Arts

Monkey See
12:53 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Fangs And Fishnets For The Win: 'Goth Barbie' Is Monstrously Successful

Mattel executives say they did not anticipate the runaway success of the goth-influenced Monster High brand when it debuted in 2010.
Mattel

Originally published on Fri July 19, 2013 1:15 pm

We've got two words for you: Goth Barbie.

Not only does such a thing exist, but after Barbie, it's the best-selling doll in the world. The dolls of Monster High are bone-thin beauties all related to famous monsters. They come with books and Web episodes that follow their stories in that place where everyone feels like a freak β€” in high school.

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Baking A Little Invention Into Savory Cakes

Claire Adas for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 12:29 pm

I'm a mad scientist in the kitchen. My inventions for new culinary techniques that will revolutionize the way we eat usually happen in the middle of the night during a bout of insomnia. I stumble downstairs the next morning in a sleep-deprived daze, and a quick Internet search reveals that I'm far from the first person to have invented the cookery method, and hundreds of recipes already exist.

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Author Interviews
2:31 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

A Dark Family Secret Hidden For Years In Alaska's 'Wilderness'

Before Alaska, the Pilgrim family β€” seen here in 1992 β€” lived an isolated life in New Mexico's Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Courtesy of Kurina Rose Hale

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:00 pm

In early 2002, a pair of battered old trucks drove through deep snow into a tiny Alaska ghost town carrying a large family that looked to be from another century.

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Television
2:29 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Laughs And Drama Behind Bars With 'Orange Is The New Black'

Taylor Schilling and Lin Tucci in the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Netflix's original series Orange Is the New Black has two important TV predecessors. One is HBO's Oz, the 1997 men-in-prison drama from Tom Fontana that paved the way for HBO's The Sopranos. The other is Showtime's Weeds, which in the fourth season put one of its central characters behind bars.

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All Tech Considered
12:42 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

A Bedding Innovation For People Who Hate Making Their Beds

Smart Bedding demo photo.
Courtesy of Smart Bedding

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:51 pm

In a blog series we're calling "Weekly Innovation," we'll explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Last week we featured the sink-urinal. (Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.)

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The Picture Show
12:00 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Cheers To That! A Photo Exhibit All About Drinking

Patron #1
Henry Horenstein Courtesy of Sasha Wolf Gallery

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 3:40 pm

It's exactly what it sounds like.

"I wish I could tell you there was some really profound reasoning," says curator Sasha Wolf, owner of the eponymous gallery.

But, as good ideas often do, this one came over a glass of bourbon, as Wolf was brainstorming summer show ideas.

Oftentimes in the quiet summer months, she explains, galleries will curate group shows on a seasonal topic β€” like flowers or beaches. But Wolf wanted to do something "a little bit more quirky."

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Music Reviews
11:40 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Sylvester: 'Mighty Real' Disco Star Deserves A Modern Spotlight

Sylvester's 1978 album Step II resulted in a couple of smash singles, "Dance (Disco Heat)" and "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)."
Fantasy Archives

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 2:29 pm

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The Salt
10:44 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Local Sake: America's Craft Brewers Look East For Inspiration

Yoed Anis, president of the Texas Sake Company, says "the only constraint holding us back" from faster growth is the absence of a sufficient and consistent rice supply.
Courtesy Texas Sake Company

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 11:29 am

Most of us are familiar with that hot, musky-smelling, cloudy drink served in teacups at sushi bars and sometimes called, erroneously, "rice wine." In other words, most of us have had bad sake.

But finally, Americans are learning to love the good stuff.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Morning Shots: In Which Kristin Wiig Gets Very Silly

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 10:37 am

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Book News: Zimmerman Juror Drops Book Plans

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 6:40 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 16, 2013

For The Love Of The Game: How Cricket Transformed India

Cricket Game
iStockphoto.com

The English language and cricket were Britain's two largest colonial legacies in India, says journalist James Astill, but it is the second of these bequests that is the subject of his important and incisive new book, The Great Tamasha: Cricket, Corruption, And the Turbulent Rise of Modern India. Astill is a former bureau chief for the Economist in New Delhi, and he notes the parallels between the country's control of cricket and its dramatic economic rise.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Last Words: An Author's Rhymed Farewell

David Rakoff was a radio essayist for public radio's This American Life.
Deirdre Dolan

