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Abby Wambach was a major soccer star - two Olympic gold medals, the all-time highest goal score among women and men internationally, global recognition. But when Barnard College, the all-women's school in New York City, asked her to give its commencement address last year, she felt underqualified. So she poured her heart into her speech and decided to turn it into a rallying cry for women.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Abby Wambach was a major soccer star - two Olympic gold medals, the all-time highest goal score among women and men internationally, global recognition. But when Barnard College, the all-women's school in New York City, asked her to give its commencement address last year, she felt underqualified. So she poured her heart into her speech and decided to turn it into a rallying cry for women.

SACHA PFEIFFER, HOST:

Abby Wambach was a major soccer star - two Olympic gold medals, the all-time highest goal score among women and men internationally, global recognition. But when Barnard College, the all-women's school in New York City, asked her to give its commencement address last year, she felt underqualified. So she poured her heart into her speech and decided to turn it into a rallying cry for women.

Since its founding, America has been fertile ground for conspiracy beliefs. While every generation produces rumor-mongers, today we anoint them with special powers through social media.

Anna Merlan, a journalist at Gizmodo Media Group, explores our contemporary fixation with conspiracy theories of all political stripes in Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power. Throughout the book, she reports from gatherings of people whose beliefs are both extreme and false.

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"A Very British Coup" was a sensation when it was published in 1982 and again when it's made into a TV series in 1988.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "A VERY BRITISH COUP")

OLIVER FORD DAVIES: (As Horace Tweed) Your living room, prime minister.

Merce Cunningham in 1988.
AP

The choreographer Merce Cunningham would have turned 100 years old this week.

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The Helvetica typeface is widely used around the world. Don't tell us you haven't noticed. But Helvetica is being refreshed after 36 years - even a new name, Helvetica Now. But like many changes, some people are skeptical.

Duanwad Pimwana is one of Thailand's preeminent female writers. She's beloved for her writing across forms, but especially acclaimed for her short fiction, translated for the first time in the excellent 13-story sampler Arid Dreams. Pimwana's translator, Mui Poopoksakul, does a beautiful job with prose and selection alike, offering stories from the first two decades of Pimwana's literary career.

Friday News Roundup - International

Apr 19, 2019

The report by special counsel Robert Mueller offered a definitive conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Russian president Vladimir Putin famously denied any allegation of Russian interference at a meeting with President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland.

Here’s a piece of the report’s findings on interference efforts:

Moms perform heroic tasks every day, but they rarely get portrayed as superheroes. That changes in the new film Fast Color, which tells the story of three generations of black women — a daughter, a mother and a granddaughter — all of whom have supernatural powers.

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Tomorrow marks 20 years since two gunmen at Columbine High School in Colorado killed 13 people. The incident is still relevant today. This week, the FBI says a woman infatuated with Columbine made credible threats, traveled to the area and bought a gun. From member station KUNC, Leigh Paterson reports that, for the last two decades, schools have taken steps to better protect and care for their students.

You can read the redacted Mueller report right now, free, on the Department of Justice website. Or you can read it here on NPR.org.

Does reality need realism?

If that seems like a weird question to you, consider the fact that it's the one most pressing for physicists and for their most successful theory about the physical world. That theory is called quantum mechanics — and every digital electronic device you've ever used owes its existence to the understanding of atomic-scale physics that comes with it.

But for all its success, quantum mechanics has one tiny problem: No one understands it.

Guster's latest album, Look Alive, is a trippy and textured twist on everything you might already love about the band. Lead singer Ryan Miller and drummer Brian Rosenworcel dropped by to talk about the making of the album, which included three producers, Leo Abrahams, John Congleton and Collin DuPuis, as well as a very fruitful visit to synthesizer and keyboard heaven, a.k.a. Canada's National Music Centre.

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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross, who's off this week. The Pulitzer Prize for History was awarded this week to historian David Blight for his book about 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Frederick Douglass is probably best known for his compelling autobiographies in which he described his experiences as a slave and his escape to freedom.

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This is FRESH AIR. When Pulitzer Prize winners were announced earlier this week, Aretha Franklin was honored with a special citation for what the jury called her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades. Franklin died last August at the age of 76.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Lil Dicky unveiled the absolutely star-studded, possibly not-safe-for-work animated music video for his charity single "Earth" today — featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as a human and Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Halsey, Bad Bunny, PSY, Zac Brown, Miley Cyrus, Sia, Snoop Dogg and countless other celebrities as animals pitching in to save the earth.

One crazy night.

It's the foundation of movies both silly and not so silly, including After Hours, Superbad, American Graffiti, Adventures in Babysitting, Go, Can't Hardly Wait ... there are a lot to choose from. A new one coming to Netflix this week that's of the "female friendship forever" variety is Someone Great. Written and directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, it's a comedy about three New York women who just want — of course — to get into one big event and to get a little crazy.

Caroline Shaw's new album, Orange, is a love letter to the string quartet. The North Carolina native burst onto the music scene in 2013, when she was the youngest composer to win a Pulitzer Prize. She's still in her 30s and now, for the first time, there's a recording devoted entirely to her work.

Retta: Tweet Yo' Self

Apr 19, 2019

A quick Instagram search for the hashtag #TreatYoSelf yields more than 4.7 million photos of desserts, spa treatments and shopping sprees. This indulgent catchphrase was made popular eight years ago by the character Donna Meagle, on the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation — played by the mononymous actor, Retta. But long before she became synonymous with "Treat Yo' Self," Retta was living a very different lifestyle.

Biopic: The Movie: The Game

Apr 19, 2019

Contestants listen to clips of actors playing real people and then guess the person being portrayed.

Heard on Retta: Tweet Yo' Self.

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April Showers Bring Yam Flowers

Apr 19, 2019

In this anagram word game, contestants unscramble the names of flowers. Don't forget to stop and smell the A BIG ONES!

Heard on Retta: Tweet Yo' Self.

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Case In Points

Apr 19, 2019

In this final round, every answer contains at least two of the highest value Scrabble letters: Q, Z, X or J.

Heard on Retta: Tweet Yo' Self.

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Hockey Fact Bag With Retta

Apr 19, 2019

It's the Stanley Cup of public radio bags: Fact Bag. In this hockey-themed edition, Los Angeles Kings fan and Good Girls star Retta joins Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton to discuss three NHL trivia questions, one for each period in a regulation game. Will they guess the answers, or will they be sent to the penalty box?

Heard on Retta: Tweet Yo' Self.

If Rock Stars Weren't Rock Stars

Apr 19, 2019

Get out those guitars: It's music parody time in a word game where the names of famous musical acts are mashed up with regular-people occupations.

Heard on Retta: Tweet Yo' Self.

Away Games

Apr 19, 2019

Hut! Hut! Hike! In this game, contestants identify professional sports teams that moved cities, but kept their original geographically-specific names.

Heard on Retta: Tweet YoSelf.

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Sometimes history offers a marker of how far we've come. Sometimes, there's He-Man.

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