Arts/Life

NPR Ed
12:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

Kevin Carey'€™s writing has appeared in The New York Times, Slate and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Amanda Gaines Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 2:58 pm

A lot of parents start worrying about paying for college education soon after their child is born. After that, there's the stressful process of applying to colleges, and then, for those lucky enough to get admitted into a good college, there's college debt.

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Book Reviews
12:19 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

Emily Jan NPR

Here's only a partial list of great American writers whose names came to mind as I was reading T. Geronimo Johnson's new novel, Welcome to Braggsville: Tom Wolfe, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, H.L. Mencken, Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison, Ralph Ellison. Johnson's timely novel is a tipsy social satire about race and the oh-so-fragile ties that bind disparate parts of this country into an imperfect and restless union.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

'The Devil's Detective' Is A Grim Tour Through A Noirish Hell

Courtesy of Doubleday

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 5:38 pm

Sartre famously wrote that hell is other people. For many fantasy writers, though, it's a bureaucracy. In fact, the whole hell-as-bureaucracy theme has become hackneyed over the years β€” as much of a clichΓ© as, well, bureaucracies being hellish.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue March 3, 2015

A Life Examined β€” And Examined And Examined In 'Ongoingness'

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 6:09 pm

Ever since Michel de Montaigne hit on the winning mix of frankly personal and broader philosophical reflections in his 16th century Essays, the personal essay has attracted those for whom the unexamined life is β€” well, unthinkable. In recent years, we've seen a spate of auto-pathologies β€” minutely observed meditations on the tolls of often strange ailments. A newer trend is the meta-diary β€” short autobiographical entries that frequently explore the writer's relationship with time, memory and identity.

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Author Interviews
1:36 am
Tue March 3, 2015

Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

Charles Darrow sold Monopoly to Parker Bros. in the 1930s.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 3:00 pm

Monopoly can be pretty addictive once you start playing it, right? Well, for author and journalist Mary Pilon, searching for the game's true origins proved just as consuming. She writes:

"In the process of reporting this story, I hacked off over a foot of hair in one anguished swoop, sold off many of my material possessions, was confronted by law enforcement for falling asleep in public places ... found Monopoly money in my linens when doing laundry, fretted about finances, [and] had nightmares about the various aspects of the story. ..."

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The Salt
3:30 pm
Mon March 2, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Funnel Cake Corn Dog

Like five fat, delicious fingers.
NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 9:29 am

When the corn dog was discovered in an Iowa cave in the 1950s, explorers dated it at roughly 40,000 years old. Its recipe has gone largely unchanged since then, though few makers use real glyptodon meat anymore.

Recently, though, the dog has had an evolutionary transformation. There's now a State Fair Brand Funnel Cake Corn Dog, a turkey and pork hot dog wrapped in a sweet funnel cake batter.

Eva: Time to reinforce the roller coaster.

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Author Interviews
11:20 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Of Con Men And Dames: How Margot Robbie Gets Robbed In 'Focus'

Margot Robbie in Focus.
Frank Masi Warner Bros.

Focus, starring Will Smith as a smoothie con man with a heart of gold, is trying very hard to be a kind of film that only works when it seems effortless. Specifically, it seems to be engineered to be a close relative of Steven Soderbergh's 2001 Ocean's Eleven, in which beautiful people participate in tricky schemes dressed in cool clothes in gorgeous surroundings, surprising even the audience with their cleverness.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Beholder' Has An Eye For The Absurd, And A Smirk Beneath Its Beard

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:18 pm

Stop me if you've heard this one before: There's this guy, a dude in a bathrobe and a tangled mess of a beard who refuses to go outside. His wife left him nearly two years ago for a man with Greek god's jawline and a glamor job. Shortly before that? The guy's mom died of a painful, debilitating form of cancer, not long after his burgeoning rock band became a moldering pile of rubble. Oh, and that refusal to leave his house? That's just his blooming anxiety β€” paranoia, even β€” about the vast and uncaring world around him.

Hilarious, right?

