Arts/Life

Latin America
10:20 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Art In A Neon Cage: Welcome To The Havana Biennial

For her installation titled Condemned, Lorena Gutierrez used sheets of holographic vinyl and a custom-built cage with neon-light bars.
Nick Miroff NPR

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:35 pm

In Cuba's socialist economy, if you want a well-paid career, you probably won't find it as a lawyer or engineer. You may do much better as an artist. Successful Cuban artists travel abroad, benefit from state support and can earn huge sums selling their work to foreign buyers.

And every two years, they get a shot at a breakthrough at the Havana Biennial, which has become one of the most important art events in Latin America.

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TED Radio Hour
7:58 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Can We Protect Food's Future And Improve School Lunch?

Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, deep in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
Mari Tefre Global Crop Diversity Trust

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:01 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Food Matters. Watch Cary Fowler's full TEDTalk — One Seed at a Time, Protecting the Future of Food -- and Ann Cooper's talk about school lunches on TED.com

About Cary Fowler's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
7:58 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Does Good Flavor Equal Sustainability?

"What's inspiring about this whole movement and this message is that it's a happy message. It's hedonism." — Chef Dan Barber
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:01 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Food Matters. Watch Chef Dan Barber's full TEDTalk — How I Fell In Love With Fish -- on TED.com

About Dan Barber's TEDTalk

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Author Interviews
12:50 am
Fri May 11, 2012

Deford: How Sportswriting Has Changed 'Over Time'

Atlantic Monthly Press

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 5:10 am

NPR listeners normally hear from sports commentator Frank Deford for three minutes at a time Wednesday mornings, as he opines on the latest follies of the sporting world. But Deford fans have been getting to hear the veteran sportswriter at greater length lately. He's on a book tour for his new memoir, Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. When Deford stopped in Washington, D.C., NPR's Steve Inskeep had the chance to interview him in front of a lively crowd.

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Movie Reviews
3:46 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Dark Shadows': A Remake Lacking Life And Luster

In Tim Burton's campy reboot of the Gothic soap Dark Shadows, Johnny Depp plays Barnabas Collins, a vampire with antiquated sensibilities who surfaces in the '70s after a 200-year imprisonment at the hands of a spurned lover.
Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 4:52 pm

Putting together a Halloween costume must be a breeze at Johnny Depp's house. Forget pirate Jack Sparrow. If you just took a few of the characters he's played for director Tim Burton — the Mad Hatter, mad barber Sweeney Todd, mad candymaker Willy Wonka, and those two mad Eds, Wood and Scissorhands, you'd have a whole closetful of costuming possibilities.

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Movie Reviews
3:10 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Pregnant And Puzzling Over How The 'Parts' Will Fit

Sarah (Anne Margaret Hollyman), a technologist based in Brooklyn still adjusting to her pregnancy, heads to the Southwest to visit family.
Long Shot Factory

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:20 pm

Like the best road movies, Small, Beautifully Moving Parts features a pair of individuals newly thrust together, unsure what to make of one another, yet unable to separate. Of course, that inseparability is usually one forced by the situation; in this film, the bond joining these travelers is umbilical: Sarah Sparks (Anna Margaret Hollyman) is pregnant.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

In Lebanon, Women Fight To Keep A Fragile Peace

Filmmaker Nadine Labaki plays the lead role of Amale, a widow who organizes women in a Lebanese village to help tamp down flaring sectarian tensions, in her film Where Do We Go Now?
Rudy Bou Chebel Sony Pictures Classics

Women's hard-won pragmatism contends with men's impulsive belligerence in Where Do We Go Now?, the second feature directed by Lebanese actress Nadine Labaki. It's the sort of well-meaning fable that's ultimately more admirable than persuasive.

