Arts/Life

Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

What Hat Holds The Answer?

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 10:32 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a two-word phrase in which one of the words starts with W and the other word is the same with the W removed. For example, if you were given the clue "desires scurrying insects," the answer would be "wants ants."

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Monkey See
3:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Alan Ball On Leaving 'True Blood' Behind

Writer Alan Ball arrives at the premiere of the fifth season of HBO's True Blood in May. Ball is leaving the series at the end of this season.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 7:00 am

Nothing panics the fans of a show quite like the departure of the creator. That's just what's happening at True Blood, where creator Alan Ball is leaving after five seasons, but the show goes on. As he tells Laura Sullivan on weekends on All Things Considered, he feels some nostalgia, but he's ready.

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Author Interviews
3:12 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Struggling With Parenthood In Utopic 'Motherland'

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 8:16 am

Park Slope has become the "it" neighborhood to raise a family in Brooklyn. The new novel Motherland gives a tour of the neighborhood's brownstones, European coffee shops and personalities — in particular, the mothers of Park Slope, who definitely have a certain look.

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The Salt
7:13 am
Sat August 25, 2012

On A Quest To Roll Out The Bourbon Barrel And Fill It With Hot Sauce

Used bourbon barrels like these at the Goose Island Brewery in Chicago are finding new life by bringing distinctive flavor to beer, cocktails and hot sauce.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:39 am

Washington, D.C. blogger Sam Hiersteiner is a hot sauce fan turned maker. He's already harvested two pounds of chiles — serranos, jalapenos, and habaneros — from his 30-plant pepper garden this month, and he's ready to mash them into hot sauce as soon as more ripen. Last year, he mashed fifty pounds total.While he loved the results, he thought it would be even better with a whisper of the flavor imparted by a barrel used for aging bourbon.

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Arts & Life
4:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

For Writers, The School Of Hard Cops

Retired Sgt. Derek Pacifico trains screenwriters and novelists to bring more realism into their police procedurals.
Vince Stewart

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 4:51 am

Police procedurals are the spaghetti and meatballs of television programming. With so many permutations of Laws and Order, CSI and wisecracking cops, you can practically see yellow crime-scene tape stretched around the prime-time schedule.

Sgt. Derek Pacifico spent more than two decades with the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sherriff's Department, responding to emergency calls and walking a beat. He has investigated close to 200 murders, shootings and other crime cases.

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Television
4:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night 'Host Whisperer'

Longtime late night producer Peter Lassally tells Scott Simon that being interviewed for NPR is a "big, frightening experience." "I'm not a performer," he says. "I'm a quiet person who doesn't like to blow his own horn."
Mark Mainz Getty Images for AFI

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:16 am

Peter Lassally is known as "the host whisperer." If you've ever watched a late night show with an opening monologue, a couch and guests bouncing off each other, then you've seen his work — he practically invented the form.

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'Weekend Edition's' Taste Of Summer
4:28 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Squash Savories To Soothe Summer's End

Ken Wiedemann iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 8:16 am

The season is almost over, but summer squash is still plentiful in supermarkets.

Tanya Holland, executive chef and owner of Side BBQ and Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, Calif., tells NPR's Scott Simon that she loves the versatility of summer squash.

"It can pretty much be used in any dish as a vegetarian substitute that might require chicken or a fish," she says. "It kind of takes on any flavor that you put it with."

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:59 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

Ambassador Peter Westmacott Plays Not My Job

Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 9:39 am

We do what damage we can on this show, but it's not often we get the chance to cause a real international incident. So we're very excited that Sir Peter Westmacott, Great Britain's ambassador to the U.S., has agreed to play our game called "No homework, extended naps and eight hours of recess!"

A lot of big-time politicians got their start as little politicians, running for the student council. We'll ask Westmacott three questions about strange doings in the school halls of power.

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
1:05 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of August 23, 2012

Phillippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, about 15th century power struggles, debuts at No. 12.

Monkey See
12:27 pm
Fri August 24, 2012

'Project Runway' And The Designer Who Looked Even Worse Than His Clothes

Designer Ven Budhu, seen here on a previous episode, got in big trouble on last night's Project Runway.
Lifetime

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 3:04 pm

[Contains information about last night's episode.]

