Arts

The Salt
10:45 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Why Americans Go Crazy For Pumpkin And Pumpkin-Flavored Stuff

Pumpkins for sale at the Mt. Rogers Pumpkin Patch in the a parking lot in Centreville, Va.
Paul J. Richards Getty

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 2:03 pm

At Thanksgiving, many of us will dig into the pointy tip of our first piece of pumpkin pie for the season. However, this Thursday, that nostalgic moment might feel a little less special.

This year, the word "pumpkin" seems to be creeping its way into hundreds of foods, drinks, and other products. As The Huffington Post noted recently, you can now find pumpkin-inspired beers, teas, marshmallows, soy milk, Pop-Tarts, and Pringles.

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Book Reviews
6:31 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Graphic Novels That Flew Under The Radar In 2012

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 2:20 pm

In 2012, several high-profile comics creators added landmark works to their already impressive legacies. With Building Stories, Chris Ware offered 14 volumes of comics, each with its own meticulous, anagrammatic take on despair, and stuffed them into a box.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Famous Father Had Highest 'Expectations'

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

You would think, wouldn't you, that the man who created such heartrendingly sympathetic children as Oliver Twist, Pip, Tiny Tim and poor Little Nell would be a stupendous father. Well, the Charles Dickens who emerges from Robert Gottlieb's Great Expectations, a compulsively readable if occasionally repetitive account of what happened to the great writer's brood of seven sons and three daughters, is not so wonderful.

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Movies
1:26 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Controversial Casting For A Nina Simone Biopic

Nina Simone (left) and actress Zoe Saldana are seen in this composite image. Saldana has been cast to play the late singer in a film biopic.
John Minihan/Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 9:35 am

The rumors that had been around for a couple of years have finally been confirmed: At long last, there's a film in the works about the turbulent life of Nina Simone, otherwise known as the "High Priestess of Soul."

Simone was famous from the 1950s through the '70s for her music and her civil rights activism. And although she died in 2003, her voice remains popular on TV, movie soundtracks and commercials.

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Movie Interviews
1:24 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Bradley Cooper On Getting Back To His Roots

Cooper's character, Pat Solatano, meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) while trying to get his life together after being released from a state institution.
The Weinstein Company

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 1:31 pm

Actor Bradley Cooper became famous for a bachelor party gone wrong in the hit comedy The Hangover. From that role, Cooper went on to People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive." Now there's talk of Oscar buzzing around his new movie Silver Linings Playbook, directed by David O. Russell.

In the film, Cooper plays Pat Solatano, just out of a psychiatric facility and struggling with bipolar disorder. Pat moves back home, where his parents try to manage his moods.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Tue November 20, 2012

Talking Turkey (And Pie) In 'Thanksgiving'

Sarah C. Rutherford Random House

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:56 pm

In the introduction to his new book, Sam Sifton lays it out: "Thanksgiving is not easy." Sifton knows whereof he speaks; he's now the national editor of The New York Times, but before he took on that solemn responsibility, he was the newspaper's restaurant critic and a food columnist for its Sunday Magazine.

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Movies
1:23 am
Tue November 20, 2012

When 'Unfilmable' Books Make Memorable Movies

A Bengal tiger named Richard Parker plays a central role in Life of Pi, a new movie adaptation of a novel some might describe as unfilmable.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 6:10 am

The centerpiece of the film Life of Pi is a boy adrift on a lifeboat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean. That's easy enough for Yann Martel to describe in his novel — but hard to make happen on the set of a movie. As it happens, Pi is in theaters with another movie based on an "unfilmable" novel: Cloud Atlas, with six different plots in six different time periods.

Some books are challenging to film because they're challenging to read. Take Ulysses, James Joyce's stream-of-consciousness masterpiece, published in 1922.

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Food
3:52 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Don't Panic! It's Not Too Late To Plan A Turkey Feast

Harried Thanksgiving cooks can save time by roasting a turkey breast, rather than an entire bird, for the holiday meal, says cookbook author Katie Workman.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 5:37 am

For those of you hosting a Thanksgiving meal, Monday signals the official start of crunch time. If you're cooking-challenged, or simply short on time, trying to pull together a traditional holiday meal for family and guests can be an anxiety-inducing experience.

But don't fret, says Katie Workman, author of The Mom 100 Cookbook. There's still time to impress everyone and salvage your sanity — starting with some supermarket shortcuts.

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Monkey See
1:54 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Football, Fandom and 'Friday Night Lights'

Manti T'eo #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish waves to the crowd as he leaves the home field for the last time after a 38-0 win against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

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The Salt
1:19 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

Could Nate Silver Predict How Good Your Pumpkin Pie Will Be?

