Arts

Television
11:56 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Two New TV Dramas Look Below The Surface

Elisabeth Moss (right) and Thomas Wright star in Jane Campion's new series Top of the Lake.
The Sundance Channel

Top of the Lake, a new seven-part miniseries premiering tonight on the Sundance Channel, was co-created and co-directed by Jane Campion, who teamed with Holly Hunter 20 years ago on the movie The Piano. Hunter is back for this new project, playing a mysterious New Agey guru of sorts. She's started a small commune for emotionally damaged women, on a remote strip of land in New Zealand.

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Author Interviews
11:26 am
Mon March 18, 2013

'Still Point': A Meditation On Mothering A Dying Child

Emily Rapp is also the author of Poster Child, about a congenital birth defect that led to the amputation of her leg when she was a child, and about how she subsequently became a poster child for the March of Dimes.
Anne Staveley Penguin Press

In January 2011, writer Emily Rapp was a happy new mother when she and her husband found themselves in a pediatric ophthalmologist's office with their 9-month-old son, Ronan. They were worried about Ronan's development and had gone to the eye doctor to rule out vision problems as the culprit. Checking Ronan's retinas, the doctor saw "cherry-red spots on the backs of his retinas," Rapp writes in her new memoir, The Still Point of the Turning World. Ronan's diagnosis that day was Tay-Sachs disease, a genetic and degenerative condition that is always fatal. There is no cure.

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The Picture Show
10:52 am
Mon March 18, 2013

10 Years Ago, A Night Vision Of The Iraq Invasion

A soldier with the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division on March 20, 2003, among the first troops to set foot in Iraq in that year's invasion.
David P. Gilkey Detroit Free Press/MCT

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 11:14 am

Ten years ago this week, U.S. troops invaded Iraq. NPR's David Gilkey was there and shares his memory of a photograph he made that first night.

The photos that David Gilkey took the night of the Iraq invasion were among the first pictures of U.S. troops in combat to come out of Iraq. And among the images he captured was one of a soldier running through an abandoned Iraqi army post that had, just minutes before, been hit by U.S. rocket fire.

Those photos would not have been possible without a night vision optic for his camera.

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Mon March 18, 2013

'The Simpsons' Better Than 'Cheers'? It Is To Laugh

Ted Danson, playing the role of bartender Sam Malone, keeps Rhea Perlman, playing waitress Carla Tortelli, under control as Shelley Long, portraying Diane Chambers, left, returns to the set of Cheers during taping of the final episode in 1993.
Mark Terrill AP

For the last couple of weeks, Vulture has been running a "Sitcom Smackdown," a contest between 16 sitcoms of the last 30 years to determine an eventual champion.

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New In Paperback
10:11 am
Mon March 18, 2013

March 18-24: True Tales From Haiti, Paris, Early Christendom And Hitler's Germany

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 1:40 pm

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

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

Arts & Life
10:11 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Tracing Latino Roots Via Sound

Eric Pearce Chavez

Sonic Trace is a multimedia project that follows Latinos living in Los Angeles travelling back to their families' native lands. Led by radio producer Anyansi Diaz-Cortes, it examines the link between what some Latinos consider home – before and after they or their families came to the U.S.

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Music
10:11 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Musician Brian McKnight Uses 'More Than Words'

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 3:40 pm

Rhythm and Blues musician Brian McKnight has sold more than 20 million albums worldwide. He's earned 16 Grammy nominations and worked on projects with Justin Timberlake and Mary J. Blige. He's also an actor, father and has an arts education foundation. Host Michel Martin talks to McKnight about his life and new album, More Than Words.

The Two-Way
4:57 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Book News: Anger After Chicago School District Removes 'Persepolis'

coverdetail

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 9:20 am

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

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Theater
10:48 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Familiar Folks Make Up A Play's 'Good People'

Johanna Day as Margie and Andrew Long as Mike in the recent Arena Stage production of David Lindsay-Abaire's Good People. The childhood friends drift apart as their lives take on very different socioeconomic dimensions.
Margot Schulman Arena Stage

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 10:38 am

How we end up in life has a lot to do with where we came from. That theory gets a good workout in the play Good People, from Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lindsay-Abaire. When the show was on Broadway two years ago, the trade magazine Variety proclaimed that "If Good People isn't a hit, there is no justice in the land."

As it turns out, justice has been served: Good People is the most produced play in America this theatrical season. By the end of this summer, it will have been on stage in 17 different cities.

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Author Interviews
1:59 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

Famine Ship Jeanie Johnston Sailed Through Grim Odds

Free Press

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 5:48 pm

Many of the 35 million Americans of Irish descent are here due to the worst famine to hit Europe in the 19th century, the Irish potato famine.

It drove more than a million people to flee mass starvation, many climbing aboard ships they hoped would ferry them to a better life in the New World. But the fate they would meet on what came to be known as "coffin ships" was often as grim or worse than the fate they were leaving behind; 100,000 passengers didn't survive the journey.

