Arts/Life

Art & Design
3:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

340 Tons Of Art: 'Levitated Mass' To Rock L.A.

A 2011 sketch by artist Michael Heizer shows the walkway visitors will use to pass under the granite boulder at the center of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's installation. (Click here to enlarge.)
Courtesy of Michael Heizer

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 7:39 am

Los Angeles has a new rock star — a 340-ton boulder perched above a long walk-through trench at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The installation, called Levitated Mass, is a new work by artist Michael Heizer that opens to the public on June 24.

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Television
3:21 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Facing Up To Bullies, Everywhere But On Reality TV

Simon Cowell in his early days as an American Idol judge. The success of Cowell and others shows that bullying is acceptable, says Eric Deggans, so long as it's done on reality TV.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Over the past couple of years, the topic of bullying has come to the forefront of public discourse: on TV, in social media, in newspapers and in movies.

So it only makes sense all this talk would eventually seep into the nation's largest Rorschach test: prime-time television. From Law and Order: SVU to The Simpsons, from House to Nurse Jackie, the word "bully" gets thrown around a lot these days, even when it's describing behavior that's less bullying and closer to rudeness.

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Ask Me Another
2:57 pm
Wed June 20, 2012

Jeremy Schaap: The Cheese Rolls Alone

Sports journalist Jeremy Schaap in the hot seat on the Ask Me Another stage.
Steve McFarland NPR

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

As legend has it, Jeremy Schaap caused his father, legendary sports journalist Dick Schaap, to miss two of the three home runs hit by Reggie Jackson during Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Why? Apparently, Jeremy had sent his dad on successive trips to get him a hot dog and a soda. Luckily, his dad refused to get him a beer.

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Television
9:57 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Jeff Daniels: Anchoring The Cast Of 'The Newsroom'

After a public meltdown and a wholesale staff defection, Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) decides to take a different approach with his nightly news show.
HBO

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 10:22 am

Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama The Newsroom revolves around Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a popular cable-news anchor floating happily along with his nightly newscast, which does well in the ratings but doesn't tend to delve into anything that could offend or alienate anyone.

After McAvoy has a public meltdown at a university lecture, he's put on a three-week hiatus by his boss (Sam Waterston). During McAvoy's time off, his staff defects and a new executive producer named Mackenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) is hired to take the helm of McAvoy's show.

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Monkey See
7:02 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Silverdocs: 'The Imposter' And The Mystery Of The Nervous Laughter

This is not Nicholas Barclay.
Silverdocs

They really give it away in the title, don't they?

In 1994, a 13-year-old boy named Nicholas Barclay disappeared in Texas. In 1997, a man showed up in Spain and claimed to be the 16-year-old Nicholas. He wasn't – he was a 23-year-old con man – but he managed to get himself brought to the United States with a passport in Nicholas' name. He moved in with Nicholas' family. They accepted him as Nicholas.

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Kitchen Window
5:43 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A Twist On Tea And Cookies

Reem Rizvi for NPR

As a child, I never appreciated the joy of tea. In fact, I never really had the chance, as my grandmother would say, "Children should not be drinking tea; it is not good for them." If it had been any other beverage, I would have fought with her, but I didn't care enough about tea. I did, however, outgrow that stage. I began to experiment with different teas and learn how to flavor tea with my real passion: spices.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A Question Unanswered: 'How Should A Person Be?'

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 8:36 am

The unexamined life isn't worth living, according to Socrates, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a writer who disagrees. Few, though, have taken it to the extreme that Toronto author Sheila Heti does with How Should a Person Be? The relentlessly introspective "novel from life" earned critical raves when it was released in Canada in 2010. The book chronicles Heti's struggle — sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — to answer the seemingly simple questions: "What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?"

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Wed June 20, 2012

New In Paperback June 18-24

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Michael Ondaatje, Lev Grossman and Ron Suskind.

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

Monkey See
3:14 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Theater Diary: The After-Action Report

Miriam Shor, late of TV's recently cancelled GCB, played the fairy godmother at this year's Broadway Bares charity strip-a-thon. We are sorry, but this is more or less the only photo we can show you from the event.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 2:35 pm

The last few days of my post-Tonys theater week were so jam-packed that there was no time to write up what I was doing. Matinees, cabarets, stand-ups, burlesques, benefit readings; it was a mad dash of a weekend. So here goes, with the recap — and a few recommendations for things to try next time you get to New York:

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American Dreams: Then And Now
1:54 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Hollywood Dreams Of Wealth, Youth And Beauty

Paulette Goddard in the Tramp's (Charlie Chaplin) dream of a middle-class life in Modern Times.
Chaplin/United Artists/The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 4:59 pm

Tinseltown didn't invent the American dream, but it sure put it out there for the world to see — a dream lit by the perpetual sunshine of Southern California, steeped in the values of the immigrant filmmakers who moved there in the early 1900s and got enormously rich.