All out of nutmeg? The same algorithms that predicts your friends on Facebook can also figure out ingredient substitutions for your pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving.
Courtesy of Lada Adamic.

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 11:55 am

We've been hearing a lot recently about how algorithms can predict just about anything. They find long-lost friends on Facebook and guess which books we'll buy next on Amazon. Algorithms hit the big time this month, when New York Times blogger Nate Silver used mathematical models and statistics to correctly forecast the outcome of every state in the presidential election.

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Movie Interviews
1:15 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

'Life Of Pi' Star On The 'Duet' Of Acting

Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) looks back on the adventure he went on as a teenager in Life of Pi.
Peter Sorel Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 2:54 pm

You might think that actor Irrfan Khan — the co-star of the special effects-filled film Life of Pi -- performed his scenes by himself, or with inanimate objects that would later be transformed via CGI. Not so: As the older Pi in Ang Lee's new adaptation of the best-selling novel, Khan went back to the basics.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that he thinks of scenes as being like duets: "You strike a note, and somebody responds, and then you respond accordingly," Khan says.

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Author Interviews
12:35 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

'Color Of Christ': A Story Of Race And Religion In America

UNC Press

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 2:55 pm

What did Jesus look like? The many different depictions of Christ tell a story about race and religion in America. Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey explore that history in their new book, The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America. The book traces how different races and ethnic groups claimed Christ as their own — and how depictions of Jesus have both inspired civil rights crusades, and been used to justify the violence of white supremacists.

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The Salt
11:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Sandwich Monday: Breathable Chocolate

NPR

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 11:17 am

[If you were about to note that this doesn't look like a sandwich, keep in mind the Sandwich Draft Principle applies.]

With Thanksgiving a few days away, you have to save as much stomach room as you can. That means, of course, breathing your food. To that end: Le Whif Breathable Chocolate. They're like little plastic chocolate cigarettes, filled with some kind of chocolate powder.

Ian: It's a powder. We're breathing Chocothrax!

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New In Paperback
9:45 am
Mon November 19, 2012

New In Paperback Nov. 19-25

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Richard Mason, Jean Baker, A.J. Jacobs, Bill Cosby and Geoff Dyer.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Monkey See
7:02 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Entirely Real Photos: Kristen Stewart Is So Totally Thrilled To Be Here

Kristen Stewart poses during a photo call at the Spanish premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2.
Gabriel Pecot AP

Given my constitutional opposition to women being told to smile and look happy, it takes a lot for me to pick on scowling.

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My Guilty Pleasure
5:03 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Pterrifying Pterodactyl Meets Sexy Detective

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:51 pm

Rosecrans Baldwin's latest book is Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down.

Most of what you read about contemporary Paris is pretty cliched stuff — baguettes, cigarettes and the cast of Gossip Girl drinking white wine on the Seine.

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Author Interviews
1:23 am
Mon November 19, 2012

Anne Lamott Distills Prayer Into 'Help, Thanks, Wow'

Anne Lamott is the best-selling author of Some Assembly Required, Grace (Eventually), Plan B and Traveling Mercies.
Sam Lamott Riverhead Books

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 8:44 am

As Thanksgiving draws near, many of us are thinking about what we're thankful for — taking time to consider how best to appreciate what we have in our lives. This year, novelist and memoirist Anne Lamott has focused on using prayer to help express our thanks. Many of her books explore how individuals can transform their lives — how one moves from being troubled to feeling whole. In Lamott's case, she suffered from alcoholism and drug abuse; after hitting rock bottom, she found her faith.

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Author Interviews
2:06 pm
Sun November 18, 2012

A Far-Out And Forgotten Renaissance Man

A Man Of Misconceptions by John Glassie.
Riverhead Hardcover

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 8:29 am

Back in the 17th century, right around the time when the ideas of great thinkers like Descartes and Newton and Hobbes began to shape the world, a Jesuit priest named Athanasius Kircher also tried to make his mark.

Kircher was something of a jack-of-all-trades. He wrote more than 30 books; he was a philosopher, an inventor, a historian, a scientist. Back in his day, everyone knew about him. But it didn't help his reputation that many of his theories and inventions just couldn't hold water.

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Movies
11:56 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Kids Prove They're No Pawns In 'Brooklyn Castle'

The pint-sized pros of I.S. 318 are kings of the chess board (and have the trophies to prove it).
Producers Distribution Agency

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 5:23 am

There's a public middle school in Brooklyn, N.Y., called Intermediate School 318, or I.S. 318. Like others in the area, it's a Title I school, which means it has a poverty level that's more than 65 percent. But unlike other schools, it's got the highest-ranked junior-high chess team in the nation. In fact, Brooklyn IS 3-18 has won more than 30 national chess titles.

