Arts

Arts and culture

By now, you're probably tired of hearing about how virtual reality is the next big thing for movies and games. But here's one you may not have heard yet: that virtual reality could be the next big thing for culinary experiences.

Potentially, the technology could help us consume our favorite tastes while avoiding unwanted side effects – whether food allergens or just extra calories. As someone who has long had a fraught relationship with the rotation of wonders at my local doughnut shop (think seasonal confections like Pumpkin Fool), the idea holds an undeniable appeal.

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(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "HAIL, CAESAR!")

JOSH BROLIN: (As Eddie Mannix) Bless me, Father, for I have sinned.

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Given the recent expression of anger about the lack of racial diversity in American cinema, it's nice to be able to tell you about Jay Dockendorf's very fine indie feature Naz & Maalik, in which the title characters are African-American teenage boys who also happen to be devout Muslims who also happen to be gay.

That's three outsider perspectives, which is a lot even for an indie. But the point is not representation for its own sake. The triple layer of alienation from mainstream culture makes for an excitingly fresh slant.

Carol Burnett: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Jan 29, 2016
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This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in for Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOE HAMILTON SONG, "CAROL'S THEME")

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How Can We Prepare For A Graceful Death?

Jan 29, 2016

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Rethinking Death

About BJ Miller's TED Talk

At the end of our lives, what do we most wish for? BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who thinks about how to create a dignified, graceful end of life for his patients.

About BJ Miller

Is Honesty The Best Policy When Someone Is Dying?

Jan 29, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Rethinking Death

About Matthew O'Reilly's TED Talk

As an emergency medical technician, Matthew O'Reilly was used to telling a white lie when patients asked if they were dying. O'Reilly describes what happened on one emergency call, when he decided to tell the truth.

About Matthew O'Reilly

Matthew O'Reilly is a veteran emergency medical technician on Long Island, N.Y.

Is There A Better Way To Be Buried?

Jan 29, 2016

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Rethinking Death

About Jae Rhim Lee's TED Talk

Can we commit our bodies to a cleaner, greener Earth, even after death? Jae Rhim Lee says it's possible by using a special burial suit seeded with pollution-gobbling mushrooms.

About Jae Rhim Lee

Do We Need A New Narrative For Death?

Jan 29, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Rethinking Death

About Amanda Bennett's TED Talk

Journalist Amanda Bennett explains why having hope while watching a loved one die shouldn't warrant a diagnosis of "denial." She calls for a more heroic narrative for death — to match the ones we have in life.

About Amanda Bennett

What Do You Want To Do Before You Die?

Jan 29, 2016

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Rethinking Death

About Candy Chang's TED Talk

Artist Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard with a provocative prompt: "Before I die I want to ____." Her neighbors' answers grew into a kind of monument to the aspirations of the community.

About Candy Chang

Pop Culture Happy Hour entered this week juggling a couple of problems. For one, a gigantic blizzard had just dumped roughly two feet of snow on the D.C. area, making transportation virtually impossible and, it turns out, stranding Glen Weldon in a Virginia cabin for much of the week. Getting the gang together would be no easy task.

Actor Richard Dreyfuss has played a variety of roles — from the bubbling teen in American Graffiti to a man lured by aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now, in a new ABC miniseries, he plays Bernie Madoff, the former Nasdaq chairman who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme considered to be one of the largest financial frauds in American history.

Up until recently, there were only 12 works by celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in American public collections. Now, there's one more on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) is the first painting Kahlo ever sold, and it's been in the same family ever since.

Kahlo is known for her fantastical self-portraits, but Dos Mujeres shows two other women.

When Chuck Williams, the founder of Williams-Sonoma, died in December at the age of 100, he left behind a vast collection of culinary artifacts.

It included everything from a copper pig mold (for serving suckling pig), terrines adorned with rabbit heads and pastry equipment from the early 1900s.

Tickets to the most popular concerts and other live events are often hard to find because of abusive practices by vendors who illegally use computer programs called bots to grab them up, according to a report released by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

In some cases, tickets to live events sell out within minutes, only to appear right away at enormous markups on sites such as StubHub, according to the report, which calls for major reform to the ticketing process.

Flip through the pages of Mi Comida Latina and you may quickly fall under its spell. The pages of this cookbook beckon with vibrant watercolor illustrations and recipes written in the kind of delicate hand lettering that make us mourn penmanship as a dying art. The end result combines the charm of a children's book, the promise of a tasty meal and the intimacy of a journal.

Once in a blue moon*, the film industry makes a decision that leaves us speechless.

'Good On Paper' Swings From Scholarly To Zany

Jan 28, 2016

Shira is a frustrated temp and Ph.D. dropout, living in Manhattan with her daughter, Andi, and best friend and co-parent, Ahmad. She quits one menial job to another, tired of stuffing envelopes and being told to smile. Her past is scarred with abandonments: most bruisingly, a mother who left her and her father when she was young.

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Some Directions With George Takei

Jan 27, 2016

When Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry cast George Takei as Lt. Sulu in the original TV series, he intended for Takei to represent the entire continent of Asia. "Roddenberry had this vision," Takei told Ophira Eisenberg on the Bell House stage in Brooklyn. "The Starship Enterprise [was] a metaphor for Starship Earth... [Sulu] was devised as an Asian character. [Roddenberry] wanted to find a name that was Pan Asian, that suggested all of Asia. And he found off the coast of the Philippines the Sulu Sea, and he thought, "Ahhh, the waters of a sea touch all shores."

America The Foodiful

Jan 27, 2016

Buffalo wings, California rolls and baked Alaska⎯don't listen to this game on an empty stomach! In this final round, all of the answers are a food or drink that has an American geographic location in its name.

Heard in George Takei: Oh Myyy

Oh Myyy (With George Takei)

Jan 27, 2016

Not only does VIP George Takei have one of the best catchphrases around, but he's also a fan of wordplay. We put the two together for a special game where every answer begins with his signature saying "Oh Myyy" and is mashed up with something that starts with the "my" sound.

Heard in George Takei: Oh Myyy

Teenage Theme

Jan 27, 2016

Listeners, you make us feel like we're living a teenage dream. In a tribute to the Katy Perry song, we ask contestants to channel their inner teen and guess the less romantic teenage things we're singing about

Heard in George Takei: Oh Myyy

This, That Or The Other

Jan 27, 2016

Is Holiday in the Sun an Agatha Christie novel or a Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen movie? Or wait, is it a Travel Channel show? Those are the categories in this installment of "This, That or the Other." (Oh, and it's the 2001 direct-to-video Olsen Twin classic!)

Heard in George Takei: Oh Myyy

Creature Feature

Jan 27, 2016

In this adorable rhyming game, each answer is two words: an animal, and a word that rhymes with that animal. So if we imagined a red crustacean gangster that boiled its enemies alive and served them with butter, it would be called a Lobster Mobster.

Heard in George Takei: Oh Myyy

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On the edge of a town called St. Nils sits the Burrow. It's a low mound of earth, just like any other burrow, but with a front door and six windowless apartments inside. It's not clear when it was constructed; some speculate it was built as a secret bunker, others think it was put up as an entrance to a tunnel used by drug smugglers. The townspeople can't agree on its origins; they can't even agree on how to pronounce the name of their town.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Beatrix Potter is famous for her charming tales of mice and rabbits, most notably Peter Rabbit, who was given this piece of sage advice.

(SOUNDBITE OF AUDIOBOOK, "THE TALE OF PETER RABBIT")

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