Arts

The Two-Way
5:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Book News: Hundreds Of Writers Denounce 'Chokehold' Russian Laws

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 7:53 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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All Tech Considered
5:07 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Sensory Fiction: Books That Let You Feel What The Characters Do

Changes in a book protagonist's emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in this wearable device.
MIT Media Lab

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 10:45 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

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Books News & Features
1:53 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

'Possessed By Genius': A Centennial Tribute To William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs' cult novel Naked Lunch has sold more than 1 million copies since its publication in 1959.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 8:23 pm

William S. Burroughs was a counterculture icon: In more than two dozen books, including the landmark novel Naked Lunch, he laid down an original vision that influenced everyone from political activists to punk rockers, filmmakers to sci-fi writers.

In 1962, writer Norman Mailer described him as "the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius."

Burroughs was born 100years ago Wednesday.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Ladies: Good Bacteria In Yogurt May Be Good For Waistlines, Too

A probiotic commonly found in yogurt seems to help women lose more weight and fat, a recent study finds. But you still have to eat healthy to see an effect.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:49 am

Ladies, if that Super Bowl Sunday pitch from '90s heartthrob John Stamos didn't leave you craving more yogurt, here's some science that might do the trick: There's tantalizing new research suggesting that some friendly bacteria commonly found in yogurts may help women shed more weight while on a diet and keep it off.

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Arts & Life
11:47 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

Under the Gunn finale fashion show." href="/post/tim-gunn-and-runway-life-big-collaboration" class="noexit lightbox">
"The term 'vegan leather' makes me think that you peeled a carrot and took the skin and made a jacket out of it," says Tim Gunn, pictured above at the Under the Gunn finale fashion show.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:19 pm

"Make it work," fashion guru Tim Gunn tells young designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. "I can't even recite the number of schools I went to as a kid because I was constantly running away from them," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's so ironic that I would become a career educator because I hated school so profoundly. It wasn't the learning experience that I hated. I hated the social aspects."

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Book Reviews
11:31 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Triumph Of The Bookworms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 3:19 pm

In the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells us he takes to sea whenever he feels the onset of "a damp, drizzly November in [his] soul." I know how he feels. Whenever the frigid funk of February settles in, I, too, yearn to get out of town. This year I have, thanks to two exquisite vehicles of escape fiction. Both Rachel Pastan's Alena and Katherine Pancol's The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles are smart entertainments perfect for curling up with on a winter's night.

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Monkey See
7:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

What Are Indie Booksellers Like At Parties?

Stacks of books on a store table.
iStockphoto

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."

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The Salt
7:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Book News: Charlie Chaplin's Only Known Novel Is Unveiled

Actor Charlie Chaplin (right) is seen in the 1952 film Limelight with his son Charles Chaplin Jr.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:43 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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The Edge
5:02 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

The Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, viewed from the Olympic host city of Sochi, shows off the stunning landscape of southern Russia.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:45 am

It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.

For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.

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Around the Nation
4:24 am
Wed February 5, 2014

100 Years Ago, Writer William S. Burroughs Was Born

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 5:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

William S. Burroughs was born 100 years ago today. His books included "Naked Lunch." He was a member of the Beat Generation, writers who rose to prominence in the 1950s for the most part and had a huge influence questioning society's standards and traditions. Burroughs was openly gay and wrestled with heroin addiction much of his life.

He lived all over the world, but spent his last years in Lawrence, Kansas where we go next. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports on his odd but enduring place in a Midwestern city.

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Movies
1:29 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Oscar Nominee, But Unwelcome At Home In Cairo

Khalid Abdalla, an activist and actor (The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93), and Ahmed Hassan protest in Jehane Noujaim's Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square.
Netflix

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:47 pm

On a cool Cairo evening, the cast and crew of The Square put on an informal screening of the film for their friends. Many of them are in the documentary, which chronicles three years of political unrest and revolution centered on this city's now-iconic Tahrir Square; all of them experienced some part of the events that unfolded there.

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Kitchen Window
10:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Meal To Honor Early African-American Cookbook Authors

David Betts/Metropolitan Photography

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:24 am

The earliest African-American cookbook authors brought me back to a food career I thought I had left behind. Years ago, I was a pastry chef, but I changed course and went to graduate school for a doctorate in American history. Lately, I've been drawn back into the food world thanks to these authors and their determined pursuit of independence and equality through their cooking and writing.

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Book Reviews
3:26 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

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The Salt
2:02 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Even seemingly healthful foods can contain unexpected spoonfuls of sugar.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 6:00 pm

We've written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

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Monkey See
10:49 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Does It Help To Get Angry At Someone With Addiction?

Candles, flowers and portraits lie in the rain outside Philip Seymour Hoffman's apartment in New York City.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:32 am

Whom, exactly, does anger help when dealing with addiction? In the Washington Post's Style Blog, Philip Kennicott writes:

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Television
10:48 am
Tue February 4, 2014

'Borgen' Is Denmark's 'West Wing' (But Even Better)

Borgen's heroine is Birgitte Nyborg, superbly played by Sidse Babett Knudsen. Pilou Asbaek plays Don Draper-ish spin doctor Kasper Juul.
MHz Networks

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:10 am

The Danish television series Borgen about a female party leader who unexpectedly becomes Denmark's prime minister was a hit in its home country and in the U.K. It won numerous international prizes, and a cult following in the U.S. after its sporadic TV broadcasts — Stephen King named it his favorite piece of pop culture of 2012. The third and final season has just been released on DVD by MHz Networks, which also brought out seasons one and two.

