Arts

Pop Culture
1:43 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

A-List Celebrities Flock To Late-Night 'Graham Norton Show'

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 9:39 am

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. Now that the late-night talk show wars have settled down again, our TV critic David Bianculli says there's a talk show we should be watching that's not broadcast by CBS, NBC or ABC or even Comedy Central. It's "The Graham Norton Show," imported by BBC America and shown on Saturday nights. Here's David's review.

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Monkey See
11:06 am
Mon June 16, 2014

For Casey Kasem, A Long-Distance Dedication

Seen here in 2003, Casey Kasem spent much of a long career making music listening less lonely.
Eric Jamison AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 12:53 pm

The fact that Casey Kasem, the 82-year-old co-creator and host of the American Top 40 Countdown, reportedly died peacefully while surrounded by his three children, despite a previous tug-of-war between his children and second wife, seems not only fortunate but apt. It means his death can honor his career's great achievement.

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Music
10:29 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Bon Iver's 'Holocene': A Perfect Song To Write To

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we're going to hear from Andy Marra - a transgender activist who writes about different kind of freedom - freedom from wondering about her roots and fear of not being accepted. She spoke to us about finding her birth mother in Korea after coming out as transgender. For a regular segment we call In Your Ear, she shared some of the songs that helped her write that story.

ANDY MARRA: My name is Andy Marra and I am listening to "Lullabies" by Yuna.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LULLABIES")

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Around the Nation
10:29 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Activist Janet Mock: Please Respect Transgender Teens

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
6:58 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Spoiler-Free 'Game Of Thrones' Twitter Translator

Emilia Clarke as this beautiful blonde lady who may or may not one day be murdered on HBO's Game of Thrones. If she is, Twitter will tell you.
Helen Sloan HBO

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:55 am

Despite watching a great deal of television — highbrow, lowbrow, middlebrow — I don't watch Game of Thrones. I have never been a fantasy fan, I can't tolerate extensive world-building without nodding off, I don't gravitate toward stories about epic wars, and I'm not particularly drawn by either nudity or innard-splattering. I watched more than half of the first season, I think, but I eventually reached a point in which my brain emphatically said, "This is not going to get better for us."

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The Two-Way
5:42 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Book News: Labor Department Investigating Deaths At Amazon Warehouses

Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 6:35 pm

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

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Food
8:15 am
Sun June 15, 2014

The Milkman's Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More

Driver Rick Galloway of South Mountain Creamery delivers milk in Liberty Town, Md., in 2004. Today the company has 8,500 home delivery accounts in five states.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 8:50 am

You don't even have to get out of your PJs to go to the farmers market now.

All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike.

Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered.

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Author Interviews
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

A Media Critique In 'The Last Magazine'

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:38 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, BYLINE: And back when the U.S. was preparing to invade Iraq in 2003, a young reporter was getting his start in the world of magazines. Michael Hastings went on to report from the war in Iraq and became best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone profile of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who was then head of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The article ultimately ended Gen. McChrystal's military career.

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Author Interviews
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Painful Path To Fatherhood Inspires Poet's New Collection

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:00 am

Douglas Kearney's new book of poetry, Patter, is not something you pick up casually. It demands a lot from its audience — one reviewer wrote that the book's readers must be "agile, adaptive, vigilant and tough."

But the payoff is worth it. Kearney takes his readers into an extremely private struggle, shared with his wife: their attempt to conceive a child. The poems trace a journey through infertility, miscarriage, in vitro fertilization and, finally, fatherhood.

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Food
5:26 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Ballpark Food: As American As Hotdogs With Bacon And Pesto

Originally published on Sun June 15, 2014 9:51 am

It's not just peanuts and Cracker Jacks anymore. As we head into summer, Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast tells NPR's Rachel Martin how to size up ballpark dining options from sushi to gelato.

Three Books...
2:36 am
Sun June 15, 2014

Stitch This: Three Not-At-All Cozy Books About Quilting

When you mention quilts to non-quilters, many think of chintz and florals, pastel ducks and alphabet blocks. It's true that many quilts are like that, in novels as well as in junk shops and craft shows.