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Monkey See
6:59 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Downton' Wraps Another Season Of Marriage And (Sigh) Muuuuuurder!

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) made the acquaintance of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) on the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'The Sellout' Is A Scorchingly Funny Satire On 'Post-Racial' America

Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It's difficult to pin down the exact day when post-racial America was born. Maybe it was when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law, or when Thurgood Marshall was appointed the first African American member of the Supreme Court. Maybe it was when Barack Obama was elected president, or the first time a white person claimed to be "colorblind." It's honestly hard to tell, because as we keep seeing proved again and again, "post-racial America" is completely indistinguishable from what came before.

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Television
6:37 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

'Battle Creek' Tries To Shake Up CBS' Cop Show Formula

Dean Winters, left, and Josh Duhamel are not your father's mismatched buddy cops, on the new CBS show Battle Creek.
CBS

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 8:20 pm

In the first scene of CBS' Battle Creek, Det. Russ Agnew has a problem. A listening device he wants to place on his snitch Teddy isn't working.

"What wrong with the wire ... why isn't the red light coming on?" asks Agnew, beating the transmitter against the side of his van. He's already pilfered a handheld camera from a father videotaping his kid's performance at a school play because the department couldn't get him a working video unit.

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Movie Interviews
4:07 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

A Most Vibrant Year For Cinematographer Bradford Young

In Selma, director of photography Bradford Young wanted the camera to feel like a participant. "It was just about never retreating, always staying dangerously close to Martin Luther King," he says.
Atsushi Nishijima Paramount Pictures

Just two months into 2015, cinematographer Bradford Young is already having a big year.

Two acclaimed movies, Selma and A Most Violent Year, bear his name as Director of Photography.

"It's an interesting time," he laughs.

He sat down for a chat with NPR's Arun Rath, who started by asking about the striking depictions of violence in Selma.

"You have to be very delicate," Young says, "because as much as film has the ability to raise humanity, it also has the ability to put us down."

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Author Interviews
3:44 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

For An Author In India's Capital, 'Hope, In Many Ways, Is Fiction'

Monsoon clouds loom over New Delhi, the city at the center of Raj Kamal Jha's new novel.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

As a newspaper editor in New Delhi, Raj Kamal Jha has a front row seat to the rapid changes in his hometown. New jobs and a strong economy have made the city a magnet for people across India.

His new novel, She Will Build Him a City, weaves the realities he sees as a journalist and resident in with what he calls the fiction of daily life. "I see more of that in a city like Delhi where you have people coming in every day with hope," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "And hope, in many ways, is fiction. Hope is the fiction you write inside your head and you work towards that."

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Author Interviews
3:41 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Robert Christgau Reviews His Own Life

"I think it's a terrible critical sin to try to be different," says Robert Christgau, whose memoir Going into the City is a look back at his five decades of music writing.
Joe Mabel Wikipedia

Originally published on Sun March 1, 2015 4:07 pm

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Sunday Puzzle
6:44 am
Sun March 1, 2015

4 Out Of 5 Puzzlers Say These Things Are The Same

NPR

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:07 pm

On-air challenge: Rearrange the letters in a four-letter word and a five-letter word to get a pair of synonyms. For example, given "time" and "night," you would say "item" and "thing."

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Television
6:44 am
Sun March 1, 2015

'The Last Man': An Odd Premise, Says Its Creator, But Oddly Relatable

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:07 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It is the ultimate apocalyptic fantasy or nightmare really. Imagine you are the last person on Earth. You might start talking to yourself, and you might start to go a little crazy.

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Arts & Life
6:44 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Play Depicts Scalia As Supreme Court's 'Originalist'

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:07 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Pop Culture
5:03 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Mr. Spock And The Consolations Of Solitude

Spock was famously emotionless, but that didn't stop him from forming intense friendships with his shipmates, particularly Captain James T. Kirk.
NBCU Photo Bank

When I heard about the sad demise of Leonard Nimoy, I felt β€” and I'm certain I'm not alone here β€” a sense of loss and sadness entirely disproportionate to the death of someone I'd never met. Then again, what he meant to me in my youth β€” and again, I'm certain I'm not alone here β€” was also, perhaps, disproportionately significant.