Filmed in three small Lebanese villages, the movie never locates itself in a particular country. But, as in last year's similarly cautious Incendies, the place must be Lebanon; there are few places in the Middle East where Christians and Muslims mingle the way they do in this story.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

A Teenage 'Hick,' Looking For Trouble On The Road

All The Wrong Places: Bars, pool halls and pickup trucks aren't the sort of place you'd expect to find a 13-year-old like Luli (Chloe Grace Moretz), but that's exactly where Hick writer Andrea Portes sends her.
Phase 4 Films

Funny how history repeats itself. Back in 2007, Hounddog, about an Elvis-obsessed girl who suffers through abuse in the Deep South, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival to caustic reviews and immediate stigma as "The Dakota Fanning Rape Movie."

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

When Mystery Writer Meets Pinup Girl (Who's Dead)

A Paris-based mystery writer (Jean-Paul Rouve) journeys to a cold and remote area of France hoping for an inheritance — and finds instead a story idea in the mysterious death of a local Marilyn Monroe lookalike (Sophie Quinton).
First Run Features

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 3:47 pm

Playing a Marilyn Monroe avatar in Nobody Else But You, Sophie Quinton endows her impersonation with less vitality than Michelle Williams in My Week With Marilyn. But that's appropriate: Quinton's character is already dead when this smart if outlandish movie opens.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'America': A Gleefully Violent Pop-Culture Pushback

Turning depression and anger at his spiraling personal life outward, Frank (Joel Murray) — with sidekick Roxy (Tara Lynne Barr) — takes literal aim at the crasser forms of American pop culture.
Magnet Releasing

Ever thought about murdering popular culture and its hangers-on? If your current homicidal fantasies include whacking the gelled hipster who loudly water-coolers yesterday's idiot reality show for anyone who will listen — and many who'd rather not — you may find yourself rooting for Frank, the unlikely dragonslayer of Bobcat Goldthwait's bracing new black comedy God Bless America.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

In Childhood, When 'I Wish' Equals An Action Plan

Ohshiro and Koki Maeda are real-life brothers playing brothers in Hirokazu Kore-eda's latest film, I Wish, a tale of a divided family and one boy's plan to bring it back together.
Magnolia Pictures

When you're young, there's just so much to misunderstand about the world. And isn't that kind of what makes it such fun?

Hirokazu Kore-eda's film I Wish is designed to make us long for the misadventures of childhood by giving us another set of ups and downs to follow: the tribulations of Koichi Osako, a 12-year-old Japanese boy with a plan to reunite his family.

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Author Interviews
2:21 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Freeman': A Liberated Slave In Search Of Family

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

A new novel from writer Leonard Pitts Jr. jolts you back to the chaos of post-Civil War America. At a time when families of slaves were freed — but not necessarily together.

In hope of reuniting with their families, some freed slaves placed classified ads in newspapers:

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The Salt
1:32 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Thomas Jefferson's Vegetable Garden: A Thing Of Beauty And Science

Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello served as an experimental laboratory for garden vegetables from around the world.
Leonard Phillips Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:48 am

When you listen to All Things Considered host Melissa Block's story about Thomas Jefferson's garden, you'll hear how he cared about putting peas on the table and sharing seeds with his friends. He also set loftier goals for his vegetable garden: Monticello's south-facing expanse was a living laboratory for a lifelong tinkerer and almost obsessive record keeper. Jefferson was, in many ways, a crop scientist.

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Movie Interviews
12:49 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

'Where Do We Go?' Lebanese Women Pave The Way

Muslim and Christian women team up to try everything imaginable to distract their men from war in the Lebanese film Where Do We Go Now? Director and actress Nadine Labaki plays the lead role of Amale.
Rudy Bou Chebel Sony Pictures Classic

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 8:50 pm

Where Do We Go Now? is the brainchild of bloodshed. The film, which has been a megahit in the Middle East, is a bittersweet comedy about a group of women determined to stop their hotheaded men from starting a religious war. It's the second feature film from Lebanese director Nadine Labaki.

