Arts/Life

Books
1:28 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Dog Memoirs Will Fetch, Sit And Stay On Your Shelf

Gromit is the purebred Pembroke Welsh corgi belonging to NPR's Julie Rovner — who says she's hoping to eventually adopt a companion pooch named Wallace.
Julie Rovner

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 12:13 pm

The Morning Edition mailboxes are always overflowing with books sent by publishers. And recently, a fair number have fallen into a category you might call "dog memoirs" — books about how dogs transform their owners' lives.

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Author Interviews
1:20 am
Tue July 3, 2012

A Cautionary Tale About Transforming Afghanistan

Scores of Americans engineers worked in southern Afghanistan from the late 1940s to the late 1970s to build two large dams and a canal network. The development project soon became a vast experiment in social engineering. New villages were constructed, with schools and health clinics. A new, modern society was to rise from the desert.
Courtesy of the U.S. National Archives via Foreign Policy

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 11:05 am

The plan in Afghanistan was ambitious. Americans would set up a base in one of the most remote parts of one of the world's most isolated countries. The project would last many years and cost large sums of money. And in the end, Afghanistan, or at least one small part of it, would be a new, modern country.

When Americans think of large-scale U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, most would point to the Sept. 11 attacks that prompted the American invasion of the country in 2001.

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Book Reviews
10:16 am
Mon July 2, 2012

'The Age Of Miracles' Considers Earth's Fragility

iStock

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:39 am

The Age of Miracles is literary fiction, but it spins out the same kind of "what if?" disaster plot that distinguishes many a classic sci-fi movie. Too bad the title The Day the Earth Stood Still was already taken, because it really would have been the perfect title for Thompson's novel.

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Arts & Life
9:55 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Has The Big Day Lost Its Appeal For New Brides?

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, that 4th of July feast is just around the corner and many of us are hoping to load our plates with meat, but one cook is saying, why not go vegan? Anupy Singla will share her cookbook, "Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes." That's in just a few minutes.

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Food
9:55 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Wake Up Your Vegan Meals With Indian Fare

Courtesy Anupy Singla

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Anupy Singla wants to spice up your vegan diet with some Indian flare.

"If you look at Indian cuisine," the food writer tells NPR's Michel Martin, "it really is one of the only cuisines that highlights vegetarian food, so it's not a far stretch."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Unicorns And Witches And Wild Mood Swings, Oh My!

Cover Detail

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 10:11 am

Petra Mayer is an associate editor at NPR Books.

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Crime In The City
1:33 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Philly Author's 'Confession': I Lived These Stories

Author Solomon Jones bases his work on his own experiences on the streets of Philadelphia.
Milton Perry

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 2:49 pm

Philadelphia may be called the City of Brotherly Love, but author Solomon Jones sees the sadder, more complex side of the city.

Jones' books feature Philly police detective Mike Coletti. When we meet him in The Last Confession, he's on the verge of retirement, but before he can head off into the sunset, he's got to confront some demons from his past and catch a serial killer calling himself the Angel of Death.

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The Salt
1:29 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Pie-Making 101: How I Overcame My Fear Of Crumbling Crust

CIA Instructor George Higgins checks the slices of pie made by students.
Allison Aubrey NPR

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 9:27 am

If you listen to my story on Morning Edition, you'll understand the generational divide that has led to my fear of making a pie crust.

So when I decided to overcome my fear, I did it the right way. I hopped on a train to the Culinary Institute of America, the nation's premier cooking school, in Hyde Park, N.Y. There I learned the foolproof pie crust formula that chef George Higgins teaches his students. "It starts with 3, 2, 1," he explains.

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Support KRWG
3:17 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

KRWG Benefit Concert July 21-The Hard Road Trio

 

Saturday, July 21 at 7:00pm

Album Release and Benefit for KRWG at the Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces.

The Hard Road Trio with special guests.

The Trio welcomes Bill Evans on banjo and Nate Lee on fiddle to celebrate the release of "Monticello".

Come support KRWG Public Media. Tickets are available at Enchanted Gardens, 270 Avenida de Mesilla, and the KRWG offices in Milton Hall on the NMSU campus. (Adults: $15 in advance, $20 at door; 12 & under: $7.50 in advance, $10 at door).

Author Interviews
2:03 pm
Sun July 1, 2012

The Complex 'Tapestry' of Michelle Obama's Ancestry

Fraser and Marian Shields Robinson raised their children, Craig and Michelle, in Chicago, but their family's ancestry can be traced back to pre-abolition Georgia.
Barack Obama Campaign

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 8:17 am

When Michelle Obama's great-great-great grandmother was 8 years old, her life underwent a dramatic change.

Melvinia Shields was a slave who grew up at a South Carolina estate with a relatively large community of slaves she knew well. But then she was moved to a small farm in northern Georgia where she was one of only three slaves; most white people in the area didn't own any.

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Movie Interviews
5:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

Lost In 'The City Dark': Documenting Missing Stars

Peabody-winning filmmaker Ian Cheney tackles a rather intangible subject in his latest film: light pollution. Host David Greene speaks with Cheney about The City Dark and what people lose when they can no longer see the stars.

