An active conversation — and a hefty dose of outrage — is swirling on social media about the proper boundaries between public and private when it comes to illness and death. Lisa Adams, a stage 4 cancer patient, has been tweeting her experiences with the disease. Writers Bill and Emma Keller have derided her tweets as akin to "deathbed selfies." Melissa Block talks with Meaghan O'Rourke about how we treat dying in the digital age.
Dystopia is all the rage these days, especially in young adult fiction: There's the "Hunger Games" trilogy of course; Veronica Roth's "Divergent" series, in which Chicago has gone to the dogs; Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series, inspired by a nightmare vision of Manhattan; and Stephanie Meyer's non-Twilight novel, The Host, where Earth has been colonized by alien parasites.
Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:53 am
I think that Bill Keller probably meant well when he wrote an op-ed for The New York Times this week about Lisa Bonchek Adams, a woman with cancer who's been writing about it, along with a lot of other things, on Twitter and on a personal blog.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:29 am
In August 1837, a group of girls aged ten through fourteen in a one-room Shaker schoolhouse received "signs from the world beyond." One by one they began singing, jerking, chanting, and reciting Latin. This miraculous phenomenon went on for hours. Elder Sister Agnes, the schoolteacher, witnessed it all. Thenceforth these and other Visionists — the name given to those deemed to be "chosen instruments" of Mother Ann, the Shakers' founder — "were allowed to make things that were not simply functional but beautiful, for they had created them under divine inspiration."
Russia's Soviet days are well behind it, but if you're headed to Sochi for the Winter Olympics, your dining options will still run deep red — as in borscht.
Organizers in Sochi expect to serve 70,000 gallons of this Russian staple — a hearty soup whose color comes from beets — to spectators. Borscht has graced both the high table of the Kremlin and the lowly tables of peasants across the former Soviet Union.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
And I'm Melissa Block.
A federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit has mediated a deal that could potentially solve two of the city's biggest problems. The plan would raise money for retirees' pension funds and keep masterpieces from the Detroit Institute of Art from being auctioned off. NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports.
The U.S. teen birthrate — one of the highest in the developed world — has been dropping in recent years. There are a number of reasons for the decrease, and a new study attributes a portion of the decline to an unlikely cause: MTV's 16 and Pregnant, a show that takes a brutally honest look at what life is like for pregnant teens.
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 7:45 am
Nothing exposes you like asking a tough question.
Like a boxer extending a jab, you reveal yourself in the moment, stepping aggressively to a subject in a way that also makes you vulnerable. Handle the moment badly, and like an off-balance prizefighter, you might be the one hugging the canvas after a knockout blow.
Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:17 pm
There are those who say "less is more," and there are those who say "less is stupid." The latter are responsible for taking a steak sandwich, deciding it needed more calories, and creating the Breaded Steak Sandwich. A thin cut of beef is breaded and fried, placed in a hoagie roll, and covered in what they call "red gravy." Ricobene's here in Chicago is famous for it.
Eva: It's the kangaroo of sandwiches. It's carrying around a slightly smaller breaded thing in its pouch.
A revolution is a bit like a writing a mystery novel. It's hard to start but even harder to come up with a satisfying ending.
They're still working on that in Egypt. Three years after the toppling of dictator Hosni Mubarak — the crowning moment of the Arab Spring — the army's running the country again; the elected president, Mohammed Morsi, has been arrested and charged with treason; the Muslim Brotherhood has been banned; and Tahrir Square's secular protesters are getting arrested. All this in the name of order and country.
Like most sitting Supreme Court justices, Sonia Sotomayor is circumspect when talking about the court; but she has written intimately about her personal life — more so than is customary for a Supreme Court justice.
"When I was nominated by the president for this position, it became very clear to me that many people in the public were interested in my life and the challenges I had faced," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... And I also realized that much of the public perception of who I was and what had happened to me was not quite complete."
Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 10:10 am
Over the past week, two high-profile leaders in the New York metropolitan area found themselves at the center of unfolding political scandals. At least one, it seems, has some plausible deniability.
In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie's political future is in doubt over the ever-widening "Bridgegate" fiasco, as emails revealed that members of his closest inner circle were involved. But just across that bridge, New York City's newly installed mayor, Bill de Blasio, became embroiled in another kind of drama: "Forkgate."
Let us say this first: The Golden Globes are Hollywood culture at its most purely self-perpetuating. Given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of journalists so gleefully obscure that there is usually a joke about how gleefully obscure they are, the Globes lack the gravitas of the Oscars, which is really saying something, given the fact that the Oscars lack the gravitas of the Tonys and the Tonys lack the gravitas of a halfway decent episode of Law & Order: SVU.
In 2005, Rosemary Mahoney was assigned to write a magazine profile of the woman who started Tibet's first school for the blind, Braille Without Borders.
Sabriya Tenberken, who is blind herself, traveled to Tibet as a young woman and found that blind children there had no access to education, which motivated her to set up a program. During college in Germany, where she grew up, Tenberken also developed the first Braille script for the Tibetan language.
Who should be eligible to receive an award from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People? And if that definition becomes flexible, what does that do to the mission of the award itself?
That's a question worth asking as the NAACP Thursday unveiled a huge roster of nominees for its 45th annual Image Awards — a ceremony long thought to be a way to honor African-American performers who are often ignored by mainstream Hollywood awards contests.
On-air challenge: Every answer is a word that begins and ends with the letter A. You'll be given an anagram of the letters between the A's. For example, given "ern," you would say, "arena."
Last week's challenge: Name something in five letters that's generally pleasant, it's a nice thing to have. Add the letters A and Y, and rearrange the result, keeping the A and Y together as a pair. You'll get the seven-letter word that names an unpleasant version of the five-letter thing. What is it?
Artis Henderson never imagined she'd end up a military wife. She had dreams of becoming a writer and traveling the world; settling down with a conservative, church-going Army pilot wasn't the life she'd planned for herself.
But she fell in love with Miles Henderson and she followed him to Army bases in small towns where she struggled to fit into military life and culture. Then, in 2006, her new husband deployed to Iraq and was killed just months later in an Apache helicopter crash.
When I was a kid, my local comic book store was a seedy, subterranean hole. I never saw other kids there — only adults and teenagers, who came alone and seemed furtive and abashed. We guiltily pored over the spandex-covered torsos and gore-splattered pages in separate corners.
Now, as an adult, I live partially in Seattle and partially on the Internet, two places where comics and graphic narratives are as respected and celebrated as any other medium. No one hides in the corner, and I read comics without shame — almost. One comic book hero remains a guilty pleasure.