Arts

Arts and culture

The Code Switch team was sitting in our daily team meeting when our editor looked up from Twitter and broke the news that Prince was gone.

Just as the winter holiday season seems to arrive sooner and sooner every year, so goes the season for summer movie blockbusters. When Batman V. Superman came out in late March, it felt like the equivalent of picking out your Halloween costumes at a store that's already hawking tinsel. A few years ago, the first weekend in May became the de facto launch of summer-movie season — itself a move up from Memorial Day Weekend a while back — but this year has been different.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Arthur Brook's TED Talk

Social scientist Arthur Brooks explains how conservatives and liberals can cooperate to overcome gridlock and build a better economy.

About Arthur Brooks

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Vernā Myers' TED Talk

Diversity advocate Vernā Myers makes a powerful case for acknowledging our subconscious biases and assumptions about others.

About Vernā Myers

How Can Tourism Promote Peace In The Middle East?

Apr 22, 2016

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Aziz Abu Sarah's TED Talk

Social entrepreneur and educator Aziz Abu Sarah describes how he came to lead tours in which Jews, Muslims, and Christians cross contested borders to spend time in each others cultures.

About Aziz Abu Sarah

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Beyond Tolerance

About Aspen Baker's TED Talk

The strong emotions sparked by abortion leave little room for thoughtful debate. To cut through the tension, Aspen Baker says we should openly tell — and listen to — stories about women who had abortions or decided not to.

About Aspen Baker

Editor's note: This week, to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, we will be running a series of stories examining the links between food and the Bard.

"Life ... consists of eating and drinking," quips Twelfth Night's over-indulging Sir Andrew Aguecheek. It seems that Shakespeare's audiences felt the same.

Between 1988 and 1990, when archaeologists excavated The Rose and The Globe theaters (where Shakespeare's plays were performed), they were able to learn as much about the audiences as the playhouses themselves.

By 1970, some people worried that the United States had gone seriously off track. Two great American leaders were sure of it, and so a summit was arranged. Problem is, Elvis Presley and Richard Nixon didn't really agree on what needed to be done — or even what the problem was.

In Lorene Scafaria's The Meddler, Susan Sarandon plays Marnie Minervini, a recent widow who moves from the East Coast to Los Angeles to "be near" (read, boss around) her daughter Lori (a very good, if underused Rose Byrne), a depressed screenwriter who's just broken up with her boyfriend. We meet Marnie lying in bed gazing up at the ceiling, and that's more or less the last wordless time we spend with her.

A Snow White tale without Snow White is like an apple without its core. Yet here we are, four years after the minor financial success of the Kristen Stewart-led Snow White and the Huntsman, gazing into the mirror without the dark-haired beauty. The first film had somewhat grand ambitions in trying to reclaim Disneyfied fairy tales for older Grimm fans.

Journalist Michael Kinsley — the founder of Slate and former editor of Harper's and The New Republic — says he's a "scout for his generation." Kinsley was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease when he was in his 40s. Now in his 60s, he writes that he had the opportunity to experience old age before the rest of his fellow baby boomers.

As someone with autism spectrum disorder, John Elder Robison knows what it's like to feel emotionally removed from situations. Robison tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that throughout his life people have told him, "There's this emotional language you're missing. There are stories in people's eyes. There are messages."

Robison didn't fully understand what they meant until he received transcranial magnetic stimulation, a noninvasive procedure in which areas of the brain are stimulated with electromagnetic fields to alter its circuitry.

This, That, Or The Other

Apr 21, 2016

In honor of Hamilton, an American hip-hop musical, this episode's categories are: the real names of famous rappers; delegates to the first 1774 Continental Congress; OR 1980s fictional teen villains. Can you tell the difference?

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

Yes We Can

Apr 21, 2016

In this final round, every answer will contain the letters C-A-N, in that order, somewhere in the answer. As in, "Leave the gun, take the cannoli."

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

It's Alive!

