Arts/Life

Ask Me Another
11:12 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Submit It In Reduplicate

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

Did you know Ke$ha's song "Tik Tok" demonstrates a linguistic oddity? And we're not talking about her spelling. "Reduplicated" words contain repeated syllables, but with different vowel sounds. Puzzle guru Art Chung leads contestants in a game full of reduplicated word pairs, so quit your "chit-chat" and listen in!

Plus, guest music duo Paul & Storm play an extra-special cover of "Splish-Splash."

Read more
Ask Me Another
11:12 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Got Game

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our two brave contestants: Sid Solomon and Max Bernstein.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Welcome, Sid. Welcome, Max. So, Max, you are a PhD student in biology.

MAX BERNSTEIN: I am.

EISENBERG: I'm very impressed.

BERNSTEIN: Oh, thank you.

EISENBERG: What are you working on right now, may I ask? What's your project?

BERNSTEIN: I work on population genetics and evolution in microscopic worms.

EISENBERG: No idea what you're talking about, but that sounds crazy.

(LAUGHTER)

Read more
Ask Me Another
11:12 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Long Before They Were Famous

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

A long time ago, many people's surnames indicated their occupations. If your name was "Mason," you worked with stone, if your name was "Coleman," you worked with coal, and if your name was "Sanders," you ran a medieval chicken empire. Guest musicians Paul & Storm hint contestants to an occupational surname and a celebrity who bears it.

Read more
Ask Me Another
11:12 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Small Screen Adaptations

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

TV shows are sometimes based on popular films, and while some are successful (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) others...not so much (Spaceballs: The Animated Series). Host Ophira Eisenberg has a few of her own ideas in this game, where players must "adapt" movie titles into shorter series versions by removing a letter to form a new, more succinct title.

Read more
Ask Me Another
11:12 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Blinded Me With Science

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

Guest troubadours Paul & Storm have emerged from their lab to share their latest experiment. To pay tribute to Thomas Dolby's 1982 New Wave classic "She Blinded Me With Science," the duo has reworked the lyrics to describe different scientific principles and discoveries. So put on your safety goggles and play along!

Read more
Movies
9:33 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Whatever Happened To The Real Gingers And Rosas?

The '60s London of the unhappy adolescent Ginger (Elle Fanning, with Annette Bening's mentoring May) was more complicated than students Ginger's age understand today. Film writer Ella Taylor, who lived through that decade, came late to an understanding of the toll it took on young women like Ginger.
A24

A few weeks ago, I asked a class of college undergraduates what the 1960s meant to them.

"That flower-power thing?" one young man volunteered brightly.

The further we get from that misunderstood decade, the more the many strands of its rebelliousness get reduced to a pop-culture T-shirt slogan, a cartoon strip starring tie-dyed youth with stoned eyes and floor-mop hair.

Read more
Movie Reviews
8:38 am
Thu March 14, 2013

In 'Philip Roth: Unmasked,' An Unadorned Portrait Of An Aging Master

Novelist Phillip Roth steers clear of provocation in the PBS documentary Philip Roth: Unmasked; he comes across, rather, as sensible, sensitive, maybe a bit cranky but hardly outrageous at all. And his unmistakable voice will ring true, especially for fans.
Eric Thayer Reuters

There's nothing particularly dynamic about Livia Manera and William Karel's documentary Philip Roth: Unmasked. For some 90 minutes, it's pretty much just one guy talking. But what a guy!

Roth is one of the greatest living novelists, possibly even the greatest. He can also be an inflammatory presence, eliciting outrage almost as much as admiration, particularly among women who see him as a misogynist.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu March 14, 2013

Tender Portraits Of Worn-Down Women In 'This Close'

promo image
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 12:43 pm

Jessica Francis Kane drew considerable attention for her artful historic novel, The Report, which explored the repercussions of a tragic incident in March 1943, when 173 people died while rushing into the Bethnal Green tube station for shelter during an air raid. Her portraits of wartime Londoners were psychologically acute and rich in evocative detail. She applies that same skill to her second collection, This Close, populated by 21st century Americans adrift in an increasingly complicated world.

