Wednesday

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Politics

'This Is A Congress That's Really Doing Nothing,' Says NYT Reporter

Congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman gives his take on the 113th Congress, including how House Speaker John Boehner has little sway, and business in the Senate has virtually ground to a halt.

'This Is A Congress That's Really Doing Nothing,' Says NYT Reporter
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David Suchet plays Hercule Poirot in Agatha Christie's Poirot. The last season premiers Aug. 25 on Acorn TV. /Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV hide caption

toggle caption /Courtesy of Acorn TV/ITV

Television

Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery

After decades on air, Poirot's 13th and final season begins Aug. 25. David Suchet still stars as detective Hercule Poirot, but you won't find the show on PBS. So where is it?

Case Closed: Agatha Christie's Detective Poirot Solves His Last TV Mystery
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Tuesday

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Comedian Robin Williams performs at a comedy festival in New York in 2007. Williams died Monday at age 63. Evan Agostini/AP hide caption

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Remembrances

Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, 'You Have To Be Deeply Honest'

The comedian and actor died Monday at age 63. In 2006, Williams spoke with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about improvising, his training and how people expected him to act crazy.

Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, 'You Have To Be Deeply Honest'
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Book Reviews

In A Funny New Novel, A Weary Professor Writes To 'Dear Committee Members'

Julie Schumacher's anti-hero pens recommendations for junior colleagues, lackluster students and former lovers. The novel deftly mixes comedy with social criticism and righteous outrage.

In A Funny New Novel, A Weary Professor Writes To 'Dear Committee Members'
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Monday

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The Titan II intercontinental-range missile, pictured in 1965, sits ready for launch on its 150-feet-deep underground launchpad. "The one warhead on a Titan II had three times the explosive force of all the bombs used by all the armies in the second world war combined — including both atomic bombs," says investigative reporter Eric Schlosser. Keystone/Getty Images hide caption

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Author Interviews

Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes

Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, spent six years researching America's nuclear weapons. In Command and Control, he details explosions, false attack alerts and accidentally dropped bombs.

Nuclear 'Command And Control': A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes
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Saturday

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On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance. Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime hide caption

toggle caption Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime

Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: Allison Janney, Jason Hamacher, Pinterest And Interactive TV

Allison Janney talks sex, Sorkin and being the tallest women in the room; Jason Hamacher preserved Syrian chants; Pinterest offers "guided search"; and interactive TV has a long history.

Fresh Air Weekend: Allison Janney, Jason Hamacher, Pinterest And Interactive TV
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Friday

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Author Interviews

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

His new book, Dissident Gardens, follows three generations of an activist family. The book is fiction, but its characters were inspired by Lethem's own story. Originally broadcast Sept. 9, 2013.

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family
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Music Reviews

Jaki Byard, A Post-Bebop Pianist Who Was A Master Of Stride Piano

On The Late Show, a set of previously unheard solo music from 1979, the jazz pianist employs techniques like suspenseful dropouts. He had a rare ability to sound archaic — and way ahead of his time.

Jaki Byard, A Post-Bebop Pianist Who Was A Master Of Stride Piano
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Movie Reviews

In The Irish Film 'Calvary,' A Priest's Crisis Of Faith Is Weirdly Jokey

John Michael McDonagh's new movie stars Brendan Gleeson as a priest who must eventually face off against a killer. It's excruciatingly obvious and inept, but Gleeson brings it alive.

In The Irish Film 'Calvary,' A Priest's Crisis Of Faith Is Weirdly Jokey
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Thursday

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Between 2006 and 2010, Jason Hamacher made many trips to Syria to photograph and record ancient chants. Jason Hamacher/Lost Origins Productions hide caption

toggle caption Jason Hamacher/Lost Origins Productions

Music Interviews

Before War, A Punk Drummer Preserved Syrian Chants

Jason Hamacher wasn't trained as a photographer, a musicologist or a member of a religious community. The former Frodus drummer simply felt compelled to document this music.

Before War, A Punk Drummer Preserved Syrian Chants
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Dave Douglas (left) and Uri Caine. Jeff Countryman/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Jeff Countryman/Courtesy of the artist

Music Interviews

Douglas and Caine Find 'Present Joys' In The Sacred Harp Songbook

The virtuoso jazz musicians perform from their new album of duets. It features hymns based on a tradition called shape-note singing, which dates to the early 1800s.

Douglas and Caine Find 'Present Joys' In The Sacred Harp Songbook
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On The Knick, the graphic scenes are riveting, says David Bianculli, though at times you may want to look away. Here, Clive Owen's character administers a shot. Mary Cybulski/Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax hide caption

toggle caption Mary Cybulski/Courtesy of HBO/Cinemax

Television

Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions

The new Cinemax show stars Clive Owen as a rude doctor in a New York City hospital in 1900. It may take a few episodes, but you'll care about the characters and their inventions.

Stick With 'The Knick,' A Medical Drama With Amazing Inventions
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Wednesday

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Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down on July 17 in eastern Ukraine. The New York Times reporter Sabrina Tavernise was one of the first reporters to arrive at the scene. Dmitry Lovetsky/AP hide caption

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Asia

Malaysia Flight Wreckage Was 'Like The End Of The World'

The New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise was among the first to arrive at the site of the downed flight in Ukraine in late July. She says it's hard to get the faces of the dead out of her mind.

Malaysia Flight Wreckage Was 'Like The End Of The World'
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Tuesday

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In November 1973, when Ronald Reagan was governor of California, he talked with reporters about Watergate. In the years that followed, he spoke to Americans' anxieties with a simple message about America's inherent greatness. Paul Vathis/AP hide caption

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Books

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans

Rick Perlstein's new book describes how Reagan emerged as the leader of a potent political movement during the turbulent mid-'70s. He says the soul of Reagan's appeal was how he made people feel good.

How Ronald Reagan Used An 'Invisible Bridge' To Win Over Americans
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Monday

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On Masters of Sex, Allison Janney plays Margaret Scully. Janney was nominated for an Emmy as outstanding guest actress in a drama series for her performance. Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime hide caption

toggle caption Frank W Ockenfels 3/Showtime

Television

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room

Allison Janney has been nominated for Emmys for her roles on Masters of Sex and Mom. She says her relationships with her mother and her brother, who was an addict, helped inform her characters.

Allison Janney On Sex, Sorkin And Being The Tallest Woman In The Room
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Saturday

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George Takei's personal story is illuminated in the new, funny documentary To Be Takei. Victoria Will/AP hide caption

toggle caption Victoria Will/AP

Fresh Air Weekend

Fresh Air Weekend: George Takei, 'The Honorable Woman,' Dom Flemons

George Takei talks about the new documentary To Be Takei; David Bianculli says The Honorable Woman is not to miss; Dom Flemons discusses his first album since leaving Carolina Chocolate Drops.

Fresh Air Weekend: George Takei, 'The Honorable Woman,' Dom Flemons
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