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For nearly four and a half decades, Sonia Manzano was Maria -- a recurring female lead on the PBS television series "Sesame Street."

Last year, Manzano retired from the show and published a memoir. It’s called Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Mike Burns / flickr creative commons

Jerks. Jackasses. A-holes. Some people are just... the worst. Aren't they? But so: Why? And what do we do about it?

DonkeyHotey / flickr creative commons

For the last 18 months, we've kind of all seen Donald Trump's possible presidency as, well, implausible. As funny on its face. But guess what. It's a real thing that's going to actually happen.

Abby Gillardi / flickr creative commons

You may have heard there was an election last week. You may have heard that the outcome... surprised some people. You may have heard that the press made some mistakes, here and there, in its coverage.

This hour, we look at this election season's media winners and losers.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

He's an Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner, a BAFTA Award winner.

He's the star of American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, What About Bob?, Mr. Holland's Opus, W., Madoff, and many more movies and TV shows.

Takahiro Kyono / flickr creative commons

Leonard Cohen's 14th studio album, You Want It Darker, dropped last Friday. Coupled with a new David Remnick profile of Cohen in The New Yorker, the reviews have been pretty gushing. The Nose's take isn't quite as one-note.

haru__q / flickr creative commons

Everybody loves a bulldozer. In fact, we all grew up loving bulldozers, didn't we? From Benny the Bulldozer to Katy and her big snow, from all the Tonka toys to all the die cast model Caterpillars, the bulldozer is more of an icon in American popular culture than we maybe realize.

Telecom giant AT&T has reached an $85.4 billion deal to buy media titan Time Warner. The news of this transformational merger has shaken up both industries, raising eyebrows on Wall Street and drawing criticism from lawmakers and even the presidential campaigns.

AT&T's proposed $85.4 billion purchase of Time Warner is already raising eyebrows among an important constituency: politicians. Reaction to the deal, which was announced Saturday night, has been swift, and skeptical, from both sides of the aisle.

At a rally in Gettysburg, Pa., earlier Saturday, after news of the deal had started to trickle out, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump said it was "a deal we will not approve in my administration because it's too much concentration of power in the hands of too few."

benjamincleary.net

It's just by happenstance that we ran into three short films this week that are both remarkable and newly available online. One of them is really something, and because of that, you have to figure, it won this year's Oscar for Best Live Action Short. One of them is merely clever and well done. And the last is an animated short that will utterly defy your expectations of an animated short.

And the best part is: You can watch all three of them in just 27 minutes.

It's tough to find a more bubbly, positive person than Lacie Pound.

She always has a kind word for the baristas and café workers who serve her morning coffee. She drinks a smoothie offered by a co-worker even when it doesn't taste so good. And she's determined to give an award-winning toast as the maid of honor at her oldest friend's wedding.

Lacie, played by Jurassic World co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, is the central character in "Nosedive" — a new episode in the third season of the British anthology drama, Black Mirror, which debuts on Netflix today.

Home Box Office, Inc.

More than 100 million people are expected to watch the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday night, potentially the largest audience for a campaign event in American history.

Why?

What do we expect from this 90-minute faceoff? A watershed moment in our history? A basis on which to choose between the candidates? Or just a ripping good show?

Obviously, many of us hope to get all three.

If there were a hall of fame for criminals, it would have to include notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar.

Charles Hackley / flickr creative commons

Colin's out today, and Julia Pistell returns as guest host. We devote the hour to two interesting guys and their interesting jobs.

As further proof that this presidential campaign is everywhere, Sunday night's Emmys stage featured several nods to the candidates as well as the current political climate. Here are some highlights:

1. Julia Louis-Dreyfus' wall

Tony Alter / flickr creative commons

Normally by Friday morning we've got the first one or two topics for The Nose ironed out, and we maybe spend some time hashing out what the third and fourth might be.

Not this week.

USA Network

The cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction emerged in the '70s and '80s with books like Neuromancer and movies like Blade Runner set in the early 21st century in a world full of high tech and lowlifes, in a society divided and unequal, dominated by mega corporations, where the lines between actual reality and virtual reality have started to blur.

Sound familiar?

FX Networks

Barbra Streisand's new album dropped two weeks ago. It's an album of duets with . . . actors. Babs and her famous friends sing . . . show tunes. To my mind, that's the makings of a pretty huge disaster (or even a completely ignored disaster). Instead, Streisand's Encore: Movie Friends Sing Broadway is the number one album in the country.

JD Hancock / flickr creative commons

At 8:30 pm on Thursday, September 8, 1966, NBC aired the premiere of a new series called "Star Trek". The episode was "The Man Trap." The star date was 1513.1, in case you're interested in that kind of thing.

I am not interested in that kind of thing.

"The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp" / ABC Photo Archives

The death of Hugh O’Brian last week has put me in a nostalgic mood for the great TV Westerns of yesteryear.

Two months after former Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson accused Fox News' then-Chairman Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, the network has agreed to pay Carlson $20 million and make a "highly unusual public apology," NPR's David Folkenflik reports.

Your Dilapidated Barn Is Super Trendy. Just Ask HGTV

Sep 1, 2016

Larry Gerdes is having his barn taken down and disassembled in Malta Bend, Mo. It's about the size of a three-car garage but stands much taller in a clearing surrounded by 6-foot stalks of corn.

The barn's exterior is graying, part of its roof is missing, and there's a gaping hole looking out from the hayloft. It's about 100 years old, and it's not really useful.

"It's deteriorated and it would cost a lot of money to repair it," Gerdes says. "And it doesn't fit into modern farming. Unless you got two cows to let them loaf inside, nothing fits, and it's just obsolete."

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

ABC Television / Wikimedia Commons

Clive James considered Dick Cavett one of the great intellectuals who shaped the 20th century. He did it primarily as the host of The Dick Cavett Show, combining playfulness and serious discussion for ninety-minutes each night with a roster of cultural icons that spanned the worlds of art, culture, literature, music, and politics.

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