Arts/Life

Book Reviews
8:03 am
Thu October 23, 2014

'Season Of The Witch' Shines A (Black)Light On The Occult In Rock

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Tarcher

Rock 'n' roll was built on rebellion, but too often today, that's about as deep as the conversation goes — especially now that rock is so completely woven into the mainstream, it's hard to imagine a time when it wasn't pop-culture wallpaper.

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Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

It's A Snap

This game has attitude — each answer is a word or phrase containing the word "snap." But extra coordination is required: substitute an actual *snap* of your fingers where it appears in the answer.

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Accentuate The Positive

What do Beyoncé, André the Giant, and a soufflé have in common? Why, the accents in their names, bien sûr! The answers in this final round will be words, names, or phrases containing an accent.

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Lake Street Dive: I Love The '90s

Lake Street Dive members Bridget Kearney, Mike "McDuck" Olson, Mike Calabrese and Rachael Price (from left to right) battle it out in a '90s music-themed challenge.
Josh Rogosin NPR

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Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Very Confused TV Guide

Have you ever been perplexed by the on-screen guide descriptions of your favorite TV shows? Us too. We serve up descriptions of shows, whose titles have been taken perhaps a bit too literally.

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

IQ Test

These words, names, and phrases contain the letters "IQ" consecutively somewhere inside of them. Does this somewhat oblique game pique your interest?

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

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

Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Presidential Keywords

U.S. Presidents spend years in office, but their tenure is often remembered in the mind of the public by a singular moment or trait. Given a keyword, you tell us which President it describes.

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Lake Street Dive: My Beautiful Balloon

They sing pretty, but can they make music out of party balloons?
Josh Rogosin NPR

How do the members of the soul-pop quartet Lake Street Dive while away long hours on the bus as they tour the country?

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Ask Me Another
7:55 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Celebrity Wedding Announcements

How do you make a celebrity marriage work? We think it's all in the name. Imagine nuptials between two celebs whose paired surnames create a phrase: Keith Urban plus John Legend = Urban-Legend!

Heard in Episode 329: Lake Street Dive Bar Trivia

The Two-Way
7:48 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Book News: Joan Didion's Life, As Seen On Kickstarter

Joan Didion on Sept. 24, 2012, in New York City.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

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

Joan Didion is getting the Kickstarter treatment. Her nephew, Griffin Dunne, has turned to the crowd-funding site in order to put the iconic writer's life on film, in a proposed documentary that borrows one of Didion's lines for its title: We Tell Ourselves Stories To Live.

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Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum
5:03 am
Thu October 23, 2014

#ColorFacts: A Weird Little Lesson, In Rainbow Order

NPR

Where'd the term "red tape" come from? Why are the Simpsons yellow? And is there a rhyme for orange? We address these pressing questions — and more — in a new look at your old friend Roy G. Biv. Find the answers here.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu October 23, 2014

'Republic Of Imagination' Sings The Praises Of Literature

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Viking

In her surprise 2003 bestseller, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Iranian emigré Azar Nafisi made clear why fiction matters in totalitarian regimes. With The Republic of Imagination, she seeks to demonstrate the importance of great literature even in a democratic society, one threatened not by fundamentalist revolutionaries but by the danger of "intellectual indolence."

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Jazz
4:31 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Herbie Hancock: 'On A Path To Find My Own Answer'

Herbie Hancock's new memoir is titled Possibilities.
Jessica Hancock Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:26 am

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The Salt
1:21 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Glowing tapioca pearls accompanied by spiders (made of chocolate drizzle), just in time for Halloween, by Luma Bites
Martina Zupanic Luma Bites

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 4:35 pm

This Halloween, what better way to one-up your friends than mixing up some batter, swapping out your light bulbs for ultraviolet replacements, and showing off some glowing baked goods?

And, if you follow the advice of Steven Johnson and Martina Zupanic, these treats won't leave you feeling regretful the next day about your eating choices.

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Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Disappearing Religions Charted In 'Heirs To Forgotten Kingdoms'

When Gerard Russell was a diplomat in the Middle East, he met followers of ancient religions facing extinction. His new book includes the origins of the Yazidis, who are fleeing the Islamic State.

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

The Two-Way
7:53 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Book News: Just Months In, A Publisher That Promised Innovation Ends Its Run

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 12:11 pm

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

Despite high hopes and executives with a record of success, Atavist Books didn't last long. Less than a year after its launch, the multiplatform publisher has announced that it's planning to close.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Better Off Red: 'War Dogs' Puts Marines On Mars

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Orbit

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 10:10 am

First things first: You remember that movie from a while back called Three Kings? It was a David O. Russell picture about Gulf War soldiers who find a map that leads them to a treasure, which they then have to smuggle out of Iraq in the middle of a war.

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Author Interviews
2:33 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Among The Young And Privileged In North Korea

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Crown

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 7:59 am

In the summer of 2011, American journalist Suki Kim got a job teaching English at the elite, all-male Pyongyang University of Science and Technology in the North Korean capital.

Kim, who was born in South Korea and immigrated with her family to the U.S. at age 13, is a fluent Korean speaker and secretly took notes during her six months at the university in Pyongyang. This formed the basis for her new book, Without You, There Is No Us.

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Book News & Features
3:27 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:01 am

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Games & Humor
3:27 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

You Definitely Need This Condo Pony, And Other Products From 'SkyMaul'

St. Martin's Press

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:01 am

If you're midflight and the movie is terrible and the airline magazine crossword puzzle has already been done by someone else, the SkyMall catalog is the time-killer of last resort for the bored, boxed-in passenger.

