Arts

Television
5:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

One Man, New TV Show: James Corden Takes Over At 'Late Late Night'

James Corden takes over as host of The Late Late Show next Monday.
Art Streiber/CBS

Originally published on Tue March 24, 2015 1:25 pm

A few months ago, Craig Ferguson, host of The Late Late Show, interrogated a special guest: James Corden. When asked what he did for a living, Corden replied demurely, "I don't do anything at the moment."

That is set to change Monday night, when Corden succeeds Ferguson as the host of The Late Late Show.

He is 36 and English. Ferguson is Scottish: Score one for diversity.

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Book News & Features
5:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

'Hausfrau' Strips Down Its Modern-Day Madame Bovary

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 8:56 am

In her first novel, Hausfrau, poet Jill Alexander Essbaum has created a heroine who is not without precedent. Her name is Anna and she is, as we learn in the first sentence, "a good wife, mostly." That phrase, written with a poet's precision, contains a kernel of truth and a world of lies.

As a woman frustrated by the parameters of her own life, Essbaum's character has much in common with some literary heavyweights from the past.

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Author Interviews
5:11 am
Sat March 21, 2015

'Lost Child' Author Caryl Phillips: 'I Needed To Know Where I Came From'

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 8:56 am

Growing up, writer Caryl Phillips sometimes felt like an outsider. "I think that's very commonplace in British life," he tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I certainly, as the child of migrants to Britain, felt that at times."

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Time Machine
5:03 am
Sat March 21, 2015

The Beloved, Bickering Bridgertons Turn 15 This Year

In January, historical romance queen Julia Quinn finished up her latest series, the Smythe-Smith Quartet — and told readers that next, she'd be headed back to her beloved Bridgerton family. Given that all eight Bridgerton siblings already have their own books, I'm not sure how she's going to do it — but I can tell you that those words sent Quinn fans into an ecstatic tizzy of pleasure.

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Television
2:55 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

In Move From Web To TV, 'Childrens Hospital' Could Set An Example

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 6:14 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

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Goats and Soda
2:13 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

For The Love Of Pork: Antibiotic Use On Farms Skyrockets Worldwide

Regions that produce the most pork and chicken also use the most antibiotics on farms. Hot spots around the world include the Midwest in the U.S., southern Brazil, and China's Sichuan province. Yellow indicates low levels of drug use in livestock; orange and light red are moderate levels; and dark red is high levels.
PNAS

Originally published on Sat March 21, 2015 12:21 am

Sorry bacon lovers, we've got some sad news about your favorite meat.

To get those sizzling strips of pork on your plate each morning takes more antibiotics than it does to make a steak burrito or a chicken sausage sandwich.

Pig farmers around the world, on average, use nearly four times as much antibiotics as cattle ranchers do, per pound of meat. Poultry farmers fall somewhere between the two.

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The Two-Way
12:29 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

#NPRreads: From Supreme Court Justice To The Notorious R.B.G.

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

#NPRreads is a new feature we're testing out on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers throughout our newsroom will share pieces that have kept them reading. They'll share tidbits on Twitter using the #NPRreads hashtag, and on occasion we'll share a longer take here on the blog.

This week, we share with you four reads.

From Nina Totenberg, NPR's legal affairs correspondent:

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Author Interviews
12:01 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

In 'Redeployment,' Former Marine Explores The Challenges Of Coming Home

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
12:01 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

'Seymour': A Loving Portrait Of An Acclaimed Classical Pianist

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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Monkey See
6:46 am
Fri March 20, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Nick Hornby's 'Funny Girl' And Adapting Books

NPR

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 9:23 am

While our pal Stephen Thompson is in Austin, Glen Weldon and I are happy to be spending the week talking to our pals Barrie Hardymon and Chris Klimek about the latest Nick Hornby novel, Funny Girl. It follows the life cycle of a British sitcom born in the 1960s, from its inception through its period of popularity, right through its fade and its status as a piece of nostalgia.

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Book Reviews
12:16 pm
Thu March 19, 2015

'A Little Life': An Unforgettable Novel About The Grace Of Friendship

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:52 am

America is hooked on stories of redemption and rebirth, be it Cheryl Strayed rediscovering herself by hiking the Pacific Trail or the late David Carr pulling himself out of the crack-house and into The New York Times. We just love tales about healing.

