Arts/Life

The Salt
12:17 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Holographic Chocolates Look As Beautiful As They Taste

A company called Morphotonix has given traditional Swiss chocolate-making a colorful twist: It's devised a method to imprint shiny holograms onto the sweet surfaces.
Courtesy of Morphotonix

For most of us, even one bite of chocolate is enough to send our taste buds into ecstasy. Now, scientists have concocted a process to make these dark, dulcet morsels look as decadent as they taste.

Switzerland-based company Morphotonix has given traditional Swiss chocolate-making a colorful twist: It's devised a method to imprint shiny holograms onto the sweet surfaces — sans harmful additives. Which means when you tilt the goodies from side to side, rainbow stars and swirly patterns on the chocolate's surface dance and shimmer in the light.

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Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Author Reveals Imagined Pop Icons' Letters In 'Dear Luke'

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Dear Luke, We Need To Talk. Darth is a fictitious compilation of notes and letters by some of popular culture's beloved characters. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with its author, John Moe.

Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

In 'Pills And Starships,' Teens Come Of Age On A Devastated Earth

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Nat and her family are going to Hawaii on a family vacation. Now, she's 17 and has a younger brother named Sam. The family looks forward to massages and fabulous dinners and shows. But their parents aren't coming back. They live in a mid-21st century world in which people can live to 110, but instead often choose to die. The planet they knew is being destroyed by tsunamis, heat waves, hurricanes, famines, foul water and the Great Pacific Trash Vortex. Garbage that's formed a mass bigger than South America in the ocean.

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Movie Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

'How To Train Your Dragon' Sound Designer Explains The Movie's Roars

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"How To Train Your Dragon 2" opens this weekend around the country. The Academy Award winning sound designer Randy Thom, who's worked for NPR, did the sound design for this animated film and we asked him to deconstruct one particular scene where the hero, Hiccup, confronts a menacing group of dragons in the cave.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2")

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Latin America
6:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Why Cuban Ballet Dancers Risk Defecting

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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This Week's Must Read
3:44 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Eric Cantor And A Defeat Of Biblical Proportions

cover detail

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:52 pm

After his unexpected defeat in the Republican primary, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor opened a press conference by saying, "In the Jewish faith, you know, I grew up, went to Hebrew school, read a lot in the Old Testament, and you learn a lot about individual setbacks."

This is not mere piety, and the King James Version of the Bible, made up of the Old Testament and the New, is a terrific book. The heroes of these stories do not lead the race wire to wire. Those who are elevated are tested and taught by disaster.

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Movie Interviews
3:24 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

A Tip From Ben Stiller: On Set, A 'Chicken' Is Not What It Seems

When Ben Stiller hears "chicken in the gate," rarely does he actually present someone with a live chicken.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:14 am

Each line of work has its own cryptic code: words and phrases that would baffle any outsider. These terms may sound like nonsense to someone with untrained ears, but to those who operate in a certain world, their meanings are as clear as day.

To get a better handle on some of the stranger things people say at work, All Things Considered is kicking off a new series called "Trade Lingo." It's a quest to mine the jewels of meaning beneath the jargon.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:09 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Not My Job: Author Mary Higgins Clark Gets Quizzed On Writer's Block

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:42 am

Suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark is an enormously prolific author, so we've invited her to come play a game called "I got nothin'." Three questions about authors who suffer from the dreaded curse of Writer's Block, inspired by "Blocked: Why Do Writers Stop Writing?" a New Yorker article by Joan Acocella.

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Book News & Features
3:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Charles Wright: The Contemplative Poet Laureate

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:27 pm

Our next poet laureate may end up speaking on behalf of the more private duties of the poet — contemplation, wisdom, searching — rather than public ones. In one of his first public statements after learning of his new post, Charles Wright said that, as laureate, "I'll probably stay here at home and think about things." He also told NPR, "I will not be an activist laureate, I don't think, the way Natasha [Trethewey] was ... and certainly not the way Billy Collins was, or Bob Hass, or Rita Dove, or Robert Pinsky; you know, they had programs. I have no program."

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Author Interviews
12:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Lawrence' Of Arabia: From Archaeologist To War Hero

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:34 am

Scott Anderson's book explains how British officer T.E. Lawrence used his knowledge of Arab culture and medieval history to advance British causes. Originally broadcast Aug. 19, 2013.

