Arts/Life

The Salt
1:19 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Comfort And Joy: Making The 'Morning Edition' Julia Child Thanksgiving

Julia Child's reassembled Thanksgiving turkey.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 7:49 am

Like many of us who consider ourselves food adventurers most of the year, when it comes to Thanksgiving, we just want the turkey and mashed potatoes we grew up with. Well, OK, maybe just a teensy bit better than what we grew up with, but along the same lines.

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Kitchen Window
1:17 am
Wed November 21, 2012

Frozen Meals Soothe The Sick And Shut-In

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:30 am

Despite my outward 30-something appearance, deep inside my chest beats the heart of an old Jewish grandmother. I want to make my friends sweaters when it's getting cold, or throw them parades when they've mastered some feat. But mostly, I want to feed them. Especially when they need a little help.

Over the past few years, I've brought dozens of meals to friends who are nursing new babies or broken bones. And I've learned a few things about how to help when it comes to feeding people in need — specifically, that an extra meal or two for the freezer can be the best gift of all.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Nazi Roundup, Chaotically Evoked In 'La Rafle'

Annette Monod (Melanie Laurent), a Protestant nurse, volunteers to help a Jewish doctor during World War II.
Menemsha Films

On June 23, 1940, the day after France signed the armistice that marked the country's official capitulation and partial occupation, Adolf Hitler toured Paris. In black-and-white footage taken on the day that opens the earnest and unconventional French docudrama La Rafle, the visiting Nazi leaders and their military escorts are more or less sightseeing.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Remake That Will Leave Fans Seeing 'Red'

From left: Matt Eckert (Josh Peck) and his friend Robert (Josh Hutcherson) join Matt's Marine brother Jed (Chris Hemsworth) on a mission to stop North Korean invaders.
Ron Phillips Open Road Films

Released during Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign, the original Red Dawn was denounced as right-wing propaganda. But while director and co-writer John Milius' fantasy of Colorado high-school students who battle Soviet and Cuban invaders was anti-communist, it was principally pro-gun and pro-youth. In spirit, it was closer to Frank Capra than to Leni Riefenstahl.

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Monkey See
2:53 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Making The Comedy Podcast: Julie Klausner's Life Of Conversation

Julie Klausner has written for television, traditional media, new media, and Joan Rivers. But she's also a very popular comedy podcaster — a job that, only a few years ago, barely existed.
Ari Scott Julie Klausner

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

Julie Klausner's podcast, How Was Your Week?, has been featured on all manner of lists of the best shows of its kind — in Rolling Stone, in GQ, and in The New York Times. Comedy podcasting is a field growing so fast that, as NPR's Audie Cornish mentions in talking to Klausner on today's All Things Considered, comedian Colin Quinn recently commented that the only thing comedians talk about anymore is doing each other's podcasts.

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Movie Reviews
2:34 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

For Pi, A Wonderful 'Life' Finds Its Way To Film

Pi takes in the bioluminescent wonders of the sea.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:14 pm

When your dad owns a zoo in India, as Pi's dad does, it's perhaps natural to regard animals as your buddies. Cool if you're talking goats and turtles; less cool if the animal you decide you want to pet is a Bengal tiger.

"He's an animal, not a playmate," his terrified father shouts. "Animals have souls," the boy replies gently. "I have seen it in their eyes."

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Book Reviews
1:00 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Hungry Hearts And Family Matters In 'Middlesteins'

iStockphoto.com

At first glance, a novel in which the main character eats herself to death may not seem like the most felicitous pick for Thanksgiving week; but The Middlesteins turns out to be a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other, even in their most unlovely, chewing-with-their-mouths-open life moments. If you have a Thanksgiving family reunion looming before you that doesn't exactly promise to be a Norman Rockwell painting, The Middlesteins may just be the perfect literary corrective to overindulgence in high-calorie holiday expectations.

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Author Interviews
12:30 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

A Model Career: 'Grace' Goes From Runway To Vogue

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 2:25 pm

Grace Coddington grew up on what she calls "an island off an island," far from the fashion industry. Her new memoir, Grace, chronicles her journey from a sleepy town on the coast of Wales to her current job as the creative director of Vogue magazine.

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The Salt
10:45 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Why Americans Go Crazy For Pumpkin And Pumpkin-Flavored Stuff

Pumpkins for sale at the Mt. Rogers Pumpkin Patch in the a parking lot in Centreville, Va.
Paul J. Richards Getty

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:03 pm

At Thanksgiving, many of us will dig into the pointy tip of our first piece of pumpkin pie for the season. However, this Thursday, that nostalgic moment might feel a little less special.

