Arts

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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Arts & Life
11:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Wait Wait' Celebrates Carl Kasell, Our Official Judge and Scorekeeper

Carl decides to take a publicity photo shoot up a notch while Peter tickles the ivories.
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 11:00 am

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.

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Movie Reviews
10:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as mystery doppelgangers will have you seeing Double.
Magnolia Pictures

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

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.

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Movie Reviews
10:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'God's Pocket' Is Horrifying, Humanist And Heartbreaking

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 11:40 am

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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.

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Television
10:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Penny Dreadful' Is Wonderful, But 'Rosemary's Baby' Is Dreadful

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 1:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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.

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Monkey See
9:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe And The Blood And Breath Of Live Theater

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 12:55 pm

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.

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Monkey See
8:19 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Star Wars,' 'Louie' And Other Phenomena

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We're joined this week by the lovely Petra Mayer of NPR Books, who brings her serious sci-fi and fandom chops to our opening chat about the big Star Wars news.

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TED Radio Hour
7:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Is Authenticity Real?

Joseph Pine speaking at TED.
Asa Mathat Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Joseph Pine's TEDTalk

Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but consultant Joseph Pine says creating "real" authenticity is a challenge.

About Joseph Pine

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TED Radio Hour
7:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

What's The Difference Between Real And Perceived Value?

Marketer Rory Sutherland speaking at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Rory Sutherland's TEDTalk

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.

About Rory Sutherland

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The Two-Way
5:13 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Book News: Was Hong Kong Publisher's 10-Year Sentence Political Payback?

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

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Pop Culture
1:38 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hard 'G' Or Soft, The GIF Takes Its Place As A Modern Art Form

Dramatic chipmunk is one of the examples of the The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:26 pm

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

'Neighbors' Just Wants To Be The Gross Joke Next Door

Zac Efron in Neighbors.
Universal Pictures

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.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

To Be Young, Foolish And Baffled: Coming Of Age In 'Palo Alto'

Emma Roberts in James Franco's Palo Alto.
Tribeca Film

"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.

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Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Jesse Eisenberg And Jesse Eisenberg In A Queasy Sea Of Despair

Jesse Eisenberg in The Double.
Magnolia Pictures

"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.

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Remembrances
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Remembering Author Farley Mowat, Who 'Wore His Kilt Dangerously'

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

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.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Television
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Let's Be Careful Out There: The Legacy Of 'Hill Street Blues'

Michael Conrad as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus does the cop roll call, concluding with his signature line: "Let's be careful out there."
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:49 pm

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.

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Television
2:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lurid Meets Literary In 'Penny Dreadful,' An All-Star Gothic Revue

Showtime's new psychological thriller re-imagines classic Victorian boogeymen like Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Count Dracula all lurking in London's darkest corners, discussing romantic poetry. Reeve Carney and Eva Green star as Dorian Gray and Vanessa Ives.
Pat Redmond Showtime

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:19 pm

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.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rice Theory: Why Eastern Cultures Are More Cooperative

It takes a village to grow rice paddies: Taiwanese farmers break a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people planting rice at once in August 2012.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

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.

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Books
12:59 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rat Pack's Sammy Davis Jr. Lives On Through Daughter's Stories

Frank Sinatra performing with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
Photo: David Sutton MPTV.net RatPac Press & Running Press (The Perseus Books Group)

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.

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Movie Reviews
11:26 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Two Italys Take A Road Trip In 'Il Sorpasso'

Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:33 pm

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.

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Author Interviews
11:26 am
Thu May 8, 2014

A Cartoonist's Funny, Heartbreaking Take On Caring For Aging Parents

Roz Chast Bloomsbury

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?

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Movies
11:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Arab Activists Who Refuse To Bow To The Giant

A protest during the Arab Spring
We Are The Giant

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 12:59 pm

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Ask Me Another
7:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

House Of Games

It's the home stretch in this final round, a game in which all the answers contain the word "house." For example, a popular spy-themed restaurant in Milwaukee is "Safe House."

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
7:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Hidden Vegetables

Your parents might have snuck your veggies into unexpected dishes, but we got clever and hid the names of vegetables in the answers of this game. What German composer was a fan of red, edible roots?

Plus, hear Jonathan Coulton lead the crowd in a rowdy rendition of "Blister In The Sun" by the Milwaukee-bred rockers Violent Femmes.

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
7:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Both: The Newly-Formed-Band-Game

Aimee, presumably wearing the leather shorts she would save from a fire. No word on where Ted's giraffe-print cardigan is.
Christian Lantry

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 The Newlywed 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.

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Ask Me Another
7:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

My-My-My-Clues

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!

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
7:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Shark Jumping

Inspired by a famous episode of Happy Days, this game is about "jump the shark" moments: that point when a TV show's quality starts to go downhill. We'll give you the moment, you tell us the show.

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

The Seams
5:58 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Art Of A Lost American Couturier, On Display At The Met

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 2:32 pm

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.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Avant-Garde Madness, Seen Through 'My Dog-Eyes'

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 1:45 pm

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.

"God? A surface of ice anchored to laughter."

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