Arts and culture

"Man, in New Orleans we really are fortunate — we got some of the best things in the world," Chef Paul Prudhomme once said. "And one of those things is the mufaletta sandwich."

And one of the best things about New Orleans was Prudhomme himself.

He was known for introducing blackened redfish to the rest of us, for his cooking demos and for his line of magic spices. Needless to say, Prudhomme changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking.

He has died at the age of 75.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Eccentric Canadian cinephile Guy Maddin simulates battered 1920s films so brilliantly that it's easy to miss what else he does. His The Forbidden Room, co-directed by protege Evan Johnson, plays like an anarchic collage of late-silent-era melodramas, action flicks, and horror movies, just unearthed after going unseen for nearly a century.

But the film is more than just spot-on parody.

[Note: We assume you know that movie reviews always discuss the plot of the film to at least some degree, but this is kind of an odd one. It's almost impossible to talk about this film without talking about the premise that develops over the course of the first act, but if you want to check the film out without knowing, come back and read after you've seen it.]

"Sometimes, friends begin as enemies. And sometimes, enemies begin as friends. Sometimes, in order to truly know how things end, we must first know how they begin."

If you asked me the scariest place I've ever been, I would instantly say the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, whose cruel past has led to a disastrous present. I'll never forget lying in my hotel bed and hearing the nightly machine gun fire on the nearby streets. And this was during peacetime, not during Congo's two largely ignored wars of the 1990s and early 2000s that killed three times as many people as the current wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria combined.

British artist Andy Goldsworthy works in the fields and forests near his home in Scotland using natural elements as his media. His pieces have a tendency to collapse, decay and melt, but, as he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "It's not about art. It's just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last."

The Most Important Quiz Of The Day

7 hours ago

West Egg on a Seabiscuit with Lady Marmalade―yum! For our final round, every correct answer is a word, phrase, or proper noun that contains the name of a breakfast food or beverage.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

I Saw The Seinfeld

7 hours ago

In this game we put our VIPs, The Milk Carton Kids, on the same team. Kenneth describes famous Seinfeld catchphrases to Joey, who must guess the line. But there's a catch: Kenneth has never really seen Seinfeld.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Opposites Attract

7 hours ago

The word "sanction" can mean both "to approve or permit" and "to punish." Weird, huh? It's an example of a contronym: a word that can be its own opposite, or have two contradictory meanings.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Disney Uncensored

7 hours ago

It turns out that fairytales aren't all glass slippers and singing woodland creatures. In this game we uncover the dark secrets behind Disney's beloved animated films. We give a summary of the original story — guess the title of the watered-down Disney version.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Alone, Together

7 hours ago

Dave Chappelle walks down the "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and Bobby Fischer meets Eleanor Rigby in this musical game about well-known recluses. Jonathan Coulton sings clues about famously solitary people set to songs about being alone.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

Elementary My Dear Emma Watson

7 hours ago

Ever notice how Hollywood is always trying to spruce up old films? They colorize black and white movies, reboot franchises, and now it turns out they're inserting celebrities into famous lines! We give clues from a film plus celebrity names for our contestants to combine.

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

No Expiration Date

7 hours ago

Like Simon & Garfunkel, the legendary folk act they're often compared to, The Milk Carton Kids have a timeless quality to them. But the duo didn't start their careers working together.

Guitarist Joey Ryan first met Kenneth Pattengale at the latter's solo show in Los Angeles.

The Sorrow And The Pity

7 hours ago

In the critically acclaimed Rocky III, Mr. T uttered the immortal line, "I pity the fool," and a catchphrase was born. In this game we ask our contestants to channel their best Mr. T impersonation and answer questions about things that rhyme with "fool." I pity the spool!

Heard in The Milk Carton Kids: No Expiration Date

The past several years have seen something of a resurgence of European crime fiction in the United States. It's no secret that the genre is massive overseas, in Scandinavia and especially France, where roughly one in five books sold is a crime novel. The success of books like Alex, the first thriller by popular French author Pierre Lemaitre to be translated into English, further demonstrates that Americans are catching the bug.

Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

'Daydreams Of Angels' Tells Stories Within Stories

11 hours ago

In the opening story of Heather O'Neill's debut collection Daydreams of Angels, "The Gypsy and the Bear," a young boy starts to tell a story about a character he calls "The Gypsy" and his trained companion bear. But in the middle of his tale, the child is called away and never finishes. Created, but story-less, the two protagonists are on their own. The outline of their lives have been shaped by their narrator — rough, nameless, a mix of slur and physical stereotype — but they begin to forge a life for themselves beyond the slender space their maker meant for them to occupy.

When comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick got the opportunity to reimagine Captain Marvel as a blond, blue-eyed fighter pilot named Carol, she made changes to the character that some fans didn't like.

Carol now wears a flight suit — not the sexy dominatrix outfit she used to wear back when she was Ms. Marvel. For that, DeConnick was accused of having a feminist agenda.

If we're agreed that there's too much good television, then Hulu increasing its presence in scripted originals might seem like just another drop in an already overflowing bucket. But with its new comedy-drama/dramatic-comedy Casual, the first two episodes of which are now available with a Hulu subscription, it makes a pretty good argument for itself.

In Patti Smith's new memoir, the "M Train" figures as a Magical Mystery line. She rides it far off into Memoryland, and her snaking Mental trains of thought carry her into reveries on subjects as wide-ranging as her passionate appetite for detective stories and her surprising membership in an elite scientific society devoted to the subject of continental drift.

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The title of Maris Kreizman's Slaughterhouse 90210 is, on the one hand, catchy and funny, and it certainly communicates the book's basic conceit: pictures from the world of pop culture paired with quotes from the world of great literature. Based on Kreizman's Tumblr of the same name, the book does its thing with a wink and a dose of wit in many cases, to be sure.

Robot Birds Teach Kids To Program In 'Secret Coders'

Oct 7, 2015

Four-eyed robot birds really shouldn't be necessary to get kids excited about computers. For that matter, Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes' whole book (in which four-eyed robot birds are prominently featured) ought to be laughably superfluous to the education of today's youth. With computers mediating everything we do, exchanging information in the very air around us, you'd think kids would be learning binary code with their ABCs.

In creative writing workshops, one maxim often gets passed around — so often, in fact, it can take on the weight of a commandment: "Show, don't tell." The idea, of course, is to convey emotion by depicting only what's happening, and to keep from spelling things out too much.

Kenzaburo Oe, it appears, has little regard for that advice.

A Muslim pop culture website: The idea seemed so obvious, Zainab Khan waited years for someone else to make one. A place for jokes about nosy aunties, sharing hijab hacks and Ramadan recipes, and advice on navigating Minder (yup, there's a Muslim Tinder).

Ten years ago, Stephenie Meyer put a twist on the whole boy-meets-girl thing.

In her young adult novel Twilight, girl meets vampire and, later, werewolf. The supernatural romance between Bella and Edward sparked a saga that includes four best-selling books translated into more than 50 languages and five blockbuster movies.