Arts/Life

This Week's Must Read
3:42 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Amid NFL Scandals, A Novel About America's Love Of The Sport

This was not the way America wanted the NFL season to start.

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Book Reviews
3:27 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:08 pm

This time of year always reminds me of a wonderfully autumnal poem called "How to Like It," by Stephen Dobyns. Set in "the first days of fall," the poem describes a man whose summer seems long over: Old memories weigh on him, and new adventures feel just out of reach.

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Code Switch
2:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Examining Bill Cosby's Legacy As 'The Cosby Show' Turns 30

The Cosby Show starred Bill Cosby and Phylicia Rashad as Cliff and Clair Huxtable, an upper-middle-class couple in New York. Tempestt Bledsoe, Malcolm-Jamal Warner, Lisa Bonet and Keshia Knight Pulliam played four of their five children.
Frank Carroll AP

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:59 pm

The Cosby Show celebrates its 30th birthday on Saturday.

It was a monster hit inspired by the comedy and life experiences of its star, Bill Cosby, as shown in the new biography Cosby: His Life and Times. In the book, author Mark Whitaker makes a strong argument that Cosby's comedic style and approach to race issues turned The Cosby Show into television's most quietly subversive program.

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Food
2:16 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Goodband compares these Knobbed Russets to shrunken heads. Others say potatoes or toads. They're all gnarled and warty and brown, but don't be intimidated: They taste great when ripe. They originated in Sussex, England, in 1819.
Melissa Block NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 4:08 pm

It's apple season, and if you go to the supermarket you'll find the usual suspects: Red and Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, MacIntosh. But these big, shiny, perfect apples often look better than they taste. Thankfully, there's a whole world of heirloom apples out there — fruit that may look funky, but tastes fantastic, with flavors unlike any you've tried before.

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Movie Reviews
11:43 am
Fri September 19, 2014

A Detective's 'Walk Among The Tombstones' Is Gripping But Unsatisfying

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

The Salt
10:05 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Women Can't Make Sushi, And Other Fishy Myths, Busted

One of the delicious tricks we picked up at sushi school: how to make this spicy salmon cucumber and crunchy shrimp roll.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 1:45 pm

The once rarefied taste of raw fish has now become an American staple.

Sushi is found at the humblest of supermarkets and on conveyor belt restaurants at the mall.

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TED Radio Hour
8:06 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Did The Son Of A Terrorist Choose Peace?

"In that instant I realized how much energy it takes to hold that hatred inside of you" — Zak Ebrahim
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:19 pm

Part 1 of TED Radio Hour episode Transformation.

About Zak Ebrahim's TED Talk

Zak Ebrahim is the son of terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair, one of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He tells the story of being raised to hate and how he chose a very different path.

About Zak Ebrahim

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TED Radio Hour
8:06 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Can Someone Move Beyond Murder?

"Oftentimes it feels like we're literally talking about another person ... I've had moments where I've cried for that young man that I was" — Shaka Senghor
Brittany Buongiorno TED

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 11:50 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Transformation.

About Shaka Senghor's Talk

At the age of 19, Shaka Senghor was jailed for shooting and killing a man. That event started his years-long journey to redemption.

About Shaka Senghor

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TED Radio Hour
8:06 am
Fri September 19, 2014

How Do You Reveal A Life-Changing Transformation?

"It's one of those moments in your life where you're so conscious about what you're about to do, and what you're about to do will change your life." --€” Geena Rocero
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:22 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Transformation.

About Geena Rocero's Talk

For most of Geena Rocero's career modeling lingerie and swimsuits, no one knew she was born a boy. Rocero talks about her decision to risk her career and reveal her background.

About Geena Rocero

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Movie Reviews
6:55 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Terry Gilliam Sees Future Through Familiar Eyes In 'The Zero Theorem'

Christoph Waltz plays a genius programmer in The Zero Theorem.
Voltage Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 7:59 am

Given that Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem first screened at the Venice Film Festival last year, it's absolutely coincidental that it's getting a theatrical release in the same season as the Stephen Hawking biopic, The Theory of Everything. Nevertheless, the confluence works well. Both are films about searches for a mathematical theory that will explain all existence — from its beginning in a big bang to, in Zero Theorem at least, its return to a black hole.

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Movie Reviews
6:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

A Tall And Silly Tale Signifies Nothing In 'Tusk'

In Kevin Smith's best movies — and his worst ones, for that matter — the characters talk a whole lot of nonsense. That's also true of Tusk, the writer-director's second foray into horror. This time, the villain actually follows through on his nutty chatter. But he still spends a lot more time talking than torturing.

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Movie Reviews
6:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Crossing The Desert, Making 'Tracks'

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:07 am

Scenic and a touch bloodless, Tracks is a tastefully off-Hollywood version of the upcoming Wild. Wild is bound to make a lot more noise, and not just because it has Reese Witherspoon in the lead as a grief-stricken Cheryl Strayed hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to get over her beloved mother's death. Tracks is a little too subdued for its own good.

