Arts/Life

Movie Interviews
2:24 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Marfa's Mexican-Americans Remember 'Giant' And Southwest Segregation

The 1956 film Giant was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won a Best Director Oscar for George Stevens. Above, James Dean sits on set with Robert Marquez, left, and Joe Vasquez of Marfa, Texas.
Richard C. Miller, 1955

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 3:22 pm

In 1956, the film Giant (based on the 1952 novel by Edna Ferber) took a piercing look at the Texas myth. It traced the rise of power from cattle ranchers to oil barons and examined the tensions between whites and Latinos. The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards and won a best director Oscar for George Stevens.

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Author Interviews
2:24 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Don't Take His Stapler: 'Paper Clip' Author's Passion For Office Supplies

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 3:47 pm

The percussive snap of a stapler. The crisp peeling of a Post-it note. The ruffling flip of an old Rolodex chock-full of cards. James Ward loves office supplies beyond reason — and he's written about the history of everything from the pencil to the glue stick in his new book, The Perfection of the Paper Clip.

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Monkey See
12:30 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Food In Pop Culture And Going Back To College

NPR

Just a very quick post this week while I work my way through my emotions about the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella.

On the show this week, we're joined by our pals Gene Demby and Kat Chow to tackle the issue of food in culture, including cooking shows that feature great cooks, cooking shows that feature lousy cooks, and cooking shows that actually make us better at cooking. We talk about food for the soul and food for the glutton, and we learn a fascinating biographical tidbit about Kat.

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Author Interviews
11:58 am
Fri April 24, 2015

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's regime. Kertzer recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his book The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe.

Originally broadcast Jan. 25, 2014.

Movie Reviews
11:58 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Deception And Suspense By The Sea In The Iranian Mystery 'About Elly'

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

The Salt
9:36 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Sexy, Simple, Satirical: 300 Years Of Picnics In Art

An illustration of noblemen enjoying a feast outdoors, from a French edition of The Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus, 15th century.
Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 2:32 pm

As the weather warms up, you might find yourself staring out an office window, daydreaming about what you'd rather be doing: lazing outdoors, perhaps, on a large blanket with a picnic bounty spread before you.

In fact, people have been fantasizing about picnics as a return to a simpler life pretty much since the dawn of urban living, says Walter Levy, author of The Picnic: A History.

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Art & Design
1:23 am
Fri April 24, 2015

Slow Fashion Shows Consumers What It's Made Of

The Zady clothing line sources cotton from the Texas Organic Cotton Cooperative in Lubbock, Texas.
Zady

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 11:15 am

If you're into "slow food" — the ethical response to "fast food" — you probably want to know how the animals were treated or whether pesticides were used on your vegetables. Now, the "slow fashion" movement is in the same spirit.

"It's about understanding the process or the origins of how things are made," says Soraya Darabi, co-founder of the clothing line Zady. "Where our products come from, how they're constructed and by whom. Slow fashion is really indicative of a movement of people who want to literally slow down."

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

'24 Days' Retells A Brutal Crime With Little Explanation

Zabou Breitman plays Ruth Halimi in 24 Days.
Menemsha Films

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 10:58 am

24 Days recounts the grisly fate of Ilan Halimi, the young Jewish Parisian who in 2006 was kidnapped, held for ransom and tortured beyond what his body could endure. But it's not Ilan who addresses the camera at the beginning of the film. It's his mother, Ruth Halimi (Zabou Breitman).

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Movie Reviews
3:24 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

Life Goes On (And On) In 'The Age Of Adaline'

Michiel Huisman and Blake Lively in The Age of Adaline.
Diyah Pera Lionsgate

In 1935, a 27-year-old Californian named Adaline was struck by lightning after driving off a cliff during a snowstorm. Thus, according to the magical properties of movie lightning strikes, she became immortal. More specifically, as The Age of Adaline's narrator says over the inky-dark rendition of her fateful incident, she became "immune to the ravages of time," so that even 80 years on, she can still possess the effervescent good looks and charm of Gossip Girl's Blake Lively. Adaline's also immune to the ravages of changing taste.

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The Salt
10:55 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Lunch With Monet, Dinner With Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock cooks with his wife, the artist Lee Krasner, and his mother, Stella Pollock, in the kitchen of his home in Springs, in East Hampton, N.Y., 1950.
Courtesy Pollock‑Krasner House and Study Center

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 8:51 am

Regardless of our cooking prowess, all of us have undoubtedly spent some time in the kitchen. We all need to eat, and our preferences are intensely personal. Yet food is often overlooked in the biographies of anyone who wasn't a chef or gastronomic icon.

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Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

"AMA" Let You Finish

For this final round, every answer ends with our show's initials, A-M-A. We say, "This Nepalese prince found enlightenment and became the Buddha;" you say, "Siddhartha Gautama."

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

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

Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Remember Me?

VIP Ingrid Michaelson whips out her ukulele and joins Jonathan Coulton for a game about amnesia-afflicted movie characters, set to the tune of Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know."

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

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

Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

You People Are Animals

Do you know which rock star was nicknamed The Lizard King? That and more animal-based nicknames are the answers to this round's questions. You'll rawr with laughter.

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

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

Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Second Chances

In this game, contestants win by coming in second. We ask questions with fairly well-known "number one" answers; knowing the "second place" answer is worth double points. Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift no longer has to live in 2 Fast 2 Furious' shadow.