What a loss. That's the thought that kept running through my head as I flagged one inspired rhyme after another in David Rakoff's risky (though hardly risquΓ©) posthumous first novel. Why risky? For starters, Rakoff, who died of cancer last summer, at 47, chose to write this last book in verse β€” albeit an accessible, delightful iambic tetrameter that is more akin to Dr. Seuss than T.S. Eliot.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:03 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Lost And Found: 5 Forgotten Classics Worth Revisiting

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:25 pm

I don't remember when I first realized that books could go away, that they could β€” and did β€” pass into obscurity or out of print. Myra Breckinridge by Gore Vidal, All About H. Hatterr by G.V. Desani, Speedboat by Renata Adler, the sublime An Armful of Warm Girl by W.M. Spackman. Each of them, snuffed out. It seemed a scandal. But I vividly recall becoming aware that particular books were prone. To take chances with language or form was to court extinction.

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Books News & Features
3:58 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Aparecium! J.K. Rowling Revealed As 'Cuckoo' Mystery Author

Rowling says writing under a pseudonym was a "liberating experience."
Debra Hurford Brown

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:54 pm

It's a detective story β€” about a detective story. The book in question is The Cuckoo's Calling, a debut novel released earlier this year by a former British military man named Robert Galbraith.

The reviews were excellent β€” especially for a first novel. There was just one hitch: The Cuckoo's Calling wasn't a debut at all. Nor was it by Robert Galbraith. As The Sunday Times revealed this weekend, Galbraith is a pseudonym for one of the best-known writers working today: Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling.

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Books News & Features
3:58 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

How Scholastic Sells Literacy To Generations Of New Readers

Scholastic started out in 1920 as a four-page magazine written for high school students. Above, an early issue published in September 1922.
Courtesy of Scholastic

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 4:13 pm

Chances are you have had contact with Scholastic Publishing at some point in your life: You might have read their magazines in school, or bought a book at one of their book fairs, or perhaps you've read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games? From its humble beginning as publisher of a magazine for high schoolers, Scholastic has become a $2 billion business and one of the biggest children's book publishers in the world.

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

The Secret To Georgian Grilled Meats? Grapevines And Lots Of Wine

Shashlik cooks on a hot grill. Kakheti, the easternmost province in the Republic of Georgia, is known for meats grilled over grapevines, which burn quickly, leaving a heap of finger-sized coals.
Nick Grabowski via Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 16, 2013 1:27 pm

Tucked between Russia and Turkey, the Republic of Georgia is renowned for great food: cheese dishes, pickles, breads and stews. This is a cuisine that you should not miss.

And on summer evenings in the capital, Tbilisi, the air is fragrant with the smells of one of Georgian cookery's highlights: grilled meat, or shashlik.

You can find good shashlik at restaurants with white tablecloths, but the very best in all Tbilisi is said to be at a roadside stop called Mtsvadi Tsalamze. It's an unassuming place with rows of wooden picnic tables in an open yard.

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Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Christ In Context: 'Zealot' Explores The Life Of Jesus

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:13 pm

Writer and scholar Reza Aslan was 15 years old when he found Jesus. His secular Muslim family had fled to the U.S. from Iran, and Aslan's conversion was, in a sense, an adolescent's attempt to fit into American life and culture. "My parents were certainly surprised," Aslan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Burger King Veggie Burger

You've got your work cut out for you here, mayonnaise.
NPR

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 1:24 pm

Burger King has made great reforms in the past few years, in case you haven't noticed. First, the election of its first Burger Prime Minister freed its citizens from the absolute monarchy that had ruled the restaurant for decades. Second, it created a veggie burger.

Eva: I wonder where they got the vegetarian pink slime.

Miles: I do have to hand it to Burger King, its food-shame substitute feels almost exactly like the real thing.

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The Two-Way
5:14 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Book News: Anonymous Tip Led To Outing Of J.K. Rowling's Alter Ego

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 11:08 am

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

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon July 15, 2013

July 15-21: J.K. Rowling, The American South And The Right To Bear Arms

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 10:50 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/.

Crime In The City
1:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

G-Man Fights Crime, And A Medical Disorder, In Kansas City

Author Joel Goldman has found there's plenty of true crime to write about in the Kansas City metro area.
Charlie Riedel AP

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 3:10 am

Split by the Missouri-Kansas state line, the Kansas City metro area has been home to political bosses, jazz clubs, barbecue joints and tough characters, all of which find their way into author Joel Goldman crime thrillers.

Nine years ago, when Goldman was working as an attorney, he was diagnosed with a movement disorder that makes him shake and stutter at times. So he quit his practice and eventually gave his medical condition to one of his main characters, Kansas City FBI agent Jack Davis.

