Arts

Monkey See
10:05 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Yes, Serial Is True Crime — And That's OK

Sarah Koenig will, on Thursday, host the final episode of the first season of Serial.
Meredith Heuer

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:11 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show.

Read more
The Salt
1:22 am
Tue December 16, 2014

At Last, Muslims Can Savor A Halal Spin On Spain's Famous Jamón

Halal jamón products made with lamb and beef inside the Balkis Gourmet curing room in Cumbres Mayores in Andalusia, Spain.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:29 am

Wander into any bar in Spain, order a drink, and the waiter will very likely hand you free tapas. Very often it's some type of pork — jamón (ham), chorizo (spicy sausage) or panceta (cured bacon). You could say this country is obsessed with cured pork products. People joke that even vegetarians in Spain eat jamón.

Eating authentic jamón ibérico de bellota, a cured ham made from free-range pigs fed on acorns, is a key part of Spanish life, especially in the south.

Read more
Fine Art
1:21 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 8:33 am

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Murakami's 'Library' Is Dark, Creamy And Grainy At The Same Time

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

Education
3:12 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

How To Talk To Boys About Sex And Consent

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

Code Switch
2:50 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Serial Isn't About Ferguson. (But It's Kind Of About Ferguson.)

Serial focuses on Adnan Syed, who was a teenager when he was convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, despite big question marks in the case. (But you almost certainly knew that already.)
Courtesy of Serial

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 3:16 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. You can read Matt Thompson's initial entry in this conversation here.

Below is the second part of our exchange, from Code Switch blogger Gene Demby.

Matt, Linda and Kat,

Read more
The Salt
2:26 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Hanukkah Miracle

Not pictured: the treadmill Dan is standing on. Just 18 more miles and he'll have worked off half of this sandwich!
Dan Pashman

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:51 pm

[Today's post comes to you from Dan Pashman, a friend of Sandwich Monday. You may know him from his spots on Weekend Edition; his WNYC podcast, The Sporkful; his book, Eat More Better; or the time he stole a piece of your sausage when you weren't looking.]

Read more
Movie Interviews
1:24 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Timothy Spall Takes On Painter J.M.W. Turner, A 'Master Of The Sublime'

Timothy Spall says he had to use a lot of empathy to play a character like Mr. Turner, who wasn't always "very pleasant" and was a "man of massive contradictions."
Simon Mein Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 1:42 pm

Before he could play British artist J.M.W. Turner, actor Timothy Spall first had to learn how to paint; over the course of two years, Spall took private fine art lessons from London artist Tim Wright.

Read more
Book Reviews
1:00 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Sometimes You Can't Pick Just 10: Maureen Corrigan's Favorite Books Of 2014

Rows of characters enjoying reading books.
Gustav Dejert Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:12 am

For this year's Best Books of the Year list, I reject the tyranny of the decimal system. Some years it's simply more than 10. Here, then, are my top 12 books of 2014. All of the disparate books on my list contain characters, scenes or voices that linger long past the last page of their stories. In fact, The Empire of Necessity by Greg Grandin, which is my pick for Book of the Year, came out in January and I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Read more
Monkey See
9:23 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

The Fuller family's Christmas light display in Clayton, N.C.
Brownie Harris ABC

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:11 am

Perhaps you are familiar with the oft-quoted wisdom of (allegedly) Coco Chanel that when a woman gets dressed and believes she's ready, she should take off one accessory before she leaves the house.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:57 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Book News: Apple Enters A New Round In E-Book Price-Fixing Fight

In its attempt to obtain a foothold in a market long dominated by Amazon, Apple ran afoul of antitrust law.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

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

Apple is sliding back under the judicial microscope Monday in a legal challenge that could bear big implications for the e-book market. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is slated to hear the company's appeal of a verdict that found it guilty of violating antitrust law.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:08 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

We asked, you delivered — photos of holiday sweaters galore.
Matt O'Malley Twitter

When it comes to the perfect holiday sweater, for many people, cheesy is good — tacky is better — and astonishingly ugly is best of all.

