Arts/Life

Arts
3:15 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

The Hard Road Trio

Music Spotlight 104; The Hard Road Trio

Arts
3:11 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Sign of the Shines

Music Spotlight-103; Sign of the Shines

Arts
3:09 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Chris Baker

Music Spotlight-102; Chris Baker

Arts
3:07 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Randy Granger

Music Spotlight-101; Randy Granger

Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Science, The Supernatural Key To 'Night's' Alchemy

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 2:46 pm

Deborah Harkness is not only an enormously successful novelist who writes about trendy things like vampires. She's also a respected historian of science — a professor at the University of Southern California — and a wine expert.

In fact there's a lot of wine appreciation in Harkness' breakthrough novel, A Discovery of Witches. Her academic work involves the study of alchemy — the transformation of matter. She says wine is like alchemy, too.

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Opinion
1:13 pm
Fri July 6, 2012

Wish You Were Here: City Kayaking In Seattle

The view of Seattle from Lake Union.
Razvan Orendovici

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 2:14 pm

Novelist Jess Walter's most recent novel is Beautiful Ruins.

At dawn, the sun curls across the lake's placid surface like a twist of lemon on a gin martini. Easing into my kayak on this glacier-cut, 12,000-year-old lake, I feel as I always do on its water: alone in the world.

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Monkey See
10:20 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Sex, Violence, And Kickstarter: Rediscovering An Exploitation Pioneer

A still from The Ecstasies of Women, one of three films credited to Herschell Gordon Lewis that are being restored by Process Blue.
Process Blue

Herschell Gordon Lewis is cheerfully ambivalent about his place in film history. "What's really puzzling: if you go to a legitimate distributor such as Netflix, Netflix has a number of my movies," says Lewis from his home in Florida. "And again, that's a very sad commentary on what's going on in the world of motion pictures — but I'm not about to object to it."

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Fri July 6, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: The Lure Of The Open Road

NPR

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 9:28 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

Among the many things to which we turn our thoughts in summer is road-tripping — particularly apt because Glen Weldon and Stephen Thompson were both traveling this week, bringing Mike Katzif and Barrie Hardymon to the discussion with me and Trey Graham. We had a chat about all manner of road movies, from the classic dust-and-motorcycles type to the kind that might not even appear to be a road movie until you look more closely.

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Movie Reviews
9:06 am
Fri July 6, 2012

'Savages:' A Violent, Drug-Induced High

In Savages, the love triangle among Chon (Taylor Kitsch), O (Blake Lively) and Ben (Aaron Johnson) is disrupted when O is kidnapped by a Mexican cartel.
Francois Duhamel Universal Studios

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 9:57 am

Often I'm asked, "What's the worst movie ever made?" and I say, "I don't know, but my own least favorite is Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers." The early script by Quentin Tarantino was heavily revised, and the final film became a celebration of serial killers, now existential heroes with absolute freedom. Beyond the bombardment that was Stone's direction, the worldview was abominable.

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Games & Humor
10:22 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Ask Me Another's Grand Prize Winners

Eric Nuzum NPR

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

Ask Me Another's grand prize winners have walked away with some enviable, one-of-a-kind gifts, which were chosen and presented by none other than their show's Mystery Guest.

Here are some of the season's best prizes:

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Ask Me Another
9:58 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

A Chef Walks Into A Milk Bar

Momofuku Milk Bar chef Christina Tosi in her kitchen laboratory.
Gabri Stabile Courtesy of Momofuku Milk Bar

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:20 pm

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Movie Reviews
3:39 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

A Writer In Retreat, And An Unlikely 'Collaborator'

Robert (Martin Donovan, left), a writer in need of inspiration, sits with his uncultured kidnapper, Gus (David Morse), in Collaborator. Donovan also wrote and directed the film.
Julie Kirkwood Tribeca Film

Robert Longfellow, the auspiciously named playwright at the center of Collaborator, was at one point good enough to be sincerely called "the voice of his generation." What a convenient shortcut for a film about a writer! The moniker says everything — he's basically Arthur Miller, see? — without his needing to say anything. It doesn't matter what the man wrote, only that people thought it was grand.

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Movie Reviews
3:01 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

California Peaceniks In A Drug War Full Of 'Savages'

In Savages, two drug dealers — Chon (Taylor Kitsch, left), a former Navy SEAL, and Ben (Aaron Johnson), a pacifist — are forced to take up arms when they anger the head of a Mexican cartel.
Francois Duhamel Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 6, 2012 9:54 am

Both factions in Oliver Stone's new movie refer to each other, not without reason, as "savages." But this drug-war thriller is not nearly so feral as such previous Stone rampages as U-Turn and Natural Born Killers. Occasionally, it even seems righteous.

