian Horror

Toby Jones plays a solitary sound engineer working night shifts in Berberian Sound Studio, a cunningly structured, deftly executed love letter to the gory Italian scarefests called giallos.
IFC

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:25 pm

Horror films are filled with the things that nightmares are supposedly made of: monsters, madmen, murder, assorted blood and guts.

But those are really just the props of nightmares β€” representations of the psychological terrors that really plague us: our fears about mortality, isolation, abandonment and failure. Peter Strickland's Berberian Sound Studio is one horror film that opts to skip the usual frolic among those metaphorical monsters in favor of a deeply unsettling dive into the subconscious.

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Deceptive Cadence
9:55 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

An Inconvenient Tune

Pablo Helguera for NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:50 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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The Record
9:49 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

Heartbreak Takes John Vanderslice To 'Dagger Beach'

Dagger Beach, John Vanderslice's new album, is out this week.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 11:03 am

"In the deep dark woods / Alone with my fears / Under the jackpine / the sky was galvanized," avant-indie rock veteran John Vanderslice sings on "Raw Wood," off his new record, Dagger Beach. Vanderslice's dissection of his fears renders his latest outing mesmeric.

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