I.S. 318 is the subject of a new documentary called Brooklyn Castle. The film has picked up audience awards at the SXSW and Hot Docs film festivals.

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Books News & Features
10:59 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Book-Vending Machine Dispenses Suspense

Craig Small via Vimeo

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 3:53 pm

Earlier this year, Stephen Fowler, owner of The Monkey's Paw used-book store in Toronto, had an idea.

He wanted a creative way to offload his more ill-favored books — "old and unusual" all, as the store's motto goes — that went further than a $1 bin by the register.

It came in a conversation with his wife: a vending machine.

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Author Interviews
5:04 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Relationships, Short And Sweet, In 'Married Love'

Host Rachel Martin speaks with British writer Tessa Hadley about her new collection of short stories, Married Love and Other Stories. Hadley teaches creative writing at the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, and her stories regularly appear in The New Yorker magazine.

Food
5:04 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Put A Little Soul In That Thanksgiving Stuffing

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 1:48 pm

Thanksgiving has its must-haves: potatoes, cranberries, turkey. But cooking the feast with a soul-food style gives the meal a whole new flavor.

Soul food conjures up thoughts of rich dishes full of butter or gravy — comfort foods. But soul food comes out of one of America's darkest chapters. Chef Melba Wilson, owner of Melba's Restaurant and Melba's 125 in Harlem, N.Y., explains that the basis of the cooking comes from the food slave owners gave to slaves.

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Books
4:08 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Inspecting The Trend Of Autistic-Spectrum Characters

Ashley Edward Miller and Zack Stentz are the authors of Colin Fischer.
Doug Hac

Tasha Robinson is the national associate editor for The A.V. Club.

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Food
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

The Veggieducken: A Meatless Dish With Gravitas

The Sporkful

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 9:45 am

Vegetarians don't need your sympathy on Thanksgiving, says Dan Pashman, host of a food podcast and blog called The Sporkful. Pashman is an omnivore, but he spoke to vegetarians and found "it actually makes them feel uncomfortable when a host goes to extreme lengths to make something special just for them."

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Author Interviews
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

A Book To Break The Gun Control Stalemate

Joshua Lott Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 8:25 am

Americans own an estimated 300 million guns. It's a level of gun ownership that no other country in the world comes close to matching. It's also a source of controversy in the U.S., where groups on both sides of the issue seem to have dug deep into the debate.

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Music Interviews
3:52 am
Sun November 18, 2012

Willie Nelson: Road Rules And Deep Thoughts

Willie Nelson has recorded more than 100 albums and was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
David McClister Courtesy of William Morrow

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

At nearly 80, Willie Nelson remains impressively prolific: lots of songs, lots of kids and, fittingly, lots of autobiographies. The country singer's latest memoir is called Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die, after a song on his Heroes album, released earlier this year. Nelson says those seeking earth-shattering revelations about his life should look elsewhere; that wasn't his intention in writing the book.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Being Initially Famous

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 5:04 am

Special Note: Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the deadline for this week's puzzle is Wednesday by 3 p.m. Eastern.

On-air challenge: Each clue is a two- or three-word description of a famous person in which the initial letters of the description are also the initials of the person. For example, given the clue "Motown great," the answer would be Marvin Gaye.

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Movie Interviews
1:52 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Ang Lee On 'Life Of Pi' And Being A Slave To Film

Lost at sea, Pi (Suraj Sharma) Patel begins to make an extraordinary connection with a fearsome Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
20th Century Fox

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 10:45 am

Director Ang Lee's new film, Life of Pi, tells the story of a 16-year-old Indian boy who is the lone survivor of a terrible shipwreck. Pi Patel finds himself lost at sea, alone on a boat with a Bengal tiger.

The film is based on Yann Martel's fantasy novel of the same name. The book won the 2002 Man Booker prize for fiction and was optioned to be turned into a film even though it was considered by many in Hollywood to be unfilmable: How do you make a movie that takes place almost entirely on a boat? And with a real tiger?

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Arts
12:00 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

STATE OF THE ARTS: UTEP Music Department Gala Concert

Lowell E. Graham, Chairman of the Music Department and Director of Orchestra Activities at UTEP, previews the 10th Annual Gala Concert featuring top ensembles from throughout the department.

UTEP Department of Music’s 10th Annual Gala Concert
Tuesday, November 20th, at 7:30 PM
Magoffin Auditorium on the UTEP campus
Ticket Prices are $10 Gen Admission, $5.00 Students/Faculty/Staff/Military

Arts
12:00 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

STATE OF THE ARTS: Pianist Peter M. Kolar

Peter M. Kolar is the Director of the El Paso Diocesan Choir and Senior Music Editor with World Library Publications, but for today’s interview he is a remarkable pianist and composer releasing a new CD titled simply Variations.

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