Arts

My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Spy Vs. Spy: A Former MI5 Director On Loving James Bond

Scottish actor Sean Connery is seen in 1982 during the making of the film Never Say Never Again.
AFP/Getty Images

Stella Rimington writes spy fiction and is the former director general of MI5. Her most recent book is The Geneva Trap.

I first discovered Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love in the early '60s, before I knew that I would join MI5 and become part of that mysterious world myself, and before James Bond had become a worldwide phenomenon through the films.

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The Salt
1:20 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Cross-Culture Cilantro Sauce And Other Secrets Of Gran Cocina Latina

Presilla's Ecuadorian Spicy Onion and Tamarillo Salsa, made right in David Greene's kitchen.
Selena Simmons-Duffin NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 1:27 pm

Chef and culinary historian Maricel Presilla owns two restaurants and has written many cookbooks. But her newest book, Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America, is her attempt to give fans a heaping helping of the many cultures she blends into her world.

"It's my whole life," she tells Morning Edition host David Greene. "There are recipes there of my childhood, things that I remember my family, my aunts doing. But also things that I learned as I started to travel Latin America."

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Books
3:12 pm
Sun January 13, 2013

A 'Beautiful Vision' In Science Forgotten

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 11:48 am

Emily Dickinson's poem that begins with the line "I died for beauty" inspires the title of a new biography of Dorothy Wrinch, the path-breaking mathematician who faced the kind of tumult that scientific inquiry can inspire.

Few people outside the sciences have heard of Wrinch. In 1929, she became the first woman to receive a doctorate of science from Oxford University. But that only begins her largely unknown story.

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Author Interviews
5:40 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'I Accepted Responsibility': McChrystal On His 'Share Of The Task'

Stanley McChrystal's new memoir, My Share of the Task, recounts lessons from his years in the military.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 11:25 am

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he's moved on with his life. The four-star general was forced to resign from the military after his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone article making disparaging remarks about members of the Obama administration.

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Monkey See
5:29 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Watch The Golden Globes With Us, Where The Drinks Are Optional

Seen here in January 2012, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are the hosts of Sunday night's Golden Globes.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 4:24 pm

The Golden Globes have a well-deserved reputation for being both goofy and pretty much meaningless. They've made it into the news the last few years largely by convincing people that Ricky Gervais' Hugh Hefner jokes were dangerous and daring. (They weren't.)

This year, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association has actually done something very promising by lining up Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to host together. Now that — that -- seems like it might be good.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Daughter Of The Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

iStockphoto.com

Roya Hakakian's most recent book is Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial law was in effect. Tehran was burning, bleeding.

A popular American belief holds that the act of writing can somehow save the writer. But having written a couple of books and countless essays, I disagree. What saved me was not writing, but reading.

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Books
3:58 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Life Is Difficult But Rewarding Under This 'Umbrella'

Will Self is a British author and journalist. His latest book, Umbrella, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Polly Borland

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

What is the best way for a writer to reflect life? For most of us, it's probably the traditional novel that has sat on our nightstands the most: the sprawling, linear tale, told from birth to death. For Will Self, the most lifelike story is told inside out, from the minds of the characters, without a narrator, a filter or any explanations along the way.

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Author Interviews
3:55 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Deserts, Coal Walking And Wildfires: Can You Take The 'Heat'?

To understand heat, biologist Bill Streever simmered in some of the hottest places on Earth, including California's Death Valley.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 8:30 am

Scientist and writer Bill Streever is fascinated by the extremes at both ends of the thermometer. In his 2009 book, Cold, he visited some of the chilliest places on Earth. And in his latest book, he treks through Death Valley, investigates fire-based weaponry and walks on coals — all to gain insight into what it means to be hot. Really hot.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Two Is Company, Three Is A Crowd

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 12:22 pm

On-air challenge: Given three three-letter words, give a three-letter word that can follow each to complete a familiar six-letter word. None of the words in a set will be related in meaning. For example, given "dam," "man" and "sew," the answer would be "age," which results in "damage," "manage" and "sewage."

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Movie Interviews
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Ann Dowd's One-Woman Oscar-Nomination Campaign

Ann Dowd plays Sandra, a hard-nosed Midwestern manager of a fast-food franchise in Compliance. The actress spent $13,000 to try to get an Oscar nomination for the role.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 9:01 am

Actress Ann Dowd won huge praise from critics for her role in the indie movie Compliance. But when it came time to start campaigning for nominations ahead of awards season, Magnolia Pictures — the studio that produced the film — told her they didn't have the budget to lobby the Academy for a best supporting actress award for her.

So Dowd did something exceedingly rare in Hollywood: She started her own campaign.