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Architecture
1:19 pm
Sun March 17, 2013

2013 Pritzker Winner Toyo Ito Finds Inspiration In Air, Wind And Water

Dome in Odate (multipurpose dome), Odate-shi, Akita, Japan
Mikio Kamaya Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 5:48 pm

Toyo Ito, a 71-year-old architect based in Japan, is the winner of the 2013 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The jury honored Ito for his more than four-decade career, in which he has created architecture that "projects an air of optimism, lightness and joy ... infused with both a sense of uniqueness and universality."

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You Must Read This
3:55 am
Sun March 17, 2013

'The Quick And The Dead': Parables Of Doom And Merry Rapture

cover detail

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 5:04 am

Domenica Ruta is the author of With or Without You.

I worked as a bookstore cashier for six weeks, until the day my manager rebuked me for reading. The store was empty and I was standing behind the register when she ripped a paperback out of my hands.

"You look like you have nothing to do."

"I was reading," I said, the only sensible response to such a ludicrous indictment. I was actually hoping a customer would come in so I could hold forth on the very book she'd pried away from me.

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Around the Nation
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Erin Go Bragh, Shalom: St. Patrick's Day The Jewish Way

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:33 pm

St. Patrick's Day in New York now means parades and green beer. But 50 years ago, it also meant green matzo balls at the annual banquet of the Loyal League of Yiddish Sons of Erin. The league was a fraternal organization of Irish-born Jews.

The major migration of Jews to Ireland started in the 1880s and '90s, says Hasia Diner, who teaches history and Judaic studies at New York University. Thousands moved, primarily from Lithuania.

Diner says the first generation of Irish Jews mostly worked as peddlers. But by the 20th century, peddlers became business owners.

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It's All Politics
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Documentaries Help Amplify Conservative Voice

Phelim McAleer directed the film FrackNation, one of more than 20 documentaries screened at this year's CPAC.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 12:11 pm

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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Tsunami Delivers A Young Diarist's 'Tale' Of Bullying And Depression

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:32 am

A Tale for the Time Being presents the diary of a friendly, funny and strong-willed 16-year-old girl named Nao. Nao spent her formative years in California, but her family has returned to Japan, and when the book begins, she's living in Tokyo.

Nao tells readers right up front that her diary will be a log of her last few days on Earth: She plans to take her own life, and as the story goes on, readers learn why.

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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Reminder: Our Memories Are Less Reliable Than We Think

Cover of Pieces of Light

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:32 am

What's your first memory? You're a baby or a toddler. Maybe it's a specific experience, maybe an impression. Maybe someone's face, or just a kind of feeling or sense. Or maybe it's a compilation of stories over years. And maybe it's less true than you think it is.

In his new book, Pieces of Light, Charles Fernyhough digs deep into the recesses of memory to figure out what shapes it, how it works and why some things stick with us forever. Fernyhough talks with NPR's Rachel Martin about his own first memory and his exploration of the science of remembering.

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Sunday Puzzle
1:29 am
Sun March 17, 2013

Take Your Pics

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 9:32 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with the letters P-I and the second word starts with C. For example, given "One of 27 compositions by Mozart" you would say "(Pi)ano (C)oncerto."

Last week's challenge: Think of two familiar three-word sayings in which all three words are the same length. The middle word in both sayings is the same. In each saying, the first and last words rhyme with each other. What two sayings are these?

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Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sat March 16, 2013

Hatmaker Philip Treacy's Favorite Hat, And Many More

In the studio, Feb. 10, 1999
Kevin Davies Phaidon

Originally published on Sun March 17, 2013 8:32 am

In 2011, Irish milliner Philip Treacy made waves across the world when he designed 36 different hats for the royal wedding. Remember Princess Beatrice's unforgettable hat? Treacy made that.

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The Salt
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Wine Revolution: As Drinkers And Growers, U.S. Declares Independence

The vineyard at Round Pond Estate in Rutherford, Calif. Napa Valley is just one of wine-growing regions across the country.
Eric Risberg AP

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 10:46 am

A curious shift has happened in global wine-drinking trends: Americans have overtaken the French and Italians, Europe's traditional lovers of the fruits of the vine, as the world's top wine market.

And it's not just wine drinking that's taken off stateside: U.S. wine production is also on the rise.

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Author Interviews
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

Lack Of Conscience Gets A Comeuppance In 'The Accursed'

Courtesy Ecco

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Something suspicious is going on in Princeton, N.J., in the otherwise sleepy year of 1905. Children turn into stone. Spouses disappear into horse-drawn carriages. Snakes squirm up and down walls. Is it some kind of curse? What could the good people of Princeton have possibly done to bring a curse on themselves?

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Author Interviews
3:14 am
Sat March 16, 2013

A Little Blue Alien Helped Hemon Bear Witness To His 'Lives'

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Since his 2000 literary debut, Aleksandar Hemon has been hailed as "a maestro, a conjurer, a channeler of universes." In books including The Question of Bruno and Love and Obstacles, he's written about archdukes and exiles; a Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina of memories; and a Chicago that's in your face.

