Amazon celebrates 20 years of selling everything from A to Z...and 20 years of mining customer data. istockphoto.com hide caption

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Nadine Gordimer passed away this week at age 90, after a lifetime of achievement in writing and anti-apartheid activism. Radu Sigheti/Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Radu Sigheti/Reuters /Landov

Darlena Cunha says that she wrote her essay about her family's temporary poverty so her twin daughters would learn not to judge people on government assistance. Courtesy of Darlena Cunha hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Darlena Cunha

When NPR's Tamara Keith was 15 years old, she embarked on a letter-writing campaign that set her career in motion. Courtesy Keith Family hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Keith Family

In sports, Americans only dilly-dally for crucial, life-affirming reasons: to allow commercials. L.G. Patterson/AP hide caption

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Wisconsin's Traevon Jackson at practice for the 2014 NCAA men's college basketball tournament. Commentator Frank Deford says that, despite NCAA claims to the contrary, most college players are not typical students — "their job is to play a sport." Jae C. Hong/AP hide caption

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Picasso's The Blue Room, painted in 1901, hung in the Phillips Collection for decades. AP hide caption

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Remodeling the National Stadium Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, Brazil, for the FIFA World Cup cost the Brazilian government $900 million. Eraldo Peres/AP hide caption

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A U.S. soldier walks the halls of an American military base set up in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces in Tikrit, 2003. Ivan Sekretarev/AP hide caption

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In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services. Nelson Almeida /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Nelson Almeida /AFP/Getty Images

Even if California Chrome wins Saturday's Belmont Stakes, most Americans are too disconnected from horses to flock to the race track, says commentator Frank Deford. Al Bello/Getty Images hide caption

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David Abbott brought strong opinions and a way with words to the advertising industry. Courtesy of Julian Hanford hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Julian Hanford