Arts

The Salt
11:31 am
Wed April 22, 2015

On Your Mark, Get Set, Grow: A Guide To Speedy Vegetables

Sprouting broccoli will serve up florets in about 50 days. Not bad for this member of the brassica family.
Laura Whitehead Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:00 pm

Editor's note: A version of this story ran in April 2014.

Yes, it is true that gardening requires patience.

But face it, we live in an impatient world. And gardeners everywhere were depressed by the brutal and endless winter.

So we are understandably eager to get sowing. And to see results by ... well, if not next Thursday, then maybe mid-May?

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The Two-Way
10:33 am
Wed April 22, 2015

'People' Names Sandra Bullock, 50, World's Most Beautiful Woman

Sandra Bullock is at the top of People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015.
People

Actress Sandra Bullock tops People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015, becoming the oldest person to do so in the list's 25-year history. Three-time winner Julia Roberts was 42 when she last took the top spot.

It's the first time Bullock has won the honor — but if you've been experiencing cultural déjà vu lately, you're not alone.

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The Two-Way
8:43 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Gift Worth $400 Million To Art Institute Of Chicago Includes Works By Warhol

Andy Warhol's Mona Lisa Four Times, 1978.
Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago, Gift of Edlis/Neeson Collection

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 1:35 pm

Chicago art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have given a "landmark gift" of pop art to the Art Institute of Chicago, handing over 42 works that were created by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and others.

After the donation was officially accepted Tuesday night, the museum's president and director, Douglas Druick, told The Chicago Tribune, "This is one of the landmark gifts in our 136-year history."

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 22, 2015

'Vermilion' Finds New Magic In The Old West

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:29 pm

History may be written by the victors, but alternate history is written by anyone with a lust for the past — both established and imagined. Molly Tanzer's imagination is keener than almost anyone's. Her new novel, Vermilion is a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy. In the book's wild vision of 1870, the North won the Civil War with the help of a race of intelligent, talking bears. A similarly endowed species of sea lion keeps shop in the streets of San Francisco.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed April 22, 2015

Toni Morrison's New Novel Is Best Read With Her Backlist In Mind

Toni Morrison's novels include Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Song of Solomon. She won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1993.
Timothy Greenfield Sanders

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 10:14 am

When we talk about Toni Morrison, we are also talking about what it means to thrive in the midst of well-manicured and eloquent hostility. With God Help The Child, Morrison — America's only living Nobel Prize-winning novelist — has offered us not only her 11th novel, but an opportunity to meditate on the tension between the idea of the artist and the reality of the artist herself.

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The Two-Way
4:52 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Remembering Pat Dowell, Longtime Film Reporter For NPR

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:33 am

Pat Dowell, a freelance film reporter for NPR, died on Sunday. Dowell had been dealing with health issues for some time, but her death came as a surprise. She was 66 years old.

Pat was a freelancer for us for close to 30 years. Before that, she was a film critic for a number of publications and first appeared on our air in that capacity in 1974, when she talked to then-All Things Considered host Susan Stamberg about the TV series Rhoda and feminism.

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NPR Ed
3:16 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Teaching Students To Hear The Music In The Built World

Architecture professor Diana Agrest evaluates her students' work during a class critique at Cooper Union in New York.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 7:31 am

What makes a great teacher great? That's the question at the heart of 50 Great Teachers, from the NPR Ed Team.

Diana Agrest believes architecture is so much more than a marriage of form and function. For more than four decades, she's been trying to get her students to believe that too.

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Author Interviews
1:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

After 20 Years On The Job, NYC Police Officer Tells His Intense Stories

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 4:46 am

In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He says that when he was in uniform, it wasn't unusual to handle 20 jobs a night. And in plainclothes, in the anti-crime unit, his teams would make several felony collars a week, mostly robberies, assaults and gun arrests.

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Book Reviews
1:25 pm
Tue April 21, 2015

Revisiting A Suburbia-Gone-Sour In Ross Macdonald's Crime Fiction

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 2:54 pm

Ross Macdonald had a smart answer to the tedious question of why he devoted his considerable talents to writing "mere" detective stories: Macdonald said that the detective story was "a kind of welder's mask enabling writers to handle dangerously hot material." Like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler (the great hard-boiled masters whom he revered), Macdonald set out to excavate the dark depths of American life, but to find his own "dangerously hot material" Macdonald descended into uncharted territory.

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The Salt
10:56 am
Tue April 21, 2015

Tea Tuesdays: Tea, Tao And Tourists — China's Mount Hua Is Three-Part Harmony

You can get a cup of tea at Cuiyun Palace on the west peak of Mount Hua.
Courtesy of James Guo

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 10:56 am

Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.

Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.

You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?

