Arts/Life

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

White House Chef Sam Kass Plays Not My Job

Kevin Dietsch-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 9, 2012 9:32 am

Sam Kass was working as a private chef in Chicago when one of his clients got a new job, so he moved with that client to Washington, D.C., where he now cooks in large building with an Oval Office, a rose garden ... and a tiny kitchen. He's the first family's personal chef and an important player in Michelle Obama's healthful food initiative.

Since Kass is so good at doing things that are really good for you, we've invited him to play a game called, "You'll put an eye out!" Three questions about things that are really, really bad for you.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
1:45 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:55 pm

Michelle Obama's diary of her White House garden, American Grown, debuts at No. 4.

The Salt
1:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Food Truck Cookbook Tracks Best Meals Served On Wheels

The crew of Shindigs sets up shop in a parking lot in Birmingham.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 4:59 pm

With recent news that even Paris has one, food trucks are certainly in vogue these days. In the U.S., they're now spreading from the hot scenes in Los Angeles and New York to smaller cities, like Milwaukee and Madison. Even school systems are jumping on the food truck bandwagon.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
1:28 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:52 pm

Mitchell Zuckoff's Lost in Shangri-La, a World War II rescue adventure, debuts at No. 9.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
1:26 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:55 pm

The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning look at self-delusion, debuts at No. 6.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
1:20 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of June 7, 2012

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 2:00 pm

The Yard, Alex Grecian's tale of early forensics and murder in Victorian London, debuts at No. 13.

The Salt
11:10 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Our Obama Family Dinner Survey Shows Brown Rice Is Still A Tough Sell

First Lady Michelle Obama, here with students from Bancroft Elementary School and Kimball Elementary School, has done a lot to promote healthy family dinners and garden-fresh food.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

More than 10,000 of you took our recent survey about how your family meals stack up against the Obamas'. And it turns out, you're a pretty healthy bunch.

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Monkey See
10:53 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: An Exploration Of Strange Creatures

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's Prometheus week, and you know what that means: extraterrestrials. Specifically, the many different kinds of extraterrestrials you meet in the movies and on television. We generally divide them into a few categories, based on their levels of malevolence and evil.

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Poetry
10:27 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Natasha Trethewey: 'Poetry's Always A Kind Of Faith'

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 11:39 am

Portions of this interview were originally broadcast on July 16, 2007, Jan. 20, 2009 and Aug. 18, 2010.

This week, the Library of Congress announced that Natasha Trethewey, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Native Guard, will be the next poet laureate of the United States.

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Movie Reviews
10:13 am
Fri June 8, 2012

In 'Dark Horse,' A Wasted Life Plays Out On Screen

In Dark Horse, Abe (Jordan Gelber) and Miranda (Selma Blair) meet at a wedding and start a relationship soon after, though not for the most romantic reasons.
Jojo Whilden

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:46 pm

It's tough to get on Todd Solondz's wavelength, but boy is it worth the emotional gyrations. Just when you've decided he has too much contempt for his characters to do more than take cheap shots, he'll shock you with flashes of empathy, insights that cast a revelatory light over what came before. You could never call Solondz a humanist, but he achieves something I've never seen elsewhere: compassionate revulsion.

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Remembrances
10:07 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Ray Bradbury: 'It's Lack That Gives Us Inspiration'

"I'd like to come back every 50 years and see how we can use certain technological advantages to our advantage," said science-fiction author Ray Bradbury. He died Tuesday at age 91.
Steve Castillo AP

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 12:27 pm

This interview was originally broadcast in 1988.

Ray Bradbury didn't like negative people. The science-fiction writer and author of Fahrenheit 451 told Terry Gross in 1988 that he found out about negative people in fourth grade, shortly after his classmates started making fun of him for collecting Buck Rogers comic strips.

