Arts

Monkey See
9:09 am
Wed August 8, 2012

'Go On,' Matthew Perry, And Being Patient With Comedy Pilots

Sarah Baker as Sonia, Matthew Perry as Ryan King, and Brett Gelman as Mr. K in the new comedy Go On.
Jordin Althaus NBC

Tonight, after NBC wraps up its Olympic coverage — at a time currently listed as 11:04 p.m. — they'll be previewing Matthew Perry's new sitcom, Go On, which will then go away until its regular premiere on September 10.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Divine Beings And Socially Awkward New Yorkers

Meet God, according to Simon Rich. He's a mostly nice dude — compassionate, though he gave up on listening to prayers and intervening in the lives of humans years ago. ("[H]e's really more of an ideas guy, you know?" explains an angel.) He loves golf and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he's not averse to enjoying a beer or two during the workday. He's easy to like, except for two things: He's planning to destroy all of humanity so he can focus on opening an Asian fusion restaurant in heaven; and even worse, he's a Yankees fan.

Read more
Essays
5:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

You Call That A Beach Book? Really?

You never know, this woman could be reading The Gulag Archipelago.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 3:09 pm

A couple of years ago, on a weekend in August, I was lying on the beach, reading. The sun shone, the waves crashed, and no plans lay ahead beyond soccer, grilling, maybe a stroll to the ice cream stand. My friend, on the towel next to mine, rolled over lazily and glanced at my book. His brow wrinkled. "Are you enjoying that?" he said, laughing.

Read more
Kitchen Window
1:28 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Grown-Up Ice Pops For The Young At Heart

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 9:57 am

My mother was never one for spending money on food that other '80s kids took for granted. Canned ravioli, boxed macaroni and cheese, animal crackers and white bread were the kinds of things my kid palate craved to the point of obsession, forbidden fruits to be enjoyed only at friends' houses.

And while other mothers were stirring up alluring, fluorescent pitchers of Kool-Aid, my mom wouldn't dream of it. She was the queen of the frozen fruit-juice concentrates.

Read more
Books News & Features
1:26 am
Wed August 8, 2012

With 'Last Book Sale,' Lit Giant Leaves One More Gift

Booked Up Inc. helped put author Larry McMurtry's hometown on the map when it became one of the largest used bookstores in the country.
Donna McWilliam AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 10:54 am

Larry McMurtry is perhaps best known for novels like The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove; but the author also has a career as a bookseller.

His store, Booked Up, spills across four buildings in his small hometown of Archer City, Texas, and houses nearly half a million rare and used books. But starting this Friday, McMurtry is holding an auction to whittle down that number — by a lot.

Read more
Books
4:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

A Comics Crusader Takes On The Digital Future

A panel from part one of Insufferable, the first title offered by the comics website Thrillbent.com. The site's creator, comic-book writer Mark Waid, hopes it will redefine comics in the era of smartphones and tablets.
Courtesy of Thrillbent.com

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 12:40 pm

He wouldn't make the claim himself, but when it comes to comic-book writers, Mark Waid is one of the greats.

"I've pretty much hit all of the pop culture bases," Waid says, surrounded by comic-book memorabilia in his Los Angeles home. Batman, Spider-Man and even The Incredibles have all had adventures dreamed up by Waid.

"Jan. 26, 1979, was the most important day of my life," Waid says. "Because that's the day that I saw Superman: The Movie. I came out of it knowing that no matter what the rest of my life was going to be like, it had to involve Superman somehow."

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

A Marriage Passes From Routine To Rut To Therapy

Arnold (Tommy Lee Jones) reluctantly agrees to go to couples therapy with his wife, Kay (Meryl Streep), in Hope Springs. The film, directed by The Devil Wears Prada's David Frankel, is a refreshingly subdued take on marital conflict.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures

The act of sharing decades of your life with one person lends itself to repetition. If you aren't careful, repetition becomes routine, routines become ruts, and then, for the terminally uncommunicative, ruts dig themselves so deep that they become the sort of soul-sucking bottomless trench in which Kay and Arnold, the married couple played by Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones in Hope Springs, find themselves.

Read more
Arts
2:30 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

STATE OF THE ARTS: El Paso Opera

David Grabarkewitz, Artistic and General Director of El Paso Opera previews upcoming performances and special events in the Opera’s 19th Season.

Destination Art
2:09 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Stratford's Big Stars, From The Bard To The Bieb

The Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is the main venue for the town's annual Stratford Shakespeare Festival. The town lies on the Avon River — just like Shakespeare's British birthplace — and had schools named after Romeo and Juliet before the festival started in 1953.
Richard Bain Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 4:00 pm

Most theaters let audiences know the show is about to start by blinking the lights. Stratford's Festival Theater in Stratford, Ontario, is a bit more festive. Four burgundy-uniformed buglers and a drummer quicken the pace of hundreds of theatergoers who've been ambling up the hill from the banks of the Avon River. When curtain time arrives, a cannon will boom.

