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Alan was a Kroc Fellow at NPR and worked at WNPR as a reporter for three months. He is interested in everything from health and science reporting to comic books and movies. Before joining us, he studied journalism at Northwestern University, and worked at Psychology Today, NPR's Weekend Edition, and WBEZ in Chicago.

Sam Beam & Jesca Hoop On World Cafe

May 12, 2016

Collaboration is nothing new to Sam Beam of Iron and Wine: He has recorded with Calexico and recently made an album of cover songs with Ben Bridwell of Band of Horses. For Beam's new album with Jesca Hoop, Love Letter For Fire, he says he wanted to try it differently.

Princess Etch A Sketch on Facebook

George Seurat's painting at the Art Institute of Chicago called "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" is made up of millions of tiny dots, or points. Combined they paint a picture of several people - many donning umbrellas enjoying a leisurely sunny day.

Growing up, cartoonist Daniel Clowes liked to draw, but he never thought he'd make much of a career out of it. "I was expecting to work for Cracked magazine for four years, and then try to get work putting up aluminum siding or something, doing my prison drawings while I was down for a DUI," he jokes to Fresh Air's Sam Briger.

Sometimes a career in television is launched seemingly out of nowhere. That's how it was for Gary Cole. The actor currently appears in the HBO series Veep, but his first major TV role was in the 1984 miniseries called Fatal Vision.

Cole tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that landing the part in Fatal Vision when he was 27 was "very fluke-ish." He estimates that he got the role only after eight other actors turned it down, adding, "It was all like a dream. It didn't make any sense to me, how I got there, but sometimes that's the way that it goes."

Companies like Google and Fitbit gather all kinds of data on how people behave. Why couldn't scientists use an app to do the same thing?

Two years ago, mathematicians at the University of Michigan released an app called Entrain to help people get over jet lag. Users entered data on their time zone, when they sleep, what kind of light they're exposed to, and the app gives them an ideal schedule to recover.

Soccer Without Borders uses the world's most popular game to reach underserved youth — kids who've experienced trauma, refugee kids — and help them heal and succeed in life.

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