Arts/Life

Author Interviews
3:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

'Love And Drowning' In The U.S. Virgin Islands

The Land of Love And Drowning follows a family living in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the early 20th century.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 4:43 pm

In the new novel Land of Love and Drowning, the Virgin Islands and the ocean around them make for a magical setting.

The book follows three generations of one family living through the modern history of the territory as it passes from Danish to American hands.

It's also laced with magical realism: One main character can sense people's arrival; another family only gives birth to men, generation after generation; and one woman has a hoofed leg instead of one of her feet.

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Arts & Life
3:02 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

A 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 Jump Jet sold at the Silverstone Auctions Saturday for the equivalent of $179,611.
Courtesy of Silverstone Auction

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 4:52 pm

The Harrier Jump Jet combines the speed of a jet with the maneuverability of a helicopter.

These single-seater planes are known for vertical take-offs and landings, making them ideal for close-air support near the front-lines where runways may be damaged or non-existent.

Designed by the British and now flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, Harriers also have an accident-prone track record and are notoriously difficult to fly.

But why not have one for your private collection?

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Sunday Puzzle
6:24 am
Sun July 27, 2014

A Flowery Puzzle For Budding Quizmasters

NPR

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word peony. For each category, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters P-E-O-N-Y.

Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's nice to have a lot of in the summer. Change the last letter to the following letter of the alphabet. Rearrange the result, and you'll name something else that you probably have a lot of in the summer, but that you probably don't want. What is it? (HINT: the second thing is a form of the first thing.)

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Performing Arts
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses

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

Author Interviews
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

What Made Double Agent Kim Philby A Great Spy? His Friends.

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

Monkey See
5:26 am
Sun July 27, 2014

At 75, Batman Still Seeks Justice, Not Revenge

"What Batman provides, what all superheroes provide is this notion that good will triumph over evil," says author Glen Weldon. "That evil will have its day, but there will be somebody up there who will keep trying, who will keep looking out for us. ... He's catharsis in a cape." Above, Adam West, as Batman, makes a road safety film with child actors in Kensington, London in the late 1960s.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 5:24 pm

It's been 75 years since Batman first swooped onto the scene in 1939. Glen Weldon, author of The Caped Crusade, says it's important to note that for the last three quarters of a century, Batman has been seeking justice, not revenge.

"Once his parents are killed he doesn't seek revenge," Weldon tells NPR's Arun Rath. "That's what distinguishes a superhero from an action movie hero. He doesn't go out for revenge. It's not a vendetta, it's a crusade. He represents the idea of: 'This thing that happened to me? Never again.' "

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Lessons From Behind The Counter At A Comic Book Store

Jason Aaron also writes Amazing X-Men and Original Sin for Marvel.
Jason Aaron

When the news broke that Thor, the hyper-masculine thunder god, had become a woman, my Twitter feed exploded. It seemed like everybody had something to say. "Who will play the female Thor in the movies?" came up a lot. Meanwhile, I first had to figure out who Thor was. To me, stories about superheroes were for nerdy white guys imagining a world where they could lift heavy things and somehow get the girl. In short, boring. I was hopelessly behind the times.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

A Foodie Detective Solves Crime In A Delectable Italian Mystery

Angelica's Smile cover art.

The Inspector Montalbano books, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri, supply everything I need for the beach. A good mystery. An exotic location β€” in this case, the beaches and piazzas of Sicily. And great writing that wears its fineness lightly, and keeps the pages turning. All with the most charming fuss-bucket of a detective to come along since Hercule Poirot: Inspector Salvo Montalbano.

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Code Switch
3:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Hoping To Reach A Wider Audience, Lifetime Breaks Out Of Familiar Formula

On Wednesday, Lifetime premiered BAPs, a reality show that follows "an exclusive, privileged and affluent group of African American friends from St. Louis who self-identify as 'BAPs' β€” Black American Princesses and Princes."
Richard Knapp

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 5:29 pm

TV viewers have come to expect a certain formula from Lifetime shows β€” stories of desperate women, sudden teen pregnancy, or sentimental romance β€” starring women who are, for the most part, white. But on Wednesday, Lifetime added something different to their lineup with the premiere of a new "docu-series" called BAPs. BAPs stands for Black American Prince or Princess. The reality show follows a group of young, wealthy African Americans in St. Louis through dinner parties and shouting matches.

