Arts/Life

Three Books...
4:27 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

3 Books That Enhance Steve Inskeep's Journey

Mohammed Abed AFP/GettyImages

The area from Carthage to Cairo has commanded the world's attention. Since the Arab Spring last year, it has been filled with protesters, journalists, rebels, and change. It would be hard to put together a reading list for this area without thinking of politics, but writing from the region often surprises us — it suggests the variety and vitality of social life. Here are three books that show why this long-time locale of dictators has suddenly become one of hope.

Games & Humor
3:42 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Bring Us To Your Party, Part Deux

Take Ask Me Another to your next party with this downloadable party game.
NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:55 pm

This week we have another edition of our downloadable party puzzles, where you can play host and quiz your friends. The puzzle we have for you this week is what we call an Ask Me One More Final Round game. The final game segment on Ask Me Another is a quick elimination game where contestants compete "spelling bee style" in a winner-take-all round. But you can play this with any way you like.

ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

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Movie Reviews
3:13 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

A Moody Artist Broods On The Grimy Streets Of Paris

In The Woman in the Fifth, novelist Tom Ricks (Ethan Hawke), already suffering from writer's block, falls into increasing states of paranoia as he wanders the streets of Paris.
ATO Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:28 pm

The Anglo-Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski may be an unfamiliar name, but you may have seen his wonderfully atmospheric first two features. If you haven't, add them to the Netflix queue without delay: Pawlikowski's 2000 feature debut, Last Resort, made utterly plausible and romantic an unlikely love story between a Russian immigrant and an amusement-arcade manager in a decaying detention center on the English coast.

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Movie Reviews
3:08 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'That's My Boy' Explores The Far Reaches Of Vulgarity

Reunited with an uptight son (Andy Samberg, right), a beer-swilling ne'er-do-well (Adam Sandler) counsels more heedless hedonism in That's My Boy.
Tracy Bennett Columbia Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 2:49 pm

Like the twisted love child of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" video and the Mary Kay Letourneau scandal, the Adam Sandler comedy That's My Boy opens with a middle-school Lothario bedding — and later impregnating— a sexually voracious instructor.

If their genders were reversed, That's My Boy would be cause for a congressional hearing. But in a film defined by juvenile fantasy, the kid becomes not only the class hero, but an '80s cultural icon on par with Vanilla Ice and Diff'rent Strokes' Todd Bridges (both of whom appear as themselves.)

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Bickering Through The Alien Invasion

Julián Villagran stars in Extraterrestrial as Julio, a young man who wakes up one morning in a beautiful woman's bed having missed the UFO landing that occurred while they slept.
Focus World

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:22 pm

Outer space is a magical place, isn't it? As a storytelling device it's nonpareil — as soon as the writer has introduced the possibility of a leap to the stars, anything goes imagination-wise. The restrictions of primitive Earthling reality no longer need apply.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Under His Parents' Shadow, Both On And Off Screen

In Americano, Martin (Mathieu Demy) goes on the road to Tijuana in search of Lola (Salma Hayek), who is supposed to inherit Martin's estranged mother's apartment.
MPI Media Group

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:34 pm

In his debut feature, Americano, writer-director Mathieu Demy casts himself as Martin, a brooding French real estate agent who travels to Los Angeles after his long-estranged mother dies. He plans to sell her apartment quickly — until he finds a letter in which she promises to leave the place to a friend, Lola. Martin can't locate the woman, but hears she may be in Tijuana.

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Movie Reviews
2:58 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

'Rock Of Ages': Lookin' For Nothin' But A Good Time

Tom Cruise plays Stacee Jaxx, an egomaniacal rock star, in Rock of Ages. The movie features several supporting performances — including ones from Alec Baldwin, Bryan Cranston and Catherine Zeta-Jones — that outshine the main plot.
David James Warner Brothers

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:41 pm

Cast whatever aspersions you like at the teased-hair, spandex-clad rock 'n' roll of the '80s: base, superficial, oversexed, bleating loudly into the night without ever having much to say apart from the fact that sex, drugs and itself were all that was needed for a pretty great party.

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Movie Reviews
2:58 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Of Best Friends, Siblings And Too Much Tequila

When Jack (Mark Duplass) continues to act out a year after his brother's death, his best friend, Iris (Emily Blunt), who's also his late brother's ex-girlfriend, invites him to rest and recharge at her family's cabin.
IFC Films

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:25 pm

As played by Mark Duplass, Jack is a sweet guy, though that's not really something you'd guess from his lashing out at the friends who are trying to celebrate his brother's life at the memorial service that starts Your Sister's Sister.