It was their own outsider experience these Italian, Irish, German and often Jewish moviemakers were putting on screen, each optimistic, escapist fantasy a virtual American dream checklist:

  • Hard work carries the day in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
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Author Interviews
9:01 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Edible Fermentables: Wine, Beer, Cheese, Meat

Beer may be the oldest fermented beverage on the planet.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:15 am

In the beginning, the self-described "fermentation fetishist" Sandor Katz loved sour pickles.

"For whatever reason, I was drawn to that flavor as a child," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And then when I was in my 20s, I did quite a bit of dietary experimentation and ... I started noticing that whenever I ate sauerkraut or pickles, even the smell of it would make my salivary glands start secreting."

After Katz moved from New York City to a rural community in Tennessee, his fascination with all things fermented increased.

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The Salt
8:23 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Five Facts About Pie That Might Surprise You, And A Survey

Apple is the most popular pie — or is it?
Diane Diederich iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 9:45 am

As American as apple pie, a pie in the hand is worth two on the sill, and how about a cream pie in the face?

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Monkey See
8:15 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Silverdocs: How Journey Found A New Lead Singer And Made Friends In Manila

Arnel Pineda became the lead singer of Journey in late 2007.
Silverdocs

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 11:49 am

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Divorce, 'Disgrace' And One Steamy Victorian Diary

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:16 am

If Isabella Robinson had a Facebook account in 1858, her relationship status would be "It's complicated." Unhappily married to civil engineer Henry Robinson — a most "uncongenial partner" — Isabella set her lonely sights on the dashing and very much attached hydropath Dr. Edward Lane. In a perfect world, Isabella and Edward's respective spouses would die quick and painless deaths, freeing the paramours to be joined in holy, socially sanctioned matrimony. But Victorian England was not a perfect world.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:03 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Summer's Best Sci-Fi: Planets, Politics, Apocalypse

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 1:40 pm

Science fiction is a genre of contradictions. It's an entertaining escape from the dreary everyday, but it also invites you to rethink your everyday life. It can be cheesy but profound, fantastic but sharply political. And like all literature, it's rarely about what it seems to be on the surface. That's why the best sci-fi writers manage to turn space battles into philosophical debates, and zombie hordes into political satire.

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All Tech Considered
3:22 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Lights, Camera, YouTube: A New Studio Cashes In On An Entertainment Revolution

Lisa Donovan spoofs the film 300 in a 2007 YouTube video that pits her against a FedEx guy. Donovan's videos became so successful, she was able to make a living off selling ads on them.
via YouTube

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 6:54 pm

Over the past year, YouTube has spent tens of millions of dollars to commission professionals to make content for the site — but those pros aren't necessarily coming from traditional TV and film studios.

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The Salt
2:48 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Chef Tempts Tourists Back To Tijuana By Focusing On The Food

Chef Javier Plascencia finds inspiration for his dishes at the Mercado Hidalgo, a huge indoor market in Tijuana
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 1:34 pm

Say the word Tijuana, and many people automatically think of a city riddled with drug violence. But native son Javier Plascencia is hoping to change all that by cooking up high-quality cuisine that focuses on the region's diverse ingredients.

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Book Reviews
10:41 am
Mon June 18, 2012

'Beautiful Ruins,' Both Human And Architectural

In Jess Walter's new novel, Beautiful Ruins, there's a beaten-down character named Claire who works in Hollywood reading scripts for a living. Claire is inundated with reality TV show pitches, many of them featuring drunk models or drunk sex addicts — in short, scripts so offensive that, Claire thinks, to give them the green light for production would be akin to "singlehandedly hastening the apocalypse."

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Author Interviews
10:41 am
Mon June 18, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A New Superman Bio!

