Arts/Life

Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun April 28, 2013

What's Cooking? 3 Books That Are More Filling Than Food

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 20, 2013 1:41 pm

Foodie fiction has become a veritable genre, devoted to deliciousness, to making your mouth water, to making you feel suddenly, irrevocably starved — and to making everything, sprouts and bologna included, an aphrodisiac. But what happens when enough is enough? Or when, perhaps, you're on a diet, or a deserted island, or attempting celibacy, or learning to live without gluten? What happens when you're hungry for the kind of fiction that concerns food but isn't in love with food — and thereby won't make you hungry, or lustful, or both?

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Sunday Puzzle
3:01 am
Sun April 28, 2013

As You Know, Puzzles Are A Pastime

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun April 28, 2013 4:40 pm

On-air challenge: For each given category, name something in the category where the first letter is also the first letter of the category. For example, given "Military Ranks," you would say "Major."

Last week's challenge: Name a geographical location in two words — nine letters altogether — that, when spoken aloud, sounds roughly like four letters of the alphabet. What is it?

Answer: Aegean Sea; Indian Cay

Winner: Terry Thacker, Greenville, S.C.

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Code Switch
4:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

'I'm The Café And He's The Leche'

Café de Leche owner Anya Schodorf grew up in Managua, Nicaragua, and came to the U.S. when she was 14.
Shereen Marisol Meraji NPR

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 7:06 pm

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Television
2:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Two Daytime Soaps Return, But Will Fans Follow Online?

New episodes of All My Children will be airing on Hulu starting Monday.
Hulu

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 1:15 pm

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Author Interviews
2:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Hard Hits, Hard Liquor In 'The Summer of Beer and Whiskey'

PublicAffairs

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 4:13 pm

The summer of 1883 proved to be a pivotal time for American baseball.

A brash German immigrant and beer garden owner, Chris Von der Ahe strode onto the scene to found a new franchise, the St. Louis Browns — a team that would later become the St. Louis Cardinals.

His motivation? To sell more beer. And while he made a fortune, he also changed the sport forever.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Just In Time For Poetry Month, Four Fantastic Books Of Verse

Andreas Rentz Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 7:52 am

April is National Poetry Month, and what better way to celebrate than with new poetry releases? Here are four of this month's highlights — a new translation, a "best of" collection, a "collected works" worth revisiting and a camera-eye view of the world.

The Divine Comedy

The season premiere of Mad Men opened with John Ciardi's 1954 translation of Dante's Inferno:

Midway in our life's journey, I went astray
from the straight road and woke to find myself
alone in a dark wood.

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Author Interviews
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Siblings, Seafarers And 'Secrets' In Moviemaker's Novel

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Brendan, Cordelia and Eleanor Walker were suspicious from the first. They may be young — Cordelia is 15, Brendan is 12 and Eleanor is 8 — but they have enough worldly experience to know that when a real estate agent says a place is charming and rustic, she means that it's small and has wild bears in the backyard. So when the siblings first hear about the house at 28 Sea Cliff Avenue in San Francisco, they're skeptical. And their caution is quite warranted; the Kristoff House, as it's called, turns out to hold secrets, magic, skeleton pirates and a behemoth who looks like Mick Jagger.

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Author Interviews
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

'Country Girl' Edna O'Brien On A Lifetime Of Lit, Loneliness And Love

Little, Brown and Co.

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

When Edna O'Brien wrote The Country Girls in 1960, the book was acclaimed by critics, banned by the Irish Censorship Board and burned in churches for suggesting that the two small-town girls at the center of the book had romantic lives. Oh, why be obscure? Sex lives.

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Arts & Life
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Poet Kazim Ali On Poetry In Everyday Life

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 1:57 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

April is National Poetry Month. And throughout the month, WEEKEND EDITION is speaking with younger poets about the importance of poetry in daily life. This morning, we hear from translator and poet Kazim Ali.

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Theater
4:48 am
Sat April 27, 2013

When Tonys Tap Faves, Look For These Names

Tom Hanks is one to watch at Tuesday's Tony nominations; he's making his Broadway debut in Norah Ephron's final play, Lucky Guy.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 4:42 pm

Nominations for the Tony Awards, Broadway's annual honors, will be announced April 30. Among the shows eligible: loud London transplants like Matilda the Musical, a new play by David Mamet, a revival of David Mamet, two revivals of Clifford Odets and a revival of the '70s musical Pippin.

Lots of Hollywood stars have made the trek to Broadway this season, ranging from Scarlett Johansson in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof to Tom Hanks in Norah Ephron's last play, Lucky Guy.

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Author Interviews
3:04 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Through Art And Industry, Chicago Shaped America

The term "third coast" refers to American cities that sit on the Great Lakes shoreline, like Chicago.
Jeff Haynes AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 8:16 am

After World War II, America became a superpower. New York experienced a global rise; Los Angeles was sprawling. But in a new book, Thomas Dyja writes that "the most profound aspects of American Modernity grew up out of the flat, prairie land next to Lake Michigan" — Chicago.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:26 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Not My Job: Kal Penn Takes A Quiz On The Microbiome

Discovery Channel

Originally published on Sat April 27, 2013 10:22 am

Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Channel.