SkyMall sells items that, under normal circumstances, you might never consider — like say, adult-size, unisex, one-piece Superman pajamas. But somehow, midflight, you find yourself wondering: Do I need a dog bed designed to look like an NCAA stadium?

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Television
1:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Nostalgia, Now Out On DVD, With 'Wonder Years' And 'Pee-wee' Releases

On The Wonder Years, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) had a crush on his neighbor Winnie Cooper (Danica McKellar).
Courtesy of Scoop Marketing

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 4:50 pm

At the moment, we're at yet another pivotal point in the history of home entertainment, which keeps changing with sudden — and major-- tectonic shifts. Just ask Blockbuster Video: Videocassettes for home libraries gave way to DVDs, which now seem to be giving way to streaming video and the cloud.

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Movie Interviews
1:16 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Ed Norton On 'Birdman,' Wes Anderson And Why $40 Makes Him Proud

In Birdman, Ed Norton (right) plays a talented but pretentious actor in a Broadway play being directed by an actor he disrespects (Michael Keaton, left) for having starred in a series of Birdman superhero films.
Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 1:00 pm

In the new black comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Edward Norton costars as a pretentious and self-absorbed but very talented and edgy theater actor who has been cast in a play directed by a washed-up movie star played by Michael Keaton.

Norton, who has starred in such films as Fight Club and American History X, says that making Birdman was a highlight of his career.

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The Salt
10:05 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Can Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice Make Your Cocktail That Much Better?

Joe Ambrose of Favourite Ice holds one of his crystal-clear artisanal cubes.
Jessica Sidman Washington City Paper

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 2:41 pm

Now that we've entered the "craft cocktail" era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there's a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That's right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

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The Two-Way
8:08 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Book News: Amazon Inks A Deal With A Publisher Not Named Hachette

David Ryder Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 6:31 am

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

Amazon has reached a multiyear agreement with Simon & Schuster over the pricing of the publisher's print and digital books. Simon & Schuster, one of the "Big Five" U.S. publishing houses and a division of CBS Corp., agreed to the terms two months before its contract with Amazon was set to expire.

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Extras: TED Radio Hour
7:10 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Making The Most Of Your Twenties: Meg Jay Answers Your Questions

James Duncan Davidson TED

Psychologist Meg Jay has a message for 20-somethings: marriage, work and kids often happen later, but you can start planning now. In her book, The Defining Decade, Jay argues that our twenties are a developmental sweet spot that comes only once. She also says the cliche "30 is the new 20" trivializes this transformative period. Jay calls on 20-somethings to embrace adulthood in what for many is the defining decade of their lives.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Who Is 'Limonov'? Not Even His Biographer Really Knows

Russian writer and political dissident Edward Limonov was the founder of the National Bolshevik Front.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 8:39 am

I had a typical first experience with famed Russian emigre-turned auteur-turned neo-fascist revolutionary Edward Limonov: I misunderstood him.

Everybody misunderstands Edward at least once. Usually, they underestimate this slight, bearded man with the mild manners.

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Remembrances
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Oscar De La Renta Was About Making Women Look And Feel Their Best

Baroness Aino Bodisco (far right) looks on as Beatrice Lodge is fitted in a debutante dress by fashion designer Oscar de la Renta in 1956.
Nina Leen The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:45 am

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta died Monday at the age of 82. As Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, the designer understood something very fundamental about women, no matter their age or background.

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Monkey See
2:59 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Winners And Losers Of The Fall TV Season Begin To Emerge

Debra Messing stars with Robert Klein in NBC's The Mysteries of Laura.
Will Hart/NBC

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:34 am

What's most amazing about this point in the TV season is what hasn't happened yet.

One month into the new season, no new fall TV show has yet been canceled.

(By this point last year, several shows had already been put out of our misery, including ABC's Lucky 7 and NBC's Ironside remake.)

Still, despite programmers' patience this year, there are still lots of clues about what's working this TV season and what isn't. Here's a peek at what we know so far about the current TV season.

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Author Interviews
3:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

From Sizzling Fajitas To The Super Bowl, How Sounds Help Sell

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:11 pm

Joel Beckerman believes we are living in a golden age of sound: "We have these amazing opportunities to both set the tone and experiences for people, give them information in an instant," he tells NPR's Audie Cornish.

Beckerman is a composer who specializes in sonic branding — and we're not just talking about jingles. These are the sonic cues in commercials, the ambient music in coffee shops, in the beeps, dings and whoosh that occasionally flies from your cellphone. And companies are embracing it.

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Author Interviews
1:00 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'

Bryan Stevenson takes on cases to exonerate people wrongfully convicted. "One of the things that pains me is we have so tragically underestimated the trauma, the hardship we create in this country when we treat people unfairly, when we incarcerate them unfairly, when we condemn them unfairly," he says.
Tracy King iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 1:59 pm

When Bryan Stevenson was in his 20s, he lived in Atlanta and practiced law at the Southern Prisoners Defense Committee.

One evening, he was parked outside his apartment listening to the radio, when a police SWAT unit approached his car, shined a light inside and pulled a gun.

They yelled, "Move and I'll blow your head off!" according to Stevenson. Stevenson says the officers suspected him of theft and threatened him — because he is black.

The incident fueled Stevenson's drive to challenge racial bias and economic inequities in the U.S. justice system.

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