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Movie Reviews
10:41 am
Fri August 24, 2012

How Brazil Lives Now, In 'Neighboring Sounds'

Joao (Gustavo Jahn) and Sofia (Irma Brown) are among the inhabitants of the Recife, Brazil, street where Neighboring Sounds takes place.
Victor Juca Cinema Guild

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 2:39 pm

Between mass tourism and the Internet, it's never been easier to learn about other cultures. Yet we often stay on the surface. Watching the Olympics opening ceremony a few weeks ago, I was struck by how much of what was presented as quintessential Britishness came from pop culture — James Bond and Mary Poppins and the chorus to "Hey Jude." Although Britain had a global empire not that long ago, the show's director, Danny Boyle, grasped that the world's image of his green and pleasant land now largely derives from movies and songs.

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Monkey See
10:17 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Sidekicks, Holograms, And PCHH 101

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, it's time to talk about the supporting characters who are getting their own stories — just like Judd Apatow is doing for Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann's characters in This Is 40. If you can't get behind Glen's spin-off idea from the world's most studly franchise, then I just don't know what to say to you, because frankly, it's brilliant.

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Author Interviews
9:29 am
Fri August 24, 2012

'Incognito': What's Hiding In The Unconscious Mind

Dr. David Eagleman is a neuroscientist and writer. He directs the Laboratory of Perception and Action at Baylor College of Medicine.
Sharon Steinmann Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Texas, Houston Medical School

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 10:48 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 31, 2011. David Eagleman's Incognito is now out in paperback.

Your brain doesn't like to keep secrets. Studies at the University of Texas, Austin, have shown that writing down secrets in a journal or telling a doctor your secrets actually decreases the level of stress hormones in your body. Keeping a secret, meanwhile, does the opposite.

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The Salt
9:08 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Arty Students, Not Party Students, Are Champs Of Late-Night Food Delivery

Art students rule the campus late-night delivery field. Maybe they're studying the packages.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:55 am

Millions of college students are heading back to campus soon, and as any parent footing the bill knows, they're hungry for more than just knowledge — they want food, and lots of it, at all hours.

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Books
1:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Searching For 'Bernadette' In The Wilds Of Seattle

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 9:56 am

The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.

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Movie Reviews
4:01 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In A French Confection, A Hollywood Aftertaste

Friends Antoine (Laurent Lafitte), Eric (Gilles Lellouche) and Marie (Marion Cotillard) are among the troubled group that makes an annual retreat to a home in Cap Ferret.
MPI Media Group

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:32 pm

It's summer in France, time for stressed urbanites to head to the beach and forget their problems. For the circle of friends featured in Little White Lies, however, this year's problems are a little more memorable than most.

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Movie Reviews
4:00 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Stunt Driving, Real Romance In 'Hit And Run'

A bank robber, played by Bradley Cooper, is in hot pursuit of the runaway protagonists in Hit and Run.
Open Road Films

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:31 pm

The backbone of a good comedy is always, supposedly, the script. But in the case of Dax Shepard and David Palmer's marvelous road-trip comedy Hit and Run, maybe not. The key to the picture isn't so much the what as the how: Instead of handing over every joke right on the beat, Hit and Run lures you in with its jackalope rhythms. There's nothing else like it on the current landscape.

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Movie Reviews
3:49 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

'Rush' Job: A Wily Courier Navigates New York's Maze

Bike messenger Wilee (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) finds himself carrying a package that leads to a perilous chase.
Sarah Shatz Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 5:47 pm

A character we've yet to meet flies through the air in slow motion, above a busy New York street, arms and legs splayed. He's wearing a bike helmet, which is a good thing — because as The Who's "Baba O'Riley" pulses in the background and numbers come up on the screen telling us it's 6:33 p.m., he lands with a thud on the pavement.

For a second or two, he lies there staring — at a car careering toward him, a woman mouthing his name, a bike that lies crumpled at his side. You might want to take those moments to catch your breath. You won't be offered many other chances.

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Movie Reviews
3:38 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

'Revenant' Mashes Up Undead Havoc, Anti-War Theme

Bart (David Anders) returns from his tour in Iraq as a fallen soldier, but he doesn't stay dead long — he rises as the titular revenant.
Paladin Film

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:22 pm

Back in 2005, for the Showtime anthology series Masters of Horror, director Joe Dante and writer Sam Hamm were given carte blanche to make whatever they wanted, so long as it came in under an hour and could be classified as "horror."

