Arts

Monkey See
11:33 am
Mon May 12, 2014

4 Lessons From The Networks' Report Cards

Katherine Heigl as Charleston Tucker and Alfre Woodard as President Constance Payton in NBC's State Of Affairs.
Michael Parmelee NBC

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:56 pm

It's rubber meets the road time in TV land.

Today begins the week in which the nation's big broadcast networks officially unveil their new schedules for the 2014-15 TV season to New York's advertising community – and by extension, the world.

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Books
10:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Congressman Clyburn Reflects On A Life Of 'Blessed Experiences'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. If you follow politics at all, then you probably know that Congressman James Clyburn is one of the most powerful people on Capitol Hill. The South Carolina native first elected in 1992 is now the third-ranking Democrat serving in the House, known both for his Southern charm and for his willingness to fight hard when he thinks the occasion warrants.

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Education
10:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Asian-Americans Are Successful, But No Thanks To Tiger Parenting

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. This is Asian-American and Pacific Islander heritage month. That's a time set aside to acknowledge the contributions of people from these backgrounds to the bigger American story. Undeniably, when many Americans look for role models for educational achievement, many find them in Asian-American homes.

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Monkey See
7:51 am
Mon May 12, 2014

The Comb, The Thrill And The Flop

Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze's 1851 painting "Washington Crossing the Delaware" seen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Saturday at about 10:30 in the morning, as New York took a turn for the muggy in what turned out to be anticipation of rain, I climbed the steps to the Metropolitan Museum Of Art and rented one of the audio guide units that hang around your neck on an orange strap. I stayed about five hours, wearing out the battery on the audio unit and turning it in for another, wandering from the Egyptian art into the Temple of Dendur, through European sculptures to Arms and Armor and the American Wing, through Oceania, Africa and the Americas.

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The Two-Way
6:24 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Book News: Author Of Invented Holocaust Memoir Ordered To Return $22.5 Million

Misha Defonseca sits during proceedings at Massachusetts' Middlesex Superior Court in 2008. Defonseca, the author of a fabricated Holocaust memoir, has been ordered to pay back $22.5 million to her publisher.
MARY SCHWALM AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:49 am

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

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The Salt
2:07 am
Mon May 12, 2014

Why Take-And-Bake Pizza Is Giving The Tax Guys A Headache

Papa Murphy's is a chain that sells take-and-bake pizza. It built its name on low prices, and a willingness to accept food stamps. But now that may be in jeopardy.
Nicholas Eckhart Flickr

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 11:21 am

In 24 states, a Hershey bar is candy but a Twix is not. That's because a Twix contains flour, and in those states — which all share a sales tax code — candy is defined as being flour-free. And since groceries aren't taxed, you'll pay tax for the Hershey but not for the Twix.

If that seems strange, consider the case of take-and-bake pizza — uncooked pies you take home and bake later. Take-and-bake is at the center of an ongoing tax-code debate. Many states consider it a grocery item, like eggs or flour. But now they're re-evaluating whether take-and-bake should be tax-free.

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Fine Art
1:23 am
Mon May 12, 2014

One Collector's Plan To Save Realistic Art Was Anything But Abstract

Two pensive women share a mysterious, intense moment in Raphael Soyer's 1980 Annunciation.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 12:56 pm

Plenty of collectors want to donate artworks to museums, but the museums don't always welcome them with open arms. "We say 'no thanks' 19 times out of 20," says Betsy Broun, director at the American Art Museum. Sometimes the works aren't museum-quality, other times they don't fit with the museums' philosophy.

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Television
3:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

'Stand Up Planet' Follows Jokes To Serious Global Issues

As part of the documentary Stand Up Planet, South African comedian Mpho Popps (left) and Indian comedian Aditi Mittal (right) came to Los Angeles to perform with Hasan Minhaj at the Laugh Factory.
Courtesy of StandUpPlanet.org

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 7:45 am

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Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

For Artistic Criminal, Breaking Rules Is Key To 'Creativity'

Philippe Petit, a French high-wire artist, walks across a tightrope suspended between the World Trade Center towers in New York on Aug. 7, 1974.
Alan Welner AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 8:19 am

Philippe Petit says he hates books on creativity.

So his new book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime, isn't a compilation of ideas from great philosophers or creators.

The wirewalker, magician, street performer and artist breaks that mold with a book full of sketches and personal dialogue that captures his personal creative process.

