Arts/Life

Code Switch
3:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

Broadway, New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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Television
1:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

'Madame Secretary' Pales In Comparison To 'The Good Wife'

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Author Interviews
1:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Long, Scary Journey From A 'Terrorist's Son' To A Peace Activist

In a March 2014 TED talk, Ebrahim credited The Daily Show's Jon Stewart with helping him realize that "a person's race, religion or sexual orientation had nothing to do with the quality of one's character."
Ryan Lash

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 3:39 pm

When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father, El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-Orthodox, anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League. That was in 1990.

Then, from prison, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators.

Ebrahim was shocked to learn what his father was capable of. So was Ebrahim's mother. Ebrahim writes his story in his new memoir, The Terrorist's Son.

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Ask Me Another
8:58 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Passionate Proclamations With Gilbert Gottfried

"Every time something pops in my head, I think twice about it and I do it anyway." - Gilbert Gottfried.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Gilbert Gottfried likes his comedy with a side of something dangerous.

"I think an audience - like when they go to a horror movie or get on a rollercoaster - they want that feeling like they're going to die," he said. "And then [they] get off and everything's okay. And I think when they see a comic they want to feel like something bad could happen. And with me, something bad is happening, because they spent money to see me."

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Ask Me Another
8:00 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Go Johnny, Go!

Originally published on

Go, Johnny Coulton, go! Our one-man house band plays the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" with the lyrics rewritten to be about other famous guys named John. Can you sing your way to victory?

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Cultured Film Quotes

We love low-brow film, but every once in a while, we crave high culture. In this game, we've classed up a few famous movie quotes with the names of important historical figures: "I'll be Bach."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Everything But The 'Y'

There are words... and then there are super words! Supervocalics are words that include each of the vowels A, E, I, O and U, like "tambourine." All of the answers in this game share this special power.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Time Machine

Join us, if you will, and travel back to 1914. All questions must be answered from the vantage point of that year, such as, how many stars are on the US Flag? But be quick: WWI is about to start, and the Wi-Fi here is terrible.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Big Score

We wish we were as enthusiastic about anything as announcer Andres Cantor is about a soccer ball going into a net. Play a game about words or names that contain the sound "go," like "GOOOOO-pher!"

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Ask Me Another
7:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Rap It Up

We're wrapping up the show with a game featuring the letters R-A-P. All answers contain those letters in consecutive order. For example, "a long-haired lady in fairy tales" is "Rapunzel."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

The Two-Way
5:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Book News: Fiction Longlist Is Out For The National Book Awards

The fiction shortlist for the National Book Awards will be announced Oct. 15.
NationalBook.org

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Calvino's Cosmicomic Collection Treads The Final Frontier: America

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:05 am

Italo Calvino has a habit that's hard not to find disconcerting. Halfway through a story, or even a few sentences in, he often pauses — briefly, glibly — to mention in passing that everything he has written so far is wrong. Oh, and the same goes for what's to come. But it's best not to let it slow us down, he suggests. This will happen sometimes when you're inventing worlds and ideas that can't be put into words.

But words are all he's got — so deal with it.

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Race
4:31 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:38 pm

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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Book Reviews
4:40 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Martin Amis' 'Zone Of Interest' Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 4:48 pm

When I picked up Martin Amis' new novel, The Zone of Interest, it felt as though I had touched a third rail, so powerful and electric is the experience of reading it. After years of playing the snide card and giving his great store of talents to the business of giving other people the business, Amis has turned again to the matter of Nazi horrors (he tried to deal with it in a gimmicky way in his 1991 novel Time's Arrow), and the result is a book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.

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Poetry
4:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

"I became a poet in Pittsburgh," says, poet and University of Pittsburgh professor Terrance Hayes, pictured above at his home.
Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

On Wednesday, poet Terrance Hayes was named one of 21 MacArthur Fellows. Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal and subvert canonical forms."

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Want To Learn About The Scientific Method? Go Bake Some Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be the gateway to a better understanding of the scientific method.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:36 pm

Bethany Brookshire, aka @SciCurious, is a blogger at ScienceNews, where she covers the latest science research and develops creative science outreach projects.

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Music Articles
12:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal.
Lalitree Darnielle Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:35 pm

When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.

"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."

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Shots - Health News
11:16 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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The Two-Way
6:38 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri in central Italy on Sept. 2.
Riccardo De Luca Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 8:46 am

The winners of the MacArthur "Genius Grant" awards were announced Wednesday morning, and include poet Terrance Hayes, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, poet and Arabic translator Khaled Mattawa and cartoonist and memoirist Alison Bechdel. Bechdel is the creator of the cartoon strip Dykes to Watch Out For and author of the graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? Bechdel spoke with NPR by email on Tuesday afternoon.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Broken Monsters' Hits Horror Out Of The Park

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 12:58 pm

The world has become hard to shock. It's not because evil is a new thing — that's been around since the beginning of time, and it definitely wasn't created by movies, video games and every other popular scapegoat for the decline of society. But it's undeniable that we've all become a little inured to things that might have been considered unspeakably horrifying 50 years ago.

