Arts/Life

Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
3:00 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Loose Meat Sandwich

Beware Pickpockets and Loose Meat.
NPR

We've all encountered loose change, loose teeth, and certainly loose-fitting pants, but only a lucky few of us have encountered the Loose Meat Sandwich. It's an Iowa classic that's basically like a hamburger, except the patty doesn't hold together at all. We picked up a couple from Maid-Rite here in Chicago.

Mike: The meat pebbles make it so much easier to fatten up those hard to reach parts of the body.

Leah: I think you have to have baleen to eat this properly.

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Politics
12:15 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Redistricting: A Story Of Divisive Politics, Odd Shapes

Robert Draper is the author of Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the House of Representatives and Dead Certain: The Presidency of George Bush.
Dena Andre

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:47 pm

Journalist Robert Draper says the 27th Congressional District in South Texas looks like a Glock pistol. It's just one of several "funny shapes" you will see in states across the U.S. as a result of the redrawing of congressional boundaries — otherwise known as redistricting.

"These maps can be very, very fanciful — they're these kinds of impressionistic representations of the yearnings and deviousness of politics today," Draper tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Author Interviews
10:42 am
Mon September 24, 2012

'Choke Artist' On Lowering Expectations

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 11:57 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

Yale law professor and author, Amy Chua, scored a best seller last year with her memoir, "The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother." In it, she describes herself and other so-called Tiger Mothers who go to almost any length to push their kids toward perfection, holding back dinner until she nails that violin cadenza, threatening to put him out for being disobedient or demanding that she get straight As and become a doctor or a lawyer or maybe both.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Mon September 24, 2012

Making A Comedy Pilot? You Might Want To Call James Burrows

In a 2001 photo, actress Debra Messing and director James Burrows pose together after Burrows won a Directors Guild of America award for directing the pilot of Will & Grace.
Chris Weeks Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:41 pm

"It's staggering."

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Monkey See
7:14 am
Mon September 24, 2012

A Dull Night At The Emmys, But A Big One For 'Homeland' And 'Modern Family'

Claire Danes and Damian Lewis hold up their Emmy Awards for Showtime's Homeland.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 8:53 am

Let us say this first: As an actual determination of the utmost merit in television, the Emmy Awards are ridiculous and have been ridiculous for quite some time. Naming shows that the Emmys failed to take seriously is easy: The Wire, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, most of the run of Friday Night Lights and so forth. If you look to the Emmys to actually anoint the best show or the best performance, you will bawl your eyes out over and over, and also, anyone who watches very much television will make fun of you as a rube and a dupe. Is that blunt enough?

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Mon September 24, 2012

The Anti-Romance Novel I Didn't Know I Needed

Elissa Schappell is the author of Blueprints for Building Better Girls.

I was never more confident in my knowledge of the world of men and women than the summer I was 13. I'd become an expert, certainly not through any hands-on experience with boys, but by reading the trashy romance novels my best friend, Michele, had pinched from her mother.

That summer I read books whose covers featured beautiful wild-haired maidens, heaving bosoms barely contained in torn blouses, on stallions, heads thrown back, submitting to or resisting the advances of some rogue.

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Author Interviews
2:16 pm
Sun September 23, 2012

The Life And Times Of Movie Star 'Laura Lamont'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 24, 2012 12:05 pm

It's a small town girl's dream: One day, you're strutting the floorboards of a summer stage; the next, the silver screen. Thus is the arc of Elsa Emerson, a Door County, Wis., girl whose life at the Cheery County playhouse never quite goes away when she becomes the Oscar-winning Laura Lamont.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sun September 23, 2012

'Wallflower' Film Puts Adolescence On Screen

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, from the small screen to the big one, and the story of a teenage boy about to begin his freshman year of high school.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER")

LOGAN LERMAN: (as Charlie) Dear Friend, I haven't really talked to anyone outside of my family all summer. But tomorrow is my first day and I really want to turn things around this year.

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Author Interviews
5:54 am
Sun September 23, 2012

In 'Mad River,' A Friendly Cop Tackles Rural Crime

Courtesy of Riverhead Hardcover

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

John Sandford has written his own five-foot shelf of novels and thrillers, most of them as part of the "Prey" series. Almost all of the books are set in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

His cast of characters has changed and shifted somewhat over time, but largely features Minnesota cops. The plots are centered around Lucas Davenport, a kind of superstar investigator who ages a little from book to book and has a checkered career with a bit of a bad boy reputation – one that has not prevented him from becoming a high ranking official in state law enforcement.