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Ask Me Another
8:15 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Jonathan Groff And Raúl Castillo: 'Looking' Ahead

Raúl Castillo, Jonathan Groff and Russell Tovey from HBO's Looking.
HBO

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Everything Old is New Again

For the final round all answers in this game contain the letters "n-e-w" or "o-l-d" in order. What term did Hugh Hefner coin for the large portrait stuck in a magazine? Hint: it's not a centerf-new.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

The Best Piece of Trivia You Learned This Week: Pizza Hut Edition

What's the best piece of trivia you learned this week? Share it with us on Facebook or Twitter, and we'll figure out whether it's true or false.

True or false: before 2012, Pizza Hut was the largest purchaser of kale in the US, but they only used it as garnish for their salad bars.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Poetic License

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings is not only a Maya Angelou book but a line from what poem? Get your AP literature on as former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky reads clues about poetic book titles.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

More Or Less

I looked everywhere for my missing mangoes, oranges and pears, but my search was fruitless. All of the answers for this game end in "less" and clues hints to the first part of the word, more or less.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Hellas Ellas

"When I get a craving I can't quell-a, I'll dip my finger in that Nutella, ella, ella. Mm, mm, mm." Guess other words that end with -ella within Jonathan Coulton's version of Rihanna's "Umbrella".

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Single Word Cinema Stumpers

Would you describe the characters in Braveheart as "Brash Brogue-speakers Bracing for Brutal Battles Brought by Browbeating British"? Guess the movie title from its alliterative description.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Ask Me Another
8:14 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Thank You Notes

"Dear Sergey and Larry: Thank you for buying YouTube and keeping it free! My "Gangnam Style" video has been played over 2 billion times." Imagine the thank you notes that celebrities might write.

Heard in Looking For Answers

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

'The Only Ones' Puts A Heartbreaking Spin On Dystopia

Carola Dibbell is a veteran music journalist, and it shows. In her debut novel The Only Ones — which may or may not be named after the cult '70s band — Dibbell writes rhythmically and lyrically about New York City's outer boroughs in the latter half of the 21st century, where life in American has been radically altered by waves of populace-decimating pandemics. The economy is a shambles. People subsist partly on a manufactured foodstuff called Process that's dropped into struggling neighborhoods. The streets of the city are hosed down regularly with industrial-strength antiseptic.

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Monkey See
7:39 am
Thu March 19, 2015

The 'Empire' Touch: A Cookie By Any Other Name

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has been the highlight of the first season of Empire.
Chuck Hodes Fox

Empire closed out its remarkable first season on Wednesday night with a two-hour finale that proved once again one of the fundamental lessons brought to you by this show: whether this is your cup of tea or not, the people who make Empire really know what they're doing.

In the finale (and if this needs saying, we're about to talk about the finale, so don't claim you weren't warned), we finally got the answers to some of the questions asked in the pilot, while at the same time, it was only entirely clear what was going on about half the time.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu March 19, 2015

'Mountaineer' Is A Must-Read Of Soviet Sci-Fi

Arkady and Boris Strugatsky were acclaimed and beloved science fiction writers of the Soviet era. Together they wrote 25 novels, including Roadside Picnic, Snail on the Slope, Hard to Be a God, Monday Begins on Saturday and Definitely Maybe, as well as short fiction, essays, plays and film scripts.
Courtesy of Melville House Publishing

Originally published on Thu March 19, 2015 10:59 am

During the Stalin years, there were tight restrictions on science fiction in the Soviet Union. Writers were pressured and boxed in, urged to stick to themes of adventure, space travel and the glowing prospect of Soviet scientific and technological achievements.

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Television
3:02 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Swagger On Display At 'Empire' Season Finale Parties

Jamal (played by Jussie Smollett) and Cookie (played by Taraji P. Henson) attend the all white party in the "The Lyon's Roar" episode of Empire.
Matt Dinnerstein FOX

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 10:18 am

Last night was Empire's season finale, and at one of D.C.'s biggest Empire watch parties, a sharply dressed crowd of hundreds is huddled around every flat-screen in The Stone Fish Grill Lounge downtown.

