Arts/Life

World
5:58 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

In Moscow, Scandals Shake A Storied Ballet

Sergei Filin, artistic director of the Moscow Bolshoi Theatre's Bolshoi Ballet, was nearly blinded by an attacker on Jan. 17.
Yuri Kadobnov AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 11:47 am

It's a story right out of the movies: The artistic director of one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world is violently attacked. His attacker and the motive are shrouded in mystery. But behind these sensational headlines is a ballet company that is both legendary and plagued with scandals and infighting.

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Author Interviews
11:44 am
Mon February 4, 2013

A Barbados Family Tree With 'Sugar In The Blood'

SPrada iStockphoto.com

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Mon February 4, 2013

That Was A Great Blackout Last Night

Kicker David Akers of the San Francisco 49ers waits during a power outage that occurred in the third quarter that caused a 34-minute delay during Super Bowl XLVII.
Ezra Shaw Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 9:38 am

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

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The Two-Way
5:33 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Book News: Myanmar Celebrates As Censorship Recedes; And Oh Those Seussian Hats

A sea of Seuss hats at an event at the Library of Congress in 2010.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:56 am

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

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Author Interviews
1:32 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Sendak's 'Brother's Book': An Elegy, A Farewell

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 10:09 am

Maurice Sendak, one of America's most beloved children's book authors, evocatively captured both the wonders and fears of childhood. His books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, revolutionized picture books by adding danger and darkness to the genre.

Over the course of his life, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than a dozen widely acclaimed books and illustrated almost 80 more. And although he died last May at 83, Sendak still has one more volume on the way.

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Author Interviews
2:37 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

'Disaster Diaries' Will Help You Survive The End Of The World

Courtesy Penguin Press

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
12:20 pm
Sun February 3, 2013

The Movie Jonathan Levine Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Jon Voight and Jane Fonda in a scene from the Hal Ashby film Coming Home.
Michael Ochs Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 4:16 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that writer-director Jonathan Levine, whose credits include The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is Hal Ashby's Coming Home.

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Coming Monday: A Daily Dose Of 'Book News'

NPR

For some months now, many of us at NPR have been enjoying a daily email from our friends here who report about books and the publishing industry. It's a tip sheet with news, and a bit of attitude.

Eyder and several others started saying "hey, we ought to publish this."

So, The Two-Way will.

Annalisa Quinn, who's been writing the notes, sends along this mission statement and a little bit about herself:

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Monkey See
6:23 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Choosing Sides: How To Pick Between The Ravens And The 49ers

Sourdough Sam, the mascot for the San Francisco 49ers, looks on in January 2012.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 8:13 am

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Appetite For Destruction: A Deadly, Delicious Rock Memoir

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 6:16 am

Alex Stone is the author of Fooling Houdini.

I first saw Guns N' Roses on MTV when I was in middle school. Mary Jordan had just ended our rocky three-week relationship — by phone — and I was sulking on a friend's couch. "Check it out," he said, gesturing at the TV. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was playing. "These guys are my new favorite band." Four minutes and 12 seconds later, they were mine too.

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Author Interviews
4:44 am
Sun February 3, 2013

'Fresh Off The Boat' And Serving Up Asian Culture

After stints as a lawyer, furniture salesman and stand-up comic, Eddie Huang found success as the owner of Baohaus, a Taiwanese bun shop on the Lower East Side.
Atisha Paulson Spiegel & Grau

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 7:23 am

Eddie Huang has done many things in a short period of time.

He's been a lawyer, stand-up comic, and now he's the owner of New York's Baohous restaurant and the host of his own food show on Vice TV.

The most remarkable parts of Huang's life, however, took place before all that, back when he was growing up with his Taiwanese immigrant parents and navigating the ins and outs of American culture.

It's all chronicled in his new memoir Fresh Off The Boat.

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Arts & Life
4:39 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Making Up A History For The 'Dutch Mona Lisa'

Very little is known about Girl With a Pearl Earring, which is often referred to as the Dutch Mona Lisa.
Superstock The Art Archive

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:24 am

Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings, but very little is actually known about it. The girl herself is a mystery who has inspired both a novel and a movie speculating on her true story.

