Arts/Life

NPR Ed
8:08 am
Fri August 22, 2014

A Picture Of Language: The Fading Art Of Diagramming Sentences

The design firm Pop Chart Lab has taken the first lines of famous novels and diagrammed those sentences. This one shows the opening of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis.
Pop Chart Lab

When you think about a sentence, you usually think about words — not lines. But sentence diagramming brings geometry into grammar.

If you weren't taught to diagram a sentence, this might sound a little zany. But the practice has a long — and controversial — history in U.S. schools.

And while it was once commonplace, many people today don't even know what it is.

So let's start with the basics.

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Monkey See
7:22 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From The Bell House

NPR

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:23 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We had an absolutely fantastic time Tuesday night at the Bell House in Brooklyn doing the first-ever Pop Culture Happy Hour from New York. Everyone was wonderful, everyone was hugely supportive, and we were joined by our producer emeritus Mike Katzif for our roundtable discussion of the things we've loved this summer and the things we're excited about for fall.

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The Two-Way
5:25 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Book News: David Gregory To Write Book About Judaism

David Gregory speaks during the 2014 Matrix Awards at The Waldorf Astoria in April in New York City.
Cindy Ord Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Songs Of Innocence And Bitter Experience In 'Dreamless Dead'

First Second

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 9:23 am

British army troops once kicked a soccer ball around as they went into battle. True story! In fact, it's one of the first and best anecdotes in Paul Fussell's classic study of World War I, The Great War and Modern Memory. That astonishing image illustrates just how naive the recruits were about modern war's potential for unprecedented destruction — and it sets the stage for their devastating shock and disillusionment.

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Goats and Soda
1:31 am
Fri August 22, 2014

The Dread Factor: Why Ebola And 'Contagion' Scare Us So Much

Jude Law prepares for the looming pandemic in the 2011 movie Contagion. There are huge differences between viruses in movies and Ebola in real life.
Warner Bros/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 8:09 am

The Ebola outbreak has set off an alarm around the world. Public health leaders say the intense concern is appropriate, given the unprecedented size of the outbreak and the deadliness of the virus.

But experts say the outbreak has also produced a lot of unfounded fears. Even just the word Ebola is kind of terrifying.

Why? Well, Hollywood has a lot to do with it.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

When The Wedding Is Just The Beginning

Just about everything clicks in director Ira Sachs' quietly eloquent Love is Strange, except the title. The longtime romance of painter Ben (John Lithgow) and music teacher George (Alfred Molina) doesn't seem at all odd. The men's lives, however, do take a sudden turn away from the ordinary.

The story begins in a mysterious flurry of morning activity that's soon explained. After Ben and George's nearly four decades together, same-sex marriage has become legal in New York, and the men have decided to take what hardly seems a plunge.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

'The One I Love': A Marriage That's Not Quite What It Appears

Before Charlie McDowell's fantastical debut feature The One I Love descends completely down the rabbit hole, it begins with a more everyday kind of dream. Ethan (Mark Duplass), trying to rekindle the romance in his failing marriage to Sophie (Elisabeth Moss), hopes that one magic night might do the trick. To celebrate their anniversary, he gets Sophie to re-create the night the two met, when they sneaked into a stranger's backyard to swim in their pool, only to be caught by the homeowner.

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Code Switch
2:02 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

How To Sell Diverse Books: A Bookstore Owner's Advice

How should book sellers promote diverse content? Examine their biases, and get other folks to examine their biases, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 4:24 pm

This week we've been exploring the question of diversity in the publishing industry.

From the classrooms of M.F.A. writing programs to the corporate offices of the big Manhattan publishers, NPR's Lynn Neary has reported on why there is an absence of people of color across the industry. Publishers agree that as the country's readers become more diverse, reflecting a diverse readership is increasingly becoming smart business for those who make and sell books.

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Arts/Life
1:17 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Benefit Concert For NMSU Music Business Program

  

  Fred Martino speaks with Michael Armendariz of the NMSU Music Business Program.  They discuss the program, including careers for graduates.  In addition, they talk about the program's upcoming benefit concert featuring The Hard Road Trio and Dusty Low.  The concert takes place Friday, August 29 at 7:30pm at NMSU's Atkinson Recital Hall.

Tickets are available at Hubbard's Music, Valley Pro Music, the NMSU Music Dept. Main Office, and at the door.   $10/$5 students.  

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Book Reviews
12:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Nostalgic For Noir? Feiffer's 'Kill My Mother' Is A Toxic Treat

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 5:56 am

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:32 am
Thu August 21, 2014

'Let's Be Cops,' But Then What?

Duuuuuuude! Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson explore the whimsical fun of petty tyranny in Let's Be Cops.
Frank Masi, SMPSP Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:52 pm

[This piece contains plot details from Let's Be Cops. It is not a movie about its plot details, but there you have it.]

The word is out on the buddy comedy Let's Be Cops, starring Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson — both enormously charming actors on Fox's New Girl. And what is the word? That the movie is not good, and the movie is rather atrociously timed, given that we are not in a place in the news cycle where people are enormously amused by stories about goofball police officers threatening people with nonfunctioning guns.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:46 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Playlist: Family Reunion

These stories will get you ready for your own family reunion this summer.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

It's time for a TED Radio Hour family reunion. This playlist will remind you of the special connections a family shares — through both the good and hard times.

