Arts/Life

Author Interviews
1:49 am
Tue April 28, 2015

'Ashley's War' Details Vital Work Of Female Soldiers In Afghanistan

First Lt. Ashley White was one of the some 55 to 60 women selected for cultural support teams that deployed to Afghanistan in 2011.
Courtesy of the White Family

Originally published on Tue April 28, 2015 3:15 am

The Pentagon says women could be eligible for all combat roles in the military by next year, but some women already have been fighting — and dying — for their country. They're serving right alongside elite special operations units, such as the Navy SEALs or Army Rangers.

It's part of an effort to connect with half of the Afghan population that was off-limits to male soldiers: the women. Some military leaders considered reaching them one of the keys to winning the war.

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Mon April 27, 2015

Sandwich Monday: Deep-Fried Cheese Curds

Deep-fried cheese curds.
NPR

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:26 pm

Whenever people from the edges of the country come to visit me in the Midwest, I don't let them leave until they have tried deep-fried cheese curds.

If you're not familiar with them, cheese curds are a byproduct of the cheddar cheese-making process, and "deep frying" is a method by which anything is made into a better version of itself.

You can find deep-fried cheese curds all over the states surrounding Wisconsin. But today we're eating the exceptional beer-battered ones from Farmhouse in Chicago.

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Commentary
11:31 am
Mon April 27, 2015

From TED Talks To Taco Bell, Abuzz With Silicon Valley-Style 'Disruption'

Martin Starr plays software designer Gilfoyle in the HBO comedy Silicon Valley. In the show's new season, Gilfoyle and his fellow techies attend a startup competition named "Disrupt."
Frank Masi HBO

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 3:22 pm

HBO's Silicon Valley is back, with its pitch-perfect renderings of the culture and language of the tech world — like at the opening of the "Disrupt" startup competition run by the Tech Crunch website at the end of last season. "We're making the world a better place through scalable fault-tolerant distributed databases" — the show's writers didn't have to exercise their imagination much to come up with those little arias of geeky self-puffery, or with the name Disrupt, which, as it happens, is what the Tech Crunch conferences are actually called.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon April 27, 2015

6 Novelists Withdraw From Event Honoring 'Charlie Hebdo' For Free Speech

Stephane "Charb" Charbonnier, the late editor of Charlie Hebdo, is seen in September 2012. PEN American Center's decision to give the French satirical magazine its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award has prompted six writers to withdraw from the annual event.
Michel Euler AP

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 1:40 pm

Six writers have withdrawn from the PEN American Center's annual gala on May 5 in protest against the free-speech organization's decision to give the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo its annual Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

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Movie Interviews
2:47 am
Mon April 27, 2015

Too Scared To Talk To Police, Stalker's Victims Open Up In 'Grim Sleeper'

A woman walks past a memorial for some of the victims who are said to have died at the hands of the serial killer dubbed the "Grim Sleeper."
Mark Ralston AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 12:05 pm

On Monday, HBO will air Tales of the Grim Sleeper, a documentary about a series of serial killings in South Central Los Angeles that took place from 1985 to 2002. A suspect was arrested in 2010. All these years later, the man accused of the crimes remains in jail and has yet to go on trial. But he — and the L.A. police department — are indicted in this film.

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Author Interviews
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

This Weekend, Investigate The 'Edges' Of Fred Moten's Musical Poetry

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

In the latest installment of our occasionial series Weekend Reads, we're celebrating National Poetry Month with The Little Edges, a unique work by American poet Fred Moten. Many of the poems in the book were commissioned, and they focus on real life people and events.

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Sunday Puzzle
5:44 am
Sun April 26, 2015

A Puzzle As Easy As Falling Off A Log

NPR

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with L-O and the second word starts with G.

For example, a professional organization that seeks to influence legislation is a LOBBYING GROUP.

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Steve Daubenspeck of Fleetwood, Pa. Take the first names of two politicians in the news. Switch the first letters of their names and read the result backward to name something that each of these politicians is not.

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Books
5:03 am
Sun April 26, 2015

A City Full Of Contradictions, And A Trilogy To Match In 'Nocturne'

What could be more seductive to the imagination than the Walled City? A 6.9-acre patch of Hong Kong's Kowloon peninsula, it was a discrete, warrenlike enclave, full of twisting passageways and tiny rooms, that grew up around an old military base and flourished throughout the 20th century. Though it was riddled with crime and had no reliable public utilities, it housed tens of thousands of people at its height. It was finally demolished in 1994.

