Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:26 pm
More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.
A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.
Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 11:21 am
Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.
Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:03 pm
Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.
And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 4:46 pm
Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.
And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.
Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 10:34 am
Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.
Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.
Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.
Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:41 am
Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.
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 â€” jamÃ³n (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 jamÃ³n.
Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:04 pm
American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs â€” 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 â€” especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s â€” look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist â€” an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.
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.
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.]
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.
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.
When it comes to the perfect holiday sweater, for many people, cheesy is good â€” tacky is better â€” 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.
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 â€” 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 â€” the "El Deafo" of the title.
Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 7:01 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?
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.
Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 10:18 am
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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.