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The Picture Show
1:49 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Afghanistan's Love Of The Big Screen

The audience at Pamir Cinema in Kabul watches a Pakistani film
Jonathan Saruk Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 12:07 pm

Unless you've been to Afghanistan, your imagination probably conjures up a pretty bleak picture of what has been a war-torn country for decades. Photographer Jonathan Saruk hopes to change that.

"It is important for people to know that while Afghanistan is a war-torn country with a plethora of difficult issues it must overcome," he says, "people there still live, work and occasionally try to have fun."

Movies in Afghanistan were banned under the Taliban, who ruled from 1996 until 2001, and only in recent years has there been a little renaissance in theater culture.

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All Songs Considered
1:41 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

The Albums We Missed This Year

Clockwise from upper left: Acid Pauli, Kendrick Lamar, Samuel Yirga, Kelan Philip Cohran, Waxahatchee, Pallbearer, Matthew Dear
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 3:07 pm

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Monkey See
1:39 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Is That A Budweiser In Your Hand?: Product Placement, Booze, And Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington plays Whip Whitaker in Flight.
Robert Zuckerman Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Wed November 28, 2012 10:22 am

At one point in the film Flight, alcoholic pilot William "Whip" Whitaker, played by Denzel Washington, peers into a hotel-room mini-fridge filled with pretty much every type of wine and liquor imaginable.

The shot showcases wine brands Yellow Tail, Barefoot, Sutter Home, plus Amstel Light and Heineken beers — even Red Bull.

This scene raised a lot of questions for me: When has any hotel minibar ever contained so much alcohol? Why has Denzel done three films focusing on transportation –- two trains and now a plane — in as many years?

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Sean Carroll Tells A Story Of Humanity In The Hunt For The Higgs Boson

Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 10:13 am

Now that the election is over its time to address that one burning question still haunting us all. You know the one I am talking about: What exactly is the Higgs Boson?

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The Two-Way
1:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Consumer Confidence Edges Up Again; Reaches Highest Point Since Early 2008

If they're confident, they will shop: Two women carry shopping bags down Manhattan's 34th St. last week.
Andrew Kelly Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 9:13 am

There was a "moderate increase" in American consumers' confidence this month, the private Conference Board just reported.

Its widely watched consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 from 73.1 in October. The index is the highest it has been since February 2008, when the economy had just fallen into recession and was headed down.

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The Record
1:37 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

A Critic Atones

Lana Del Rey performs in France in July. Her album, Born To Die, came out in January, to mixed reviews.
Sebastien Bozon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 10:07 am

It's beginning to look a lot like craziness — end-of-the-year craziness, to be precise. Now that Gray Thursday has officially reduced Thanksgiving to carbo-loading for the holiday shopping marathon, many people's winter holidays have become little more than a massive spinout.

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The Two-Way
1:36 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Home Prices Rose For Sixth Month, Survey Shows

A sold sign at a housing development in Boca Raton, Fla., earlier this month.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 8:39 am

The nation's housing market continues to improve, according to the latest look at home prices across the nation from the analysts who put together the

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Deceptive Cadence
1:35 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Joyce DiDonato: Sublime Singing Makes The Unreal Real

Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato.
Josef Fischnaller courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 11:24 am

It's true — opera is totally over the top. Plots can strain even the barest semblance of credulity (too many cases of ghosts and mistaken identities to count), with characters that could get you thrown out of an introductory writing course, down to the blushing ingenues and the evil connivers who might as well be twirling waxed mustaches.

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All Songs Considered
1:34 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Old Music Tuesday: Le Tigre

Le Tigre.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue November 27, 2012 4:39 pm

Twelve years ago this month, I was handed a sensitive document and charged with making sure it found its way into the right hands.

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The Two-Way
1:06 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Does Anybody Have More Fun Than Joe Biden? Check These Photos

"No, this really is Joe Biden!" (He borrowed a Costco employee's phone to say hello to someone.)
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:46 pm

Yes, he talked about the negotiations over taxes and spending cuts. Yes, it was a holiday photo op. But what really struck us about Vice President Joe Biden's this morning to Washington, D.C.'s first Costco store was how, once again, he just seems to have so much fun.

We think a picture gallery is in order.

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