Arts/Life

Author Interviews
8:02 am
Sun April 29, 2012

Single-Handedly Pitching Through An 'Imperfect' Life

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:31 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In the history of Major League Baseball, one of the most emotional moments came in the summer of 1993. The week didn't begin well for New York Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott. He was pitching terribly against the Cleveland Indians. His manager took him out, so...

JIM ABBOTT: I ripped off my Yankee jersey, put on my running shorts and shirt and shoes. And I left the stadium. I just went for a long kind of get-it-out run, as far and as fast as I could, to kind of get rid of some of the anger and disappointment of that start.

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Games & Humor
5:46 am
Sun April 29, 2012

Blasts From The Past: The Art Of Video Games

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, 2006, Shigeru Miyamoto, Executive Producer; Eiji Aonuma, Director; Satoru Takizawa, Art Director; Eiji Aonuma, Satoru Iwata, Producers, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo of America, Inc.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

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

Hopper, Hockney, Lichtenstein. Among these great artists featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., you'll now find Lara Croft and Earthworm Jim.

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Monkey See
5:38 am
Sun April 29, 2012

Chris Colfer Goes From 'Glee' Singer To 'Struck' Screenwriter

Chris Colfer, writer and star of Struck By Lightning, at the Tribeca Film Festival, where the film is playing.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 9:39 am

Chris Colfer, one of the stars of the hit TV show Glee, is known for his portrayal of Kurt, a confident and openly gay high school student (who also possesses pipes like a diva). In the new film Struck By Lightning, which Colfer wrote, he plays a very different character: Carson Phillips, an ambitious high school student who starts a literary magazine in order to get into Northwestern University. The character is arrogant and not exactly well-liked, so how does he collect submissions? By blackmailing the popular kids, of course.

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Author Interviews
4:32 am
Sun April 29, 2012

'Hot Dog' Meets 'Bun': Famous Food Discoveries

iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Mon April 30, 2012 10:31 am

If you're watching a sports game at home, at a bar or at an arena, what better way to enjoy it than with some nachos, pretzels or hot dogs?

As a former baseball player, Josh Chetwynd knows a thing or two about stadium grub. His new book, How the Hot Dog Found Its Bun: Accidental Discoveries and Unexpected Inspirations That Shape What We Eat and Drink, features 75 short essays that trace the history of popular food and dispel common misconceptions.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

To Cross This Puzzle Safely, Look Left And Right

NPR Graphic

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

On-Air Challenge: Every answer today is a familiar three-word phrase in which the second word is "and" and the first word starts with the letter L. You'll be given the last word of the phrase, and you must identify the first word, starting with "L." For example, given "master," the answer would be "lord," as in "lord and master."

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Monkey See
7:56 am
Sat April 28, 2012

My '70s Show — Remembering 'Ecotopia' Author Ernest Callenbach

Sustainability advocate and author Ernest Callenbach in 2005.
Courtesy Heyday Books

There was news this week that Ernest "Chick" Callenbach had died. His 1975 cult-classic, Ecotopia, was beloved by environmentalists and science fiction fans. Originally self-published, it went on to sell more than a million copies in many languages. The utopian novel, which imagined a new nation made up of Northern California, Oregon and Washington state, is told from the point of view of a visiting reporter from the United States.

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Movies
4:13 am
Sat April 28, 2012

A Creative Collaboration With A 'Darling Companion'

Beth (Diane Keaton) and her daughter (Elisabeth Moss) rescue an injured dog from the side of the highway. Beth's husband (Kevin Kline) later loses the beloved pet, an event co-writer Meg Kasdan says is inspired by a real-life incident.
Wilson Webb Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Lawrence Kasdan became famous for writing the blockbusters The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, but he went on to a successful directing career with high-profile films like Body Heat, The Big Chill and Grand Canyon.

His latest film, and his first in nine years, is Darling Companion, which Kasdan wrote with his wife, Meg. The film was her idea.

