Rose Friedman

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Two hugely popular live entertainment companies are joining forces. Cirque du Soleil announced yesterday it is acquiring Blue Man Productions. NPR's Rose Friedman reports.

Actor and Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens died in Los Angeles on Monday at the age of 91. The cause was complications from a fall.

If you recognize Lowens' face, it's likely from one the many times he played German officers on film, television and the stage. He portrayed a Nazi colonel in the Arthur Hiller film Tobruk, a Volkspolizei officer in Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain and a Gestapo captain in Hogan's Heroes. He was even an SS guard in the original Broadway cast of Stalag 17.

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The photographer and author documented life in Nazi Germany and in Josef Stalin's gulags, as well as the arrival of Jews in Israel. She died Thursday in New York, at the age of 105. You can see several of her photographs here.

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Welcome to the third installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from our first list, we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair TV series with movies, musicals, books, comics, podcasts and more.

Michael Herr, whose depictions of Vietnam redefined the genre of war reporting, died Thursday at a hospital near his home in upstate New York after what his publisher said was a long illness. He was 76.

When Herr left to cover the Vietnam War for Esquire, he didn't bring a great amount of journalistic experience. At 27, he'd been an amateur film critic, written some travel pieces and had worked on Syracuse University's literary magazine. But by the time his book Dispatches came out 10 years later, none of that mattered.

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An odd thing happened in the middle of Manhattan today, and it sounded like this.

(SOUNDBITE OF TYPEWRITER)

This time of year we tend to do a lot of writing about food. Usually we describe delicious dishes that remind us of home and our favorite family traditions, but there's something missing from that conversation: the tale of the kitchen disaster, the wreck, the unsalvageable mess for which the only remedy is take-out.

To fully appreciate the special anguish that is a home-cooked meal gone wrong, we've asked three people with particular knowledge in this area to tell us about their worst-ever kitchen debacles.

Welcome to earbud.fm!

It isn't easy to discover new podcasts. There are just SO many out there. Sometimes the best approach is to simply turn to a friend and say, "Hey, what are you listening to these days?" That's why we created earbud.fm, NPR's friendly guide to great podcasts. Each of the episodes in this app was hand-picked for you by a listener or a radio/podcast pro. It's like getting recommendations from a couple hundred of your savviest friends.