However, some novels use quilts in a much darker, more robust way, the writers mercifully avoiding the temptation to blithely suggest that "life is a patchwork quilt."

So forget the chintz. Here are three books where quilts and quilters kick butt.

Tracy Chevalier's most recent novel is The Last Runaway.

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Author Interviews
3:07 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

'Brutal Youth': Three High Schoolers Fight To Survive Bullying

Anthony Breznican is a reporter for Entertainment Weekly. Brutal Youth is his first novel.
Anthony Breznican

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:20 am

Anthony Breznican reports on Hollywood for Entertainment Weekly. Turns out he's got a story to tell, too.

His debut novel, Brutal Youth, was just released and he's even got a Hollywood pitch for it. "It's kinda like Fight Club meets The Breakfast Club," Breznican tells NPR's Arun Rath.

It's about bullying at a Catholic high school called St. Michael the Archangel. Students have to choose to go along, to stand their ground, and in some cases, to lash out in order to survive.

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The Salt
12:17 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Holographic Chocolates Look As Beautiful As They Taste

A company called Morphotonix has given traditional Swiss chocolate-making a colorful twist: It's devised a method to imprint shiny holograms onto the sweet surfaces.
Courtesy of Morphotonix

For most of us, even one bite of chocolate is enough to send our taste buds into ecstasy. Now, scientists have concocted a process to make these dark, dulcet morsels look as decadent as they taste.

Switzerland-based company Morphotonix has given traditional Swiss chocolate-making a colorful twist: It's devised a method to imprint shiny holograms onto the sweet surfaces — sans harmful additives. Which means when you tilt the goodies from side to side, rainbow stars and swirly patterns on the chocolate's surface dance and shimmer in the light.

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Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Author Reveals Imagined Pop Icons' Letters In 'Dear Luke'

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Dear Luke, We Need To Talk. Darth is a fictitious compilation of notes and letters by some of popular culture's beloved characters. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with its author, John Moe.

Author Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

In 'Pills And Starships,' Teens Come Of Age On A Devastated Earth

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Nat and her family are going to Hawaii on a family vacation. Now, she's 17 and has a younger brother named Sam. The family looks forward to massages and fabulous dinners and shows. But their parents aren't coming back. They live in a mid-21st century world in which people can live to 110, but instead often choose to die. The planet they knew is being destroyed by tsunamis, heat waves, hurricanes, famines, foul water and the Great Pacific Trash Vortex. Garbage that's formed a mass bigger than South America in the ocean.

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Movie Interviews
6:04 am
Sat June 14, 2014

'How To Train Your Dragon' Sound Designer Explains The Movie's Roars

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

"How To Train Your Dragon 2" opens this weekend around the country. The Academy Award winning sound designer Randy Thom, who's worked for NPR, did the sound design for this animated film and we asked him to deconstruct one particular scene where the hero, Hiccup, confronts a menacing group of dragons in the cave.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2")

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Latin America
6:03 am
Sat June 14, 2014

Why Cuban Ballet Dancers Risk Defecting

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:12 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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This Week's Must Read
3:27 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Eric Cantor And A Defeat Of Biblical Proportions

cover detail

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:52 pm

After his unexpected defeat in the Republican primary, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor opened a press conference by saying, "In the Jewish faith, you know, I grew up, went to Hebrew school, read a lot in the Old Testament, and you learn a lot about individual setbacks."

This is not mere piety, and the King James Version of the Bible, made up of the Old Testament and the New, is a terrific book. The heroes of these stories do not lead the race wire to wire. Those who are elevated are tested and taught by disaster.

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Movie Interviews
3:24 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

A Tip From Ben Stiller: On Set, A 'Chicken' Is Not What It Seems

When Ben Stiller hears "chicken in the gate," rarely does he actually present someone with a live chicken.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 10:14 am

Each line of work has its own cryptic code: words and phrases that would baffle any outsider. These terms may sound like nonsense to someone with untrained ears, but to those who operate in a certain world, their meanings are as clear as day.