Movie Reviews
12:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Obvious Child': A Momentous Film Of Small, Embarrassing Truths

Jenny Slate plays Donna, a standup comic who gets pregnant after sleeping with an earnest, Vermont-bred business student named Max (Jake Lacy).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Obvious Child centers on Donna Stern, an aspiring standup comic in her late 20s who's out of her depth in the grown-up world. After getting smashed and having unprotected sex with a guy she barely knows, Donna discovers she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion. It shouldn't be a particularly earthshaking turn. But in a world of rom-coms like Knocked Up and Juno, in which the heroines make the heartwarming decision to go ahead with their pregnancies, this modest little indie movie feels momentous.

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Movie Reviews
12:18 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street'

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum age out of high school in a Jump Street sequel that doesn't mess with its successful formula.
Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:23 pm

In a summer of sequels — 16 in all — this weekend is the sequelliest, offering blockbuster deja-vu (How To Train Your Dragon 2 AND 22 Jump Street) as well as a few object lessons in how to train your audience. One film goes all meta with its concept, the other goes back to basics, and for a change, both approaches work.

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Politics
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Stories Of President George H.W. Bush, From 41 Closest Friends

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Barbershop
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The World's Watching Soccer, But Basketball Is On The Barbershop's Brain

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Arts & Life
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Remembering Ruby Dee: 'Think Of Me And Feel Encouraged'

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
6:48 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Edge Of Tomorrow' And Noble Flops

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, may we recommend a movie you may not have seen last weekend?

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Book News: A Q&A With IMPAC Award Winner Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez is a Colombian author whose works include The Sound of Things Falling and The Informers.
Hermance Triay Courtesy Riverhead

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

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Monkey See
5:54 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Good News, Glamour-Likers: More 'Miss Fisher' To Come

Good to see you, Miss: Phryne Fisher will return for a third series of her Australian detective show.
Ben King Acorn

Let us begin this Friday with some unabashed joy: the Australian show Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, adored by many a fan of glamorous lady detectives, smoldering fellows, sexual freedom and fantastic outfits, will return for a third series, according to the show's Facebook page.

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History
3:15 am
Fri June 13, 2014

40 Years On, Woodward And Bernstein Recall Reporting On Watergate

Journalists Bob Woodward (left) and Carl Bernstein at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Their reporting about the scandal later known as "Watergate" won a Pulitzer Prize.
Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:59 am

Many people know All the President's Men as a film: a hit movie about the two young reporters who cracked the Watergate conspiracy. It's the only blockbuster that centers on two guys making phone calls, organizing paper notes and meeting a source called Deep Throat in a parking garage.

But before the movie, there was a book, which came out 40 years ago this month. In it, reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein tell the story of how they uncovered the scandal.

It all started in the Watergate hotel and office complex in Washington.

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Movies
1:02 am
Fri June 13, 2014

'How To Train Your Dragon 2' Is More Growly And Snarly (And Wise) Than Ever

Advanced animation and audio software help bring Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his pet dragon, Toothless, to life in How to Train Your Dragon 2.
DreamWorks Animation

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:20 am

The dragons are more fantastic. The stakes are higher. And protagonist Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III still wants humans and dragons to live together in peace. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — one of the most anticipated family movies of the summer — opens Friday.

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Code Switch
5:43 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Ruby Dee: An Actress Who Marched On Washington And Onto The Screen

Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee at the 1989 Cannes Festival for the showing of Spike Lee's Do The Right Thing.
Courtesy of David Lee/All Rights Reserved

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:58 am

Born Ruby Ann Wallace in the early 1920s in Cleveland, actress and civil rights activist Ruby Dee most identified with the part of New York City where she was raised.

"I don't know who I would be if I weren't this child from Harlem, this woman from Harlem. It's in me so deep," Dee told NPR's Tell Me More in 2007.

She died Wednesday of natural causes at her home in New Rochelle, N.Y., surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She was 91.

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Poetry
4:28 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

New Poet Laureate: 'The Meaning Has Always Stayed The Same'

Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia, has been named the nation's next poet laureate.
Holly Wright Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 5:43 pm

The Library of Congress announced Thursday that the nation's next poet laureate will be Charles Wright, a retired professor at the University of Virginia.

