Arts/Life

Book Reviews
8:03 am
Thu July 30, 2015

'Barbara' Is Imperfect, Defiant And Wonderfully Human

Lydia Thompson NPR

There's something meaningful, almost defiant, about the title of Lauren Holmes' debut, Barbara the Slut and Other People. It's not the first part, either; while the word "slut" is still frequently used as a term of abuse, it's lost some of the power to shock that it had a few decades ago. It's the final few words — "and other people," not "and other stories," which is the usual naming convention for short story collections.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu July 30, 2015

'Baby' Is A Pretty Feat Of Misdirection

Courtesy of MIRA Books

A novelist friend once told me she loves the TV series American Crime, because it focuses on "the other people affected, the ones you never hear about, when a crime happens." You might think creators of fiction, like my friend, would be the first to consider "the other people affected," but finding a suspense novel that upends both the linearity and nature of what constitutes "crime" occurs less than I might like.

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Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Why You Buggin'?

It's summertime, and you know what that means: lots of time outside, and lots of bug bites to go with it. Grab your DEET-free bug spray for this final round — every answer here is an insect, arthropod, or arachnid.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

First Day Of Camp

The cast of Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp on the AMA stage in Central Park
Mike Katzif NPR

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Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Candy Crush

Sweet, dude. Celebrities get the sugar rush-treatment in this mashup game that combines your favorite candies with well-known people. Which rap & rock star shouts "Bawitdaba!" as he battles the tart, acidic flavor of his favorite chewy candy?

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Yo Yo Yo!

Put on your best New York accent and get ready to shout along with this game — all the answers begin with the letters Y-O. Because, you know, YOLO.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

You're Eighty-Sixed!

Our host, the SummerStage Festival, was founded in 1986, so we decided to pay homage to that year — musically. Play along as house musician Jonathan Coulton sings the biggest hits of 1986, rewritten to be about the biggest celebrities born that year.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

The Tin Age Of Television

The 1980s gave us some TV gems, like Cheers, The Golden Girls, and Full House. But there were also some shows that, shall we say, didn't enjoy quite as much success. In this game, guess whether TV show descriptions are of actual short-lived '80s shows, or if we made them up.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Ask Me Another
10:24 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Totally Rad Sayings

We're celebrating all things '80s in this show, and why not start with the decade's unmistakable slang? We'll thesaurus-ize some '80s phrases, and you have to give us the original saying. It's completely long, round, and hollow (totally tubular)!

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Arts & Life
5:56 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

With 'Paper Towns,' Author John Green Reopens Search For Agloe, N.Y.

Booklist American Library Association

Agloe, N.Y., is a place suspended between fiction and reality.

The town started showing up on maps in the 1930s, but it's actually a "paper town," or a fake town created by cartographers to catch those who might copy their work. Mapmakers Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers came up with the name by rearranging their initials.

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Movie Interviews
3:34 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

At 79, Woody Allen Says There's Still Time To Do His Best Work

When asked about his major shortcomings, filmmaker Woody Allen says, "I'm lazy and an imperfectionist."
Thibault Camus AP

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 8:40 am

Woody Allen is a prolific filmmaker — he's been releasing films pretty much every year since the mid-1960s. (His latest, Irrational Man, is now in theaters.) But Allen isn't exactly prolific as an interview subject. When film critic Sam Fragoso sat down with Allen in Chicago, the filmmaker revealed his insecurities (well, not so much revealed as reiterated), and discussed why actors like to work with him and what he regrets.

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Code Switch
3:12 pm
Wed July 29, 2015

Once Outlaws, Young Lords Find A Museum Home For Radical Roots

Johanna Fernández, co-curator of a new exhibition about the Young Lords, points to pages of the group's newspaper on display at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
Hansi Lo Wang NPR

Originally published on Wed July 29, 2015 5:56 pm

They were under watch by the FBI and the New York Police Department. And by the early 1970s, the Young Lords emerged as one of the country's most prominent radical groups led by Latino activists.

Inspired by the Black Panthers, a band of young Puerto Ricans wanted to form a Latino counterpart to the black nationalist group. In fact, one of the founding Young Lords in New York City almost started a group called the "Brown Tigers."

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Pop Culture
2:39 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Bill Cosby Removed From Documentary On Black Stuntmen

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 4:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Monkey See
2:33 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Tina Fey Accidentally Explains How Netflix Is Like Podcasting

Tina Fey talked about Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt at the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 4:21 pm

Tuesday was the first day of the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association. Press tour is an event that goes on for a couple of weeks, in which TV networks bring in personnel from their new shows (and sometimes their existing shows) for panel press conferences where the convened critics and reporters can ask questions.

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The Salt
1:13 pm
Tue July 28, 2015

Me-Tea-Morphosis: Tea Bags Get Second Life As Works Of Art

Courtesy of Andrew Gorkovenko

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 2:33 pm

Though tea strainers often come in brightly colored, sweet packaging with punny names like "the manatee," the lowly tea bag is often forgotten. Made from silk, plastic or paper, these bags are meant for one-time use only. Yet some artists are giving the tea bag a second life, letting their simple shapes and colors shine.

Colorado artist Wewer Keohane has been making art from spent tea bags for over 20 years. Sometimes she simply uses tea as a subtle dye, or pastes pieces of empty bags into an otherwise two-dimensional painting.

