From The Archives

Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder in a scene from Blazing Saddles in 1974. Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images hide caption

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Code Switch

Gene Wilder And Cleavon Little Set Gold Standard For Interracial Buddy Comedies

Decades later, Blazing Saddles is just as funny — and offensive — as ever. The film, which pierced the earnestness of earlier films like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, set the stage for Wilder's later collaborations with Richard Pryor.

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NPR Ed

A New School Year Brings Renewed Focus On Attendance

As students head back to school, districts are faced with age-old problem of making sure they show up. In St. Louis, one principal resorted to extreme measures: installing washing machines and dryers.

A New School Year Brings Renewed Focus On Attendance

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Kelly Slater Wave Co Todd Glaser/Courtesy of Kelly Slater Wave Co hide caption

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Science

Surfers And Scientists Team Up To Create The 'Perfect Wave'

Surfers once deemed man-made waves weak and mushy compared to the best that break along the coast. Then engineers and an 11-time world champion surfer showed just how good an artificial wave can be.

Surfers And Scientists Team Up To Create The 'Perfect Wave'

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Single-belled baritones and euphoniums line the ceiling of the V&E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection to make room the bigger instruments on the floor and walls. Aiyana Simonetti-Poe/Courtesy of V & E Simonetti Historic Tuba Collection hide caption

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Unsung Museums: A Tour Of Little-Known Gems

A Museum With Nearly 300 Brass Horns: You've Gotta See It Tuba-lieve It

Vincent Simonetti started playing tuba in high school in the 1950s. It was love at first puff. Now he and his wife, Ethel, have filled a house in Durham, N.C., with tubas for the public to tour.

A Museum With Nearly 300 Brass Horns: You've Gotta See It Tuba-lieve It

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When Tara Thompson started writing songs, she didn't invoke her country superstar cousin, Loretta Lynn. "I wanted to do it myself," she says. Courtesy of The Valory Music Co. hide caption

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Music News

Nashville's New Country Cousin

Thompson comes from a long line of women who find humor in life's messier situations, including distant relative Loretta Lynn.

Nashville's New Country Cousin

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Bacteriophages, in red, look like tiny aliens, with big heads and skinny bodies. They use their "legs" to stick to and infect a bacterial cell, in blue. Biophoto Associates/Science Source hide caption

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Shots - Health News

Your Gut's Gone Viral, And That Might Be Good For Your Health

Think of it as a gift within a gift. Some beneficial gut bacteria contain viruses called "bacteriophages." And some of these phages now have been associated with good intestinal health in humans.

Your Gut's Gone Viral, And That Might Be Good For Your Health

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Officials found the toxin microcystin in the blue-green algae present at Discovery Bay, Calif. For people exposed to the toxin, symptoms include dizziness, rashes, fever, vomiting and in more unusual cases, numbness. Lesley McClurg/KQED hide caption

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Environment

Poisonous Algae Blooms Threaten People, Ecosystems Across U.S.

KQED Public Media

Serious algae outbreaks have hit more than 20 states this summer. Algae blooms aren't unusual. But the frequency, size and toxicity now are worse than ever, and changes in climate are partly to blame.

Poisonous Algae Blooms Threaten People, Ecosystems Across U.S.

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All Tech Considered

Listen: 'Web Site Story,' NPR's Musical About The Internet — From 1999

Found in our archives: an Internet-themed remake of West Side Story from the dot-com bubble era. It begins with Bill Gates and features the sound of a modem but isn't as obsolete as you might expect.

Listen: 'Web Site Story,' NPR's Musical About The Internet — From 1999

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Luther Burbank also introduced the Shasta daisy to gardens around the world, and the potato variety whose offspring is used by McDonald's to make its iconic fries. New York Botanical Garden/LuEsther T. Mertz Library/Biodiversity Heritage Library hide caption

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The Salt

The Strange, Twisted Story Behind Seattle's Blackberries

KUOW

Those tangled brambles are everywhere in the city, the legacy of an eccentric named Luther Burbank whose breeding experiments with crops can still be found on many American dinner plates.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim hold a news conference after meeting Aug. 24 in Ankara, Turkey. While the U.S. and Turkey are close allies, they've been at odds on a number of issues, and the meeting was designed to improve the atmosphere. Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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A Nation Engaged

In A Time Of Middle East Conflict, What Is The Role Of U.S. Diplomacy?

The focus has often been on U.S. military action in the Middle East. But diplomacy is also critical. Here is a look at one of America's most important and complicated relationships in the region.

In A Time Of Middle East Conflict, What's The Role Of U.S. Diplomacy?

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Pastor Mark Burns spoke at the Republican National Convention last month, calling on Republicans to "come together to defeat Hillary Clinton and those race-baiting Democrats." Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Politics

Trump Surrogate Tweets Cartoon Of Hillary Clinton In Blackface

Pastor Mark Burns apologized for the tweet, which mocked Hillary Clinton with a cartoon that read, in part, "I ain't no ways tired of pandering to African Americans."

Artist Noah Davis founded The Underground Museum to bring world-class art — for free --€” to a neighborhood in Los Angeles. He was just 32 years old when he died from cancer in 2015. Ed Templeton/The Underground Museum hide caption

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Fine Art

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

When Noah Davis founded the museum, he wanted to bring world-class art to a neighborhood he likened to a food desert, meaning no grocery stores or museums. Davis died a year ago Monday.

He Died At 32, But A Young Artist Lives On In LA's Underground Museum

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