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Monkey See
1:33 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: Documentary Roundup

A group of young women pose for a picture in a still from the documentary Teenage, a film that explores the evolution of young adulthood in America and abroad.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

I keep going back to the documentaries. Out of the 14 films I've seen here so far, the documentaries have consistently offered some of the most inherently dynamic subjects — and served up surprising moments of discovery.

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Monkey See
11:28 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Tribeca Diary: 'A Birder's Guide To Everything'

A ragtag group of amateur birders pursue a rare North American duck in A Birder's Guide to Everything. Pictured (from left): Katie Chang, Alex Wolff, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Michael Chen.
Tribeca Film Festival

Writer Joel Arnold is surveying the scene at the Tribeca Film Festival, which runs in New York City through April 28. He'll be filing occasional dispatches for Monkey See.

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Arts & Life
10:23 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Listeners Tweet Flowers And Fruitfulness

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And next, the latest in our series, Muses and Metaphor. We're celebrating National Poetry Month by hearing your tweet poems. Today's first poem is from artist and writer Susan Crane of Longmont, Colorado. Here she is.

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Movie Interviews
10:03 am
Fri April 26, 2013

'Guilt Trip': Streisand On Songs, Film And Family

Barbra Streisand is Joyce Brewster in The Guilt Trip. The multitalented performer has won an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony — a feat achieved by fewer than a dozen artists.
Sam Emerson Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:04 am

This interview was originally broadcast on Dec. 17, 2012.

If a good voice is genetic, it's likely Barbra Streisand got hers from her mother. Streisand's mother was too shy to ever perform professionally, but she had a lyric soprano and would sing at bar mitzvahs in their Brooklyn neighborhood when Streisand was a girl.

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Monkey See
8:41 am
Fri April 26, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Great Big Summer Movies Show

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This is the time of year when we take a deep breath and a look ahead to the long summer movie season. And this year, as Stephen is quick to point out, things look pretty dire. There's a lot of apocalyptic stuff going on, and zombies, and vampires, and even the Iron Man movie looks dark. (Don't even get us started on the fact that the Star Trek movie is actually subtitled "Into Darkness.")

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Monkey See
6:27 am
Fri April 26, 2013

How 'The Office' Took A Scene From The Heart And Shot It In The Foot

John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer as Jim and Pam Halpert.
Chris Haston NBC

This has been a difficult year for The Office. There are only three episodes left after "Paper Airplanes," which aired Thursday night, and where 30 Rock rallied as it headed to the finish, The Office has seemed lost, particularly by devoting substantial time to world-building Dwight's beet farm, a remnant of a failed spin-off effort.

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The Salt
12:48 am
Fri April 26, 2013

So Jerry Seinfeld Called Us To Talk About Coffee

In an episode of Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee called "Larry Eats A Pancake," Jerry Seinfeld has coffee with Larry David.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

According to Jerry Seinfeld's publicist, the comedian was listening to Coffee Week on Morning Edition and decided he had something to add. So he called up host Steve Inskeep. Here's what he shared, edited for brevity.

On his new coffee habit

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Media
3:15 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

China's CCTV America Walks The Line Between 2 Media Traditions

Before joining CCTV America, Phillip T.K. Yin was an anchor and reporter for Bloomberg Television.
CCTV America

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

At a time when so many major American news organizations are cutting back, foreign news agencies are beefing up their presence abroad and in the U.S. One of the biggest new players arrives from China and, more likely than not, can be found on a television set near you.

CCTV, or China Central Television, is owned by the Chinese government. With more than 40 channels in China and an offshoot in the U.S., the broadcaster has been highly profitable for the country's ruling Communist Party, which is liking profits a lot these days.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Arthur Newman': A Bored Man's Bland Ambition

Mike (Emily Blunt) and Wallace (Colin Firth) try on new clothes — and new identities — in the unconvincing comedy Arthur Newman.
Cinedigm Entertainment Group

Being a movie actor is glamorous servitude. On the silver screen, the actor's presence is necessarily bigger than life — yet it's often yoked to parts that are much smaller.

The dreary Arthur Newman inspires such musings not just because it's about role-playing, but also because its two principals are so clearly acting — if for no other reason than they're famous Brits playing ordinary Yanks. This is a movie that wants viewers to believe that Colin Firth, best known to filmgoers as King George VI, is a nobody from nowheresville.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Big Wedding': But The Reception Was A Riot

Alejandro (Ben Barnes) and Missy (Amanda Seyfried) take a break from the chaos swirling around their Big Wedding to appreciate the luck that brought so many big-name celebrities out for their big day.
Barry Wetcher Lionsgate

If anything, the title of The Big Wedding feels like an understatement. The wedding that gives the film its climactic setting is outsize, to be sure, but then so is everything about this overstuffed farce.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Pain & Gain': Michael Bay's Suffering Fools

Paul (Dwayne Johnson), Daniel (Mark Wahlberg) and Adrian (Anthony Mackie) are three Miami bodybuilders with big ambitions and not much in the way of smarts.
Mark Fellman Paramount Pictures

For Michael Bay, the director of Armageddon and the Transformers movies, to comment on the excesses of American culture would be a little like — well, Michael Bay commenting on the excesses of American culture.

