Arts/Life

Movies
3:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Revisiting An 'Endless Summer'

Widely considered one of the best surfer movies in American history, Endless Summer celebrates its 50th anniversary this week.
Monterey Media Inc.

"This is Bruce Brown, thank you for watching, I hope you enjoyed my film."

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Maturity And Improvisation In 'Happy Christmas'

Cast members including Anna Kendrick (center) and Lena Dunham (left), seen here with filmmaker Joe Swanberg's son Jude (right), improvised many of the film's scenes.
Magnolia Pictures

Reckless immaturity in young people is generally diagnosed across generations, most often by parents worried about their supposedly underachieving kids. That makes the premise of Joe Swanberg's Happy Christmas relatively refreshing, even as it covers well-known ground.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'A Most Wanted Man': A Parable Grounded In The Real World

Philip Seymour Hoffman stars in A Most Wanted Man, director Anton Corbijn's adaptation of John le Carré's 2008 novel, as German intelligence officer Günther Bachmann.
Roadside Attractions

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:46 pm

Fittingly, one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's final performances is in a movie about role-playing. The masterly actor mutters and growls his way through A Most Wanted Man as a spy who's simultaneously fighting two losing wars: against the West's enemies as well as his own putative allies.

Further deepening the movie's ambiguity, the American actor plays a German in a story whose payoff is pungently anti-American.

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Author Interviews
2:21 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

When It Comes To Creativity, Are Two Heads Better Than One?

Brothers and aviation pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright walk together in 1910.
National Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:52 pm

Joshua Wolf Shenk doesn't believe in the myth of the lone genius. "What has one person ever done alone?" he asks NPR's Robert Siegel. "We think of Martin Luther King and Sigmund Freud and Warren Buffett and Steve Jobs as these great solo creators, but in fact, if you look into the details of their life, they are enmeshed in relationships all the way through."

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Book Reviews
2:15 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Tigerman' Will Get Its Claws Into You

How do you know when a book has hooked you? When it really gets you in the guts and won't let go?

When you can't stop telling people about it. When you catch yourself inserting the title of the book into conversations where it has no place, breathlessly insisting to all your friends and relations that they need to read this book right now, and waving it around on elevators and hoping that someone asks you about it.

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Book Reviews
12:27 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:45 pm

There's a wonderful 1982 memoir called An Orphan in History by the late Village Voice writer Paul Cowan. It's about Cowan's search for his European Jewish roots, and in it he says something about the sacrifices of older generations of immigrants that's always stayed with me. Cowan says: "Millions of immigrant families . . . left the economically and culturally confining Old World towns where they were raised, and paid for the freedom and prosperity this country offered with their pasts."

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Arts/Life
9:58 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Film Review: Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

  Jack Fields reviews:  Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

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Movies
9:58 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Name Your Sequel II: Not Just Roman Numerals Anymore

If you want to move beyond just numbers for your sequel titles, critic Bob Mondello says there are a few informal rules you need to follow.

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 4:22 pm

Remember when movie companies just put Roman numerals at the end of titles when they made sequels? Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV. Well, not anymore.

This summer, we've had X-Men: Days of Future Past, with no mention that it's either the sixth or seventh X-Men movie, depending on how you're counting. Also 22 Jump Street, the across-the-street follow-up to 21 Jump Street. And Begin Again (which ought to be a sequel, but isn't).

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Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Random Questions With: Andy Serkis

"I don't know if I'm the best at it, but I have a go." -Serkis on performance capture
David James Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 3:24 pm

Andy Serkis is a renowned actor, but you may not recognize his face. The most famous of his roles include the "ring-junkie" Gollum in The Lord of the Rings films and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes and this summer's Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Serkis disappears completely into his characters, thanks to performance capture technology that films his face and body movements, and translates them to digitally created avatars.

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Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

How To Succeed At Trivia

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 10:41 am

Is listening to our show the secret to succeeding at trivia games? And how! In this quiz, the answers are common phrases and titles that begin with "how," such as How I Met Your Mother.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Fair-Weather Friends

There's a trivia storm in the forecast: All the answers in this quiz are celebrities and characters whose names are weather-related. Which poet's travels were blocked by ice crystals? Robert Frost!

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Place That Band

Geography rocks! Jonathan Coulton sings songs by classic rock bands named after cities, states, countries and continents, while rewriting the lyrics to hint at the locations.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

The Most Unusual Tea Shop In The World

At the Ask Me Another tea shop, we don't sell chai, but we do have tea that encourages faith and devotion: "loyal-tea." That's because all answers in this game sound like "tea." Share a cup with us!

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Andy Serkis: God Save The Queen's English

Andy Serkis.
Amanda Schwab/Starpix

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 2:45 pm

In his Ask Me Another Challenge, Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Lord of the Rings) helps expand your vocabulary to include a spot of British slang. Any idea what the "collywobbles" are, or what happens when you throw on a "boob tube" before leaving the house? You'll be speaking like a Brit in no time.

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Ask Me Another
8:19 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Patriotic Language

Why do we call them "French fries" even though they aren't French? When you're done pondering that question, you'll find that all answers in this final round contain nationalities.

