Main Character of the Day The people and things worth talking about
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Main Character of the Day

The people and things worth talking about

"LOL They said they're sending our fibers to the J. Crew factory?" Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images hide caption

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Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images

The uncomfortable hidden costs behind the rise in cheap cashmere

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Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli supporters converge at a demonstration of New York University students in November. Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images hide caption

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Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

'Fear rather than sensitivity': Most U.S. scholars on the Mideast are self-censoring

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Ryan Roth's single vote made all the difference. Ryan Roth hide caption

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Ryan Roth

He won his seat on council by a single vote — which he cast himself

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American Institute in Taiwan director Sandra Oudkirk. American Institute in Taiwan hide caption

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American Institute in Taiwan

Taiwan is driving China-U.S. tensions. Meet the person right in the middle

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The Phillips family with their new favorite player, Jesse Luketa. J.W. Phillips hide caption

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J.W. Phillips

Fans gave NFL linebacker Jesse Luketa a lift to the game after he got a flat tire

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Among the trove of games was an original version of the cult hit Chrono Trigger. Screenshot from NPR hide caption

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Screenshot from NPR

A forgotten trove of rare video games could now be worth six figures

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John Cale says hip-hop is the avant-garde of today. Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images

John Cale, ever restless, keeps moving out of his comfort zone

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Gregory says his wife would never have imagined the impact her fund would have. Andrew Gregory hide caption

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Andrew Gregory

Before dying, she made a fund to cancel others' medical debt — nearly $70M worth

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Pope Francis is a staunch advocate for addressing climate change. Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images hide caption

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Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Pope Francis: Climate activist?

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An enlarged replica of a block of four rare United States airmail error stamps, known as the Inverted Jenny plate block. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Why a single 'Inverted Jenny' stamp sold for $2 million at auction

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You might know this artist and actor better as Mr. Chow. Dominik Bindl/Getty Images hide caption

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Dominik Bindl/Getty Images

Artist, actor and restaurateur Mr. Chow on his driving creative force: 'To be true'

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Jenny Hoffman on her epic journey. Jill Yeomans hide caption

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Jill Yeomans

This physics professor ran 3,000 miles across America in record time

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The American Girl dolls have evolved over the years. Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for American Girl hide caption

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Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for American Girl

How American Girl dolls became a part of American culture — problems and all

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Yair Golan rescued people stranded at the Nova festival when Hamas attacked. Ayman Oghanna for NPR hide caption

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Ayman Oghanna for NPR

This Israeli general saw the horror of the Hamas attack. Now, he's urging optimism

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E.J. Koh's novel covers war and generations. Adam K. Glaser/Tin House hide caption

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Adam K. Glaser/Tin House

'We cannot fail so big as war': A writer's lesson from examining the Korean War

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This new book selects more than 130 films over the last century and invites contributors to reflect on how some of their favorite films shaped their own identities as Asian Americans. Black Dog & Leventhal hide caption

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Black Dog & Leventhal

Jeff Yang's new book is a 'cheer out loud' for the films that made Asian America

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The sun rises beyond the sprawling temporary lake at Badwater Basin salt flats on October 23. Mario Tama/Getty Images hide caption

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

A stunning — but fleeting — lake has formed in California's Death Valley

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Writer Diana Helmuth wanted to learn what it means to be a practicing witch. So she spent a year delving into the occult. Robin King/Simon and Schuster hide caption

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Robin King/Simon and Schuster

'I was tired of God being dead': How one woman was drawn to witchcraft

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