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Author Interviews
10:48 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of having a child.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 2:09 pm

When you're a parent — even when you're a miserably sleep-deprived parent — sometimes magical things happen in the dead of night. Jennifer Senior's son was 1 month old when, during a late-night feeding, he looked directly at her and cooed. "It was this recognition, like 'Oh, you're my mom,' " she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'd like to think that when I'm dying I'll remember that. ... Even in my depressive, sleep-deprived, hysterical, Looney Tunes state, I remember thinking that was just the bomb — that was magic."

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Monkey See
6:33 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Bob And Linda Read Internet Movie Reviews, Part 1: 'American Hustle'

NPR

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 3:46 pm

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The Two-Way
5:15 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Book News: Fragment Of Jane Austen's Handwriting Found

Hulton Archive Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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New In Paperback
5:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Feb. 2-8: The Virgin Mary, The Prophet Muhammad And A Stalker Student

Scribner

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 3:37 pm

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
5:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

A Little Knowledge Is 'Definitely Maybe' A Dangerous Thing

Boris and Arkady Strugatsky coauthored the 1971 science fiction novel Roadside Picnic.
Courtesy of the Strugatsky Estate

A great truth is this: Some discoveries, like the sting of a painful memory, do a number on your psyche. Definitely Maybe accomplishes just that. It's one for those with a penchant for the strange, those drawn to the grim and the darkly funny — those, like myself, interested in the beautifully rendered pessimism of manic scientists. Never mind, just for a moment, the current state of science fiction. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, brothers, celebrated Russian geniuses, give it all in this dystopian gem. All and then some.

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Movies
2:27 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

On Philip Seymour Hoffman, And His Many Appearances

Philip Seymour Hoffman at a screening of The Master, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award, during the 2012 Venice Film Festival.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:16 pm

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Television
2:15 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

A Viewing Guide For The Overwhelmed Olympic Fan

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:33 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Well, if you were to try to watch all of NBC's coverage of the Sochi games, it would be a lot of TV: 1,539 hours of programming. The network is serving up more coverage of the Winter Olympics than ever. NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans has some advice for those sorting through it.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: Watching the Olympics is like a Rorschach test. Years ago, you just turned on the TV and gobbled down whatever they dished up.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED AUDIO)

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The Salt
12:51 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Food Comics Turn 'ZAP' And 'POW' Into 'Sizzle' And 'Bubble'

Lucy Knisley's Relish is a graphic memoir about how she discovered her love of food and cooking.
Courtesy of Lucy Knisley

Comic book heroes don't have to wear brightly colored spandex or possess superpowers to capture readers' imaginations anymore. They can don toques and wield whisks instead.

A growing number of comic artists are focusing on what's on their plates, rather than dreaming up intergalactic showdowns and caped crusader capers.

So less ZAP, BOOM, POW. More sizzle, crackle, bubble.

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The Salt
12:38 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Poppin' Pebbles, A Fruity Pebbles Spinoff

Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm get weird.
NPR

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 5:39 pm

For years, makers of kids' cereals have been upping the ante to get kids interested: hiding a toy surprise inside, adding multicolored marshmallows, setting bear traps in the cereal aisle. Now Post, maker of the classic Flintstones-themed Fruity Pebbles, has created "Poppin' Pebbles," an explosive Pop Rocks-cereal mashup.

Miles: This is the only cereal on the market that fizzes and foams in your mouth. Well, this and Cinnamon Rabies Crunch.

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Remembrances
11:57 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman On Acting: An 'Exhausting' And 'Satisfying' Art

Actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Sunday. He was 46.
Evan Agostini Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:21 pm

It's easy to lose yourself in Philip Seymour Hoffman masterful portrayals, but those performances were anything but effortless.

"Like any job," he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 2008, it could be exhausting. In our day to day lives, "we're not too introspective," he said. "We don't walk around our lives just constantly trying to delve into the understanding of ourselves unless you're in therapy or something. But that's what actors do, you know? We really explore ourselves and other people."

Hoffman was found dead on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment. He was 46.

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Monkey See
9:35 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Not-stalgia: Why I Don't Miss 'Seinfeld'

Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:34 am

I remember laughing occasionally at Seinfeld. I'm pretty sure there's tape of me somewhere, probably on a podcast, acknowledging that it's good. Because of peer pressure.

I don't like Seinfeld, I don't miss it, and every time I'm asked to participate in some sort of acknowledgment of its greatness, or its place in the pantheon, I feel myself cringe and lie and say I understand, but I am here to tell you, and then never to be so cowardly again: I don't understand.

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Monkey See
8:03 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Philip Seymour Hoffman And The Blessings Of Friction

Philip Seymour Hoffman, seen here in November, died Sunday.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 1:42 pm

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The Two-Way
5:11 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling Says She Regrets Matching Ron And Hermione

Say it Ain't So! Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling now says that beloved characters Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, played by Rupert Grint and Emma Watson (seen in 2011), shouldn't have wound up together.
Adrian Dennis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 6:20 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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