Europe
5:55 am
Sun July 1, 2012

'There Is No Austerity In Fashion,' Or In Paris

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

So much of the news out of Europe these days is about debt and countries struggling to pay their bills. Well, there is a bit of calm in that storm, and, of course, it's in Paris. There's no Greek-style austerity in France. And as Eleanor Beardsley tells us, in the City of Light, people are still enjoying the good life.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Author Interviews
3:46 am
Sun July 1, 2012

'Hitless Wonder': On Tour With A Band Of Also-Rans

Colin Gawel (second from right) and Joe Oestreich (second from left) formed Watershed 27 years ago in Columbus, Ohio. They now tour with Dave Masica (left) and Joe Peppercorn (right).
Courtesy of Globe Pequot Press

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 8:17 am

Barring a massive shake-up of the Billboard charts — and American tastes — "Little Mistakes" will not be the song of the summer. But that's not for lack of trying.

The song is the lead single off Brick and Mortar, the latest album by Watershed — a band from Columbus, Ohio, that most people have never heard of. But they have been playing dingy bars, tiny clubs and even the occasional arena for 27 years.

That career has inspired a new memoir called Hitless Wonder: A Life in Minor League Rock and Roll, written by one of the band's founders, Joe Oestreich.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
11:15 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

America's Affection For Hometown Confections

YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 8:40 am

From the maple sugar moose heads of New England to the chile brittle of the Southwest, from the Almond Roca of the Pacific Northwest to the key lime coconut patties of Florida, America loves its candy.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

Mixing It Up On The Baseball Diamond

NPR Graphic

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is the name of a Major League Baseball team. You are given anagrams of their names, each with one letter added, and must name the teams. For example, given "dress," the answer would be "Reds."

Last Week's Challenge: Think of a familiar three-word phrase that might be used in poker and add an "E" at the end and you'll get a two-word phrase that's common in football. (The spaces in between the words changes in the two phrases but the letters stay in the same order.)

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Author Interviews
3:14 pm
Sat June 30, 2012

'Billy Lynn' A Full-Bore Tale Of Wartime Iraq

Ben Fountain sets his new novel in Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys from 1971 to 2008.
Al Messerschmidt Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 8:19 am

Billy Lynn is a 19-year-old college dropout living in the small Texas town where he grew up. After he's arrested for trashing the car of his sister's ex, he's given two choices: face jail time or enlist in the Army.

He chooses the Army. And Iraq.

Author Ben Fountain's debut novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, is the story of what happens to Lynn after he joins Bravo Company in the early years of the Iraq war.

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Fine Art
5:32 am
Sat June 30, 2012

New Artwork Finds A Home At An Old English Manor

De Waal's 2012 work all and more is on display in the Dining Room. It is made up of 23 porcelain dishes: 22 in white and cream glazes and one gilded dish, contained in a clear glass vitrine.
Paul Barker The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

A set of installations by the contemporary British ceramicist Edmund de Waal has gone on exhibit at a stately home deep in the English countryside. If de Waal's name sounds familiar, it might be because of his 2010 book, The Hare with Amber Eyes, which traces the fortunes of the artist's once-wealthy Jewish forebears. The book itself set off a chain of events that led to the exhibition.

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Food
5:29 am
Sat June 30, 2012

The Season Of Ice Cream: Tips From The Top

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 5:32 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now, to our occasional WEEKEND EDITION series Taste of Summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HOT FUN IN THE SUMMERTIME")

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Hot fun in the summertime.

SIMON: A few weeks ago, Alton Brown shared some grilling secrets with us. Today, it'll be ice cream. Whether plain old standard vanilla, or artisanal organic squash blossom rhubarb poblano crunch - a flavor I just made up, by the way - summer is the season of ice cream. And so today, we head to the Pumphouse Creamery in Minneapolis.

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Author Interviews
3:54 am
Sat June 30, 2012

In 'Gold,' Olympic Rivalry Is Personal, Professional

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 5:32 am

More than 10,000 athletes are headed to London this summer to run, swim, cycle, shoot, fence and compete in the events of the Olympic Games. Each of them has a story — what they've won, what they've lost and what they've sacrificed just to get their chance to get there.

Chris Cleave's latest novel, Gold, tells the stories of three world-ranked cyclists — Zoe, Jack and Kate — who are training for their last chance at Olympic gold. Zoe and Kate are friends as well as rivals; Jack and Kate are raising an 8-year-old who suffers from leukemia.

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Movies
10:03 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Eugene Levy Stays Smart, Even In The Cheapest Gag

In Madea's Witness Protection, George Needleman (Eugene Levy, center) is put in witness protection with Madea (Tyler Perry, right) after he discovers he's the fall man for a Ponzi scheme.
KC Bailey Lionsgate

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 5:32 am

George Needleman is the chief bean counter of an investment bank who, in Madea's Witness Protection, is too consumed with family problems to realize he's being set up to take the fall for a Ponzi scheme. When he grasps what's going on, he's placed in witness protection — at Madea's house.