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Poetry
2:04 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

NewsPoet: Robert Pinsky Writes The Day In Verse

Robert Pinsky visits NPR headquarters in Washington D.C., on Thursday.
Ebony Bailey NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:18 am

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
2:00 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

How To Be A Great Dad: Advice From Kids

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 3:00 pm

From our How To Do Everything podcast:

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Television
8:58 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Plus-Size Designer: Bigger People Need Good Style

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There is a new reality show in town. It's on the TLC Network. That's the network known for popular style and fashion hits like, "What Not to Wear" and "Say Yes to the Dress." Now a new show focuses on how fashion is trying to catch up to our changing population, clothing designed for plus-sized women. "Big Brooklyn Style" follows Lisa Dolan, owner of Lee Lee's Valise, as she designs her own looks and helps her customers find looks that work for them.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "BIG BROOKLYN STYLE" )

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New In Paperback
7:33 am
Thu June 14, 2012

New In Paperback June 11-17

Girls in White Dresses book cover

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Jennifer Close, Christopher Plummer and Mohamed ElBaradei.

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

Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
6:23 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, word music it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu June 14, 2012

'Redshirts:' A Love Letter To Sci-Fi Fans

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 1:24 am

Science fiction is often a genre in conversation with itself; from Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels to Galaxy Quest, from The Walking Dead to The Purple Rose of Cairo, it thrives on metatext and a love of details. It's a place inhabited by loyal, passionate fans who are nonetheless acutely aware of — and happy to question — the minutiae of what they love.

In fact, it's a show's biggest fans who are most likely to be watching a starship crew suit up for a mission and asking the screen, "All three top-ranking officers are going? Really?"

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Music Interviews
3:04 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Ice-T Gives A Hip-Hop History Lesson In 'The Art Of Rap'

Ice-T (left) with Chuck D in a still from his documentary From Something to Nothing: The Art of Rap.
Courtesy of Indomina

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 1:18 pm

Ice-T, the rapper and actor, wants people to think about the craft of making rap music. He has directed and starred in a documentary called Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap that takes viewers from Harlem into the South Bronx, to Detroit and South Central Los Angeles. In the film, Ice-T talks to musicians like Doug E.

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Monkey See
5:14 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Theater Diary: Ludacris Meets The Von Trapps, And A Bartender Proves Unreliable

Three's company: M (Jason Butler Harner, left) and F (Amanda Quaid) spar over the affections of the paralyzingly uncertain John (Cory Michael Smith) in Mike Bartlett's The Cockfight Play.
Joan Marcus

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 9:22 am

On Monday night, a theater-critic buddy and I were hoisting a round at a 9th Avenue saloon called Flaming Saddles. "God Bless Texas" was on the jukebox, which was an actual jukebox and not somebody's Spotify playlist, and the big-screen TVs were showing Shirley MacLaine getting smashed in Can-Can, because it's that kind of establishment.

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Monkey See
10:44 am
Wed June 13, 2012

The Absolute Unvarnished Truth About The New And Rebooted 'Dallas'

Larry Hagman, as he must, returns to play J.R. Ewing in the rebooted version of Dallas.
Zade Rosenthal TNT

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 10:49 am

There is a certain honesty with which I believe critics must exist — a willingness to look yourself in the eye. A willingness to say, "This is the absolute truth as I experienced it."

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Movie Interviews
10:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

At The Heart Of 'Your Sister's Sister,' A Love Triangle

Iris (Emily Blunt, left) invites her best friend Jack to her family's vacation home after a death in his family. Unbeknownst to him, Iris' sister Hannah (Rosemary DeWitt) is already there, in the hopes of getting over a breakup.
IFC Films

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 3:27 pm

Lynn Shelton's 2009 movie Humpday was about two straight men making a gay-porn movie to win an amateur film competition. It might not have reached a mass audience, but Humpday was noticed by other directors and producers, including Matthew Weiner, who offered Shelton a job directing an episode of Mad Men.

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Fresh Food
10:16 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Fermentation': When Food Goes Bad But Stays Good

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:48 pm

The list of fermented food in our lives is staggering: bread, coffee, pickles, beer, cheese, yogurt and soy sauce are all transformed at some point during their production process by microscopic organisms that extend their usefulness and enhance their flavors.

The process of fermenting our food isn't a new one: Evidence indicates that early civilizations were making wine and beer between 7,000 and 8,000 years ago — and bread even before that.

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Monkey See
7:48 am
Wed June 13, 2012

How We Talk About A Bacon Sundae

This is the bacon sundae.
Noel Barnhurst AP

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 1:32 pm

I come not to praise the Burger King bacon sundae, nor to bury it. I come merely to point out that sometimes, the particular flavor of contempt with which you choose to address something is as important as the contempt itself.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 13, 2012

'Red House': A Kaleidoscope Of Family Dysfunction

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 13, 2012 6:03 am

You can get to know people awfully well by spending a week with them on vacation. In The Red House, Mark Haddon brings together two long-estranged siblings and their disjointed families for a shared holiday at a rented house on the Welsh border six weeks after their mother's funeral. Seven days comes to feel like an eternity — for his characters and his readers.

