Arts/Life

Movies
1:01 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Watch This: David Chase's Must-See Movies

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 8:09 am

What do a forlorn Italian father, a costume-drama cad and a pair of Hollywood slapstick heroes have in common? They're all high on a list of must-see movies that David Chase, creator of The Sopranos and director of the 2012 film Not Fade Away, brought us for the occasional Morning Edition series "Watch This."

What unifies them?


Saps At Sea

"When I was a kid, I used to watch Laurel and Hardy with my cousins all the time," Chase says. "I still think they're extremely funny and so surreal."

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The Salt
12:46 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Chicken Diapers? Urban Farming Spawns Accessory Lines

Clucking all the way to the bank: A hen models a polka-dot diaper from MyPetChicken.com, a multimillion-dollar business that sells everything from chicken caviar treats to day-old birds.
Courtesy of MyPetChicken.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 8:19 am

There's free range and then there's free rein — around your house.

When Julie Baker's backyard birds started spending more time inside, it was tough to keep them clean. So she got innovative.

She sewed up a cloth diaper — chicken-sized, of course — added a few buttons and strapped it onto her little lady.

One thing led to another, and eventually, a business was born.

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Monkey See
11:45 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Discovery's 'Big Brain Theory': Not That Kind Of Nerd TV

Alison Wong, a contestant on Discovery's new The Big Brain Theory, does the math.
Jason Elias Discovery

Perhaps the most revolutionary thing about Discovery's nifty new science series The Big Brain Theory, hosted by Kal Penn, is how ordinary it is.

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Movie Reviews
10:39 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Two Indie Directors Go Confidently Mainstream

In Ramin Bahrani's At Any Price, Zac Efron stars as a teen rebelling against his family and dreaming of becoming a professional race car driver. Sound like a generic summer pic? Critic David Edelstein says the film has "a hell of a sting in its tail."
Hooman Bahrani Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 11:42 am

Studios are putting most of their eggs in $100 million baskets these days, even as American independent filmmakers go hungry from lack of mainstream attention. But two of my favorite American indie writer-directors, Jeff Nichols and Ramin Bahrani, have new films with bigger stars than they've had before — films they hope will break through to wider audiences. The results, at least artistically, are impressive.

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Monkey See
8:59 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Which Comics Should I Get? Your Free Comic Book Day Cheat Sheet

Mary Ann Shilts takes one of the give away comic books from the display rack at the New Dimensions Comics store in Cranberry, Pa., Butler County, as part of Free Comic Book Day 2012. Free Comic Book Day 2013 is Saturday, May 4.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 12:08 pm

This Saturday, May 4th, is Free Comic Book Day, the comics industry's annual attempt to sail out past the shallow, overfished shoals where Nerds Like Me lazily and inexpertly spawn, to instead cast their line into the colder, deeper waters where Normals Like You swim free, blissfully unconcerned about the myriad nettlesome continuity issues surrounding Supergirl's underpants.

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Monkey See
8:19 am
Wed May 1, 2013

How 'New Girl' Got Smarter, Sexier, And A Lot Less Annoying

Jess (Zooey Deschanel) and Nick (Jake Johnson) have one of their many chats on Fox's New Girl.
Adam Taylor Fox

In the early days of New Girl, Jess Day (Zooey Deschanel) was a toddler-sized tutu made flesh: cute, affected, hard to actually dislike, but earning grins largely by doggedly evoking childhood's clumsy and doomed attempts at grace.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed May 1, 2013

A 'Bargain Basement Molly Bloom' Looks Back On Eight Decades

Edna O'Brien is pictured here with her husband, the writer Ernest Gebler, in London in 1959. O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girls, was published a year later.
Edna O'Brien/Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 2:20 pm

Back in the early 1950s, as a lonely, pregnant young wife already ruing her rash elopement, Edna O'Brien sobbed through the ending of Flaubert's Madame Bovary and wondered, "Why could life not be lived at that same pitch? Why was it only in books that I could find the utter outlet for my emotions?"

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Book News: Andrew Cuomo Signs Book Deal With HarperCollins

Andrew Cuomo leaves a news conference in February 2010 in New York City.
Chris Hondros Getty Images

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

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Kitchen Window
12:58 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Bringing Home The Essence Of Umbria, Italy

Tom Gilbert for NPR

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 8:07 am

To mangle a familiar quotation from Tolstoy, all regions of Italy are different, but each is Italian in its own particular way.

Suppose the Italian regions were women (humor me here). Lombardia would be a glamorous but unapproachable Milan model. I see Emiglia-Romagna as a wealthy, slightly dowdy widow. Umbria would be the wholesome, friendly girl next door. Unlike the American girl next door where I live, however, this one is a terrific cook.

