Arts

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Percussive Poems In 'Shorty Bon Bon' Pin The Stage To The Page

iStockphoto

Willie Perdomo's third collection of poems is sonically charged: he celebrates his Puerto Rican heritage and the music that came out of the Puerto Rican community in New York by narrating the imagined life of Shorty Bon Bon, the percussionist of a descarga (jamming) salsa band in the 1960s and '70s. The character is partly inspired by Perdomo's real-life uncle, who played percussion on two of Charlie Palmieri's '70s recordings.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:40 am
Sat April 5, 2014

Biographer Explains How John Updike 'Captured America'

Originally published on Mon April 7, 2014 10:59 am

Writing a biography of John Updike is a tricky thing: The acclaimed American writer of elegant essays and elegiac novels and short stories may have been a genius, but he was also disconcertingly normal. He liked to drink, but wasn't a drunk; he had two marriages, but wasn't a womanizer; he could be wistful, but rarely depressed. He was a straight, white, Christian man who liked golf.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:24 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Play Ball! Comedian Amy Schumer Plays Not My Job

Peter Yang Comedy Central

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 6:19 pm

We've invited comedian Amy Schumer to play a game called "Play ball!" It's the first week of baseball season, so we'll ask three questions about the House of David baseball team — one of the weirdest and most religious teams in the history of the game.

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

Television
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Your Tour Guide To The Glut Of Sunday TV

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 4:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melisa Block, hosting this week from member station KERA in Dallas.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel in Washington.

And as we head into the weekend, here's something to look forward to - a logjam of great Sunday night television. It gets going this Sunday with the new season of HBO's "Game of Thrones."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "GAME OF THRONES")

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:17 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Stay Classy, Norwich: 'Alan Partridge' Aims For American Success

Steve Coogan brings his Alan Partridge character — a conceited, petty, utterly inept broadcast blowhard who once killed a guest on live TV — to the big screen in Alan Partridge.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 5:43 pm

Say the name Alan Partridge in Britain, and everyone knows who you're talking about: An airheaded, funny and entirely fictional broadcaster prone to saying things like, "You can keep Jesus — as far as I'm concerned, Neil Diamond will always be King of the Jews."

British comedian Steve Coogan has been playing Partridge on radio and TV for more than 20 years. Recently, the character made a successful leap to British movie theaters — and his new movie may make a successful leap across the Atlantic as well.

Read more
Monkey See
11:17 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Captain America' And The Pitiless March Of Time

Chris Evans is Captain America. But who's Captain America?
Marvel

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 12:11 pm

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

On this week's show, Matt Thompson sits in as we talk about Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Were we overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? Merely whelmed? How hard can I get myself thinking about the shots out the window of the Triskelion? (The answer to that last one is: entirely too hard, I know.) For more about the windows, the postcard views and more, don't miss my review from earlier this week.

Read more
Movie Interviews
10:31 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Anthony Mackie Soars As Captain America's Falcon

Anthony Mackie as Falcon and Chris Evans as Captain America.
Marvel Studios

Movie lovers probably already know Anthony Mackie from supporting but meaty roles in the Oscar-winning films 8 Mile, Million Dollar Baby and The Hurt Locker. But now he heads to the Marvel Universe in the new action film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mackie plays the Falcon, also known as Sam Wilson, a former military paratrooper skilled in air combat. He teams up with Captain America to face the legendary assassin known as the Winter Soldier.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Are We Wired To Be Bad With Money?

Why is it that we keep doing dumb things in the face of bad consequences? — Laurie Santos
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Laurie Santos's TEDTalk

Psychologist Laurie Santos studies human irrationality by observing how primates make decisions — including some not-so-savvy money choices their human relatives often make.

About Laurie Santos

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Maybe the reason that money doesn't make us happy is that we're always spending it on the wrong things. --Michael Norton
Justin Ide Courtesy of TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Michael Norton's TEDTalk

Social scientist Michael Norton researches how money can buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. The key is social spending that benefits not just you, but other people.

About Michael Norton

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

How Much Does Money Motivate Us?

The solution is not to do more of the wrong things, to entice people with a sweeter carrot, or threaten them with a sharper stick. --Daniel Pink
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Daniel Pink's TEDTalk

Writer Daniel Pink explains why traditional rewards like money aren't always successful motivators.

About Daniel Pink

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Does Money Make You Mean?

As a person's levels of wealth increase, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down, and...their ideology of self-interest increases. --Paul Piff
Margot Duane Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Paul Piff's TEDTalk

Social psychologist Paul Piff describes how wealth changes behavior and how almost anyone's behavior can change when they're made to feel rich.

About Paul Piff

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Could Your Language Affect Your Ability To Save Money?

Why is it that we allow subtle nudges of our language to affect our decision making? --Keith Chen
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Money Paradox.

About Keith Chen's TEDTalk

Behavioral economist Keith Chen says languages that don't have a future tense strongly correlate with higher savings.

About Keith Chen

Read more
Monkey See
7:18 am
Fri April 4, 2014

David Letterman's Meticulously Unchoreographed Exit

David Letterman announced his retirement on Thursday night, but Twitter got to it first.
Jeffrey R. Staab CBS

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 10:32 am

Read more
The Two-Way
5:35 am
Fri April 4, 2014

Book News: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 87, Hospitalized In Mexico

Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez appeared in public during a celebration marking his 87th birthday March 6 in Mexico City.
Yuri Cortez AFP/Getty Images

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

Read more
Television
5:21 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Dave Letterman Signals He'll Soon Put Down The Microphone

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:35 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

David Letterman, the longest-serving late night television host, is retiring.

