Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career, "hired to write for every small paper in Washington, D.C., just as it was about to fold," saw that jink broken in 1984, when he came to NPR.

For more than a quarter-century, Mondello has reviewed movies and covered the arts for NPR News, seeing at least 250 films and 100 plays annually, then sharing critiques and commentaries about the most intriguing on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered. In 2005, he conceived and co-produced NPR's eight-part series "American Stages," exploring the history, reach, and accomplishments of the regional theater movement.

The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Bicycles, China's Former Love, Get A Second Look

For years, it was common to see images of Chinese people riding bikes in massive packs, coursing along the streets of Beijing or other sprawling metropolises. Then, as the nation's economy took off, bicycles came to be seen as part of the country's past — and cars as a sign of its future.

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Monkey See
4:12 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

DVD Picks: 'The Honeymooners'

MPI Home Video

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:52 pm

Time for our movie critic Bob Mondello to suggest something for home-viewing. Today, he's exploring a 15-disk collection of classic TV comedy that nobody's seen for a while: The Honeymooners: The Lost Episodes.

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WEMU Sweet Sixteen For The Week Of January 9 to January 15, 2012

These are the sixteen most played recordings on WEMU!

Opinion
3:52 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Drafting My Fantasy Picks & Tackling Nobel Trends

The statue of Alfred Nobel resides at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. The 2011 Nobel Prize for Medicine, awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, opened a week of Nobel honors.

Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Commentator Dennis O'Toole is a writer and improv performer from Chicago.

Today, Saul Perlmutter, Brian Schmidt and Adam G. Riess won the Nobel Prize in Physics for discovering that expansion in the universe is speeding up. That's great news for me, since I had Riess and Perlmutter in my fantasy league.

Honestly, I could have gotten Schmidt too, but I drafted Nathan Seiberg, mainly because he's worked with both supersymmetric gauge theories and with discrete light-cone quantization. That was a hedge.

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UnderCurrents

Midnight to 5:00a.m.Gregg McVicar

Undercurrents

Undercurrents, hosted by Peabody Award winner Gregg McVicar, is called “American music with a passport” and lives up to that claim with an intriguing, well-produced, expertly hosted, and very listenable mix of rock, blues, jazz, folk, native, Americana, funk, electronica, reggae, roots, world, dub, and alt country music. Undercurrents comes from RadioCamp LLC and is distributed by Native Voice One: The Native American Radio Service.

Conflict In Libya
3:43 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Post Revolution, Libyan Women Seek Expanded Roles

In Tripoli, Libya, women celebrate the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi's regime and call for a strengthening of women's rights, Sept. 2. After playing large but largely unsung roles during the uprising, women are now seeking a greater political role.

Alexandre Meneghini AP

One recent day in Tripoli, hundreds of people strolled through a charity fundraiser organized by the women in Libya's capital city.

Ladies sold baked goods and handicrafts in rows of stalls. For the kids, there was a moon bounce and face painting. There was even a rock band that could use some practice.

It was a lot like charity bazaars in towns across the U.S., with a couple of notable exceptions: most of the women wore headscarves and among the more popular items for sale were hand-knitted versions of the Libyan flag.

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Europe
3:41 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Greek Prime Minister: Undoing His Father's Legacy

Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses a meeting of the Federation of German Industry in Berlin, Sept. 27. He is the son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, but his critics say he is betraying the work of his father, who built up the Greek welfare state.

John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Greek Prime Minster George Papandreou, who was born and raised in the U.S., belongs to Greece's most important political dynasty — he's the son and grandson of prime ministers.

And yet just two years after he led the Socialist party to victory, his popularity has plummeted, his debt-stricken country is at the heart of the eurozone crisis and he faces the daunting task of dismantling the generous welfare state his father created.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:33 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Surprise In Your Sewage: Lots Of Exotic Viruses

Originally published on Wed October 12, 2011 10:03 am

You think your job is tough? Some scientists examined sewage from Pittsburgh, Barcelona and Addis Ababa in a hunt for unknown viruses.

They found scads. How many? At least 43,381.

To put that number into perspective, consider that up to now scientists have charted only about 3,000 viruses. And among the known viruses found in the sewage samples, only 17 were bugs that cause human disease — things like the common cold virus, diarrhea-causing Norwalk virus and human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer and genital warts.

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Monkey See
3:11 pm
Tue October 4, 2011

Apple Announces A New Phone And Voice Recognition, But Not The iPhone 5

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks at the event introducing the new iPhone.

Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 4, 2011 6:01 pm

Today was widely expected to bring the announcement of the iPhone 5 — maybe with a bigger screen, a different home button, or a differently shaped case — at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It didn't.

That's not to say Apple didn't say anything of note at its rather lengthy presentation. Not at all. But the big game-changing piece of new hardware didn't come to pass. Aficionados waited, wondering and chattering on liveblogs and on Twitter to see if it would come at the end in Apple's traditional "one more thing" fashion.

It didn't.

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