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Movie Reviews
10:07 am
Tue April 21, 2015

'Tangerines': Enemies On Neutral Territory In A Time Of War

Lembit Ulfsak in Tangerines.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

The fighting in Georgia can be hard to follow from afar, but it traces a theme that has been recurring ever since the Soviet Union shattered into 15 countries in 1991. Georgia was one of those lands that gained independence, but it soon degenerated into a war in the northern region of Abkhazia, where Russian-backed separatists carved out a piece of territory they claim and hold until this day.

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Book Reviews
5:43 am
Tue April 21, 2015

'One Of Us' Is A Difficult, Unforgettable Look At Tragedy

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 10:29 am

One of Us opens with a girl running for her life. She and her friends are being stalked, hunted by a young man in a police officer's uniform on the small Norwegian island of Utøya. They lie down in the woods, pretending they're dead, hoping the man will see them and move on. He doesn't. He shoots the girl in the head, shoots her friends in their heads, point-blank, execution-style. In search of new victims, the man moves on. But almost four years after that July day when 77 people, many of them children, were slain in cold blood, the nation of Norway still struggles to move on.

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Author Interviews
1:51 am
Tue April 21, 2015

No Demons, No Angels: Attica Locke Aims For Black Characters Who Are Human

Attica Locke's other books include Black Water Rising and The Cutting Season.
Jenny Walters Courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 12:40 pm

It's a warm evening in 1996 and a young woman is waiting for a ride on a street corner. She's alone, it's way too late and she soon realizes she is being watched. When the woman disappears, the crime is linked to the family of a local man running for mayor.

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Media
3:35 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Small South Carolina Newspaper Takes Home Top Pulitzer Prize

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:01 am

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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The Salt
1:40 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

Appetite For Gulf Seafood Is Back, But The Crabs And Oysters Aren't

Blue crabs brought back to Tony Goutierrez's dock in Hopedale, La. For the past few years, his traps have been coming up empty. "It's sad to see it go, but it's going — this way of life is going to disappear," he says.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 11:55 am

In 2010, just after the BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, seafood restaurants were bombarded with questions from concerned diners: "How bad is the spill?" "Is this from the Gulf?" "Is it safe?" Demand for Gulf seafood tanked.

"You have to remember, that was literally weeks and months on end when you could turn on the TV at any time of day and see an oil well leaking unabatedly into the Gulf of Mexico," says Brett Anderson, feature food writer for Nola.com.

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Author Interviews
1:06 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

'I Regret Everything': Toni Morrison Looks Back On Her Personal Life

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 10:15 am

Now that she's in her mid-80s, celebrated author Toni Morrison feels aches, pains and regret.

She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "When I'm not creating or focusing on something I can imagine or invent, I think I go back over my life — I don't recommend this, by the way — and you pick up, 'Oh, what did you do that for? Why didn't you understand this?' Not just with children, as a parent, but with other people, with friends. ... It's not profound regret; it's just a wiping up of tiny little messes that you didn't recognize as mess when they were going on."

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Code Switch
12:31 pm
Mon April 20, 2015

George Takei And Company To Hollywood Gatekeepers: Fix Your Diversity Problem

Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 9:54 am

Remember that Deadline article from a few weeks back? In which the writer pointed out that Hollywood is diversifying — and claimed that's a bad thing?

At least one good thing may come of it:

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Strange News
3:34 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Like 'Dynasty' On Ice: The Nancy Kerrigan And Tonya Harding Museum

Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding at a practice session at the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.
Pascal Rondeau Getty Images

Why would a couple of comedians build a museum in their Brooklyn apartment hallway dedicated to figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan?

Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins were only 6 and 7 in 1994, when Harding's ex-husband and his friend plotted to wallop Kerrigan on the knee with a baton, knocking her out of the national championship.

"We remember a very Disney version of the story," says Olen. "You know, this crazy, trashy person beat up the beautiful ice princess."

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Author Interviews
3:20 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

Unsettling Tales Of Strange Suburbia Echo Through 'The Night'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 6:16 pm

A town that experiences a sudden suicide epidemic, a mysterious traveling salesman who sells a magical mirror polish, a mermaid who washes up on shore: What happens to a small town when something strange and supernatural takes over?

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steven Millhauser explores that intersection of familiar life and disturbing, often bizarre events in his new short story collection, Voices in the Night.

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Movie Interviews
3:20 pm
Sun April 19, 2015

A Mother Rises Through The Ranks In 'Monkey Kingdom'

Maya, shown with her newborn, Kip, had to use her wits to rise above her lowly station in the social hierarchy of her group of macaque monkeys.
Jeff Wilson Disney

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 10:01 am

It's a story that's been told time and time again: A nobody — just a cog in the machine, on the bottom rung of society — breaks out of the role society has assigned her, and rises to the top.

Of course, the story is mostly told about humans — but the latest film from Disneynature presents this classic "Cinderella story" set in the social hierarchy of macaque monkeys in Sri Lanka.