Tyler Perry, who wrote and directed the movie, plays Madea, as well as most other members of her family. Needleman, the latest fussy, funny, bushy-eyebrowed, precise and put-upon man, is portrayed by Eugene Levy.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
2:48 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Comedian Drew Carey Plays Not My Job

Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 30, 2012 10:13 am

A lot of people leave their hometowns and never come back. But comedian and game show host Drew Carey, proud son of Cleveland, made a special trip back home to play Wait Wait's Not My Job quiz.

We've invited him to play a game called "Cincinnati! City of Light! City of Magic!" Carey's a Cleveland guy, born and bred, so we'll ask him three questions about another great Ohio city.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club
2:17 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Gross-Out Gags AND Life Lessons In 'Wimpy Kid'

Jeff Kinney Abrams

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

We've chosen some popular books for our monthly Backseat Book Club selections, but nothing quite like the boffo best-sellers in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

How popular are these books? Consider the numbers: There are six books, and a seventh is on the way. They've been translated into 40 languages and there are 75 million copies in print worldwide. And it was our 2009 interview with author Jeff Kinney that originally inspired us to start a book club just for kids.

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The Salt
2:11 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Afraid Of Pie Crust? You Shouldn't Be. It's As Easy As 3-2-1

To make a flaky pie crust, start by measuring out 12 oz. (by weight) flour, 8 oz. firm butter, 4 oz. ice water. Keeping it cool is key.
Phil Mansfield CIA

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 6:54 am

Yes, it's been meat all week. So are you ready for dessert? As a preview of Pie Week on Morning Edition and The Salt next week, we bring you this sneak peek of what we learned at the Culinary Institute of America.

Now, lots of people are afraid of making pie crust, but we've got a foolproof formula for you.

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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
10:03 am
Fri June 29, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of June 28, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 11:23 am

A Hologram for the King, Dave Eggers' tale of adventure and economic hardship, debuts at No. 5.

Monkey See
10:00 am
Fri June 29, 2012

The Perfect Listen: Fiona Apple As A Lesson In Irrational Music Rituals

Recording artist Fiona Apple performs in February 2011.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 10:13 am

On June 19, a week and a half ago, Fiona Apple released a brand new album, her first in seven years. The entire album had been available for streaming by NPR Music for a week and a half by then. Three days later, my copy arrived in the mail. It hasn't left my desk since.

I still haven't listened to it.

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Sports
8:53 am
Fri June 29, 2012

R.A. Dickey On 'Winding Up' As A Knuckleballer

R.A. Dickey currently plays for the New York Mets. He was previously with the Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers and Milwaukee Brewers.
courtesy of the author

Originally published on Thu November 8, 2012 9:53 am

This interview was originally broadcast on April 10, 2012. Since it aired, R.A. Dickey has pitched two consecutive one-hitters.

Most pitchers in the majors stick to fastballs, curveballs, sliders and change-ups when facing batters at the plate.

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Cabinet Of Wonders
8:03 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Cabinet Of Wonders: Episode Six

Cabinet host John Wesley Harding kicked off the show with a heart-stopping Conway Twitty cover.
NPR

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 1:15 pm

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Movie Reviews
7:37 am
Fri June 29, 2012

A Boy And His Bear, At Large In A Man's World

Ted (voiced by writer-director Seth MacFarlane) and Johnny (Mark Wahlberg) share a laugh in Ted. The talking teddy bear got his powers when 8-year-old Johnny wished upon a falling star for Ted to speak.
Universal Pictures/Tippett Studio

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 8:26 pm

Seth MacFarlane is known mostly for creating, writing and directing the animated TV show Family Guy. In the show, he also voices Peter and Stewie Griffin, and their dog, Brian.

With his new movie, Ted, he has moved to the big screen for the first time, again creating, writing and directing. And though it's a live-action picture, he has again voiced one of the characters — the titular teddy bear, whom I tried to resist but couldn't.

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Games & Humor
7:33 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Contestant Lipograms: The Best Of The Best

NPR

Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 3:43 pm

Think you have what it takes to be a contestant on Ask Me Another? First, you have to prove you know your stuff.

We subjected our Season 1 contestant hopefuls to an Ask Me Another Contestant Quiz—a 17-question blitz to test their knowledge of art, literature, science, math, international "goat suckers," and female actors in the Ocean's 11 franchise.

The part of the quiz that drew the funniest and strangest responses was the final question. Here are the original instructions:

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Food
1:31 am
Fri June 29, 2012

This Chef Loves Her 'Pig,' From Nose To Tail

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 2:15 pm

Chef April Bloomfield appears on the cover of her new cookbook, A Girl and Her Pig, glowing in her neat chef's whites, with a dead pig slung over her shoulders.

"I adore pigs, and I love eating them and cooking them, and I love using the whole animal," Bloomfield tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. There are all kinds of recipes in her cookbook, for salads and baked goods ... but meat takes center stage.

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