The image comes from Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fans last year when he he tweeted photos from the International Space Station, along with his refreshingly wide-eyed excitement at being in orbit.
As part of a series called "My Big Break,"All Things Consideredis collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.
Before Ken Jeong was an actor, he was a doctor.
"Internal medicine was my specialty," he says. "General practice with an emphasis on adult medicine."
After a long day at the office, Jeong says he would take to the stage and perform comedy routines as a way to blow off some steam.
In the new play, Camp David, President Jimmy Carter muses, "Put an Arab and a Jew on a mountaintop in Maryland and ask them to make peace. What was I thinking?"
36 years ago, Carter did get Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin together for two weeks at the presidential retreat at Camp David, where they signed the Camp David accords; the two countries have not been to war since.
At age 86, Peter Matthiessen has written what he says "may be his last word" — a novel due out Tuesday about a visit to a Nazi extermination camp. It's called In Paradise, and it caps a career spanning six decades and 33 books.
Matthiessen is the only writer to ever win a National Book Award in both fiction — for his last book, Shadow Country, and adult nonfiction for his 1978 travel journal, The Snow Leopard.
Willie Perdomo's third collection of poems is sonically charged: he celebrates his Puerto Rican heritage and the music that came out of the Puerto Rican community in New York by narrating the imagined life of Shorty Bon Bon, the percussionist of a descarga (jamming) salsa band in the 1960s and '70s. The character is partly inspired by Perdomo's real-life uncle, who played percussion on two of Charlie Palmieri's '70s recordings.
Writing a biography of John Updike is a tricky thing: The acclaimed American writer of elegant essays and elegiac novels and short stories may have been a genius, but he was also disconcertingly normal. He liked to drink, but wasn't a drunk; he had two marriages, but wasn't a womanizer; he could be wistful, but rarely depressed. He was a straight, white, Christian man who liked golf.
We've invited comedian Amy Schumer to play a game called "Play ball!" It's the first week of baseball season, so we'll ask three questions about the House of David baseball team — one of the weirdest and most religious teams in the history of the game.
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Say the name Alan Partridge in Britain, and everyone knows who you're talking about: An airheaded, funny and entirely fictional broadcaster prone to saying things like, "You can keep Jesus — as far as I'm concerned, Neil Diamond will always be King of the Jews."
British comedian Steve Coogan has been playing Partridge on radio and TV for more than 20 years. Recently, the character made a successful leap to British movie theaters — and his new movie may make a successful leap across the Atlantic as well.
On this week's show, Matt Thompson sits in as we talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Were we overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? Merely whelmed? How hard can I get myself thinking about the shots out the window of the Triskelion? (The answer to that last one is: entirely too hard, I know.) For more about the windows, the postcard views and more, don't miss my review from earlier this week.
Movie lovers probably already know Anthony Mackie from supporting but meaty roles in the Oscar-winning films 8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. But now he heads to the Marvel Universe in the new action film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mackie plays the Falcon, also known as Sam Wilson, a former military paratrooper skilled in air combat. He teams up with Captain America to face the legendary assassin known as the Winter Soldier.
David Letterman, the longest-serving late night television host, is retiring.
(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, 'LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN')
DAVID LETTERMAN: Sometime in the not-so-distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.
SIEGEL: Letterman, who is 66, told the audience today during a taping of his late show program which will air tonight. Here to talk about David Letterman is NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. And Eric, why has Letterman decided to retire now?
Why do love and war go so well together in novels? It isn't only because they're both naturally dramatic themes. Sometimes, in fact, each is so big and overwhelming that they can seem beyond the grasp of words. And so a writer who tries to show the struggle of two people with deep feelings for each other, "set against a backdrop of violence" (as a novel's flap copy might read), can just seem like he's overreaching. But Dinaw Mengestu uses love and war to powerfully explore a third, equally dramatic theme: identity.
It might have seemed like an unsurprising thing to do when Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took three entire days off to tend to his newborn child, but if you listen to sports commentary, you know that it was not without controversy.
We may think of baseball as America's national pastime, but in the 1870s and 1880s there was another sports craze sweeping the nation: competitive walking. "Watching people walk was America's favorite spectator sport," Matthew Algeo says in his new book, Pedestrianism.
This is FRESH AIR. This Sunday HBO presents the season premiers of two returning series - "Game of Thrones" and "VEEP" - and launches a new series, a Mike Judge comedy called "Silicon Valley." Our TV critic David Bianculli has seen them all.
Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that if you have bloodstains on your clothes, you probably have bigger problems than your laundry. But Jolie Kerr is here to help with all the stains — her new book is titled My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha.
Kerr is known for giving cleaning advice for unconventional and embarrassing housecleaning and laundry problems — without the judgment of the typical holier-than-thou housekeeping advice columnist.