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Health
11:17 am
Tue July 28, 2015

A Sense Of Self: What Happens When Your Brain Says You Don't Exist

Anil Ananthaswamy is a consultant for New Scientist Magazine.
Prasad Vaidya Dutton

Originally published on Thu July 30, 2015 6:49 am

Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about "self" — not necessarily himself, but the role the brain plays in our notions of self and existence.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue July 28, 2015

An Airborne Adventurer's Journey In 'Circling The Sun'

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 12:47 pm

As she approached old age in the 1980s, the author, aviator and adventurer Beryl Markham had been largely forgotten. Her 1942 book detailing a pioneering east-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by plane, West with the Night, was long out of print. She had returned to her beloved Nairobi and was eking out a living training thoroughbred racehorses. Then a bit of praise tossed her way by Ernest Hemingway ("It really is a bloody wonderful book") turned up in a long-lost letter.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 28, 2015

'Crooked' Nixon Knew: There Are Worse Things Than Nukes

Lydia Thompson NPR

Everything from the blockbuster National Treasure to the TV series Sleepy Hollow has trafficked in the idea that America might not be exactly what it appears. Similarly, Austin Grossman's new novel, Crooked, imagines a United States founded not only on democracy and independence, but on the murky foundation of dark magic. But rather than handling this premise with a light, pulpy touch, Grossman's vision of the secret history of Richard M. Nixon is as eerie and absorbing as it is fantastically ludicrous.

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Television
4:06 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

'I Am Cait' Premieres As Reality Series With A Cause

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 5:24 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
12:05 pm
Mon July 27, 2015

'Call Me Lucky': A Documentary Of Friendship, Childhood Abuse And Survival

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
4:03 am
Mon July 27, 2015

The Giant Foam Finger: Sports Hatred

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers smiles during a game against the New York Knicks on Oct. 30, 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Jason Miller Getty Images

A couple weeks ago, Code Switch blogger Gene Demby and I sat down to reflect on a decade-old sports moment — a single play in a single game — and describe how it affected us as rival fans of the teams involved. In this second episode of the series we're calling The Giant Foam Finger, the two of us tackle a far unwieldier subject: hatred.

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Movie Interviews
3:11 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Discover A Trove Of Hollywood Treasures At The Motion Picture Academy Library

Costume designer Walter Plunkett made an intricate watercolor design for Scarlett O'Hara's famous curtain dress in Gone with the Wind.
Courtesy of AMPAS

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 1:21 pm

Summer blockbuster season is upon us. Dinosaurs, little yellow minions, an ant-man, all vying for our hard-earned entertainment dollars. But if you're looking for gentler thrills, try the Library of the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills. There, you can poke through artifacts from the movies' golden years.

The Margaret Herrick Library's vaults contain millions of pieces of paper holdings — director's shooting scripts, photos, production designs, payrolls and, of course, fan mail.

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Author Interviews
4:03 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

A Rage For The Ages: The Unforgettable 'Pine Tar Game'

George Brett wipes a new bat down with a pine tar rag before a game with the Cleveland Indians on July 25, 1983. The day before, Brett had been called out for using a bat with pine tar too far down the bat; the league president decided that Brett's bat was OK.
Doug Atkins AP

A game-winning home run becomes a game loser — and 25 days later, it's turned back into the game-winner.

That alone would warrant an entry in baseball's history books.

But cast it with David and Goliath, include a temper tantrum of epic proportion, and hinge it all on an obscure old rule — and you've got the infamous Pine Tar Game.

That 1983 game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals is recounted in a new book by New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy.

The Context: Rivalries And Rules

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Television
3:12 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

'I Am Cait' Review: Brave, Tasteful — And Kind Of Boring

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 3:55 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Caitlyn Jenner's new reality show, ”I Am Cait,” premieres on E! tonight.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "I AM CAIT")

CAITLYN JENNER: Isn't it great that maybe someday you'll be normal? Just blend into society.

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Movies
3:11 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

Getting The Ants In 'Ant-Man' Right Was No Tiny Challenge

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 3:48 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Superheroes, by definition, are extraordinary individuals - not exactly the type to blend in with a crowd - but what about Ant-Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ANT-MAN")

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My Big Break
3:11 pm
Sun July 26, 2015

How One Photographer Captured A Piercing Gaze That Shook The World

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry, shown in Kuwait in 1991, says his big break came at a refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan, after he heard the sound of children laughing.
Courtesy of Steve McCurry

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 12:16 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.

In December 1984, a war was raging in Afghanistan; millions of refugees were fleeing to Pakistan to escape the fighting.

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry was there — stationed at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to cover the crisis.

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun July 26, 2015

'Jane Eyre' Retelling Swaps English Countryside For Bustling City Streets

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 8:38 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Women's Comics Are Surfing The Crowd

If you're in any doubt whether women are having a Moment in the comics world, take a look at the new incarnation of superhero Black Canary. DC Comics' Annie Wu has taken the character's platinum hair and fishnets from kittenish to riot grrrl by way of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Glowering from the cover of the first issue, she seems to be saying, "Put your eyeballs back in your head and let me save you."

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Author Interviews
3:50 am
Sun July 26, 2015

In This Twist On Tricky Dick's History, A President's Secrets Can Save Us

Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 8:38 am

"I promise you I will show the same contempt for the historical record that it has shown for me."

So intone the opening pages of Austin Grossman's Crooked, in what are supposed to be the thoughts of our 37th president, Richard Nixon — or, at least, those thoughts as Grossman imagines them.

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The Salt
3:42 am
Sun July 26, 2015

Put That Wok To Work: A Trick For Smoking Fish Indoors

Smoked fish — a cooking method that uses the smoke of an indirect fire to lightly cook, flavor, and preserve the meat — is too often left to the professionals. But there are ways to do it indoors, at home and without much effort.
Photo Illustration by Ryan Kellman and Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Sun July 26, 2015 12:09 pm

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We learn how to smoke fish without any specialized, pricey equipment.

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