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

Extras: TED Radio Hour
7:29 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Mistakes In Medicine: Dr. Brian Goldman Answers Your Questions

Dr. Brian Goldman speaking at TEDxToronto.
TED

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 7:45 am

Brian Goldman is an emergency room physician who has worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto for more than 20 years. He's also a prominent medical journalist and the host of CBC Radio's White Coat, Black Art. He says every doctor makes mistakes but medicine's culture of denial keeps doctors from talking about and learning from those mistakes.

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The Two-Way
5:50 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Book News: German Minister Shows Support For Authors' Amazon Protest

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

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Movies
1:34 am
Thu August 21, 2014

A Maverick Director, At Home On The Range

Robert Rodriguez ventures into Hollywood for the premiere of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:07 am

Robert Rodriguez's newest film, Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For, is about to hit theaters — it's a 3-D crime thriller based on Frank Miller's graphic novel series, laden with booze, broads and bullets.

But Rodriguez has also made comedic spaghetti Westerns, vampire flicks and four Spy Kids movies, about a young brother-sister duo of super sleuths — all from his home base in Austin, Texas.

He has been in and out of Hollywood recently, though, putting the finishing touches on Sin City 2.

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Book Reviews
3:58 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

'F' Is For Fraudster In A Family Novel For Our Modern Times

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 7:30 am

A father takes his three sons to a hypnotist's show. Called onto the stage, the father's cool self-possession and confidence seem to prevail, and he walks away, claiming no effect. They leave the show, he drops his sons off and drives away. We learn later that he has taken his passport and emptied the family bank account. The boys will not see him again until they are adults.

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Code Switch
2:24 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

Author Junot Diaz says the publishing industry must have uncomfortable conversations about diversity. The alternative, he believes, is "utter, agonizing silence."
Rick Reinhard Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Last spring, a group calling itself We Need Diverse Books launched a Twitter campaign to press for greater diversity in children's books. Writer Daniel José Older supports the campaign, but he doesn't think it goes far enough.

"We need diverse agents, we need editors, we need diverse book buyers, we need diverse illustrators, and we need diverse executives and CEOs at the top, too."

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Television
1:06 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Prepare For 'The Simpsons' Marathon With Interviews From The 'Fresh Air' Archives

Starting Thursday, FXX will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 12:10 pm

If you've ever been a fan of The Simpsons, here's your chance to see all 552 episodes of the show in the longest single-series marathon in TV history. They'll be shown back to back, in sequential order, over 12 days and nights on the FXX cable network beginning Thursday.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
9:54 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Playlist: Poolside Listens

Cool off by the pool with this playlist.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Dive into your deepest emotions as you relax by the pool. In this playlist, TED speakers explore why we like what we like, why we love being in love, and how we know we're happy.

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

Shots - Health News
7:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 10:07 am

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

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The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Book News: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Memoir To Be Published

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:12 pm

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 20, 2014

The Depths Of Memory And Pain In 'Ancient Oceans'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:52 am

Even for those of us who despise the heat and are well past school age, it's always kind of sad when summer vacation comes to a close. It feels like the end of an era, every year — goodbye to the swimming pools and water parks, the long days, the late evenings with friends. Those "back to school" sales are a kind of low-grade torment, even for those of us who kind of liked school.

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Sweetness And Light
1:33 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark

Between innings, racing sausages entertain Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?

Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.

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This Week's Must Read
3:22 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

Jeff Roberson AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

It is early August. A black man is shot by a white policeman. And the effect on the community is of "a lit match in a tin of gasoline."

No, this is not Ferguson, Mo. This was Harlem in August 1943, a period that James Baldwin writes about in the essay that gives its title to his seminal collection, Notes of a Native Son.

The story begins with the death of Baldwin's father, a proud, severe preacher who viewed all white people with suspicion, even the kindly schoolteacher who encouraged his son's writings.

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Remembrances
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Simin Behbahani, 'Lioness Of Iran,' Dies At 87

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Author Interviews
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Frustrated Professor Sounds Off To 'Committee Members'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

There's a strange form of communication we're all familiar with, for better or for worse. It's all about us, but we rarely get to read it.

It's the letter of recommendation.

A new novel by Julie Schumacher is filled with these letters, and nothing but. It's appropriately called Dear Committee Members.

All the letters come from the desk of our curmudgeonly narrator, creative writing professor Jason T. Fitger — who's got no problem telling it like it is when it comes to his students' qualifications, or their job prospects in the current economy.

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Code Switch
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While 'Other'

The Dey House, a 140-year-old mansion, is home to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the oldest MFA writing programs in the country. Director Lan Samantha Chang — who attended the workshop as a student — has made it a priority to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds to the program.
Linda Kahlbaugh AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:46 pm

For many writers, a contract with one of the major publishing houses is the Holy Grail — and getting accepted to a prestigious Master of Fine Arts program may bring aspiring writers one step closer. But these elite writing programs have a history steeped in whiteness, and writers of color don't always feel welcome.

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Shots - Health News
1:01 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

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The Two-Way
8:48 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Poet Known As The 'Lioness Of Iran' Dies At 87

Simin Behbahani during an August 2007 news conference in Tehran.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 2:19 pm

NPR senior producer Davar Ardalan spoke with Simin Behbahani in June 2009 and has this remembrance:

One of Iran's most vocal and outspoken poets died this morning in Tehran at the age of 87. Known as the "Lioness of Iran," Simin Behbahani reportedly had been in a coma for more than two weeks.

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling Profiles 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbeck

J.K. Rowling writes that Celestina Warbeck "is one of my favourite 'off-stage' characters in the whole [Harry Potter] series."
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

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

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