Fresh Air

Weekdays, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Fresh Air opens the window on contemporary arts and issues with guests from worlds as diverse as literature and economics. Terry Gross hosts this multi-award-winning daily interview and features program. The veteran public radio interviewer is known for her extraordinary ability to engage guests of all dispositions. Every weekday she delights intelligent and curious listeners with revelations on contemporary societal concerns.

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9:24am

Thu August 18, 2011
Sports

Covering The Plate: A Baseball Catcher Tells All

Brad Ausmus has spent most of his career in a squatting position. As a major league catcher, he crouched behind home plate for roughly seven months a year, while playing with the San Diego Padres, the Detroit Tigers, the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

How did he practice for games? Even more squats.

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9:00am

Wed August 17, 2011
Music Reviews

Jeff Bridges: An Actor Who Can Actually Sing

Originally published on Wed August 17, 2011 10:05 am

Jeff Bridges.
EMI Music

In the movie Crazy Heart, Bad Blake was an alcoholic former star who'd slid to the bottom of the country-music industry. For his musical performances, Jeff Bridges affected a shrewd mixture of Waylon Jennings, Billy Joe Shaver and a breezy boozer. This approach was good enough to win an Oscar, but upon receiving a collection of songs called Jeff Bridges, I thought, would it be good enough to result in a decent album? The good news is that Jeff Bridges is not Bad Blake, in more ways than one.

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10:31am

Mon August 15, 2011
Book Reviews

Teens, Sex And Tech Tear A 'Beautiful Life' Apart

iStockphoto.com

I've been on a roll this summer reading and reviewing good novels about family crises β€” Rachel DeWoskin's Big Girl Small, Dana Spiotta's Stone Arabia, Kevin Wilson's The Family Fang.

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9:40am

Mon August 15, 2011
Author Interviews

'Sex On Six Legs:' When Insects Go Wild

A pair of flies mate on a leaf. Male damsel flies use all sorts of tricks to get females to use their sperm β€” and not the sperm of another male damsel fly β€” to fertilize their eggs.
Alex Wild

Everything you wanted to know about bug sex (but didn't bother to ask) is explained in a new book by insect expert Marlene Zuk. Sex on Six Legs: Lessons on Life, Love and Language from the Insect World, describes a world of small β€” but surprisingly sophisticated β€” insect behavior.

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9:19am

Mon August 15, 2011
Author Interviews

Learning Your Sister Is 'Someone Else's Twin'

Thirty-seven years ago, identical twins Begona and Delia were born at almost the same time as another infant named Beatriz in a hospital in the Canary Islands. Due to a hospital mistake, one of the twins was switched with Beatriz.

"This caused the single child [Beatriz] to grow up with the wrong set of parents and caused an unrelated pair of girls to grow up in a family thinking all their lives that they were fraternal twins," says Nancy Segal, a psychologist at California State University, Fullerton.

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8:30am

Sat August 13, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: 'The Help,' '1493,' Hugh Herr

Clockwise from left to right: Hugh Herr, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis, an illustration of Columbus' voyage.
Len Rubenstein/Crown Business, Dale Robinette/Dreamworks Pictures, iStockphoto.com

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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9:44am

Fri August 12, 2011
Author Interviews

Writer Robert Stone Relives Counterculture Years

The new documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place gathers never before seen footage shot during the Merry Pranskters' LSD-fueled bus trip across America in 1964. Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was the ring leader. The bus was driven by Neal Cassady, who was the inspiration for the main character in the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road.

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9:42am

Fri August 12, 2011
Author Interviews

Ken Kesey On Misconceptions Of Counterculture

The new documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place gathers never before seen footage shot during the Merry Pranskters' LSD-fueled bus trip across America in 1964. Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was the ring leader. The bus was driven by Neal Cassady, who was the inspiration for the main character in the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road.

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9:41am

Fri August 12, 2011
Author Interviews

Tom Wolfe: Chronicling Counterculture's 'Acid Test'

The new documentary Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place gathers never before seen footage shot during the Merry Pranskters' LSD-fueled bus trip across America in 1964. Kesey, the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was the ring leader. The bus was driven by Neal Cassady, who was the inspiration for the main character in the Jack Kerouac novel On the Road.