Christopher Reeve played Superman in Richard Donner's 1978 film. Larry Tye has written a new biography of the Man of Steel.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:15 am

Eighty years ago, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the iconic comic book character Superman, but it took several years of rejections before they finally sold him to Detective Comics Inc. in 1938. The distinctive superhero made his first appearance in the comics in June 1938 — and since then has appeared in radio dramas, TV shows, video games, newspaper comics and countless films.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Silverdocs 2012: Documentaries Galore

Detropia is one of the films on this year's slate at the Silverdocs documentary festival.
Silverdocs

It's that time again.

As I did last year at this time, I'll be spending this week at the Silverdocs documentary festival in Silver Spring, Md. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you're very familiar with this project, as it was the first place I saw a couple of fairly high-profile documentaries including Being Elmo and Buck, but also where I saw a couple of smaller movies that became favorites, including Resurrect Dead: The Mystery Of The Toynbee Tiles. (Available on Netflix streaming! Do it!)

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PG-13: Risky Reads
8:15 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Teenage Brain: Gateway To A 'Bright And Dark' World

Cover detail

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 3:27 pm

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose most recent works include The Uncoupling and a book for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.

You know how people talk about so-called gateway drugs — drugs that lead to harder ones? I think some books can be considered gateway books, because reading them leads you to start reading other books that are similar but more intense. Lisa, Bright and Dark, John Neufeld's 1969 novel for young adults, is one of these.

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Summer Books 2012
5:34 am
Mon June 18, 2012

The Best Young Adult Novels? You Tell Us

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:11 am

Teen fiction shares the virtues of youth itself: energy, vividness, passion. Like adolescents, teen novels revel in drama and grapple with Life's Big Questions.

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Arts & Life
2:03 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

Chanticleer: A Botanical Distraction From Daily Life

Chanticleer is a historical estate and garden in Wayne, Pa., part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia.
Courtesy of the Lyden family

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 1:19 pm

Ever wanted to just disappear into a secret garden of earthly delights, of twists and turns of evocative ruin, exuberant tropics, the Zen of a Japanese teahouse?

Consider Chanticleer, in Wayne, Pa. It's part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia. In fact, right across the street from the garden is the former home of Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, the heiress portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:58 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

The Movie Whoopi Goldberg's 'Seen A Million Times'

Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his 1962 performance in To Kill a Mockingbird.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:59 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.

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Author Interviews
1:56 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

After War And Fame, Dad Is Author's Challenge

Anthony Swofford is the author of Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, which was adapted into a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the author.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:47 am

Seven years ago, writer and former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford had the success of a lifetime when his 2003 memoir Jarhead was turned into a high-budget Hollywood movie.

Swofford, then 35, had hit it big. But flush with cash and still grappling with post-war life, he suddenly found himself in the throes of a self-destructive rampage replete with drugs, alcohol and infidelity.

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Author Interviews
4:19 am
Sun June 17, 2012

A Future President Finds Himself In New Obama Bio

A new biography of President Obama provides a rare glimpse of him as a young adult. In Barack Obama: The Story, journalist David Maraniss chronicles the president's "classic search for home."
AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:10 am

In the years since he took office, there has been no shortage of coverage of Barack Obama's presidency and politics. But for journalist David Maraniss, it is the president's personal history that remains intriguing.

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Media
3:47 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Like Good Bourbon, Magazine Is A Sip Of The South

David DiBenedetto, the editor-in-chief of Garden & Gun, holds an editorial meeting in the magazine's Charleston, S.C., offices.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 11:23 am

Garden & Gun magazine bills itself as the "Soul of the South." In five short years, the up-and-coming magazine has amassed a dedicated following and picked up critical acclaim.

The cover of the summer issue of Garden & Gun entices you to hit a Southern road. A smiling young woman in skinny white jeans, a straw hat and wayfarers tucked into her pocket appears ready to jump into a vintage red Mercedes roadster, top down — all under a bright Carolina blue sky.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
3:46 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:32 am

It's an election year, and that may be good news for those of us who like our summer reading: Laura Miller of Salon.com says a lot of publishing companies don't want to release all their best books in the fall because they'll have to compete with all that presidential campaign news. And that means more great books to choose from when the weather is hot.

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Monkey See
11:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:41 am

It's a question that kicks around endlessly without resolution: Can men and women really be just friends? On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, about this very topic.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Hit Me Baby One More Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 11:23 am

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with the letter "B," ending in "Y" and having "A" and "B" inside, in that order, although not necessarily consecutively. For example, if I said "assistant to a baseball team," the answer would be either "batboy" or "ballboy."

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