Arts/Life

Arts & Life
9:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Russell Peters, 'Notorious' And Unapologetic

The Indian-Canadian comedian is known for mimicking accents and poking fun at race, culture and class. He's performed for audiences worldwide. All that after being bullied as the brown kid in a mostly white neighborhood. Peters talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about his personal life and his new world tour called 'Notorious.'

Theater
9:24 am
Mon January 7, 2013

You're Invited: Verdi's 200th Birthday Celebration

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 12:17 pm

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:08 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Why 'Amour' Is Sad, But Not Depressing

Emmanuelle Riva in Michael Haneke's Amour.
Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:29 pm

The first voices I heard about Michael Haneke's Amour were essentially in complete agreement: beautiful, brilliant, almost unbearably depressing. Having seen it, I'm not sure I agree with that last part.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon January 7, 2013

A Literary Sex Education In Mumbai

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:14 am

Manil Suri is the author of the forthcoming novel The City of Devi.

Through the 1960s and '70s and well into the present century, Harold Robbins' name has stood out in India as someone who has perhaps educated the entire repressed subcontinent (or at least its English-speaking population) about sex.

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Poetry
5:03 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Guns, God And A Reggae Beat: A 2013 Poetry Preview

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:11 am

Now that we're done with all that fiscal cliff wrangling (sort of), it's time to move on to priority No. 2: the next year in poetry. Just kidding. But, with the whole year stretching out before us, it is a good time to get excited about what literature has in store.

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Author Interviews
1:40 am
Mon January 7, 2013

Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 5:56 am

Author Simon Garfield loves maps. His home in London is full of them — that's where they're stocked, hanging on walls and piled on shelves. So when Garfield was looking for a new topic to write about, not surprisingly, maps won out.

His new book is called On the Map: A Mind-Expanding Exploration of the Way the World Works.

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Author Interviews
2:26 pm
Sun January 6, 2013

Re-Creating The 'Lost Carving' Of An English Genius

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 5:06 pm

On one spring day in the early 1970s, writer David Esterly paused to admire a stunning wooden carving inside a London church.

"On the panel behind the altar, I saw these extraordinary cascades of leaves and flowers and fruits, carved to a fineness and fluent realism, which seemed to me breathtaking," Esterly recalled in an interview with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Adjust Your Vision: Tolstoy's Last And Darkest Novel

cover detail

George Saunders' latest book is called Tenth of December: Stories.

It's become commonplace to say that good fiction "wakes us up." The speaker usually means that he — a righteous, likable person, living in the correct way — becomes, post-reading, temporarily even more righteous and likable.

Resurrection, Tolstoy's last and darkest novel, works differently.

It's a shocking and impolite book, seemingly incapable of that last-minute epiphanic updraft or lyric reversal that lets us walk away from even the darkest novel fundamentally intact.

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Essays
5:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

At Home In Fantasy's Nerd-Built Worlds

iStockphoto.com

Once, in an age long past, "epic" was a dirty word.

Way back when I was a young nerd growing up in the Midwest in the 1980s — long before I became a professional writer — histories of magic rings and chronicles of ancient evils were not exactly mainstream fare. Indeed, to publicize one's knowledge of Elvish sword-names and Orcish myth was to contract a kind of voluntary leprosy.

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Strange News
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

It Would Take Way More Seagulls To Lift James' Peach

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Host Rachel Martin delves into the physics behind Roald Dahl's childrens' classic, James and the Giant Peach. Physics students at the University of Leicester calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls to lift James' Giant Peach, making Roald Dahl's number (501), entirely insufficient.

Movies
5:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Film Flubs In 2012: A List Of Inconsistencies

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

2012 was a great year for U.S. movie ticket sales - nearly $11 billion. Some of the highest grossing films include "The Avengers."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) What have I to fear?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: (as Tony Sparks) The Avengers - that's what we call ourselves. Earth's mightiest heroes type thing.

MARTIN: "The Dark Knight Rises."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as character) I need to see Bruce Wayne.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Scrambling To Ring In The New Year

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 3:19 pm

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle celebrates ringing in the new year. Take the letters Y-E-A-R. Add one letter and scramble to make a new word that answers the clue. For example, by adding the letter B to Y-E-A-R, with the clue "maker of aspirin," the answer would be "Bayer."

