All Things Considered for Sunday, February 2, 2014

Obama's State Of The Union And Your Economic Reality

In Tuesday's speech, President Obama painted a fairly rosy picture of the economy. But the recovery has been both slow and fragile, and many Americans still say they aren't seeing it. We dig into what the president said and compare it to the state of the average American's experience.
In his award-winning role in the film Capote, film critic Roger Ebert wrote that the performance wasn't so much an imitation as it was a channeling of "a man whose peculiarities mask great intelligence and deep wounds." Hoffman, 46, was found dead on Sunday.
According to state and local authorities, 22 people in Western Pennsylvania have died of heroin overdose in less than two weeks. The wave of deaths is due to the appearance of an especially potent batch of heroin, mixed with the painkiller Fentanyl. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with Dr. Neil Capretto, medical director of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center in Pittsburgh.
From sodas to truffles to butter, foods infused with THC — the chemical in marijuana that gives you a high — are already for sale in Colorado. But the federal government still considers pot illegal, so the state has to create from scratch its own system to regulate these foods.
The silent-film comic was a flop in the 13-minute Making a Living. But only a few days later, he'd introduce his iconic Little Tramp character — and take the first step toward immortality.

Following Oil Boom In N. Dakota: A Cultural Blooming?

The oil fields of western North Dakota are bringing vast economic opportunity to a region that just 10 years ago was in decline. Yet, this vitality is rough around the edges and high art and culture are rare commodities. One organization is trying to change that by sending two professional writers into towns most impacted by the boom to conduct creative writing workshops.
Writer Rabih Alameddine's says his new novel offers a Middle Eastern perspective rarely seen in the U.S. The 72-year-old title character lives alone in Beirut, consumed by translating her favorite books into Arabic. The Unnecessary Woman explores the "push-pull" between our solitary and social lives.
When the prolific composer died in 1974, he left one of his most ambitious projects unfinished. Forty years later, admirers are still trying to fill in the blanks.
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