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Author Interviews
2:56 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Father's Death Spurs Son To Tackle Health Care

Random House

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:37 pm

In 2007, David Goldhill's father, in good overall health, checked into the hospital with a minor case of pneumonia. Within a few days, he developed sepsis, then a wave of secondary infections. A few weeks after entering the hospital and the day after his 83rd birthday, he died.

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Books
5:03 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Evan S. Connell: A Master Of Fact And Fiction

Evan S. Connell, whose literary explorations ranged from Depression-era Kansas City in the twin novels Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge to Custer's last stand in Son of the Morning Star, died Thursday in Santa Fe, N.M.
AP

Mrs. Bridge and Gen. Custer: one an invented character, the other a historical figure. You know their names, you can see their faces, even hear their voices as they move across the landscapes in your mind. One in a dining room, in a house in a Kansas City neighborhood, the other riding across the rolling plains of Montana. Mrs. India Bridge and Gen. Custer are some of the most memorable creations of Evan S. Connell, who died this week at the age of 88.

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The Sotomayor Interview
5:01 am
Sat January 12, 2013

Sotomayor Opens Up About Childhood, Marriage In 'Beloved World'

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor applauds during a reception in her honor at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 2:35 pm

Over the course of time, Supreme Court justices have written 225 books. Few reveal much about the justices themselves, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, is a searingly candid memoir about her life growing up in the tenements of the Bronx, going to Princeton and Yale Law School, becoming a prosecutor and a private corporate lawyer and, at age 38, becoming a federal judge.

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Author Interviews
3:35 am
Sat January 12, 2013

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Scholastic & Klutz

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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History
3:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

World War II Exhibit Asks Visitors, 'What Would You Do?'

Using touchscreens, visitors decide how they would make wartime choices.
Courtesy National WWII Museum

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 10:08 am

For many, the stakes and the scale of World War II are hard to fathom. It was a war fought around the world, against powerful, determined regimes in Europe and the Pacific; some 65 million people died. And as the number of people who have actual memories of the war dwindle — as of next year, there will be fewer than 1 million living veterans — the mission of the National World War II Museum in New Orleans becomes all the more urgent.

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Books
3:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 10:54 am

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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Books
2:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 4:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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Movie Interviews
2:45 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

In 'Barbara,' A New Look At Life Behind The Wall

Barbara shows a quiet, restrained normalcy in the former East Germany.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 3:21 pm

The historical drama is a staple of the film awards season, and the tortured history of modern Germany — with its echoes of the brutal Third Reich and war — has played a central role in many an award-winning film. But the new film Barbara, which was Germany's official entry to this year's Oscars, is a nuanced portrait of the more recent history of a newly reunited East and West.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
1:18 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Actor Jeff Bridges Plays Not My Job

Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 9:09 am

Jeff Bridges made his film debut when he was 4 months old and has been acting ever since — he has appeared in dozens of films and won an Oscar along the way, yet will always be known for his defining performance as The Dude in 1998's The Big Lebowski. He has now co-written a book drawing life lessons from the character called The Dude and the Zen Master.

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The Salt
12:58 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

Between A Rumba And A Roll: Dissecting A Bartender's Beat

Bartender J.P. Fetherston demonstrates his shaking technique while making a pisco sour at Rappahannock Oyster Bar in Washington, D.C.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 12:36 pm

When you walk into a crowded bar, the sound may not be apparent at first. But before long, your ears will pick up the rhythm of an unmistakable beat.

It's a bartender's shake.

"Some people think I'm listening to a rumba when I'm shaking," says D.C. bartender Eddie Kim. "I don't think it matters what the background music is as long as you keep a rhythm."

Another Beltway bartender, J.P. Fetherston, agrees, adding that the spectacle helps him keep his audience captivated.

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Monkey See
9:49 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Downton Abbey' And The Right Of Redemption

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

It's taken over 100 episodes, but we're finally digging deeply into Downton Abbey this week, and because Stephen isn't big into the genre of ladies in hats, we called in someone who is: our friend and yours, Barrie Hardymon. (Yes, you Barrie people can jump around with excitement now. We'll only cry a little with jealousy.) We'll talk about the first episode of the new season, what does and doesn't work about the show overall, and Maggie Smith (and yes, this causes Glen to break out his Maggie Smith impression, and what's better than that?).

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Television
9:40 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Lena Dunham Addresses Criticism Aimed At 'Girls'

Girls has been compared to Sex and the City. The characters, played by (from left) Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet, navigate the ups and downs of life in New York City.
HBO

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:25 pm

This interview was originally broadcast on May 7, 2012.