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Author Interviews
4:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

'The Art Of The Sale': Life's A Pitch

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Salesmen are rarely heroic figures in American culture. They're often shown as slick, unscrupulous charlatans like Ricky Roma in David Mamet's play Glengarry Glen Ross. And then there are sad, defeated characters like Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman, who shortly before taking his life says, "After all the highways, and the trains, and the appointments, and the years, you end up worth more dead than alive."

Yet sales drive the economy. The cleverest invention or product will disappear — creating no income, no employment — unless someone can sell it.

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Movie Interviews
4:04 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Michelle Yeoh: Portraying An Icon In 'The Lady'

Michelle Yeoh plays pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi in The Lady. Yeoh says it was important that the film portrayed Suu Kyi's struggles realistically, including how her 15-year house arrest kept her from her husband and sons.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters at a recent film premiere that she'd told Aung San Suu Kyi that she was moving from being an icon to being a politician.

The film Clinton saw is The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as the pro-democracy activist who spent 15 years under house arrest in Myanmar (also known as Burma), and who won the Nobel Peace Prize before being freed in 2010.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:55 am
Sat April 28, 2012

Director Barry Sonnenfeld Plays Not My Job

Alexandre Meneghini AP

Originally published on Fri May 4, 2012 11:26 pm

Barry Sonnenfeld either directed or shot some of the best movies of the '80s and '90s. He was the cinematographer on the Coen Brother's first movies and directed the Men in Black movies and Get Shorty, among other works of dark genius. His movie Men in Black III is coming out in May.

He plays a game called "Men in White," where he will answer three questions about people who play cricket.

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Monkey See
11:59 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Garry Marshall On His 'Happy Days'

Director Garry Marshall and sister, actress-director Penny Marshall, seen here in 2004 when she received her star on the Walk Of Fame.
Vince Bucci Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 28, 2012 10:22 am

Director Garry Marshall has worked on so much popular comedy in his career — television like Happy Days and The Odd Couple, movies like Pretty Woman and Beaches — that something he's done has probably made you laugh. And now he's written a memoir called, fittingly, My Happy Days In Hollywood: A Memoir.

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Author Interviews
4:26 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

Paul Krugman's Prescription For A 'Depression'

Paul Krugman is a columnist for The New York Times. His previous books include The Great Unraveling and The Conscience Of A Liberal.
Fred R. Conrad The New York Times

In his new book, End This Depression Now! Paul Krugman states that the U.S. is in the throes of a depression — not merely an economic crisis. The New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate argues that Keynesian economics got us out of a much worse depression in the 1930s, so if we were to follow Keynesian prescriptions now, we could get out of this one too.

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Poetry
3:32 pm
Fri April 27, 2012

NewsPoet: Monica Youn Writes The Day In Verse

Monica Youn visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Friday.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 9:20 am

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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Pop Culture
9:59 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Shakira Shuts Out J-Lo At Latin Billboard

The hottest stars of Latin music strutted down the red carpet last night in South Florida, for the annual Billboard Latin Music Awards. Host Michel Martin checks in with NPR Music's Alt.Latino co-host Jasmine Garsd to take a look at the winners, the losers, and the surprising snubs.

Arts & Life
9:59 am
Fri April 27, 2012

School Teacher Tweets On Cycle Of Life

As part of Tell Me More's series for National Poetry Month, host Michel Martin shares a poetic tweet from Jessica Mogis of Omaha, Nebraska. She's a Montessori school teacher and a recording studio manager. Listeners are invited to tweet original poems of 140 characters or less to #TMMPoetry.

Monkey See
9:20 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Veep' Talk And Spoilery 'Cabin In The Woods' Chatter

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week on Pop Culture Happy Hour, the old gang is back together to tackle a new comedy, just like the guest panel did last week: Last week, it was Girls; this week, it's the less fussed over Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus. We'll talk about how we responded to her performance, the writing (from the guys behind the great In The Loop), and the depiction of politics.