When violence erupted on the streets of Beirut in 2008, Labaki saw neighbors, friends, people who were practically brothers turn against each another. As the world around her spiraled out of control, Labaki discovered she was having a baby.

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Movie Reviews
10:42 am
Thu May 10, 2012

'Dark Shadows': A Vampire Returns, Without His Bite

After Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) rises from the grave in the 1970s, 200 years after he was imprisoned, he returns to his ancestral home and befriends his descendants, including David Collins (Gully McGrath).
Peter Mountain Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 11, 2012 8:22 am

Two score and four years ago, I'd fly home from fourth grade for the 4 p.m. broadcast of Dark Shadows. In 1968, vampires and werewolves weren't mainstream — the era's horror films mostly played drive-ins — yet here on TV was a daily horror soap opera.

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Arts & Life
9:59 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Vanessa Williams On Scandals, TV And Her Mom

Award-winning actress and singer Vanessa Williams stars on ABC's Desperate Housewives. She's come a long way since a 1983 Miss America scandal forced her to give up her crown. Host Michel Martin talks with Williams about co-writing the memoir You Have No Idea with her mother, who she says inspired her. Please be warned this conversation may not be comfortable for some listeners.

Arts & Life
9:59 am
Thu May 10, 2012

This Mother's Day, Strike Up The Band

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we have a little reminder for those of you who may be a little forgetful when it comes to holidays. If you have been procrastinating or just not sure what to get Mom for Mother's Day, we have a suggestion. This year, you might skip the flowers and that overbooked brunch. Have a little music to say, thanks, Mom.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 10, 2012

China Mieville's 'Railsea': 'Moby-Dick' Remixed

iStockPhoto.com

In his new novel, China Mieville brings Moby-Dick to dry land. The world of Railsea consists of continents and islands linked by train tracks (these are the railsea), and populated by frightening creatures (enormous mole rats, "greatstoats," meat-eating earwigs). Some train crews pursue trade; others are "salvors," living off what they can find, repair and resell from wrecks. The nomadic, low-tech Bajjer tribes spend their whole lives in trains propelled by sails. The most romantic of trainmen are "molers," who ply the railsea in search of great burrowing prey.

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Movies
12:57 am
Thu May 10, 2012

'Dark Shadows': The Birth Of The Modern TV Vampire

In the influential Dark Shadows, a 1960s ABC soap opera with a gothic and supernatural bent, Jonathan Frid played Barnabas Collins, a vampire who returned to claim his coastal Maine manor.
Dan Curtis Productions The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 9:20 am

When it comes to monsters on television, vampires have the market more or less cornered. Think about it: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries ...

Vampires' enduring popularity on TV may not be eternal, but they have been appearing on the small screen for decades. Mark Dawidziak, who's written books about vampires and teaches a class at Kent State University on their appearances in film and TV, says that part of the way vampires have remained a force in popular culture is through their evolution on TV.

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Essays
11:58 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Sendak's 'Over There' Scared Adults And Kids Alike

A baby is snatched away by goblins in Maurice Sendak's Outside Over There. The beloved author and illustrator — who took a darker approach to children's storytelling — died Tuesday at the age of 83.
HarperCollins

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:07 pm

In my house growing up — a house of readers — few books were off-limits. My mother once famously hid my little brother's Smurf comic book, in which nearly all nouns and verbs had been replaced by the word "smurf," after being asked to read it aloud one too many times. But in hindsight, that only demonstrates a healthy instinct for survival.

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New In Paperback
11:50 am
Wed May 9, 2012

New In Paperback May 7-13

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Ann Patchett, Chad Harbach, Jennifer Weiner, Jorie Graham and Erik Larson.

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

Fitness & Nutrition
10:38 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Stand Up, Walk Around, Even Just For '20 Minutes'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 11:14 am

If you're sitting at a desk reading this article, take a minute and stand up. That's the latest advice from New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds. In her new book, The First 20 Minutes, Reynolds details some of the surprisingly simple ways you can combat the effects of a sedentary lifestyle.

