All Things Considered

Weekdays at 4pm
Robert Siegel, Michele Norris, and Melissa Block

This program presents a trademark mix of news, interviews, commentaries, reviews, and offbeat features. It rings with the disparate voices of its commentators, from veteran analyst Daniel Schorr and storyteller Kevin Kling to poet Andrei Codrescu. It hums with the distinctive music that threads between reports -- music collected in the online program All Songs Considered. And by the time All Things Considered marked its 30th anniversary on the air, the program had earned many of journalism's highest honors, including the Peabody, DuPont and Overseas Press Club awards.

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4:40pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Parallels

Asian Allies' Anxieties Rise Amid Washington Paralysis

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

President Obama listens as Chinese President Xi Jinping answers a question after a bilateral meeting in California on June 7.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government has all sorts of costs — not only in the United States, but also overseas. President Obama had to cancel a trip this week to visit four nations in Asia so he could stay in Washington to deal with the political crisis. That has disappointed — even worried — some of America's friends in the region, who are counting on the United States to stand up to an increasingly assertive China.

The disappointment over the president's no-show in Asia was palpable.

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4:36pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Deceptive Cadence

Verdi's Gift: Wringing Catchy Music From Touchy Subjects

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:24 pm

In his operas, Giuseppe Verdi had a knack for empowering marginalized people — like the title character of Aida, who is an enslaved Ethiopian princess (played in this 2011 French production by American soprano Indra Thomas).
Gerard Julien AFP/Getty Images

Two hundred years ago this week, Giuseppe Verdi was born in an Italian town midway between Bologna and Milan. On the occasion of his bicentennial, All Things Considered wanted to know what makes the great opera composer so enduring — why his work is still so frequently discussed and performed these two centuries later. The answer, says conductor and arranger John Mauceri, is that Verdi had a knack for making thorny topics accessible.

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4:36pm

Tue October 8, 2013
Environment

Flood Forensics: Why Colorado's Floods Were So Destructive

Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 10:25 am

Flooding brought down a house in Jamestown, Colo., on Sept. 18.
Matthew Staver Landov

Parts of Colorado are still drying out after floods hit the state last month. Eight people died, and damage from the worst flooding in decades is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Scientists are now venturing into the hardest-hit areas to do a sort of "flood forensics" to understand why the floods were so bad.

Geologist Jonathan Godt takes Peak Highway in northern Colorado up into the Rockies. The road there winds past ravines and streams where water is still rushing.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Religion

To Pastor, Afterlife Is Where We 'Learn To Live Together'

Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:39 pm

Detail of the central compartment of The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck, where pilgrims gather to pay homage to the lamb of God. Many art historians interpret the painting's fountain as a symbol of eternal life.
DEA Picture Library De Agostini/Getty Images

A majority of Americans from all walks of life believe in life after death. Yet conversations about the afterlife — from what it might look and feel like to who else one may find there — often remain highly personal ones, shared with family members, clergy or others who share one's faith.

To better understand how many Americans conceive of the afterlife, All Things Considered has spoken with leaders from different faith traditions on their views on life after death.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
The Government Shutdown

Even Antarctica Feels Effects Of The Government Shutdown

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

A helicopter is unloaded from an LC-130 in Antarctica last December. Researchers on this mission were studying the Pine Island Glacier, one of the fastest-receding glaciers on the continent.
August Allen National Science Foundation

It looks like even Antarctica isn't far away enough to avoid getting caught up in the government shutdown.

That's because it's currently springtime there, and scientists who study this remote, rugged continent are poised to take advantage of the few months when there's enough daylight and it's warm enough to work. Advance teams have already started working to get things set up and ready for the researchers, who usually begin heading south right about now.

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5:51pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Politics

Raids Project Presidential Power Amid Shutdown's Gridlock

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

President Obama arrives to speak about the government shutdown at the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Response Coordination Center on Monday.
Shawn Thew-Pool Getty Images

The American system of government was built on gridlock. Yet even by that standard, this past week has demonstrated new levels of immobility.

So the special forces operations carried out in Libya and Somalia over the weekend were a bracing change. President Obama decided to do something — and it happened.

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4:20pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Sports

His Dodgers In The Playoffs, A Legendary Announcer Keeps On

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

For the first time in four years, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the playoffs. They have plenty of stars on the field, but the most famous and beloved member of the organization is in the radio booth. Eighty-five-year-old Vin Scully has been broadcasting games for 64 years. Ben Bergman of member station KPCC got a rare interview with Scully, who says he'll keep going for at least another year.

