Arts

Author Interviews
3:20 pm
Sat January 24, 2015

Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was a Republican presidential hopeful in the 2008 election. He writes that he wants his book God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy to introduce Americans to life in "flyover country."
Justin Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 8:41 pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is currently considering jumping into the race for the Republican presidential nomination. But if you're looking for a clear sign of his intentions, you won't find it in his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:08 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Not My Job: We Quiz Funk Legend George Clinton On The British Parliament

Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 11:42 pm

George Clinton, the founding father of funk, is the creator of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic. We'll ask him three questions about another kind of parliament — namely, the British Parliament.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

PETER SAGAL, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:42 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:15 am

In the State of the Union this week, President Obama noted that crime in America is down. "For the first time in 40 years," he said, "the crime rate and the incarceration rate have come down together."

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Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

Esther Freud is the author of Hideous Kinky, The Sea House, and other novels.
Courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 9:49 am

Thomas Maggs is a lonely little boy. When Esther Freud's new novel Mr. Mac And Me opens, he is 13 years old. His brothers have died, his father, who runs a bar, drinks too much of his own stock and beats his son. Thomas dreams of sailing away – and then World War I descends on his small English sea coast town. Tours stop coming, blackout curtains go up, village boys enlist and go off to war.

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Code Switch
5:56 am
Sat January 24, 2015

A Japanese Singing Competition Blooms In Colorado

Two performers rehearse a traditional Japanese dance for Denver's 2015 Kohaku Uta Gassen.
Chloe Veltman KCFR

Originally published on Sat January 24, 2015 10:00 am

At a Buddhist temple in downtown Denver, Junko Higdon is rehearsing a traditional song for one of the local Japanese community's biggest annual events.

Higdon is one of 30 amateur singers competing in two teams at this year's Kohaku Uta Gassen, which means, "red and white singing battle."

"White is for the men, red is for the women and whoever gets the most points out the teams wins the trophy," she says.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat January 24, 2015

Do You Have To Read 'Frog'? No, But You Might Want To

Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature in 2012.
Yin Li

Originally published on Mon January 26, 2015 9:35 am

There are books you read because you want to read them and there are books you read because you have to read them. The former category can include anything that tickles your particular fancies — teenage wizards, goopy aliens, hunky Scotsmen, shark attack survivors, the history of Vladislav's Wallachia, whatever Malcolms your Cowley.

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Movies
3:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Sundance A Lab For Changing Models In Film, TV

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:00 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movies
3:06 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

'American Sniper' Exposes Unresolved Issues About The Iraq War

Bradley Cooper stars in American Sniper, based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle.
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:00 am

The movie American Sniper is a surprise box-office hit, but it has also become a lightning rod. Some critics say the film, based on the life of the late Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, glorifies war. Others say it doesn't accurately portray the real Kyle. Still others say the movie — and the reactions to it — are an example of the deep disconnect between civilians and the military.

The vitriol has been ugly, the story complicated. There is no one truth. But when it comes to war, the most credible sources are often people who've experienced it firsthand.

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Author Interviews
2:36 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Frank Sinatra captured by photographer William "PoPsie" Randolph during a 1943 concert. Author Ben Yagoda points to Sinatra as one of the interpreters who helped revive the Great American Songbook.
William "PoPsie" Randolph Courtesy of Riverhead

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 7:00 am

Writer Ben Yagoda has set out to explain a shift in American popular culture, one that happened in the early 1950s. Before then, songwriters like Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin and Jerome Kern wrote popular songs that achieved a notable artistry, both in lyrics and music.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

5 Surprises From President Obama's YouTube Interviews

President Obama poses for a selfie after being interviewed by YouTube stars GloZell Green (left), Hank Green and Bethany Mota.
YouTube

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 4:06 pm

The White House has been hitting it especially hard on social media these days — it rolled out several previews ahead of President Obama's State of the Union address and an enhanced "river of content" during the speech as well.

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Monkey See
7:32 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Broad City' And Required Reading

NPR

On this week's Pop Culture Happy Hour, we're joined from Boston by PCHH's official enthusiastic librarian, Margaret Willison. We begin with a conversation about Broad City, the Comedy Central show that recently kicked off its second season (you can see the event Stephen talks about right here). We talk about some of the show's influences, some of what makes it special, and some of the ways it pushes against the boundaries of typical television.

