Arts

Television
1:06 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Prepare For 'The Simpsons' Marathon With Interviews From The 'Fresh Air' Archives

Starting Thursday, FXX will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

If you've ever been a fan of The Simpsons, here's your chance to see all 552 episodes of the show in the longest single-series marathon in TV history. They'll be shown back to back, in sequential order over 12 days and nights on the FXX cable network beginning Thursday.

Read more
Extras: TED Radio Hour
9:54 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Playlist: Poolside Listens

Cool off by the pool with this playlist.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Dive into your deepest emotions as you relax by the pool. In this playlist, TED speakers explore why we like what we like, why we love being in love, and how we know we're happy.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Shots - Health News
7:23 am
Wed August 20, 2014

What Kids' Drawings Say About Their Future Thinking Skills

Researchers asked 4-year-olds to draw a child. Here's a sample of their artwork.
Twins Early Development Study/King's College in London

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:00 pm

At age 4, many young children are just beginning to explore their artistic style.

The kid I used to babysit in high school preferred self-portraits, undoubtedly inspired by the later works of Joan Miro. My cousin, a prolific young artist, worked almost exclusively on still lifes of 18-wheelers.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:52 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Book News: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Memoir To Be Published

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 12:12 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 20, 2014

The Depths Of Memory And Pain In 'Ancient Oceans'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 10:52 am

Even for those of us who despise the heat and are well past school age, it's always kind of sad when summer vacation comes to a close. It feels like the end of an era, every year — goodbye to the swimming pools and water parks, the long days, the late evenings with friends. Those "back to school" sales are a kind of low-grade torment, even for those of us who kind of liked school.

Read more
Sweetness And Light
1:33 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark

Between innings, racing sausages entertain Milwaukee Brewers fans.
Christian Petersen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 9:52 am

Let's boldly confront the greatest mystery in all of sport: Why do hot dogs always taste better at the ballpark?

Baseball food has, of course, taken on a much greater variety since 1908, when "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" only celebrated peanuts and crackerjack. But it is another enduring mystery of sport why fans eat during a baseball game, while the preferred mode of cuisine for football is before the game, out in the parking lot — tailgating.

Read more
This Week's Must Read
3:22 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:55 pm

It is early August. A black man is shot by a white policeman. And the effect on the community is of "a lit match in a tin of gasoline."

No, this is not Ferguson, Mo. This was Harlem in August 1943, a period that James Baldwin writes about in the essay that gives its title to his seminal collection, Notes of a Native Son.

The story begins with the death of Baldwin's father, a proud, severe preacher who viewed all white people with suspicion, even the kindly schoolteacher who encouraged his son's writings.

Read more
Code Switch
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While 'Other'

The Dey House, a 140-year-old mansion, is home to the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop, one of the oldest MFA writing programs in the country. Director Lan Samantha Chang — who attended the workshop as a student — has made it a priority to attract students and faculty from diverse backgrounds to the program.
Linda Kahlbaugh AP

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 6:46 pm

For many writers, a contract with one of the major publishing houses is the Holy Grail — and getting accepted to a prestigious Master of Fine Arts program may bring aspiring writers one step closer. But these elite writing programs have a history steeped in whiteness, and writers of color don't always feel welcome.

Read more
Remembrances
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Simin Behbahani, 'Lioness Of Iran,' Dies At 87

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
2:19 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

A Frustrated Professor Sounds Off To 'Committee Members'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:38 pm

There's a strange form of communication we're all familiar with, for better or for worse. It's all about us, but we rarely get to read it.

It's the letter of recommendation.

A new novel by Julie Schumacher is filled with these letters, and nothing but. It's appropriately called Dear Committee Members.

All the letters come from the desk of our curmudgeonly narrator, creative writing professor Jason T. Fitger — who's got no problem telling it like it is when it comes to his students' qualifications, or their job prospects in the current economy.

Read more
Shots - Health News
1:03 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 5:47 pm

As a young doctor working at a teaching hospital, Sandeep Jauhar was having trouble making ends meet. So, like other academic physicians, he took a job moonlighting at a private practice, the offices of a cardiologist. He noticed that the offices were quick to order expensive tests for their patients — even when they seemed unnecessary.

