Arts

The Salt
1:40 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Why There Are Too Few Cooks For New York City's Elite Kitchens

A view inside the kitchen at chef Peter Hoffman's farm-to-table restaurant, Back Forty West, in New York's Soho neighborhood.
Simon Doggett Flickr

Originally published on Thu July 11, 2013 3:10 pm

New York City has long been considered the nation's epicenter for all things culinary. The borough of Manhattan had more than 6,000 restaurants at last count. And the city has the most three-star Michelin-starred restaurants in the country — closing in on Paris.

But lately, some cooks have begun to go elsewhere to make names for themselves.

Among the reasons for the culinary exodus: Chefs' obsession with local ingredients is making smaller communities a lot more appealing.

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Monkey See
1:38 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Pedal Power To Horsepower: Toys Point Toward Future Of Cars

Edmunds.com — but at the age of 2, the future automotive editor, like his co-worker Mike MaGrath, was more of a toy-car person." href="/post/pedal-power-horsepower-toys-point-towards-future-cars" class="noexit lightbox">
Mark Takahashi is now one of the "car people" at Edmunds.com — but at the age of 2, the future automotive editor, like his co-worker Mike MaGrath, was more of a toy-car person.
Courtesy Mark Takahashi

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:46 am

Morning Edition has reported that the Toyota Camry is the best-selling car in the U.S., and the Ford Focus is the world's best-seller.

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The Salt
2:35 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

France Battles Scourge Of Ready-To-Eat Meals In Restaurants

We're guessing microwavable, premade meals are not an issue in this kitchen, at the three-Michelin-star restaurant L'Auberge du Pont de Collonges near Lyon, France.
Laurent Cipriani AP

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 12:47 pm

France's vaunted culinary culture has been taking it on the chin lately.

First came the news, which we told you about in April, that the majority of France's restaurants are now fast-food joints.

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Music
11:53 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Summer Songs: Banjo Adds Bang To Old Standard

Creole Jazz Serenaders with Don Vappie
Vappielle Entertainment Enterprises

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 4:52 pm

As our population is growing and getting more diverse, so is our taste in music. And music lovers want to hear fresh ideas that reflect new realities and experiences. Yet some songs remain quintessentially American — even as they inspire constant re-interpretation.

Tell Me More is teaming up with New Orleans member station WWNO's Music Inside Out With Gwen Thompkins to showcase some fresh takes on popular American songs. Today we hear from Don Vappie of the Creole Jazz Serenaders, playing the banjo and singing, "Careless Love."

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Television
11:29 am
Mon July 8, 2013

'The Bridge:' Mayhem On The Border, With Big Issues At Stake

In the new FX series The Bridge, Diane Kruger stars as a detective investigating a murder along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jordin Althaus FX Networks

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 1:37 pm

The FX version of the Scandinavian series The Bridge, like the Showtime version of the Israeli TV series that inspired Homeland, is a major revamp as well as a crucial relocation. With Homeland, the focus became American politics and home-soil terrorism. In The Bridge, premiering July 10, the setting is changed to the U.S.-Mexico border. This allows executive producer Meredith Stiehm, a writer-producer from Homeland, to deal with everything that relocation provides — including the white-hot issues of immigration reform and border security.

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Television
11:29 am
Mon July 8, 2013

As 'Ray Donovan,' Liev Schreiber Cleans Up Hollywood's Messes

One of the aspects that attracted Schreiber to Ray Donovan was the prospect of playing a character for whom words were relatively unimportant.
Showtime

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 6:53 am

In the new Showtime series Ray Donovan, Liev Schreiber stars in the title role as a man who knows how to handle a crisis. It's Donovan's job to clean up the messes of Hollywood's rich and powerful while trying to keep his own personal problems under wraps.

A TV series is something of a new turn for Schreiber, who's been acting onstage and in movies for two decades. But playing complicated characters is something he's earned a reputation for, with roles in films like Defiance and The Manchurian Candidate.

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On Aging
9:48 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Winning Gold In Their Golden Years

Swimmer John Tatum proudly wears his gold medals from the National Senior Olympics.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:57 pm

John Tatum is 94 years old. He is a swimmer. And a gold medalist.

Tatum is one of thousands of the top athletes in the U.S. who run, vault and swim for the gold in the National Senior Games. All of these seniors are over age 50, and some are over 100. And they show no signs of slowing down.

"I see no end for me," Tatum says. "I would like to just compete year after year after year. You know, I'm 94, probably could be 100, I don't know. But as long as I am healthy, I can do it."

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The Salt
9:42 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Math Class Made Delicious: Learn About Cones Through Scones

If only Algebra II class had been this tasty ...
Courtesy Lenore M. Edman

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:19 am

Cooks use math to make beautiful food all the time: Slicing eight perfect pieces of pie or doubling a recipe requires basic knowledge of fractions, for example.

