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.

Health
4:51 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

New York Officials: Breast Milk May Be Best 'Formula'

City leaders want to encourage more new moms to breast-feed their babies. One of several "Latch on NYC" posters promoting the initiative.
Courtesy of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Starting next month, dozens of hospitals will participate in "Latch on NYC," an initiative aimed at encouraging new moms to breast-feed instead of using baby formula.

Health care professionals say breast-feeding is better for both mother and baby.

But critics — many of them mothers — say the city is inserting itself where it doesn't belong.

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Movie Interviews
4:50 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Friends With Your Ex? Rashida Jones Understands

"This is a story about your first love," says Jones. "Can you take it with you, can it still be a part of your life, can you integrate it into your life? Do you have to let them go forever to move on?"
Lee Toland Krieger Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Don't be fooled by the title of Rashida Jones' new movie: It's called Celeste and Jesse Forever, but Celeste and Jesse, played by Jones and Andy Samberg, are not forever — in fact, they're getting divorced. And they have a weird way of dealing with it: They keep spending time together as if they were best friends.

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Arts & Life
4:44 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Monroe's Legacy Is Making Fortune, But For Whom?

Marilyn Monroe's will reveals a quieter, more complicated side to her legacy.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

Marilyn Monroe, a global symbol of beauty, glamour and sex, died on Aug. 5, 1962. Fifty years later, she's still in style — and making more money than ever. Monroe's come-hither expression is emblazoned on posters, T-shirts and refrigerator magnets. She's become a multimillion-dollar brand, but that may never have happened if not for the will she left behind, a document that reveals a much quieter — and more complicated — side to her legacy.

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The Torch
4:42 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Track Cyclist's Admitting To Intentional Crash Won't Bring Investigation

The British sprint team of Philip Hindes (front), Jason Kenny and Sir Chris Hoy won a gold medal Thursday, but remarks by Hindes caused concerns about athletes' ethics to resurface. The IOC says it will not investigate.
Bryn Lennon Getty Images

If one thing is clear at these London Games, it's that not doing one's best is not only uncool — it's not allowed. Witness the badminton-to-worstminton scandal that erupted earlier this week, when players turned the tournament structure into a "farce" by attempting to lose in order to manipulate their seeds in the next round.

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Movies
4:40 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Franchises Age, But Their Stars Stay Forever Young

Jeremy Renner stars in The Bourne Legacy, the latest in a franchise previously fronted by Matt Damon. But when an actor departs a Hollywood cash cow, it can be less a death knell than a chance for rejuvenation.
Mary Cybulski Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 6:06 pm

The Bourne Legacy, which opens in theaters this week, is the fourth thriller in the series, and the first without either Jason Bourne or the star playing him, Matt Damon. They're suddenly not necessary, even though the series is named for Bourne? Why am I not surprised?

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The Two-Way
3:46 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Reuters Says Its Website Was Hacked, Fake Syria Stories Posted

The wire service Reuters says its blogging service was compromised today. The people responsible, Reuters said, took the opportunity to post a fake news story about Syria.

Reuters reports:

"One of the false posts purported to be an interview with Riad al-Asaad, the head of the Free Syrian Army.

"'Reuters did not carry out such an interview and the posting has been deleted,' the Reuters statement said.

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The Torch
3:22 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Phelps And Franklin Add To Their Medal Totals, And A New Teen Phenom Emerges

American Katie Ledecky seemed to be in disbelief as she hugged bronze medalist Rebecca Adlington of Great Britain. Ledecky, 15, won the women's 800m freestyle by four seconds in London.
Al Bello Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 5:08 pm

In one of the last showcase days for swimming at the 2012 Summer Olympics, American athletes Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin hit the pool at London's aquatic center Friday. Each of them were on a mission to end their individual event schedules with gold medals.

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The Two-Way
3:13 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Experts Find Ancient Mayans May Have Used Chocolate As Condiment

Chocolate.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:38 pm

Archaeologists have made a surprising discovery: They announced they found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate as opposed to a cup.

The conclusion they make is that it means ancient Mayans not only drank chocolate but also used it as a condiment.

The AP reports the discovery was made public by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The AP adds:

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

If Almonds Bring You Joy, Enjoy More For Fewer Calories

Almonds may have 20 percent less calories than previously thought.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am

Scientists are starting to discover that the standard way of measuring calories, established more than 100 years ago, may not be terribly accurate when it comes to higher fat, high-fiber foods like nuts. But when it comes to almonds, the count may be off by a whole lot.

Food scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a new study that finds almonds have about 20 percent fewer calories than previously documented.

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