It was "made very clear from the beginning" that seeing patients alone was not financially rewarding for the business, he says.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:48 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Poet Known As The 'Lioness Of Iran' Dies At 87

Simin Behbahani during an August 2007 news conference in Tehran.
Behrouz Mehri AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 2:19 pm

NPR senior producer Davar Ardalan spoke with Simin Behbahani in June 2009 and has this remembrance:

One of Iran's most vocal and outspoken poets died this morning in Tehran at the age of 87. Known as the "Lioness of Iran," Simin Behbahani reportedly had been in a coma for more than two weeks.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:11 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling Profiles 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbeck

J.K. Rowling writes that Celestina Warbeck "is one of my favourite 'off-stage' characters in the whole [Harry Potter] series."
Ben Pruchnie Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue August 19, 2014

You Would Think 'Adultery' Would Be A Little More Tantalizing

You've heard this story before. You may even have experienced it, or thought about it: A woman who apparently has it all — loving, financially successful spouse, posh home, wonderful, healthy kids, great job — still feels something is missing from her life. Could it be passion? Adventure? Risk? She throws herself at an old high school boyfriend. What's love got to do with it? Dismayingly little.

Read more
All Tech Considered
3:33 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Did You Hear The One About The Stand-Up Comedian And The Podcast?

Comedian Al Madrigal co-founded All Things Comedy, a hybrid network and cooperative of more than 50 podcasts.
Mandee Johnson

Much has been written about the success of Marc Maron's WTF podcast. What you may not know is that his story isn't an aberration. In the past five years stand-up comedy has seen a global revival thanks to the Internet, and in particular, thanks to podcasts.

Read more
Movies
1:37 am
Tue August 19, 2014

A Native American Story That Leaves 'Feathers Or Leather' Cliches Behind

Chaske Spencer plays Virgil First Raise in the film adaptation of James Welch's Winter in the Blood.
KBD Photography Ranchwater Films

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 1:55 pm

The new film Winter in the Blood is based on a landmark of literature from the American West: a novel, published to critical acclaim in 1974, about a 30-something American Indian man living in Montana. It was written by Native American author James Welch, and adapted for the screen, for the first time, by two non-Native Americans — twins Alex and Andrew Smith.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Haruki Murakami Paints A 'Colorless' Character In A Vividly Imagined World

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:28 pm

It's hard to think of another writer who is as popular, as strange, and as lionized as Haruki Murakami is. Usually writers get to be one of those, but not all of them. Yet over the course of his formidable international career, Murakami has written novels that have been ambiguous to one degree or another, which hasn't stopped readers from lining up at midnight when his books go on sale.

Read more
The Salt
1:40 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 3:04 pm

It can be nice to relax with a glass of wine, a beer or a shot of whiskey. But one drink too many, and you may be paying the price.

To understand why drinking can make us feel so good and so bad, you have to know a little about science, says journalist Adam Rogers, author of Proof: The Science of Booze.

As Rogers notes, researchers have only just begun to explore the mystery of the hangover and share a common language around it.

Read more
The Salt
1:04 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Roman-Style Burger

It may look like a stack of sandwiches. It is.
NPR

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 2:13 pm

During World War II, bun rationing meant that burger joints had to find replacements to hold their ground beef patties.

One of the more creative solutions — using grilled cheese sandwiches — lives on at M Burger in Chicago. It's called the Roman-Style Burger, and it's a secret menu item.

Peter: Why it is called Roman style? Is it because like Gaul, it is divided into three parts?

Miles: We came, we saw, we were conquered.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:48 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 1:40 pm

When author Stephan Eirik Clark read Fast Food Nation in 2001, he didn't know it would inspire him to write a fictional account of the food industry.

"Flavorings were like gravity or electricity — something that was all around me but that I had never paid any attention to," Clark tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And as soon as I read that book and its chapter on food product design, I started to ask myself, 'How important are these to the foods?' I started to question if I was really eating food or just the idea of food."