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Sunday Puzzle
2:27 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Tackle 'Yards' To Make A Touchdown

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 5:24 am

On-air challenge: In recognition of the Super Bowl, the key word is "yards." You will be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters Y, A, R, D and S. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Yvonne, Alice, Rachel, Donna and Sally.

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Author Interviews
12:36 pm
Sat February 2, 2013

The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears

A polar bear looks up as the sound of the camera catches his ear on the edge of the Hudson Bay, outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 4:41 pm

In 2008, reports of polar bears' inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger's attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

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The Picture Show
6:22 am
Sat February 2, 2013

The Ways We Wait: A Train Station Tribute For Grand Central's 100th

A boy hitches a ride on a suitcase as he waits to board a train at Beijing West Railway Station during Chunyun travel peak on Feb. 8, 2007.
China Photos Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 3:30 pm

Grand Central Terminal, one of world's most iconic commuter destinations (or departure points, depending on which way you're going), celebrated a big birthday this week. Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the largest railroad terminal in the world.

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Author Interviews
4:39 am
Sat February 2, 2013

'City Of Devi' Sets A Love Triangle In Pre-Apocalyptic Mumbai

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 1:07 pm

Manil Suri's new novel, The City of Devi, opens with India and Pakistan on the verge of nuclear war. India is roiled by factional violence between Hindus and Muslims. Bombers strafe citizens, vigilantes settle scores, and terrorists set off dirty bombs around the country as Mumbai boils over with fear and fury. And if that's not enough, it's also a sex comedy.

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Three-Minute Fiction
10:03 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction Round 10: Leave A Message After The Beep

Author Mona Simpson is the judge for Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction. She has written five works of fiction (among other short stories and essays): Anywhere but Here, The Lost Father, A Regular Guy, Off Keck Road and My Hollywood.
Alex Hoerner

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 9:59 pm

It's Round 10 of Three-Minute Fiction, the short story contest from weekends on All Things Considered. Here's the premise: Write a piece of original fiction that can be read in about three minutes (no more than 600 words).

Our judge for this round is author Mona Simpson, whose most recent book is My Hollywood. She most recently won a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, among other prizes. Here's her twist for Round 10:

Write a story in the form of a voice-mail message.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:10 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Astronaut Mae Jemison Plays Not My Job

NASA

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 8:53 am

In 1992, Mae Jemison became the first African-American woman to fly in space when she served as a science mission specialist. We've invited Jemison to play a game called "Excuse me? When do we get to the Southwest terminal?" Jemison has flown in the space shuttle Endeavour, so we thought we'd ask her questions about a sometimes more unpredictable vehicle ... the airport shuttle.

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Media
2:40 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

For Super Bowl Ads, More Social-Media Savvy

Deutsch LA

Originally published on Fri February 1, 2013 5:17 pm

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

'Schroder' Chronicles A Father's Desperate Mistakes

Twelve Books

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 1:43 pm

A father embroiled in a bitter custody battle abducts his 6-year-old daughter and heads off with her through upstate New York and Vermont.

His name is Eric Kennedy and he's the desperate, complicated narrator of a new novel by Amity Gaige. Schroder is written as an explanation to his ex-wife of where he went and why he did it:

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The Salt
1:06 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

An Oscar-Nominated Guacamole: Your Friday Visual Feast

Fresh Guacamole, an Oscar-nominated short film by PES
PES

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:11 am

Mashed avocado hand grenades, chopped baseball onions and hand-picked light bulb chili peppers can hardly be considered an authentic recipe, but that's not going to stop a Latina like me for rooting for Fresh Guacamole in the Oscars later this month.

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Monkey See
11:39 am
Fri February 1, 2013

They Call Me ... Bruce? When Characters Outlive Their Names

Bruce Wayne is only one of the many characters whose name makes him seem perhaps a little older than he is.
DC Comics

Originally published on Sun February 3, 2013 6:26 am

Look, don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with the name "Bruce."

