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Touched With Fire has one of the most audacious dedication screens in recent years. Against a backdrop of Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, a running crawl decrees the film has been made on behalf of the most influential artists of the past several centuries, everyone from Emily Dickinson to Pyotr Tchaikovsky to Virginia Woolf.

Chinese writer-director Jia Zhangke's films are grounded in the reality of his frigid, coal-dusted hometown, Fenyang. But that doesn't mean he's a realist. His complex latest film, Mountains May Depart, begins in Fenyang in 1999 as a stylized romantic melodrama and ends, two chapters later, in a place that's not yet actual: Australia in 2025.

In one of several lovely grace notes in Glassland, a domestic drama from Irish writer-director Gerard Barrett, a handsome young man hands his pretty mother a glass of white wine. They clink, they chug, he watches fondly as she dances alone, they slow-dance together. The sequence is touching rather than erotic, and it repeats later in the film with another kind of poignancy.

Released just two weeks after 9/11—which prompted Roger Ebert, in a one-star review, to offer it as a reason why Americans are hated in some parts of the world (he later apologized)—Ben Stiller's Zoolander found a country in no mood to laugh at its whimsical send-up of fashion-world excess.

Hollywood producer Ross Putman says he's read thousands of scripts during his time working in the film industry in Los Angeles, and over the years, he began to find one pattern particularly problematic: the way female characters are introduced.

Here's a sampling: leggy, attractive, blonde, beautiful, hot, gorgeous, pretty, sexy.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

All right, so let's play a game. Guess who this is. And if you've seen Quentin Tarantino's film "The Hateful Eight," don't spoil it for the others.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "THE HATEFUL EIGHT")

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The odds of getting Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia are declining for people who are more educated and avoiding heart disease, a study finds. The results suggest that people may have some control over their risk of dementia as they age.

This isn't the first study to find that the incidence of dementia is waning, but it may be the best so far. Researchers looked at 30 years of records from more than 5,000 people in the famed Framingham Heart Study, which has closely tracked the health of volunteers in Framingham, Mass.

Melissa Melby, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Delaware, was pleased to hear a pre-med undergraduate excitedly describe participating in a brief medical outreach program to an impoverished Central American community. That is, until the student proudly recounted how she had performed a pelvic exam on a patients at the local clinic.

A majority of Americans think that editing a baby’s genes before birth should be illegal, according to a new poll from STAT and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The poll finds that 65 percent of people think that altering an unborn baby’s genes for the sake of preventing a serious genetic disease should be illegal. And 83 percent believe that genetic editing for the sake of improving IQ or looks should be illegal.

For this week’s edition of the Here & Now DJ Sessions, host Jeremy Hobson talks with Rhonda LeValdo, host of Native Spirit at KKFI community radio in Kansas City, Missouri. She plays music from Native American artists, ranging from traditional music to rock and rap.

Texas State Representative Lyle Larson says the last time his state mattered in a presidential primary was in 1976, between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.

Larson proposes a rotating schedule during the primary election process to highlight more populous states, and those with more diverse communities. He talks with Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson about his proposal and the likelihood of it succeeding.

Matthew Logan Vasquez On World Cafe

18 hours ago

Delta Spirit lead singer Matthew Logan Vasquez performs solo for this special World Cafe episode, recorded live in Austin, Texas. Since moving from Brooklyn back to Austin, where he grew up, Vasquez has remained a prolific songwriter: He's turned out material for a new solo EP and full-length album, as well as plenty of songs for Delta Spirit, which he says is still a going concern.

Rob Schmitz

The streets of Pianma are lined with sawmills. They’re also lined with logs as big as cars: Teak, Rosewood, and Golden Camphor — all of them felled illegally across the border in Burma from old growth forests and brought to the Chinese side to be cut down into furniture.

“These trees were several hundred years old," said Li Xiaomei, showing off a two-story stack of logs outside the mill she owns with her husband, Li Jianli.

After 41 days, the Oregon occupation is over: All four militants who remained at an occupied wildlife refuge have surrendered to the FBI.

Sure, people fight about superhero movies and sci-fi movies and who was the best James Bond. But if you want to see some deeply felt disagreement, get in a fight about romantic comedies. Or, if you don't care to, just enjoy this Twitter debate I had a couple of weeks ago with actor and comedian Kumail Nanjiani, who has almost as many opinions about such things as I do. (Almost. And I really do think we should have a podcast called "Isn't It Romantic?" where we fight about this weekly, because I think it would take a long time to run out of ideas.)

Inside a huge air pollution scrubbing unit

19 hours ago
Reid R. Frazier

What does it take to keep 100,000 tons of pollution out of the air? At one coal-fired power plant in Pennsylvania, the answer is: lots and lots of air filters.

Sulfur in coal is a big cause of pollution. To take sulfur out of the coal it burns, the Homer City Generating Station — an hour east of Pittsburgh — is putting in thousands of air filters.

Kai Ryssdal

Whole Foods just became more Whole Food-ish.

The company's in the middle of rolling out a new store brand.

It's called Friends of 365.

Smaller, just as natural organic healthy, you know the drill.

Here's the twist, though: Bloomberg reported today, and the company confirms, that the new stores will also host smaller pop-up shops.

Record stores, perhaps. Vinyl, of course. Or, tattoo parlors.

Deep in the heart of the arcane laws that give farmers a helping hand, there's something called "crop insurance." It's a huge program, costing taxpayers anywhere from $5 billion to $10 billion each year.

It's called an insurance program, and it looks like insurance. Farmers buy policies from private companies and pay premiums (which are cheap because of government subsidies) to insure themselves against crop failures and falling prices. It's mainly used by corn, soybean, cotton and wheat farmers. Defenders of the program call it a safety net.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode To Endure

About Ben Saunders' TED Talk

Explorer Ben Saunders is the first person to finish the perilous trek from the edge of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. He describes what he had to endure in order to survive the journey.

About Ben Saunders

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode To Endure

About Monica Lewinsky's TED Talk

Following the White House sex scandal of the 1990s, Monica Lewinsky endured public shame and trauma. Now, she is speaking out about it as a way to help others in similar circumstances.

About Monica Lewinsky

How Can We Ensure Our Survival As A Species?

20 hours ago

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode To Endure

About Lord Martin Rees' TED Talk

Astronomer and cosmologist Lord Martin Rees asks whether our species will endure despite the many existential threats we face.

About Lord Martin Rees

Lord Martin Rees is an emeritus professor of cosmology and astrophysics at University of Cambridge.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode To Endure

About Zainab Salbi's TED Talk

Humanitarian Zainab Salbi explains how life continues in the midst of war — and how the ones who "keep life going" are women.

About Zainab Salbi

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Don't get pregnant.

That's the advice given to women by the governments of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and El Salvador in light of a possible link between the Zika virus, which is spreading in those countries, and a birth defect called microcephaly, which results in an abnormally small head and possible brain damage. Brazil has reported thousands of cases of microcephaly since the outbreak began there last spring; researchers are trying to determine whether the virus is the cause.

In the summer of 2014, a 23-year-old pregnant woman entered the military hospital at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan with a cut on her left cheek. The wound had been stitched up elsewhere, but she still wasn't quite right.

She said she'd been hit in the face by a ricochet back in her home village. What hit her exactly, she couldn't say for sure. She was upset, though, because the vision was bad in her left eye, even though there had been no apparent trauma to it.

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