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Movie Interviews
3:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Director Says Hoffman Inhabited 'Most Wanted Man' Role

Anton Corbijn directed Philip Seymour Hoffman in one of his final roles β€” playing a haggard German intelligence agent in the film adaptation of the John le CarrΓ© spy thriller A Most Wanted Man.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 4:48 pm

When actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a heroin overdose in February, he left behind several unreleased films.

His most significant role: The haggard German intelligence agent Gunther Bachmann in the spy thriller A Most Wanted Man. Hoffman's character leads a fictional intelligence unit and is tasked with recruiting informants within the Islamic community to uncover terrorist plots.

The film is based on the 2008 John le CarrΓ© novel by the same name. It's set in Hamburg, Germany, more than 10 years after Sept. 11.

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Author Interviews
3:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

Lessons In 'Essentialism': Getting More Out Of Life By Doing Less

Odin M. Eidskrem iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 4:32 pm

Greg McKeown doesn't believe in having it all or doing it all. In his new book Essentialism, he argues that we should pursue only those things that are truly important β€” and eliminate everything else.

"In the bigger picture essentialism is about fighting this nonsense that we have been sold ... that if we can fit it all in then we can have it all," he tells NPR's Eric Westervelt.

McKeown provides advice and real-life examples from people who revised their do-it-all approach. He says you don't have to say yes to everything in order to be successful.

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My Big Break
3:11 pm
Sat July 26, 2014

An Idea That Stuck: How A Hymnal Bookmark Helped Inspire The Post-It Note

3M employee Art Fry had a problem: When he sang with his church choir, his paper bookmarks were forever falling out of his hymnal. Thankfully for Fry, his coworker Spencer Silver had a new adhesive in the works.
Courtesy of 3M

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 4:32 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

For Spencer Silver, a retired chemist at 3M, his big break was the Post-it Note.

It all started when he stumbled on a new type of adhesive that used tiny microspheres.

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History
8:33 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Lover's Letters To President Harding Pushed German Cause

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

Strange News
8:15 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Dressing Up As A T-Rex Is All Part Of The Job

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:06 am

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

Commentary
6:40 am
Sat July 26, 2014

We Can Be Heroes β€” With Some Glue And A Little Fabric

Twelve-year-old Hayley Lindsay spent almost a month working with her dad on this Toothless the Dragon costume. There are sawn-off crutches in the front legs so she can comfortably walk on all fours.
Petra Mayer

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 9:40 am

The San Diego Comic-Con is in full swing β€” celebrating not just comics, but movies, TV, books, video games and really cool costumes. It's called cosplay: the art and science of dressing up like your favorite character.

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The Salt
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Forget The Fishing Boat: Alaskans Scoop Up Salmon With Dipnets

Using dipnets --€” which have nets up to 5 feet in diameter at the end --€” isn't easy, and the river can get pretty crowded. Robert Carter, a novice dipnetter, holds up the first fish he caught after a day on the Kenai River.
Annie Feidt Alaska Public Media

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:38 am

Fishing purists, be warned. This story is not for you.

Yes, it's about salmon fishing on a scenic river in Alaska. But no one here is hooking a prize fish in the remote wilderness. This kind of fishing is all about crowds and slop buckets and big contraptions called dipnets β€” and the lengths Alaskans will go to in order to fill their freezers with sockeye salmon.

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NPR Story
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

'Back Channel' Turns Up White House Intrigue

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 8:33 am

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

Author Interviews
6:35 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Plot To Poison Famed French Wine Makes For Gripping (Pinot) Noir

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 11:32 am

RomanΓ©e-Conti β€” a legendary French vineyard β€” produces one of the most elegant and extravagantly-priced wines in the world. In January 2010, proprietor Aubert de Villaine received a threat to his livelihood, if not his life: Pay more than 1 million euros in ransom, or his Burgundy vines would be poisoned.

Maximillian Potter first wrote about this plot for Vanity Fair and has now authored a book called Shadows in the Vineyard: The True Story of the Plot to Poison the World's Greatest Wine.

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Movies
6:34 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Silent Film Fans Make Some Noise To Help ID Forgotten Treasures

The Library of Congress started their Mostly Lost workshop to help identify films from its archives. The event also includes presentations from early film experts like Serge Bromberg, who this year recreated the stage performance that was part of the 1914 animated film Gertie the Dinosaur.
Bill Dragga Courtesy of the Library of Congress

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 12:06 pm

Deep in the archives of the Library of Congress' Culpeper, Va., film preservation center lie thousands of movies in cool, climate-controlled vaults. Hundreds are a century old or older, and unidentified. Their titles have been lost over the years and the library knows little about them, so it started inviting fans of early film to a yearly event called Mostly Lost to help figure out what they are.

