Arts/Life

Sunday Puzzle
6:04 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Seeing Double

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat October 13, 2012 4:13 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer today is a six-letter word or name that has a repeated two-letter pair, like "eraser," which has E-R twice, or "regret," which has R-E twice. The repeated pair of letters can appear anywhere in the word. You'll be given the pair of letters and a clue, and you provide the words.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:45 am
Sun September 30, 2012

How Humans Are Facilitating More Disease 'Spillover'

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

About 10 years ago, doctors in southern China started seeing a lot of patients with signs of what looked like a new illness.

DAVID QUAMMEN: It's like a very, very bad flu that gets people coughing and wheezing and with lung blockage.

MARTIN: That's David Quammen. He's a science writer who writes about the emergence of human diseases in his new book, "Spillover."

QUAMMEN: It causes a throbbing headache and a high fever. And then in some cases, if I recall correctly, it begins to cause organ shutdown, as well.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:20 am
Sun September 30, 2012

The 'Future' Of Movies? Critic Says It's Not So Bright

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

According to David Denby, 1979's Apocalypse Now came "out of a movie world so different from our own that sitting through it again is almost a masochistic experience."

The New Yorker film critic clearly loves movies, but in his new book, Do the Movies Have a Future?, he argues that complex films like Apocalypse Now are becoming more and more of a rarity. Denby joins NPR's Rachel Martin to discuss promising directors, what it means to be a film critic and the future of film.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:19 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Inverting 'King Lear' In 'Goldberg Variations'

Scribner

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Author Susan Isaacs has written 13 books; 12 of them have been best-sellers. The women who inhabit Isaacs' books are smart, sexy, a little snarky, and filled with some serious chutzpah.

The center of Isaacs' latest novel, Goldberg Variations, is no exception. Gloria Garrison owns a multimillion-dollar makeover business, and she is not exactly an easy lady to get along with.

Isaacs talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about writing strong women and growing up wanting to be a cowgirl.

Read more
Movies
4:04 am
Sun September 30, 2012

'Looper' Director: Memory A Form Of Time Travel

Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt play different versions of the same character in the time-travel thriller Looper.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

Originally published on Sun September 30, 2012 6:04 am

Looper is a time traveling action flick set in the year 2044. Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a paid assassin who makes the startling discovery that his next target is actually himself — an older version of himself from the future.

Read more
Arts & Life
3:17 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Stories: 'Butterflies'

Nemanja Zivancevic iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 5:05 pm

Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction has closed and the judging process is now under way. Susan Stamberg reads an excerpt from one standout story, Butterflies, written by Jennifer Dupree. You can read the full story below along with other stories at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:28 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

Actor Robby Benson Is 'Not Dead ... Yet!'

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 9:34 am

Robby Benson began his career at the age of 12, on the Broadway stage, and became a teen heartthrob in the '70s, starring in films such as Ode To Billy Joe, Ice Castles and One on One, which he co-wrote. He was also the voice behind the Beast in the 1991 Disney film, Beauty and the Beast.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:24 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Vikings Punter Chris Kluwe Plays Not My Job

AP

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 9:07 am

ESPN writer Kevin Seifert recently described Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe this way: "Kluwe would fit in perfectly in a group of impossibly smart California mensas who spend half their time working out and (most of) the rest playing video games." Which leads us to believe Kluwe's either the nerdiest player in the NFL, and/or the most athletic nerd in history.

We've invited Kluwe to play a game called "Eureka! I have found it!" Three questions about the 2012 Ig Nobel prizes, which honor some of the more ridiculous breakthroughs in science.

Read more
NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Instant' Recounts The Magic Of Polaroids

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Decades before people would camp out for days, to get the latest next-big-thing in new technology, there was the magic of pictures you could snap and see instantly - or almost. Edwin Land created a company in his garage - sound familiar? - that would be both a success, and an inspiration, to Steve Jobs and other inventive entrepreneurs of a new era, Polaroid. Its products were considered elegant, original and desirable. The company was miles and dollars above any other, in innovative technology. So why couldn't it last into the 21st century?

Read more
NPR Story
5:43 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Online And In The Open: Transparent Novel Writing

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Writing's often depicted as a private act - scribbling, crossing out, then crumpling two sheets into a fireplace; trial, error and angst - all of which is best kept private. Silvia Hartmann is now writing on a kind of electronic stage - in an open document, a Google doc - so that readers can see her story appear line by line, edit by edit. Silvia Hartmann joins us from the south coast of England. Thanks so much for being with us.

SILVIA HARTMANN: Hi.