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Book News & Features
4:04 am
Sun March 1, 2015

This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone'

Originally published on Tue March 3, 2015 1:07 pm

For this week's installment of our occasional Weekend Reads series, what's old is new again, and we're talking about a book that was published back in 1965: The Millstone, by Margaret Drabble. It's set in 1960's London and centers on a young lady called Rosamund Stacey, who discovers she's pregnant after a one-night stand. And let's remember, pregnancy out of wedlock was not something that went over well with a lot of people in 1965.

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Code Switch
3:45 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

Diversity Sells β€” But Hollywood Remains Overwhelmingly White, Male

Gina Rodriguez stars alongside Justin Baldoni in The CW's Jane the Virgin.
Danny Feld The CW

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 4:39 pm

If you want an accurate picture of ethnic and gender diversity in the United States, don't look to Hollywood.

That's the conclusion of the "2015 Hollywood Diversity Report" conducted by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA.

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My Big Break
2:59 pm
Sat February 28, 2015

'Whoa, Mama!': A Voice Actress's Road To Fame As A 10-Year-Old Boy

Nancy Cartwright voices the mischievous 10-year-old son, Bart, in the animated TV show, The Simpsons. "I don't know of any other character that has more catch-phrases than Bart," she says.
Courtesy of FOX

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:06 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Back in 1987, Nancy Cartwright drove to the FOX Studios lot to try out for a little animated short about a dysfunctional family known as "The Simpsons."

Specifically, she was there to audition for the studious, well-mannered middle child named Lisa.

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The Two-Way
11:12 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Iraq's National Museum To Open For First Time Since 2003 Invasion

A man looks at ancient Assyrian human-headed winged bull statues at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad on Saturday.
Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 12:14 pm

Days after video emerged showing self-declared Islamic State extremists taking sledge hammers to pre-Islamic antiquities inside the Mosul museum, the Iraqi government has reopened the country's national museum, shuttered since the 2003 U.S. invasion of the country that toppled Saddam Hussein.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:55 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Not My Job: Drummer Marky Ramone Gets Quizzed On Marky Mark

Theo Wargo Getty Images

Forty years ago, Mark Bell β€” a Brooklyn kid who was pretty good at the drums β€” was invited to join the punk band the Ramones. One name change, many records, tours and death-defying adventures later, Marky Ramone has written a memoir of about his career, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone.

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Code Switch
8:03 am
Sat February 28, 2015

A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 11:45 am

A heads-up to our readers: This post quotes a racial slur.

When actress Erin Quill saw a casting notice earlier this month for a Show Boat musical revival with a completely Asian-American cast, she raised an eyebrow.

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The Salt
7:37 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Silly, Saucy, Scary: Photos Show The Many Faces Of Ugly Fruit

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 12:09 pm

When it comes to nutrition, fruits and vegetables are usually the most virtuous denizens of the dinner plate.

But it turns out, wholesome produce can also get pretty raunchy β€” like the randy tomatoes in this image, which our standards editor deemed too "saucy" for us to embed here.

Or needy, like this eggplant, clearly shopping for a hug ...

Or moody, like this forlorn-looking apple ...

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Television
6:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Ex-'Weekend Edition' Producer Tight-Lipped On Her 'Jeopardy!' Appearance

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Pakistani Author Mohsin Hamid And His Roving 'Discontent'

Mohsin Hamid is also the author of three novels, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Moth Smoke.
Jillian Edelstein CAMERA PRESS

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

Mohsin Hamid has been called a water lily for the way he's drifted from place to place. The 43-year-old novelist and essayist, born in Lahore, has established roots, grown and thrived in places as disparate as Pakistan, London, California and New York.

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Remembrances
6:01 am
Sat February 28, 2015

Nimoy Is Gone, But Mr. Spock WIll Live Forever

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:01 am
Sat February 28, 2015

'The Sellout' Is A Profane Riff On Race And Culture

Originally published on Sat February 28, 2015 8:40 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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