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Movie Reviews
3:01 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

A Sibling Olympiad, Without The Athleticism

In The Do-Deca-Pentathlon, Mark (Steve Zissis) and Jeremy (Mark Kelly) re-initiate a 25-event childhood contest to determine once and for all who is the better brother.
Red Flag Releasing

Originally published on Tue July 10, 2012 3:57 pm

What would the Olympics look like if they were carried out not by the best exemplars of athletic prowess that the world has to offer, but rather by pudgy 30-somethings playing skee-ball and having underwater breath-holding contests? Pretty pathetic, of course — but combine the self-serious grandeur of Olympics coverage with those half-ass athletes, and you've got the comic foundation for Jay and Mark Duplass' The Do-Deca-Pentathlon.

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Movie Reviews
3:01 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Father And Son, On The Lam In The Outback

Hugo Weaving and Tom Russell as Kev and Chook in Last Ride. Chook's love of animals and lesser propensity for the outdoors clash with the life lessons Kev tries to teach him in the Australian wilderness.
Rhys Graham Music Box Films

Kev, the man at the center of Last Ride, has a very particular skill set: He can lift wallets, steal cars and survive in the Australian bush, sleeping under the stars and dining on fresh wild rabbit. Taking care of his 10-year-old son, however, comes less naturally to him.

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Books News & Features
2:39 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

Jamaica Does Literary Fest With A Caribbean Twist

Ethiopian novelist Maaza Mengiste reads from her latest novel on the second night of this year's Calabash festival. Mengiste says the audience at Calabash is one of a kind.
Hugh Wright

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 4:23 pm

There's a stretch of beach in the small Jamaican fishing village of Treasure Beach where booths sell poetry books right alongside jerk chicken, and local villagers mix with international literati. On a weekend in late May, some 2,000 people sit entranced as author and poet Fred D'Aguiar reads them his work from a bamboo lectern.

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New In Paperback
2:06 pm
Thu July 5, 2012

New In Paperback July 2-8

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 5:19 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Erin Morgenstern, Rachel DeWoskin, Dean Bakopoulos, Amit Majmudar and James Carroll.

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

PG-13: Risky Reads
11:58 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Bull Fights, Bankruptcy And A Damn Dangerous Book

promo image
iStock Photo

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 4:23 pm

Ben Mezrich is the author of Sex on the Moon.

Around the time I turned 12, I figured out exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up: an alcoholic.

I didn't actually know what it meant to be an alcoholic, but I knew that one day, I would drink copious amounts and dash around the streets of Paris, preferably in the company of bullfighters, bankrupts, impotent newspaper correspondents, and morbidly depressed, exotically beautiful divorcees.

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Books
9:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

What Happens When The Honeymoon Is Over?

From the flowers, to the dress, to the cake, it's easy for brides to get caught up in planning the wedding. But after the honeymoon, a lot of couples ask, "now what?" Wedding Cake for Breakfast features essays by 23 brides in the year after they say "I do." Host Michel Martin talks with co-editor Wendy Sherman and contributor Andrea King Collier.

Interviews
9:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Morgan Freeman: No Black President For U.S. Yet

Morgan Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn in The Magic of Belle Isle.
Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 1:33 pm

Oscar-winning actor Morgan Freeman joined Tell Me More host Michel Martin to discuss his new movie, The Magic of Belle Isle. But the prolific actor, famous for his roles in films such as The Shawshank Redemption, Million Dollar Baby and The Dark Knight, also had a lot to say about politics. He was especially interested in talking about President Obama, and why Freeman thinks he should not be called America's first black president.

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Monkey See
8:36 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Life In Juxtopia

Katie Kiang sits by an electrical outlet and a quiet spot to study inside the air-conditioned Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md., on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 12:48 pm

For five full days — following Friday night's nasty wind-and-rain flashstorm — you were without electricity in the Washington suburbs. Dodging felled trees and fallen power wires, you made daily forays to nearby cafes and coffee shops, establishments that did have power. There you could recharge the batteries in your laptop and smartphone and take care of various electronic chores, such as banking, sending gifts, ordering necessities and sorting through email.

But mostly you stayed home, reading books and actual newspapers, just like in the Olden Days.

