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NPR Story
4:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

One Year Later: Reflections On An Inaugural Poem

President Barack Obama and Richard Blanco look at a framed copy of "One Today," in the Oval Office, May 20, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

When Richard Blanco was tapped last year to write the inaugural poem at the ceremony for President Obama’s second term, he was more than surprised. The Latino gay poet was given three weeks to write and submit three poems.

Blanco says the poem chosen for the big day, “One Day,” was not his favorite. We hear the one that was: “Mother Country.”

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NPR Story
4:34 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Pandora And Performance Rights Organization In Court Over Music Fees

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 8:32 am

Pandora is facing off with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in federal court today to determine how much money the online radio giant should pay for the use of their compositions.

Pandora pays 4.3 percent of its revenues to ASCAP publishers and songwriters. It pays about half its revenue to record labels and performers. The decision could have an impact on the evolving digital music industry.

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It's All Politics
4:13 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Obama's Marijuana Remarks Light Up Legalization Debate

President Obama graces the cover of Cannabis Now magazine at the HempCon medical marijuana show, May 24, 2013, in Los Angeles.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 5:50 pm

That President Obama could openly speculate about marijuana being less dangerous than alcohol — and embrace the state-level legalization of the drug — is a measure of just how far the nation has moved since the 1980s.

Back then, the Reagan administration's approach was absolute: "Just Say No." It's more complicated today.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Cheese To The Rescue: Surprising Spray Melts Road Ice

In Wisconsin, a dairy that makes mozzarella and provolone cheeses is giving its leftover salt brine to counties that use it to help melt road ice. Here, wheels of cheese are stacked in a deli.
iStockphoto

This winter, a Wisconsin county is fighting icy roads with a homegrown product: liquid cheese brine. Tens of thousands of gallons of the stuff are used each year along with road salt, according to officials in Polk County.

The rural county (county seat: Balsam Lake) uses the cheese brine in "pre-wetting for snow and ice control," as Emil "Moe" Norby, technical support manager for the Polk County Highway Department, tells us. And he says the brine has a definite effect when it's mixed with regular road salt.

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The Two-Way
3:54 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Thai Government Declares State Of Emergency

An anti-government supporter displays her donations for the cause during a street rally in Bangkok, Thailand, on Tuesday. Thailand has declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and its surrounding areas to cope with anti-government protests that have stirred up violent attacks.
Wally Santana AP

Thailand's government declared a state of emergency on Tuesday in Bangkok and surrounding areas amid massive protests that have rocked the country since last November.

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The Salt
3:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Whole Foods Bans Produce Grown With Sludge. But Who Wins?

A woman shops in the produce section at Whole Foods in New York City. The company recently announced it would prohibit produce farmed using biosolids in its stores.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 6:55 pm

If you've ever shopped at Whole Foods, you've probably noticed that some of the foods it sells claim all kinds of health and environmental virtues. From its lengthy list of unacceptable ingredients for food to its strict rules for how seafood is caught and meat is raised, the company sets a pretty high bar for what is permitted on its coveted shelves.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:15 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:55 pm

Claudio Abbado, one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation, died Monday in Bologna, Italy, at age 80. His death was announced by a spokesperson for Bologna's mayor, saying that it followed an unspecified long illness. Abbado had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000; following surgery for that illness, he was transformed into a hauntingly gaunt figure.

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Music Interviews
2:51 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Schubert's 'Winterreise' Paints Bleak Landscape For Bill T. Jones

Choreographer Bill T. Jones at an appearance earlier this year.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

As snowstorms hit the country today, All Things Considered revisits a vivid story that choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones shared about one winter song. It originally aired Dec. 13, 2011.

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Code Switch
2:26 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

'Hispanic' Or 'Latino'? Polls Say It Doesn't Matter — Usually

Comedian Carlos Mencia performs during the Tr3s: MTV, Música y Más Upfront in May 2010.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:55 pm

Carlos Mencia is well-known for his standup humor, which is slyly good-natured and often focuses on race and ethnicity. The 46 year-old Mencia has had a successful series on The Comedy Channel (Mind of Mencia) and draws huge crowds when he tours the country. When he was starting out in the business, he spent a lot of time on college campuses. And he learned pretty quickly that how he talked about the ethnicity he thought he shared with his audience could get him into trouble.

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