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9:09am

Fri August 12, 2011

9:01am

Fri August 12, 2011
Music Reviews

Gary Burton: A New Quartet, A Familiar Sound

Gary Burton.
Courtesy of the artist

Gary Burton has always counted on collaborators to pull him in various directions β€” not because the vibraphonist doesn't have his own preferences, but for the variety. Burton also likes a tight-knit working band, and he's got one in his new quartet, which is touring this summer and fall. Drummer Antonio Sanchez works hand in glove with bassist Scott Colley; they'd already teamed up in the drummer's band.

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9:49am

Thu August 11, 2011
Music Reviews

Sam Phillips: A Songwriter In A 'Solid State' Of Mind

Sam Phillips.
Eric Gorfain

Sam Phillips possesses a distinctive voice, with a chalky plaintiveness and a slight nasality that only increases her intimate, confiding tone. The thing is, she's not much of a confessional songwriter. I was reminded of this as I listened to Solid State and heard her direct her thoughts outward, crafting music that advises people to be honest with each other, to locate the magic in everyday life, to generally look around you instead of navel-gazing.

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9:46am

Thu August 11, 2011
Author Interviews

The Human Toll Of The War 'To End All Wars'

The human cost of World War I was enormous. More than 9 million soldiers and an estimated 12 million civilians died in the four-year-long conflict, which also left 21 million military men wounded.

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9:57am

Wed August 10, 2011
Movie Reviews

Heavy-Handed 'Help' Saved By Great Acting

From left: Bryce Dallas Howard, Sissy Spacek and Octavia Spencer star in The Help, based on a novel by Kathryn Stockett.
Dale Robinette Dreamworks Pictures

Few fictional films wear their political messages as proudly or loudly as The Help, which centers on black female domestic servants in Jackson, Miss., in the early 60s and a 23-year-old white woman who induces them to tell their stories for a book to be called, appropriately enough, The Help.

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9:05am

Mon August 8, 2011
Book Reviews

A Delightful Portrait Of The Screwball 'Family Fang'

There's a temperature at which water boils and there's a temperature at which the brain melts and we've reached it. It's August, and almost everywhere in the country, it's hot. The will to think has oozed out in millions of droplets of forehead sweat. That's why it's such a minty fresh delight to open up Kevin Wilson's debut novel, The Family Fang, and feel the revitalizing blast of original thought; robust invention; screwball giddiness.

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7:00am

Mon August 8, 2011
Author Interviews

In '1493,' Columbus Shaped A World To Be

1493

"In fourteen-hundred-and-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue," goes the old elementary school rhyme.

But it was Columbus' activities in the years that followed, says writer Charles C. Mann, that really created the new world. When Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492, his journey prompted not only the exchange of information β€” but also of food, animals, insects, plants and viruses between the continents.

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9:29am

Sat August 6, 2011
NPR Story

Fresh Air Weekend: Interrupters, Serkis, Pop Music

Clockwise from top left: Andy Serkis, Ameena Matthews, Fountains of Wayne.
Dan Steinberg/AP; Aaron Wickenden/Kartemquin Films;

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Fresh Air Weekend emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. On this weekend's show:

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6:58am

Fri August 5, 2011
Author Interviews

The Rise And Fall Of Gangster Al Capone

Al Capone

This interview was originally broadcast on Aug. 9, 2010. 'Get Capone' is now available in paperback.

In Get Capone, writer Jonathan Eig takes us back to the roaring '20s in Chicago, when cops and judges were on the take β€” and unsolved murders piled up by the dozens every year.

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10:00am

Thu August 4, 2011
Music Reviews

Fountains Of Wayne: Pop For Summer's Warm Intensity

From left to right, Chris Collingwood, Brian Young, Adam Schlesinger and Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne.
Yep Roc

There's a dreamy summer breeze wafting through much of Sky Full of Holes, as though Fountains of Wayne wanted to make its new album synch up with the season. And, just as this summer has been hotter than many recent ones, there's also a warm intensity to many of the songs, such as the album's first single, "Someone's Gonna Break Your Heart."

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9:45am

Thu August 4, 2011
Movie Interviews

Serkis: Playing Virtual Parts On The Big Screen

Andy Serkis plays Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Caesar is entirely computer-generated.
WETA Twentieth Century Fox Productions

Actor Andy Serkis is Hollywood's go-to actor for playing computer-generated characters. In The Lord of the Rings, he supplied the voice, facial expressions, body language and physical movements for his character Gollum in front of a green screen, so that visual effects artists could later animate his performance. He also played the title role in Peter Jackson's 2005 King Kong remake, worked with video game developers on the 2007 Playstation game Heavenly Sword and will appear in the upcoming The Adventures of Tintin.

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