Arts/Life

Monkey See
3:07 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Sarah Koenig On Serial: 'I Think Something Went Wrong With This Case'

Adnan Syed
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:43 pm

It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Married Couple In Decline

Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Devos in If You Don't, I Will.
Film Movement

Sophie Fillières' uneven relationship drama If You Don't, I Will opens with a scene of biting dialogue between Pierre (Mathieu Almaric) and Pomme (Emmanuelle Devos), whose marriage is seemingly on its last legs.

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Television
1:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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The Salt
11:16 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Tourtiere: A French-Canadian Twist On Christmas Pie

Tourtiere is a savory, spiced meat pie, which both French- and English-speaking Canadians love to serve around the holidays.
martiapunts iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:21 pm

A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 23, 2011.

If you happen to spend Christmas Eve in Canada — especially Quebec — you might be lucky enough to be invited to a festive dinner after midnight Mass. The feast is an old tradition from France called reveillon, and it's something to look forward to after a long day of fasting.

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The Two-Way
8:50 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Book News: The Future Of The Public Library May Lie In The Coffee Shop

Get your sci-fi with a side of cappuccino.
e_rasmus iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:27 am

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

For a public library to expect to survive today, it must begin to take crucial cues from coffee shops. At least, that's the key recommendation offered by a much-anticipated report on British public libraries, which is set to be released Thursday.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Playlist: Inspiring Stories You'll Want To Share

You'll want to send these TED Radio Hour stories to everyone you know.
A.J. Rich iStock

This playlist includes some blockbuster TED talks that have already inspired millions. These stories about growing up, shaping identity, and finding courage will have you forwarding them to family and friends.

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

Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Blaze Of Gloria

We've rewritten the lyrics of the beloved Christmas carol "Angels We Have Heard on High" to be about things that begin with the "glo-" sound of its famous refrain: "Gloooooooooria [in excelsis Deo]."

Heard in Holiday Spectacular 2014

Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Season's Eatings

Ideal size for your Christmas ham.
Sylvie Rosokoff NPR

When you're the editor-in-chief of Bon Appétit Magazine, people tend to expect a lot from your holiday cuisine.

"That's why we just give them ham," says the editor himself, Adam Rapoport. "Everybody loves ham. Especially us Jews. Give them a big, glistening, baked, bone-in ham with Martin's potato rolls and a big bowl of punch."

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Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Schaaps' Family Feud

A little friendly family competition between Rosie (R) and Jeremy Schaap.
Sylvie Rosokoff NPR

When the holiday season rolls around and families convene, board games are pulled out of storage...and then the gloves come off. In the spirit of friendly, familial competition, we welcomed back to Ask Me Another former VIPs Rosie Schaap and Jeremy Schaap, who also happen to be siblings.

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Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

'Tis The Season For Corny Movies

Nothing says "cheer" like a cheesy made-for-TV holiday movie. Can you tease out the real ones from the fake when it comes to The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation or Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever?

Heard in Holiday Spectacular 2014

Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Ho Ho Ho

In this final round, every correct answer will start with a jolly "Ho!" sound. Which goalkeeper has won two Olympic medals with the U.S. women's soccer team? That would be Ho Ho Hope Solo!

Heard in Holiday Spectacular 2014

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

Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

All I Don't Want For Christmas

All they want for Christmas is for you to sing along.
Sylvie Rosokoff NPR

Warm up your vocal chords and join in singing some holiday tunes with the songwriting duo from Disney's Frozen, Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. The Oscar-winning husband-and-wife musical team has written some of the all-time catchiest tunes about winter, and on a previous episode of Ask Me Another, graciously lent their voices to a rewritten version of "Let It Go."

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Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Chappy Cholidays

All answers in this round start with the letter "h", but we want you to pronounce them with that back-of-the-throat "ch" sound, in honor of the "ch" in "Chanukah." Have a lozenge or two ready.