They delivered, in Homecoming, one of the sharpest and angriest films about the Iraq war to date — a blunt allegory about U.S. soldiers who rise from the dead not to feast on the living but to vote the president out of office. It's an anti-war satire that only technically functioned as a zombie movie.

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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

'Sleepwalk' Never So Awake As When Star Is Asleep

Matt Pandamiglio (Mike Birbiglia) faces elaborate sleepwalking hallucinations while he struggles to accomplish anything substantial in his waking life.
Adam Beckman IFC Films

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:29 pm

Mike Birbiglia's autobiographical comedy Sleepwalk with Me is about at least three things, in ascending order of significance: the lead character's fear of commitment, his wayward efforts to launch a career as a standup comedian, and his strange proclivity for getting out of bed in the middle of the night and making loud, nonsensical proclamations like, "There's a jackal in the room!"

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Movie Reviews
3:27 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Stealing Time At Life's Climax In 'Robot & Frank'

Frank (Frank Langella) develops a strong bond with his new caretaker robot (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), whom he teaches to pick locks.
Samuel Goldwyn Films/Stage 6 Films

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:09 pm

Many science-fiction storytellers worry about robots becoming self-aware and destroying us. The moment the artificial beings attain real intelligence, these tales posit, they'll realize we made them too smart and too strong for our own good, and they'll wonder why the superior beings should be relegated to working assembly lines and doing mundane repetitive tasks when they could be ruling the planet.

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Movies
3:03 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

For Chinese-American Adoptees, Matters Of Identity

Fang "Jenni" Lee, raised in Berkeley, Calif., returns to China to help broker the adoption of another little girl.
Linda Goldstein Knowlton Long Shot Factory

Of the roughly 80,000 Chinese children adopted in the United States since 1979, almost all are girls, abandoned at birth by their parents because of China's one-child policy, coupled with inheritance laws that favor boys.

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Theater
2:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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Politics
12:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Jane Mayer: Obama In 'Impossible Bind' Over Donors

President Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from such groups. He is shown above speaking during a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, last week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:12 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Citizen United case in 2010, the landscape of presidential elections shifted. SuperPACs — entities that can't make direct contributions but are allowed to engage in limitless spending and fundraising independently of the campaigns — have allowed for the some of the largest indirect gifts by wealthy Americans in the nation's history.

Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from these outside groups.

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Author Interviews
10:57 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Paul Auster Meditates On Life, Death And Near Misses

Paul Auster is the author of fiction including The New York Trilogy and In the Country of Last Things.
Lotte Hansen Picador

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:28 pm

Paul Auster doesn't take living for granted. At 65, the author has had several "near misses," from sliding face-first into a jutting nail as a child to a traumatic car accident that almost killed him, his wife and his daughter.

Auster's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a series of meditations on his life, aging and mortality — including his mother's death.

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Monkey See
10:00 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Rovers Are From Mars: How Curiosity Is Killing It On Twitter

This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
AP

Twitter wasn't built to give voice to Curiosity, the rover currently exploring Mars, but it's awfully well-suited for the purpose.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Thu August 23, 2012

From Politics To Pestilence: Everything Is Earlier

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Leaves are falling in the summertime. School starts in early August in many places. Politicos are already talking about the presidential election — of 2016.

Everything is happening earlier.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Lyrical Portrait Of Life And Death In The Orchard

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:54 am

Amanda Coplin grew up in the apple-growing Wenatchee Valley, on the sunny side of Washington state's Cascade range, surrounded by her grandfather's orchards. Her glorious first novel, inspired by family history, takes you back to the days when you could buy what are now considered heirloom apples — Arkansas Blacks and Rhode Island Greenings — from the man who grew them, from bushel baskets lugged into town by mule-drawn wagon. Seattle and Tacoma were mere villages, and train travel was the new-tech way to go.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

New In Paperback Aug. 20-26

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:31 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Robert Harris, Jennifer DuBois, Tony Horwitz, Thomas Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum and Adam Gopnik.



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

Movies
1:16 am
Thu August 23, 2012

The Marlon Brando Of Screen Dance, 100 Years On

Blessed with athleticism and skill, actor-dancer Gene Kelly always managed to look like a regular guy having a lot of fun dancing.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:01 am

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