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Movie Interviews
2:03 am
Sat March 16, 2013

'Leviathan': The Fishing Life, From 360 Degrees

The noisy film is mostly wordless, with animals and nature filling in the blanks between its strangely stark images.
The Cinema Guild

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 5:46 am

Leviathan is a documentary — and yet not a documentary. It's a near-wordless, almost abstract depiction of an 80-foot groundfishing boat heading out of New Bedford, Mass. The film's unusual structure and point of view has gotten rave reviews at festivals and from many critics.

Sometimes you don't know quite what you're seeing and listening to in Leviathan. You hear metal groaning and rasping, see fish, gloves and tools tossed about on a boat that's pitching and rolling in a roaring wind.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:41 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Singer Huey Lewis Plays Not My Job

Courtesy Huey Lewis

Originally published on Sat March 16, 2013 8:29 am

In honor of their 30th anniversary, the 1980s band Huey Lewis and the News is re-releasing their iconic album, Sports.

We've invited Lewis to play a game called "You call yourself a newsman?" Three questions about interesting journalistic mistakes.

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

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
8:55 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Accidental Science

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:42 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now, let's welcome back to the ASK ME ANOTHER hot seat, our VIP Jad Abumrad.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jad, were you sweating it out backstage?

JAD ABUMRAD: Some of this stuff is abusively hard.

EISENBERG: Abusively hard. I don't think it's not...

ABUMRAD: No, no, it's fine. It's all good quizzical fun.

EISENBERG: Good quizzical fun.

ABUMRAD: Yes.

EISENBERG: You're ready.

ABUMRAD: I'm ready.

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NPR Story
8:31 am
Fri March 15, 2013

He Blinded Me With Science

Very Important Puzzler) and host of the public radio show Radiolab." href="/post/he-blinded-me-science" class="noexit lightbox">
"I feel sort of like a vampire would feel. I want to suck the blood of science and dispose of the corpse." - Jad Abumrad, this week's V.I.P. (that's Very Important Puzzler) and host of the public radio show Radiolab.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 8:12 am

Science takes center stage this week as we play games about scientific discoveries both intentional and accidental. We'll get brainy with our Very Important Puzzler, Jad Abumrad, host of WNYC's Radiolab, as he talks about his quest to become a science vampire. Plus, we roll the dice on clues about our favorite board games and find out the premises of fake TV show adaptations, from Finding Emo to Oy! Story.

TED Radio Hour
8:11 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Is The Human Hand Our Best Technology?

"Only the hand can tell where it's tender, where the patient winces." — Abraham Verghese
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 9:58 am

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Abraham Verghese's TEDTalk

Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are data points, and calls for a return to the traditional physical exam.

About Abraham Verghese

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NPR Story
8:00 am
Fri March 15, 2013

Do We Need Humans?

Can we improve technology and preserve human dignity?
Thinkstock

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 12:46 pm

We've been promised a future where robots will be our friends. But are we ready for how those innovations will change us as humans? In this episode, TED speakers consider the promises and perils of our relationship with technology.

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

Movie Reviews
3:18 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

'Ginger & Rosa': Life And Times In Cold War London

Rosa (Alice Englert) and her sometime best friend Ginger (Elle Fanning) are nearly torn apart by the political and social changes of the 1960s.
Nicola Dove A24

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 6:19 pm

Two young actresses with substantial Hollywood pedigrees have the title roles in the new film Ginger & Rosa. Ginger is played by Dakota Fanning's sister, Elle, who at 14 already has more than 30 movie credits. Rosa is played by Alice Englert, daughter of Oscar-winning writer-director Jane Campion and star of last month's Beautiful Creatures. Both actresses get a chance to stretch in Ginger & Rosa.

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

'The Call': Not The Best Connection

LAPD 911 operator Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) hopes to turn a fatal failure into a final victory after a serial killer tries to claim a second young victim on her watch.
Greg Gayne TriStar Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 15, 2013 8:43 am

In the buildup to the climax of Brad Anderson's The Call, a character discovers what the film's villain has been doing with all the teenage girls he's been kidnapping and killing. It's a grisly revelation, and it's played for shock value — both for the audience and for the character making the discovery.

There's only one problem: Early in the film, the body of one of these girls is recovered. So the details of the killer's M.O. shouldn't come as any shock whatsoever to the character that discovers his lair.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

'Burt Wonderstone': Vegas, When The Magic Stops

Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) and Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) are Vegas magicians whose gimmicky, vintage-style act is no match for their modern audiences.
Ben Glass Warner Bros. Pictures

There are some funny bits and characters around the edges of The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, but its core is empty of humor. In fact, this purported satire of Las Vegas magicians is a three-void circus: the script, the central character and the main performance.

The committee-written screenplay begins with the premise that, 20 years after the illusion-busting Penn and Teller set up in Vegas, there could still be a market for a pair of old-school tricksters who call themselves Burt Wonderstone and Anton Marvelton.

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