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TED Radio Hour
7:31 am
Fri January 23, 2015

What's Your Coming Out Story?

Ash Beckham speaking at TEDxBoulder about how we all have our own closets.
Courtesy of Kit Chalberg TEDxBoulder

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 10:35 am

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Keeping Secrets

About Ash Beckham's TED Talk

Equality advocate Ash Beckham offers a fresh story about empathy and openness — and it involves pancakes.

About Ash Beckham

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TED Radio Hour
7:31 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Why Would You Share A Secret With A Stranger?

Since November 2004, PostSecret founder Frank Warren has received more than 500,000 postcards with secrets written on them.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 10:34 am

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Keeping Secrets

About Frank Warren's TED Talk

"Secrets ... can be shocking, or silly, or soulful," says Frank Warren, the founder of PostSecret. He shares a few of the half-million secrets that strangers have sent him on postcards.

About Frank Warren

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Monkey See
3:39 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Some Glittery Favorites From The Miss Universe National Costume Show

Chanel Beckenlehner, Miss Canada 2014. This is the one that's been getting all the press. Drink it in, people. The scoreboard is attached.
Patrick Prather Miss Universe Organization

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 7:40 pm

One of my favorite bonkers displays of the year is the National Costume Show at the Miss Universe pageant. I don't watch the pageant, I don't care who wins, I don't think any of the countries are funny, I don't think any of the cultural references in the outfits are funny, but the costumes are hysterical, and this is basically the joyful, glittering, headpiece-wearing Olympics Of Gaudy Excess, and I could not be more on board. The captions have all the info you could ever need and then some.

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Movie Interviews
3:13 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

'Red Army' Explores How The Cold War Played Out On Ice

The documentary Red Army profiles Viacheslav "Slava" Fetisov — one of the most decorated athletes in Soviet history.
Slava Fetisov Slava Fetisov/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri January 23, 2015 8:14 am

When the U.S. Olympic hockey team upset the Soviet Union in 1980's "Miracle on Ice," President Jimmy Carter called coach Herb Brooks to congratulate him on the win.

"Tell the whole team that we're extremely proud of them," Carter said. "I think it just proves that our way of life is the proper way to continue on."

The other way of life, the Soviet way — which produced some of the best hockey players in the world — only went on for another decade or so.

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Found Recipes
2:24 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Hostess Isn't The Mostest: Make Your Own Sno Balls At Home

Jennifer Steinhauer's version of the Sno Ball moves the marshmallow inside and skips the pink food coloring.
James Ransom Courtesy of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House LLC

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 4:28 pm

When Hostess Brands announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012, there was a lot of anguish on the Internet about the death of Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Donettes and the like.

And it got Jennifer Steinhauer, a New York Times reporter and food writer, wondering why anyone would even want a Twinkie in adulthood?

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Sports
11:20 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Broadcaster Al Michaels Gets Ready To Provide 'Lyrics' For The Super Bowl

Al Michaels will announce the Super Bowl game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots on Feb. 1.
Doug Pensinger Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 1:28 pm

When the Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots meet in the 2015 Super Bowl on Feb. 1, the broadcast booth will be anchored by a man who has done the play-by-play for eight previous Super Bowls. Al Michaels, the announcer for NBC's Sunday Night Football, knows how to put emotion into his broadcasts.

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Delicious Short Stories, Ripe On The Vine In 'Honeydew'

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 12:06 pm

Prize-winning short story writer Edith Pearlman has just come out with a new collection of short fiction, called Honeydew. And the first thing I wanted to do after finishing my initial reading of these 20 stories was, well, I wanted to go right back again and start from the beginning.

But instead, I've put my own rereading on pause so I can tug at your sleeve about this marvelous talent who moves among us. Here is one of our best living short story writers, and with Honeydew, her fifth volume, her reputation is gaining serious velocity.

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

John Darnielle: Master Of Reality

"[Death metal] is a very passionate music. It's also really dark and gory--and I like that stuff." - John Darnielle, of the Mountain Goats.
DL Andersoni

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 10:06 am

John Darnielle is the core, and sometimes only, member of the band the Mountain Goats. Thought by many to be "America's best non-hip-hop lyricist," he crafts songs that read like stories, and sound like they were recorded in his basement on a rickety tape deck.

