Arts/Life

Theater
3:37 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Why Are Theater Tickets Cheaper On The West End Than On Broadway?

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 5:07 pm

It's a Wednesday afternoon in London and a bunch of kids are standing outside a West End theater, giddily unaware that their parents have just shelled out a lot of money for the experience they're about to have. A giant sign over their heads shows a silhouette of a girl standing on a swing, her hair flying behind her in the wind — it's a matinee performance of Matilda.

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Television
2:00 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

'Sharknado' Part Deux: The Laughably Bad Epic Strikes Back

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:24 pm

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

Men In America
2:00 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Who's The Man? Hollywood Heroes Defined Masculinity For Millions

John Wayne — seen here in 1956's The Searchers — was an icon of traditional Hollywood manliness.
AP/Warner Bros.

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 3:32 pm

Tony Curtis used to say that he'd learned how to kiss a girl by watching Cary Grant at the movies. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wasn't just sitting behind Grant at the theater — while also noting that he's hardly alone in taking instruction from films.

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Monkey See
12:40 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

'Sharknado 2': Winner And Still Chomp

Kari Wuhrer as Ellen Brody, Courtney Baxter as Mora Brody, and Sandra "Pepa" Denton as a character even the captioners don't know the name of. I'm not sure she had one.
Will Hart Syfy

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 6:11 pm

I personally was responsible for emotionally bullying at least two of my critic friends into attending the poolside screening of Sharknado 2 that took place at the hotel where press tour happened a couple of weeks ago. I make this confession because we must establish the basic understanding that I am merciless when it comes to attempting to con people into watching extraordinarily silly movies. In fact, I tried, when the first Sharknado was on, to goad the NPR morning news meeting into caring about it ("There's this movie tonight!

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Wed July 30, 2014

On Dipping An Introverted Toe In The Comic-Con Ocean

Christopher Petrone, of San Diego, CA, towering over attendees in his handmade, to-scale Chewbacca costume.
T.J. Kirkpatrick Getty Images

The first time I took one of the online Myers-Briggs inventories and it spit out that I was an introvert, one of my friends questioned the results. Specifically, he said, "Are you sure you weren't holding the test upside-down?"

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The Two-Way
7:44 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Book News: PEN Award Winners Include Poet Frank Bidart, Ron Childress

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

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Books
6:04 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Pop-Up Books Make Environmental Science Easy-Peasy For Kids

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 2:34 pm

For the average school kid, weighty, wonky topics like conservation, climate change and the circular economy might sound off-putting, if not downright dull. Yet Christiane Dorion has sold millions of children's books about these very concepts.

The trick? She never mentions them. "You can teach anything to children if you pitch it at the right level and use the right words," said the U.K.-based author.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed July 30, 2014

An Unconventional Family On The Road To Happiness In 'Lucky Us'

Amy Bloom's new novel Lucky Us takes readers across America in the 1940s, that special decade of wartime dislocation and post-war disruption — with side-trips to England and Germany — in the company of a pair of half-sisters as endearing and comically annoying as any you'll find in contemporary fiction.

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Author Interviews
2:09 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Out Of Ukraine, This 'Suitcase' Packs An Immigrant's Story With Humor

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:31 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Monkey See
12:05 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Sex And The Single Churl: Another 'Bachelorette' Finale Gets Weird

Andi gasps while accepting a proposal from Josh Murray (right, in the ill-fitting suit) on Monday night's finale of The Bachelorette.
Javier Pesquera ABC

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 10:03 pm

After the fact that it's a blatant and ridiculous fraud (in that it almost never gets anybody married), the first thing you might notice about The Bachelor(ette) franchise is its prim, Victorian attitudes about sex. For a show that encourages 14-person dates and the temporary negotiation of a lifestyle that could be best described as G-rated swinging, the whole shebang is awfully precious when it comes to the fact that sometimes, some of these people have sex with each other.