VIN SCULLY: It's time for Dodger baseball.

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4:20pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Pop Culture

George R.R. Martin, Author And ... Movie-Theater Guy?

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 2:21 pm

George R.R. Martin prepares to introduce author Neil Gaiman and performer Amanda Palmer at charity benefit at his newly renovated Jean Cocteau cinema in Santa Fe, N.M., on Sept. 29. Reopening the old movie house has been a passion project for the Game of Thrones author — but for some of his fans, it's one more distraction that's come between them and Martin's unfinished epic.
Grayson Schaffer for NPR

George R.R. Martin's hit fiction series A Song of Ice and Fire has sold more than 25 million copies and sparked an HBO adaptation, Game of Thrones, that won two Emmys in 2013, bringing its total to 10.

But many fans are grumbling that Martin hasn't been spending enough time of late in his mythical kingdom of Westeros and its surroundings. On the list of things Martin is doing instead of writing the next Game of Thrones book? Reviewing the latest episodes of Breaking Bad, editing a sci-fi series and writing a novella.

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4:20pm

Mon October 7, 2013
Around the Nation

Deepwater Horizon Trial Enters Second Phase

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 6:50 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

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5:06pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Around the Nation

Holdout Pennsylvania Pelted With Gay Marriage Lawsuits

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:47 pm

Sasha Ballen and Dee Spagnuolo (far right) are party to two of five lawsuits filed since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage in June. Attorney Robert C. Heim (left) is helping to represent them.
Emma Jacobs NewsWorks/WHYY

In June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act said that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages from states that allow them. Since the decision, couples in states which do not recognize same-sex marriages have filed a flurry of lawsuits.

Conditions are ripe for litigation in those states, like Pennsylvania. In July, a rogue county clerk outside Philadelphia started granting marriage licenses to gays and lesbians, defying the state's ban.

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5:06pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Business

Tesla Slips From Pedestal That May Have Been Too High

Originally published on Fri October 18, 2013 9:52 am

It's been a rough week for Tesla, but extra scrutiny is expected for the new car on the block, says Jake Fisher of Consumer Reports.
Jeff Chiu AP

Over the last year of so, Tesla motors has received some really good press. But this past week, it's been knocked off its pedestal.

"We're a country that likes to put things up on pedestals and then tear them down from pedestals. We do that with people, I think we do that with things," says Jack Nerad, an analyst with Kelley Blue Book.

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5:06pm

Sun October 6, 2013
NPR Story

Breaking The Silence Between The U.S. And Iran

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 6:14 pm

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reviews the honor guard upon arrival from the U.S. at Mehrabad airport in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 28. Iranians from across the political spectrum hailed the historic phone conversation between President Barack Obama and Rouhani, reflecting wide support for an new tone between the two nations.
Ebrahim Noroozi AP

Tension, distrust, hostility: For more than 30 years, those words have described the relationship between Iran and the United States. But there's one other overriding word to describe it: silence.

Since 1979, no American president had spoken with a leader of Iran. That all changed on Sept. 27, when President Obama entered the White House briefing room and said that he had spoken with Hassan Rouhani, Iran's new president, by telephone.

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5:06pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Digital Life

Composing Game Soundtracks That Move 'Faster Than Light'

Composer Ben Prunty creates soundtracks and sound effects for video games.
Courtesy of Ben Prunty

This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.

One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.

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4:17pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Digital Life

Isabella Rossellini, Getting Animal Again With 'Mammas'

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:06 pm

In her Web series, Mammas, film star Isabella Rossellini portrays animal mothers. Here, she's an oil beetle.
Courtesy Sundance Channel

Film star Isabella Rossellini has a fish on her head.

She is a mouthbrooder, she explains, helpfully — meaning a fish who incubates her eggs in her mouth.

Rossellini's newest Web series is Mammas, an unconventional look at the natural world and our accepted notions of it.

"My films are comical films. They are made to laugh at," Rossellini tells NPR. "They are comical — and scientifically correct."

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12:03pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Music Interviews

Returning To Music, Tested By Loss

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:06 pm

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander's new album is titled Claws & Wings.
Angelo Merendino Courtesy of the artist

Cellist and composer Erik Friedlander lost his wife of many years, dancer and choreographer Lynn Shapiro, to breast cancer in 2011. She'd been diagnosed a decade earlier, and Friedlander says music became a place of vital release for him as her condition worsened.

"During the difficult years, I did take refuge in working," he says. "It was a place where I could make the rules; where I could control what I could control."

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