Arts & Life

1:39am

Tue January 22, 2013
Tina Brown's Must-Reads

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: Hidden Lives

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:06 am

Longtime CIA agent and counterintelligence agent Jeanne Vertefeuille, pictured at center, was instrumental in uncovering undercover agents, or moles, within the organization in the 1980s and '90s.
Central Intelligence Agency

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, occasionally joins Morning Edition to talk about what she's been reading for a feature we call "Word of Mouth." This month, she recommends a trio of stories on people who've led hidden and often extraordinary lives — a businesswoman and technological giant who started life in Chinese re-education camps, a billionaire investor and education reformer whose personal experiences are too big for a series of ghostwriters, and a CIA agent whose job was to find a story among piles of forgotten documents.

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7:21am

Mon January 21, 2013
The Salt

The 'Ace Of Cakes' Next Challenge: The Inaugural Ball Cake

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:41 am

Elena Fox from Charm City Cakes works on a layer of the official cake for the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball.
Courtesy of Charm City Cakes

How do you get picked to bake the inaugural cake? Is there a long application process that involves standardized tests, or is it more like the Publishers Clearing House, where someone surprises you at your door with a camera crew?

Duff Goldman says he's still not sure how it happened.

"They called us out of the blue," he says. "I got a text message from my office manager saying, 'Hey, we're making the official inaugural cake.' "

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4:45am

Mon January 21, 2013
Series: Losing Ground

Single Parenthood: A Major Factor In Poverty

Angel Castro's son, Aaron, 3, watches a movie while Castro feeds his sister, Alexis, 17 months, at their Englewood, CO apartment. Castro, 28, a single mother relying heavily on public assistance, quit her part-time job after losing childcare for the two
Joe Mahoney The iNews Network

Angel Castro’s days teeter between determination and desperation. She is 28, impoverished, scarred from a chaotic childhood and adolescence, raising two young children alone.

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1:22am

Mon January 21, 2013
Arts & Life

Aretha Franklin Was Already Famous, But Her Hat-Maker Wasn't

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:54 am

At the Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration of President Obama, Aretha Franklin's hat nearly stole the show. Her chapeau became a sensation, and made its creator, 36-year-old Luke Song, famous overnight.
Ron Edmonds AP

After the first Obama inauguration, everybody talked about three things: the historic moment, the Arctic weather — and Aretha Franklin's hat.

If it is possible for a piece of millinery to steal the thunder of one of the most-watched moments in recent memory, the Queen of Soul's hat managed to do it. Her gray felt cloche was topped with a giant, matching bow, outlined in rhinestones that flashed in the chill sunlight as she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

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3:29pm

Sun January 20, 2013
Author Interviews

George Saunders On Absurdism And Ventriloquism In 'Tenth Of December'

iStockphoto.com

George Saunders has been writing short stories for decades.

Saunders, a professor at Syracuse University, was once a geological engineer who traveled the world; he now crafts stories that combine the absurd and fantastic with the mundane realities of everyday life. One story about a professional caveman inspired those Geico commercials.

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