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Books
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

'The Great Agnostic': Giving Up Politics To Preach Against Religion

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

Attention American history buffs, here's a name you might not have heard before: Robert Ingersoll. According to author Susan Jacoby, he was "one of the most famous people in America in the last quarter of the 19th century."

"He went around the country," Jacoby tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He spoke to more people than presidents. He was also an active mover and shaker behind the scenes of the Republican Party."

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Performing Arts
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

A Way Without Words: Mummenschanz Mimes Celebrate 40

Troupe member Philipp Egli says the genius of Mummenschanz lies in simplicity. The most beautiful pieces, he says, start with black space and some people on stage.
Mummenschanz

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

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Books
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

For 'Wheel Of Time' Fans, The Last Battle Is At Hand

The Wheel of Time series tells the story of Rand Al'Thor, a farm boy who discovers he's a prophesied hero.
Tor Books

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 8:02 am

  • Hear An Extended Interview With Harriet McDougal
  • Hear an Extended Interview With Brandon Sanderson

It's the moment fantasy fans have been waiting for (really!): After more than 20 years, and 13 doorstopper volumes, the last book in the best-selling Wheel of Time series comes out Tuesday. The series unfolds an epic battle between good and evil — think Game of Thrones but more so: more characters, more magic, more tiny little world-building details, more everything.

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Author Interviews
4:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Kids Rule In The Land Of 'Hokey Pokey'

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 11:41 am

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out ... chances are you know the rest. But in Jerry Spinelli's latest book, the Hokey Pokey is much more than a children's song and dance. Hokey Pokey is the name of a magical universe where kids are in charge — no adults in sight. There are herds of bikes, endless cartoons, a cuddle station and dessert for lunch every day.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
3:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

The Movie Alan Cumming Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Christopher Guest's Waiting For Guffman
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 4:29 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.

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Author Interviews
3:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Digging Up A Different Detroit

The Detroit skyline as seen from Belle Isle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 2:46 pm

Author Mark Binelli grew up in a Detroit suburb in the 1970s. The Detroit he knew was a study in decline. The city used to embody the American dream: the auto industry, consumer culture and Motown.

When he was offered a magazine assignment to write about the Detroit auto show in January 2009, Binelli tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden, he jumped on it.

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Krulwich Wonders...
4:06 am
Sat January 5, 2013

A Very, Very, Very Delicate Balance

Stone balance art by Gravity Glue.
Courtesy of Gravity Glue

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 10:50 am

These rocks, says the artist, are not glued, not Velcroed. This is not a trick. Go ahead and click through our glossary of photographs. There are big rocks pirouetting on little ones, little ones dangling on top of big ones, pebbles tightly clumped and suspended in air ...

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Author Interviews
3:29 am
Sat January 5, 2013

'Death Of Bees' Captures A Grim, Gory Coming-Of-Age

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 7:59 am

The Death of Bees is a story about two young girls living in a Glasgow, Scotland, housing project. And if you believe the first sentences of a novel are often the most difficult to write, try this beginning paragraph:

"Today is Christmas Eve. Today is my birthday. Today I am fifteen. Today I buried my parents in the backyard.

"Neither of them were beloved."

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Monkey See
12:33 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

Giving Horror A Bad Name: 5 Bloody Good Alternatives To 'Texas Chainsaw 3D'

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 1:14 pm

It gets harder every year to identify as a horror movie fan and still hold your head up in polite company. A big part of the problem is the persistence of rabid slasher films like Texas Chainsaw 3D, opening today in theaters nationwide. Now, I haven't seen Texas Chainsaw 3D, and it would be a disservice, naturally, to pre-judge the film.

And yet somehow I feel totally comfortable concluding that it's terrible.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Don't Waste That Christmas Tree: Turn It Into Spruce Beer

You can keep the Christmas smell going all year long. Or, at least until you finish your spruce beer.
iStockphoto.com

The holidays are finally wrapping up. So after you repack the twinkly lights, and the tinsel goes into the trash, what should you do with that once beautiful spruce standing in your living room? Why not drink it?

Well, not exactly as is. The needles, shoots, light-green tips and inner bark of the popular conifer have been used for centuries to brew forest-scented tea, soft drinks and beer. And it seems that fresh evergreen flavor may be making a comeback.

