Arts

Theater
2:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

In The Theater Of Politics, Staging Is Everything

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, arrives to announce his choice of running mate aboard the U.S.S. Wisconsin in Norfolk, Va., on Aug. 11.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:16 pm

During the next two weeks, the major political parties will assemble their faithful in Tampa, Fla., and Charlotte, N.C., to officially nominate their presidential tickets. These conventions were once places of high political drama. But over the decades, as the primary system has determined the candidates well in advance, conventions have become political theater. With that in mind, there's much to be said on staging in politics — not substance, but style.

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Politics
12:07 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

Jane Mayer: Obama In 'Impossible Bind' Over Donors

President Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from such groups. He is shown above speaking during a campaign stop in Oskaloosa, Iowa, last week.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:12 pm

When the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark Citizen United case in 2010, the landscape of presidential elections shifted. SuperPACs — entities that can't make direct contributions but are allowed to engage in limitless spending and fundraising independently of the campaigns — have allowed for the some of the largest indirect gifts by wealthy Americans in the nation's history.

Obama is on record as opposing superPACs for normalizing gigantic donations, but his campaign has hesitantly decided to accept donations from these outside groups.

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Author Interviews
10:57 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Paul Auster Meditates On Life, Death And Near Misses

Paul Auster is the author of fiction including The New York Trilogy and In the Country of Last Things.
Lotte Hansen Picador

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 1:28 pm

Paul Auster doesn't take living for granted. At 65, the author has had several "near misses," from sliding face-first into a jutting nail as a child to a traumatic car accident that almost killed him, his wife and his daughter.

Auster's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a series of meditations on his life, aging and mortality — including his mother's death.

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Monkey See
10:00 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Rovers Are From Mars: How Curiosity Is Killing It On Twitter

This artist's rendering provided by NASA shows the Mars Rover, Curiosity.
AP

Twitter wasn't built to give voice to Curiosity, the rover currently exploring Mars, but it's awfully well-suited for the purpose.

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Around the Nation
7:52 am
Thu August 23, 2012

From Politics To Pestilence: Everything Is Earlier

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:17 pm

Leaves are falling in the summertime. School starts in early August in many places. Politicos are already talking about the presidential election — of 2016.

Everything is happening earlier.

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

New In Paperback Aug. 20-26

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 6:31 pm

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Robert Harris, Jennifer DuBois, Tony Horwitz, Thomas Friedman, Michael Mandelbaum and Adam Gopnik.



Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Lyrical Portrait Of Life And Death In The Orchard

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 5:54 am

Amanda Coplin grew up in the apple-growing Wenatchee Valley, on the sunny side of Washington state's Cascade range, surrounded by her grandfather's orchards. Her glorious first novel, inspired by family history, takes you back to the days when you could buy what are now considered heirloom apples — Arkansas Blacks and Rhode Island Greenings — from the man who grew them, from bushel baskets lugged into town by mule-drawn wagon. Seattle and Tacoma were mere villages, and train travel was the new-tech way to go.

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Movies
1:16 am
Thu August 23, 2012

The Marlon Brando Of Screen Dance, 100 Years On

Blessed with athleticism and skill, actor-dancer Gene Kelly always managed to look like a regular guy having a lot of fun dancing.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 11:01 am

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Interviews
11:00 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Bill Hader On Sketch Comedy, His Love Of Old Films

Bill Hader was nominated for an Emmy as Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Stefon on Saturday Night Live.
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 2:12 pm

Comedian Bill Hader is adept onstage and doing live performances. But he's scared to death of standup.

He says he remembers watching Chris Rock's 1996 HBO special, Bring the Pain, and thinking, "I don't know how people do that."

"I need a character," Hader tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I need people out there with me."

So Hader has stuck with sketch comedy — where he has been wildly successful.

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Monkey See
10:29 am
Wed August 22, 2012

IM, IM, IM Superman: Morning-After Texts Between Superman, Wonder Woman

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:04 am

Next week, in Justice League #12, The Man of Steel and the Amazing Amazon will ... get their respective super-powered grooves on, according to Entertainment Weekly.

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Dance
10:03 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Tango Festival Lures Thousands To Buenos Aires

Tango fans are flocking to the Buenos Aires Tango Festival & World Cup in Argentina. The tango is seen as a romantic and seductive dance, but you may not know that the dance may have gotten its start in brothels. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks with dance instructor Daniela Borgialli. She's participating in the dance competition.