Heard in Episode 322: A Primate Example

Pop Culture
6:35 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Thanks To Backpack's Revival, Lugging Stuff Is Fashionable Again

So trendy. Again.
Shutterstock

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 11:33 am

Backpacks are making a comeback. Which shouldn't be surprising. We're so obsessed with athletic wear designed to be worn everywhere but the gym, so it would seem inevitable that sports bags would make an appearance, too.

But it's not the bag filled with American history books that kids heave to school. Nor is it the rugged, nylon thing athletes carry around. These backpacks are clever examples of fashion following function.

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Book Reviews
5:04 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 10:01 am

Two remarkable graphic novels being released this week are themed around shadow-selves, legacies and second chances: Bryan Lee O'Malley's Seconds is about a woman given the opportunity to magically undo past mistakes, while Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew's The Shadow Hero revises a mysterious golden-age superhero called the Green Turtle by fleshing out his Asian-American origins.

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The Salt
4:13 am
Thu July 24, 2014

With Help From America's Test Kitchen, Why Buy When You Can DIY?

This hazelnut-chocolate spread looks like the iconic Nutella, but it tastes more richly of hazelnuts, says Chris Kimball.
Anthony Tieuli America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 1:49 pm

Even people who love to cook don't make everything from scratch. You might make a homemade graham cracker crust, but who makes graham crackers?

Chris Kimball, that's who.

The host of America's Test Kitchen on TV and radio says there are quite a few foods you'd never think of making for yourself that you actually can. But why would you go to the trouble of hacking things — balsamic vinegar, Greek yogurt, caramel, Nutella spread, dairy-free whipped cream — that are so easily bought in the store?

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Movie Reviews
12:57 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

The Beatles perform one of their songs while filming A Hard Day's Night in 1964.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:19 pm

Back in 1964, movie audiences were treated to three hit musicals. Two of them — Mary Poppins and My Fair Lady — won scads of Oscars. But it was the third that announced the future, and it did so from its opening chord.

What followed from that chord was what we call The Sixties.

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Animals
12:57 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Cat PDA Vs. Human PDA, And Other Animal Behavior Explained

Veterinarian Vint Virga says that animals in zoos, like this lion, need to have a bit of control over their environment.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 3:40 pm

From feisty kittens to pacing cheetahs, Vint Virga knows animal behavior.

A veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

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Wisdom Watch
10:24 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Two Prominent Museum Directors Encourage 'New Ways Of Thinking'

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Book News: Booker Prize, Now Open To U.S. Authors, Longlists 5 Americans

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed July 23, 2014

'Rocket Girl' Is A Jetpack-Powered 21st Century Angel

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 11:17 am

One word: jetpack. You perked up, right? When most of us dream of the future, jetpacks are one of the first things we dream about. And yet, even now that the future is indisputably here, we continue to be denied the ultimate sci-fi accessory. With all the 21st-century tech we've got these days — maps that talk, hand-held videophones — why aren't we all flying through the air with the greatest of renewable-energy-fueled ease? Maybe jetpacks need a special kind of power, an explosive force the average adult just can't muster. Maybe they need a teenager instead — say, a teen girl.

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Business
3:59 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Happy 30th Birthday, PG-13!

Ruth Black iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 10:21 am

The PG-13 movie rating celebrates its 30th birthday this month. Until 1984, the Motion Picture Association of America rated films as G, PG, R or X. But that year a couple of gory scenes in PG-rated movies raised concerns.

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Book Reviews
4:18 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Book Review: 'Angels Make Their Hope Here'

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDRED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Now to 19th-century New Jersey and a new novel. It set among unusually tolerant people. A racially mixed community that offers refuge to independent souls. Alan Cheuse has this review of the novel "Angels Make Their Hope Here" by Breena Clarke.

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Author Interviews
1:34 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:23 pm

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union during World War II, Nazi commanders had another worry besides the Red Army. Epidemics of typhus fever, which is transmitted by body lice, killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during and after World War I.

As World War II raged, typhus reappeared in war-torn areas and in Jewish ghettos, where cramped, harsh conditions were a perfect breeding ground for lice.

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Monkey See
10:28 am
Tue July 22, 2014

'Audience Measurement': How Networks And Critics Are Wrestling With Numbers

iStockphoto

If the Television Critics Association press tour of 2014, wrapping up Tuesday and Wednesday with presentations from PBS, has had a catchphrase, it's "audience measurement."

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Commentary
6:03 am
Tue July 22, 2014

What 'The Golden Girls' Taught Us About AIDS

In true kick-ass Golden Girls fashion, Rose (Betty White, from left) Dorothy (Bea Arthur) and Blanche (Rue McClanahan) showed us how utterly human we all are at any age.
AP

"Dammit, why is this happening to me? I mean, this shouldn't happen to people like me."

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The Two-Way
5:31 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Book News: Thomas Berger, Author Of 'Little Big Man,' Dies

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

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Book Reviews
5:21 am
Tue July 22, 2014

London Through The Eyes Of Dickens In 'The Victorian City'

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:20 am

In September 1777, Samuel Johnson declared to his friend James Boswell, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life."

Johnson actually was referring to his hectic social calendar, but he did have a point. The city he was discussing was on course to become the largest metropolis the world had ever seen. In 1800, London was home to 1 million residents. By 1911 that number had grown to a staggering 7 million: a population far greater than Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg and Moscow combined at that time.

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