Arts

Author Interviews
3:21 am
Sun April 6, 2014

Lydia Davis' New Collection Has Stories Shorter Than This Headline

Lydia Davis is the winner of the 2013 Man Booker International Prize.
Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 11:49 am

The writer Lydia Davis has released a new collection of short stories — and, in her trademark style, some of them are really short stories. Here's "Contingency (vs. Necessity)" in its entirety:

He could be our dog. But he is not our dog. So he barks at us.

And the title story of the collection, Can't And Won't:

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All Tech Considered
3:17 am
Sun April 6, 2014

What Silicon Valley's Cast Thinks About Silicon Valley Culture

Cast and crew on the set of HBO's Silicon Valley (from left): Zach Woods, Thomas Middleditch, Alec Berg, Mike Judge, T.J. Miller and Kumail Nanjiani.
Jaimie Trueblood Courtesy of HBO

Originally published on

Sunday night, HBO's new comedy, Silicon Valley premieres, and as a Slate review notes of the titular place, "Rarely has a show had to do so little to find so much to mock."

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Television
3:12 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

How To Kill A Character

Jeff Perry (left) and Dan Bucatinsky play Cyrus Beene and James Novak in ABC's Scandal.
Richard Cartwright ABC

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 4:19 pm

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers.

OK. If you're still catching up on your favorite TV shows, let me say it now. You are being warned. There are major spoilers up ahead.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "HOUSE OF CARDS")

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (As character) Oh, my God.

KEVIN SPACEY: (As Frank Underwood) And the butchery begins.

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The Two-Way
2:26 pm
Sat April 5, 2014

An Astronaut Asks: What Does This Cloud Look Like?

Do you see what I see? That's the question Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield asks about this image he took from the International Space Station.
Cmdr_Hadfield

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 7:54 am

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.

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My Big Break
11:47 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Ken Jeong: Doctor By Day, Comedian By Night

Actor Ken Jeong, formerly a doctor, credits his first big break to the 2007 film Knocked Up, which led to his role in the Hangover series.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 4:19 pm

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.

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.

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Performing Arts
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

History And Faith Collide On Stage In 'Camp David'

Ron Rifkin as Menachem Begin, Richard Thomas as Jimmy Carter and Khaled Nabawy as Anwar Sadat in the new play Camp David.
Teresa Wood

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

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.

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Book Reviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'In Paradise,' Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity For Cruelty

In his six-decade career, Peter Matthiessen has written 33 books, including The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country.
Linda Girvin Courtesy of Riverhead Books

Originally published on

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.

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Around the Nation
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

'Muse Of Painting' Came To Churchill's Rescue — And Bush's

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Portraits of world leaders painted by former President George W. Bush go on exhibit in Dallas on Saturday. He took up the hobby after he read Winston Churchill's essay, "Painting as Pastime."

Author Interviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

A Century Of History In The Life Of An Ordinary Indian

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:18 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Music Interviews
5:52 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Puerto Rico's Most-Loved And Most-Hated Band

Originally published on Sat April 5, 2014 9:11 am

The bad boys of Puerto Rico have grown up. Step brothers Rene Perez Joglar and Eduardo Cabra of Calle 13 have a new album that takes a more thoughtful route to deliver their message.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Percussive Poems In 'Shorty Bon Bon' Pin The Stage To The Page

iStockphoto

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.

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Biographer Explains How John Updike 'Captured America'

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:59 am

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.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:24 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Play Ball! Comedian Amy Schumer Plays Not My Job

Peter Yang Comedy Central

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:19 pm

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.

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

Television
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Your Tour Guide To The Glut Of Sunday TV

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melisa Block, hosting this week from member station KERA in Dallas.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.

And as we head into the weekend, here's something to look forward to - a logjam of great Sunday night television. It gets going this Sunday with the new season of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GAME OF THRONES")

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Movie Reviews
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Stay Classy, Norwich: 'Alan Partridge' Aims For American Success

Steve Coogan brings his Alan Partridge character — a conceited, petty, utterly inept broadcast blowhard who once killed a guest on live TV — to the big screen in Alan Partridge.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:43 pm

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.

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Monkey See
11:17 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Captain America' And The Pitiless March Of Time

Chris Evans is Captain America. But who's Captain America?
Marvel

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:11 pm

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

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.

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Movie Interviews
10:31 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Anthony Mackie Soars As Captain America's Falcon

Anthony Mackie as Falcon and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Marvel Studios

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.

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TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Are We Wired To Be Bad With Money?

Why is it that we keep doing dumb things in the face of bad consequences? — Laurie Santos
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Laurie Santos's TEDTalk

Psychologist Laurie Santos studies human irrationality by observing how primates make decisions — including some not-so-savvy money choices their human relatives often make.

About Laurie Santos

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TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Maybe the reason that money doesn't make us happy is that we're always spending it on the wrong things. --Michael Norton
Justin Ide Courtesy of TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Michael Norton's TEDTalk

Social scientist Michael Norton researches how money can buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. The key is social spending that benefits not just you, but other people.

About Michael Norton

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TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

How Much Does Money Motivate Us?

The solution is not to do more of the wrong things, to entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. --Daniel Pink
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Daniel Pink's TEDTalk

Writer Daniel Pink explains why traditional rewards like money aren't always successful motivators.

About Daniel Pink

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TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Does Money Make You Mean?

As a person's levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and...their ideology of self-interest increases. --Paul Piff
Margot Duane Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Paul Piff's TEDTalk

Social psychologist Paul Piff describes how wealth changes behavior and how almost anyone's behavior can change when they're made to feel rich.

About Paul Piff

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TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Could Your Language Affect Your Ability To Save Money?

Why is it that we allow subtle nudges of our language to affect our decision making? --Keith Chen
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Keith Chen's TEDTalk

Behavioral economist Keith Chen says languages that don't have a future tense strongly correlate with higher savings.

About Keith Chen

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Monkey See
7:18 am
Fri April 4, 2014

David Letterman's Meticulously Unchoreographed Exit

David Letterman announced his retirement on Thursday night, but Twitter got to it first.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:32 am

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Book News: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, Hospitalized In Mexico

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez appeared in public during a celebration marking his 87th birthday March 6 in Mexico City.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

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

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Television
5:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Dave Letterman Signals He'll Soon Put Down The Microphone

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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?

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Book Reviews
4:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Dinaw Mengestu Embraces The Vastness Of Love And War

Eli Meir Kaplan Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

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.

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Monkey See
3:00 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

An Interview With A Hypothetical Super-Independent Athlete Baby

A very independent baby.
iStockphoto

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.

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Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

In The 1870s And '80s, Being A Pedestrian Was Anything But

Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 9:58 am

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.

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Television
1:20 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

HBO Fills Sunday Night Lineup With Entertaining Power Struggles

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:48 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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.

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Author Interviews
1:20 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Embarrassing Stains? This Housekeeping Guide Gets That Life Is Messy

Jolie Kerr says when you have a fresh red wine stain, pouring table salt — no water — on it will suck it right up. "You can go pour some wine on your carpet tonight and try it out!" she says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:48 pm

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.

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