Arts/Life

The Two-Way
3:24 pm
Tue May 5, 2015

Edison's Talking Dolls Can Now Provide The Soundtrack To Your Nightmares

Thomas Edison's talking dolls were reportedly pretty robust, but their miniature phonographs were another story.
Collection of Robin and Joan Rolfs Courtesy of Thomas Edison National Historical Park

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:34 pm

Back in 1890, Thomas Edison gave us the world's first talking dolls. Today, the glassy-eyed cherubs that are still around stand about 2 feet tall; they have wooden limbs and a metal body; and they sound supercreepy. (If you're looking for a soundtrack to your nightmares, listen to the audio story above.) Edison built and sold about 500 of them back in 1890. Now, new technology has made hearing them possible for the first time in decades.

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Book Reviews
11:20 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'One Of Us' Examines The Damaged Inner Terrain Of Norwegian Mass Shooter

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:12 pm

Columbine; Port Arthur, Australia; The Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Newtown — the list goes on and on. And, by now, the elements of this type of massacre have become ritualized: usually one, but sometimes more than one, deeply disaffected person, almost always male, who is heavily armed with guns and/or explosives, targets the innocent. In the aftermath, which sometimes includes a trial, the crucial question of "Why?" is never really answered. Instead, most of us are left to wonder how any human being, however twisted, could be capable of such horror.

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The Salt
11:20 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon

Author Barry Estabrook says pigs can be taught to play computer games and recognize themselves in a mirror.
W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:59 pm

Journalist Barry Estabrook knows how to enjoy a juicy heritage pork chop. He'll also be the first to tell you what intelligent, sensitive creatures pigs are. "I had no idea how smart they were until I got in the research," Estabrook tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Book Reviews
9:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

No Easy Answers In 'The Book Of Aron'

Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf

"My mother and father named me Aron, but my father said they should have named me What Have You Done, and my uncle told everyone they should have called me What Were You Thinking." These are the first words of Jim Shepard's Holocaust-themed novel The Book of Aron, the reader's first introduction to the book's chronically depressed and likely doomed protagonist. Aron Różycki is a young boy when the story begins; by the end, after the Germans have occupied Warsaw and forced the city's Jews into a ghetto, he's older in ways that time can't measure.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue May 5, 2015

'Vorrh' Takes A Dizzying Trek Into The Dark Heart of Fantasy

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 11:36 am

Before Brian Catling's debut novel, The Vorrh, was published in his native England in 2012, he'd already racked up an impressive list of credentials — just not as a fiction writer. His poetry, sculpture, paintings and performance-art pieces have been getting international acclaim for decades.

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The 'Morning Edition' Book Club
3:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Join The 'Morning Edition' Book Club As We Read 'A God In Ruins'

A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson is May's Morning Edition book club selection. We'll talk with Atkinson on June 16. Read along with us, and send us your questions and comments about the book. (Book guide by Veronica Erb/NPR)
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 3:28 pm

Welcome to the second session of the Morning Edition book club! Here's how it works: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. About a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

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Fine Art
2:28 am
Tue May 5, 2015

At LA Museum, A Powerful And Provocative Look At 'Islamic Art Now'

In her 2008 work Reclining Odalisque, Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi shows a woman covered in calligraphy.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 11:48 am

Art galleries are generally quiet, hushed spaces, but at the Los Angeles County Museum a show called Islamic Art Now is sparking some heated discussions as visitors ponder the photographs, paintings and neon sculptures on display.

Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi has covered every inch of a reclining odalisque with graceful Arabic calligraphy. The woman is staring right at us, and viewers wonder: Is the writing protection? A shield? Imprisonment?

