Arts

Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Small Screen Test

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Next up on ASK ME ANOTHER, we have our two new contestants, Scott Schwartz and Julieanne Smolinski.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Julieanne, I want to talk to you about this. You, you're a little famous.

JULIEANNE SMOLINSKI: Oh thank you, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes. People in the audience know. Can you...

SMOLINSKI: Those are my friends. They don't count at all.

EISENBERG: They - oh that's your friends. Do you know what I'm actually talking about when I just say that to you?

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

I'm A P.C.

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right everybody, this is what we've all been waiting for, our Ask Me One More final round. Our final elimination round will determine the grand champion of this week's ASK ME ANOTHER. Let's bring back the winners from all of our previous rounds. From Bingo: Tony Hightower.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From Breakfast Cereal Haiku: Karl Devries.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: On with their heads: Tom Kelso.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: And Small Screen Test: Julieanne Smolinski.

(APPLAUSE)

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

B-I-N-G-O

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

All right, let's start the show? You guys ready to start the show?

JONATHAN COULTON: Yes.

EISENBERG: All right, let's do it.

COULTON: Please.

EISENBERG: We have our first contestants. Give them a hand everybody.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: All right. Hi, Tony Hightower. Welcome.

TONY HIGHTOWER: Hi, Ophira.

EISENBERG: You're originally from Toronto.

HIGHTOWER: I am.

EISENBERG: And you are a singer.

HIGHTOWER: I do sing. I have sang.

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

On With Their Heads

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 9:47 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Alright. Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jamie Fried and Tom Kelso.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hi Tom Kelso.

TOM KELSO: Hello Ophira.

EISENBERG: Do you have some experience in the theatre, being onstage in the past?

KELSO: Quite a bit, I've done shows in Louisiana, here in New York, Chicago, Baltimore.

EISENBERG: As an actor or?

KELSO: Both as an actor and backstage.

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Breakfast Cereal Haiku

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 8:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

You're listening to ASK ME ANOTHER, answering questions since 2012. I'm your host, Ophira Eisenberg, and with me is puzzler extraordinaire Noah Tarnow.

(APPLAUSE)

NOAH TARNOW: Hello. Thank you, Ophira.

EISENBERG: Hi, thank you. Thank you for being a puzzler extraordinaire.

TARNOW: You're welcome. I worked hard to get here today.

EISENBERG: I know, I don't use that lightly, either. Sometimes I just say puzzle good guy.

TARNOW: Yeah.

EISENBERG: You know, extraordinaire's a big deal.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu January 24, 2013

An 'Artful' Approach To Literary Criticism

Penguin Press

Ali Smith's superb new book, Artful, began as a series of talks on comparative literature that were delivered at St. Anne's College, Oxford, in January and February of last year. It must've been one hell of a show. "The second week, the students had tripled," Smith told The Independent, and by the final week you couldn't find an open seat in the back row.

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Research News
1:37 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

William Shakespeare, depicted in this 17th century painting, penned his sonnets on parchment. Now his words have found a new home ... in twisting strands of DNA.
Attributed to John Taylor National Portrait Gallery

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:19 am

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

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Author Interviews
1:33 am
Thu January 24, 2013

'Insurgents' Hoped To Change Military From Within

Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 11:30 am

National security reporter Fred Kaplan was the first to publicly link Paula Broadwell to Gen. David Petraeus in last fall's affair scandal, but that's not the topic of his new book. In fact, it's barely an addendum. Instead, Kaplan focuses in depth on counterinsurgency — a cornerstone of Petraeus' legacy.

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Fine Art
3:12 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

In 'According To What?' Ai Weiwei Makes Mourning Subversive

Grapes, a spiky cluster of wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is part of Ai Weiwei's repurposed furniture series.
Cathy Carver Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 2:48 pm

How do we honor the dead? How do we commit them to memory? And how do we come to terms with the way they died?

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Asia
11:19 am
Wed January 23, 2013

'Friends' Will Be There For You At Beijing's Central Perk

Customers chat at a Beijing cafe modeled after the Central Perk cafe in the hit American sitcom Friends, in 2010. Nearly a decade after the series ended, the popularity of Friends continues among young Chinese, who use the show as a language-learning tool and enjoy its depiction of young Americans.
Ng Han Guan AP

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 6:53 pm

Almost a decade since the end of the hit American TV series Friends, the show — and, in particular, the fictitious Central Perk cafe, where much of the action took place — is enjoying an afterlife in China's capital, Beijing. Here, the show that chronicled the exploits of New York City pals Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey is almost seen as a lifestyle guide.

Tucked away on the sixth floor of a Beijing apartment block is a mini replica of the cafe, orange couch and all, whose owner Du Xin introduces himself by saying, "Everyone calls me 'Gunther' here."