SIMON: So what are you trying to do here, write a novel?

Read more
The Salt
4:37 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Bouillabaisse: From Humble Beginnings To High-Class Tourist Meal

The ingredients for a vrai bouillaibaisse at Le Miramar in Marseille, France.
Eleanor Beardsley NPR

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

The southern French city of Marseille on the Mediterranean Sea has long been famous for its spicy fish soup, known as bouillabaisse. The soup started as a poor man's meal, made with leftover fish scraps, but these days, it's evolved to the point that it can run connoisseurs about $75 for a generously sized meal.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:11 am
Sat September 29, 2012

'Listening In' To JFK's Secret White House Recordings

Listening In, a new book and CD set, includes more than 260 hours of transcribed conversations and 2.5 hours of audio from inside the Kennedy White House.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 1, 2012 5:41 pm

In the spring of 1963, as the U.S. was mired in conflicts with Vietnam and Cuba and the Soviet Union, President John F. Kennedy called his old friend David Hackett to express his frustration at the U.S. men's ice hockey team — and their miserable record overseas.

JFK: Dave, I noticed that in the paper this morning that the Swedish team beat the American hockey team 17-2.
Hackett: Yeah, I saw that.
JFK: Christ! Who are we sending over there? Girls?

Read more
Monkey See
4:07 am
Sat September 29, 2012

Damian Lewis On The Conflicts And Complexities Of 'Homeland'

Damian Lewis as Nicholas Brody in Showtime's Homeland.
Bob Leverone Showtime

Originally published on Sat September 29, 2012 1:17 pm

There weren't a whole lot of upset winners at last Sunday's Emmy Awards, but one of the few was Homeland star Damian Lewis, who beat out, among others, Mad Men's Jon Hamm and three-time winner Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad to take home the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. Lewis' co-star, Claire Danes, won for her lead performance as well, and the show ended a four-year Mad Men streak when it was named Outstanding Drama Series.

Read more
NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
2:50 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

NewsPoet: Philip Schultz Writes The Day In Verse

Philip Schultz visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Ryan Smith NPR

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 5:24 pm

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.

Read more
Monkey See
9:44 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The State Of Television And The Tweed Set

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

Read more
Books
8:54 am
Fri September 28, 2012

This Week's 5 Must-Read Stories From NPR Books

Guiseppe Cacace AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 9:42 am

1. Foodie Fervor

If there's one thing that trumps a great read for me, it's a great meal.

Read more
Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
7:03 am
Fri September 28, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of September 27, 2012

Ken Follett continues his epic, 20th century series with Winter of the World. It debuts at No. 1.

Books
2:49 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Rowling Draws On Personal Experience In 'Vacancy'

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 6:29 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

Read more
Books
1:30 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Put Down Your E-Reader: This Book's Better In Print

"For two days and nights, Odysseus was alone in the wild water. The sea was so rough that he couldn't see beyond the nearest wave. Over and over again, he thought he was going to die."
Neil Packer Candlewick Press

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 9:28 am

Most people who read a lot have gotten used to reading on a screen, whether it's a laptop, a tablet or an e-reader. Some say they prefer it to the experience of reading a heavy, awkward print version of the book. But every now and then, a book comes along that just seems to insist on being physical — something about it simply can't be transferred to the screen.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:29 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Renoir Found At Flea Market May Be Real, But It's Also Stolen

This weekend's auction of a flea-market find that turned out to be a work by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been put on hold, after evidence turned up the painting had been pilfered from a Baltimore museum decades ago.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 3:42 pm

Turns out there's a bigger story behind the Renoir painting purchased for $7 a couple of years ago at a West Virginia flea market — a mystery, and an alleged theft, in fact.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Solomon Kane,' Hellbound And Down In Old England

William Crowthorn (Pete Postlethwaite) and his Puritan family earn the respect of master warrior Solomon Kane (James Purefoy), the brooding antihero of a bleak comic-book adaptation.
RADiUS-TWC

Published mainly in the pulp magazine Weird Tales — also the preferred outlet for his most famous creation, Conan the Barbarian — the serial adventures of Robert E. Howard's Solomon Kane character provided an early model for the "sword and sorcery" subgenre, that crude yet irresistible fusion of the superpowerful and the supernatural.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Hotel Transylvania': Vampire Gags, Minus The Bite

Murray the Mummy (Cee-Lo Green), The Invisible Man (David Spade), Frankenstein (Kevin James), Eunice (Fran Drescher), Dracula (Adam Sandler), Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) are only a few of the ghoulish guests in Hotel Transylvania.
Sony Pictures