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Music
9:51 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Major U.S. Folk Music Archive Makes Online Debut

Originally published on Thu October 25, 2012 12:52 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, I'll share some of my thoughts in my weekly essay. That's in just a few minutes.

But first, if you are a fan of folk music - or so-called world music - there is a new treasure to be found online. Alan Lomax spent decades traveling the world, braving all sorts of conditions and even risking his life and health, to collect recordings of music, spoken-word performances, and more.

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Author Interviews
9:44 am
Wed May 9, 2012

Creating A New Vision Of Islam In America

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the author of three books on Islam, including What's Right with Islam is What's Right with America.

Originally published on Thu May 10, 2012 11:54 am

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S., was once the lead cleric associated with the proposed Islamic community center some critics called the "ground zero mosque." In late 2010, a debate over the location of the community center, now called the Cordoba House, became a contentious issue during the midterm elections.

During the debate, Rauf was called a "radical Muslim" and a "militant Islamist" by critics of the proposed community center. He was accused of sympathizing with the Sept. 11 hijackers and having connections to Hamas.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed May 9, 2012

'Tai Lake': Murder Most Ecological In China

Originally published on Wed May 9, 2012 6:16 am

It's always bad news when a detective books a vacation. Where other frolickers find fun in the sun, investigators are more likely to stumble over stiffs in the sand. The Orient Express was a train enthusiast's dream until Hercule Poirot — and Death — stepped aboard; in Dorothy Sayers' classic mystery, Busman's Honeymoon, Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane can't even enjoy a little nookie in their nuptial hideaway without bumping into an intrusive cadaver in the cellar. In detective fiction, Death never takes a holiday.

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Arts & Life
9:08 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Tina Brown's Must Reads: Resistance

Former Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky walks into court in Moscow, Russia, May 24, 2011. A Moscow appeals court upheld the second conviction of Khodorkovsky, reducing his prison sentence by one year for a total of 13 years. He will be released in 2016.
Misha Japaridze AP

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 2:24 pm

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown selects two recent pieces of news commentary and a memoir on political resistors.

A Son's Plea For A Dissident Father

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Kitchen Window
5:09 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Power Puff: Flex Your Culinary Muscle With A Souffle

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Mon May 21, 2012 12:49 pm

Souffle. Just a whisper of the word strikes fear into the heart of the most accomplished (not to mention inexperienced) home cook. First, the neurosis: Are the eggs fresh enough? Will it rise? What if it comes out horribly misshapen? Then, the biting of the fingertips: Did I whip the egg whites to the correct consistency? Will green garlic work with the asparagus? Was I nuts to try strawberries? Finally, the calm reward: This tastes delicious. What was I so worried about? Souffles aren't so difficult to make after all.

Er, maybe that's just me.

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Remembrances
9:39 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Remembering Children's Book Author Maurice Sendak

Originally published on Tue May 8, 2012 12:13 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, we want to honor someone who's work fired the imaginations of many children and their parents. Award-winning author and illustrator Maurice Sendak died today at the age of 83.

Maurice Sendak is best known for that classic children's book "Where the Wild Things Are." He wrote and illustrated the story of the mischievous hero Max, who gets sent to bed without dinner and his imagination takes him to a land of colorful giant monsters.

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Remembrances
8:38 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Sendak's Legacy: Helping Kids 'Survive Childhood'

Sendak talks with children about his book Where the Wild Things Are at the International Youth Library in Munich in June 1971.
Keystone/Hulton Archives Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:49 am

When author and illustrator Maurice Sendak entered the world of children's books, it was a very safe place. Stories were sweet and simple and set in a world without disorder. But Sendak, who died Tuesday at age 83, broke with that tradition. In Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak explored the darker side of childhood. Upstairs in young Max's bedroom, a jungle grows, and he sails off to a land of monsters.

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