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Movie Reviews
9:20 am
Fri April 27, 2012

'Bernie': Death Becomes Her, He Decided

Bernie Tiede (Jack Black), a sweet undertaker's assistant beloved by his small East Texas community, befriends a prickly and controlling widow (Shirley MacLaine). Her generosity comes with so many strings that he soon finds his almost inexhaustible kindness stretched to the limit.
Deana Newcomb Millennium Entertainment

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:07 pm

If there is a dream team in modern American comedies, it might just be Richard Linklater and Jack Black. The two haven't worked together since 2003's The School of Rock — a film that bore all the hallmarks of successful collaboration — and since then Black, aside from a passable turn in King Kong, has been confined mainly to guest spots on television comedies and voice work in big-screen animation.

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TED Radio Hour
7:54 am
Fri April 27, 2012

What Makes Us Happy?

"Most animals learn by trial and error. There's just one problem: error." — Dan Gilbert
Asa Mathat TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 7:59 am

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Our Buggy Brain

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TED Radio Hour
7:54 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Why Do We Cheat?

"The amount of people who are willing to cheat a little bit is just incredible." — Dan Ariely
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri May 25, 2012 7:58 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Our Buggy Brain

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Movie Reviews
6:53 am
Fri April 27, 2012

An 'Engagement' Going Nowhere, But Endearingly So

When Violet (Emily Blunt) is accepted to a postdoctoral program at the University of Michigan, she and her fiance, Tom (Jason Segel), postpone their wedding plans — along with Tom's career as a chef — and move from San Francisco to Ann Arbor.
Universal Pictures

We start where most movies end: A happy city-slicker couple pledge to spend the rest of their lives together, as a famous American landmark twinkles behind them.

From then on, Nicholas Stoller's weird, endearingly messy The Five-Year Engagement embarks on an uncharted circular voyage. Its two wistful, determined leads — Emily Blunt as grad student Violet and Jason Segel as sous-chef Tom — are caught in a Sisyphean premarital loop.

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Author Interviews
6:42 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Tracing The Divides In The War 'To End All Wars'

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 12:51 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on August 11, 2011. To End All Wars is now available in paperback.

The human cost of World War I was enormous. More than 9 million soldiers and an estimated 12 million civilians died in the four-year-long conflict, which also left 21 million military men wounded.

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Theater
12:41 am
Fri April 27, 2012

Managing The Gershwins' Lucrative Musical Legacy

In Nice Work If You Can Get It, Matthew Broderick plays Jimmy Winter, a New York playboy of the Prohibition era. The show is at the Imperial Theatre.
Joan Marcus Boneau/Bryan-Brown

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 5:24 am

In the 1920s, it wasn't uncommon for the Gershwin Brothers — composer George and lyricist Ira — to have two shows running on Broadway at the same time. What's surprising is that this season, 75 years after George's death, it's happening again, with Porgy and Bess and Nice Work If You Can Get It.

It's no coincidence: Both shows were generated by the Gershwin estates, the nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews charged with looking after a legacy that's not only highly loved, but immensely lucrative — a multimillion-dollar-a-year responsibility.

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You Must Read This
3:14 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

Something Wicked: A Haunting Must Read

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.
Matthew Rudenberg

Originally published on Thu April 26, 2012 4:27 pm

Seth Grahame-Smith is the author of Unholy Night.

I know it's strange to be thinking about October right now, but whenever I write, in a way that's always where I am. Growing up in Connecticut, it always held a special place in my heart — "a rare month for boys," as Ray Bradbury begins Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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Movie Reviews
3:08 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Headhunters': The Caper Flick, Raised To A Fine Art

Corporate headhunter Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) has a lucrative if less-than-legal sideline in fine art — until he crosses the wrong man.
Magnet Releasing

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 4:05 pm

At the beginning of the Norwegian thriller Headhunters, Roger Brown (Aksel Hennie) will likely strike you as just about the cockiest insecure guy you've ever met.

