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Vincent Acovino

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A new novel set in late summer on Cape Cod is all about desire. Even the writing seems to drip with secrets and longing. Here's the author, Miranda Cowley Heller, reading from the first few pages.

Robert Downey Sr., a filmmaker and writer who played a major role in New York's experimental film scene, died Wednesday in his home from complications due to Parkinson's disease. He was 85.

"Last night, dad passed peacefully in his sleep after years of enduring the ravages of Parkinson's..he was a true maverick filmmaker, and remained remarkably optimistic throughout," his son, Robert Downey Jr., wrote on Thursday in an Instagram post.

Updated July 2, 2021 at 1:02 PM ET

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson knows you have probably heard a lot about Woodstock, the legendary summer concert festival of the late 1960s. But a few years back, Questlove, best known as drummer and composer with The Roots, was asked to direct a music documentary, Summer of Soul, about another legendary concert, one you probably haven't heard about.

In the Brazilian Amazon, a species of monkey called the pied tamarin is fighting for survival, threatened by habitat loss and urban development.

But the critically endangered primate faces another foe: the red-handed tamarin, a more resilient monkey that lives in the same region.

They compete for the same resources, and the red-handed tamarin's habitat range is expanding into that of the pied tamarins'. Their clashes sometimes end in violent altercations.

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

From cartoons to trading cards to toys, Pokémon has been a succesful media franchise for 25 years, with tons of fans from all over the world.

But fans of the Pokémon video games have been begging for a major shake-up to the series — and now, with the announcement of the new Pokémon Legends: Arceus, they may get one.

At the end of last month, two skiers achieved an unprecedented feat: descending the summit of Yosemite National Park's iconic Half Dome into the valley below.

In 1865, a report declared that the rock formation — at more than 8,800 feet above sea level — was a path that "never will be trodden by human foot."

Since then, Half Dome has become a popular, but challenging, hike.

But on Feb. 21, Jason Torlano and Zach Milligan made the nearly 5,000-foot trek down on skis.

Penguins are known for huddling on Antarctic ice, or marching across windswept expanses of the frozen continent. But there are at least 18 species of penguins populating the Southern Hemisphere — and many don't fit that frigid stereotype.

There are actually only two species of penguin that really love ice, says Grant Ballard, chief science officer of Point Blue Conservation Science in Petaluma, Calif. Other species, like the Galapagos penguin, perch on dark volcanic rock, and can endure blasting hot air temperatures of 100 degrees.

Thomas E. Lo is an anesthesiologist who works at Montefiore Nyack Hospital in New York. Since the coronavirus outbreak, his job has gotten dangerous.

"The exposure risk as an anesthesiologist is extremely high because when we intubate a patient, we are literally less than a foot away from the patient, who is in distress, and we're right by their airway, which is where the virus is," Lo tells All Things Considered.

And that exposure risk is made worse by widespread shortages of crucial personal protective equipment, or PPE, like masks, gowns and gloves.

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The video game designer Keita Takahashi is best known for Katamari Damacy, released in 2004. It's about a god named the "King of All Cosmos" who, while drunk, accidentally destroys the stars in the sky. His son "The Prince" is left to clean up his mess by rolling up objects on Earth into sticky masses that grow so large they become new stars.

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MoviePass is no more. The movie ticket subscription service is shutting down. But despite its failure as a business, NPR's Vincent Acovino reports it may have succeeded in disrupting the movie theater business model.