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Television
8:59 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel: Making Late Night A Family Affair

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel interviews Mel Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Randy Holmes ABC

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 10:04 am

This month, Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, joins the 11:35 p.m. nightly lineup — which puts him in direct competition with two reining comedy kings: Jay Leno and Kimmel's idol, David Letterman.

Kimmel, who paid tribute to Letterman at the Kennedy Center Honors in December, didn't break the news to Letterman himself.

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Kitchen Window
5:38 am
Wed January 23, 2013

A Slight Twist On The Sunday Roast

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 11:08 am

There are certain foods that are almost as fun to say as they are to eat. This is especially true when it comes to British cuisine. There are the easy jokes about bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), bubble and squeak (fried patties of cabbage, potatoes and any other random leftovers) and stargazy pie (savory pastry with whole sardines horrifyingly poking their heads out the top crust). While it doesn't have quite the same Anglotastic drama, my favorite entry in the genre is the simple Sunday roast.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Here's To The Pleasures Of 'Drinking With Men'

iStockphoto.com

"More than anywhere else," writes Rosie Schaap, "bars are where I've figured out how to relate to others and how to be myself." It's the same for a lot of us, though many won't admit it. Americans tend to have a weirdly puritanical view of drinking, and a lot of people see bars as nothing more than havens for lowlifes and alcoholics. But as Schaap points out in her new memoir, they're missing out. "You can drink at home. But a good bar? ... It's more like a community center, for people — men and women — who happen to drink."

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Movie Interviews
1:26 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Mel Brooks, 'Unhinged' And Loving It

Mel Brooks has made a name for himself with comedy classics like Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein and The Producers.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:28 pm

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

A Poignant Voyage On 'The Pirogue'

More than 30 men set out to sea in the titular boat of The Pirogue. With that many actors and only an hour of time, not every character gets fleshed out — but the director's eye for singular faces helps.
ArtMattan Productions

The journey from Senegal and poverty to Europe and supposed prosperity takes seven days by fishing boat. The Pirogue spends only about an hour on open water, but that's enough to convey the risks that make the trip foolish, and the desperation that makes it inevitable.

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Movies
2:58 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Female Directors Make Strong Showing At Sundance

A scene from director Ryan Coogler's Fruitvale, an entry in this year's U.S. Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival. It dramatizes the 2009 shooting of an unarmed man by a Bay Area transit police officer.
Rachel Morrison Sundance Film Festival

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 3:28 pm

Sundance, the biggest American film festival, has been known for its off-kilter picks. Steven Zeitchik, arts and entertainment writer for the Los Angeles Times, tells NPR's Melissa Block that this year's gathering in Park City, Utah, is no different.

Sex Sells At Sundance

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Author Interviews
2:57 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

A Historic Arrival: New York's Grand Central Turns 100

Beams of sunlight stream through the windows of Grand Central Terminal, circa 1930.
Hal Morey Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 11:44 am

Where's the Apple store? Where's the bathroom? How do I get out of here?

Those are some of the most commonly asked questions from people visiting New York's Grand Central Terminal, according to information booth officer Audrey Johnson-Gordon. And it's no wonder: The terminal boasts passages, ramps, restaurants, stores, subway connections and more passages. It is, after all, a temple of transit, full of people going somewhere else in a hurry.

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Movies
1:56 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Sundance Subsidy Stirs Conservative Pushback

Robert Redford's annual Sundance Film Festival draws thousands of filmgoers and millions of dollars to snowy Park City, Utah. But a state subsidy contributing to the event is drawing controversy from some conservatives, who say films screened at the festival don't reflect the values of the state.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 6:48 pm

A disagreement between supporters of the Sundance Film Festival and a conservative think tank in Utah is raising questions about whether tax dollars should support the arts. The Sutherland Institute says some films screened at Sundance do not reflect Utah values.

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The Salt
12:36 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

The Inaugural Food Scene In 12 Bites

The restaurant Equinox served a Sunday brunch on Jan. 20 featuring courses inspired by President Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s favorite foods, including this salad of citrus cured arctic char with watermelon radish, mache leaves and lobster vinaigrette.
Daniel M.N. Turner Daniel M.N. Turner / NPR

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 7:32 am

Uptown and downtown in D.C. this weekend, some 600,000 people or so celebrated President Obama's second inauguration. And they were hungry.

Reflecting the president's message of diversity, city chefs and caterers turned out everything from highbrow brunches featuring smoked salmon and eggs Benedict to a luau, complete with leis and a spit-roasted pig. And there were plenty of hot dogs and chicken and waffles to be found between the balls.