But how many cooks think about using beautiful food to illustrate the math itself?

Lenore M. Edman and Windell H. Oskay of the blog Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories do. Feast your eyes on their latest work, "Sconic Sections," pictured above.

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New In Paperback
7:51 am
Mon July 8, 2013

July 8-14: Tales Of Richard Burton, Resilience And Ray Mancini

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:11 am

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
5:01 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Book News: Reading And Writing Slow Dementia, Study Says

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 5:46 am

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

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Fine Art
3:36 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

For Judd Family, Home Is Where The (Rectilinear) Art Is

Originally published on Mon July 22, 2013 4:35 am

The former studio and home of artist Donald Judd is in what used to be called the Cast Iron District of Manhattan. He bought the five-story building in 1968, long before the Gucci store and Ivanka Trump Boutique moved into the neighborhood. When Judd died in 1994, the house stayed in the family, with much of his stuff exactly where he left it. Now, after a three-year renovation, the general public can tour the building and see firsthand how Judd thought art and architecture could work together.

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Theater
2:58 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

Broadway's 'First Date': A Greek Chorus Of Emotional Baggage

Krysta Rodriguez played Ana Vargas in the recently canceled backstage-on-Broadway TV series Smash, and Zachary Levi earned a fervent following in the title role of NBC's Chuck. Both performers have backgrounds in the theater, and they'll be together on Broadway this summer in the premiere of the musical comedy First Date.
Matthew Murphy

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

Many fans of the TV show Chuck fell in love with the nerd-turned-unwitting spy at the heart of the show, but most probably didn't know that he could sing.

Zachary Levi is now rehearsing for his first role on Broadway — a new musical comedy called First Date — which also features Krysta Rodriguez, the star of another NBC program, Smash.

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Author Interviews
2:51 pm
Sun July 7, 2013

How 'Dancing In The Street' Became A Protest Anthem

In November 1964, Betty Kelly, Martha Reeves and Rosalind Ashford (aka Martha Reeves and the Vandellas) were at the top of the charts with their hit "Dancing in the Street."
AP

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

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You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun July 7, 2013

'Rock Crystal' Tells Of Catastrophe's Quiet Avoidance

Susan Choi's latest book is My Education.

Long, long ago — maybe some time in the 17th century — and far, far away — but almost certainly somewhere in the Alps — two valleys lay next to each other, ringed by high mountains and linked by a sole, lonely path. One unusually warm Christmas Eve two children set out on the path from the northward valley, through pine forest and over the pass, to visit their grandmother in the valley to the south.

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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Random Acts Of Tipping

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 12:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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NPR Story
4:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Civil War Surgeon Set The Standard For Battlefield Medicine

Jonathan Letterman followed in his father's footsteps when he became a surgeon.
Courtesy Arcade Publishing

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 1:11 pm

July 1 marked 150 years since the beginning of the Battle of Gettysburg, a crucial victory for the Union and a turning point in the Civil War. But it came at an enormous cost to both sides — thousands of soldiers were killed and tens of thousands more were wounded.

However, it might have been even worse had it not been for a surgeon named Jonathan Letterman, who served as the chief medical officer of the Union's Army of the Potomac. He presided over some of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history and, over the course of a single year, revolutionized military medicine.

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Food
4:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Raising The Heat With Cool Soup And Trout Salad

Ryan Loyd NPR

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 1:34 pm

San Antonio is no stranger to triple-digit heat this time of year. That's why Jason Dady likes to keep it cool in the kitchen of his northern Italian-themed restaurant called Tre Trattoria.

This time of year, the tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh, the veggies are bountiful, and Dady says it's one of the season's highlights to have fun with light and refreshing food.

For the gazpacho, Dady chops cucumbers, tomatoes and bell peppers, then adds some water. Then he blends it, a couple times.

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The Record
12:41 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Small-Town Audio Geeks Bring Big Sounds To The Dance Floor

Fulcrum Acoustic engineer Rich Frembes (left) and founder Dave Gunness pose in their workshop. The company produces more than 2,000 speakers a year, often testing and tweaking the units obsessively to meet each client's specific needs.
Andrea Shea

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 12:21 pm

The headquarters of Fulcrum Acoustic is only an hour outside Boston, but finding the audio company can be tricky: Its address in Whitinsville, a quaint former industrial village in Massachusetts' Blackstone Valley, doesn't register on GPS. Fulcrum's founder, Dave Gunness, opened his workshop here five years ago and says people still have trouble finding it.

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Sunday Puzzle
12:33 am
Sun July 7, 2013

Easy As One, Two, Three Initials

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 7, 2013 12:21 pm

On-air challenge: You're given the three-word names of famous people. For each one, you get a clue to a familiar three-word phrase or title that has the same initials as the person. Name the phrase or title. For example, singer Billy Ray Cyrus has the initials B-R-C. And B-R-C are also the initials of the phrase "Blue ribbon commission."

