Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 11:57 am
We've been privileged in these last few months to share the stories of many Americans, some of them famous, but most of them not. We came together through some avenues we know well β books, music and theater. Sometimes, we found each other through pathways that have only recently become a big part of our lives, such as the #BeyondFerguson hashtag that brought so many young people to an August community meeting in that city. Our New Year's Resolution is to keep these honest and vital conversations going. We are going there.
Editor's Note: Who better to advise you on surviving the stresses and strains of a modern Christmas than a 14th-century English poet? We gleefully present holiday advice from the Internet's own Chaucer Doth Tweet. Warning: Middle English ahead!
Gentil folke, yt ys wyse and profitable to seeke advyce and counsel yn all thinges. Ich am Geoffrey Chaucer, deputy forester of North Petherton and amateur poet, and Ich am heere to helpe yow wyth advyce and counsel regarding the seasoun of holidayes.
Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am
Into The Woods is a 1987 Stephen Sondheim musical that we'd now call a mashup: A baker and his wife want a child. The little girl in a red hood who lifts pies from their shop lives next to a witch who once kidnapped the baker's baby sister, whom she now keeps locked in a tower. But she'll reverse a curse on the baker and his wife if they can find a white cow, a red cape, long blond hair, and a gold slipper: Jack and the Beanstalk meets Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Cinderella.
It was Christmas Eve 2002, at the height of midsummer, when I arrived to take up a year-long job as doctor at Halley base β the most remote research station operated by the British in Antarctica.
As we cruised up to the Caird Coast of Antarctica, a crowd of us stood out on the deck of the supply ship RRS Ernest Shackleton, singing Christmas carols in the 24-hour sunlight, wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers.
Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 11:05 am
This Christmas Eve, many Latinos will celebrate the holiday by unwrapping delicious little presents: tamales.
At its essence, a tamale consists of masa (dough made from corn or another starch) that's been wrapped in aromatic leaves, then steamed or boiled. Some come bundled in corn husks, others in plantain, banana or mashan leaves. Some are sweetened with molasses or coconut milk, others spiced with mole or seasoned with achiote. Some are plain; others are filled with meat, cheese or vegetables.
This week's show brings our pal Audie Cornish into the studio for a conversation about Chris Rock's comedy Top Five. We get into the balance of industry satire and romance, the particular variety of raunchy comedy the film favors, and how his deft handling of the agony of junkets contrasts with the actually impressive round of interviews Rock has done surrounding the film.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am
Librarian Nancy Pearl occasionally joins Morning Edition to talk about books she loves that you might not have heard of. As she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, her latest batch of under-the-radar reads includes some older books as well some new ones.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 4:32 pm
It's hard to believe that not only was there no Serial six months ago, there was no Serial three months ago. The hugely popular podcast, a spinoff production of This American Life, didn't even premiere until early October, but since then, it has made its way with great speed into worlds from Sesame Street to Funny Or Die.
Sophie FilliΓ¨res' uneven relationship drama If You Don't, I Will opens with a scene of biting dialogue between Pierre (Mathieu Almaric) and Pomme (Emmanuelle Devos), whose marriage is seemingly on its last legs.
After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:21 pm
A version of this story was originally published on Dec. 23, 2011.
If you happen to spend Christmas Eve in Canada β especially Quebec β you might be lucky enough to be invited to a festive dinner after midnight Mass. The feast is an old tradition from France called reveillon, and it's something to look forward to after a long day of fasting.
Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:27 am
The daily lowdown on books, publishing and the occasional author behaving badly.
For a public library to expect to survive today, it must begin to take crucial cues from coffee shops. At least, that's the key recommendation offered by a much-anticipated report on British public libraries, which is set to be released Thursday.
This playlist includes some blockbuster TED talks that have already inspired millions. These stories about growing up, shaping identity, and finding courage will have you forwarding them to family and friends.
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"That's why we just give them ham," says the editor himself, Adam Rapoport. "Everybody loves ham. Especially us Jews. Give them a big, glistening, baked, bone-in ham with Martin's potato rolls and a big bowl of punch."