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Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Book Reviews
12:02 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

'Ride Around Shining' Reimagines Gatsby's Nouveau-Riche Excess

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 1:54 pm

Most sports novels are about the aspiration to excel physically: to run faster, stretch out one's arms farther. The really cool thing about Ride Around Shining, a debut novel by Chris Leslie-Hynan, is that it doesn't stick to that familiar rule book. Even though it's set in the world of pro basketball, our narrator here is not the guy who aspires to be a great player; rather, he's the guy who aspires to be a great suck-up to the great player.

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Arts & Life
12:00 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Poet Nikki Giovanni On Change: 'Approach It With A Smile'

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

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Books
10:45 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Do You Dare To Venture Through These Tangled 'Woods'?

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 10:08 am

I am not a trained reader of horror. Usually whenever I encounter horror stories, I'm left feeling dissatisfied with the quality of my unsettlement; I think "oh, that was gratuitous" or "eh, was that necessary?" With very few exceptions, I tend not to seek out horror.

Emily Carroll's Through the Woods is so thoroughly an exception that I have to revise my stance on the whole genre.

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The Two-Way
5:36 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Book News: Louise Shivers, Author Of 'Here to Get My Baby Out of Jail,' Dies

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

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Code Switch
2:56 am
Tue July 29, 2014

Crime Writer Creates A Hero For Her Beloved, Much-Maligned South LA

Hall sits in a sunny bay window to write. "My first drafts are always in long hand, on legal pads," she explains. "I love putting pen to paper."
Andre Ellis

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 5:35 am

Rachel Howzell Hall is easing her big, laurel green Mercedes sedan through the streets of Los Angeles. A slim woman with big eyes, Hall says this Benz is her dream car, the thing she'd planned to buy for herself once she'd become a successful writer, probably around age 50.

But something happened to speed up her schedule.

"When I was 33 years old," Hall says, "I was diagnosed with a rare type of breast cancer. And I was pregnant. And it was terrifying."

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The Salt
4:16 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Korean Steak Sandwich

This photo also featured in BuzzFeed's "21 Unbelievable Beverage Can Photobombs."
NPR

Ever since we landed in San Francisco and refused to leave, we've heard people talking about the Korean steak sandwich at Rhea's Deli and Market. People say things like "It's amazing" and "Get away from me, I'm trying to eat" and "Did you just lick a drop of sauce off of my shirt? I'm calling the police."

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Commentary
2:23 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut; Sometimes You Just Drive One

The Planters Nutmobile, seen here taking a starring turn at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, is hitting the road for a yearlong trip across the U.S.
Peter Roan Flickr

Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 1:29 pm

Three recent college graduates are getting paid to take a road trip. The one catch? They have to drive a giant peanut while they do it.

The giant Nutmobile is part of a brand campaign by Planters, the snack food company, which has hired the grads as brand ambassadors to drive it around the country. After all, it takes teamwork to maneuver a 27-foot-long, yellow peanut in shopping mall parking lots. But if you think handling the vehicle sounds tough, there's more.

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Movies
2:11 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Box Office Wallows In A Summer Slump, And Some Seek To Find Out Why

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Hercules may have slayed a lion and a nine-headed Hydra beast, but he was no match for Scarlett Johansson this weekend.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "LUCY")

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Code Switch
2:11 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Tales Of Migration Explore Modern-Day Odysseys And 'Hyphenated Identities'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:55 pm

For many writers, the migrant's journey is a storytellers' dream. The transition from one part of the world to another is filled with anticipation, conflict and inherent literary drama. While trains and planes become the mundane means of transportation for most travelers, those trips can herald life-changing transformations for a migrant remaking his or her life through that journey.

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Book Reviews
2:09 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Book Review: 'A Replacement Life'

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 5:40 pm

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

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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The Two-Way
5:24 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Book News: The Clash Of The Comic(-)Cons

Fans dressed as stormtroopers from Star Wars attend this year's Comic-Con event in San Diego.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 28, 2014 6:57 am

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

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Author Interviews
3:14 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

'Love And Drowning' In The U.S. Virgin Islands

The Land of Love And Drowning follows a family living in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the early 20th century.
Brennan Linsley AP

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 4:52 pm

In the new novel Land of Love and Drowning, the Virgin Islands and the ocean around them make for a magical setting.