This year, the word "pumpkin" seems to be creeping its way into hundreds of foods, drinks, and other products. As The Huffington Post noted recently, you can now find pumpkin-inspired beers, teas, marshmallows, soy milk, Pop-Tarts, and Pringles.

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Book Reviews
6:31 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 2:20 pm

In 2012, several high-profile comics creators added landmark works to their already impressive legacies. With Building Stories, Chris Ware offered 14 volumes of comics, each with its own meticulous, anagrammatic take on despair, and stuffed them into a box.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Famous Father Had Highest 'Expectations'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

You would think, wouldn't you, that the man who created such heartrendingly sympathetic children as Oliver Twist, Pip, Tiny Tim and poor Little Nell would be a stupendous father. Well, the Charles Dickens who emerges from Robert Gottlieb's Great Expectations, a compulsively readable if occasionally repetitive account of what happened to the great writer's brood of seven sons and three daughters, is not so wonderful.

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Movies
1:26 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic

Nina Simone (left) and actress Zoe Saldana are seen in this composite image. Saldana has been cast to play the late singer in a film biopic.
John Minihan/Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:35 am

The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."

Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.

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Movie Interviews
1:24 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Bradley Cooper On Getting Back To His Roots

Cooper's character, Pat Solatano, meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) while trying to get his life together after being released from a state institution.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Actor Bradley Cooper became famous for a bachelor party gone wrong in the hit comedy The Hangover. From that role, Cooper went on to People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." Now there's talk of Oscar buzzing around his new movie Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell.

In the film, Cooper plays Pat Solatano, just out of a psychiatric facility and struggling with bipolar disorder. Pat moves back home, where his parents try to manage his moods.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Talking Turkey (And Pie) In 'Thanksgiving'

Sarah C. Rutherford Random House

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:56 pm

In the introduction to his new book, Sam Sifton lays it out: "Thanksgiving is not easy." Sifton knows whereof he speaks; he's now the national editor of The New York Times, but before he took on that solemn responsibility, he was the newspaper's restaurant critic and a food columnist for its Sunday Magazine.

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Movies
1:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

When 'Unfilmable' Books Make Memorable Movies

A Bengal tiger named Richard Parker plays a central role in Life of Pi, a new movie adaptation of a novel some might describe as unfilmable.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:10 am

The centerpiece of the film Life of Pi is a boy adrift on a lifeboat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean. That's easy enough for Yann Martel to describe in his novel — but hard to make happen on the set of a movie. As it happens, Pi is in theaters with another movie based on an "unfilmable" novel: Cloud Atlas, with six different plots in six different time periods.

Some books are challenging to film because they're challenging to read. Take Ulysses, James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece, published in 1922.

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Food
3:52 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Don't Panic! It's Not Too Late To Plan A Turkey Feast

Harried Thanksgiving cooks can save time by roasting a turkey breast, rather than an entire bird, for the holiday meal, says cookbook author Katie Workman.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:37 am

For those of you hosting a Thanksgiving meal, Monday signals the official start of crunch time. If you're cooking-challenged, or simply short on time, trying to pull together a traditional holiday meal for family and guests can be an anxiety-inducing experience.

But don't fret, says Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook. There's still time to impress everyone and salvage your sanity — starting with some supermarket shortcuts.

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Monkey See
1:54 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Football, Fandom and 'Friday Night Lights'

Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waves to the crowd as he leaves the home field for the last time after a 38-0 win against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Could Nate Silver Predict How Good Your Pumpkin Pie Will Be?

All out of nutmeg? The same algorithms that predicts your friends on Facebook can also figure out ingredient substitutions for your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.
Courtesy of Lada Adamic.

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:55 am

We've been hearing a lot recently about how algorithms can predict just about anything. They find long-lost friends on Facebook and guess which books we'll buy next on Amazon. Algorithms hit the big time this month, when New York Times blogger Nate Silver used mathematical models and statistics to correctly forecast the outcome of every state in the presidential election.

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Movie Interviews
1:15 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

'Life Of Pi' Star On The 'Duet' Of Acting

Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) looks back on the adventure he went on as a teenager in Life of Pi.
Peter Sorel Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 2:54 pm

You might think that actor Irrfan Khan — the co-star of the special effects-filled film Life of Pi -- performed his scenes by himself, or with inanimate objects that would later be transformed via CGI. Not so: As the older Pi in Ang Lee's new adaptation of the best-selling novel, Khan went back to the basics.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he thinks of scenes as being like duets: "You strike a note, and somebody responds, and then you respond accordingly," Khan says.