First Reads
5:03 am
Wed August 22, 2012

Exclusive First Read: Michael Chabon's 'Telegraph Avenue'

Michael Chabon lives in Berkeley with his wife, writer Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Ulf Andersen

Originally published on Fri September 7, 2012 11:46 am

Michael Chabon sets his sprawling new novel, Telegraph Avenue, in his adopted home of Berkeley, Calif., and its grittier southern neighbor, Oakland. With its multiracial, multigenerational cast of jazz musicians, former blaxploitation stars, midwives, gay teens and Black Panthers-turned-politicians, the book both celebrates and gently sends up the countercultural norms and complex racial politics of East Bay life.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed August 22, 2012

A Bartender's 'Tale' In Nostalgic Soft-Focus

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 5:46 am

At the moment Rusty, the young protagonist of The Bartender's Tale, is rescued from his Aunt Marge's house in Phoenix, author Ivan Doig cranks into motion a dense valentine of a novel about a father and a small town at the start of the 1960s. Rusty's liberator is also his father, Tom Harry, the august bartender and proprietor of the Medicine Lodge bar in Gros Ventre, Mont. Tom is the archetypical flinty Western bartender, slinging beers and shots of wisdom cultivated from a less than perfect life.

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Kitchen Window
12:35 am
Wed August 22, 2012

The Pies Of Late Summer

Emily Hilliard for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 7:50 am

My dad used to sing to me an old folk song before I went to sleep. One of my favorite verses went:

Peaches in the summertime, apples in the fall.

If I can't have the one I love, I won't have none at all.

I still like that lyric for its simplicity and its assertion of seasonal eating at a time when that was unquestioned. You ate fresh apples in the fall (and probably storage apples through the winter) and peaches all summer. Love could be fleeting and unreliable, but autumn apples and summer peaches would always be there.

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Movies
3:03 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

A Put-Upon Hardbody, But A 'Teddy Bear' At Heart

Bodybuilder Dennis (Kim Kold) and gym owner Toi (Lamaiporn Sangmanee Hougaard) share a tender moment.
Film Movement

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 6:33 pm

Set in contemporary Denmark and in Thailand, Mads Matthiesen's Teddy Bear is a sweetly muted domestic drama struggling to contain a fierce and ancient folk tale.

The hero, Dennis — a 300-pound bodybuilder with a lovable touch of Shrek — has an absent father and a tiny witch of a mother whose parenting is a twisted cocktail of dominatrix and coquette. (If your mother conducted bathroom business with you alongside at age 38, you'd have issues too.)

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Monkey See
12:12 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

'Persona 4 Arena' Digs Deep Into The Teenage Heart Of Battle

Persona 4 Arena
Atlus
PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

The quirky, the odd and the eerie. As a videogame publisher, Atlus has become the expert in making the strange into the popular. It released Demon's Souls, a horror-filled role playing game that was so unrepentantly unforgiving, even hard core gamers complained (even as they continued playing). Last year, Atlus' Catherine was a long meditation upon the nightmarish angst and fear that can emerge when trust fails a young relationship.

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Author Interviews
12:10 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Student 'Subversives' And The FBI's 'Dirty Tricks'

Mario Savio, shown here at a victory rally in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza on Dec. 9, 1964, was the face of the free speech movement.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 11:21 am

In 1964, students at the University of California, Berkeley, formed a protest movement to repeal a campus rule banning students from engaging in political activities.

Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover suspected the free speech movement to be evidence of a Communist plot to disrupt U.S. campuses. He "had long been concerned about alleged subversion within the education field," journalist Seth Rosenfeld tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Remembrances
12:10 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

Fresh Air Remembers Comedian Phyllis Diller

Phyllis Diller plays peekaboo with the cameraman before the start of her television show Bonkers in 1979.
Central Press/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 12:35 pm

Phyllis Diller, one of the first and one of the few female comic headliners of her generation, died Monday at the age of 95.

Diller performed in the persona of a crazed housewife. She usually dressed in outlandish, bad-fitting clothes with her hair teased into a disheveled mop. Then she'd fire off long strings of self-deprecating gags. She was so unattractive, she used to tell her audiences, that Peeping Toms asked her to pull her window shades down. Onstage, she called her husband Fang. Diller told Fang jokes like her male counterparts told wife jokes.

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Monkey See
10:13 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Michael J. Fox Gets A New Comedy: Has NBC Found A Way To Make Some Progress?

Michael J. Fox, seen here in April, will have a new NBC comedy in the fall of 2013.
Andrew H. Walker Getty Images

NBC is in need of a stroke of luck. They need something to work. The Olympics are over; it hasn't appreciably changed anything yet, and there's certainly no swell of excitement about Animal Practice and Go On that leads me to believe previewing them during the Olympics will make them hits any more than that strategy usually does.

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The Picture Show
8:50 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Photos From The Sets Of Latin American Soap Operas

Yadhira Carrillo as Leonora "Nora" Guzman Madrigal de Orta de Palacios-Garcia in Amarte Es Mi Pecado (Loving You Is My Sin)
Stefan Ruiz

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 2:13 pm

If you've spent even a few minutes watching a telenovela, or Latin American soap opera, you're familiar with some of the archetypes: the swarthy, good-looking country man; the maid; the poor peasant woman (generally devoid of indigenous features); the evil rich girl, etc. For better or worse, it's a huge part of Latino culture, and photographer Stefan Ruiz wanted to document it.

