Arts/Life

NPR Story
3:22 pm
Sun May 6, 2012

Three-Minute Fiction: This Week's Featured Stories

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 4:39 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CLOCK TICKING)

GUY RAZ, HOST:

She closed the book, placed it on the table and finally decided to walk through the door. That's the starting sentence for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction. That is our contest where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes. We are no longer accepting submissions for this round.

Our readers from across the country are almost done going through all of the more than 6,000 submissions this round. So let's hear a few samples of their favorites so far.

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Food
5:27 am
Sun May 6, 2012

Sacrilegious Lunch?: The Cuban Sandwich Debate

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:38 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Philadelphia has its cheesesteak sandwich, Buffalo its wing. Now, Tampa has officially claimed the Cuban sandwich. The Tampa, Florida city council last month passed a resolution designating the Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich and specifying its ingredients. From member station WUSF in Tampa, Bobby O'Brien found that claim has drawn ridicule from Miami's Cuban community.

(SOUNDBITE OF CUTTING AND PAPER UNWRAPPING)

BOBBY O'BRIEN, BYLINE: An authentic Tampa Cuban starts with the bread.

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Food
5:27 am
Sun May 6, 2012

'No Capers In The Kitchen:' Oyster Joint Turns 100

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:38 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

One hundred years ago this past week, Frank and Rose Snock opened their fish restaurant in Philadelphia. A century later, Snockey's Oyster and Crab House is still serving up deep-fried fish fillets, deviled clams and, of course, oysters.

They've got as many as a dozen varieties. Today, it's the Snock's grandchildren, Ken and Skip, who are running the show. But apparently, not much else has changed. Snockey's is still making the same oyster stew that Rose cooked for 79 years.

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Author Interviews
5:27 am
Sun May 6, 2012

'A Wedding In Haiti': Making Good On A Promise

John Seaton Callahan iStock Photo

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:38 am

Growing up in the Dominican Republic, author Julia Alvarez says she was taught to view neighboring Haiti with suspicion, given the cultural divisions between the two countries.

But because of a promise made one expansive night, Haiti, and a particular Haitian boy named Piti, would became ingrained in her heart — so much so that she would find herself smuggling Piti out of Haiti with his new family.

And after the earthquake that devastated the country in 2010, Alvarez and her husband trekked from Vermont to Haiti to help Piti find his family.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:17 am
Sun May 6, 2012

Brave Sir Robin Ran Away, But The Puzzle Is Still OK

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat May 12, 2012 4:11 pm

On-Air Challenge: You'll be given a series of categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters of the word "robin." For example, given the category "two-syllable boys' names," the answers could be "Roger," "Omar," "Barry," "Isaac" and "Neville."

Last Week's Challenge: Name the capital of a country that, when said out loud, sounds like a three-word phrase. This phrase might describe the reason why the police did not catch a barefoot thief. What is the capital, and what is the reason?

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Author Interviews
4:06 am
Sun May 6, 2012

'Birdseye': The Frozen Food Revolution

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 9:38 am

You may not have heard of Clarence Birdseye, but odds are you've eaten the results of his culinary innovation.

Birdseye is the man credited with inventing frozen food. Everything you see in supermarket freezers today, from vegetables to pizzas to frozen dinners, can be traced back to Birdseye's work. His name would come to symbolize a veritable frozen food movement in the United States.

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Fine Art
4:06 am
Sun May 6, 2012

Keith Haring: A Return To His Radiant Roots

Keith Haring Foundation

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 8:50 am

Keith Haring has come home. A new exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum focuses on the late artist's work at the beginning of his career, from his arrival in New York in the late 1970s, through his rise to international fame four years later.

The show features rare early drawings Haring made as a young art student from Kutztown, Pa., bowled over by the sights and sounds of New York City.

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Arts & Life
4:03 am
Sun May 6, 2012

The Story Of 'How You Met Your Other' Can Say A Lot

(R-L) Jeremy Sussman and his wife Becky, along with their two children Gabby and Sammy. The couple met 22 years ago when a friend suggested they meet.
Photo provided by WNYC

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 10:06 am

If you're part of a couple, chances are you remember the exact moment you first met your mate. Well, it turns out that how a couple first met isn't just fodder for Hollywood romantic comedies, but might just predict whether a relationship thrives or falters.

That's according Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of the RelationShow, a show about couples and relationships on member station WNYC.

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Movies
3:09 pm
Sat May 5, 2012

Million Time Movies: What's Your Comfort Film?

Virginia Huston and Robert Mitchum in a scene from the 1947 movie, Out of the Past.
RKO Radio Pictures/Photofest

Originally published on Sun June 24, 2012 11:29 am

Weekends on All Things Considered's 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.

For writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, whose credits include The Big Chill, The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the movie he can't get enough of is Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past. Kasdan says that the 1947 movie is a great piece of film noir cinema.

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Author Interviews
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

'Bring Up The Bodies': Taking Down Anne Boleyn

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 11:01 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry the VIII's marriage; second marriage, in fact. Anne Boleyn hasn't given him a son. Now, he finds the sharp remarks she makes that used to charm sometimes come at his expense. His roving eye begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. But in Henry's time, a monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is the king's chief advisor.