Read more
Arts
1:45 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Final El Paso Symphony Orchestra Broadcast Feature Zuill Bailey

Join KTEP this evening as we conclude our summer broadcasts of the 2011-2012 season of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra.

Tonight's broadcast features conductor candidate Mariusz Smolij and cellist Zuill Bailey performing Elgar's Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in E minor, Op. 85.

Author Interviews
12:18 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

'Antietam' Dissects Strategies Of North And South

Originally published on Tue August 7, 2012 12:23 pm

In the earliest days of the Civil War, the Union Army focused on cutting off key supply lines on the periphery of the South. The approach was designed to hurt the South's economy and convince its citizens to return to the Union.

Even though President Lincoln said slavery was unjust, in the earliest days of the war he told the Southern states that he wouldn't interfere with slavery as an institution.

Read more
The Record
12:15 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch, Movie And Broadway Composer, Has Died

Marvin Hamlisch (left) with Liza Minnelli and Barry Manilow in 1987.
Time & Life Pictures Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 5:22 pm

Read more
Book Reviews
12:06 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

'Dreamland': Open Your Eyes To The Science Of Sleep

iStockphoto.com

Step, if you will, into my bedroom at night. (Don't worry, this is a PG-rated invitation.) At first, all is tranquil: My husband and I, exhausted by our day's labors, slumber, comatose, in our double bed. But, somewhere around 2 a.m., things begin to go bump in the night. My husband's body starts twitching, like Frankenstein's monster receiving his first animating shocks of electricity. Thrashing about, he'll kick me and steal the covers. In his dreams, he's always fighting or being chased; one night he said he dreamt Dick Cheney was gaining on him.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:18 am
Tue August 7, 2012

'Dog Stars' Dwells On The Upside Of Apocalypse

We're in the middle of a golden age (if that's the right term for it) of doomsday narratives.

Read more
100 Best Books
5:03 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Your Favorites: 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 12:50 pm

It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Just last year, the Association of American Publishers ranked Children's/Young Adult books as the single fastest-growing publishing category.

Read more
The Salt
1:23 am
Tue August 7, 2012

Presidential Foods And What They Say About Our Leaders

Boiling lemon rinds for President Harding's lemon pineapple fruit punch, called a squall.
Taji Marie NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

President Bill Clinton famously loved doughnuts on the campaign trail, and we've told you about current GOP candidate Mitt Romney's affection for serving the press corps Jimmy John's subs. But what do our past presidents and the presidential wannabes' food choices say about them?

Read more
You Must Read This
2:16 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

An Apocalyptic Romp Through The 'Golden' State

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 4:44 pm

Gabrielle Zevin's latest book is All These Things I've Done.

Forgive me, Facebook! I do not always want to tell people what I like. This flaw in my character puts me at odds with much of modern life, which is, of course, organized around a relentless cycle of recommendation.

Read more
Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
2:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Van Engelenfrozen

NPR

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 2:19 pm

It's our intern MacKenzie Van Engelenhoven's last week, and she asked if she could bring in the sandwich on her final Sandwich Monday. We said "of course," because the only thing we love more than sandwiches is having the intern do things we should be doing ourselves.

It's an old Van Engelenhoven family recipe: Make cookies, bake them only four minutes, and freeze them. This maximizes the cookie-dough-ness when you make ice cream sandwiches out of them.

Mike: It's like cookie dough ice cream, reversed. Genius.

Read more
The Salt
1:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Three Ways Lucille Ball Ruled When She Played With Food

Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball ham it up at the chocolate factory in a famous food-centric episode of "I Love Lucy."
CBS AP

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:08 am

Read more
The Salt
11:32 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Purists Sniff As Stink-Free Durian Fruit Seeks A Fan Base

Durians for sale at a Singapore market.
momovieman Flickr.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 9:09 am

To lovers of the world's most odoriferous fruit, something doesn't smell right in Thailand's durian country, where a fruit breeder with the Horticulture Research Institute is in the midst of creating a line of durian varieties that lacks what some say is the most intriguing aspect of this large and spiky, creamy-fleshed tree fruit — its smell.