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Monkey See
3:33 am
Sun September 23, 2012

On Television's Biggest Night, It's Antiheroes And Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham on Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs PBS

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:43 am

Just as you're trying to figure out what to watch during the new television season, they come at you with the Emmy Awards, ready to bestow the big prizes from the last television season. There are some big questions about this year's slate: What happens to Downton Abbey, the swooning British import whose distaste for antiheroes and gore sets it apart from its Outstanding Drama Series rivals? How big a splash will the thriller Homeland make in its first year of eligibility?

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Finding Consecutively Good TV Shows

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat October 6, 2012 8:46 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a TV show, past or present. Each can be found in consecutive letters in the sentences read. Name the TV shows. For example, in the sentence, "We watched the acrobat many times," the hidden TV show is BATMAN. Hint: Each answer has at least six letters.

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Author Interviews
3:07 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Defending Israel At The Border Of Adulthood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 8:37 am

At the age of 18, Shani Boianjiu, like most Israelis, began her mandatory two-year service in the Israeli Defense Forces.

Now at the ripe age of 25, she's drawn from those experiences in her first novel.

The People of Forever Are Not Afraid actually began in creative writing class when Boianjiu was studying English at Harvard University.

It turned into a novel that follows three friends: Yael, Avishag and Lea. They struggle to reconcile the rigors of army service with typical teenage angst. What results is a maelstrom of boys, body armor and bad behavior.

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Arts & Life
2:40 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction Round 9 Still Open

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 2:54 pm

A reminder from weekends on All Things Considered guest host Jacki Lyden that Round 9 of Three-Minute Fiction is still open for submissions. Our judge, Brad Meltzer, is looking for an original short story that revolves around a U.S. president — fictional or real — in under 600 words. Listeners can submit their story online at www.npr.org/threeminutefiction. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, September 23, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Fine Art
2:40 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

The Landscape Art Legacy Of Florida's Highwaymen

Alfred Hair, Harold Newton, Al Black, James Gibson and Mary Ann Carroll were all part of the original Highwaymen.
Photos by Gary Monroe

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 2:54 pm

If you traveled by way of Florida's Route 1 in the '60s and '70s, you might have encountered young African-American landscape artists selling oil paintings of an idealized, candy-colored, Kennedy-era Florida. They painted palms, beaches, poinciana trees and sleepy inlets on drywall canvases — and they came to be known as the Highwaymen. The group made thousands of pictures, until the market was saturated, tastes changed, and the whole genre dwindled.

Roadside Innovation

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:40 pm
Sat September 22, 2012

The Movie Michael Peña Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Actor-writer-director Woody Allen on the set of his 1984 film, Broadway Danny Rose.
Brian Hamill Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 10:51 am

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.

For actor Michael Peña, whose credits include Crash, World Trade Center, and End of Watch, which opened in theaters this weekend, the movie he could watch a million times is Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
7:22 am
Sat September 22, 2012

CDC Director Thomas Frieden Plays 'Not My Job'

Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 9:49 am

Anyone who watches movies knows that when a mysterious disease breaks out ... or when zombies show up ... or when a meteorite causes people to mutate into giant glowing worms, the place you go for answers is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We've invited CDC Director Thomas Frieden to play a game called "Try to stop these viruses!" Companies are constantly trying to make their campaigns "go viral," infecting brains all over the world. Frieden will answer three questions about viral marketing ideas gone awry.

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Author Interviews
3:49 am
Sat September 22, 2012

The Haunted Life Of Ray 'Boom Boom' Mancini

AP

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

Ray Mancini carried hopes and ghosts into the boxing ring. He was the son of a great contender, Lenny Mancini, who was wounded in World War II before he ever got a chance at a championship. Mancini inherited his father's ring nickname — "Boom Boom" — and his championship dreams. In 1980, Mancini succeeded in winning the lightweight championship of the world, earning him widespread adoration.

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Author Interviews
3:33 am
Sat September 22, 2012

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Turns 50 (In Human Years)

Scholastic

Originally published on Sat September 22, 2012 8:35 am

A big dog celebrates a big birthday this year: Clifford the beloved "Big Red Dog" first appeared on the literary scene 50 years ago, along with Emily Elizabeth, the little girl who loves him.

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The Picture Show
3:03 am
Sat September 22, 2012

A Photographer's Ode To Unsung Artists

Family in room, Carrefour, Haiti, 1986
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Sun September 23, 2012 11:39 am

This blog has a habit of featuring photographers whose names you've never heard — whose names we hadn't even heard, to be honest, except by chance encounters.

But the world is mostly populated with unsung people. And in that sense, photographer Gary Monroe's life mirrors the lives of the people he photographs.