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Books
9:58 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Luke, I Am Your Father, Now Pick Up Your Toys

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 10:41 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Switching gears now, Father's Day is a little over a week away and we try to take the day to appreciate the dads in our lives, but if you think you had some tough times with your dad, you've got nothing on this famous film father and son.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK")

JAMES EARL JONES: (as Darth Vader) Obi Wan never told you what happened to your father.

MARK HAMILL: (as Luke Skywalker) He told me enough. He told me you killed him.

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Hello Again, My Gooey Friends: On Loving 'Alien' And Seeing 'Prometheus'

Michael Fassbender plays a replicant in Ridley Scott's Prometheus.
Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 1:40 pm

Strap in, pioneers! The FTL drive is spun up, the moorings cleared, the life-support system supportive. We are go for launch to a remote, mysterious, possibly hostile landscape in search of our — okay, my — origins.

Its human designation? One-niner-eighty-six.

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TED Radio Hour
7:49 am
Fri June 8, 2012

How Do Introverts Share Ideas?

"There's something about [solitude] in our culture that's... not permissable, or threatening, or not cool." — Susan Cain
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Where Ideas Come From.

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TED Radio Hour
7:49 am
Fri June 8, 2012

What Happens When Ideas Have Sex?

"There's a sense in which this meeting and mating of ideas has ... a momentum of its own" — Matt Ridley
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Where Ideas Come From. Watch Matt Ridley's full Talk — When Ideas Have Sex — on TED.com

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TED Radio Hour
7:49 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Is The 'Eureka' Moment A Myth?

"Ideas initially take form as hunches. They don't come into the world fully realized. The lightbulb moment is greatly overrated" — Steven Johnson
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 2:59 pm

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Where Ideas Come From. Watch Steven Johnson's full Talk — Where Good Ideas Come From — on TED.com

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Ask Me Another
7:05 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Chuck Klosterman: He Keeps On Shoutin'

According to New York Magazine, author and essayist, Chuck Klosterman has had a string of unfortunate nicknames. One--"Curtains"--stemmed from a pair of sweatpants his mother made for him.
Richard Fleischman Courtesy of Chuck Klosterman

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 9:10 am

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Right On The Money: A 'Capital' Book For Our Times

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 4:59 pm

Lizzie Skurnick writes the "That Should Be a Word" column for the New York Times Magazine.

England has always reveled in its drawing-room dramas, from Jane Austen's social minefields to E.M. Forster's Howards End to Upstairs, Downstairs — and yes, the blockbuster Downton Abbey.

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Movie Reviews
3:29 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Back To Woodstock, And To The Spirit Of The '60s

A big-city lawyer (Catherine Keener, right) must adjust to the hippie lifestyle when she and her daughter (Elizabeth Olsen, left) go to Woodstock to visit her mother (Jane Fonda) in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding.
Jacob Hutchings Strategic Motion Ventures LLC

Several characters in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, a bland comedy about generational disconnect, read and worship Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. And just as Whitman's paean to "thee old cause" celebrated "thou stern, remorseless, sweet idea," so too does the film push, much less sternly and sweetly, its own idea: that the spirit of the 1960s is alive and well and (still) living in Woodstock.

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Poetry
3:25 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

New U.S. Poet Laureate: A Southerner To The Core

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 3:54 pm

The United States named its 19th poet laureate today: Natasha Trethewey, a professor of English and creative writing at Emory University in Atlanta. She is the nation's first poet laureate to hail from the South since the initial laureate — Robert Penn Warren — was named by the Library of Congress in 1986.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

'Bel Ami': Period Drama Skips The Small Talk

The once-penniless Georges Duroy (Robert Pattinson) maneuvers his way to the top of Paris society by wooing and bedding the city's best-connected women — among them the influential Madame de Marelle (Christina Ricci.)
Magnolia Pictures

Words, words, words: Novels, especially 19th-century ones, are full of the damned things, which can be an inconvenience for filmmakers doing adaptations.

