Arts

Television
11:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

'The Maya Rudolph Show' And What It'll Take To Bring Back Variety

The Maya Rudolph Show premiered Monday night with guest appearances from Sean Hayes, Fred Armisen and Andy Samberg.
Paul Drinkwater NBC

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 4:40 pm

On Monday night, NBC presented The Maya Rudolph Show, a one-hour prime-time variety special executive produced by Lorne Michaels and featuring many of their mutual Saturday Night Live cohorts, including Fred Armisen, Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell. It also co-starred Kristen Bell, Sean Hayes and singer Janelle Monae. The Maya Rudolph Show was an intentional effort to bring back the old-school TV variety show, but with a new-school slant that bathed most of the show in a distancing self-awareness.

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Author Interviews
11:01 am
Tue May 20, 2014

In Life And Fiction, Edward St. Aubyn Sheds The Weight Of His Past

Edward St. Aubyn's 2006 novel Mother's Milk was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Timothy Allen Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 4:39 pm

The winner of the United Kingdom's only literary prize for comic fiction was awarded Monday to Edward St. Aubyn for his new book, a satire about Britain's most prestigious literary award. The novel is called Lost for Words and it was just published in the U.S.

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Monkey See
10:02 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Be Wary And Bury The Very Scary 'I Wanna Marry Harry'

This is Matt. He looks slightly more like Prince Harry than you do.
Chris Raphael Fox

Gather round, children, and I will tell you of a dark time. A cruel time.

It was a time when reality dating shows were even worse than they are now.

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The Two-Way
6:21 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Book News: Politician's Story Of Growing Up Poor Wins Ondaatje Prize

Alan Johnson's This Boy: A Memoir of a Childhood describes life with his mother and sister in public housing in London's North Kensington neighborhood.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 6:36 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue May 20, 2014

A 'Great Day At Sea' For A Brit Aboard An American Carrier

AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 12:34 pm

One of the most enviable aspects of Geoff Dyer's intellect is how nomadic it is. With dazzling authority and acuity, he has roamed over subjects as varied and dense as jazz (But Beautiful), photography (The Ongoing Moment), D.H. Lawrence (Out of Sheer Rage), and the perfect doughnut (the title essay of Otherwise Known as the Human Condition). Dyer himself is just as peripatetic, and his appetite for new experiences is the perfect reason to procrastinate on writing about them.

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The Salt
4:59 am
Tue May 20, 2014

'Third Plate' Reimagines Farm-To-Table Eating To Nourish The Land

A view of Dan Barber's Stone Barns Center field and barns in Pocantico Hills, N.Y.
Nicole Franzen Courtesy of Blue Hill Farm

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 3:56 pm

Perched on a farm along the Hudson River is Dan Barber's award-winning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The food that's harvested on the farm year-round is what is served to diners daily.

But this champion of the farm-to-table movement noticed that farming and consuming foods locally still wasn't all that sustainable.

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History
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

The Winding Stories Of A Quintessential American Spy

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. On April 18th, 1983, President Ronald Reagan addressed the nation about news that had broken earlier that morning in Lebanon.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED SPEECH)

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Book Reviews
2:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Book Review: 'Abide'

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Two days before his death in 2012, poet Jake Adam York handed in the manuscript for his last book. He was 40 and had already published three collections. Now, his fourth one is out posthumously. It's called "Abide." Poet Tess Taylor has our review.

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The Salt
1:16 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Waffle Breakfast Sandwich

The White Castle Waffle Sandwich pales in comparison with the Carl Kasell Waffle Sandwich.
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 1:37 pm

Like bacon or cupcakes before it, the waffle is enjoying a surge in popularity, showing up everywhere from the Taco Bell Waffle Taco to Chicken and Waffles potato chips.

But fame has its price, and before the waffle hits rock bottom and checks itself into rehab for exhaustion, let's try the White Castle Waffle Breakfast Sandwich.

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Television
12:40 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Louis C.K. On His 'Louie' Hiatus: 'I Wanted The Show To Feel New Again'

In Louie, Louis C.K. plays a comic who finds comedy in uncomfortable, touchy topics.
K.C. Bailey FX

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 12:59 pm

Louis C.K. is now commonly acknowledged as one of the greatest comics of his generation. His celebrated FX series, Louie, started its fourth season a couple weeks ago, after a 19-month hiatus.

Louis C.K. created, writes, directs and stars in the series as a standup comic named Louie, who, like Louis C.K., is the divorced father of two young girls and shares custody with their mother. Last year, Louis C.K. also had prominent roles in two films: Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine and David O. Russell's American Hustle.

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Television
10:43 am
Mon May 19, 2014

New Sitcom 'Unapologetically Embraces' Asian-American Family Life

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now, I want to talk more about one of the shows that Eric just mentioned earlier a few minutes ago. It's a sitcom recently announced by ABC. It will be the first network family sitcom in two decades to feature an Asian-American cast. It's called "Fresh Off The Boat."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "FRESH OFF THE BOAT")

HUDSON YANG: (As Eddie) Me - my American dream is to fit in.

