Arts/Life

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue November 18, 2014

A 'Garden' Full Of Dazzling, Whimsical Tales

cover crop
Small Beer Press

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:51 am

"Real magic, right next door," exclaims a character in "Walpurgis Afternoon," one of the short stories in Delia Sherman's stellar short-story collection, Young Woman in a Garden. In it, a family that's hyperconscious of zoning laws and what the neighbors think are faced with the unimaginable: A huge, elaborate Victorian house appears on their block overnight. Two women live in the house, and the secrets they hold will change everything.

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The Two-Way
5:14 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Take It In: 'Vape' Is The Oxford Dictionaries Word Of The Year

Vape was chosen as the word of the year for 2014 in part because it provides a window "onto how we define ourselves," says Casper Grathwohl of the Oxford University Press. Here, women exhale vapor clouds during a competition at the Henley Vaporium in Manhattan.
Elizabeth Shafiroff Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 8:28 am

The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes has now sparked the notice of the estimable Oxford Dictionaries, which has chosen "vape" as the word of the year for 2014. The word can be a noun or a verb; it beat out contenders such as "bae" and "normcore."

Noting that e-cigarettes have come a long way since the early 1980s, when the "vape" was first breathed into life, the folks at Oxford Dictionaries say it took awhile for the new market, and the new word, to mature.

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Monkey See
3:58 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

A Painful Hollywood Portrait Makes For Great TV On 'The Comeback'

Lisa Kudrow plays actress Valerie Cherish in The Comeback.
Colleen Hayes HBO

In 2005, Lisa Kudrow starred in a little HBO show called The Comeback, a show styled as — get ready for this — the raw footage for a (fictional) reality show about a (fictional) actress named Valerie Cherish, getting her big chance to come back in the (fictional) sitcom Room And Bored. The show was well reviewed but low-rated, and it was canceled after 13 episodes.

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Television
3:42 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Bill Cosby's Silence On Rape Allegations Makes Huge Media Noise

Bill Cosby speaks at a press conference about African- American art on Nov. 6.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Sat November 22, 2014 5:29 pm

This may be the first time in a long while that Bill Cosby can't control the public conversation about Bill Cosby.

Read the recent biography Cosby: His Life and Times, and you see a portrait of a talented performer who took control of his business and career interests early on, forever suspicious of journalists and industry executives who might try to interfere.

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The Salt
1:43 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Papa John's Frito Chili Pizza

The Fritos Chili Pizza: blurring the line between "recipe" and "spilling your Fritos in exactly the right place."
NPR

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 2:25 pm

The year is 2047. You're in a dining hall on the desolate comet on which we all now live. You look down at your food, sitting on your plate. The plate is, as always, a large cheese pizza. A painful memory flashes. You ask the child next to you, "Remember when plates weren't also made of food?" The child does not remember. The child was born after the Papa John's Fritos Chili Pizza, which served a pile of Fritos on a pizza, and changed the arc of humanity forever.

Ian: I look at this and half of me sees "pizza," half of me sees "place a hamster would live."

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Monkey See
12:36 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

'State Of Affairs': Television From The Precise Middle Of The Barrel

Charleston Tucker (Katherine Heigl) meets with President Constance Payton (Alfre Woodard).
Michael Parmelee NBC

The best and worst thing I can say about the new NBC drama State Of Affairs is the bottom line: if this is the kind of show you like, you might like this show.

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Author Interviews
11:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

An In-Depth Look At The U.S. Cyber War, The Military Alliance And Its Pitfalls

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Television
11:25 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Holy Smokes 'Batman,' The '60s Series Is Out On DVD

Unlike later incarnations of Batman, the '60s version was tongue-in-cheek.
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Home Entertainment

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 2:31 pm

If you're an impressionable young kid hitting your teens right now, chances are pretty good you've been watching and enjoying some Batman — either Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan's just-completed Dark Knight trilogy, or the prequel series, Gotham, now showing on Fox. If you came of age a generation ago, your Batman of choice was likely to have been the big-screen caped crusader played by Michael Keaton or George Clooney. Or maybe even Val Kilmer.