'Brought To His Knees' In A Hardscrabble Neighborhood

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Pop Culture
8:35 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Remembering Cory Monteith β€” Not Finn Hudson In 'Glee'

Cory Monteith, who played Finn in the television series Glee, was found dead Saturday in a hotel room in Canada. He was 31.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 2:29 pm

The Cory Monteith that most Americans knew wasn't Cory Monteith at all. He was Finn Hudson, the high school football star turned Glee club member, whose singing talents were discovered in the shower during the musical comedy's pilot episode on Fox TV.

But outside of a love for drumming, Monteith said, the character on the hit show wasn't him.

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Author Interviews
1:22 pm
Sun July 14, 2013

Racing Hearts, Fluttering Wings: American 'Butterfly People'

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 4:54 pm

During the mid-19th century, an unexpected craze swept America: butterfly collecting. Eager to move on from the Civil War and driven by Europe's long-standing fascination with the insect, the movement captured the interest of Americans from all ages and walks of life.

In an extensive book, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, William Leach documents this butterfly phenomenon β€” from its founders and followers, to its eventual fall.

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Author Interviews
6:49 am
Sun July 14, 2013

'This Town' Takes Aim At The Washington Establishment

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 10:12 am

Washington, D.C. gets a bad rap: politicians love to run against it, voters love to complain about it β€” but New York Times Magazine correspondent Mark Leibovich says he's actually an optimist about our nation's capital.

Leibovich's new book is This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral β€” plus plenty of valet parking! β€” In America's Gilded Capital. It's a lively account of the sometimes incestuous mix of media and politics in D.C., and unlike many books about politics, it doesn't have an index.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

A Geography Quiz With A Spelling Twist

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 11:59 am

On-air challenge: You're given a series of clues, and every answer is the name of a U.S. state capital.

Last week's challenge: Rearrange the letters of INDIA and BELARUS to name two other countries. What are they?

Answer: Sudan, Liberia

Winner: Eddy Chandler of Piedmont, Calif.

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Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sun July 14, 2013

'Zealot' Tells The Story Of Jesus The Man, Not The Messiah

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 10:57 am

When religious scholar Reza Aslan was 15, he went to an evangelical Christian camp. For the first time, he heard the gospel story β€” the story of Jesus. It was a profound experience for him, and he immediately converted. But later, when Aslan went to college and began working toward a degree in the New Testament, he found he had doubts.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Sun July 14, 2013

When In Rome, Solve A Mystery

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 4:29 pm

Karin Slaughter's latest thriller is called Unseen.

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Books News & Features
4:00 am
Sun July 14, 2013

An Ancient Parchment Refuses To Give Up Its Secrets

William Friedman, who helped create the NSA and became its first chief cryptologist, declared the Voynich Manuscript impossible to translate. He thought it was an early example of a made-up language.
Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 11:47 am

It reads like a Dan Brown novel: An indecipherable, cryptic medieval text, shrouded in mystery, filled with entrancing images, disappears for hundreds of years and then suddenly resurfaces at an Italian castle.

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Arts & Life
1:58 am
Sun July 14, 2013

These Stormtroopers' Galactic Mission: Comic-Con

Sam Newcomer, a member of the Southern California Garrison of the 501st Legion, marches as Darth Vader leading his Stormtroopers in the Rosemead Fourth of July parade.
Courtesy of Mark Edwards

Originally published on Sun July 14, 2013 10:12 am

A short time ago, in a garage not so far away, Steve Leahy was having a problem with his armor. A tiny piece of plastic, maybe just a few millimeters wide, stuck out from the shin guard.

"I know it's a minor detail, and while you're wearing it, someone may never notice," Leahy says. "But I know it's there and I know it shouldn't be, so we like to put the effort in to make it as perfect as possible."

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The Salt
1:02 am
Sun July 14, 2013

Homemade Bitters Put The Local Bite Back Into Cocktails

Homemade bitters with medicinal herbs and roots at the Black Trumpet Bistro in Portsmouth, N.H.
Emily Corwin New Hampshire Public Radio

Originally published on Sun July 21, 2013 10:41 am

Evan Mallett is hovering over some plants in a Victorian-era greenhouse in Portsmouth, N.H.

Mallett, a chef at the Black Trumpet Bistro, is collecting medicinal herbs, which he infuses in alcohol to make his own bitters, a bittersweet alcoholic concentrate used to flavor cocktails.

Mallett says he often forages in the woods for ingredients like wild chamomile, dock and burdock root for his bitters, too.

The "homemade bitters" trend is relatively new.

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