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The Salt
5:03 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Who's Behind The Latest Ethnic Food Trend? Maybe It's A Government

The government of Peru is partnering with culinary stars — like celebrity chef Gaston Acurio, shown here in his restaurant Astrid & Gaston in Lima in 2014 — to promote Peruvian cuisine around the world.
Ernesto Benavides AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 9:00 pm

Danny Kou, the executive chef at La Mar, an upscale Peruvian restaurant in San Francisco, says it's a good time to be him.

Kou moved from Lima to the United States when he was 21. It was 2001, and back then, Peruvian cuisine was still unfamiliar in North America.

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Movie Interviews
3:38 am
Sun April 26, 2015

Actor Nick Kroll: 'I'm A Real Solid Uncle The First Hour'

In Adult Beginners, Nick Kroll plays a failed tech entrepreneur who moves in with his older sister (Rose Byrne) and starts looking after her young son (Caleb and Matthew Paddock).
Courtesy of RADiUS-TWC

Originally published on Sun April 26, 2015 8:47 am

Nick Kroll is the star of a lot of things, including Kroll Show on Comedy Central and The League on FX. And if that wasn't enough, he now has a new film coming out called Adult Beginners. Kroll tells NPR's Rachel Martin that his character in the film, Jake, is in transition.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:10 pm
Sat April 25, 2015

The World Music Education of Philip Glass

Philip Glass photographed in New York City in 1980.
Jack Mitchell Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 4:23 pm

It was 1964 when the young Philip Glass found himself in Paris. He was on a Fulbright scholarship to study with the revered pedagogue Nadia Boulanger. It was a career move carefully planned. Glass wanted to be a composer and he knew Boulanger's rigorous lessons in traditional Western harmony and counterpoint would sharpen his skills.

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Author Interviews
8:48 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Imagining The Power Of Edouard Manet's 'Very Active Muse'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 1:04 pm

Victorine Meurent was just 17 years old when she met the great Impressionist painter Edouard Manet on a Paris street in 1862. The young, poverty-stricken redhead became his favorite model, and Manet painted her reclining nude in Olympia — a work that scandalized the Paris art world in 1865 and now hangs in the Musée d'Orsay.

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Fresh Air Weekend
7:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Fresh Air Weekend: Toni Morrison, Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction, Will Forte

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 Sat April 25, 2015 9:14 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

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Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat April 25, 2015

'Save Us, Save Us': A Poem For The Migrants Lost At Sea

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 10:36 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat April 25, 2015

Tiny Pages Reveal Big, Rodent-Related Worries In 'Devotion'

Courtesy of Riverhead Books

When it came in the mail, I thought it was a joke, this tiny little book. It was hardcover, the size of a pack of cigarettes and about as heavy in my palm as a bird. There was no jacket, just the name — Devotion: A Rat Story — and a rat, embossed in gold.

I read it in an hour, maybe a little less— it's just a hundred pages or so. An appetizer, I thought. A snack.

But two days later, I was still thinking about it. And I'm sure that it'll still be scratching around inside of my skull a week from now, like cold little rat claws scraping inside the walls.

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Author Interviews
3:27 am
Sat April 25, 2015

It's The Fuzz! Cat Detective Swipes A Claw At Crime In 'William'

Originally published on Mon April 27, 2015 1:32 pm

By Gouda — the Mona Cheesa is missing! And when that most famous work of art is discovered to have been taken from its frame in a Paris art museum, the world's foremost International Cat of Mystery, William, is called in on the case.

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Monkey See
3:21 am
Sat April 25, 2015

The Hard Work And Close Bonds Of Competitive College A Cappella

Voices In Your Head, from the University of Chicago, performs their competition set. In the front, you can see Kari Wei — she's the one with the pitch pipe around her neck.
Joe Martinez Photography

Originally published on Sat April 25, 2015 10:36 am

It's been many years since I did my three semesters of college a cappella, but it remains a genre of performance for which I have enormous affection. In 2012, the arrival of Pitch Perfect meant that suddenly, I knew a lot more people who even knew what a college a cappella was.

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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 4:55 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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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 Sat April 25, 2015 12:15 am

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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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.

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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/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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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/.

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