CONSTANCE WU: (As Jessica) Why do all your shirts have black men on them?

H. YANG: (As Eddie) It's Notorious B.I.G.

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The Salt
10:09 am
Mon May 19, 2014

'Fed Up' Portrays Obese Kids As Victims In A Sugar-Coated World

The true stars of the documentary film Fed Up are several children — including Maggie Valentine, 12 — who are trying to lose weight.
YouTube

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 2:50 pm

Just who's to blame for the childhood obesity epidemic? Over the years, the finger has been pointed at parents, video games, Happy Meals and the hamburgers in the school cafeteria.

A new documentary, Fed Up, alleges it all boils down to a simple substance most of us consume every day: sugar. The pushers of "the new tobacco," according to the film, are the food industry and our own government.

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Television
10:04 am
Mon May 19, 2014

TV Networks Double Down On Diversity This Fall

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:43 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. You may have to rethink your TV-watching schedule now that most of the major networks have unveiled their new fall offerings, as well as which shows made the cut and which ones will fade to black.

Later, we will hear from writer Jeff Yang. You've heard him here, on both our Parenting and Barbershop roundtables. He's going to tell us about ABC's new show "Fresh Off The Boat" because his son is the star of the new sitcom.

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Media
10:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

'New York Times' Upheaval: Is This A Barack Vs. Hillary Moment?

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:43 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. We're going to spend a good chunk of the rest of the day's program talking about issues in the media that all happen to bubble up at the same time. Later, we'll talk about why the new fall season just got more colorful. We'll hear about one show that puts an Asian-American family front and center in a network sitcom for the first time in 20 years.

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The Two-Way
8:00 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Gordon Willis, Cinematographer Who Gave Woody Allen Films Their Look, Dies

Cinematographer Gordon Willis poses with his honorary Oscar following a 2009 ceremony in Los Angeles.
Chris Pizzello AP

Gordon Willis, the cinematographer behind such classic 1970s films as Annie Hall, Klute, All the President's Men and the Godfather series, died on Sunday. He was 82.

"One cinematographer had established a kind of noir color look, rich in brown, amber and shadow, that was a vital force in the noir movies made in Hollywood in the 1970s," film historian David Thomson wrote of Willis in his New Biographical Dictionary of Film.

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The Two-Way
5:35 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Book News: Novel Mocking Literary Prizes Wins Literary Prize

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

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NPR Ed
4:03 am
Mon May 19, 2014

What We Learned From The Best Commencement Speeches Ever

Conan O'Brien's 2011 commencement address at Dartmouth College was one of those speeches that was so good it drew news coverage.
Jason R. Henske AP

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:32 am

Something funny has happened to the familiar commencement address in the past 10 years. That something is YouTube. Steve Jobs' 2005 address at Stanford, to take just one example, has been viewed upwards of 20 million times.

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Author Interviews
1:22 am
Mon May 19, 2014

If You Want To Teach Kids History, Try Grossing Them Out First

In her new book Bugged, Sarah Albee explores history through the lens of insects — including how they spread disease, how they influence conflicts, and how they can be a tasty snack.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:46 am

How would a man in a suit of armor go to the bathroom? That inquiry into medieval sanitation is just one of many unlikely topics that have come up around Sarah Albee's dinner table. Albee, a children's book author, has been trying to get middle schoolers interested in history. Her strategy is to look at it through the lens of something that gets kids' attention, namely: things that are gross.

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My Big Break
3:00 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

A Big Break Realized Amid Fluorescent Lights and Slurpee Machines

Before his big break, Terry Boring worked as an assistant manager at a convenience store in Pittsburgh.
Jessica Ferringer Courtesy of Terry Boring

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 10:44 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

It all started with a dead-end job at a convenience store in Pittsburgh. Terry Boring says he had the worst job there: the assistant manager.

"You get none of the respect of the store manager and you get all of the terrible hours that they can't get anyone else to work," he says.

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Author Interviews
2:41 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

Revolution, Fatherhood And 5 Years In The Middle East

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 6:54 am

In 2008, Nathan Deuel and his wife packed up their things and moved to Saudi Arabia. That country, famous for being largely closed to Westerners, was newly open to a handful of journalists. The couple moved to Riyadh. A year later, in 2009, their daughter was born.

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Movie Interviews
2:37 pm
Sun May 18, 2014

What's In A Roar? Crafting Godzilla's Iconic Sound

Godzilla's original 1954 roar was created by composer Akira Ifukube, who dragged a resin-coated leather glove along the loosened strings of a double bass.
Toho

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 9:47 am

Godzilla roared to No. 1 at the box office on opening weekend. The latest reboot of the sci-fi blockbuster brings a new take on the monster's iconic roar to the silver screen.

Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl designed the sound for the new movie.