Read more
Television
11:23 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Dean Norris On Playing Good In 'Breaking Bad'

Dean Norris plays DEA agent Hank Schrader in AMC's Breaking Bad. "He's a good cop, he just hasn't put the pieces together yet," Norris says.
Ben Leuner AMC

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:54 am

With each season of AMC's Breaking Bad, Dean Norris' character, DEA agent Hank Schrader, has evolved from a knuckleheaded jock into a complex, sympathetic and even heroic counterpoint to the show's anti-hero, high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cook Walter White. And to further complicate matters, Schrader and White (played by Bryan Cranston) are brothers-in-law.

Read more
Monkey See
9:34 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Good Business, Bad Quality: How NBC Is Both Right And Wrong On The Olympics

Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates winning gold in the Men's 100m Final yesterday. If you get your Olympics coverage on television, you didn't see it live.
Alexander Hassenstein Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 1:36 pm

The following exchange has played out over and over in the last ten days:

Point: "NBC's coverage of the Olympics stinks, because everything is tape-delayed and cut to shreds, and also the announcers are awful and they only care about American athletes, and by the time I get to watch anything, I already know what happened."

Counterpoint: "People are watching in huge numbers."

Point: "But quality."

Counterpoint: "But business."

Read more
You Must Read This
5:03 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Monsters In Black Tie: A World Of Cliques And Class

cover detail

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 4:51 pm

Mark Harril Saunders is the author of the novel Ministers of Fire.

There are many reasons not to read the five novels that make up the Patrick Melrose cycle by Edward St. Aubyn. Each part is short in duration, covering no more than a few carefully orchestrated days, but taken together the action — if you can call witty British aristocrats blithely destroying each other action — spans more than 30 years and 900 pages.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:01 am
Mon August 6, 2012

'American Dream,' Betrayed By Bad Economic Policy

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:33 am

A lot is at stake in the current election, but no matter who wins, the victor will stay committed to policies that cripple the middle class. That's according to Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele, who've been covering the middle class for decades.

In their new book, The Betrayal of the American Dream, Barlett and Steele criticize a government obsessed with free trade and indifferent toward companies that outsource jobs.

Read more
Crime In The City
1:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Author Peter James And Sidekick Track Seaside Crime

After turning over a book to his publisher, Peter James wakes up the next day and starts on the next one.
Gareth Ransome

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 8:39 am

Any tour of Brighton, England, has to begin at the Royal Pavilion, according to crime writer Peter James. Built by a king for his mistress 200 years ago, its Taj Mahal-like spires are the city's best-known landmark.

James' latest novel, Not Dead Yet, features — spoiler alert! — a pivotal scene in the pavilion's dining room, with its one-and-a-half ton crystal chandelier. Without giving too much away — the book won't be released in the U.S. until November – let's just say it might have something to do with the aforementioned chandelier.

Read more
Dead Stop
12:59 am
Mon August 6, 2012

In Warhol's Memory, Soup Cans And Coke Bottles

Fans leave all manner of mementos at Andy Warhol's grave site, near Pittsburgh. This spring, a local Warhol impersonator wrapped the grave stone in colorful paper for an entire month.
Madelyn Roehrig

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 11:02 am

Andy Warhol is often remembered as larger than life, but it's all too easy to miss where he's buried.

The pop artist's grave is in the modest St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, on a hill overlooking a highway about 20 minutes outside of downtown Pittsburgh.

Eric Shiner, director of the Andy Warhol Museum, says it's a pretty typical cemetery for Pennsylvanians with Eastern European roots.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:53 am
Sun August 5, 2012

A Story Of Ancient Power In 'The Rise of Rome'

Originally published on Mon August 6, 2012 2:11 pm

Over the past decade, there's been a revival in popular histories of ancient Rome; not the academic tomes once reserved for specialists and students, but books and movies designed for the rest of us.

Anthony Everitt has written three biographies about some of the major players in ancient Rome: Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian, all full of intrigue and treachery.

Read more
Arts & Life
5:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Marilyn Monroe As An 'All-Around' Comedian

Marilyn Monroe died 50 years ago Sunday at the age of 36. Host Linda Wertheimer speaks with film expert Murray Horwitz about Monroe's film legacy and her comedic skills.

Author Interviews
5:34 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Murderous 'Thugs' From India To London

Guest host Linda Wertheimer talks with Tabish Khair about The Thing About Thugs, his new novel about the myths of murderous Indian cult of "thugees."

Animals
4:11 am
Sun August 5, 2012

Bat Calls Make Eerie Comeback As Techno-Like Beats

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region Flickr

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 7:04 am

For the past five years, bats have been disappearing at an alarming rate, falling prey to a mysterious disease called white-nose syndrome. But they're making an eerie comeback in a new audio exhibit at a national park in Vermont. The exhibit features manipulated recordings of bat calls that are funneled through glass vessels hanging from a studio ceiling.

Read more

Pages