Monkey Kingdom follows a young monkey named Maya as she strives to make a better life for herself and her offspring.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun April 19, 2015

W Seeking W For Compound Word Dates

NPR

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

On-air challenge: For each word starting with "W," think of another word, also starting with W, that can follow the first to complete a compound word or a familiar two-word phrase. Example: Walk --> Way = walkway

Last week's challenge: This challenge comes from listener Peter Stein of San Francisco. Think of a job, in eight letters, that names someone who might work with actors. Change one letter in this to the following letter of the alphabet to name another person who works with actors. What jobs are these?

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Author Interviews
5:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

Memoir Chronicles The Joy And Loss Of 'The Light Of The World'

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's something otherworldly about the way poet Elizabeth Alexander describes her connection with her late husband, right down to their first interaction.

ELIZABETH ALEXANDER: I met Ficre Ghebreyesus in 1996, as if by magic.

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Author Interviews
5:47 am
Sun April 19, 2015

'Spinster' Celebrates The Single Ladies

Promo crop

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

It's what every young girl is expected to do: Grow up, get married and have kids. Or is it? Writer Kate Bolick questions that social edict in her new memoir, Spinster: Making a Life of One's Own. She tells NPR's Rachel Martin that, growing up, the expectation that she'd get married eventually was just part of life. "It didn't feel oppressive, it didn't feel confusing or like something I didn't want to do," she says. "My parents had a nice marriage, I liked having boyfriends, I assumed one day when I grew up I would want to marry one of them.

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Author Interviews
3:21 am
Sun April 19, 2015

Jon Krakauer Tells A 'Depressingly Typical' Story Of College Town Rapes

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 4:51 pm

By his own admission, author Jon Krakauer is an obsessive guy, and his obsessions often turn into books. His best-sellers include Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, both about man's battle with nature. But his latest book is about a far more intimate struggle. The title lays it out plainly: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

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The Salt
3:20 am
Sun April 19, 2015

This Robot Chef Has Mastered Crab Bisque

These robotic arms are part of a modular kitchen that's been set up so that the robot chef can find exactly what it needs.
Moley Robotics

Originally published on Sun April 19, 2015 9:00 am

Step aside, home chefs! The kitchen of the future draws near.

No, there's no hydrator from Marty McFly's kitchen in Back to the Future II. Right now, the chef of the future looks like a pair of robotic arms that descend from the ceiling of a very organized kitchen. And it makes a mean crab bisque.

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My Big Break
3:39 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

The Inauspicious Start To Susan Stamberg's Broadcasting Career

Today, Susan Stamberg is a special correspondent for NPR.
Doby Photography/NPR

Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 11:49 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

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The Two-Way
12:50 pm
Sat April 18, 2015

'Furious 7' Races To New Record, Quickly Hitting $1 Billion Mark

Furious 7 has hit the $1 billion worldwide box-office mark, two days faster any other film. Earlier this month, stars Sung Kang, left, and Ludacris attend the film's Los Angeles premiere.
Michael Kovac Getty Images

It's taken the street-racing movie Furious 7 only 17 days to reach $1 billion in worldwide box office grosses, according to Universal Pictures. On its opening weekend, the movie reportedly made $143.6 million in the U.S. It's the last in the Fast and Furious franchise to feature the late actor Paul Walker.

Universal says the movie is the studio's first to cross the billion-dollar mark during its first run in theaters, putting Furious 7 above films such as Jurassic Park, Despicable Me and the Jason Bourne movies.

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Monkey See
6:54 am
Sat April 18, 2015

George Lucas Sneezes, And Other Moments From His Talk With Colbert

George Lucas and Stephen Colbert talked on Friday at an event at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Grant Lamos IV Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 11:37 am

It's fair to say George Lucas is a person who has had a lot of attention paid to him.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:13 am
Sat April 18, 2015

Not My Job: Boston's Dick Flavin Is Quizzed On The 'Worst Poet Ever'

Humorist and Boston Red Sox Poet Laureate Dick Flavin recites "Teddy at the Bat" during the Ted Williams tribute on July 22, 2002 at Fenway Park in Boston.
Darren McCollester Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 9:32 am

Everybody knows the Boston Red Sox are unique — in that they have the most pretentious, literary fans in all of baseball. Sure, the Yankees may have more World Championships, but only Red Sox fans routinely compare their team to the tragic heroes of Greek Drama.

So it's fitting that they have an official poet. Dick Flavin is an Emmy-award winning broadcaster, a PA announcer at Fenway Park, and, yes, the Poet Laureate of the Boston Red Sox.

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Author Interviews
5:46 am
Sat April 18, 2015

At 84, Poet Gary Snyder Lives In 'This Present Moment'

Originally published on Sat April 18, 2015 8:59 am

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

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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