"I'm very honored and flattered to be picked, but also somewhat confused," the poet told The New York Times. "I really don't know what I'm supposed to do. But as soon as I find out, I'll do it."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

The Sons Of The Father, Trapped In Grief

Josh Wiggins and Aaron Paul star in Hellion.
IFC Films

Jacob and Wes, the two child protagonists in Kat Candler's uneven Hellion, are models of the drastic transition between childhood and adolescence. Jacob (Josh Wiggins) is only a few years older than Wes (Deke Garner), but the difference in their temperaments — one is impertinent and prone to acts of reckless violence, the other impressionable and adorable — makes you want to hold tight onto Wes before his inevitable evolution takes place.

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Movies
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In 'Manuscripts,' A Barred Filmmaker Considers Dissident Art

One of the uncredited members of the cast of Manuscripts Don't Burn.
Kino Lorber

Iranian writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof is known for such lovely yet elusive allegories as White Meadows, but his response to being barred from filmmaking has not been to recede further into symbolism. His Manuscripts Don't Burn, smuggled out of Iran last year, is direct and unflinching.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

'Burning Bush' Finds The Fuel For A Desperate Act

Jenovéfa Boková (as Vlaďka Charouzová), Adrian Jastraban (as Vladimír Charouz), and Tatiana Pauhofová (as Dagmar Burešová) in Burning Bush.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:09 am

I was a college sophomore in London when Jan Palach, a shy young Czech student, set himself on fire in Prague's Wenceslas Square in January 1969. The British campus revolt was in full flow, but the images of Palach's burning body, and the mass silent vigils that followed his death a few days later, made me feel how puny were the stakes of our revolution next to the failed protest against Soviet occupation, following the Prague Spring, that triggered Palach's desperate final act.

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Former BP CEO: 'Glass Closet' Still Holds Many Gay Workers Back

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:30 pm

"It was time to leave the building."

So begins a new book by John Browne, former CEO of the energy giant BP. But that sentence could easily have read: "It was time to leave the closet."

During his 12 years as CEO, he never discussed his sexuality in the workplace. That changed in 2007, when his relationship with a male escort was exposed and Browne resigned amid an ensuing scandal. At the time, he said in a statement, "I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private."

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Politics
2:07 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Hillary Clinton: The Fresh Air Interview

Hillary Clinton's new memoir, Hard Choices, outlines her four years as secretary of state under President Obama. She talks about her vote for the Iraq War, women's rights and political "gamers."
Patrick Smith Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 10:40 am

Hillary Clinton is on a national book tour for her new memoir, Hard Choices. The book outlines her four years as secretary of state during President Obama's first term, when she met with leaders all over the world.

One of her priorities was to campaign for gay rights and women's rights. She says she saw the "full gamut" on how women were treated, and in some cases it was "painful to observe."

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Parallels
1:38 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

In A Sunny Britain, Would We Read Classics Like 'David Coppertone'?

On a glorious but rare day, a woman relaxes on a bench in the rose garden in Hyde Park on Monday in London, England. The book she's reading might have turned out much different if London were known for fair weather rather than fog.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 2:48 am

I'm not sure that cities like Miami and Rio de Janeiro truly appreciate the sun. They clearly enjoy the sun, what with their beach volleyball games and their fruity cocktails. But to really appreciate the sun, I think you have to live in a place that gets dark by 4 p.m. in the winter. A place where a typical summer day involves drizzle. A place, in short, like London.

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Shots - Health News
12:11 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Cool Kids Lose, Though It May Take A Few Years

As Lindsay Lohan's character (far left) learned in the movie Mean Girls, popularity comes at a price.
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:07 am

Parents, teachers and cheesy after-school specials have long tried to convince kids that being cool and popular isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Now scientists are chiming in as well.

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The Two-Way
11:41 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Legendary Actress Ruby Dee Dies At 91

Actress Ruby Dee and director Spike Lee attend a special 20th anniversary screening of Do the Right Thing, in New York, in 2009. Dee died Wednesday at age 91.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:58 pm

Editors' Note: An earlier version of this post, as well as an accompanying breaking news alert, incorrectly stated that Ruby Dee had won an Oscar for her role in American Gangster. Dee was nominated for the award but did not win.

Ruby Dee, an actress and civil rights activist who built a career on stage and screen at a time when African-Americans had few such opportunities, has died at age 91.

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