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The Two-Way
8:32 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Book News: Mo'ne Davis Steps From The Pitcher's Mound Into Memoir

Mo'ne Davis stares down a batter during a Little League World Series game in August.
Rob Carr Getty Images

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

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Author Interviews
4:47 pm
Sun November 16, 2014

For One Essayist, 'The Unspeakable' Isn't Off-Limits

Daum has written several other books, including Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House, and is also a columnist for the Los Angeles Times.
David Zaugh Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 8:20 pm

How much is it OK for a human to love a dog? Is it really necessary to know how to cook? Why do women want to have children?

Meghan Daum's new collection of essays considers those questions, among others — and also grapples with what it means to be part of Generation X.

"I guess technically we're middle aged, if you're in your mid-forties," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "But that just doesn't sound right."

"It's almost like, are we in the twilight of youth? That sounds almost worse. That sounds not good."

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Author Interviews
7:18 am
Sun November 16, 2014

The King Of Housewives Dishes Pop Culture's Delightful Dirt

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:25 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Color Decoded: Stories That Span The Spectrum
6:07 am
Sun November 16, 2014

For One Artist, Colorblindness Opened Up A World Of Black And White

Milton's Mary's Turn also features Mary Cassatt and Edgar Degas paintings hanging on the wall. Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Peter Milton

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 12:35 pm

In 1962, Pop Art was taking off in a frenzy of color: Andy Warhol debuted the Marilyn Monroe and Campbell's soup can silkscreens that would revolutionize the art world, and Roy Lichtenstein was at work on his giant paintings in the mode of comic strips. That same year, artist Peter Milton, then 32, went to get his eyes tested.

At the time, Milton was teaching at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and he'd had a show of some of his paintings. "It got reviewed, and someone referred to how warm and sort of pinky the landscapes were," he says, "and I was horrified."

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Author Interviews
6:07 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Today's Fairy Tales Started Out (Even More) Dark And Harrowing

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:22 am

It's well-known that our favorite fairy tales started out darker than the ones Disney animators brought to life. But you might be surprised by how much darker the originals were.

For the first time, a new translation of the Brothers Grimm's tales reveals exactly how unsanitized and murderous the bedtime stories really were. Jack Zipes, author of The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm, is the only person who has ever translated the first edition of their tales into English.

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Television
6:07 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Jacobson And Glazer Take 'Broad City' On The Road

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:25 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Back To The Future — The Grim, Grimy, Chrome-Coated Future

Metrophage is not a new book. That's important to understand right from the start.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun November 16, 2014

'Operation Sea Lion' Is A Flawed But Fascinating Look At WWII

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:18 am

During the summer of 1940, the Third Reich occupied most of Europe. If Britain fell too, the complete Nazification of the continent seemed like a real possibility.

And the German High Command had a plan for the invasion: Operation Sea Lion. But the mission never materialized into action.

After the war, many surviving Reich commanders claimed Sea Lion was merely a psychological game meant to demoralize Britain, and that Hitler never believed a full-scale invasion was necessary.

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Code Switch
3:44 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Marvel's 'Black Panther' Isn't Just Another Black Superhero

Introduced, issue #52 of the Fantastic Four as a would-be for, the Black Panther would come to be a long-time ally.
Marvel Entertainment

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:26 pm

Last month Marvel Studios announced the roster for some upcoming features. In addition to Ant-Man and a female-led Captain Marvel film, Marvel's Kevin Feige confirmed that on November 3, 2017, the studio planned to release one of its longest-rumored projects: The Black Panther.

We in the nerdier parts of the Internet promptly lost our minds.

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History
2:37 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Family Film Offers Glimpse Of 'Three Minutes In Poland' Before Holocaust

During a 1938 vacation to his hometown, Glenn Kurtz's grandfather filmed the townspeople of Nasielsk, a Jewish community in Poland, just before World War II.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 10:25 am

In 2009, Glenn Kurtz stumbled across some old family films in a closet in his parents' house in Florida. One of the films, shot more than 70 years earlier by his grandparents while on vacation in Europe, turned out to include footage of his grandfather's hometown in Poland.

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Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

Soldiers, Spies, Cyberwarriors: '@War' In The Internet Age

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 10:02 am

Imagine it's the year 2022. Across the Pacific Ocean, a small country — an American ally — has provoked a big adversary nearby. Call them Red. Red's size and military capabilities are near those of the United States.