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
10:03 am
Fri January 4, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 3, 2013

Yellow Birds book cover detail

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 2:35 pm

At No. 9, Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds details the friendship between two Iraq War vets.

Arts & Life
9:39 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Creating Peace This Year, Easier Said Than Done?

Tell Me More asked listeners how they are hoping to bring peace into their lives in 2013. From cutting up credit cards to cleaning up friendships, life coach Gail Blanke says even small changes add up. Guest host Celeste Headlee asks Blanke for some tips on creating a peaceful year.

Author Interviews
9:33 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Frank Calabrese Jr. On Opening His 'Family Secrets'

Defendants in the "Operation Family Secrets" trial included Frank Calabrese Sr. (clockwise from left), Joey Lombardo, Anthony Doyle, Paul Shiro and James Marcello. The men are pictured during an Aug. 15, 2007, court hearing in Chicago.
Verna Sadock AP

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 10:04 am

This interview was originally broadcast on March 14, 2011. Frank Calabrese's father, the Chicago mobster Frank Calabrese Sr., died on Christmas Day.

When Frank Calabrese Jr. was a teenager, his father came home one night and took him into the bathroom for a chat.

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Monkey See
7:58 am
Fri January 4, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: In Which We Make New Resolutions And Face Old Ones

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's podcast is a bit more contemplative than most, as we go back to the New Year's resolutions we made last time it rolled around to January (we also made some in 2011!) and consider how we did.

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Monkey See
6:56 am
Fri January 4, 2013

In NFL Football, As In Hollywood, Does Anybody Know Anything?

Head coach Andy Reid of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on during a game against the Washington Redskins on Dec. 23, 2012 in Philadelphia.
Alex Trautwig Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 11:30 am

Baseball: The San Francisco Giants, in winning the 2012 World Series, participated in 16 playoff games — and they'd have had more, had they not swept Detroit 4-0 in the World Series itself.

Football: The San Francisco 49ers played 16 games in their entire regular season. Three more wins would make them Super Bowl champions.

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Author Interviews
2:04 am
Fri January 4, 2013

The 'Life And Liberation' Of A Black Female Metal Fan

The singer Skin of Skunk Anansie performs at Brixton Academy in London last month. She wrote the foreword to Laina Dawes' What Are You Doing Here?: A Black Woman's Life and Liberation in Heavy Metal.
Simone Joyner Redferns via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 8:15 am

Music writer Laina Dawes is a die-hard Judas Priest fan. She's all about the band's loud and fast guitars, the piercing vocals — and she loves to see the group perform live.

Now, a fact that shouldn't matter: Dawes is a black woman. This, she says, can make things uncomfortable on the metal scene. She says she's been verbally harassed and told she's not welcome.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Checking In Again With The '7 Up' Kids

Peter Davies, age 56, and his Good Intentions bandmates Gabi (left) and Francesco Roskel appear in the latest installment of the Up documentary series, inspired by the Jesuit saying, "Give me the child until he is 7 and I will show you the man."
Harriet Gill First Run Features

The participants in 56 Up, the eighth installment in a series that began in 1964, want to talk mostly about two things: family and the documentary itself.

The project, which checks in periodically with 14 kids who were once deemed representative British 7-year-olds, is "a complete fraud," says John, and based on assumptions that "were outmoded even in 1964."

And yet here they are again: the working class and the posh, the aimless and the motivated, the emigrants and the stay-at-homes, most of them now grandparents.

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Movies
2:52 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

E-Vote Hiccups Delay Oscar Balloting

Accountants from PricewaterhouseCoopers prepare ballots for last year's Oscars mailing. Glitches in a new online voting system have prompted organizers to push back this year's balloting deadline.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 3, 2013 4:10 pm

Voting for this year's Oscar nominations was supposed to have closed today — but it's been bumped a day, in the wake of complaints about the new online voting system put in place by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Hollywood Reporter analyst Scott Feinberg tells NPR's Audie Cornish that the system was supposed to make life easier for academy members.

"Going to e-voting would allow voters to vote from anywhere in the world, if they're on vacation or whatever during the holidays, and just make the process itself more streamlined and efficient."

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