The demand for ugly holiday sweaters has reached such a height that it's changed how businesses stock for the season, as Eleanor Klibanoff reported for us on Weekend Edition Saturday. Wal-Mart and Kohl's sell new "vintage" ugly sweaters, and actual vintage stores have had to start searching for new stock to sell.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:09 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'El Deafo': How A Girl Turned Her Disability Into A Superpower

Pages from El Deafo by Cece Bell. Click here to enlarge.
Abrams

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:59 am

Writer and illustrator Cece Bell has been creating children's books for over a decade, but in her latest, she finally turns to her own story — about growing up hearing-impaired, after meningitis left her "severely to profoundly deaf" at the age of 4.

The book, a mix of memoir, graphic novel and children's book, is called El Deafo. It's a funny, unsentimental tale that follows Cece from age 4 through elementary school, as she transforms from mild-mannered little girl into full-fledged superhero — the "El Deafo" of the title.

Read more
Fine Art
3:06 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

'#Blackmendream': Showcasing A Different Side Of Black Manhood

A still from the art film #Blackmendream. The film features nine men, turned away from the camera and talking about their hopes and fears.
Courtesy artist

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:32 pm

Nine men sit turned away from the camera; their faces are never shown. Many are shirtless or naked. They answer questions like: When did you become a black man? Do you cry? How were you raised to deal with your emotions?

Read more
Goats and Soda
3:03 pm
Sun December 14, 2014

He Just Flew In From South Africa To Join 'The Daily Show'

Jon Stewart welcomes Trevor Noah, South Africa's top comic, to the roster of Daily Show regulars.
youtube

South African comedian Trevor Noah's debut as a correspondent for The Daily Show generated quite a buzz as he poked fun at Americans' fear of Ebola, the misconception that Africa is nothing but AIDS, huts and starving children, and police brutality in the U.S.

Read more
Movies
5:56 am
Sun December 14, 2014

A Holiday Comic Standard: 'Christmas Vacation' Turns 25

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:38 pm

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

Music Interviews
5:47 am
Sun December 14, 2014

'Pippin' Performs The Final Ballad Of 'The Hobbit'

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 10:18 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A bittersweet moment for moviegoers and Gandalf fans.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES")

ELIJAH WOOD: (As Frodo) It's done.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Yes, Mr. Frodo.

Read more
Food
5:47 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Mead Moves Out Of The Middle Ages

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 10:18 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've been yearning for a cup of mead ever since you read Beowulf in high school - and who hasn't, really? - this could be your moment. The honey wine is once again the bee's knees. WEEKEND EDITION food commentator, Bonny Wolf, explains.

Read more
Food
5:47 am
Sun December 14, 2014

Beware The Tippling Point, And Other Cocktail Party Tips

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:35 pm

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Book News & Features
3:41 am
Sun December 14, 2014

This Weekend, Pick Up The Pieces With 'Gabi'

cover crop
Cinco Puntos Press

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 10:18 am

When we meet 17-year-old Gabi Hernandez, she's a senior in high school who's suffering from all the typical teenage problems. Dysfunctional family: Check. Rampaging hormones: Check. Low self-esteem: Check.

On top of all that, Gabi has to negotiate two cultures and two very different sets of rules for girls and boys. She's the protagonist in our latest Weekend Read: Isabel Quintero's debut novel, Gabi, A Girl in Pieces.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:18 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Adapting 'Inherent Vice' Made Director Feel Like A Student Again

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Larry "Doc" Sportello, a private investigator with a pot-smoking habit, in Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson's film adaptation of the novel by Thomas Pynchon.
Michael Muller Warner Brother Pictures

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 4:40 pm

The new film Inherent Vice follows a stoner, hippie detective on a wild, wandering, pot-fueled adventure that ensues when his ex-lover Shasta brings him a new case to solve. Joaquin Phoenix plays that detective, Larry "Doc" Sportello, who, as he tries to tackle the mystery, is regularly at odds with an LAPD detective named "Bigfoot" Bjornsen, played by Josh Brolin.