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Kitchen Window
10:28 pm
Tue June 12, 2012

Just A Pinch Of Thought Brightens Fruit Salad

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Around the time I was just old enough to know how to cook but still young enough to have some free time, I started throwing brunch parties. The menu was always the same. I would bake a braided challah or Belgian waffles or blueberry muffins or all three. (This was show-off food, since none of my other friends had yet developed an interest in baking.) I'd prepare some mimosas and strong coffee. And then, in a weak and chinless nod to better nutrition, I would make a fruit salad.

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Monkey See
11:25 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Theater Diary: In Which Our Heads Explode From Sheer Nerd Joy

Emily Skinner (left) and Alice Ripley in the original Broadway production of a show that we will shortly discuss further.

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 5:44 pm

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Author Interviews
10:10 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Under The 'Nuclear Shadow' Of Colorado's Rocky Flats

cover detail: Full Body Burden

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 1:40 pm

Kristen Iversen spent years in Europe looking for things to write about before realizing that biggest story she'd ever cover was in the backyard where she grew up. Iversen spent her childhood in Colorado close to the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, playing in fields and swimming in lakes and streams that it now appears were contaminated with plutonium. Later, as a single mother, Iversen worked at the plant but knew little of its environmental and health risks until she saw a feature about it on Nightline.

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The Salt
10:02 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Harissa: The Story Behind North Africa's Favorite Hot Sauce

Just a spoonful of the spicy chili paste known as harissa goes a long way
Benjamin Morris NPR

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 2:01 pm

NPR Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep is taking a Revolutionary Road trip across North Africa to see how the countries that staged revolutions last year are remaking themselves.

Inskeep and his team are traveling some 2,000 miles from Tunisia's ancient city of Carthage, across the deserts of Libya, and on to Egypt's megacity of Cairo.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Alan Furst's New 'Mission' Delivers Spy Thrills

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:09 pm

Alan Furst is fixated on a place on the verge of all-out war — and his many readers are grateful for his obsession.

Furst is the wonderfully inventive author of a series of novels set in Europe on the eve of World War II. He's often been compared to John le Carre, Graham Greene and other masters of fictional espionage. But it's time to consider him on his own merits.

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Business
3:09 am
Tue June 12, 2012

Starbucks Order Gives Ohio Mug Maker A Jolt

Bob Davis hand-dips mugs before they go into the kiln at American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool, Ohio. Most overseas companies have machines that can do this much faster.
Amanda Rabinowitz WKSU

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 11:03 am

For decades, when you slid into a booth at a diner or a local coffee shop, the waitress probably arrived with a standard-issue, off-white mug. More than likely that mug came from the Ohio River town of East Liverpool, which calls itself "The Pottery Capital of the Nation."

A lot of that city's pottery business is long gone. Now, one of the few remaining pottery factories in the battered town is pinning its survival on a major corporation.

To step inside American Mug and Stein in East Liverpool is to step into another era.

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Monkey See
3:08 am
Tue June 12, 2012

The Old With The New: Generations Clash In New 'Dallas'

Bobby (Patrick Duffy, top left), J.R. (Larry Hagman, top center left) and the rest of the Ewing family are back, including a new generation, for TNT's reboot of Dallas.
Mark Seliger TNT

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 10:08 am

In 1980, the world was transfixed by the question of "Who shot J.R.?" Of course, we're talking about the archvillain from the nighttime soap opera Dallas. Three hundred fifty million people worldwide tuned in to find out. Now the TNT cable network is rebooting the show and hoping for even a fraction of that passion.

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Author Interviews
12:50 am
Tue June 12, 2012

What Animals Can Teach Humans About Healing

When wildfires swept across Australia in February 2009, this photo of a firefighter sharing his water with an injured koala captured hearts around the world. The koala later died — not of fire-related injuries, but of chlamydia. Koalas in Australia are suffering from an epidemic of chlamydia, says Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz. "There's no such thing as safe sex in the wild."
Mark Pardew AP

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:18 am

When Dr. Barbara Natterson-Horowitz was asked to treat an exotic little monkey with heart failure at the Los Angeles Zoo, she learned that monkeys can suffer heart attacks from extreme stress — just like humans. That's when the cardiologist realized she'd never thought to look beyond her own species for insights into disease.

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
5:05 pm
Mon June 11, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Pritomus

Finishing touches.
NPR

We believe the children are the future. And here at Sandwich Monday, we try to foster the next generation of eaters through our after-school programs and subliminal EAT BACON messages. That's why we were so happy to see Peter's daughter Willa had invented her own sandwich: The Pritomus. It's hummus, Fritos and pickles served open-faced on an English muffin.

Peter: Into our mouths from babes.

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