Read more
Author Interviews
10:44 am
Wed March 13, 2013

A Young Man Gets 'Filthy Rich' Boiling, Bottling Tap Water

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 11:16 am

In his new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, Mohsin Hamid's nameless protagonist is an ambitious young man who moves from the countryside to a megalopolis in search of his fortune. The city is modeled on Lahore, Pakistan, where Hamid was born and partly raised and where — after living in the United States and England — he has now settled with his family.

Read more
Wisdom Watch
9:57 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Write A Little Everyday, You'll Have A Book

Samantha Loomis Paterson

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 9:51 am

Katherine Paterson is the beloved author of many young adult novels, including Jacob Have I Loved, The Great Gilly Hopkins and Bridge to Terabithia.

The American Library Association recently honored her with the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her "substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children."

Paterson, who has been writing for a half-century, tells NPR's Michel Martin that despite all the awards she has received throughout the years, this one means a lot.

Read more
Book Reviews
6:31 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Rewriting The Self In Gass' Dense, Difficult 'Middle C'

Piano keys
iStockphoto.com

William H. Gass is a glutton of language. Like a chef who can't cook without nibbling, he lards his own writing with similes and metaphors in the spirit of the books he loves, savoring them through imitation. In his essays on literature, this gusto is contagious. You want to taste his taste, to read what he has read. Gass' exuberant, bursting sentences convey the pleasure of reading and thinking better than just about any written since the New Critics took over criticism in the 1950s.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:17 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Book News: Michael Vick Cancels Book Tour Because Of Threats

Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles on the sidelines during a game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

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

Read more
Kitchen Window
12:32 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Outside The Pizza Box: Chicago's New Pie Scene

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 7:57 am

As we prepare to celebrate Pi(e) Day on Thursday (Congress established March 14 as a day to honor both the mathematical constant, 3.14, and our nation's favorite dessert), we find a burgeoning pie scene in Chicago. And it's not of the deep-dish variety.

Read more
Arts & Life
2:03 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Muses And Metaphor 2013: Tweet Us Your Poetry!

Melanie Taube NPR

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:50 am

Poetry and social media join forces once again in April. Tell Me More celebrates National Poetry Month with its 3rd annual Muses and Metaphor series. We'll feature poems exchanged via Twitter by NPR fans — always in 140 characters or fewer. Tweet your poem using the hashtag: #TMMPoetry.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:05 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

Backstage At The Bolshoi Ballet

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Read more
Book Reviews
12:01 pm
Tue March 12, 2013

'Lean In': Not Much Of A Manifesto, But Still A Win For Women

AP

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:19 pm

Sheryl Sandberg tells an anecdote in her new book, Lean In, about sitting down with her boss, Mark Zuckerberg, for her first performance review as chief operating officer at Facebook. Zuckerberg told her that her "desire to be liked by everybody would hold [her] back." I hope she's worked on that problem because over the past few weeks, there sure have been a lot of people hating on Sheryl Sandberg.

Read more
Books
9:43 am
Tue March 12, 2013

First African-American Poet Still Showing New Work

Newly found poem by Jupiter Hammon.
Courtesy of Yale University Libraries

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:42 pm

It's the handwriting that stands out to Cedrick May.

As an associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Arlington, he assigned his doctoral students to find some of the known works by Jupiter Hammon, the first published African-American poet. Hammon's works date back to 1760.

What one student ended up finding was a previously unpublished piece by the poet that shows how deeply he thought about slavery and religion.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:38 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Book News: Hippies Were Dirty And Liked Music By Satanists, Louisiana Textbook Claims

Paintings adorn the "Magic Bus" on display at a museum built on the site of the 1969 Woodstock music festival.
Emmanuel Dunand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 8:00 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue March 12, 2013

The Mundane World Illuminated In 'Hand-Drying In America'

Ben Katchor's syndicated comic strips vary in subject — his Julius Knipl: Real Estate Photographer, for example, explores the surreal underside of our urban environment by documenting the inner lives of the spaces and storefronts we walk past every day, while The Cardboard Valise reads like a Fodor's guide to a country that exists only in Franz Kafka's dream journal.

Read more
Arts & Life
1:51 am
Tue March 12, 2013

'Bowery Boys' Are Amateur But Beloved New York Historians

Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:12 pm

In the 19th century, the Bowery Boys were a street gang that ruled that small section of Manhattan. In the 21st century, the Bowery Boys are two best friends — Tom Meyers and Greg Young — who record a do-it-yourself podcast with the same name.

