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It's hard to imagine a more magical way to begin a museum visit than to step inside The Infinity Mirrored Room at The Broad Museum. Artist Yayoi Kusama has covered the walls, floor and ceiling with mirrors. LED lights hang from the ceiling and are reflected everywhere you look. The lights sometimes move with the closing of the door, and create a wonderland of infinite color.

In 2006, Derek Amato suffered a major concussion from diving into a shallow swimming pool. When he woke up in the hospital, he was different. He discovered he was really good a playing piano. Yes, we're serious. Derek is one of just a few dozen known "sudden savants" or "accidental geniuses"—people who survive severe head injuries and come out the other side with special gifts for music or math or art. We were skeptical, so we brought Derek into a studio and asked him to play. He can't read music or even play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," but the music he improvises is beautiful.

Screenwriter Meg LeFauve is having a very good year. She's nominated for an Oscar as one of the writers of Pixar's deeply original, animated movie Inside Out; she wrote the screenplay for The Good Dinosaur; and now she's co-writing the female superhero movie Captain Marvel. According to actress Jodie Foster, LeFauve's mentor and one-time collaborator, her gifts as a writer mirror her gifts as a person: sensitivity combined with a "keen, precise mind."

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As public health officials struggle to contain the Zika virus, science writer Sonia Shah tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that epidemiologists are bracing themselves for what has been called the next "Big One" — a disease that could kill tens of millions of people in the coming years.

Americans craving kung pao chicken or a good lo mein for dinner have plenty of options: The U.S. is home to more than 40,000 Chinese restaurants.

One could think of this proliferation as a promise fulfilled — America as the great melting pot and land of opportunity for immigrants. Ironically, the legal forces that made this Chinese culinary profusion possible, beginning in the early 20th century, were born of altogether different sentiments: racism and xenophobia.

Writer and performer Mike Schlitt has made it his mission to start an honest dialogue about American democracy. His traveling, one-man show, “Patriot Act,” tells a concentrated history of U.S. politics with some comic relief mixed in. Schlitt joins us to talk about why he calls the show “career suicide” and what he hopes people take away.

A newly released study suggests diversity in TV and film is so bad, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite should probably be changed to #HollywoodSoWhite.

That's because of an "epidemic of invisibility" cited by researchers at the University of Southern California, who analyzed more than 21,000 characters and behind-the-scenes workers on more than 400 films and TV shows released from September 2014 through August 2015. They tabulated representations of gender, race, ethnicity and sexual status.

In the weeks since the world was introduced to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the full power of its diverse casting has been revealed. It has engaged millions who might have ignored the film after the prequels disappeared into the sarlacc pit of critical disdain. It's brought a shine to the eyes of children who'd never seen their reflections in a story so grand and sweeping.

Book publishers love stories about first-year teachers. The narrative arc is familiar: Exuberant idealism fades as the teacher battles entrenched bureaucracy, stale curriculum and disengaged colleagues or kids. The young educator then tries to overcome despair with creative grit and determination and struggles to make a difference.

The books often teeter between self-promotion and slams against the public education system. Some, however, actually shed light on the yawning gap between reformist rhetoric and classroom reality.

Here's a trend in new books: Publishers commonly promote them by comparing them to other books — and when the books are crime fiction or thrillers, and written by women, they get compared to the same books again and again and again. Those books would be Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. So let's explore why those two are so influential.

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A decision to bar Canadian citizens from being future contestants on TV's Jeopardy quiz show is causing a range of reactions in Canada, particularly among those who note that show host Alex Trebek has dual citizenship in the U.S. and Canada.

Media outlets in Canada recently noted that their country is singled out in Jeopardy's eligibility guidelines:

At pretty much any Lady Gaga performance, you can count on spectacle: whirling lights, elaborate sets and many, many costume changes. When she took the stage at the Grammy Awards this year, things were no different — except that she was deploying her famous pipes in the service of another artist's music.

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Hits To Warm Up To With Alt.Latino

Feb 21, 2016

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When you think of tract homes, you think of houses that look the same: the same color scheme, the same style; homes that form two uninteresting walls on either side of a suburban street. That might be the case today, but nearly 60 years ago — at a time when "real" architects wouldn't touch tract homes — one architect did everything he could to break the monotony. His name is William Krisel, and he's being honored by a place whose look he helped define — Palm Springs, Calif.

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It's a good year for television reboots. "Twin Peaks," "The X-Files," "Gilmore Girls," and this week, "Full House."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FULL HOUSE")

MARY-KATE/ASHLEY OLSEN: (As Michelle Tanner) No way, Jose.

If all you had to go on were his songs, you might think Marlon Williams was some little-known crooner from the bygone American West. In reality, he's a 24-year-old from New Zealand with a Maori punk-singer dad, who happened to fall in love with the music of Gram Parsons and Bob Dylan.

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word ends in the letter -E, and the second word starts GO-.

For example: Something you might say when you're about to take a plunge --> HERE GOES.

Last week's challenge: Name something to eat. Change one letter in it and rearrange the result. You'll name the person who makes this food. Who is it?

Answer: Bread and baker.

Winner: Mary Ann Gaeddert, of Georgetown, Ky.

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In Pakistan, there aren't a whole lot of stand-up comics.

"When it comes to satire, I think as a culture, we kind of struggle with it," says Pakistani stand-up pioneer Saad Haroon.

His humor shines a light into some delicate areas.

"I wrote this song called 'Burqa Woman,' which is a parody of 'Pretty Woman,' " Harron says.

He gives the audience a taste of his act:

Burqa woman, in your black sheet

Burqa woman, with your sexy feet

Burqa woman, my love for you, it grows

Every time I see your nose

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Harper Lee Remembered As Reclusive

Feb 20, 2016

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Harper Lee's longtime friend Wayne Flynt will be delivering the eulogy at her funeral. He joins us on the line from Monroeville. Welcome, Mr. Flynt, and I'm so sorry for your and I guess all of our loss.

Harper Lee's Hometown Reacts To Her Death

Feb 20, 2016

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Monroeville, Ala., is mourning the death of novelist Harper Lee. She wrote "To Kill A Mockingbird," set in a place based on that town. Troy Public Radio's Kyle Gassiott spoke with Lee's fans and friends there.

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Ferrante Fever goes something like this: You pick up one of Elena Ferrante's books because a friend told you that you had to read it. You read a few pages, and then before you know it, it's 3:00 o'clock in the morning, you've finished the book, and you're on the hunt for the other three titles in the Neapolitan series.

Ra Ra Riot has been making music together for over a decade, and has just released its fourth album, Need Your Light. Fans of the band know that it incorporates string instruments with traditional rock ones — but in the early years, that fact threw some people.

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