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Movie Reviews
6:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

'This Is Where I Leave You' Makes A Family Story Too Ordinary

Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll play the quarrelsome Altman siblings, each with their own share of emotional baggage.
Nicole Rivelli Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 7:48 am

Ordinariness is a quality in movies that likely bothers critics and enthusiasts more than it does other people. The more films you see, the more the enemy becomes not just poor quality but familiarity, simply because even an inoffensive cliche becomes a cinematic earworm after a while — something that makes your brain flinch simply at the "this again!" of it all. This Is Where I Leave You, a family comedy-drama adapted by Jonathan Tropper from his 2009 novel, is unfortunately a very ordinary film, particularly for one adapted from such a thoughtful and tonally tricky book.

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Monkey See
6:51 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Fall Films Preview And Betting On New Television

NPR

We've had a lively summer on PCHH, full of live events and quizzes and special guests and even Stephen hosting episodes (!) (kidding!), but this week, we've got our pal Bob Mondello in the studio for some good old-fashioned movie and TV chatter.

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Arts/Life
6:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

New Exhibit Opening At NMSU Las Cruces Museum

  O’odham Himdag: Weaving a Way of Life features forty baskets from the University Museum collection representing works created by historic and contemporary Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Tohono O’odham (Papago) weavers of central and southern Arizona and northern Mexico. The O’odham Himdag, or desert people’s lifeways, encompasses cultural knowledge, values, and beliefs, all which are woven into each basket.

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Book News & Features
4:50 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 5:57 am

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

Code Switch
3:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

Broadway, New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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Television
1:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

'Madame Secretary' Pales In Comparison To 'The Good Wife'

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Long, Scary Journey From A 'Terrorist's Son' To A Peace Activist

In a March 2014 TED talk, Ebrahim credited The Daily Show's Jon Stewart with helping him realize that "a person's race, religion or sexual orientation had nothing to do with the quality of one's character."
Ryan Lash

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father, El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-Orthodox, anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League. That was in 1990.

Then, from prison, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators.

Ebrahim was shocked to learn what his father was capable of. So was Ebrahim's mother. Ebrahim writes his story in his new memoir, The Terrorist's Son.

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Ask Me Another
8:58 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Passionate Proclamations With Gilbert Gottfried

"Every time something pops in my head, I think twice about it and I do it anyway." - Gilbert Gottfried.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Gilbert Gottfried likes his comedy with a side of something dangerous.

"I think an audience - like when they go to a horror movie or get on a rollercoaster - they want that feeling like they're going to die," he said. "And then [they] get off and everything's okay. And I think when they see a comic they want to feel like something bad could happen. And with me, something bad is happening, because they spent money to see me."

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Ask Me Another
8:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Go Johnny, Go!

Originally published on

Go, Johnny Coulton, go! Our one-man house band plays the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" with the lyrics rewritten to be about other famous guys named John. Can you sing your way to victory?

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Time Machine

Join us, if you will, and travel back to 1914. All questions must be answered from the vantage point of that year, such as, how many stars are on the US Flag? But be quick: WWI is about to start, and the Wi-Fi here is terrible.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Big Score

We wish we were as enthusiastic about anything as announcer Andres Cantor is about a soccer ball going into a net. Play a game about words or names that contain the sound "go," like "GOOOOO-pher!"

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Rap It Up

We're wrapping up the show with a game featuring the letters R-A-P. All answers contain those letters in consecutive order. For example, "a long-haired lady in fairy tales" is "Rapunzel."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Cultured Film Quotes

We love low-brow film, but every once in a while, we crave high culture. In this game, we've classed up a few famous movie quotes with the names of important historical figures: "I'll be Bach."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Everything But The 'Y'

There are words... and then there are super words! Supervocalics are words that include each of the vowels A, E, I, O and U, like "tambourine." All of the answers in this game share this special power.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Book News: Fiction Longlist Is Out For The National Book Awards

The fiction shortlist for the National Book Awards will be announced Oct. 15.
NationalBook.org

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Calvino's Cosmicomic Collection Treads The Final Frontier: America

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:05 am

Italo Calvino has a habit that's hard not to find disconcerting. Halfway through a story, or even a few sentences in, he often pauses — briefly, glibly — to mention in passing that everything he has written so far is wrong. Oh, and the same goes for what's to come. But it's best not to let it slow us down, he suggests. This will happen sometimes when you're inventing worlds and ideas that can't be put into words.

But words are all he's got — so deal with it.

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Race
4:31 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 12:37 pm

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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Book Reviews
4:40 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Martin Amis' 'Zone Of Interest' Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:48 pm

When I picked up Martin Amis' new novel, The Zone of Interest, it felt as though I had touched a third rail, so powerful and electric is the experience of reading it. After years of playing the snide card and giving his great store of talents to the business of giving other people the business, Amis has turned again to the matter of Nazi horrors (he tried to deal with it in a gimmicky way in his 1991 novel Time's Arrow), and the result is a book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.

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