And yet that's exactly what he does with Pain & Gain, a stranger-than-fiction yarn about a South Florida crime spree that points and snickers in the direction of precisely the supersized grotesquerie that's long been Bay's stock-in-trade. He blankets the film in a tone of smug self-awareness that obscures everything but its bald hypocrisy.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

'Kon-Tiki:' Seaworthy, And Then Some

The titular craft in Kon-Tiki might seem an unlikely vessel to conquer the high seas — but the real-life Norwegian explorer and journalist Thor Heyerdahl put it to just such a test in 1947. Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg dramatize his story in a handsome new movie filmed simultaneously in both English and Norwegian versions.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 8:35 am

Early in Kon-Tiki, a dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's famous 1947 trans-Pacific raft expedition, the Norwegian ethnographer arrives at the New York Explorers Club trying to drum up support for his crazy adventure.

Though the host initially tells him he's not welcome — Heyerdahl (Pal Sverre Hagen) has already been soundly rejected by every publisher, magazine editor and potential financier in the city — the Danish explorer Peter Freuchen (Soren Pilmark) recognizes him and lets him in.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

In 'Paradise,' Pursuing Something Less Than Love

Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel) travels to a beach resort in Kenya for vacation, where she dabbles in sex tourism with a series of local men.
Strand Relesasing

The opening sequence of Paradise: Love doesn't really have anything to do with what follows, but it does establish director Ulrich Seidl's unflinching eye. At a pavilion somewhere in Austria, a group of cognitively challenged children, many apparently with Down syndrome, ride bumper cars under the supervision of Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel). There's no hint of sentimentality, no attempt at reassurance.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Between Two Worlds, A 'Reluctant Fundamentalist'

A probing conversation between Changez (Riz Ahmed), a young Pakistani activist, and Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American agent, forms the core of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri April 26, 2013 9:08 am

Coming as it does amid intense public debate about the alienation of immigrants in America, the release of Mira Nair's The Reluctant Fundamentalist is both timely and slightly eerie.

The movie, based on a well-received novel by Mohsin Hamid, charts the political and spiritual journey of Changez, a driven young Pakistani who arrives in New York determined to succeed, American-style.

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Theater
2:59 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

On Broadway, One Runt To Rule Them All

The Broadway musical Matilda put NPR's Bob Mondello in mind of two other big-budget tuners with plucky kids at the center of the action — and got him thinking about what these shows say about their eras.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 6:16 pm

Broadway's newest family-friendly musical, Matilda, based on the Roald Dahl novel about a precocious child who proves smarter than all the adults in her life, opened earlier this month to some of the best reviews of the year.

While it's a brand-new show, seeing it jogged my memory — jogged it all the way back to my very first commentary for All Things Considered exactly 29 years ago.

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The Salt
1:38 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Masterpiece In A Mug: Japanese Latte Art Will Perk You Up

Courtesy of Kazuki Yamamoto

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 1:48 pm

Clovers? Hearts? That's small fries, guys. It's time you met The Cat:

That 3-D creation is the work of Japanese latte artist Kazuki Yamamoto. The 26-year-old resident of Osaka creates ephemeral works of art in espresso and foam.

From whimsical monsters crafted from milk froth ...

... to adorable homages to favorite childhood cartoon characters ...

Yamamoto's art makes you regret the need to consume the canvas.

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Arts & Life
12:06 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Steadicam Inventor Joins Inventors Hall of Fame

Garrett Brown with Sylvester Stallone during the filming of Rocky II.
Courtesy Garrett Brown

Originally published on Tue April 30, 2013 9:32 am

Rocky Balboa's sprint up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum in Rocky is a scene that would have once been impossible to film. Camera innovator Garrett Brown made it possible when he invented the Steadicam, a body-mounted camera that stabilizes handheld shots.

Brown has received three Academy Awards for his technical inventions and holds 50 patents for cinematography devices. The college dropout-turned-inventor will be inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

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Television
10:58 am
Thu April 25, 2013

Matthew Weiner On 'Mad Men' And Meaning

Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner was also a writer and producer on The Sopranos for a time.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 11:37 am

The sixth season of AMC's Mad Men, which premiered April 7, jumps forward in time a few months from where the fifth season concluded. The first episode of the season comes to a close on New Year's Day 1968. That date was designed to set the tone for the entire season.

That year, says Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, is, "as far as I can tell, in the top two or three worst years in U.S. history."

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