One of the better jokes in Hotel Transylvania comes when Dracula (Adam Sandler) happens to see a clip of one of the Twilight movies. As Edward sparkles in the sunlight, Drac is even more offended at this bastardized representation of his kind than he is by the people constantly imitating his Transylvanian accent by appending the nonsense words "Bluh, bluh bluh!" to the end of any sentence.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Vulgaria': Raunch Comedy With An Asian Accent

Guangxi gangster Brother Tyrannosaurus (Ronald Cheng, left) agrees to back a film for producer To Wai-Cheung (Chapman To) — with a few conditions.
China Lion Entertainment

Some men, it's said, think about only one thing. Hong Kong movie producer To Wai-Cheung, for example, is absolutely obsessive about film. Yet when he discusses it, he always seems to be talking about something else that's often on men's minds.

To (Chapman To) is the protagonist of Vulgaria, a Hong Kong movie-biz satire and sex comedy. Directed by Pang Ho-Cheung, the film boasts the spontaneity of a French New Wave romp, while including raunchy gags worthy of The Hangover and Clerks II.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Pitch Perfect': In Tune Where It Counts Most

The Bellas, an all-female a cappella group, battle the boys to sing their way to the top in Pitch Perfect.
Universal Pictures

When it's done right, there's nothing so miraculous as the sound of human voices blending into a creamy swirl of color, with neither the help nor the distraction of musical accompaniment. Pitch Perfect banks on that magic — the purely human wizardry of a cappella singing — though it also attempts to be several other things: a mild gross-out comedy, a paean to the awkward early stages of new love, a Mean Girls-style riff on campus hierarchies. That may be too much for one modest comedy to carry, but one thing's for sure: Pitch Perfect doesn't skimp on the singing.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

Time And Crime, Thoroughly Crossed Up In 'Looper'

Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis star as present and future versions of the same man in Looper.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

The main problem with time-travel movies is the many black holes that the plot can stumble into; for a certain kind of viewer, they can be more than a little distracting. While the story presses forward, we're stuck wondering, for instance, how a character can safely hang out with his future self in the same time period — an anomaly that, despite Spock's shenanigans in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, aficionados of Doctor Who know is a Very Bad Thing.

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:12 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

'Looper': Time-Travel Nonsense, Winningly Played

Old Joe (Bruce Willis) and his younger self (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), two iterations of the same assassin, play a particularly personal game of cat and mouse in the time-travel thriller Looper.
Alan Markfield Sony Pictures

I adore time-travel pictures like Looper no matter how idiotic, especially when they feature a Love That Transcends Time. I love Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, The Time Traveler's Wife, even The Lake House with Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in different years sending letters through a magic mailbox. So terrible. So good. See, everyone wants to correct mistakes in hindsight, and it's the one thing we cannot do. Except vicariously, in movies.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:07 pm
Thu September 27, 2012

British Scientist Driven To Find 'Spark Of Life'

W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Tue October 2, 2012 1:47 pm

One night in 1984, British scientist Frances Ashcroft was studying electricity in the body and discovered the protein that causes neonatal diabetes. She says she felt so "over the moon" that she couldn't sleep.

By the next morning, she says, she thought it was a mistake.

But luckily, that feeling was wrong, and Ashcroft's revelation led to a medical breakthrough decades later, which now enables people born with diabetes to take pills instead of injecting insulin.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:22 am
Thu September 27, 2012

From Sweet To Steely: Amy Adams In 'The Master'

Adams is also currently starring in Trouble with the Curve as a lawyer with the makings of a pro baseball scout.
Warner Brothers

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:58 am

When Amy Adams read the script for Paul Thomas Anderson's new movie, The Master, she saw an opportunity to play a character type she'd never played before.

"Somebody who on the surface was very, very mothering, almost genteel, and then underneath, there was this boiling almost rage," Adams tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Read more
Monkey See
10:47 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Women, Men And Fiction: Notes On How Not To Answer Hard Questions

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 11:32 am

Nothing is more vexing than a question where 10 percent of the public discussion is spent trying to answer it and 90 percent is spent arguing about whether it matters.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:55 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Is This An Early 'Mona Lisa?'

A closeup from the portrait that a Swiss foundation says is an early "Mona Lisa" by Leonard Da Vinci.
Denis Balibouse Landov

Originally published on Fri September 28, 2012 12:41 pm

  • Listen to Elizabeth Blair's report

The Zurich-based Mona Lisa Foundation said today that it has evidence that a painting that first came to light in the late 1800s is an early "Mona Lisa" also done by Leonard Da Vinci.

Read more

Pages