To get a better handle on some of the stranger things people say at work, All Things Considered is kicking off a new series called "Trade Lingo." It's a quest to mine the jewels of meaning beneath the jargon.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:09 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Not My Job: Author Mary Higgins Clark Gets Quizzed On Writer's Block

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 9:42 am

Suspense writer Mary Higgins Clark is an enormously prolific author, so we've invited her to come play a game called "I got nothin'." Three questions about authors who suffer from the dreaded curse of Writer's Block, inspired by "Blocked: Why Do Writers Stop Writing?" a New Yorker article by Joan Acocella.

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Book News & Features
3:03 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Charles Wright: The Contemplative Poet Laureate

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 6:27 pm

Our next poet laureate may end up speaking on behalf of the more private duties of the poet — contemplation, wisdom, searching — rather than public ones. In one of his first public statements after learning of his new post, Charles Wright said that, as laureate, "I'll probably stay here at home and think about things." He also told NPR, "I will not be an activist laureate, I don't think, the way Natasha [Trethewey] was ... and certainly not the way Billy Collins was, or Bob Hass, or Rita Dove, or Robert Pinsky; you know, they had programs. I have no program."

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Code Switch
2:28 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

An Opera Remembers The Tragedy Of An Asian-American Soldier

Andrew Stenson plays Pvt. Danny Chen in An American Soldier, a new opera about the hazing and death of the Chinese-American soldier from New York City.
Sarah Tilotta NPR

Originally published on Sat June 14, 2014 10:34 am

About two years ago, playwright David Henry Hwang turned down an offer to write a play about the brief life and suicide of Army Pvt. Danny Chen.

But an opera? He couldn't refuse.

"This is a story with big emotions, big primary colors in a way, and big plot events," says Hwang, who wrote the libretto for An American Soldier, a new hourlong opera commissioned by Washington National Opera.

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Author Interviews
12:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Lawrence' Of Arabia: From Archaeologist To War Hero

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 9:34 am

Scott Anderson's book explains how British officer T.E. Lawrence used his knowledge of Arab culture and medieval history to advance British causes. Originally broadcast Aug. 19, 2013.

Movie Reviews
12:58 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

'Obvious Child': A Momentous Film Of Small, Embarrassing Truths

Jenny Slate plays Donna, a standup comic who gets pregnant after sleeping with an earnest, Vermont-bred business student named Max (Jake Lacy).
Courtesy of A24 Films

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 2:33 pm

Obvious Child centers on Donna Stern, an aspiring standup comic in her late 20s who's out of her depth in the grown-up world. After getting smashed and having unprotected sex with a guy she barely knows, Donna discovers she's pregnant and decides to have an abortion. It shouldn't be a particularly earthshaking turn. But in a world of rom-coms like Knocked Up and Juno, in which the heroines make the heartwarming decision to go ahead with their pregnancies, this modest little indie movie feels momentous.

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Movie Reviews
12:18 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

It's A Summer Sequel Spectacular With 'Dragon' And 'Jump Street'

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum age out of high school in a Jump Street sequel that doesn't mess with its successful formula.
Sony Pictures

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 4:23 pm

In a summer of sequels — 16 in all — this weekend is the sequelliest, offering blockbuster deja-vu (How To Train Your Dragon 2 AND 22 Jump Street) as well as a few object lessons in how to train your audience. One film goes all meta with its concept, the other goes back to basics, and for a change, both approaches work.

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Barbershop
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The World's Watching Soccer, But Basketball Is On The Barbershop's Brain

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Arts & Life
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Remembering Ruby Dee: 'Think Of Me And Feel Encouraged'

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Politics
11:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Stories Of President George H.W. Bush, From 41 Closest Friends

Originally published on Fri June 13, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
6:48 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Edge Of Tomorrow' And Noble Flops

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

If you're looking for a movie to see this weekend, may we recommend a movie you may not have seen last weekend?

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The Two-Way
5:56 am
Fri June 13, 2014

Book News: A Q&A With IMPAC Award Winner Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Juan Gabriel Vásquez is a Colombian author whose works include The Sound of Things Falling and The Informers.
Hermance Triay Courtesy Riverhead

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

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