Lena Dunham was just 23 years old when her second feature film, Tiny Furniture, won the best narrative feature prize at the South by Southwest Film Festival. The movie's success led to Dunham striking a deal with HBO for a comedy series about a group of 20-something girls navigating New York City.

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Ask Me Another
8:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Loose Change

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Finally, what we've been waiting for. Let's bring back our winners to play the Ask Me One More final round. From Name that Candy Bar, Sarah Sheppard.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: It's All Squeak to Me, Stephen Kendall. Time to Turn off the TV, Dan Moren. Street Music, Steve Spinoglio. Celebrity Secret Words, Margaret Maloney. All right, Noah, how are we going to wrap this show up?

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Ask Me Another
8:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Celebrity Secret...Words

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Moving on, here are our next two contestants: Margaret Maloney and Eric Schulmiller. Happy to have you.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, you are a cantor at a synagogue, awmane.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And you have Schul in your name.

ERIC SCHULMILLER: That's actually thanks to my wife. We actually combined our names when we got married. I was Miller and she was Schulman, and we just shared.

(LAUGHTER)

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Ask Me Another
8:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Street Music

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let me introduce our next two contestants: Sterling Walker and Steve Spinoglio.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Sterling, you have a PhD in neuroscience. I didn't know that was a real thing. I just thought that was something you say sarcastically to people.

(LAUGHTER)

STERLING WALKER: No, that's true.

EISENBERG: But you actually have it.

WALKER: Yes.

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Ask Me Another
8:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Time To Turn Off The TV

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:10 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two victims, I mean contestants. We have Dan Moren and Alexander Yellen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dan, now you refer to yourself as a veritable IMDB.

DAN MOREN: I don't refer to myself; I have been referred to as. I want to make that clear going in, because I don't - it's very possible I was...

EISENBERG: It just says it on your business card. I get it.

MOREN: Yeah, exactly.

EISENBERG: And you are the child - this is so fascinating to me - of librarians.

MOREN: Yes.

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Ask Me Another
8:10 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Cristin Milioti: She Came From New Jersey

Cristin Milioti, star of the Broadway show Once.
Courtesy of Cristin Milioti

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 8:10 am

They say you can take the Girl out of Jersey, but you can't...you know how the rest goes. Lucky for Cherry Hill, NJ native Cristin Milioti, she's full of hometown pride. But you wouldn't surmise Milioti's Garden State roots from watching her in her 2012 Tony Award-nominated role as "Girl" in the Broadway musical Once, in which she spoke and sang entirely in a convincing Czech accent.

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Television
6:33 am
Fri January 11, 2013

Season Two Brings Changes For 'Girls'

Lena Dunham's series Girls, which follows the lives of a group of young women in New York City, returns to HBO this month.
Jessica Miglio HBO

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 1:25 pm

Of all the cable comedies returning with new episodes Sunday, Girls is the most ambitious — as well as the most unpredictable, and occasionally unsettling.

When thirtysomething premiered on ABC more than 25 years ago — yes, it's been that long — that drama series was both embraced and attacked for focusing so intently on the problems of self-obsessed people in their 30s. What that drama did for that generation, Girls does for a new one — and for an even younger demographic, by presenting a quartet of young women in their mid-20s.

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Television
1:19 am
Fri January 11, 2013

'Living' In Color, Long Before 'Girls'

Living Single (1993-1998) featured four young, black, professional women in New York — including Queen Latifah as the ambitious head of a small magazine.
E.J. Camp Corbis

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 11:14 am

The second season of HBO's critically acclaimed series Girls begins Sunday night, but the show about 20-something girls navigating their social and work lives in New York has itself been criticized for not being diverse enough.

By now, most of you have heard the buzz about Girls: It's written by 26-year-old Lena Dunham, and stars a quartet of young women whose plans sometimes crash face-first into life's nasty realities.

The show's smart dialogue attracted writer Allison Samuels, a cultural critic for Newsweek/The Daily Beast.

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Theater
3:52 pm
Thu January 10, 2013

'Adventure Hour' Is A New Take On Old-Time Radio

Mark Gagliardi and Autumn Reeser, as aviator Amelia Earhart, perform in The Thrilling Adventure Hour. Actors dress up and read scripts onstage in front of a live nightclub audience.
Jonathan Reilly The Thrilling Adventure Hour

Originally published on Thu January 10, 2013 4:26 pm

The creators of The Thrilling Adventure Hour proudly call it "fake radio." It's less an homage to old-time radio and more of a clever update. A live monthly performance at Largo, a 200-seat, scruffy-chic Hollywood nightclub is also available as a popular podcast through Nerdist.

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