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Author Interviews
12:35 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

'Color Of Christ': A Story Of Race And Religion In America

UNC Press

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 2:55 pm

What did Jesus look like? The many different depictions of Christ tell a story about race and religion in America. Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey explore that history in their new book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. The book traces how different races and ethnic groups claimed Christ as their own — and how depictions of Jesus have both inspired civil rights crusades, and been used to justify the violence of white supremacists.

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The Salt
11:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Breathable Chocolate

NPR

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 11:17 am

[If you were about to note that this doesn't look like a sandwich, keep in mind the Sandwich Draft Principle applies.]

With Thanksgiving a few days away, you have to save as much stomach room as you can. That means, of course, breathing your food. To that end: Le Whif Breathable Chocolate. They're like little plastic chocolate cigarettes, filled with some kind of chocolate powder.

Ian: It's a powder. We're breathing Chocothrax!

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New In Paperback
9:45 am
Mon November 19, 2012

New In Paperback Nov. 19-25

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Richard Mason, Jean Baker, A.J. Jacobs, Bill Cosby and Geoff Dyer.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
7:02 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: Kristen Stewart Is So Totally Thrilled To Be Here

Kristen Stewart poses during a photo call at the Spanish premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Gabriel Pecot AP

Given my constitutional opposition to women being told to smile and look happy, it takes a lot for me to pick on scowling.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Pterrifying Pterodactyl Meets Sexy Detective

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Rosecrans Baldwin's latest book is Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down.

Most of what you read about contemporary Paris is pretty cliched stuff — baguettes, cigarettes and the cast of Gossip Girl drinking white wine on the Seine.

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The Salt
1:23 am
Mon November 19, 2012

At Burmese Dissident's Cafe, A Taste Of Politics And Salad

Myat Thu, who owns the Aiya restaurant, takes a break at the bar with his chef Ney Minn. They both grew up in the Burmese capital, Rangoon.
Ben de la Cruz NPR

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:53 am

Early in life, Myat Thu knew that his destiny as a cook lay in salads. Not the light, leafy green salads that are so common in American restaurants, but heavy, hearty Burmese salads.

Myat Thu grew up in Burma, also known as Myanmar. He was just 14 when his mother placed him in charge of making dinner. Unsure of what to prepare, he studied the salad vendors on the streets of Rangoon.

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Author Interviews
1:23 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Anne Lamott Distills Prayer Into 'Help, Thanks, Wow'

Anne Lamott is the best-selling author of Some Assembly Required, Grace (Eventually), Plan B and Traveling Mercies.
Sam Lamott Riverhead Books

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:44 am

As Thanksgiving draws near, many of us are thinking about what we're thankful for — taking time to consider how best to appreciate what we have in our lives. This year, novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott has focused on using prayer to help express our thanks. Many of her books explore how individuals can transform their lives — how one moves from being troubled to feeling whole. In Lamott's case, she suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse; after hitting rock bottom, she found her faith.

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Author Interviews
2:06 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

A Far-Out And Forgotten Renaissance Man

A Man Of Misconceptions by John Glassie.
Riverhead Hardcover

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 8:29 am

Back in the 17th century, right around the time when the ideas of great thinkers like Descartes and Newton and Hobbes began to shape the world, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher also tried to make his mark.

Kircher was something of a jack-of-all-trades. He wrote more than 30 books; he was a philosopher, an inventor, a historian, a scientist. Back in his day, everyone knew about him. But it didn't help his reputation that many of his theories and inventions just couldn't hold water.

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Movies
11:56 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Kids Prove They're No Pawns In 'Brooklyn Castle'

The pint-sized pros of I.S. 318 are kings of the chess board (and have the trophies to prove it).
Producers Distribution Agency

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 5:23 am

There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.

I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.

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Books News & Features
10:59 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Book-Vending Machine Dispenses Suspense

Craig Small via Vimeo

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Earlier this year, Stephen Fowler, owner of The Monkey's Paw used-book store in Toronto, had an idea.

He wanted a creative way to offload his more ill-favored books — "old and unusual" all, as the store's motto goes — that went further than a $1 bin by the register.

It came in a conversation with his wife: a vending machine.

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Author Interviews
4:41 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Relationships, Short And Sweet, In 'Married Love'

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Host Rachel Martin speaks with British writer Tessa Hadley about her new collection of short stories, Married Love and Other Stories. Hadley teaches creative writing at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and her stories regularly appear in The New Yorker magazine.

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