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Code Switch
10:03 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

On 'Hicksploitation' And Other White Stereotypes Seen On TV

Some of the cast members of the reality show Duck Dynasty find themselves handcuffed to one another.
A&E

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 6:10 am

On cable TV, there's a whole truckload of reality shows that make fun of working-class, white Southern culture. They are some of the most popular and talked about new shows, too, such as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty.

MTV tried cashing in on the redneck TV trend with its own hyped-up platform for young Southern kids behaving badly, Buckwild. It played like a Southern-fried version of Jersey Shore. Its stars were a dimwitted crew of young people in West Virginia drinking hard and riding pickup trucks through ditches filled with mud.

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Movies
4:18 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Ohio Movie House Screens Its Last Reel-To-Reel

After Tuesday, projectionist Andy Holyoke will help retire the Little Art Theatre's vintage Italian reel-to-reel projectors.
Courtesy of Steven Bognar

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 6:01 pm

It's the end of an era at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs, Ohio. On Tuesday, the theater will run its old, 35 mm film projector for the last time. Then, starting Wednesday, it will close for several months to install an expensive new digital projection system.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
2:34 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Is Time Real?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu May 2, 2013 3:27 pm

We physicists are all romantics. Don't laugh; it's true. In our youth we all fall deeply in love. We fall in love with a beautiful idea: beyond this world of constant change lies another world that is perfect and timeless.

This eternal domain is made not of matter or energy. It's made from perfect, timeless mathematical laws. Finding those exquisite eternal laws — or better yet, a single timeless formula for everything — is the Holy Grail we dedicate our lives to.

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Muses And Metaphor
10:15 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Wrapping Up 'Muses And Metaphor'

Throughout April, Tell Me More has been airing poetic tweets in honor of National Poetry Month. Series curator Holly Bass shares final tweets from celebrated poet Richard Blanco and Canadian listener Bauke Kamstra.

First Reads
9:36 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Exclusive First Read: Walter Mosley's 'Little Green'

promo image
  • Listen to the Excerpt

The last time we saw Walter Mosley's hardboiled hero Easy Rawlins, his car was hurtling off a cliff in the climax of 2007's Blonde Faith — a turn of events that Mosley hinted would be fatal.

But after months drifting in and out of a coma, Easy is back, and prowling the uneasy streets of 1967 Los Angeles in search of a missing teenager, Evander 'Little Green' Noon — for whom the book is named. Two years on from the Watts riots, LA is in the grip of the Summer of Love, and a lot has changed while Easy was unconscious.

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The Two-Way
5:49 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Book News: 'Winnie-The-Pooh' Author Wrote WWI Propaganda

British author A.A. Milne looks positively Bond-esque in this photo from 1952.
Associated Press

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:38 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Daily Rituals' Of The Brilliantly Creative

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:33 am

The Onion published an essay recently called "Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About, Then Do It On Nights And Weekends For The Rest Of Your Life."The piece was satire, but it's how many of us respond to the question Mason Currey raises in his entertaining new book, Daily Rituals: How Artists Work. "How do you do meaningful creative work," he wonders, "while also earning a living?"

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Poetry
5:03 am
Tue April 30, 2013

A Cartoon Tribute To Cats, And The Poets Who Loved Them

Francesco Marciuliano

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 2:08 pm

Tuesday marks the close of National Poetry Month, a 30-day celebration of all things versified and all people versifying. And in tangentially related news, for more than eight months, a book of cat-themed poetry — I Could Pee On This — has perched on the NPR best-seller lists. There it sits, insouciantly swishing its tail amid self-help books and memoirs, the poetry world's sole representative on the list.

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Author Interviews
1:20 am
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wonderful Words' In Willa Cather's No-Longer-Secret Letters

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 1:27 pm

Willa Cather is one of America's greatest literary voices. Most notably, her stories of immigrant farmers in Nebraska are intimate windows into the lives that make up a greater history of American settlement and struggle.

Cather was also a pioneering female writer in a literary world run by men, and a driven businesswoman — meticulous about every detail of her work, down to the very design of a book jacket. And when she died in 1947, she left a will forbidding the adaptation of her works to theater or film and the publication of her personal letters.

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Books
1:08 am
Tue April 30, 2013

Vibrant 'Club' Links Two Countries In Award-Winning Book

Author Benjamin Alire Saenz writes about life on the U.S.-Mexico border. Here he holds his latest book, Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club, in front of "$26," a painting by Francisco Delgado (the presidents in the painting appear on American bills worth a collective $26).
Mark Lambie Courtesy El Paso Times

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 11:17 am

On a Saturday night, the bridge that links downtown El Paso, Texas, to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico is hauntingly still. Once, this was a border crossing flush with life; now, after years of brutal drug violence, it's like a graveyard. It's certainly not the border that American author Benjamin Alire Saenz recalls from his high school days.

