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When the iconic gold Oscar statues are handed out at the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28, they'll look a little bit different.

The statues will more closely resemble the early awards.

Here's a puzzle: Put two quarters side by side so the ridges mesh like gears, then hold one still and roll the other all the way around it. How many revolutions will George Washington make?

That's a riddle from Ethan Canin's new novel, A Doubter's Almanac. The book follows Milo Andret, a troubled math genius, through three generations of his family. Canin tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his protagonist's Michigan childhood, and the answer to the book's two quarter puzzle.

'Furnace' Burns With Horror And Wonder

Feb 17, 2016

In Engines of Desire, Livia Llewellyn's debut collection of short stories from 2011, reality was just another raw material to be stretched and reworked. Llewellyn's follow-up collection, Furnace, is a slightly slimmer volume, but it doesn't skimp when it comes to her distorted vision. Beautiful and hideous in the same breath, its 13 tales of erotic, surreal, existential horror pack a logic-shattering punch.

He loves Argentinian empanadas and dulce de leche. In 2015, he said that if he had only one wish, it would be to travel unrecognized to a pizzeria and have a slice — or two or three. In other words, he may be protected by the world's smallest army and be responsible for the spiritual governance of 1.2 billion people, but when it comes to eating, Pope Francis loves comfort food as much as the next person.

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Our first Rx Dose mix of 2016 is fashionably late, and all the better for it. Corralling our favorite dance tracks from January (and beyond) took a little longer than expected for a host of boring reasons, but hopefully, once you hear this month's roster, you'll agree it was worth the wait.

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the U.S. War Relocation Authority made a decision it would soon regret. It hired famed photographer Dorothea Lange to take pictures as 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans were removed from their homes on the West Coast and interned at remote military-style camps throughout the interior.

The agency had hoped Lange's photos would depict the process as orderly and humane.

Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee is known for portraying kings and princes. But lately he's been thinking about real people: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, to name a few.

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The attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. Most died in a concert hall, the Bataclan, listening to an American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

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Author Ruta Sepetys likes to look for what she calls "hidden chapters of history." She writes historical fiction for teens, and judging by the success of her debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, adults are also reading her.

Korean food is built on bold flavors: spicy pickled vegetables, sweet, smoky meats and pungent, salty stews. That can be a little intimidating for some American diners. But the authors of a new book called Koreatown hope to change that.

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The poet Larry Levis died in 1996. He was 49 and had already published five books. His writing just keeps coming. A third posthumous collection edited by David St. John is out. It's called "The Darkening Trapeze." Tess Taylor has our review.

When Franz Liszt wrote The Fountains of the Villa d'Este, he added a Latin quotation from the Gospel of St. John. It says: "But the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life." That composition is featured on the newest album by French pianist Helene Grimaud, called Water.

Pianist Toshiko Akiyoshi was the first Japanese musician to become popular with jazz fans in the U.S. Oscar Peterson demanded that his label record her; Charles Mingus hired her for his band. Then she went on to form her own acclaimed Jazz Orchestra. On Tuesday afternoon, Akiyoshi reassembled that group for a rare performance at the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall.

Watching Ben Folds perform his songs on piano at the Tiny Desk, there seems to be a direct line between thought and expression, except perhaps when he stumbles or forgets a line or two. Folds has a knack for plainspoken, smartly crafted words that sometimes sting and always seem to speak the truth — like these words from "Phone In A Pool":

Seems what's been good for the music

Hasn't always been so good for the life

Three months after their concert at the Bataclan music hall was ended by a deadly terrorist attack, California band Eagles of Death Metal is back in France. The rock group's members say they have a "sacred duty" to finish the show.

It won't happen until Tuesday night, but the concert was already making headlines, particularly after frontman Jesse Hughes, speaking to a French TV station about the fallout from the attacks that killed 130 people, criticized France's gun control laws.

On April 20, 1999, when Sue Klebold heard about a shooting incident at Columbine High School, her thoughts immediately turned to her 17-year-old son, Dylan, who was a senior there.

"In the very beginning, I didn't know what to think," Sue tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I was aware that there was a shooting incident occurring at the school. I didn't know if Dylan was in danger, if someone was trying to shoot him, if he was doing something."

Watching Beyoncé From New Orleans

Feb 16, 2016

The low rumble of Beyoncé built like thunder, starting on the first Thursday of February, as the #BEYONCEISCOMING hashtag began trending on Twitter. Rumor spread that not only was the reigning Queen of Pop about to unleash a Super Bowl performance that would render headliner Coldplay a sideshow, but the Internet had gotten wind that there was new music afoot, too.

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(SOUNDBITE OF MARK RONSON SONG, "UPTOWN FUNK")

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All right, the 58th Grammy Awards were last night on CBS. The top prize, Record of the Year, went to Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk" featuring Bruno Mars.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "UPTOWN FUNK")

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So I was chatting recently with the author Diane Les Becquets about one night when she was hunting with a bow and arrow in the backwoods of Colorado.

DIANE LES BECQUETS: I was bow hunting by myself covered in elk estrus, camouflage paint.

It seemed like there was something for everybody at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Mark Ronson's high-spirited "Uptown Funk," featuring Bruno Mars, won Record of the Year. The songwriting award, Song of the Year, went to Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge's "Thinking Out Loud," while Taylor Swift won Album of the Year for 1989.

The nominations for the 58th annual Grammy Awards, though, were pitched as something of a showdown between pop and hip-hop. In certain ways, neither won outright — but both genres' reigning queen and king emerged as winners.

Sometime tomorrow, Linda Holmes and I will break down Monday night's Grammys telecast in a Small Batch edition of Pop Culture Happy Hour. And, for a variety of reasons, we're not likely to spend much time on the awards themselves.

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