Directors Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod, theater veterans making their cinematic debut with Bel Ami, try to downplay language, which seems a promising idea. But the strategy fails for several reasons, the foremost of which is their leading man.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

'Dark Horse': Love Among The Deeply Damaged

Abe (Jordan Gelber) and Miranda (Selma Blair) meet at a wedding in Dark Horse and get married soon after, though not for the most romantic reasons.
Jojo Whilden

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 11:41 am

For Abe (Jordan Gelber), there is one simple truth in life: "We're all horrible people."

He articulates this insight in Todd Solondz's new film Dark Horse, while on a painfully awkward date with Miranda (Selma Blair), a chronically depressed woman he meets at a wedding reception, where both of them look on glumly at everyone else dancing and having a good time.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

In 'Patagonia,' Pristine Rivers And A Plan For Dams

The Baker River is one of two waterways that would be dammed in a proposed hydroelectric project in the fabled Patagonia region of Chile. This section of the river would become a reservoir under the plan.
Brian Lilla First Run Features

The way the Andes divide Patagonia, Argentina gets most of the land and Chile most of the water. As shown in Patagonia Rising, a new documentary, the landscape on Chile's side of the border is similar to coastal British Columbia or the Alaska panhandle: chilly, forested, mountainous and very wet.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Paul Williams is 'Still Alive,' And Taking Every Gig

Paul Williams, subject of the documentary Paul Williams Still Alive, wrote some of the most enduring songs of the '70s — including "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppet Movie.
Abramorama

A diminutive giant of the 1970s, Paul Williams composed some of the decade's sweetest and most enduring songs — including The Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays," Helen Reddy's "You and Me Against the World," Three Dog Night's "An Old Fashioned Love Song," and "Rainbow Connection" for The Muppet Movie.

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Movie Interviews
2:18 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Damon Lindelof Risks The Wrath Of Loyal Fans Again

Damon Lindelof moderated a conversation with Charlize Theron, who stars in the new Ridley Scott thriller Prometheus, at the 2011 Comic-Con. Lindelof co-wrote the film.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 5:35 pm

Damon Lindelof was a producer on the 2009 reboot of Star Trek, which seemed to win over loyal Trekkies. And this weekend Lindelof will earn the devotion — or wrath — of Alien fans. He helped write the screenplay for the new film Prometheus, an origin story for Ridley Scott's 1979 sci-fi classic.

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Race
9:42 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Tonys Prompt Questions Of Race In American Theater

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. The Tony Awards are this Sunday. They recognize excellence in American theatre and you might be interested to know that a number of African-American performers and plays that deal with race are nominated for honors, plays such as "Clybourne Park," an edgy take on integration and gentrification in a fictional Chicago neighborhood; and a new interpretation of a classic, the Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess."

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The Salt
8:46 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Why Soybeans Sit On The Bench While Corn Takes The Field

Corn has the Nebraska Cornhuskers, but nobody's naming football teams for the soybean.
beatboxbadhabit Flickr.com

Pity the poor, almighty, soybean. It's the nation's second blockbuster crop, corn's only serious rival, but nobody throws it a party.

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Monkey See
8:23 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Television Critics Association Nominees: 'Homeland' Comes Up Big In Its First Year

Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland.
Kent Smith Showtime

The Television Critics Association (which I'm part of) has announced the nominees for its annual awards, which will be handed out during press tour in late July.

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New In Paperback
6:21 am
Thu June 7, 2012

New In Paperback June 4-10

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 9:24 am

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Julian Barnes, Joan Didion and Sugar Ray Leonard.

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

Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
5:03 am
Thu June 7, 2012

Books For You And Your BFF: Summer's Teen Reads

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu June 7, 2012 8:52 am

If there's one thing that teenagers of all stripes spend most of their energy on, it's friendship. Clinging to people who have become closer than family, navigating the breakups that are somehow more devastating than getting dumped by a boyfriend, and spending time that your parents and teachers would rather you spend on homework just talking. It's no wonder that friendship is such a rich vein for young adult authors to mine, and that YA literature is better at exploring it than any other genre.

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