"We'd all pile in a couple of cars. There'd be like 10 of us and we'd come over to Juarez," Saenz remembers. "We'd go to all these places like The Cave, the Club Hawaii ... the Kentucky Club ... and we would just have a good time and laugh."

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Books News & Features
3:33 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

What's In A Category? 'Women Novelists' Sparks Wiki-Controversy

The "American novelists" category on Wikipedia now includes a controversial subcategory: "American women novelists."
Wikipedia

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:48 pm

It all started one night when writer Amanda Filipacchi was browsing through Wikipedia and noticed an absence of women under the category "American novelists." At first, she thought the female writers being moved off the page were not important enough to be on it. But then she discovered some obscure male novelists were still listed, while some well-known women were not.

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All Tech Considered
3:32 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

A Real-World Connection Between Video Games And Guns

Medal of Honor's authentic action is a selling point for its publisher, Electronic Arts.
Courtesy of Electronic Arts

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 11:43 am

In the aftermath of last year's Newtown, Conn., school shootings, the Entertainment Software Association, which serves computer and video game publishers, issued a statement saying that years of research has shown no connection between entertainment and real-world violence.

But there's still a connection between video game makers and real-world gun makers.

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The Salt
2:01 pm
Mon April 29, 2013

If TV's Your Cup Of Tea, Try A Character-Infused Blend

What is a "tea blend?"
Sasha Courtesy of Adagio Teas

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 4:27 pm

Apparently, fan fiction and fan art aren't the only options for expressing your love of Sherlock, Doctor Who and The Hunger Games. There's also tea.

If you visit the online tea store of Adagio Teas, you'll find a collection of "Fandom Blends." They're the teas that customers have mixed and named after characters in favorite TV shows, books, movies and comics.

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Monkey See
11:01 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Can Online Shows Be Habit-Forming? Soaps May Provide Some Clues

Debbi Morgan and Darnell Williams in a scene from the online-only premiere of All My Children.
Screenshot

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 8:23 am

In the world of television, there's nothing quite like a soap habit. People watch characters evolve not over the 10 or 15 seasons that might mark a long run in prime time, but over 30 or 40 years, until they have kids and grandkids — sometimes played by the same actors the entire time.

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Author Interviews
10:47 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Marc Maron: A Life Fueled By 'Panic And Dread'

Marc Maron, whose latest book is Attempting Normal, is also the author of The Jerusalem Syndrome: My Life As a Reluctant Messiah.
Leigh Righton Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 12:15 pm

When Marc Maron started his podcast "WTF with Marc Maron" out of his garage in September 2009, he was in a dark place: He was going through a divorce, his comedy career had hit a wall and — in his mid-40s — he didn't have a Plan B.

"I was at a place in my life where I had gotten very cynical," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I had lost a lot of hope for my comedy and everything else, and I really feel that I was no longer able to really appreciate other people's stories. I had lost my ability to really kind of listen and enjoy the company of other people."

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Theater
9:50 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Behind The Curtain Of 'Disgraced'

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the story of one of the world's biggest and most destructive industries, tourism. Author Elizabeth Becker talks about the explosion in travel since the Cold War.

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Arts & Life
9:50 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Listeners Muse About Flowers And Tacos

Tell Me More is celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing poetic tweets from listeners for the 'Muses and Metaphor' series. Today's poems cover Texas, Tennessee and tacos.

Monkey See
6:31 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Everywhere But Here, 'Iron Man 3' Is Already Huge

Iron Man 3 doesn't open in North America until this Friday (May 3), but this weekend, it's already up and whomping The Avengers at the international box office. The new adventures of Tony Stark, directed and co-written by Lethal Weapon screenwriter Shane Black, brought in $195.3 million. That beat a mere $185.1 million when The Avengers opened internationally to make it the biggest opening weekend ever in a bunch of countries, including Argentina and Indonesia.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Mon April 29, 2013

Book News: Feminist Icon Mary Thom Dies In Motorcycle Crash

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

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Poetry
5:03 am
Mon April 29, 2013

From Dissections To Depositions, Poets' Second Jobs

Monica Youn, who joined NPR as a NewsPoet last year, works as a lawyer. She says that poetry appears in law more often than you might think — but nobody calls it poetry.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 12:00 pm

"No man but a blockhead," Samuel Johnson famously observed, "ever wrote, except for money." This is tough news for poets, since the writing they do is often less immediately profitable than a second-grader's math homework (the kid gets a cookie or a hug; the poet gets a rejection letter from The Kenyon Review). Poetry itself is tremendously valuable, of course, but that value is often realized many years after a poem's composition, and sometimes long after the end of its author's life.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon April 29, 2013

April 22-May 5: Julia Child, Jonathan Franzen And Herta Muller

* Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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