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Music Interviews
12:03 am
Tue May 5, 2015

Willie Nelson: 'Ain't Many Of Us Left'

In his new memoir, It's A Long Story, Willie Nelson writes about his early career as a DJ in Fort Worth. He can still recite what he'd say on the air.
David McClister Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 7:14 am

The first thing you notice when you get on Willie Nelson's tour bus is a pungent aroma. Parked outside a gigantic casino and performance venue in Thackerville, Okla., Nelson offers NPR's David Greene a joint, which Greene declines. Nelson says he understands.

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Arts/Life
4:06 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

DAMN Union

Book News & Features
3:07 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Ruth Rendell Dies, Pioneered The Psychological Thriller

Ruth Rendell won countless awards for her work, including the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award and the Crime Writers' Association Diamond Dagger for lifetime achievement.
Jerry Bauer

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 12:02 am

Famed British crime writer Ruth Rendell died this past weekend in London. She was 85 and had suffered a stroke in January.

Best known for her long-running Inspector Wexford series — which was adapted for television — she pioneered a psychological approach to thriller writing. She also wrote darker, more contemplative books as Barbara Vine. In her later years, she was made a baroness and took up Labour Party politics.

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The Salt
2:16 pm
Mon May 4, 2015

Sandwich Monday: We're Full

Because of the limited structural integrity of The Saltwich, Robert had to employ the Butterfly Grip in 2013.
NPR

In 2010, we started eating sandwiches. Five years later, we are officially full. From now on, Sandwich Monday is going to be an occasional feature here on The Salt, rather than a regular one.

There are many reasons, but mostly it's because Miles knows a guy who knows a guy who says he can replace all of our blood with gorilla plasma and this will undo everything we've done to our bodies since the series began, but he only works on Mondays.

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Television
11:24 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Last Days Of Dave: Paying Homage To Letterman's Weird And Quirky Legacy

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 8:20 am

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Sports
11:24 am
Mon May 4, 2015

Silence On The Sidelines: An MLB Insider's 'Manifesto' On Youth Sports

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 11:25 am

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

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:20 am
Mon May 4, 2015

'Mad Men' Skates Across A Changed And Changing Landscape

Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
AMC AMC

Sunday night's Mad Men was the antepenultimate episode of the series – a word we don't get to use enough, but one that can be surprisingly significant in television. The second to last episode is often (rightly or wrongly) understood and analyzed as finale table-setting, so this third to last episode is sometimes the last that feels like the regular show. And for Mad Men, it seemed to serve as a crystallizing hour for the themes that the show has returned to over and over, reaching no conclusions about those themes but turning them over and over in its narrative hands.

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Book Reviews
8:04 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Former Country Girl Catches Fire In 'The Love Object'

The Love Object
Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 2:12 pm

When Edna O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960, her family and neighbors in the small Irish village where she was born tossed copies into a bonfire expressly set for that horrifying purpose. Nearly 60 years later, the country girl herself has long since moved to London, but her fiction still blazes (if only in metaphor). That's what I found while reading my way through The Love Object, a newly published selection of more than 30 of O'Brien's short stories.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon May 4, 2015

'I Take You' Is Madcap Marital Mayhem

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:00 pm

Are some people "constitutionally unsuited" to marriage? That's the question the free-spirited narrator of Eliza Kennedy's saucy first novel, I Take You, keeps asking herself between drinks, seductions and a mess of complications during the frenetic week leading up to her Key West wedding.

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Shots - Health News
1:03 am
Mon May 4, 2015

A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father's Death

Of I Wish You the Sunshine of Tomorrow, Rodgers says: "The ICU room my dad was in on the day he died had yellow walls. Every time we visited him we had to wear hospital gowns that were a bright yellow. [It] was a recurring color in that whole time frame of my life."
Courtesy of Jennifer Rodgers

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 1:24 pm

A month after her father died of sepsis, Jennifer Rodgers began creating maps.

She took a large piece of paper, splattered it with black paint and then tore it into pieces. Then she began to draw: short black lines mimic the steps she walked in the hospital hallway during her father's hospitalization.

"It was a physical release of emotion for me," she says.