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Parenting
10:09 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Comedian Margaret Cho As 'Mother To The World'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but maybe you just need a few moms in your corner. Every week, we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice.

Today, though, we're going to go in a different direction for some observations about parenthood and, unusually for us, she is actually not a parent herself, but her observations about her own mom have been a cornerstone of her career. Here she is.

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Missing Out: On The Uses Of Dissatisfaction

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:11 am

From Malcolm Gladwell to the Freakonomics guys to (discredited) science writer Jonah Lehrer, writers these past few years have flooded bookstores with popular nonfiction titles that purport to tell us how we think. But something has been lost amid the recent vogue for cognitive science and behavioral economics. What about the human part of human behavior — the dreams and desires that set us apart from animals and computers? Are we just assemblages of neurons and chemicals?

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
1:39 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: Hidden Lives

Longtime CIA agent and counterintelligence agent Jeanne Vertefeuille, pictured at center, was instrumental in uncovering undercover agents, or moles, within the organization in the 1980s and '90s.
Central Intelligence Agency

Originally published on Tue January 22, 2013 8:06 am

Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, occasionally joins Morning Edition to talk about what she's been reading for a feature we call "Word of Mouth." This month, she recommends a trio of stories on people who've led hidden and often extraordinary lives — a businesswoman and technological giant who started life in Chinese re-education camps, a billionaire investor and education reformer whose personal experiences are too big for a series of ghostwriters, and a CIA agent whose job was to find a story among piles of forgotten documents.

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Arts & Life
3:13 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Hundreds Of Thousands Gather On National Mall For Inauguration Ceremony

President Obama was ceremonially sworn in for a second term on the steps of the U.S. Capitol on Monday. Melissa Block has highlights of the ceremony and the president's speech.

Television
11:43 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Kevin Bacon, Seeking A TV 'Following'

Jeannane Goossen and Kevin Bacon star as FBI special agents tracing a network of serial killers in Fox's new crime drama The Following.
Fox

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 11:46 am

In the new Fox TV series The Following, Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent asked to help apprehend an escaped serial killer he once put behind bars. The show is from Kevin Williamson, who also created the Scream horror-movie franchise.

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Author Interviews
11:19 am
Mon January 21, 2013

'Double V': The Fight For Civil Rights In The U.S. Military

The fight to integrate the U.S. military began with the Revolutionary War, says author Rawn James, Jr.
Bloomsbury Press

In his new book, The Double V: How Wars, Protest and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military, author Rawn James Jr. argues that if one wants to understand the story of race in the United States, one must understand the history of African-Americans in the country's military. Since the country was founded, he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, the military "has continually been forced to confront what it means to segregate individuals according to race."

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Jan. 21-27: A Robbery, An Assassin And A Writer's Pilgrimage

Crown

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Richard Ford, Chris Pavone and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Urban Oases: Getting Lost in 'Invisible Cities'

Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 11:11 am

Eric Weiner's latest book is Man Seeks God: My Flirtations with the Divine.

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Arts & Life
1:22 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Aretha Franklin Was Already Famous, But Her Hat-Maker Wasn't

At the Jan. 20, 2009, inauguration of President Obama, Aretha Franklin's hat nearly stole the show. Her chapeau became a sensation, and made its creator, 36-year-old Luke Song, famous overnight.
Ron Edmonds AP

Originally published on Mon January 21, 2013 10:54 am

After the first Obama inauguration, everybody talked about three things: the historic moment, the Arctic weather — and Aretha Franklin's hat.

If it is possible for a piece of millinery to steal the thunder of one of the most-watched moments in recent memory, the Queen of Soul's hat managed to do it. Her gray felt cloche was topped with a giant, matching bow, outlined in rhinestones that flashed in the chill sunlight as she sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

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Author Interviews
3:29 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

George Saunders On Absurdism And Ventriloquism In 'Tenth Of December'

iStockphoto.com

George Saunders has been writing short stories for decades.

Saunders, a professor at Syracuse University, was once a geological engineer who traveled the world; he now crafts stories that combine the absurd and fantastic with the mundane realities of everyday life. One story about a professional caveman inspired those Geico commercials.

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Author Interviews
2:12 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Connecting With Nature To Reclaim Our Natural 'Birthright'

Stephen Kellert is a professor emeritus and senior research scholar at Yale University.
John Mueller Yale University Press

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 3:29 pm

"Contact with nature is not some magical elixir but the natural world is the substrate on which we must build our existence," writes Stephen Kellert in his new book Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World.

In it, he tells stories of the environment's effect on us, and ours on it. His writing builds on the traditions of Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson. Modern society, he argues, has become adversarial in its relationship to nature, having greatly undervalued the natural world beyond its narrow utility.

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