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Book News & Features
2:13 am
Wed September 17, 2014

How One Poet's 'Genius Grant' Became A Gift To Future Generations

Amy Clampitt used her award money to buy a house in Stockbridge, Mass., near the home of Edith Wharton, one of her favorite writers.
Andrea Shea WBUR

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:50 pm

The recipients of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants" will each receive $625,000 over five years, no strings attached. That made some of us wonder what past MacArthur fellows have done with their money, a question that led us to 1992 winner Amy Clampitt.

Clampitt, a poet, was on vacation when she heard from her friend, writer Karen Chase, that she had been named a MacArthur genius.

"She was furious with me because she thought I was teasing her," Chase recalls. "And by the end of the conversation she said, 'I'm gonna buy a house in Lenox!' "

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Code Switch
2:12 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Breaking Bad' Fans Get Their Fix In Spanish

In Metástasis, Diego Trujillo (center) plays Walter Blanco, a chemistry teacher who sells crystal meth with his former student José Miguel Rosas, played by Roberto Urbina.
Manuel Rodriguez UniMás

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:50 pm

How do you remake the award-winning AMC series Breaking Bad in Spanish?

Well, all you need — as the show's chemistry teacher-turned-drug dealer, Walter White, might say — is "a little tweak of chemistry."

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U.S.
10:36 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Meet The 2014 Winners Of The MacArthur 'Genius Grants'

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works Sept. 2 in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri, central Italy.
Riccardo De Luca MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:54 am

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Author Interviews
2:42 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

100 Years Ago, 'New Republic' Helped Define Modern Liberalism

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 3:33 pm

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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Author Interviews
12:27 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

13 Days Of High Emotion That Led To The Egypt-Israel Peace

As President Jimmy Carter looks on, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat (left) shakes hands with former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David on Sept. 6, 1978.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 4:13 pm

When President Jimmy Carter decided to bring Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David in 1978 to broker peace talks, his hope that the two men would like each other was "completely naïve and mistaken," says journalist Lawrence Wright.

The first couple of days turned into a screaming match.

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Monkey See
11:45 am
Tue September 16, 2014

'Mindy' And 'New Girl' Navigate Their Worlds Of Crazy Love

Danny (Chris Messina) and Mindy (Mindy Kaling) find themselves in a new position in the premiere of The Mindy Project.
Isabella Vosmikova Fox

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 1:48 pm

[This post contains information about where main characters stand relative to each other at the opening of the new seasons of The Mindy Project and New Girl. Be advised.]

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The Two-Way
6:39 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Book News: Rankine, Glück On National Book Awards Longlist For Poetry

The poetry shortlist for the National Book Awards will be announced Oct. 15.
NationalBook.org

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 16, 2014

The Monstrous And The Beautiful Dance In 'White Van'

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 11:24 am

In the opening chapter of Wolf in White Van, the debut novel from singer-songwriter John Darnielle, protagonist Sean Phillips descends into a memory, and imagines other paths within it. "There are several possibilities," he tells us of a hallway in his family's home, with its many doors and secrets. "They open onto their own clusters of new ones, and there's an end somewhere, I'm sure, but I'll never see it."

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Parallels
2:43 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

Iraq's Artists Defy Extremists With Bows, Brushes And A Low Profile

The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra performs in Baghdad. The concert was promoted by word of mouth to avoid being targeted by bombs.
Graham Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:00 pm

It's a hot night in Baghdad, and the national theater is packed with people who are here to see the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.

They're fanning themselves with programs that show conductor Karim Wasfi, a striking man with thick eyebrows and a pointed beard, playing the cello. Tonight, he'll be conducting for the first time in more than a year.

Iraq has been in the headlines lately, with extremists taking over parts of the country, American airstrikes, the militias and the politics.

But the country was once a sophisticated center for learning and the arts.

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The Salt
2:22 pm
Mon September 15, 2014

'Language Of Food' Reveals Mysteries Of Menu Words And Ketchup

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 3:58 pm

The words we use for everyday foods contain clues to their origins and hint at their ancient travels across the globe as they merge, fuse and sometimes take on different forms altogether. Stanford University linguist Dan Jurafsky unpacked some of the history with All Things Considered's Robert Siegel and in his book, The Language of Food.

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