Read more
Arts & Life
1:10 pm
Sat December 13, 2014

Avant-Garde Afterlife: Space Shortage Inspires New Burial Ideas

Columbia University's DeathLab comes up with new ideas for honoring and storing the dead — like Constellation Park, the design of which is shown here.
Courtesy of Latent Productions and DeathLab

Welcome to Constellation Park, population 5,000. But everyone here — suspended in hanging vessels under New York's Manhattan Bridge — is dead.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:34 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Not My Job: Actor Patrick Stewart Gets Quizzed On G.I. Joe

Jason Kempin Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 13, 2014 9:59 am

Sir Patrick Stewart has accomplished a lot in his career — he's a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, the captain who revived Star Trek, the star of the X-Men movie franchise, and above all, he's the man who made male pattern baldness sexy.

We've invited Stewart to play a game called "G.I. Joe, G.I. Joe, fighting man from head to toe!" Three questions about G.I. Joe, the Hasbro company action figure first introduced 50 years ago.

Read more
Arts & Life
7:18 am
Sat December 13, 2014

It's Ugly Christmas Sweater Season — Share Your Best (Bad) Attire

So bad it's ... good? Consumer appetite for ugly Christmas sweaters — the tackier, the better — has had an impact on how retailers stock for the season.
TheUglySweaterShop.com Flickr

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 7:56 pm

Looking for a stylish sweater for the holidays? Forget cashmere. Instead, go for the light-up, dancing Santa.

This season, holiday shoppers are demanding the ugliest, gaudiest, tackiest sweaters out there. They need them for ugly sweater parties, ugly sweater fun runs — even an ugly sweater party cruise.

All that demand has had an impact on stores large and small. On the national level, Wal-Mart, Kohl's and Target all sell vintage-looking sweaters with all the bells and tinsel you could want.

Read more
The Salt
3:19 am
Sat December 13, 2014

Hanukkah History: Those Chocolate Coins Were Once Real Tips

Wrapped in gold and silver foil, chocolate gelt are often handed out as a little treat for children (and adults) during Hanukkah. Turns out, the tradition is rooted in real money.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 12:09 pm

Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights, starts on Tuesday night. But the flickering candles won't be the only things shining on the table. Many families celebrate with gelt, chocolate coins covered in gold and silver foil. But while this treat is beloved, it's not all that delicious.

"It snaps. It's not soft and buttery — it's waxy. This is chocolate you have to chew," jokes Ariel Cohn, who runs Tree of Life, a Jewish pre-school in Portland, Ore.

Read more
This Week's Must Read
3:26 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

The Ethics Of Torture, Explored In A Painful Fable

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 5:29 pm

We've been hearing all week about a report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee. It detailed brutal interrogation techniques used by the CIA after Sept 11. Among the questions it raised are whether these techniques are legal, effective and morally acceptable.

For our series This Week's Must Read, author Laila Lalami grapples with these questions by turning to literature.

Read more
Television
1:07 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Even If Torture Doesn't Work In The Real World, TV Has Us Convinced It Does

Kiefer Sutherland (right) with Peter Weller and JoBeth Williams on Fox's 24.
Fox TV

As the CIA and Senate Intelligence Committee clash over whether so-called enhanced interrogation techniques are considered torture, another question arises: Have depictions of torture on TV and film helped convince us that it works?

Consider this warning that recently greeted viewers of ABC's political soap opera, Scandal:

"The following drama contains adult content. Viewer discretion is advised."

Read more
Movie Reviews
11:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Depicting An Unstable Era, 'Inherent Vice' Never Jells, But It's Addictive

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

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Read more
Television
11:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Funny, Dirty, Sad: The 'Holy Trinity' For 'Transparent' Creator Jill Soloway

When writer Jill Soloway's father came out as a trans woman, Soloway says, it was a huge relief. And it helped her create the series Transparent about "boundaries, legacy, gender, family."

Originally broadcast Oct. 30, 2014.

Read more
Movie Interviews
11:32 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Filmed Over 12 Years, 'Boyhood' Follows A Kid's Coming Of Age

Writer-director Richard Linklater says picking the film's star was vital because he had to guess what he'd be like at 18. "I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting."

Originally broadcast July 10, 2014.

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

Transcript

Read more

Pages