And because it's so personal, he says, it will be more useful. "I'm not doing any rules. This is not a thesis on creativity. This is a kind of an outlaw confession," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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Author Interviews
12:12 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

'Insatiable': One Woman's Love Affair With The Porn Industry

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:03 am

Asa Akira had a happy childhood. The daughter of an upper middle-class family, she attended private schools in New York City and in Japan, where she lived for six years as a child.

"I'm from a very normal family," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "My parents are still together; nothing dramatic or traumatic has ever happened to me."

After high school, as her peers started careers or went off to college, Akira decided to pursue her dream job: porn star.

Akira says even from an early age, she was both comfortable with her own sexuality and interested in the sex industry.

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The Two-Way
10:03 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Portraits Of Mothers (And The Children Who Love Them)

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 11:14 am

There are a few special days we relish watching unfold on social media. The first day of school is one. Mother's Day is another. We like them because social feeds are filled with photographs that gives us an intimate peek at a very special human connection that resonates across the globe.

On this mother's day, we looked sifted through Instagram and Twitter and pulled out some of our favorite images. Here they are, but before all of that: Happy Mother's Day!

Television
5:36 am
Sun May 11, 2014

The Pains Of Parenting, And Other Life Lessons From Louis C.K.

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 6:49 am

Louis C.K. has made a career in comedy by going places others won't. He can be shockingly crude and deeply insightful in the same sentence.

In his Emmy-award winning TV show called Louie, the comedian basically plays himself — a divorced standup comic in New York with two kids. Season 4 of the show kicked off last week.

Louie is "right where I started him, really," he tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "Some stuff happened, but he ended up back where he was, which sort of is the way things work. It's a zero-sum game, at times."

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Movie Interviews
5:36 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Director Richard Ayoade Holds Up A Dark Looking Glass In 'The Double'

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 9:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The new film "The Double" is a comedy and a love story, but a very dark one. It's based off an 1846 Dostoyevsky novella. "The Double" focuses on a guy named Simon James. He is, by all accounts, rather nondescript - the kind of guy who fades, mostly intentionally, into the background. He stammers halfway through sentences, his boss can't remember his name and he can't seem to make any impression on the girl of his dreams. Then one day at work, things get worse when Simon James' boss makes an announcement.

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Author Interviews
5:36 am
Sun May 11, 2014

'Snow In May': The Lives Of Magadan, Gateway To The Gulag

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 9:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There's a town in Russia on the far eastern reaches of the country closer to Alaska than any major Russian city. It's terribly cold, and snow falls late into spring. That place is Magadan, and it's the focal point of a new collection of short stories by Kseniya Melnik. It's called "Snow In May."

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Author Interviews
5:36 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Mothers, The Rich Emotional Centers Of The Movies

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 11:39 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In film, there are all kinds of characters - the hero, the villain, the seductress, the mentor, the damned and the redeemed. And sometimes, all of those are wrapped into one complex role called the mother.

Take a look at many of the great movies in history, and a lot of times, you'll find a maternal figure at the emotional center of the story. Here's Sally Field in "Forrest Gump."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FORREST GUMP")

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun May 11, 2014

Past, Present And Future Dovetail In 'The Adjacent'

As far back as his 1973 breakthrough novel, the Hugo-nominated Inverted World, Christopher Priest has specialized in intricate, speculative-fiction mysteries. Even 1996's The Prestige — his most accessible work, and the source of the Christopher Nolan film of the same name — was a study in dizzying puzzle-craft.

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My Big Break
3:21 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Dolphins, Pirates And David Hasselhoff: Breaking Into TV At Sea

While translating for Japanese tourists on a boat in Hawaii, Leah Warshawski learned about the ocean, knowledge she later used in film production.
Courtesy of Leah Warshawski

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 3:23 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Director and producer Leah Warshawski's big break happened on the water.

It started when she was in college studying Japanese in Hawaii. Her dormmate worked on a boat and asked if Warshawksi wanted a job translating for Japanese tourists.

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Arts & Life
3:21 pm
Sat May 10, 2014

Coffee And Cups: 2 Stories Of High Stakes And High Prices

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 11:15 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath.

It's time now for the New and the Next.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

RATH: Carlos Watson is the co-founder of the online magazine Ozy. Each week he joins us to talk about what's new and what's next. Welcome back, Carlos.

CARLOS WATSON: Arun, really good to be with you.

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Monkey See
9:18 am
Sat May 10, 2014

My Country, Flat Or Sharp: Eurovision And The Global Citizen

Conchita Wurst, representing Austria, performs the song 'Rise Like a Phoenix' during the second semifinal of the Eurovision Song Contest. Wurst, a bearded female impersonator, is among the favorites to win the 2014 contest.
Frank Augstein AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 12:05 pm

The fate of Western civilization rests in the hands of an Armenian comedian with a stage name that includes a popular digital music file format.