Some quick context:

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
1:47 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of Sept. 20, 2012

Bob Woodward's The Price of Politics, about the battles between Obama and Congress, debuts at No. 1.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
12:43 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of September 20, 2012

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:44 pm

Junot Diaz tells a tale of infidelity in This Is How You Lose Her. It debuts at No. 3.

Monkey See
11:31 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Stinkin' Thinkin' of Young Abe Lincoln

Cover of The Hypo: The Melancholic Young Lincoln © 2012 Noah Van Sciver.
Fantagraphics Books

The most beloved, most studied, most-likely-to-get-played-by-Daniel-Day-Lewis man to ever hold the office of President of the United States was himself a house divided.

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The Salt
9:53 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Three Burning Questions Answered About Salt

The Salt's most colorful salts. From left to right: Cypress black lava, red Hawaiian, and pink Bolivian rose.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:18 am

Salt — it's the ultimate condiment. It's the only rock we eat, and it makes our food taste better. There are dozens of varieties, from hand-harvested Himalayan pink to plain-old kosher, to various herb-infused blends. But, as we report a lot around here, when we eat too much, it can be bad for our health.

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Movie Reviews
9:21 am
Fri September 21, 2012

The Art Of Preserving A High School 'Wallflower'

Charlie (Logan Lerman), Patrick (Ezra Miller) and Sam (Emma Watson) navigate the joys and pains of high school in The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
John Bramley Summit Entertainment

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 10:57 am

The hero of both the novel and the film The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a high school freshman loner named Charlie whose best friend committed suicide the previous spring. He's on psychiatric meds, lots of them, and still has blackouts and mysterious visions of a doting aunt who died when he was 7.

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Monkey See
7:24 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Breakup Culture And Fall Television Predictions

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

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The Picture Show
7:23 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Amazing Art From Ivory, But At An Extreme Expense

"A sculpture like this can take a master carver years to produce. Front and center are the popular Taoist gods Shou, Lu and Fu — symbols of long life, money, and luck. 'We hope — no, we insist — we can continue to protect these skills,' says Wang Shan, secretary-general of the China Arts and Crafts Association."
Brent Stirton National Geographic

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 8:21 pm

My immediate response to the intricate carvings in these photos is awe — maybe even admiration. I can't believe they are made by hand from one solid piece of material. With such detail and complexity, I can see why they would be coveted and sold at a high price.

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Movie Interviews
4:04 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Jake Gyllenhaal On The Rewards Of Role Research

To prepare for his role as Officer Brian Taylor in End of Watch, actor Jake Gyllenhaal did ride-alongs with law enforcement.
Scott Garfield Open Road Films

The new police drama End of Watch puts two beat cops in the middle of escalating danger when a violent drug cartel begins operating in a South L.A. neighborhood.

The cops are patrol partners played by actors Michael Peña and Jake Gyllenhaal. The characters' cop-car friendship is one that extends beyond their jobs. The nature of their work makes them more like brothers, something director David Ayer pushed to bring alive on the screen.

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Media
3:11 am
Fri September 21, 2012

Smaller Audience, Bigger Payoff For Glenn Beck

Since leaving Fox News in 2011, Glenn Beck has found his way back to TV. His Internet television network, The Blaze TV, is now available to subscribers of the Dish Network.
Kris Connor Getty Images for Dish Network

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 1:43 pm

By the time Glenn Beck left the Fox News Channel in June 2011, both sides seemed ready, even eager, to part ways. Beck announced he would move on to bigger and grander ventures with his own production company, Mercury Radio Arts, but some media critics, such as Variety's Brian Lowry, shrugged then and since.

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Movies
3:33 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

A Cop Drama That's Hard To 'Watch' (In The Best Way)

Officers Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) and Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) tangle with a vicious drug cartel in End of Watch.
Scott Garfield Open Road Films

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 12:15 am

Cop dramas may be a dime a dozen, but David Ayer's End of Watch is one of a kind: The picture is by turns clever, compelling and unconscionable, so artful in its artifice that sometimes it almost fools you into believing that it's reality.

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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Bullets And Buddies On The Streets Of South Central

Officers Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) become the targets of a drug cartel in End of Watch.
Scott Garfield Open Road Films

Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 4:53 pm

Street gangs, drugs and the Los Angeles Police Department have been ingredients in so many police thrillers that it's hard to imagine a filmmaker coming up with a fresh take — though that hasn't stopped writer-director David Ayer from trying. He's made four cops-'n'-cartels dramas since his Oscar-winning Training Day a decade ago; the latest, End of Watch, easily qualifies as the most resonant.

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