"Here we go! Here we go! Here we go, come on everyone! Round of applause!" shouts one of the hosts for the night. "It's Empire time!"

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Author Interviews
1:27 am
Thu March 19, 2015

How A 1970s Fashion Faceoff Put American Designers In The Spotlight

Models show designs by Oscar de la Renta at the 1973 Versailles show. De la Renta was one of the first American designers to sign on for the catwalk competition.
Daniel Simon Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 11:48 am

On Nov. 28, 1973, France's Versailles Palace hosted an impossibly glamorous moment in fashion: a competition between five French couture designers and five up-and-coming Americans. The event was a fundraiser to help restore the palace, but it also made for a groundbreaking runway show.

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The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

France Considers A Ban On Overly Skinny Models

Models wear creations for Masha Ma's fall-winter 2015-2016 ready to wear fashion collection during Paris fashion week, Paris, France, on March 11. Under proposed legislation in France, models would have to get routine checkups.
Christophe Ena AP

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 3:48 pm

France is considering banning the use of anorexic models in the fashion industry.

Legislation debated Tuesday in France's Parliament would require modeling agencies to get medical certificates from models to prove that they have a body mass index of at least 18. And models would have to get routine checkups. Agencies that violate the law would be subject to fines of up to 75,000 euros ($80,968) and even prison time.

Websites and online forums that glorify anorexia and other eating disorders also would be banned.

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Around the Nation
12:10 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Released From Prison, 'Apologetic Bandit' Writes About Life Inside

Daniel Genis, son of Soviet emigre Alexander Genis, served 10 years in prison for armed robbery. He was released last year, and his essays about life in prison have been widely published.
Courtesy of Petra Szabo

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 2:48 pm

After he was arrested for robbing people at knifepoint in 2003, Daniel Genis was nicknamed the "apologetic bandit" in the press. He offered apologies to his victims as he took their cash. The money was stolen to pay off his debt to his heroin dealer.

"I really, really did not want to do this," Genis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I had to work my nerve up every time and I was also really, really bad at it."

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Monkey See
11:55 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Small Batch Edition: On Loving Romance With Sarah Wendell

NPR

Sarah Wendell is the wrangler and editor and general mischief-maker at the site Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, which reviews and discusses romance novels and serves as a home for many devoted romance fans. She's also a fascinating speaker and writer, so when she was in town recently, we had her into the studio. First up is this Small Batch, in which Sarah and I talk about romance readers, e-reading, rating sexy books with numbers of hot peppers, and why there's an optimism at the heart of reading romance.

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Monkey See
10:36 am
Wed March 18, 2015

'The Jinx' And The Challenges of Public Curiosity

Robert Durst was the subject of the six-part HBO documentary series The Jinx.
HBO

It was hard not to compare HBO's six-part miniseries The Jinx to the hit podcast Serial. Both featured serialized storytelling from reporters unafraid to be part of the stories they were telling; both were very well received. But the similarities dissipated as the conclusions approached.

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Monkey See
9:46 am
Wed March 18, 2015

Does Fox's 'Empire' Break Or Bolster Black Stereotypes?

Terrence Howard (center) stars in Empire with (from left): Jussie Smollett, Serayah McNeill, Taraji P. Henson, Bryshere Gray, Grace Gealey, Trai Byers and Kaitlin Doubleday.
Chuck Hodes Fox TV

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 5:51 pm

As its freshman season ends Wednesday night, Fox's hip-hop family drama Empire has emerged as that rarest of birds in the broadcast TV industry: a show where the viewership is always going up.

When the series debuted Jan. 7, it drew a respectable 9.8 million viewers, according to the Nielsen company. But then the show about a family-run music empire achieved something few others have ever managed: It increased its audience every week, growing to 14.9 million viewers on March 4.

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Book Reviews
8:03 am
Wed March 18, 2015

How Self-Improvement Became Self-Destruction On 'Diamond Mountain'

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 2:17 pm

Cults and religions exist on a continuum, not in clearly delineated categories. It's even hard to claim that the distinction between the two comes down to "knowing it when you see it." For the most vulnerable people, the victims of groups that sit nebulously on the divide between cult and religion, that kind of clarity is what's often lacking.

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