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Art & Design
5:11 am
Sat May 5, 2012

I Shall 'Scream' At Such A Price Tag

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

One of four versions Edvard Munch made of his masterpiece, The Scream, one of the most recognizable works of art in the world, was auctioned at Sotheby's this week for a record-setting price: $119 million.

Author Interviews
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

'Fug You': The Wild Life Of Ed Sanders

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

Ed Sanders likes to refer to himself as the only beatnik who can yodel. A countercultural icon, he co-founded the raunchy, avant-garde rock band The Fugs and was instrumental in the Youth International Party — commonly called the Yippies.

The 72-year-old is also a classical scholar who wrote a best-selling book about the Manson family. His latest book is a memoir, Fug You, about life on New York's Lower East Side in the 1960s — a slum, back when Sanders lived there.

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Author Interviews
4:37 am
Sat May 5, 2012

In 'Engines,' A History Of America Through Cars

Engines of Change promo detail
Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Sun May 6, 2012 8:26 am

You may know America by its cars. Sure, they suck up gas and promote suburban sprawl. But they also help drive the economy, and drive families from home to school to the soccer field. Cars also help spark another thing: imaginations.

Paul Ingrassia, who won a Pulitzer Prize at The Wall Street Journal for his reports from Detroit, has written a book about cars that may not include all the cherished classics or engineering marvels, but have earned a place in America's scrapbook.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:46 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Former Talk Show Host Dick Cavett Plays Not My Job

Carlos Rene Perez AP

Originally published on Sat May 5, 2012 9:48 am

Former TV talk show host Dick Cavett was born and raised in Nebraska, where he was encouraged to pursue the trade that had brought his family to the prairie years before: interviewing celebrities. The Emmy-winning television personality hosted a plethora of big names over the years, including Gore Vidal, Groucho Marx, Muhammid Ali and John Lennon.

We ask this legitimate name-dropper about three real people whose names are remarkably descriptive of who they are.

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Movie Reviews
5:04 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Keeping The Faith With A Less Than 'Perfect Family'

When Eileen Cleary (Kathleen Turner) is nominated for Catholic Woman of the Year — an honor that comes with a personal prayer of absolution from an archbishop — she feels she has to hide what she sees as flaws in her daughter (Emily Deschanel), son (Jason Ritter) and husband (Michael McGrady).
Variance Films

Guilt can be a powerful force. In The Perfect Family, it's also a self-perpetuating one. Director Anne Renton's film puts on display a woman so obsessed with her place in the afterlife that for a guarantee of absolution, she's willing to engage in morally questionable activities that are bound to cause her even greater guilt.

If that sounds like a cutting critique of organized religion and situational morality, not quite: Renton's approach is, to its benefit, fair and never strident. But it's also gentle and cautious, often to a fault.

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Performing Arts
4:14 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Composing 'The News,' With A Musical Twist

In one section of JacobTV's The News, a 2008 Obama campaign speech becomes a hip-hop-inflected aria.
Kristien Kerstens, Jan Boiten JacobTV

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 6:03 pm

JacobTV cried censorship.

It was the autumn of 2011, and the Dutch avant-pop composer — real name Jacob ter Veldhuis — had arrived in Rome to discover that the gallery Maxxi Museo had yanked from its exhibition space a "video concerto" he'd created.

The cause? It featured former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi denying charges of corruption, and the museum's curators were worried that was too provocative. They feared political repercussions.

"I felt betrayed," JacobTV says.

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Movie Interviews
2:04 pm
Fri May 4, 2012

Actor Bill Nighy On Career, 'Marigold Hotel'

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 4:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Fans of British drama will find pleasure in a film arriving on these shores today. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" follows a group of British retirees who move to India looking for a more affordable life.

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Movie Interviews
9:56 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Slumdog' Star Dev Patel Takes On Retirement Comedy

Dev Patel as "Sonny" on the set of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Ishika Mohan Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 7, 2012 9:56 am

A new film takes a humorous look at retirement with an all-star lineup of veteran British actors. Opening in select U.S. cities Friday, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel follows a group of British senior citizens who travel to Jaipur, India, hoping to spend their retirement years in an inexpensive but luxurious hotel. They quickly realize it's not quite the palace they saw in the brochure.

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Monkey See
9:48 am
Fri May 4, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: It's Our Summer Movie Preview! Bring On The Sunscreen!

Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in the upcoming film Dark Shadows.
Peter Mountain Warner Brothers Pictures
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

With The Avengers just opening in your local jillionplex, it seems like the right time to look ahead to summer movies and see what's on our radar, both good and bad. Dark Shadows, Safety Not Guaranteed, Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World ... well, you'll hear them all.

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Movie Reviews
9:23 am
Fri May 4, 2012

A Gershwin Biopic That Ain't Necessarily So True

George Gershwin's most famous works include Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and the opera Porgy and Bess.
Warner Archives

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 1:58 pm

The movie Rhapsody in Blue, a biography of George Gershwin, was released only eight years after his death from a brain tumor at the age of 38. It's a good subject: Gershwin wrote some of the best popular songs ever produced in this country, but he also had ambitions to be a serious classical composer and wrote symphonic music, concertos and an opera — all of which are still performed.