Read more
Television
9:12 am
Mon August 18, 2014

4 More Things NBC Must Do To Save 'Meet The Press'

Chuck Todd (left) and David Gregory appear together on NBC's Meet the Press in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images for Meet the Press

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 4:45 pm

In keeping with its recent tradition of drawn-out, publicly humiliating anchor switches, NBC has finally admitted it is replacing Meet the Press host David Gregory with the network's political director, Chuck Todd, on Sept. 7.

The switch had been rumored for months, as it became increasingly obvious that the Gregory-led Meet the Press was sinking in the ratings and failing to set the news agenda in ways it did when the late Tim Russert was at the helm. Gregory took over the show in 2008 after Russert's sudden death.

Read more
Extras: TED Radio Hour
8:59 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Playlist: You Can Do It!

These stories will inspire you to achieve your goals.
iStock

We made playlists of TED Radio Hour stories that will keep you curious about big ideas throughout the summer.

Need a little encouragement this summer? This playlist may inspire you to overcome your own obstacles with stories about conquering fears, getting past cultural boundaries and more.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
8:31 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Broken Teeth And Fake-umentaries: Another Shark Week Gone By

A great white shark — one of many you'll see on Discovery's Shark Week.
Chris Fallows Discovery Channel

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 1:52 pm

A great white attacks a submersible "SharkCam" deployed by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, shattering its teeth on the metal biteproof cylinder. Off Baja California, the crew of a research boat feeds a single great white 400 pounds of tuna in a boyish science test to see how much one shark can eat.

Read more
NPR Story
3:25 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Thoughts Of Fall Butt Into Lazy Day Of Summer

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:11 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Television
3:03 pm
Sun August 17, 2014

On 'Wizard Wars,' Contestants Must Make Magic From The Mundane

Syfy's Wizard Wars is a reality series featuring a new team of magicians each week, who are challenged to transform random props into magical illusions.
Dale Berman/Syfy Syfy

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 7:42 am

Reality TV seems to have a competition for everything these days: singing, dancing, cupcake-baking — and now magic.

This week, SyFy launches Wizard Wars, where magicians do their best to wow a panel of judges. Angela Funovits, a mentalist, is one of the expert magicians — or "wizards" — that contestants must take on during the second round of the game.

Read more
Author Interviews
10:26 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Medical Examiner: 'Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense'

iStock

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 8:03 am

Judy Melinek trained as a surgeon, and she originally focused on saving the lives of the sick. But after one too many 36-hour shifts, she collapsed from exhaustion. Disillusioned with the surgeon's 24-hour lifestyle, Melinek decided to shift careers: Instead of preserving lives, she started investigating deaths.

Read more
Arts & Life
8:56 am
Sun August 17, 2014

At Life's Last Threshold, Choir Brings Comfort

Tammy Heinsohn (left) and Carolyn Wilson sing in the meditation room of Alive Hospice in Nashville. They're part of the Threshold Choir, which sings to the dying.
Emily Siner Nashville Public Radio

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 9:39 am

The Threshold Choir brings music to those on the threshold of life — people who are dying. The first group started about a decade and a half ago. Now there are choirs in 120 cities, and even a few countries.

One of the newer chapters is in Nashville. On a recent day, Tammy Heinsohn and two other choir members were going room to room at a hospice there, introducing themselves and offering to sing some lullabies.

They waited at one doorway until 86-year-old Avis Moni told them to come in, then walked to her bedside and began singing.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Chemical Dump Poisons A Texas Town In 'Friendswood'

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 9:39 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Read more
Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Race Change Surgery Is Reality In 'Your Face In Mine'

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 9:39 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun August 17, 2014

A Tumultuous Journey Along This 'Narrow Road'

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 9:59 am

Tasmanian-born novelist Richard Flanagan named his latest book after a spiritually intense travel journal by the 17th century Japanese poet Basho, but this extraordinary new novel presents us with a story much more tumultuous than the great haiku writer's account of his wanderings. Flanagan has written a sort of Australian War and Peace, centered on the extraordinary Dorrigo Evans (also Tasmanian-born), a heroic yet philandering doctor.

Read more

Pages