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Ingrid Michaelson: Girl Chases Quiz Chases Girl

Ophira Eisenberg & Ingrid Michaelson, 2015
Josh Rogosin

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Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Edit Please!

Which classic novel is "a group of lions and a bias that prevents objective consideration of an issue"? For this game we give an overly verbose title of a book for contestants to edit down.

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

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

Ask Me Another
7:09 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Go Fish!

A verbal version of the children's card game "Go Fish", but with groups of things other than fish. Have you got any Cavendish, Lady Fingers, or Rajahs? Go bananas!

Heard in Quiz Me The Way I Am

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

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 23, 2015

'Lovelace And Babbage' Is A Thrilling Adventure

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:10 am

Can you say "Yowza!" when discussing Victorian England? Let's hope so, because Sydney Padua's new book is definitely "Yowza!" material. Considering that its subject is math — math and the history of the computer — it may deserve a "Yowza!" and a half. By spotlighting two controversial, charismatic people who laid the earliest foundations for the computer revolution, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage transforms punch cards and little brass cogs into the stuff of legend.

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Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

The Nearly Lost Story Of Cambodian Rock 'N' Roll

Cambodian band Baksei Cham Krong.
Mol Kamach Courtesy of Argot Pictures

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:25 pm

The tragic story of Cambodia in the '60s and '70s is well-known: It became engulfed in the Vietnam War, then more than a million Cambodians died under the Khmer Rouge regime. Doctors, lawyers, teachers — educated people — were targeted in the communist takeover. So were artists and singers.

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Television
1:46 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

'Last Man' Will Forte On Beards, Comedy And Bruce Dern's Acting Advice

A man and his beard: Will Forte plays a man seeking companionship in a world wasted by disease in The Last Man on Earth.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:25 am

In Fox's television show The Last Man on Earth, Saturday Night Live alum Will Forte plays a man who survives a deadly virus that has decimated the human population. In the show, Forte's character, Phil, despairs when he thinks he is the last human on earth. He drives around a lonely landscape, creating billboards that announce "Alive in Tucson" on the off-chance that someone will see them.

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Parallels
1:04 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Of Fruit Hats And 'Happy Tropics,' A Renaissance For Carmen Miranda

During her lifetime, singer and dancer Carmen Miranda (shown here in a dressing room at the London Palladium in 1948) was a huge success in the United States, but rejected at home in Brazil as a sellout.
George Konig Keystone Features/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 5:59 pm

Known for her outrageous costumes and beautiful voice, Brazilian performer Carmen Miranda was the highest-earning woman in Hollywood in the 1940s.

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Code Switch
12:06 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

In Its Season Finale, 'Fresh Off The Boat' Is Still Wrestling With Authenticity

"Why are you dressed like Chun Li from Street Fighter?" Eddie asks his mom Jessica.
Fresh Off The Boat/ABC

Originally published on Fri April 24, 2015 9:06 am

Note: This piece contains spoilers.

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The Salt
11:31 am
Wed April 22, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Wed April 22, 2015

'People' Names Sandra Bullock, 50, World's Most Beautiful Woman

Sandra Bullock is at the top of People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015.
People

Actress Sandra Bullock tops People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015, becoming the oldest person to do so in the list's 25-year history. Three-time winner Julia Roberts was 42 when she last took the top spot.

It's the first time Bullock has won the honor — but if you've been experiencing cultural déjà vu lately, you're not alone.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Gift Worth $400 Million To Art Institute Of Chicago Includes Works By Warhol

Andy Warhol's Mona Lisa Four Times, 1978.
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Edlis/Neeson Collection

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 1:35 pm

Chicago art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have given a "landmark gift" of pop art to the Art Institute of Chicago, handing over 42 works that were created by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and others.

After the donation was officially accepted Tuesday night, the museum's president and director, Douglas Druick, told The Chicago Tribune, "This is one of the landmark gifts in our 136-year history."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Toni Morrison's New Novel Is Best Read With Her Backlist In Mind

Toni Morrison's novels include Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 10:14 am

When we talk about Toni Morrison, we are also talking about what it means to thrive in the midst of well-manicured and eloquent hostility. With God Help The Child, Morrison — America's only living Nobel Prize-winning novelist — has offered us not only her 11th novel, but an opportunity to meditate on the tension between the idea of the artist and the reality of the artist herself.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 22, 2015

'Vermilion' Finds New Magic In The Old West

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:29 pm

History may be written by the victors, but alternate history is written by anyone with a lust for the past — both established and imagined. Molly Tanzer's imagination is keener than almost anyone's. Her new novel, Vermilion is a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy. In the book's wild vision of 1870, the North won the Civil War with the help of a race of intelligent, talking bears. A similarly endowed species of sea lion keeps shop in the streets of San Francisco.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Remembering Pat Dowell, Longtime Film Reporter For NPR

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:33 am

Pat Dowell, a freelance film reporter for NPR, died on Sunday. Dowell had been dealing with health issues for some time, but her death came as a surprise. She was 66 years old.

Pat was a freelancer for us for close to 30 years. Before that, she was a film critic for a number of publications and first appeared on our air in that capacity in 1974, when she talked to then-All Things Considered host Susan Stamberg about the TV series Rhoda and feminism.

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:31 am

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

After 20 Years On The Job, NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:46 am

In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He says that when he was in uniform, it wasn't unusual to handle 20 jobs a night. And in plainclothes, in the anti-crime unit, his teams would make several felony collars a week, mostly robberies, assaults and gun arrests.

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