The book follows three generations of one family living through the modern history of the territory as it passes from Danish to American hands.

It's also laced with magical realism: One main character can sense people's arrival; another family only gives birth to men, generation after generation; and one woman has a hoofed leg instead of one of her feet.

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Arts & Life
3:02 pm
Sun July 27, 2014

What It's Like To Own Your Very Own Harrier Jump Jet

A 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 Jump Jet sold at the Silverstone Auctions Saturday for the equivalent of $179,611.
Courtesy of Silverstone Auction

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 4:52 pm

The Harrier Jump Jet combines the speed of a jet with the maneuverability of a helicopter.

These single-seater planes are known for vertical take-offs and landings, making them ideal for close-air support near the front-lines where runways may be damaged or non-existent.

Designed by the British and now flown by the U.S. Marine Corps, Harriers also have an accident-prone track record and are notoriously difficult to fly.

But why not have one for your private collection?

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Sunday Puzzle
6:24 am
Sun July 27, 2014

A Flowery Puzzle For Budding Quizmasters

NPR

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 9:26 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is a game of categories based on the word peony. For each category, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters P-E-O-N-Y.

Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's nice to have a lot of in the summer. Change the last letter to the following letter of the alphabet. Rearrange the result, and you'll name something else that you probably have a lot of in the summer, but that you probably don't want. What is it? (HINT: the second thing is a form of the first thing.)

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Performing Arts
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

At Some Venues, iPads Take The Place Of Opera Glasses

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 9:26 am

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Arun Rath.

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Author Interviews
6:12 am
Sun July 27, 2014

What Made Double Agent Kim Philby A Great Spy? His Friends.

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 9:26 am

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

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Monkey See
5:26 am
Sun July 27, 2014

At 75, Batman Still Seeks Justice, Not Revenge

"What Batman provides, what all superheroes provide is this notion that good will triumph over evil," says author Glen Weldon. "That evil will have its day, but there will be somebody up there who will keep trying, who will keep looking out for us. ... He's catharsis in a cape." Above, Adam West, as Batman, makes a road safety film with child actors in Kensington, London in the late 1960s.
Keystone Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 27, 2014 5:24 pm

It's been 75 years since Batman first swooped onto the scene in 1939. Glen Weldon, author of The Caped Crusade, says it's important to note that for the last three quarters of a century, Batman has been seeking justice, not revenge.

"Once his parents are killed he doesn't seek revenge," Weldon tells NPR's Arun Rath. "That's what distinguishes a superhero from an action movie hero. He doesn't go out for revenge. It's not a vendetta, it's a crusade. He represents the idea of: 'This thing that happened to me? Never again.' "

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Lessons From Behind The Counter At A Comic Book Store

Jason Aaron also writes Amazing X-Men and Original Sin for Marvel.
Jason Aaron

Originally published on Tue July 29, 2014 10:54 pm

When the news broke that Thor, the hyper-masculine thunder god, had become a woman, my Twitter feed exploded. It seemed like everybody had something to say. "Who will play the female Thor in the movies?" came up a lot. Meanwhile, I first had to figure out who Thor was. To me, stories about superheroes were for nerdy white guys imagining a world where they could lift heavy things and somehow get the girl. In short, boring. I was hopelessly behind the times.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun July 27, 2014

A Foodie Detective Solves Crime In A Delectable Italian Mystery

Angelica's Smile cover art.

The Inspector Montalbano books, by Italian author Andrea Camilleri, supply everything I need for the beach. A good mystery. An exotic location — in this case, the beaches and piazzas of Sicily. And great writing that wears its fineness lightly, and keeps the pages turning. All with the most charming fuss-bucket of a detective to come along since Hercule Poirot: Inspector Salvo Montalbano.

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