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Author Interviews
3:22 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Finding Meaning In The Mosh Pit Among Often-Reviled Groupies

Shaggy 2 Dope, left, and Violent J make of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse, seen here in their stage makeup in 1999.
Joseph Cultice AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:49 am

The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.

He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.

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Movie Interviews
3:22 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

The Man Who Helps Johnny Depp Put His Face On

With a long history of Johnny Depp collaborations — from Edward Scissorhands through the Pirates of the Caribbean films to this summer's The Lone Ranger — Joel Harlow knows that sometimes you've just gotta ignore the dead crow and get on with the job.
Peter Mountain Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 10:49 am

When Joel Harlow started his career, he was perfectly happy sleeping on the floor — as long as he was making monsters. He was doing what he always wanted: working as a makeup artist.

Years later, Harlow is no longer using peanut butter for monster touch-ups (yes, that happened). He's worked with actor Johnny Depp on about a dozen films with some rather makeup-heavy characters.

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The Salt
2:47 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

The Art Of Food: Museum Celebrates Iconic Catalan Chef's Cuisine

Catalan chef Ferran Adrià poses with plasticine models of his food on display at Somerset House in London. A new exhibit looks back at the influential modernist chef and his landmark restaurant, El Bulli.
Matthew Lloyd Getty Images for Somerset House

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:20 am

The man once hailed as the "Salvador Dali of the kitchen" is getting his own art exhibit.

Ferran Adrià might not be a household name, but for nearly three decades, as chef and mastermind of the acclaimed Catalan Spanish restaurant El Bulli, he moussed, foamed and otherwise re-imagined cuisine in modernist ways that have inspired many of the world's top chefs.

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Pop Culture
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Miranda July: From The Outboxes Of The Noteworthy

Performance artist Miranda July's new project, We Think Alone, blasts a set of random emails from some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up for them.
Courtesy the artist

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:16 am

Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.

The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.

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Food
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

An Italian Picnic Without The Pasta

In this installment of our Weekend Picnic series, Jim Kent visits an Italian chef in South Dakota's Black Hills, who shows us how to prepare a great lightweight picnic.

Author Interviews
7:54 am
Sat July 6, 2013

'Loteria': A Fortune Told By Mexican Bingo

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 3:31 pm

When novelist Mario Alberto Zambrano was a little boy, his imagination was piqued by a colorful deck of cards. Loteria is a Mexican game that's a lot like bingo, if bingo was full of vivid imagery. Instead of announcing numbers, the dealer turns over illustrated cards while calling out a riddle that corresponds with the picture — a spider, a rooster, a mermaid, a bottle.

Zambrano tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he used to wonder if those pictures were significant.

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Environment
6:25 am
Sat July 6, 2013

One Garden's Climate Struggle (And How To Save Yours)

Many of the flowers at Hillwood are doing well despite the ever-changing local climate.
Emily Files NPR

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 10:44 am

At the Hillwood Estate gardens in Washington, D.C., the new norm is: "Expect the unexpected." So says volunteer coordinator Bill Johnson, who has worked on property belonging to the heiress of the Post cereal fortune for 30 years.

Like home gardeners, the horticulturalists and professional gardeners at Hillwood are confronting an unpredictable climate.

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Health
2:31 am
Sat July 6, 2013

Growing The Latest In 16th-Century Medicine

The opium poppy is the most common source of opium and morphine.
New York Botanical Garden

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 4:37 pm

The Renaissance Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, a re-creation of a 16th-century medicinal garden, is so lush and colorful, it takes only a stroll through to absorb its good medicine.

The garden, part of a summer exhibit called Wild Medicine: Healing Plants Around the World, is a small-scale model of the Italian Renaissance Garden in Padua, Italy, Europe's first botanical garden.

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Parallels
2:21 am
Sat July 6, 2013

What A Fella Has To Do To Get A Drink Around The Muslim World

Bottles of alcohol are gathered to be smashed by Taliban authorities in Kabul in 2001.
B.K. Bangash AP

Originally published on Sat July 6, 2013 3:00 pm

Reporting in the Middle East and Afghanistan can be challenging enough between dodging the bullets and bureaucracy. But, equally as confounding can be figuring out how and where to have a cold one after a hard day's work. The range of alcohol laws in Muslim countries can be simply dizzying.

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Theater
4:29 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

For Hannibal & Co., A Horrifying New Stage

Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain 1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
David Haverty Hollywood Fringe

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 12:26 pm

What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.

His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.

Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.

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Book Reviews
2:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

'Five Star Billionaire' Shows The Human Cost Of Progress

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 10:37 am

The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.

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