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Hills Are Alive

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:51 am

Every correct answer contains the letters H-I-L-L. What phrase metaphorically refers to a fatal weak spot? If you slay this round, then perhaps you don't have one of these when it comes to trivia.

Heard in 'Til Death Metal Do Us Part

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Actor Factor

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:51 am

Stars sell movies. Be honest: would you rather watch Snakes on a Plane or "Snakes on a John Wayne"? In this game, contestants replace words in movie titles with rhyming celebrity names.

Heard in 'Til Death Metal Do Us Part

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

State Of Mind

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:51 am

Get on that midnight train to...North Korea?? Guess what US state actually completes these lyrics as Jonathan Coulton sings famous songs with the wrong geographic regions in their titles.

Heard in 'Til Death Metal Do Us Part

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Sports, Explicated

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:51 am

Grab your oversized porous foam digit, because in this game, contestants must decipher the names of college sports teams from an overly literal explanation. Go athlete! Do the sport!

Heard in 'Til Death Metal Do Us Part

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Ask Me Another
9:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Buffer The Consequences

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 9:51 am

It's going down at Ask Me Another! Don't crumble or stumble under the pressure, because in this game contestants have to think of words that end in "-umble." So let's get ready to...

Heard in 'Til Death Metal Do Us Part

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu January 22, 2015

The Vastness Of Violent Loss In 'See How Small'

Author Scott Blackwood based See How Small on a real incident, a multiple murder at an Austin, Texas, frozen yogurt shop in 1991.
Brian Cox

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 11:57 am

On a chilly autumn night in Austin, Texas, three teenage girls are finishing up their shift at an ice cream shop. Two men walk in, and when they leave, the store is on fire, the three girls still in there, naked, bound with their own underwear, murdered. The slayings and the arson take just minutes, but the families and friends of the girls take years to get over it — or to try to get over it; of course, they never do.

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Parallels
12:46 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Bulgakov's 'Master' Still Strikes A Chord In Today's Russia

Written during the Soviet era, Mikhail Bulgakov's classic novel, The Master and Margarita, continues to resonate in today's Russia.
Sovfoto UIG via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 5:00 pm

In times of turmoil, Russians turn to their great writers for inspiration.

One of those writers is Mikhail Bulgakov, who died 75 years ago. Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin liked some of Bulgakov's work, but he considered most of it too dangerous to publish. A museum in Moscow shows that the work is just as relevant as ever.

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Monkey See
11:57 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'Parks And Recreation' Shows The Beating Heart Of Its Great Love Story

Nick Offerman and Amy Poehler play the platonic friends at the very beating heart of Parks And Recreation.
Ben Cohen NBC

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:56 am

The wedding of Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and Ben Wyatt (Adam Scott) was one of Parks and Recreation's greatest moments. So was the wedding of April Ludgate (Aubrey Plaza) and Andy Dwyer (Chris Pratt). But Tuesday night, Parks spent the second half of its hourlong double episode on its greatest love story: the friendship of Leslie and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman).

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Movie Reviews
10:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'Leviathan' And 'Red Army' Deliver A Peek Inside Russia, Now And Then

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 11:27 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
10:13 am
Wed January 21, 2015

Benedict Cumberbatch On Alan Turing's Awkwardness And Sherlock's Sex Appeal

The Imitation Game, starring Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch, follows the story of mathematician Alan Turing — from his efforts to break Germany's Enigma code during World War II to his conviction for homosexuality.
Jack English Courtesy of Black Bear Films

Originally published on Thu January 22, 2015 6:58 am

It's been a good year for Benedict Cumberbatch. The English actor has earned an Oscar nomination for his starring role in the film The Imitation Game, and he's won critical acclaim — and a big following — for his performance on TV's Sherlock.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Wed January 21, 2015

'The B-Side' Sings A Sad, Sad Song

Originally published on Wed January 21, 2015 1:03 pm

The B-Side, Ben Yagoda's cultural history of Tin Pan Alley and the American Songbook, begins near the end of its story. In 1954, Arthur Schwartz, the co-writer of standards like "I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plan," is at the Columbia Records building in Manhattan, waiting to present Mitch Miller, Columbia's head of popular music, with some possible songs.

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