(SOUNDBITE OF SHOW, 'LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN')

DAVID LETTERMAN: Sometime in the not-so-distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up and taking a hike.

SIEGEL: Letterman, who is 66, told the audience today during a taping of his late show program which will air tonight. Here to talk about David Letterman is NPR TV critic Eric Deggans. And Eric, why has Letterman decided to retire now?

Read more
Book Reviews
4:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Dinaw Mengestu Embraces The Vastness Of Love And War

Eli Meir Kaplan Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 5:34 pm

Why do love and war go so well together in novels? It isn't only because they're both naturally dramatic themes. Sometimes, in fact, each is so big and overwhelming that they can seem beyond the grasp of words. And so a writer who tries to show the struggle of two people with deep feelings for each other, "set against a backdrop of violence" (as a novel's flap copy might read), can just seem like he's overreaching. But Dinaw Mengestu uses love and war to powerfully explore a third, equally dramatic theme: identity.

Read more
Monkey See
3:00 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

An Interview With A Hypothetical Super-Independent Athlete Baby

A very independent baby.
iStockphoto

It might have seemed like an unsurprising thing to do when Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy took three entire days off to tend to his newborn child, but if you listen to sports commentary, you know that it was not without controversy.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:02 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

In The 1870s And '80s, Being A Pedestrian Was Anything But

Courtesy of Chicago Review Press

Originally published on Wed April 9, 2014 9:58 am

We may think of baseball as America's national pastime, but in the 1870s and 1880s there was another sports craze sweeping the nation: competitive walking. "Watching people walk was America's favorite spectator sport," Matthew Algeo says in his new book, Pedestrianism.

Read more
Television
1:20 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

HBO Fills Sunday Night Lineup With Entertaining Power Struggles

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:48 pm

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. This Sunday HBO presents the season premiers of two returning series - "Game of Thrones" and "VEEP" - and launches a new series, a Mike Judge comedy called "Silicon Valley." Our TV critic David Bianculli has seen them all.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:20 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Embarrassing Stains? This Housekeeping Guide Gets That Life Is Messy

Jolie Kerr says when you have a fresh red wine stain, pouring table salt — no water — on it will suck it right up. "You can go pour some wine on your carpet tonight and try it out!" she says.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 2:48 pm

Jerry Seinfeld used to joke that if you have bloodstains on your clothes, you probably have bigger problems than your laundry. But Jolie Kerr is here to help with all the stains — her new book is titled My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag ... and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha.

Kerr is known for giving cleaning advice for unconventional and embarrassing housecleaning and laundry problems — without the judgment of the typical holier-than-thou housekeeping advice columnist.

Read more
My Big Break
9:52 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Inflatable Suit Launches Stylist To Stardom

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:37 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We just mentioned that dancing on "Soul Train" was the big break for a number of entertainers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley. Well, our colleagues at All Things Considered have been hearing stories from a number of other people about the moment when their careers took off.

Read more
Author Interviews
9:52 am
Thu April 3, 2014

How 'Soul Train' Shaped A Generation

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:37 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Now we're going to take a trip down memory lane or we should probably say down the soul train line.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "SOUL TRAIN")

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Random Questions With: Mike Birbiglia

"I'm gonna take this conversation we're having, and then repeat that to strangers. Then that's the joke. You're the joke, later."
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 12:44 pm

  • Hear Mike play a game about Catholicism
  • Mike Birbiglia: "No Air Quotes, Man!"

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Trivia

I'm funny. I should be the priest!"" href="/post/mike-birbiglia-thank-god-trivia" class="noexit lightbox">
"[Father Patterson's] not funny, I'm funny. I should be the priest!"
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:59 am

He's known for his stand-up comedy, as well as a particular sleepwalking episode, but asked to play a game on...Catholicism? Holy moly! We quiz him on the Bible and more in this VIP challenge.

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

Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

What's In A Name? Another Name

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:59 am

What do Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? A name, obviously. In this game, identify famous people whose full names are found within the names of other celebrities.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Insert Coin Here

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:59 am

Video game characters lead dangerous lives, so they could use our advice on how to stay out of trouble. Identify classic video games based on some helpful tips — before the ghosts get you!

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Blurred Rhymes

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 1:50 pm

Robin Thicke's 2013 song "Blurred Lines" asks, "What rhymes with hug me?" He should have asked guest musician Julian Velard, who sing reworked lyrical clues that answer the question with some blurred rhymes of their own.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Hello, Goodbye

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:59 am

We love to say hello to our final round contestants, but we have to say goodbye to those who can't think up famous salutations and valedictions from film and TV. Think quick before "You're fired!"

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Our Delicious Bodies

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 9:59 am

Cannibalism is gross, but admittedly, ladyfinger cakes are delicious. Try not to get too hungry as you think up various foods, all of which have a human body part in their name.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain

human heart diagram
iStockphoto

A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, The Empathy Exams, in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Jamison notes with concern that ironic detachment has become the fallback in this "post-wounded" age that fears "anything too tender, too touchy-feely." The Empathy Exams presents a brainy but heartfelt case for compassion even at the risk of sentimentality.

Read more

Pages