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It was just after 7:30 p.m. on July 26 when dispatchers heard Jeremy Stoke's mayday call. The fire inspector had been in his pickup heading to evacuate a neighborhood in northwest Redding, Calif., when he was trapped by the blaze himself.

Only silence answered the dispatchers' replies. They found Stoke's body the next day.

Today, we're featuring a mini-concert from an artist you might first know as an actor. Lera Lynn's turn on the second season of True Detective introduced her to a lot of America, including myself. But those in the know have recognized her voice, style and songwriting ability, shown on albums like Resistor or The Avenues.

Stefon Harris On Piano Jazz

Aug 17, 2018

Vibraphonist Stefon Harris is one of the most innovative and impressive artists in jazz, blazing new trails on vibraphone and marimba. While much of his music is on the cutting edge, he has a strong sense of tradition and his technical facility knows no bounds.

On this 2002 Piano Jazz, Harris shows off his fresh, clear sound on a number of duets with McPartland, including "Whisper Not," "Blue Monk," and "Bemsha Swing." McPartland solos on her own "Twilight World."

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Awkwafina: 'No Turning Back'

Aug 17, 2018

When Nora Lum chose Awkwafina as her rap name, she was 16 years old, writing music in her childhood bedroom in Forest Hills, Queens in New York. At the time, she was an aspiring concert trumpeter attending the prestigious Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, teaching herself how to produce beats, and writing lyrics to flesh out the songs. Over the next two years, she recorded more than 500 tracks, including "My Vag" — a response to Mickey Avalon's self-aggrandizing "My Dick."

Sasha Velour is a winner. In June of 2017, the drag queen took home the crown on season nine of RuPaul's Drag Race. More than a year later, she's still using her queendom to spread the word about drag, and challenge perceptions about the art form.

On stage at the Bell House in Brooklyn, New York, Velour was dressed in yards of shiny silver fabric adorned with hundreds of huge, multicolored gems. She described the look to NPR's Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg as "a crown as a dress," or "what Queen Nosferatu wears to her daughter's lesbian summer wedding."

Aretha Franklin is dead and we still, 50 years after she made her artistic and commercial breakthrough, can scarcely comprehend the still-shocking power of her singing.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Nov. 1, 2016, and has been updated.

Crazy Rich Asians is, of course, not a movie about global development. But as it happens, the topic gets a cameo in the rom-com.

Main character Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) is a professor of economics. And on a trip to Singapore to meet the family of her "crazy rich" boyfriend Nick, she goes to a big wedding and runs into a Malay princess, who has written an article about ... microloans.

Janet Jackson knows exactly what she's doing. After finishing a summer of festival stops, the musical trendsetter has teamed up with Daddy Yankee for a new single to remind us all to take advantage of every last drop of summer fun imaginable.

Tyler Cowen: Do The Numbers Give Us The Full Picture?

Aug 17, 2018

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Tyler Cowen's TED Talk

When it comes to global progress, Tyler Cowen says there's much more to the story than numbers can tell. And it's important, he says, to pay attention to the inherent "messiness" of the data.

About Tyler Cowen

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Hanna Rosin's TED Talk

Post-recession, journalist Hanna Rosin noticed an economic shift: jobs dominated by men were on the decline, jobs dominated by women were on the rise. But does that data signify meaningful progress?

About Hanna Rosin

Michael Green: What Does GDP Not Tell Us?

Aug 17, 2018

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Michael Green's TED Talk

To fully understand progress, economist Michael Green says we must weigh social well-being and wealth. But by using this new measurement, he noticed something striking — the U.S. falls far behind.

About Michael Green

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Paul Gilding's TED Talk

Environmental activist Paul Gilding says the world has been growing too fast for too long. And now...the Earth is full. The only solution, he says, is to radically change the way we consume.

About Paul Gilding

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Steven Pinker's TED Talk

It might seem like the world is getting worse and worse. But psychologist Steven Pinker says that across the board, data suggests we've made a lot of progress. The question is — will it continue?

About Steven Pinker

Carolyn Beans is a freelance science journalist living in Washington, D.C. She specializes in ecology, evolution and health.

In Washington, D.C., Peter Rabbit regularly challenges me to stop wasting food. On a billboard hovering beyond my local grocery store and on posters on bus stop shelters, he casually chomps on a carrot while leaning on big bold letters: "Better Ate Than Never."

All Songs Considered's Robin Hilton talks with NPR Music's Ann Powers and Lauren Onkey about the life and legacy of the Queen of Soul. Aretha Franklin passed away on Thursday at the age of 76. In this career-spanning conversation, we share the songs and stories behind one of the most influential artists of all time, from her earliest days singing gospel in her father's church, through her 1980s pop hits, later collaborations with artists like Lauryn Hill and much more.

The world is mourning the loss of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul died August 16 at the age of 76 from pancreatic cancer. Though her influence was felt throughout music, a critical part of her legacy lies in gospel, where she got her start.

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More Than Keeping Time: A Melodic Drumming Demo

Aug 17, 2018

What would you say if I told you that drums can sing? The best jazz drummers have always understood this as fact. Allison Miller has even made it a core part of her artistic mission — as drummer, a composer and a bandleader, notably with her ensemble Boom Tic Boom.

Sarah Hirshland will take over as CEO of the U.S. Olympic Committee starting Aug. 20. Her predecessor, Scott Blackmun, resigned earlier this year in part because of several sexual abuse scandals that have plagued Olympic sports, particularly in gymnastics.

As California's enormous wildfires continue to set records for the second year in a row, state lawmakers are scrambling to close gaps in state law that could help curb future fires, or make the difference between life and death once a blaze breaks out.

Pop quiz: What's a word you use a hundred times a day — that doesn't show up in the dictionary?

Give up? Mmhmm.

You got it! Mmhmm is a small word that's often used unconsciously. But it can actually tell us a lot about language, bias and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Once upon a time, English speakers didn't say "mmhmm." But Africans did, according to Robert Thompson, an art history professor at Yale University who studies Africa's influence on the Americas.

"I would stand like an ant in an arena crowd just to witness his magnetism," Mitski once wrote about Harry Styles, likening him to the popular boy at school, too distant and beautiful to pine after. In a review of Styles' self-titled album, she explored the process of projection, in which you elevate an object of adoration until their ideal supersedes the person.

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Enter The Legend: 'Dragon' Turns 45

Aug 17, 2018

When the seminal martial arts film Enter the Dragon premiered in August 1973 — 45 years ago this weekend — it was exactly what Bruce Lee had been waiting for: A starring role in a Hollywood production.

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