The White House released a report this week on the impacts of global warming. Many places are already feeling the effects. There's drought in the Southwest, rising sea levels in Miami, and now even fictional worlds are feeling the burn.
There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.
The 1980s novel God's Pocket, by Pete Dexter, is a story of hapless drunks, construction workers and one washed-up newspaper columnist. The book takes its name from a fictional blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia.
For 30 years, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition, and in 1998 he became Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me's official scorekeeper. His last show will air on May 17. Following that, Carl will become Scorekeeper Emeritus and will continue to record voice mail greetings for our winners. In honor of Carl's last show, Peter Sagal reflects on their years working together.
Presumably, the day I was born was the most important day of my life, but I don't remember that. I do remember the day I met Carl Kasell, though, so that tops my personal list.
In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg invented Facebook. In Now You See Me, he mastered magic tricks. In Rio, his animated macaw learned to fly, and his Lex Luthor will soon be nemesis-ing the caped crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. But it's safe to say that none of those pictures asked half as much of Eisenberg as Richard Ayoade's The Double, which requires him, pretty literally, to meet himself coming and going.
Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his final film roles, stars as Mickey in "God's Pocket," the new movie directed by John Slattery. Slattery is famous for his role as Roger Sterling on TV's "Mad Men" and over the years has directed several episodes of that AMC series. He makes the transition to feature film directing with "God's Pocket" which he and Alex Metcalf adapted from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter.
This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli. This weekend two very different TV productions attempt to do much the same thing - revisit old works of literature in the horror and suspense genre and adapt them with new approaches for a new generation. NBC's four hour miniseries version of Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby" barely justifies the attempt.
There is a strong crossover between your Daniel Radcliffe People and your Harry Potter People, for obvious reasons. Next to me at Broadway's Cort Theater on Thursday night, watching Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh's comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan (a production that's Tony-nominated for Best Revival Of A Play) were three young women. Their first priority: finding out where to await him when the show was over, and strategically how to get a good spot.
Marketer Rory Sutherland says advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. He says perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider "real" value.
Makers of R-rated comedies face an essential dilemma: finding brand new ways to gross out their snickering adolescent viewers. But as Neighbors demonstrates, there's another challenge that's just as tricky: piloting the raunchy scenario to a payoff that upholds the very middle-class values the movie gleefully profanes.
"What's going through your mind when you're doing that... or do you not think at all?" Those words, familiar to any teenager and parent, get yelled at Teddy (Jack Kilmer) about halfway through Palo Alto. Teddy, still in high school, is on probation after his second arrest, his final chance to get his act together before facing time in a juvenile detention center.
"You're in my place," is the first line in Richard Ayode's, The Double, spoken to Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) on an otherwise empty subway train where he's apparently sitting in someone's preferred spot. It's also an apt – and maybe a little too on the nose – summary of what follows.
Canadian writer Farley Mowat has died at the age of 92. The prolific author published 45 books, perhaps the most popular of which was Never Cry Wolf. He is remembered by Doug Gibson, Mowat's publisher and longtime friend.
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This is the moment that launched a TV revolution, every week. The police roll call: Sgt. Phil Esterhaus faced his colleagues — a paternal, knowing grin on his face — while he ran down the day's advisories about a black male pickpocket wearing a blond wig and purple dress, or the need for officers to catch a rapist terrorizing their precinct.
"Let's spend a little less time flirting with the hookers and the waitresses and put some heavy attention on that park," Esterhaus told his patrolmen in one roll call, sparking laughter and feigned denials from the crowd.
There's a specific subset of NPR listeners who are also dedicated horror fans. If you fall in that category, the new drama Penny Dreadful -- premiering Sunday on Showtime — may hit all your sweet spots. Imagine an all-star Gothic revue that brings together Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Count Dracula — plus a core team of original characters including a Wild West sharpshooter, an astringent lady spiritualist and an intrepid explorer, in the Sir Richard Burton or David Livingstone mode.
But the show's creator was originally inspired by romantic poetry.
Ask Americans to describe themselves, and chances are you'll get adjectives like "energetic," "friendly" or "hard-working."
In Japan, the responses would likely be much different. "Dependent on others" and "considerate" might pop up, studies have found.
Psychologists have known for a long time that people in East Asia think differently, on average, than do those in the U.S. and Europe. Easterners indeed tend to be more cooperative and intuitive, while Westerners lean toward individualism and analytical thinking.
In his own words, Sammy Davis, Jr. was "the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world."
His daughter, Tracey Davis, shares memories and details of his life in her new book, Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey with My Father. It's based on conversations Davis had with her father as he battled throat cancer near the end of his life.
If the road movie has a home, it's surely the United States. After all, the settling of America was itself a kind of humongous road picture — all those wagons rolling across the new continent's spectacular vastness. And with our ceaseless love of movement, we became the first people to be transported — in every sense — by the automobile. Small wonder, then, that so many famous Hollywood films, from It Happened One Night to Thelma & Louise, are all about hitting the road.
It's never easy to talk with aging parents about the end of life, but it was maybe particularly difficult for Roz Chast and her parents, which is why her new graphic memoir is called Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
Musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo play together as The Both, but how well do these new bandmates know each other's quirks? To find out, we quiz them in the style of TheNewlywed Game, where each must figure out how the other would answer questions such as "What's the worst piece of clothing you brought on tour?" and "What one item would you rescue from your burning house?"
Plus, hear a live version of "No Sir," from the duo's eponymous debut album as The Both.
Was The Knack's "My Sharona" stuck in your head for all of 1979? We hope you're not sick of it. In this game, Jonathan Coulton sings rewritten lyrics about things that rhyme with "Sharona." My-my-my-my Corona!
Thursday in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art officially reopens its fashion galleries after a $40 million, two-year renovation.
Named for Vogue magazine's editor, the Anna Wintour Costume Center features an inaugural exhibit of the work of Charles James, a flamboyant designer considered America's first couturier. This caps days of glamorous events at the Met, including the Costume Institute's benefit gala, presided over by Wintour — with Hollywood stars.
Oftentimes, madness breeds the finest art. It's factual. Some of the most historic and well-regarded pieces of literature have come out of a sort of psychosis. From the works of Edgar Allan Poe to Tennessee Williams and a host of others, the evidence is there. And I find it celebratory — the way the mind overcomes itself to render something beautifully charged.