Arts/Life

Monkey See
5:54 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Many Rabbit Holes (Or Should We Say Labyrinths) Of 'Serial'

Sarah Koenig and producer Dana Chivvis in the studio.
Elise Bergerson Serial

Read more
The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea was centrally involved in the recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network — possibly out of retribution for its film The Interview. Above, a security guard stands outside a theater during the film's premiere in Los Angeles last week.
Kevork Djansezian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:29 pm

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of embarrassing emails and pirated movies has its origins in North Korea, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

More details about the U.S. investigation into the hacking attack could emerge as early as Wednesday night.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Angelina Jolie On Her Film's 'Unbroken' Hero: 'He Was Truly A Great Man'

During World War II, Louis Zamperini spent 47 days stranded in shark-infested waters before he was rescued by Japanese soldiers and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

The new film Unbroken, from director Angelina Jolie, tells the story of an Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war. Louis Zamperini shattered records at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and when the war broke out, he enlisted. Then, on a routine mission, his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, leaving him stranded in shark-infested waters for 47 days. When he was eventually rescued by Japanese soldiers, he became a prisoner of war.

Read more
Code Switch
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting

Quvenzhane Wallis (second from right) stars in an updated version of Annie, produced by Jay Z.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

That lovable moppet with the red dress, the curly hair, the big dog, and the even bigger voice is back.

This time, though, Little Orphan Annie is back with a difference: Quvenzhane Wallis is playing an African-American orphan in an ethnically diverse, up-to-date world. And that got us thinking about other instances where producers have breathed fresh life into familiar shows by making them dance to a new beat.

Read more
The Salt
11:13 am
Wed December 17, 2014

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:51 pm

The winter holidays are a time of abundance, but for Christians in the Middle East, the official start of the Christmas season is marked by a decidedly rustic dish: porridge.

Archbishop Swerios Murad of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem says his congregation will eat boiled wheat kernels this week to mark the Feast of St. Barbara, or Eid el-Burbara in Arabic.

"It's a simple porridge," Murad tells The Salt, "but it's very important that it be sweet."

Read more
Author Interviews
11:12 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:32 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILLKOMMEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

Read more
The Salt
9:52 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Way Beyond Brownies: Vice Launches A Marijuana Cooking Show

Aurora Leveroni, 91, is also known as "Nonna Marijuana."
Vice

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:03 am

On Sunday, my mother sent me an email: "OMG! Watch this unbelievable cooking show!"

It wasn't spam, and my mother, who's 65, does not use OMG lightly.

The fuss was over a 20-minute video about a 91-year-old grandmother who cooks Italian classics in marijuana-infused butter.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Creator Bridwell Dies At 86

Author Norman Bridwell and his wife, Norma, pose for a portrait in 2011. The creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog stories died Friday at age 86.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:26 pm

More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.

A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.

Read more
The Salt
3:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:15 am

Read more
The Salt
3:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:07 am

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

Read more
Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Stan Lee — shown here in 2002 — helped create Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and the Avengers.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:39 pm

Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.

And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.

Read more
Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
2:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Lights 2014

Dominic Alves Flickr

Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.

Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.

Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.

Read more
Extras: TED Radio Hour
1:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Playlist: I Never Knew That!

These TED Radio Hour stories amaze you.
Pai-Shih Lee Getty Images

Here at the TED Radio Hour, we love surprising ideas. From teddy bears to Sputnik, this playlist is full of astonishing stories that will stay with you.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
12:40 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

Read more
Monkey See
10:53 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in HBO's True Detective.
Michele K. Short HBO

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:44 am

When I was a kid, I loved reading Gene Siskel's movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune.

Read more
Monkey See
10:05 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Yes, 'Serial' Is True Crime — And That's OK

Sarah Koenig will, on Thursday, host the final episode of the first season of Serial.
Meredith Heuer

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:33 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. You can read Matt Thompson's initial entry in this conversation here and Gene Demby's contribution here.