Apr 21, 2016

In this game, every answer sounds like the word "alive" said in the voice of Dr. Frankenstein. For example, "What actor delivered the line this game is based on?" You'd answer, "It's Colin Clive!"

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

Don't Know Much About History

Apr 21, 2016

We all know that "those who don't learn from history are doomed to make things up on the test." This game recalls descriptions of historical events from the perspective of someone who wasn't really paying attention in school.

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

Celebrity Cross-Breeds

Apr 21, 2016

In this game we imagine what would happen if two famous people became close friends...and did that thing that all close friends do: combine their names. We're looking at you, Paul Ryan Gosling.

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

Apr 21, 2016

Every night, Leslie Odom Jr. kills Lin-Manuel Miranda. To be precise, Odom plays Aaron Burr opposite Miranda's Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway musical Hamilton. The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical has become a phenomenon by using hip-hop and a racially diverse cast of black and Hispanic actors to tell the story of the early Republic. And night after night, Odom laments the infamous duel between Burr and Hamilton. "I really do feel bad about killing him every night, I really do," he tells Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg at The Bell House in Brooklyn, NY.

Leslie Odom Jr.: Shake It Up

Apr 21, 2016

With the help of Leslie Odom Jr., Jonathan retools Taylor Swift's "Shake It Off," to be about THINGS THAT YOU CAN SHAKE. Such as, your groove thing.

Heard on Leslie Odom Jr.: Aaron Burr, Sir

In this Ask Me Another bonus, Leslie Odom Jr. from the Broadway musical Hamilton and guitarist Robin Macatangay perform a cover of Duncan Sheik's "The Guilty Ones" from Odom's self-titled debut album.

From Leslie Odom Jr.: Shake It Up

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II turns 90 this week, and like many of us do on our birthdays, she'll be celebrating with some cake.

This year the task of coming up with a cake fit for a queen fell to Nadiya Hussain, the winner of the most recent season of the wildly popular TV show The Great British Bake Off.

Editor's note: This week, to mark the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death, we will be running a series of stories examining the links between food and the Bard.

For more than 400 years, Shakespeare's audiences have devoured tales of Twelfth Night's "cakes and ale" and Hamlet's "funeral baked meats."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Here's the thing about Richard Kadrey: He's a lightweight.

And I don't mean this in a bad way. I mean this, in fact, in the best possible way. He's an easy read. His characters have wit and style. His books are a romp — irreverent (quite literally), madcap and buoyant — and they go down like cold lager on a hot afternoon.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

I'm about to rave about two audacious works of historical suspense fiction: I say "audacious" because you have to have some nerve to tackle the subject of whaling after Melville, or to structure your story around a painting, after so many other novelists — most recently, Tracy Chevalier and Donna Tartt — have kick-started their own tales with the same device.

We're a ways into The Phenom, Noah Buschel's tense drama about a young pitcher named Hopper Gibson, Jr. (Johnny Simmons) who's been busted down to the minors after a sudden case of the yips, when Hopper comes home and encounters his father, Hopper Sr. Senior is played by Ethan Hawke and has returned after being gone a while and not being missed. We have been told about him, enough to know he's bad news, and enough to know that he's obsessed with Hopper's baseball career as well as his own wasted promise as an athlete.

Every day, people get more and more connected — thanks mostly to technology, which has increasingly drawn humanity together in a way that's both heartening and not. In Steve Toutonghi's debut novel Join, he probes those technological connections between individuals in a science-fiction setting, a vision of America where citizens routinely connect to each other using a medium called the quantum personality matrix. Through surgery and science, two or more people are able to fuse their psyches into a single, shared identity, called a join.

Back in 2014, archivists were combing through Pablo Neruda's files when they came upon some previously unpublished works. Those writings by the Nobel prize-winning Chilean poet will soon be released in English in Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda. Forrest Gander, the Brown University professor who translated the poems into English, likens the discovery to finding a trove of new sketches by Michelangelo.

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