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My Big Break
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

From Bond Girl To Medicine Woman: Jane Seymour's Big Break

Roger Moore and Jane Seymour in Live And Let Die.
Danjaq/Eon/UA/The Kobal Collection

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.

You know actress Jane Seymour from the frontier town of Colorado Springs in the hit TV show Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.

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Author Interviews
4:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

With Comedic Touch, 'Zombie Wars' Tackles Impact Of Real Violence

Emily Jan NPR

Night of the Living Dead director George Romero once told NPR his movies have always been less about zombies, and more about humans and the mistakes they make.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun May 3, 2015

A Puzzle With Everything, Including The Kitchen Sink

NPR

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

On-air challenge: Each word provided is an anagram of something you might see in a kitchen. For example, "skin" is an anagram of "sink."

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History
5:49 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Orson Welles, Famous In Film, Also Brought Radio To Life

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Ladies and gentlemen, the director of the Mercury Theatre and star of these broadcasts, Orson Welles.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Demystifying The Art World In 'Playing To The Gallery'

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Music Interviews
4:59 am
Sun May 3, 2015

Kurt Cobain Speaks — Through Art And Audio Diaries — In 'Montage Of Heck'

Kurt Cobain with daughter Frances.
Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 12:09 pm

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Books
4:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

An Ohio Couple Would Like To Forget 'A Gronking To Remember'

The e-book's original cover image was used without permission, according to a lawsuit filed against Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple.
Amazon via The Daily Beast

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 4:46 pm

A Gronking to Remember: Book One in the Rob Gronkowski Erotica Series shot up the e-book sales charts in January. Written by a fan of the New England Patriots, the work of erotic fiction centers around a couple in a troubled marriage; the wife is entranced by seeing the Patriots tight end, Rob Gronkowski, play football.

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Author Interviews
4:27 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

Author Hopes Holocaust-Themed Picture Book Will Prompt Conversations

Prolific author Jane Yolen is best known for her novel The Devil's Arithmetic -- the story of a modern American girl transported back in time to 1940s Poland, where she experiences first-hand life in a concentration camp.

Yolen has also written many children's picture books, like the classic How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Those very different books both have something in common with her newest release. It's a picture book for kids — about the Holocaust.

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Author Interviews
1:37 pm
Sat May 2, 2015

John Lydon: The Foul-Mouthed Yob Sets The Record Straight

John "Johnny Rotten" Lydon, seen here with his band Public Image Ltd at the 2013 Glastonbury Festival, is the former frontman of the Sex Pistols.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 4:27 pm

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The Two-Way
8:12 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Novelist Ruth Rendell, Author Of 'Wexford' Books, Dies At 85

A September 1995 photo shows Ruth Rendell, in London. The prolific crime writer died Saturday at the age of 85.
Max Nash AP

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 12:05 pm

British mystery and crime writer Ruth Rendell — one of the most prolific authors in the genre, with more than 60 novels — has died at age 85 following a stroke in January, her publisher said in a statement.

"It is with great sadness that the family of author Ruth Rendell, Baroness Rendell of Babergh, CBE, announce that she passed away in London at 8am on Saturday 2 May, aged 85. The family have requested privacy at this time," Hutchison said in the statement.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:22 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Not My Job: Designer Jonathan Adler Gets Quizzed On New Coke

Brad Barket Getty Images for Bing

Originally published on Mon May 4, 2015 8:05 am

Back when he was a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Jonathan Adler was told that he'd never make it as an artist, and he should go be a lawyer. But Adler continued making his pottery, and today his design empire includes 26 stores named for him all over the world.

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Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

'Outsider Baseball': Tells Tales Of Obscure Baseball Characters

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Arts & Life
5:59 am
Sat May 2, 2015

Above The Fray: Mafate Offers A Roadless, Island Isolation

Originally published on Sat May 2, 2015 8:26 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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