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The Salt
7:56 am
Thu July 5, 2012

In Lean Times, Creative Bakers Turn To Desperation Pies

Some desperation pies, like green tomato pie, still enjoy niche popularity today.
Kevin Turner Flickr

Imagine yourself as a resourceful farmer during the Great Depression. You'd like to make a dessert for your family, but traditional pie ingredients, like cherries or pecans, are too expensive or not available.

Desperate times call for desperation pies (or starvation recipes, if you happen to be in Greece).

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Dethroning The 'Drama Queen Of The Mind'

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:26 am

Here's one less thing for Daniel Smith to worry about: He sure can write. In Monkey Mind, a memoir of his lifelong struggles with anxiety, he defangs the experience with a winning combination of humor and understanding.

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Southword
1:15 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Meet Al Black: Florida's Prison Painter

Al Black is one of Florida's 26 officially recognized "Highwaymen" — a loosely affiliated group of artists who began painting in the 1960s, some of whom are still at it today.
Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:25 pm

In the 1960s, Al Black could be found cruising up and down Route 1 in his blue-and-white Ford Galaxy — with a trunk full of wet landscape paintings.

At the time, he was a salesman who could snatch your breath away and sell it back to you. As artist Mary Ann Carroll puts it, he could "sell a jacket to a mosquito in summer."

"A salesman is a con-man," Black readily admits himself today. He's a storyteller. And does he have stories to tell.

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Books
1:08 am
Thu July 5, 2012

August 'Snow-Storm' Brought Devastation To D.C.

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 8:25 pm

In 1835, Washington, D.C., was a city in transition: Newly freed African-Americans were coming north and for the first time beginning to outnumber the city's slaves. That demographic shift led to a violent upheaval — all but forgotten today.

Few of the city's buildings from that time remain, but you can still sense what it was like, if you sit in a park by the White House, as NPR's Steve Inskeep did with writer Jefferson Morley.

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Books
12:53 pm
Wed July 4, 2012

The 5 Best Book Stories You Must Read This Week

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 4:15 pm

If you're like me, you probably have stacks of books sitting around your home waiting to be cracked open.

Despite my apartment's messy milieu, the piles are actually carefully curated in the order of what I plan to tackle next. Of course, the stacks tend to grow faster than I can read, but no matter.

Here are this week's five best stories from NPR Books. They'll grow your piles, but I promise, these books are worth it.

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Arts & Life
10:24 am
Wed July 4, 2012

The Highwaymen: Segregation And Speed-Painting In The Sunshine State

Courtesy of Gary Monroe

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 2:03 pm

In the 1960s and '70s, if you were in a doctor's office, or a funeral home, or a motel in Florida, chances are a landscape painting hung on the wall. Palms arching over the water, or moonlight on an inlet. Tens of thousands of paintings like this were created by a group of self-taught African-American artists, concentrated in Fort Pierce, Fla.

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The Salt
8:14 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Chess Pie's Past And Present

Linda Wertheimer shows off her chess pie with blueberries at the NPR headquarters pie contest.
Morning Edition NPR

To me, chess pie is an Oklahoma pie with definite Southern accents. For NPR's recent pie contest, I started with my mother's family recipe for Lemon Chess Pie — with a variation inspired by my Aunt Jane.

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Arts & Life
3:08 am
Wed July 4, 2012

Art, Race And Murder: The Origins Of Florida's 'Highwaymen'

The top painting, by A.E. Backus, suggests his influence on The Highwaymen, including his pupil Alfred Hair. Hair painted the landscape below.
Courtesy of the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 11:59 am

The story of The Highwaymen is one of biracial friendships and lingering racism, of painting and a murder — culminating in a contemporary clash over an artistic legacy.

Only loosely allied, they are credited with churning out some 200,000 landscape paintings in the area of Fort Pierce, Fla., since the 1960s. The strategy behind their enterprise: Paint a lot, and paint fast. Often, the oil paintings were sold before they had even dried. And a teenager named Alfred Hair was the mastermind behind the whole operation.

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Author Interviews
1:28 am
Wed July 4, 2012

A Pie For All Regions: Serving Up The American Slice

A Northeastern Bakewell Pie (left) and Western Chocolate Raisin Pie cool on author Adrienne Kane's Connecticut kitchen counter.
Adrienne Kane

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 9:09 am

We hold this truth to be self-evident: America loves pie. We, the people, a nation of bakers and eaters, value the art of creating that crispy, gooey, fluffy, fruity dessert — and each region reserves the right to bake the treat in its own individual style.

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