Meyers and Young love to perform almost as much as they love New York City, and their show traces the unofficial history of the place. They record a few blocks from — you guessed it — the Bowery district.

Read more
Television
3:17 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

A New TV Archetype: The Spunky Yet Obsessive Female 'Hummingbird'

Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope on NBC's Parks and Recreation.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:44 pm

It's pilot season, that time of year when television networks create and test new shows with hopes of turning out the next big thing. But whatever new plots they come up with, it's safe to say that they will turn to the safety of a limited number of character archetypes: the lovable loser, the charming rogue, the desperate housewife.

Read more
Remembrances
2:49 pm
Mon March 11, 2013

Remembering Lillian Cahn, Creator Of The Coach Handbag

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:36 pm

Lillian Cahn, co-founder of Coach Leatherwear Co., died March 4 at the age of 89. Cahn was the force behind today's high-end leather handbags.

Back in the 1960s, she and her husband, Miles Cahn, were running a leather goods business in Manhattan. They produced men's wallets and billfolds but wanted to expand.

"My wife had a great sense of style, and she made the suggestions that we men maybe were a little thoughtless about," Miles Cahn says with a laugh. "Among her many suggestions was: 'Why don't we make pocketbooks?' I like to tell people I scoffed at the suggestion."

Read more
Author Interviews
9:56 am
Mon March 11, 2013

'Frankenstein's Cat': Bioengineering The Animals Of The Future

Cover of Frankenstein's Cat

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 11:52 am

In her new book, Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts, science journalist Emily Anthes talks about how the landscape of bioengineering has expanded since Dolly the Sheep was cloned in 1996. Scientists, she says, are now working to create pigs that can grow organs for human transplant, goats that produce valuable protein-rich milk, and cockroaches that could potentially serve as tiny scouts into danger zones for the military.

Read more
The Salt
9:48 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Edible Bonsai: East Meets West On These Cookie Canvases

Risa Hirai's bonsai cookies are made from sugar, flour, butter and egg. They're completely edible as long as they haven't been on display for too long.
Courtesy of Galerie Tokyo Humanité

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 3:37 pm

Risa Hirai is a Japanese artist who paints detailed images of bonsai trees and Japanese meals. But instead of using paint on a canvas, she works with icing on a cookie.

The 23-year-old is a senior at Tama Art University in Tokyo whose mouthwatering works will be exhibited at Gallery Tokyo Humanite all this week. Assistant director Maie Tsukuda tells The Salt it's the gallery's first cookie exhibit and notes that it's not an ordinary medium for artists.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:16 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Book News: Amazon Tries To Claim '.book' Domain; Publishers Fight Back

Seattle-based Amazon wants control over new Internet domains such as ".book," ".author" and ".read."
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 6:52 am

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

Read more
New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon March 11, 2013

March 11-17: A Family Reunion, A Hunted Werewolf, A Military Standoff

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:32 pm

Fiction and nonfiction softcover releases from Jeanette Winterson, Mark Haddon, Glen Duncan and Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya.

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

Art & Design
2:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 12:14 pm

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir's pudgy, pink nude; Rothko's brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo's naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

'Lean In': Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Explains What's Holding Women Back

Courtesy Knopf

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:37 pm

Of all the posters plastered around Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters — "Move Fast and Break Things," "Done Is Better Than Perfect" and "Fail Harder" — Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has a favorite: "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?"

"[It's] something that I think is really important and I think very motivating," Sandberg tells NPR's Renee Montagne. " ... I wrote in my book, what I would do if I wasn't afraid is, I would speak out more on behalf of women."

Read more
Theater
3:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

'The Last Five Years' Returns To New York

Adam Kantor and Betsy Woolfe star in the current off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.
The Hartman Group / Second Stage Theatre

The Last Five Years originally ran off-Broadway in 2002. Cited as one of Time magazine's "Ten Best of 2001," it won Drama Desk awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics.

There are only two characters in the musical, Jamie and Cathy. Jamie is a young novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress. Told in reverse chronological order, the drama shows what happens when an artistic couple's romance fizzles out.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

A Twin Carries On Alone In 'Her: A Memoir'

Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.

In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.

Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.

Read more

Pages