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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Becoming a fan of something often means becoming a part of a community. And finding that group of like-minded people can feel like finding a place you truly belong. Other times, that community isn't all that welcoming.

Liz Smith, the longtime gossip columnist whose stories earned her a celebrity that rivaled many of the A-listers she covered, died on Sunday of natural causes, Smith's literary agent Joni Evans confirmed to the Associated Press. She was 94.

Smith started her own column, titled "Liz Smith" that ran in the New York Daily News from 1976 to 1991, and ultimately drew millions of readers when it was syndicated nationwide.

Copyright 2017 90.3 WCPN ideastream. To see more, visit 90.3 WCPN ideastream.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Copyright 2017 KGOU. To see more, visit KGOU.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's no secret that the United States is going through a "post-truth" or "fake news" moment.

In the new movie Wonder, Julia Roberts plays the mother of a child named August Pullman who was born with severe facial differences. It's prevented Auggie from going to a mainstream school until now, when he's about to enter fifth grade at the local elementary school.

Wonder is based on a novel of the same title by R.J. Palacio. Roberts says she was attracted to the project because she loved the book, and shared it with her three children.

Writer Tracy Baptiste was born in Trinidad where she grew up on fairy tales and the spoken folk tales of the island, including stories about creatures called jumbies. The mythical monsters inspired her to write her own Caribbean folk tale for middle schoolers.

If you only know Robert B. Reich as a former secretary of Labor, frequent TV commentator and author of numerous books on economic policy, you're missing out. Turns out, he's also got a remarkable knack for wielding a Sharpie.

Paul Hollywood is all about the bake. He grew up in a flat that always smelled of bread, above his father's bakery in Merseyside; became a baker in his teens, then head baker at five-star London hotels, then off to resorts in Cyprus, and ultimately became a judge — the one with a twinkle in his piercing blue eyes — on The Great British Bake Off. His new book is Paul Hollywood: A Baker's Life.

When songwriter David Yazbek, whose mother is Jewish and father Lebanese, decided to write a musical that fused his two cultural backgrounds, he knew he didn't want it to be about tribal conflict.

His new Broadway show, The Band's Visit, attempts to do something that seems almost unfashionable: look at two historically antagonistic cultures and tell a story about their commonality.

Life on the moon is no bed of roses. The coffee is weak (because water boils at a low temperature) and the food is rank (because it's hard to grow much more than algae).

The first human colony on the moon, Artemis, is essentially a small, frontier mining town and tourist trap. It's a place that attracts misfits who hope to strike it rich, including a young woman who grew up there named Jazz.

Lee Unkrich has helped make many Pixar movies, including the Academy-Award-winning Toy Story 3, which he directed. He's followed up a movie where he almost killed a beloved group of toys by making one in which almost everybody is already deceased — his new movie Coco centers around the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Since Coco pays homage to actual Mexican culture, so naturally, we wanted to quiz him about the opposite of that: Taco Bell.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

To be human is to wonder where we are. We look at the the ocean and imagine the far shore; we look into the night sky and imagine someone waving back. Life is uncertain and frightening. Our fears need maps. We want to understand what we're looking at.

For just one more night, the facade of Notre Dame de Paris will display a light show for the ages, designed to celebrate both the cathedral's enduring majesty and the centenary of World War I.

Browsing through a weighty new anthology called The Annotated African American Folk Tales is a journey across space and time. In one chapter called "Defiance and Desire," there's a section devoted to flying Africans, where there's a lyric that I was familiar with from a song Paul Robeson recorded many years ago — "All God's Chillun Got Wings."

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies, in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JOHN LAURENCE: What kind of fighting is it going to be?

Updated at 5:15 p.m. ET

After five female comics accused Louis C.K. of inappropriate behavior involving masturbation, the comedian has admitted that the "stories are true."

C.K. expressed remorse and said he used his power "irresponsibly." His statement, and other elements of this post, contain language some may find offensive.

In 2003, Adam Davidson and Jen Banbury were living in Baghdad, working as reporters covering the Iraq War. And they were falling in love.

They went on vacation to Aleppo. This was before the city became the symbol of the devastation of the Syrian civil war, back when you might actually go there on vacation.

A friend put them in touch with a local photographer named Issa Touma. And Issa said, "While you're here, you have to go to this sandwich shop."

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About eL Seed's TED Talk

Using Arabic calligraphy, eL Seed paints messages of hope on the sides of buildings. He says the beauty of Arabic script — even if you can't read it — can change negative perceptions of Arab culture.

About eL Seed

Benjamin Zander: How Does Music Transform Us?

Nov 10, 2017

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About Benjamin Zander's TED Talk

Years of conducting a world-famous orchestra have shown Benjamin Zander the power of classical music. He says music speaks to our emotions — and has the ability to reach everybody.

About Benjamin Zander

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About Magda Sayeg's TED Talk

From door handles to double-decker buses, Magda Sayeg "yarn bombs" inanimate objects by wrapping them in handmade knitting. She wants her bright, fuzzy artwork to make the world a little friendlier.

About Magda Sayeg

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About Dre Urhahn's TED Talk

Artists Dre Urhahn and Jeroen Koolhaas strive to change perceptions of "bad neighborhoods" by arming locals with paintbrushes and a vision: to turn their neighborhoods into open-air art galleries.

About Dre Urhahn

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Art Changes Us.

About Titus Kaphar's TED Talk

Western art contains countless paintings and sculptures that reveal a painful history of racism. We can't erase that history, but artist Titus Kaphar has begun the long and hard work of amending it.

About Titus Kaphar

We're scattered to the winds this week, so we thought we'd dig one of our favorite episodes from last year out of the vault — the one in which we took a first look at two then-new broadcast television shows that continue to impress: This is Us on NBC, and Speechless on ABC.

If you close your eyes and listen to Joe Ide, you might think you were talking to a black man, a brother who knows his way around the neighborhood. The slang, the inflection. It's all there.

But Joe Ide is 100% Japanese-American.

And he has a simple explanation for why he sounds the way he sounds:

"Most of our friends [growing up] were black," he says.

A Colorful South LA Childhood

Ide (pronounced "EEE-day") grew up in South Los Angeles, with his extended family.

Leaving the foreign service — especially when a new president is elected and you are told to leave — can be a difficult transition.

But one Obama-era ambassador is actually enjoying some new steps.

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