There are plenty of Bruces about, and good and strong and admirable Bruces they are, contributing to society in myriad ways.

You got your Springsteen, of course. Your Campbell. Your Vilanch. Your Dern. Your ... um, Boxleitner. Your Jenner and your ... Baumgartner, was it? Baumgartner.

Bruce: A perfectly fine name. Just not as common in the U.S. as it once was, is my point.

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Monkey See
9:59 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: '30 Rock,' Getting Meta, And The PCHH FAQ

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

In case a thousand thousands of internet words haven't informed you, last night was the final episode of 30 Rock, and in addition to taking a moment to appreciate the show itself, we decided to use it as a jumping-off point for a discussion of "meta" humor — what it is, when it works, and when it just comes off like a crutch. You might be surprised to hear meta traced all the way back to childhood, but hey, that's what we're here for.

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Monkey See
9:46 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Kid President Coaches Up the Entire Internet

Screenshot

If you've been online in the last week, you've probably already gotten a pep talk from Kid President.

In just a week, the viral video, starring the adorable Robby Novak, a nine-year-old from Tennesee, has already garnered over six million hits.

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Movie Reviews
8:24 am
Fri February 1, 2013

'Gatekeepers' Let Us Inside Israeli Security

The documentary The Gatekeepers examines Israeli security policy in interviews with six former heads of the secretive Shin Bet agency.
Sony Pictures Classics

The Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers centers on Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but from an unusual vantage — not the Palestinians or Israelis on the ground, but six men at the pinnacle of the country's security apparatus: the former heads of the security agency Shin Bet.

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NPR Story
8:12 am
Fri February 1, 2013

So A Girl Walks Into A Bar...

Ask Me Another audience members enjoy some potent potables from The Bell House's esteemed bartenders.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Thu April 4, 2013 4:43 pm

This week's versatile V.I.P. has had spells as an author, an ordained minister, a fortuneteller, and a bartender — which serves her well during a delectable drinking game. And with quizzes covering highfalutin children's literature, crossbred celebrities and a geologist's favorite Queen song, this week's contestants show a little versatility, too.

Monkey See
7:15 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Morning Shots: Lois Lane Has An iPad, And Linda Gray Has A Story About Her Leg

iStockphoto.com

Does Lois Lane's iPad mean that Zack Snyder's approach to Superman will be fresher and more modern than people are expecting? [The Guardian]

Too much? Too little? How much information are you supposed to hand out in a movie trailer anyway? [The New York Times]

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History
1:40 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Grand Central, A Cathedral For Commuters, Celebrates 100

Originally published on

Friday marks the day that 100 years ago, Grand Central Terminal opened its doors for business for the very first time. The largest railroad terminal in the world, the magnificent Beaux-Arts building is in the heart of New York City on 42nd St. And while it no longer serves long-distance trains, it's still a vibrant part of the city's eco-system.

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Movie Reviews
3:17 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

In Prison And Among Zombies, Shakespeare's Reflection Shines

In the Romeo and Juliet-inspired Warm Bodies, a zombie known only as R (Nicholas Hoult) falls in love with Julie (Teresa Palmer), who's still human.
Jan Thijs Summit Entertainment

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 8:39 am

The Italian art-house film Caesar Must Die and the teen zombie-comedy Warm Bodies do not, at first glance, appear to have much in common. But they share a bit of creative DNA, both being inventive riffs that turn Shakespearean tragedies into something else entirely.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

'Sound City': Music And Memories In An L.A. Landmark

Rock musician Dave Grohl recorded Nirvana's Nevermind at L.A.'s Sound City Studios; now, he's turned his musical memories of the place into a documentary film of the same name.
Varrance Films

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 9:25 am

Dave Grohl has always been a joy to watch onscreen, whether bashing away at a drum kit like the heavy-footed, wild-haired spawn of John Bonham and the Muppets' Animal in Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video, or flashing an endearingly goofy grin in the Mentos-spoof clip for the Foo Fighters' "Big Me." And a big part of that appeal is the sense that no matter how long he's been in the business, Grohl is still a guy who is acutely aware that he's living out a teenage daydream every day of his life.

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