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The best thing about David O. Russell is that he cultivates his disequilibrium. In Silver Linings Playbook, his hero is disturbed and his heroine possibly more so, and his other characters have a grip on reality that is only marginally more secure. Russell might have made them seem the dreaded "q" word — quirky — and OK, he does, a bit, at the end, which broadly conforms to the rom-com template. But until then, Bradley Cooper's Pat Solatano is someone you'd be less likely to dream about than get a restraining order against.

The Hostess brand, home of the Twinkie, Sno Ball, Ding Dong, and those fun cupcakes with the swirly lines on top and filling in the middle, is shutting down, as our colleagues over at The Two-Way blog report. The purveyor of iconic calorie-rich but nutrient-poor snacks says a labor dispute has forced it to go out of business.

It's the sort of juxtaposition that often arises at this time of year: novel adaptations arriving in droves at movie theaters, hunting for Oscar nominations.

J.R.R. Tolkien's fantastical The Hobbit and Yann Martel's lifeboat adventure Life of Pi are coming soon, and this week Leo Tolstoy's romantic tragedy Anna Karenina goes head to head with Matthew Quick's romantic comedy Silver Linings Playbook.

This interview was originally broadcast on Fresh Air on March 26, 2012. When God Talks Back was released in paperback on Nov. 13.

While attending services and small group meetings at The Vineyard, an evangelical church with 600 branches across the country, anthropologist T.M. Luhrmann noticed that several members of the congregation said God had repeatedly spoken to them and that they had heard what God wanted them to do.

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Update at 1:26 p.m. ET. No Confirmed Deaths:

The U.S. Coast Guard tells WWLTV that 11 people have been sent to hospital but no deaths have been confirmed in a oil rig fire off the coast of Louisiana.

WWLTV, KHOU and Reuters were reporting two deaths earlier.

Our Original Post Continues:

A fire on an oil rig off the coast of Louisiana has killed two people, Louisiana's WWLTV is reporting.

When Chef Jose Garces, the Philadelphia-based restaurateur and author of The Latin Road Home, thinks back to the Thanksgiving table of his youth, he remembers the turkey, and his father's chicken giblet gravy.

But his parents, who emigrated to Chicago from Ecuador in the 1960s, whipped up Ecuadorean staples as well.

One of the world's largest health funding agencies — the Global Fund — made two big decisions Thursday.

The fund appointed Dr. Mark Dybul as its new executive director. Dybul is best known for leading the international fight against HIV during the Bush's administration through the President's Emergency Plan For AIDS.

#Gaza: Fighting In Cyberspace?

Nov 16, 2012

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Barbershop guys are going to weigh in on the news of the week. We're particularly interested in the guys' perspective on the relationship scandal that forced the resignation of the CIA director, General David Petraeus.

Rockaway Church Is Port In A Storm

Nov 16, 2012

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Latin Grammy Awards were held last night in Las Vegas. We'll check in with the hosts from NPR Music's ALT.LATINO podcast to hear about some of the artists who made an impression.

But, first, it's time for Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith and spirituality and today we are talking about the role that faith institutions can play during a crisis.

The federal government has all these ways of paying people to buy houses without actually, you know, paying people to buy houses.

We've talked a lot about two examples of this:

1. The mortgage-interest tax deduction is effectively a government payment to people who are paying a mortgage.

Transcript

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It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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And I'm Linda Wertheimer. Former CIA Director David Petraeus is testifying before two congressional committees today. He's been called to discuss the CIA's role in the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, back in September; an attack that took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. This also happens to be General Petraeus' first public appearance on Capitol Hill since he resigned over an extramarital affair.

President Obama and congressional leaders from both major parties met at the White House this morning for the first of what will likely be many negotiations aimed at averting a plunge over the so-called fiscal cliff.

We watched for news from the key players — who include House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio — and updated with highlights.

Even though there were talks of a ceasefire to coincide with the visit of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, today, the fighting has instead escalated.

Avital Leibovich, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that for the first time, rockets fired from Gaza hit an area outside Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the West Bank, said that the "escalation is at its peak," both in Gaza and out of Gaza.

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