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Author Interviews
8:58 am
Fri May 4, 2012

The U.S. Ambassador Inside Hitler's Berlin

Adolf Hitler (right) with his foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop in 1941.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 9:23 am

This interview was originally broadcast on May 9, 2011. In The Garden Of Beasts is now available in paperback.

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NPR Story
8:02 am
Fri May 4, 2012

The Pursuit Of Happiness

Happiness is a universal desire that's often elusive.
Kudryashka Shutterstock

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 9:50 am

"The secret to happiness is realistic, modest expectations." — Barry Schwartz

Being happy is a universal human yearning, but this simple goal often eludes us. If we're truly able to attain happiness, then how do we find it? Three TED speakers offer some big ideas for achieving happiness.

TED Radio Hour
7:56 am
Fri May 4, 2012

What Does Spaghetti Have To Do With Happiness?

"In embracing the diversity of human beings, we will find a surer way to true happiness." — Malcolm Gladwell
Asa Mathat TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 8:03 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode "The Pursuit of Happiness." Watch Malcolm Gladwell's full TEDTalk, "Spaghetti Sauce," on TED.com.

About Malcolm Gladwell's TEDTalk

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Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Fri May 4, 2012

John Hodgman: How Much Does The Know-It-All Know?

Brantley Gutierrez Brantley Gutierrez

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:50 am

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Television
4:28 am
Fri May 4, 2012

'Sherlock' Leads Cumberbatch To Acclaimed Films

Benedict Cumberbatch (left) plays Sherlock Holmes alongside Martin Freeman's Dr. Watson in the BBC's Sherlock, which airs in the U.S. on PBS. He'll take on the role of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit, and play a villain in an upcoming Star Trek film.
PBS

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 3:18 pm

Information that could ruin the British monarchy locked in a smartphone. A crime scene surveyed through the video camera of a laptop. A blogging Dr. Watson.

This is the world Sherlock Holmes inhabits in the BBC series Sherlock, a modern spin on the classic tales by Arthur Conan Doyle that reached American audiences in the fall of 2010. That's also when a lot of us were introduced to Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who plays Sherlock — and the purveyor of many an intense stare and quick calculation in that role.

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Movie Reviews
3:38 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Seven Dancers, Chasing Big Dreams At The Barre

First Position profiles dancers at the Youth America Grand Prix, a prestigious ballet contest. Rebecca Houseknecht, 17, is a dancer with a lot of talent — and a painful awareness that her chances of signing with a top company are growing slim.
Bess Kargman IFC Films

Originally published on Thu May 3, 2012 3:54 pm

One of the most striking moments early in the documentary First Position comes when a talented ballet student, an 11-year-old boy named Aran, inserts his foot into a sort of clamp that holds it in a mercilessly pointed position.

"This is a foot stretcher," he says. "Hurts a lot."

It's curious that an entire genre of documentary has grown up around endearing kids being pushed hard to achieve in various fields — pushed so hard that the audience is left to wonder whether the pressure might be too much for them.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

For Americans' Water, It's 'Last Call At The Oasis'

In building its case for the need to address flaws in current water management practices, the documentary Last Call at the Oasis shows the negative effects of such systems on communities, including this dry lake in Australia.
Participant Media

Eco-aware filmgoers won't learn much from Last Call at the Oasis, which follows the paths of such well-known water activists as Erin Brockovich. But writer-director Jessica Yu's documentary may be slick enough to reach people who aren't already familiar with such substances as "new water," atrazine and hexavalent chromium.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

A 'Superhero' At The End Of His Powers

Facing terminal cancer, 15-year-old Donald (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) escapes into drawing comic-book art and imagining himself an invulnerable superhero.
Tribeca Film

There are no three words less likely to inspire a fun time at the movies than "kid with cancer." And yet here is Death of a Superhero, the second film in less than a year with that log line — and the second one that manages to turn the grimmest of grim subjects into something charming, raunchy and improbably uplifting.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

'Best Exotic Marigold Hotel': Retirement, Outsourced

Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy play British retirees in residence at the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. While advertisements promised a life of leisure in a newly refurbished facility, the Brits arrive to find the palace a shell of its former self.
Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 1:24 pm

Outsourcing gets a new twist in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a likable if market-driven ensemble comedy about a pack of cash-poor British elders who ship out for India, hoping for one last stab at self-renewal in a supposedly glam hotel.

The lonely seniors have two things in common: the usual big-screen bucket-list array of wishes for love, sex, closure and adventure — or at a minimum, retirement without total penury — and the fact that they're all played by the cream of today's British acting talent, albeit mostly operating below full steam.

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Monkey See
2:02 pm
Thu May 3, 2012

Implausibles, Assemble!: Other Hollywood Character Pile-Ups We'd Like To See

Rene Mansi iStockphoto.com

The Avengers is getting a lot of mileage out of uniting the stars of several different films for one big, knock-down-drag-out superfilm in which there are so many people floating in from hither and yon that you would be forgiven for expecting a cameo from Plastic Man. (There isn't one.)

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