Susan Jane Gilman, whose reviews and commentaries can be heard regularly on All Things Considered, is a journalist, fiction writer and bestselling author of three nonfiction books: Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, Kiss My Tiara: How to Rule the World as a SmartMouth Goddess and, most recently, Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, a memoir about a naive and disastrous trek Gilman made through Communist China in 1986.

Gilman has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Ms., Us, The Village Voice, The New York Observer and Real Simple, among others.

Monkey See
10:34 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Holiday Greetings From The World Of Politics: Dogs, Churches, And Plaid Shirts

Mitt Romney's holiday card for 2011 shows his entire large family.

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News
10:31 am
Thu December 22, 2011

EPA ready to declare Pinedale area non-attainment for ozone

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
is moving ahead with a proposed regulatory designation that could
increase pressure on the gas industry to limit emissions that have
led to severe wintertime ozone pollution in western Wyoming.
     The EPA is doing so while it settles a nationwide lawsuit over
ozone filed by an environmental group, WildEarth Guardians.
     In 2009, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal recommended that the EPA
enact what's known as "nonattainment status" for ozone in the

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News
10:28 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Bacteria plan is awaiting approval

A Colorado company expects to get
regulatory approval soon so it can begin to exploit bacteria to
revive hundreds of old natural gas wells in northeast Wyoming.
     The Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality is considering a
draft permit for Luca Technologies Inc. to put substances
underground to encourage the growth of bacteria. The bacteria are
naturally present underground and live in water-saturated coal
seams.
     The bacteria eat the coal and produce methane gas as a
byproduct.

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It's All Politics
10:22 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Occupy Protesters Greet Romney On The Campaign Trail In New Hampshire

Occupy protesters gathered in Littleton, N.H. on Thursday.
Ari Shapiro NPR

On the trail with Mitt Romney in New Hampshire Thursday morning, I encountered the first Occupy protesters of the three-day bus trip.

One of them, Bob Broadhurst, grew up in Boston but now lives in nearby Littleton, N.H. He's been one of the Occupy protesters in New York since September, but returned to New Hampshire to protest along Romney's route.

A fourth-generation electrician, Broadhurst is an IBEW union member and his main issue is what he calls "the attack" on unions and labor. Romney represents a convenient target for his ire.

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The Two-Way
10:20 am
Thu December 22, 2011

'Mind The Gap' Indeed: Woman's Fall Beneath Train Captured On Video

A "mind the gap" reminder at the Acton Town Underground Station in London
carmen_seaby via Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 11:38 am

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The Salt
10:03 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Goat Is Good, Except, Perhaps, As A Pet

My colleague Allison Aubrey's story last week about giving an African a goat as an act of charity got me wondering: Why don't we see more goats here in the United States?

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Composer and author Tom Manoff has been the classical music critic for NPR's All Things Considered since 1985.

In addition to his work at NPR, Manoff has written for the New York Times and other newspapers. Manoff's compositions include music for the Oscar-winning documentary Down and Out in the USA and Honor is so Sublime Perfection, performed at Tanglewood.

Currently, Manoff is working on an opera "The Trials of Katherina Kepler" and Chase the White Horse, a political memoir about his family.

Music
8:49 am
Thu December 22, 2011

Wenceslas: A Goodhearted King And His Popular Carol

Circa 1300, King Wenceslas II of Bohemia.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 5:36 pm

Even heard in modern synthesizer arrangements, the melody of the carol "Good King Wenceslas" brings the words and images of the story into my head: "Good King Wenceslas looked out / on the Feast of Stephen / When the snow lay 'round about / deep and crisp and even.

Wenceslas was a real person: the Duke of Bohemia, a 10th-century Christian prince in a land where many practiced a more ancient religion. In one version of his legend, Wenceslas was murdered in a plot by his brother, who was under the sway of their so-called pagan mother.

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Economy
8:46 am
Thu December 22, 2011

What's The Economic Impact If The Tax Break Dies?

Mary Polocy (left) stands in line to enter a career fair in Independence, Ohio, in November. Congress has yet to agree on a measure that would extend unemployment benefits.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu December 22, 2011 1:28 pm

Most political analysts say that Congress and President Obama will eventually agree to extend the payroll tax cut into 2012 – even if it takes another month of arguing.

But what if Congress really can't get it done?

Economists are fairly unanimous in saying growth would be slowed — at least in the short term — if Congress were to fail to pass legislation to extend the tax holiday and include two other proposals to: 1) continue federal help for the long-term unemployed and 2) block a 27 percent Medicare pay cut for doctors.

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