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Keys To The Whole World: American Public Libraries
4:12 am
Sun August 11, 2013

At Libraries Across America, It's Game On

If a LEGO lion can take pride of place at the New York Public Library, why not video games in the reading rooms? The NYPLarcade program is a kind of book club for gamers, inviting participants to dive deep with discussions of strategy, game structure and more.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:09 pm

There's a battle going down at the Sollers Point Branch of the Baltimore County Public Library system. It's a one-point game in the fourth quarter with only seconds left on the game clock. Huddled around a big screen in a small room, 10 or so teenagers cheer on their joystick-wielding buddies. The ball is snapped, the kick is up ... no good. It's wide right, and the crowd goes wild, trash talk flying.

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Art & Design
4:07 am
Sun August 11, 2013

These Dioramas Are To Die For

This "Die-O-Rama" features a picnic lunch of body parts.
Marty Walsh Courtesy of Trifecta Gallery

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:09 pm

If you like mysteries, thrillers or zombie flicks, you'll probably like Abigail Goldman's art.

Goldman takes the fake grass, dirt and tiny plastic people used in model railroad layouts, and turns them into imaginary crime scenes. She's been making the macabre art for four years, and it's become so popular there's a waiting list for her work.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:02 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Easy As ABC

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:09 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is an anagram of a word that has the letters A-B-C in it.

Last week's challenge: Name a foreign make of automobile. Cross out several letters in its name. The remaining letters, reading in order from left to right, will spell a food that comes from the country where the car is made. What is the country, and what is the food?

Answer: Mitsubishi, sushi

Winner: Lindsy Schwantes of Waite Park, Minn.

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The Salt
3:55 am
Sun August 11, 2013

America, Are You Tough Enough To Drink Real Russian Kvas?

A man drinks fresh kvas, the ancient Russian fermented-bread drink, in Zvenigorod, 35 miles west of Moscow.
Dmitry Lovetsky AP

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:09 pm

While American kids stand in line for the ice cream truck on sweltering summer days, kids in Russia have historically queued up for something different: the kvas truck.

Kvas is a fermented grain drink, sort of like a barely alcoholic beer. And in the heat of the summer, it was served from a big barrel on wheels, with everyone lining up for their turn at the communal mug. It may sound like a far cry from rocket pops and ice cream sandwiches, but most Russians have fond memories.

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Shots - Health News
5:12 pm
Sat August 10, 2013

Booze Restores Vigor, Nine Of 10 Charlatans Agree

When dealing with aches and pains, sometimes the best way to get better is to feel better — and fast. Some popular medicines of old favored additives like cocaine.
Courtesy of the National Library of Medicine

Originally published on Sat August 10, 2013 7:05 pm

Feeling bilious? Have a swig of tonic. Got a kid with a toothache? A dab of cocaine tooth powder could do the trick.

Much to the shock of our 21st-century sensibilities, popular remedies of the late 19th century often contained strong mind-altering substances like cocaine and opium. And while patients may not have understood what the ingredients were or what they did, these heavy-hitting patent drugs could deliver a feeling of well-being, which may, in some cases, have led to actual well-being.

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