And you know what? Those fans are rowdy.

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Code Switch
4:34 am
Sat July 26, 2014

Dueling Markets Show Native American Art Is Big Business

An estimated 175,000 people travel to New Mexico in August to view Native American art.
Larry Lamsa Flickr

The 93rd annual Santa Fe Indian Market is only a month away. It's the biggest and best-known destination for Native artists and Native art collectors on the planet, and this year, it's got competition β€” a new event called the Indigenous Fine Arts Market.

Native American art and culture is big business. If you don't believe that, look no further than the controversial or illegal sides of the market. If you've been paying attention over the last year, you've seen some lurid and fascinating headlines:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:01 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Not My Job: We Ask A San Francisco Drag Queen About Queens, N.Y.

Jose Guzman Colon Courtesy Peaches Christ

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 10:04 am

Behind all the nerd billionaires and trendy restaurants in today's San Francisco, there is another city, where the most interesting people aren't wearing hoodies β€” they're wearing spike heels, glitter catsuits and fantastic hair.

We've invited Peaches Christ, Queen of San Francisco Drag Queens, to play a game called "Fuggedaboutit!" Three questions for a drag queen about Queens β€” that borough of New York City destined to be the next hipster capital now that Brooklyn is old news.

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Movie Interviews
3:33 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

In Which Colin Firth Debunks Some Myths About Working With Woody Allen

Woody Allen directs --€“ that's right, directs --€” Colin Firth and Emma Stone in Magic in the Moonlight.
Jack English Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 5:40 pm

In Magic in the Moonlight, a new film from Woody Allen, Colin Firth plays a 1920s stage magician who is also an expert at debunking spiritualists. Stanley, Firth's character, takes on the case of a young woman, played by Emma Stone, who is a supposedly adept medium.

Firth tells NPR's Robert Siegel how some of the more well-known myths about working will Allen checked out, and why he's been appearing in fewer comedies.

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The Salt
2:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Can Finishing A Big Bowl Of Ramen Make Dreams Come True?

At Yume Wo Katare, eating ramen is treated as a path to personal fulfillment.
Andrea Shea for WBUR

Originally published on Sat July 26, 2014 8:48 am

You can find ramen, the Japanese noodle soup that's meant to be slurped, almost anywhere in the U.S. these days. Ramen shops continue to pop up, and you can find renditions on the menus of restaurants and gastropubs.

But there's a truly funky noodle spot in Cambridge called Yume Wo Katare that serves more than just ramen.

There aren't many restaurants where you get praised by everyone around you for clearing your plate or bowl. But that's exactly what happens at Yume Wo Katare.

"Everyone, he did a good job!"

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This Week's Must Read
2:45 pm
Fri July 25, 2014

Fiction Explores The Push And Pull Of Arab-Israeli Identity

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 3:33 pm

To be an Arab living in Israel proper has long been a challenging proposition. Even sussing out what to call them has political implications: Arab Israelis? Israeli Arabs? Palestinian Israelis? Or maybe just Palestinians? Arabs in Israel live lives that constantly β€” often stressfully β€” straddle two cultures: They are all at once ethnically Arab and citizens of the Jewish state.

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Movie Reviews
11:13 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman Leaves Indelible Bond In 'Most Wanted Man'

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

Movie Reviews
9:06 am
Fri July 25, 2014

'Lucy': Hot Buttered Popcorn, With Plenty Of Nuts

Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 12:48 pm

What would you do if you could access 100 percent of your brain's potential processing power? Reverse climate change? Pick up new languages while you sleep? Pay your rent on time? Invent an iPhone capable of making and receiving telephone calls?

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The Two-Way
6:15 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Book News: Amazon Reports Big Quarterly Loss

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

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Planet Money
5:09 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Self-Published Authors Make A Living β€” And Sometimes A Fortune

The cover of Michael Bunker's self published book Pennsylvania Omnibus.
Michael Bunker

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 11:32 am

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

"But now," says Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, "the self-published authors walk into the room, and they say, oh, well, 'I made a quarter million dollars last year, or $100,000, or made $10,000.' And it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts."

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NPR Story
3:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

It's Time For Comic-Con!

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 6:14 am

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

Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in A Most Wanted Man, director Anton Corbijn's adaptation of John le CarrΓ©'s 2008 novel, as German intelligence officer GΓΌnther Bachmann.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through A Most Wanted Man as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.

Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.

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