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NPR Ombudsman
1:20 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Daddy Warbucks: What Do We Mean By "The Wealthy"?

Speaker of the House John Boehner holds his weekly news briefing in the Capitol Visitors Center on Dec. 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 4:47 pm

In covering the precarious so-called "fiscal cliff" negotiations, NPR reports have been filled with conversations dissecting which Americans might see their taxes return to higher levels. These discussions often mention "the wealthy," "the rich," "the top earners" — those Americans who make lots of money, or at least much more than the rest of us.

Clark Irwin of Alexandria, Va., raises a good point about the references:

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The Two-Way
1:18 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Peter Parker's Dead, But Spider-Man Will Live On (Sort Of)

The Amazing Spider-Man #700 is the final issue of the series.
AP/Marvel Comics

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:47 pm

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Marvel Comics' web-slinging, wise-cracking superhero. Spider-Man is no more. Well, to be more precise, Peter Parker is no more.

In the 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, writer Dan Slott's controversial story saw Spider-Man's mind switched with that of his dying arch-foe Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The twist is that with his final effort, Spidey was able to give all of his memories and morals to his body-stealing enemy.

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Movie Interviews
1:16 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Matt Damon On His Promising New Film

Steve (Matt Damon), a salesman for a large oil company, visits a small town in which he hopes to buy drilling rights.
Scott Green Focus Features

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 4:38 pm

Matt Damon has played Jason Bourne, the brainwashed assassin. He won an Oscar for co-writing the screenplay for Good Will Hunting with Ben Affleck. And now he's returned to the writer's chair for his latest film — Promised Land.

Damon plays Steve Butler, a salesman who comes to a small Pennsylvania town to sell the local farmers on allowing his company to drill on their land for natural gas using a controversial process known as fracking.

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History
1:12 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation

Pocket versions of the Proclamation of Emancipation were distributed through Union troops to be read to slaves.
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Originally published on Sat December 29, 2012 7:16 pm

The National Archives is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation by putting the original document on display over New Year's weekend.

The institution is also hosting a series of programs, including a "Watch Night" on New Year's Eve, following a tradition dating back to 1862.

The first Watch Night was Dec. 31, 1862, as abolitionists and others waited for word — via telegraph, newspaper or word of mouth — that the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued.

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First Reads
1:11 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Exclusive First Read: 'A Memory of Light,' By Robert Jordan And Brandon Sanderson

Tor Books

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 6:26 pm

  • Hear An Excerpt From The Audiobook

Normally, we avoid dropping our readers into the middle of an established series, but we're making an exception for A Memory of Light, the final volume in one of the most epic, sprawling works of fantasy ever written — Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time." In progress since 1990, it now stretches to 14 volumes. Jordan himself, tragically, did not live to finish the series; his widow, Harriet, chose fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to complete the last few books after Jordan's death in 2007.

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The Two-Way
1:10 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Love Lists? We've Got 'Em, For Better & Worse

The mysterious, most-interesting, super-sexy North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (And if you believe all that, you may be reading too many reports from Chinese media.)
Ed Jones AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:58 pm

For those inclined toward nostalgia, forgetfulness or with a fondness for accounting, it's the season of The Lists: The excellent and execrable, winners and losers, scoundrels and heroes, the hot and the not.

We've searched through such lists so that, as they say, you don't have to. Here are 21, in no particular order, that touch on some of the outliers and prognostications of our times.

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The Two-Way
1:09 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Jean Harris Dies; Former Schoolmistress Killed 'Scarsdale Diet' Doctor

Jean Harris, left, arrives at court in White Plains, New York on Feb. 9, 1981, accompanied by a defense attorney.
David Handschuh AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:50 pm

Former girls' school headmistress Jean Harris died in New York last Sunday, according to media reports. She was 89.

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Planet Money
1:08 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

Planet Money: 'The Rest Of The Story' (2012 Edition)

Our fake candidate got one vote from listener Aaron V.
Picasa Aaron V.

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:51 pm

  • Listen to the Episode

On today's show, we take a page from radio newscaster Paul Harvey and tell you "the rest of the story."

We look back at the stories we've done in 2012 and tell you what we got right, what we got wrong and how everything turned out in Belize. Plus, we try to to figure out whether that Facebook ad did anything to help Pizza Delicious.

In case you missed them, here are the original stories featured in today's episode:

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This Is NPR
1:06 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

How Big Of An NPR Fan Are You? Find Out With The Robert Sieg-O-Meter

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 7:57 am

This year has given us many great NPR moments, and our devoted fans (that's you!) not only came along for the ride, but were an important part of the conversation.

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Monkey See
1:06 pm
Sat December 29, 2012

'You're Not Superwoman': OWN's Military Wives Talk About Loss And Faith

Yolanda and Brigade Commander Col. Morris Goins of OWN's Married To The Army: Alaska.
OWN

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 2:39 pm

It is safest, always, to assume that any moments of grace in what we know as reality television are somewhat accidental and largely incidental. That is, they require a large measure of good luck, whether in casting or in circumstance, and while they might be the reason the show was made, they are not the reason the show was put on television.

It's even true for Oprah.

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