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Movie Reviews
6:43 am
Sat May 10, 2014

A Family In Grief And A Neighborhood Sketched Too Lightly

Philip Seymour Hoffman (left) and Eddie Marsan, in a scene from the film, God's Pocket.
Lance Acord AP

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 1:31 pm

It's always unfortunate to see potential wasted onscreen, in acting, writing, or directing. It's worse to see it happen all at once with artists universally known as capable of much more. God's Pocket, the directorial feature debut of Mad Men's John Slattery and featuring one of Philip Seymour Hoffman's last performances, is a tonal mess, listless for two-thirds until violence erupts seemingly at random. It wants to be Fargo, a tale of crime in an insular community and its mounting complications; instead, it collapses into laughable dramatics that fall flat.

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Europe
5:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

The Catchy Songs Of Eurovision Transcend Europe's Divided Politics

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:44 am

Eurovision: Love it, hate it, or have no idea what we're talking about? With tensions high in Ukraine, Russian performers are facing the music at the kitschy singing contest.

Author Interviews
5:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Seeing The Whole Picture In We'll Go To 'Coney Island'

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Around the Nation
5:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Neurosurgeons Express Their Medical Challenges Through Art

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon. Neurosurgery is a stressful occupation. So is being a neurosurgical patient. With their superior eyes and hand skills, some neurosurgeons are turning to making art, and several are getting exposure at art exhibits throughout the country - including at this year's annual meeting of neurosurgeons. From member station KQED in San Francisco, April Dembosky sent us this audio postcard.

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Television
5:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Welsh Actor Keeps Soviet Secrets In 'The Americans'

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 4:30 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Phillip Jennings runs a travel agency with his wife Elizabeth. They've got two kids. They live in a quiet suburb of Washington, D.C. circa 1981. Like so many two-career couples, it can be a struggle to juggle career and family life.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE AMERICANS")

KERI RUSSELL: (As Elizabeth Jennings) If this goes bad, you need to be out of town somewhere with the kids. Get the kids to Canada. Contact the rezidentura there.

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Movie Interviews
5:59 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Looking 'Under The Table' At The Reluctant Modern Family

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 4:22 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

OK, film idea now - Park Avenue family waits for Nell, their college-aged daughter, to come home for Thanksgiving. They've got Obama bumper stickers on the fridge and literature on their bookshelves that proclaims their liberal convictions. They're eager to meet the boyfriend they're expecting Nell to bring home. All is in place when...

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "UNDER THE TABLE")

JACKIE VISCUSI: (As Nell) Mom, hi, Happy Thanksgiving. This is Laura, my girlfriend.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat May 10, 2014

A Fractured Tale Of Time, War And A Really Big Diamond

No book I've read all year underscores the distinctions between the long form and the short story more than the award-winning story writer Anthony Doerr's new novel All the Light We Cannot See.

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Author Interviews
5:03 am
Sat May 10, 2014

Questions For Earl Swift, Author Of 'Auto Biography'

Earl Swift traced the history of this '57 Chevy wagon and all of its owners — here it is, rusting quietly on the lot of owner number 13, Tommy Arney, in January 2010.
Earl Swift

Originally published on Sun May 11, 2014 3:16 pm

This '57 Chevy station wagon was once pristine, the epitome of American automotive glory: two-tone green, with sweeping fins and enough chrome to blind pedestrians. But by the time journalist Earl Swift came across it, those days were gone, and it was subsiding gently into a heap of rust and torn upholstery.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:19 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Not My Job: Brat Pack Member Rob Lowe Gets Quizzed On Bratwurst

Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 10, 2014 8:49 am

Rob Lowe and Peter Sagal are about the same age, and have led very similar lives: They've both made it huge in show business, been staples of the gossip magazines, are known far and wide for their strangely youthful good looks.

Back in the '80s Lowe was part of Hollywood's Brat Pack so we've invited him to answer three questions about some of the lesser known facts of bratwurst.

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Books
3:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In A Changing Climate, Science Fiction Starts To Feel Real

cover detail
Courtesy Night Shade Books

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:17 pm

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.

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Movie Interviews
3:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In 'God's Pocket,' There's A Mad Man Behind The Camera

John Slattery (left) reprises his role as Roger Sterling in the seventh and final season of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 6:45 pm

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.

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