"I think that the Godzilla roar probably tops the King Kong roar in terms of iconic-ness," Van der Ryn says.

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Putting A Face Behind The 'Sting Of The Drone'

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Few people know the ins and outs of power politics in the nation's capital better than Richard A. Clarke. He served three presidents and as national coordinator for security and counterterrorism, he was instrumental in developing the nation's armed drone program.

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Business
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

New Initiative Aims To Encourage Diversity In Kids' Publishing

First Book CEO Kyle Zimmer says her data shows children read more enthusiastically when they see themselves reflected in their books.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun May 18, 2014 9:24 am

The lack of diversity in children's literature is nothing new – it's an issue that's been roiling the book world for years. Just in the past few weeks, it's come to a head with the We Need Diverse Books campaign on Twitter and Tumblr. Everyone agrees: all kinds of kids need to be able to see themselves reflected in the books they read.

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Author Interviews
5:41 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Novel Humanizes The 'Hyena Of The Gestapo'

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:47 am

Transcript

LYNN NEARY, HOST:

Francine Prose's new novel "Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932" was inspired by a picture taken by the famous Hungarian photographer Brassai. It shows a lesbian couple at a club in Paris before World War II. One of the women in the photo is dressed in a tuxedo. Her hair is short and slicked back like a man. She was Violette Morris, an athlete and racecar driver whose career was cut short because she was a cross-dresser.

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You Must Read This
3:29 am
Sun May 18, 2014

Cat Bite Takes A Dramatic Chunk Out Of These 'Desperate Characters'

Every so often, I read a novel and I experience all the clichés: my heart leaps into my throat, my pulse races, I'm stunned speechless. All this tawdry emotion occurs when I read sentences like this:

"He wasn't a seducer. He was remote. He was like a man preceded into a room by acrobats."

Or this:

"Now it was like the labored conversation among guests at a late hour after there is nothing more to say, nothing but ashes in the fireplace, dishes in the sink, a chill in the room, a return to ordinary estrangement."

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Arts & Life
3:09 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

Shifting Images: Cleaning Up Amsterdam And Controversial Art

Originally published on Mon May 19, 2014 11:06 am

Transcript

TESS VIGELAND, HOST:

It is time for The New and The Next.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

VIGELAND: Eugene Robinson is the deputy editor of the online magazine Ozy. And he's filling in for Carlos Watson this week as we talk about what's new and what's next. Welcome back, Eugene.

EUGENE WATSON: Hey, thanks for having me, Tess.

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Your Money
3:07 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

In 'Clash Of The Financial Pundits,' Clarity For The Investor?

It's one thing to listen to financial pundits for insight. It's another to act on their advice.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 12:51 pm

Millions of Americans get financial advice from pundits on talk radio and cable television.

Since the 2008 financial crisis, many of those pundits have gotten a bad name for failing to warn investors about the crash. Yet public frustration has done little to hurt the financial media industry as a whole.

In their new book, Clash of the Financial Pundits, Joshua Brown and Jeff Macke argue that financial punditry is not going anywhere; it's been around as long as there have been economies.

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Author Interviews
2:17 pm
Sat May 17, 2014

No One Wants To Be With The Marlboro Man: Terry Crews On 'Manhood'

Terry Crews is a former NFL linebacker and now an actor. Manhood: How to Be a Better Man — or Just Live with One is his first book.
Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 20, 2014 5:45 am

When Hollywood needs a big dude — a really big dude — they can call on all sorts of former athletes. Few come with the heart and humor of Terry Crews.

An 11th-round draft pick of the Rams, Crews gave up his NFL dream in 1997 to pursue a different dream in Hollywood. He thought he'd turn his love of art into a job behind the scenes in special effects. Instead, he has stolen scenes on camera — from action movies like The Expendables to TV comedies like the Golden Globe-winning Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

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Arts & Life
7:11 am
Sat May 17, 2014

Barbara Walters: The Original Peggy Olson

NBC News' Barbara Walters in 1965.
NBC NewsWire/Getty

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 8:20 pm

By the time a bright-eyed secretary named Peggy Olson walked through the fictional doors of the Madison Avenue advertising agency Sterling Cooper in 1960, one very real female pioneer was already hard at work down the street.

Like her Mad Men counterpart, the 84-year-old broadcasting legend Barbara Walters, who retired from television this week, got her start as a secretary for a Manhattan advertising agency. And though Walters' rise from the secretarial pool began much earlier and took much longer than Peggy's, it was no less dramatic.

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Author Interviews
5:58 am
Sat May 17, 2014

'Wynne's War,' A Modern Take On The Classic 'Mideastern'

Originally published on Sat May 17, 2014 9:29 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Aaron Gwyn has written a novel about modern man at war on horses. He calls it a mideastern. "Wynne's War" is the story of a U.S. Army Ranger from Okla., Elijah Russell, whose stellar horsemanship gets him assigned to train Green Berets for a special mission in Afghanistan, a horseback raid on the Taliban in treacherous mountain territory.

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