Heard in Holiday Spectacular 2014

Ask Me Another
7:36 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Reindeer Games

If you spell "reindeer" by combining precipitation ("rain") and a loved one ("dear"), then you think in homophones. In this round, we give clues to two words whose homophones form a new word or phrase.

Heard in Holiday Spectacular 2014

NPR's Holiday Favorites
7:33 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Tinsel Tales 3: NPR Christmas Stories

Andrew Malone Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:56 pm

In keeping with a well-loved NPR holiday tradition, Lynn Neary hosts a collection of extraordinary Christmas stories that will transport you to unexpected places.

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The Two-Way
5:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea was centrally involved in the recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network — possibly out of retribution for its film The Interview. Above, a security guard stands outside a theater during the film's premiere in Los Angeles last week.
Kevork Djansezian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:29 pm

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of embarrassing emails and pirated movies has its origins in North Korea, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

More details about the U.S. investigation into the hacking attack could emerge as early as Wednesday night.

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Movie Interviews
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Angelina Jolie On Her Film's 'Unbroken' Hero: 'He Was Truly A Great Man'

During World War II, Louis Zamperini spent 47 days stranded in shark-infested waters before he was rescued by Japanese soldiers and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 7:05 am

The new film Unbroken, directed by Angelina Jolie, tells the story of an Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war. Louis Zamperini shattered records at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and when the war broke out, he enlisted. Then, on a routine mission, his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, leaving him stranded in shark-infested waters for 47 days. When he was eventually rescued by Japanese soldiers, he became a prisoner of war.

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Code Switch
2:17 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting

Quvenzhane Wallis (second from right) stars in an updated version of Annie, produced by Jay Z.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:07 pm

That lovable moppet with the red dress, the curly hair, the big dog, and the even bigger voice is back.

This time, though, Little Orphan Annie is back with a difference: Quvenzhane Wallis is playing an African-American orphan in an ethnically diverse, up-to-date world. And that got us thinking about other instances where producers have breathed fresh life into familiar shows by making them dance to a new beat.

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The Salt
11:13 am
Wed December 17, 2014

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:19 pm

The winter holidays are a time of abundance, but for Christians in the Middle East, the official start of the Christmas season is marked by a decidedly rustic dish: porridge.

Archbishop Swerios Murad of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem says his congregation will eat boiled wheat kernels this week to mark the Feast of St. Barbara, or Eid el-Burbara in Arabic.

"It's a simple porridge," Murad tells The Salt, "but it's very important that it be sweet."

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Author Interviews
11:12 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:32 am

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILLKOMMEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

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The Salt
9:52 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Way Beyond Brownies: Vice Launches A Marijuana Cooking Show

Aurora Leveroni, 91, is also known as "Nonna Marijuana."
Vice

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:03 am

On Sunday, my mother sent me an email: "OMG! Watch this unbelievable cooking show!"

It wasn't spam, and my mother, who's 65, does not use OMG lightly.

The fuss was over a 20-minute video about a 91-year-old grandmother who cooks Italian classics in marijuana-infused butter.

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The Two-Way
6:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Creator Bridwell Dies At 86

Author Norman Bridwell and his wife, Norma, pose for a portrait in 2011. The creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog stories died Friday at age 86.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:26 pm

More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.

A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.

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The Salt
3:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:22 pm

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 12:22 pm

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

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Goats and Soda
2:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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Book News & Features
2:29 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Stan Lee — shown here in 2002 — helped create Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and the Avengers.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:39 pm

Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.

And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.

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Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
2:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Lights 2014

Dominic Alves Flickr

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:00 pm

Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.

Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.

Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
1:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Playlist: I Never Knew That!

These TED Radio Hour stories amaze you.
Pai-Shih Lee Getty Images

Here at the TED Radio Hour, we love surprising ideas. From teddy bears to Sputnik, this playlist is full of astonishing stories that will stay with you.

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

Author Interviews
12:40 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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Monkey See
10:53 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in HBO's True Detective.
Michele K. Short HBO

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:44 am

When I was a kid, I loved reading Gene Siskel's movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune.

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