Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.

Scouring the various and often overlapping worlds of art, music, television, film, new media and literature, Ulaby's radio and online stories reflect political and economic realities, cultural issues, obsessions and transitions, as well as artistic adventurousness— and awesomeness.

The Record
3:45 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Doc Watson, Folk Music Icon, Dies At 89

Arthel Lane "Doc" Watson in the 1960s.
John Cohen Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:45 pm

A mountain-born treasure of American folk music, Doc Watson, died Tuesday in North Carolina at age 89.

His manager said in a statement that Watson died at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, after abdominal surgery last week.

Watson was born in Deep Gap, N.C., in the Blue Ridge Mountains, in a three-room house he shared with eight brothers and sisters. He revolutionized not just how people play guitar but the way people around the world think about mountain music.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:49 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Counterfeiters Exploit Shortage To Market Fake Adderall Pills

If the label of ingredients on the Adderall pack says "singel entity," that's a tip-off for trouble.
FDA/Flickr

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 3:48 am

A shortage of Adderall began last year, sending millions of people with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy on perpetual wild goose chases to find drugstores with the pills they need to stay alert and focused.

So it's not surprising that Adderall counterfeiters have seized a big marketing opportunity. What is surprising is their clumsiness.

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The Two-Way
2:27 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

VIDEO: Wolf Blitzer Battles Donald Trump Over 'Birther' Issue

In an interview with CNN, The Donald did not back down from his opinion that President Obama was not born in the United States.

CNN's Wolf Blitzer presented him with the overwhelming evidence that Obama was indeed born in Hawaii, but Donald Trump just raised his voice as he and Blitzer accused each other of sounding "ridiculous."

CNN calls it a "smackdown," and, indeed, it was a pretty contentious interview. Take a look:

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Shots - Health Blog
12:18 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Small Change In Reading To Preschoolers Can Help Disadvantaged Kids Catch Up

Kimberly Payton, a teacher at the Small Savers Child Development Center, reads to a group of preschoolers in Washington, D.C., in 2010. Researchers say that teachers who make small changes in how they read to 4-year-olds can improve kids' reading skills later on.
Ricky Carioti The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:45 pm

On a recent Monday morning in Washington, D.C., a group of 3-year-old preschoolers bumbled their way into a circle, more or less, on the rug of their classroom. It was time to read.

The children sat cross-legged as their teacher, Mary-Lynn Goldstein, held high a book, Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. There was a short conversation about pigeons, then, for reasons that weren't entirely clear, cows; and then Goldstein began to read. She read as most teachers read, occasionally stopping to ask a question, point out a picture or make a comment about the story.

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It's All Politics
12:01 pm
Tue May 29, 2012

Maine Independent Aims To Be Senate King, Acknowledges Potted Plant Potential

Former Maine Gov. Angus King speaks March 5 at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine.
Joel Page AP

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 12:57 pm

The most potentially influential politician you've probably never heard of, former two-term Maine Gov. Angus King, on Tuesday officially entered the race to replace retiring moderate GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe.

King, 68, an alternative-energy entrepreneur and supporter of President Obama, filed more than 6,000 signatures with Maine's secretary of state to ensure his place on November's ballot.

He'll run as an independent, as he did for his successful gubernatorial runs in the 1990s.

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National Security
11:54 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Watching Big Brother: Privacy Board Delayed

Homeland Security analysts watch for threats to U.S. technological infrastructure at the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:45 pm

Congress is considering legislation allowing the government to search through Internet traffic for early warnings of cyberattacks. The bills are controversial — worries about government surveillance have led to protests online.

The government does have a tool that could calm fears about this kind of legislation — it just doesn't use it.

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It's All Politics
11:53 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Fueled By Outside Money, Ad Blitz Hasn't Stopped For Weary Iowans

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:45 pm

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The Two-Way
11:52 am
Tue May 29, 2012

Facebook Stock Falls Another 9 Percent

Facebook's stock fell $3.07 to end the day at $28.84. That's first time it's fallen below $30 since the stock went public.

That price is also 24 percent below its opening price of $38.

The Wall Street Journal that the drop had to do with negative sentiment about the stock, as well as the fact that today traders were able to trade on derivatives.

The Facebook stock saw so much trading, the Journal reports, that it triggered Nasdaq's short sale circuit-breaker.

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American Dreams: Then And Now
11:22 am
Tue May 29, 2012

On The Economic Ladder, Rungs Move Further Apart

Kevin Hill, a San Diego landscape designer, was doing well financially before the downturn. Now, he says he feels "lost."
John Ydstie NPR

Originally published on Tue May 29, 2012 3:45 pm

America is the land of opportunity — that's the bedrock of the American dream. Many expect each generation to do better than the last.

That dream of economic mobility is alive and well for Pam Krank and her husband, Brian McGee. The two are proud owners of The Credit Department Inc., a successful business in the Minneapolis suburb of Mendota Heights.

"Mostly manufacturing companies around the world will hire us to study their customers and tell them how much ... unsecured credit they should grant to each customer," Krank explains.

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