Smirking as he pads around his pristine, glass-walled home in boxer shorts, he swirls a heart into the foam on the coffee he's taking to his gorgeous, blond and naked wife (former model Synnove Macody Lund) in their enormous open shower. Then as she moves from the streaming water to kiss him, he has to lean up, because she's half a head taller than he is.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Elles': In Paris, Ladies Living Dangereusely

Anne (Juliette Binoche), a Parisian journalist writing for the women's magazine Elle, interviews two university students moonlighting as prostitutes. She develops a sisterlike rapport with Charlotte (Anais Demoustier), a young woman from the Paris suburbs.
Kino Lorber

In Elles, a Paris journalist has an eye-opening experience when she interviews two university students who moonlight as prostitutes. So do the movie's viewers, presented with beaucoup de nudite. No genitalia are on display, but there are a few kinky moments that justify the NC-17 rating.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Pirates': Avast Ye, Bumbling Buccaneers!

The loopy looters of Pirates! Band of Misifts don't have names so much as very descriptive titles: (from left) Pirate Who Plays the Accordian, Pirate with Gout (Brendan Gleeson), Pirate with a Scarf (Martin Freeman), Albino Pirate with Polly, the Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant), Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate (Ashley Jensen), Pirate Who Likes Sunsets and Kittens, and Pirate with Prosthetics.
Aardman Animations Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:37 am

In 1837, a young, ambitious Charles Darwin was writing in his journal aboard the HMS Beagle when the vessel was waylaid by pirates. But what caught his attention was the feathery mascot accompanying the posse of pillagers: a dodo bird, thought at the time to be extinct for more than 150 years. In this rare specimen, Darwin envisioned the pathway to scientific fame for himself — and the pirate captain saw the opportunity for vast riches.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

A 'Five-Year Engagement' Leaves A Bitter Taste

Tom (Jason Segel) and Violet (Emily Blunt) celebrate their impending nuptials with their families before Violet drops a bomb: She's been accepted at a program at the University of Michigan, and wants to move there and postpone their wedding day.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 7:38 am

There are many dramas and comedies in which career trajectories take couples to different corners of the country, complicating or ending romantic relationships. There will be many more, at least until someone invents a teleportation machine. What's different about each work is how the problem gets interpreted.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu April 26, 2012

'Inventing' A Way Of Life, And A Nation With It

This 1948 photo shows children from Hulda, a collective community, or kibbutz, located in central Israel.
First Run Features

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 8:05 am

In 1945, shortly after my father was demobilized from the British army, my parents packed their bags and went to help found a kibbutz near Galilee, in the north of what was then Palestine. Along with a crew of other young Jewish socialists and refugees from European anti-Semitism, these two city dwellers set to work draining swamps and replacing them with fish ponds and fruit orchards, building collectives out of spartan shacks and collective dining halls, and raising their children in communal nurseries.

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The Salt
11:26 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Your 'Food Porn' Verdict? Keep The Photos Coming

NPR's Keith Jenkins has been known to document an especially tasty meal, like this pho tai from Pho DC.
Keith Jenkins NPR

Originally published on Fri April 27, 2012 6:25 am

Snarky comedians who mock people who share food photos on Facebook and Twitter (see this video) may be good for a chuckle, but they don't have the will of the people behind them.

That's what we've learned from our online survey this week, which asked: "Are your friends bombarding you with 'food porn'?"

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Movie Reviews
10:56 am
Thu April 26, 2012

Demanding 'Payback' That May Never Come

A migrant Florida tomato grower and member of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers drinks from a jug of water. As part of a larger discussion of societal thinking about debt, Payback looks at the sometimes harsh treatment by companies of migrant workers.
Zeitgeist Films

"Crime doesn't pay" is one of the hopeful cliches Margaret Atwood invokes in her essay collection Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.

Of course it does, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal shows in Payback, a documentary that riffs on Atwood's themes. But crime doesn't always pay, and perhaps it will pay less well in the future. At least that's the suggestion made by the on-screen commentators who expand on Atwood's original theme.

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