Read more
The Salt
1:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

At Last, Muslims Can Savor A Halal Spin On Spain's Famous Jamón

Halal jamón products made with lamb and beef inside the Balkis Gourmet curing room in Cumbres Mayores in Andalusia, Spain.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Wander into any bar in Spain, order a drink, and the waiter will very likely hand you free tapas. Very often it's some type of pork — jamón (ham), chorizo (spicy sausage) or panceta (cured bacon). You could say this country is obsessed with cured pork products. People joke that even vegetarians in Spain eat jamón.

Eating authentic jamón ibérico de bellota, a cured ham made from free-range pigs fed on acorns, is a key part of Spanish life, especially in the south.

Read more
Fine Art
1:21 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:33 am

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Murakami's 'Library' Is Dark, Creamy And Grainy At The Same Time

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Education
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

How To Talk To Boys About Sex And Consent

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
2:50 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

'Serial' Isn't About Ferguson. (But It's Kind Of About Ferguson.)

Serial focuses on Adnan Syed, who was a teenager when he was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, despite big question marks in the case. (But you almost certainly knew that already.)
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:40 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. You can read Matt Thompson's initial entry in this conversation here.

Below is the second part of our exchange, from Code Switch blogger Gene Demby.

Matt, Linda and Kat,

Read more
The Salt
2:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Hanukkah Miracle

Not pictured: the treadmill Dan is standing on. Just 18 more miles and he'll have worked off half of this sandwich!
Dan Pashman

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:51 pm

[Today's post comes to you from Dan Pashman, a friend of Sandwich Monday. You may know him from his spots on Weekend Edition; his WNYC podcast, The Sporkful; his book, Eat More Better; or the time he stole a piece of your sausage when you weren't looking.]

Read more
Movie Interviews
1:24 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Simon Mein Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:42 pm

Before he could play British artist J.M.W. Turner, actor Timothy Spall first had to learn how to paint; over the course of two years, Spall took private fine art lessons from London artist Tim Wright.

Read more
Book Reviews
1:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Rows of characters enjoying reading books.
Gustav Dejert Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:12 pm

For this year's Best Books of the Year list, I reject the tyranny of the decimal system. Some years it's simply more than 10. Here, then, are my top 12 books of 2014. All of the disparate books on my list contain characters, scenes or voices that linger long past the last page of their stories.


Read more
Monkey See
9:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

The Fuller family's Christmas light display in Clayton, N.C.
Brownie Harris ABC

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:11 am

Perhaps you are familiar with the oft-quoted wisdom of (allegedly) Coco Chanel that when a woman gets dressed and believes she's ready, she should take off one accessory before she leaves the house.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

In its attempt to obtain a foothold in a market long dominated by Amazon, Apple ran afoul of antitrust law.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Apple is sliding back under the judicial microscope Monday in a legal challenge that could bear big implications for the e-book market. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the company's appeal of a verdict that found it guilty of violating antitrust law.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:08 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

We asked, you delivered — photos of holiday sweaters galore.
Matt O'Malley Twitter

When it comes to the perfect holiday sweater, for many people, cheesy is good — tacky is better — and astonishingly ugly is best of all.

The demand for ugly holiday sweaters has reached such a height that it's changed how businesses stock for the season, as Eleanor Klibanoff reported for us on Weekend Edition Saturday. Wal-Mart and Kohl's sell new "vintage" ugly sweaters, and actual vintage stores have had to start searching for new stock to sell.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Pages from El Deafo by Cece Bell. Click here to enlarge.
Abrams

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:59 am

Writer and illustrator Cece Bell has been creating children's books for over a decade, but in her latest, she finally turns to her own story — about growing up hearing-impaired, after meningitis left her "severely to profoundly deaf" at the age of 4.

The book, a mix of memoir, graphic novel and children's book, is called El Deafo. It's a funny, unsentimental tale that follows Cece from age 4 through elementary school, as she transforms from mild-mannered little girl into full-fledged superhero — the "El Deafo" of the title.

Read more
Fine Art
3:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'#Blackmendream': Showcasing A Different Side Of Black Manhood

A still from the art film #Blackmendream. The film features nine men, turned away from the camera and talking about their hopes and fears.
Courtesy artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:32 pm

Nine men sit turned away from the camera; their faces are never shown. Many are shirtless or naked. They answer questions like: When did you become a black man? Do you cry? How were you raised to deal with your emotions?

Read more

Pages