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Monkey See
8:14 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Let's Rush To Judgment: 'Liberal Arts'

Josh Radnor has been playing the much-maligned — and I would perhaps say overly maligned — Ted Mosby on How I Met Your Mother since 2005. We've known for a while that he's ultimately interested in being a filmmaker — his 2010 film Happythankyoumoreplease got mixed reviews, but won an Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue August 21, 2012

'Winter Journal': Paul Auster On Aging, Mortality

Paul Auster is the author of fiction including The New York Trilogy and In the Country of Last Things.
Lotte Hansen Picador

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:13 pm

"You think it will never happen to you," Paul Auster writes about aging and mortality in Winter Journal, penned during the winter of 2011, when he turned 64. Thirty years ago, Auster followed several volumes of poetry with The Invention of Solitude, an unconventional, profoundly literary meditation on life, death and memory triggered in part by the sudden death of his remote father and in part by the breakup of his first marriage to the short story writer Lydia Davis.

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Shots - Health Blog
3:31 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Dr. Seuss On Malaria: 'This is Ann ... She Drinks Blood'

During World War II, Capt. Theodor Geisel — better known as Dr. Seuss — created a small booklet explaining how to prevent mosquito bites.
Theodor Geisel Courtesy of USDA

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 8:34 am

Before he cooked up green eggs or taught us to count colorful fish, Dr. Seuss was a captain in the U.S. Army. And during World War II, the author and illustrator, whose given name was Theodor Geisel, spent a few years creating training films and pamphlets for the troops.

One of Geisel's Army cartoons was a booklet aimed at preventing malaria outbreaks among GIs by urging them to use nets and keep covered up.

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NewsPoet: Writing The Day In Verse
2:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

NewsPoet: Tess Taylor Writes The Day In Verse

Tess Taylor visits NPR headquarters in Washington on Monday.
Emily Bogle NPR

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 4:38 pm

Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.

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Destination Art
2:13 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

North Adams, Mass.: A Manufacturing Town For Art

MASS MoCA is a complex of 26 renovated 19th-century factory buildings. The site was formerly the home of Arnold Print Works (1860-1942) and Sprague Electric Company (1942-1985).
MASS MoCA

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 1:06 pm

If you ever decide to visit one of the largest museums of contemporary art in the world, prepare yourself: It's a little intimidating. First, you have to drive to upper Massachusetts, just south of the Vermont border, where you'll behold 26 hulking brick buildings: We're talking 600,000 square feet of raw, sunlit space, roughly equivalent to a mid-sized airport.

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Remembrances
1:29 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Comedy's Self-Deprecating Pioneer Phyllis Diller Dies

Diller poses with a photo at her Los Angeles home in 2005.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 4:02 pm

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

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Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!
12:42 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Sandwich Monday: The Energy Bar Sandwich

The components.
NPR

A few of us are doing a 5K tonight (burger-themed, of course), and rather than doing any training whatsoever, we're getting ready with our very own Energy Bar Sandwich. Luna Bar bread, a Clif Bar patty, topped with a Powerbar, carbohydrate goo and something called Clif Shot Bloks. It adds up to 1,200 calories, more than twice that of a Big Mac.

Ian: This sandwich tastes like exercise feels.

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Remembrances
11:45 am
Mon August 20, 2012

The Adrenalized Action And Cult Films Of Tony Scott

Tony Scott's breakout hit was Top Gun, a drama about fighter pilots in training, starring Tom Cruise.
AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:50 am

When people talk about Tony Scott's movies, the same words often come up: stylish, exuberant and kinetic. Three years ago, in a video interview with The Guardian, Scott explained why watching his movies could sometimes be exhausting.

"I have this natural energy that I want to inject into what I do," he said. "The worlds that I touch, I sort of embrace those worlds, and I always look for that energetic side of the worlds that I'm touching."

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Movie Interviews
11:32 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Mike Birbiglia, 'Sleepwalk'-ing On The Big Screen

Comedian Mike Birbiglia co-wrote the script for the new film about himself: Sleepwalk With Me.
Brian Friedman

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 11:58 am

When comedian Mike Birbiglia opened his one-man show Sleepwalk With Me in 2008 at the Bleecker Street Theatre in New York, he didn't anticipate that it would become material for a popular piece on This American Life and a New York Times best-seller. He especially didn't think it would turn into a feature film.

Birbigilia had never made a film before. And he was initially hesitant to make one about his dangerous sleepwalking condition, because he wanted to distance himself from the topic he had been immersed in for more than four years.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:14 am
Mon August 20, 2012

Slaughter In The Subway: A Tale Of New York Terror

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:12 pm

Victor LaValle's latest novel is called The Devil in Silver.

"I have seen the future of horror ... and it is named Clive Barker."

It was the mid '80s. I was in my local comic book store. I remember seeing those words on the paperback cover of a book. The image of a cheap, rubber-looking mask with its mouth hanging open and its eyes empty was on the front. A purple light glowed behind the mask. It wasn't frightening. The cover looked crappy. And the name, Clive Barker, meant nothing to me. I might've passed it by if not for the name under the blurb: Stephen King.

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