Red responds aggressively to its neighbor's provocation. Within days, the big adversary has crippled the smaller country's power grid, communications networks and other infrastructure through cyberwarfare. Then, Red launches a preemptive cyberattack against the small country's big ally: the United States.

If you were the U.S. military, how would you respond?

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Code Switch
3:05 pm
Sat November 15, 2014

How Hema Ramaswamy Found Healing Through Traditional Indian Dance

Hema Ramaswamy prepares backstage for her performance. She studied with Chitra Venkateswaran (right) for 4 1/2 years in preparation for this recital.
Preston Merchant

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 2:11 pm

Jewish girls become a bat mitzvah; 15 year-old Latinas celebrate with quinceañeras. But for generations of Indian-American girls, the rite of passage is performing a classical Indian dance before a crowd of hundreds. After years of preparation, Hema Ramaswamy of Middletown, N.J., is ready to unveil her arangetram.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:29 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Not My Job: Ron Perlman, Who Played The Beast, Gets Quizzed On Beauty

Richard Drew AP

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 9:38 am

In most of Ron Perlman's well-known roles — in Quest for Fire, the TV show Beauty and the Beast and the Hellboy movies — he is so covered in makeup you don't know what he looks like. Good thing we've invited him onto the radio where we can clear that right up!

Since Perlman famously played the Beast — as well as many other characters with unique visages — we'll ask him three questions about beauty.

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Arts & Life
6:08 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Cosbys Start A 'Conversation' With African-American Art

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 9:20 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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The Salt
6:01 am
Sat November 15, 2014

A Journey Through The History Of American Food In 100 Bites

One of America's favorite bites: the hotdog. Here, a man and women enjoy the dogs at a California fair in 1905.
Courtesy of Sourcebooks

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 9:37 am

Apple pie isn't American in the way people often mean. Every ingredient, from apples to butter to nutmeg and cinnamon, came from somewhere else.

But then, so do most Americans.

A new book traces the roots of American tastes from pemmican to Coca-Cola to what are now called "molecularly modified" foods. Libby O'Connell, the chief historian and a senior vice president for the History Channel and A&E networks, wrote The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites.

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Author Interviews
5:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Shriver Finds Wisdom Among The Intellectually Disabled

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 8:21 am

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

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Movies
5:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

'Godfather' Mansion For Sale In Staten Island

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 8:21 am

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

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Spend Some Time 'Loitering,' And Feel Less Alone

The essay, some time in its long journey from Samuel Johnson's "loose sally of the mind, an irregular undigested piece," has become something that can be persuasive instead of discursive, something that slices and gleams, an accumulation of arguments as relentless as the stacking of bricks.

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Author Interviews
3:29 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Roger Moore: The Man With The Golden Life

DANJAQ/EON/UA

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 11:51 am

Sir Roger Moore has been The Saint, one of the Persuaders, and, of course, James Bond. But he calls himself One Lucky Bastard, which is the title of this memoir about a life spent working and laughing alongside the likes of Tony Curtis, Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, Diana Dors, David Niven — and many more.

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This Week's Must Read
3:51 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

After Catalonia's Independence Vote, An 'Homage' To George Orwell

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:26 pm

On Sunday morning as I cast my vote in the Catalan election, I thought of the day that George Orwell arrived in Barcelona. It was the day after Christmas in 1936 and Spain was in the midst of a terrifying and utterly chaotic civil war.

Orwell was shot in the throat and barely survived to tell the tale of what he saw, but survive he did, and in 1938 Homage to Catalonia, his personal account of the near six months he spent on the front lines of the Spanish Revolution, was published to little attention. In fact, it wasn't published in the United States until 1952.

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Movie Interviews
2:23 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

'National Gallery' Offers A Lingering Look At Art

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 4:34 pm

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

Movie Reviews
1:04 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Satirists Go Serious in 'Foxcatcher' And 'Rosewater' — And It Works

Steve Carell ditches any pretense of comedy in Foxcatcher.
Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 4:34 pm

What do you get when you mix big-deal comedians with real-life calamities? Sounds like a joke, but Steve Carell and Jon Stewart are answering that question this week in their movies Foxcatcher and Rosewater. And it turns out, seriousness suits them.

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