Arts

You Must Read This
5:02 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Crossroads And Coins: Naomi Mitchison's 'Travel Light'

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:10 am

When I was 7 years old, living in a flat overlooking Hamra street in Ras Beirut, I read The Hobbit. I fell in love with it. I memorized all the songs and made up tunes to them; I memorized all the riddles and asked them of whoever would listen; I made up my own adventures in Mirkwood, my own encounters with Gandalf and Beorn and the Elves. I also read everything I could about Tolkien, and went in search of anything else he'd written. I decided that I too would be a writer, and that I would start with poems and work my way into fiction the way he did.

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Media
1:04 am
Wed January 1, 2014

In Troubled Magazine World, 'La Hulotte' Is One Rare Bird

Pierre Deom has been writing and illustrating La Hulotte since 1972. He released his 100th issue (lower right) in November.
Francois Nascimbeni AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

The journalism world may be in crisis, but one magazine in France has been steadily gaining subscribers for 40 years. It's a nature journal called La Hulotte, and twice a year it focuses on an animal or plant indigenous to the French countryside. The magazine published its 100th issue in November. It has more than 150,000 subscribers in many countries and is doing terrific financially.

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cooking With A Cup O' Kindness (Beer, Cider Or Booze)

Sheri Castle's quick bread is based on popular beer bread recipes but uses hard apple cider instead.
Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 4:32 am

In case you want to add a pinch of celebratory beverage to your first meal of the year, we invite you to look through the Kitchen Window. A spirited New Year's can come from the kitchen as well as the bar.

We've featured a number of stories using alcohol as an ingredient in cooking as well as in bartending — if it tastes good in a glass, it tastes good on a plate. It's also a great way to use up any leftover libations from your holiday celebrations.

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Monkey See
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Screen Time: Bob Mondello's Favorite Films Of 2013

Lea Seydoux plays Emma in the film Blue Is the Warmest Color, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Conventional wisdom has it that television is where the creative action is these days, and yes, there are some terrific shows on cable.

But there are things it's hard to do on the small screen, and the year's most cinematic film delighted in reminding audiences why they like seeing movies in theaters.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

A Judge's Cookbook Reveals The Secrets Of Bialys And Bagels

Judge Michael Zusman's bialys are topped with roasted onions, poppy seeds and coarse salt.
Daniel Zwerdling NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:40 pm

There are two important things that you learn about Michael Zusman, baker and co-author of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, when you bake with him.

First, his real job has nothing to do with bread or writing recipes: He's a trial judge. "Full time," Zusman says. "Wear a black robe every day."

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Faith Matters
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Elizabeth Smart Shares About Her Faith And Kidnapping

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Books
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Nikki Giovanni Chases Beer And Family

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
12:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

Each bottle of Champagne contains around 50 million bubbles. But will any of them accelerate the inebriation process?
Victor Bezrukov Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 1:39 pm

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Tue December 31, 2013

From Paper To Punks, The Best Games Of 2013

A screenshot from Tearaway.
Sony

The year passed so awfully quickly, like a twitch in a shooter game, that it kind of faked me out. A week ago, I didn't believe there were 10 stellar games to make a complete 'best of' story. But I looked at a list I'd been keeping since January. I was suddenly overwhelmed — I saw at least 30 worthy games. And from those, I plucked the very best of 2013.

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games)

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Number Of The Year
8:40 am
Tue December 31, 2013

From Pandas To Health Care: The 13 Numbers Of 2013

Johann Balleis / Adam Cole Wikimedia Commons / NPR

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Monkey See
7:23 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Remote Control: It Was Hard To Turn Off The TV In 2013

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:00 am

Here's why picking a Top 10 list of best TV shows has become such treacherous work for critics this year: Quite simply, 2013 was the year quality exploded in the television industry.

Thanks to the simultaneous maturing of Netflix, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, Amazon, BBC America, Sundance Channel, iTunes and many more media platforms, fans of great television had more options than ever to find high-quality product whenever and wherever they liked.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:03 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Day 7: Shake It Up With An 'Ask Me Another' Cocktail

Cheers!
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 8:35 am

This is the seventh day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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Monkey See
6:35 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Is The DVD Box Set Dead? Yes ... And No.

Are we witnessing the twilight of DVD and Blu-ray?

Kinda-sorta. With the emergence of various digital distributions systems — streaming and downloading through your laptop, your cable system, your game console — it's easy to see how these discs will be the next physical media formats to fade away. DVD and Blu-ray could well go the way of CDs and vinyl, becoming a niche boutique market for collectors.

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Book Reviews
5:08 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Opening The Literary Liquor Cabinet In 'Echo Spring'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:09 am

Remember Brick's frequent trips to "Echo Spring" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? Echo Spring, Olivia Laing reminds us in her illuminating new book, is a nickname for the liquor cabinet, drawn from the brand of bourbon it contains. Symbolically, she adds, it refers to something quite different: "perhaps to the attainment of silence, or to the obliteration of troubled thoughts that comes, temporarily at least, with a sufficiency of booze."

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All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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Monkey See
10:40 am
Mon December 30, 2013

What Monkeys Eat: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing

iStockphoto

When I was first explaining what I wanted this blog to be like in 2008, I shared with some folks at NPR a theory I have had for some time about writing about popular culture. It goes like this: If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.

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Music Interviews
9:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Muslim Pop Star Yuna Climbs The U.S. Charts

Yuna doesn't just make music but also runs a fashion boutique where she sells funky but modest clothes.
Autumn de Wilde

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 2:43 pm

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Race
9:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a study in 2012 showing that African-Americans give a larger share of their income to charities than any other group. Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors and BlackGivesBack.com, talks to host Michel Martin about African-American philanthropy.

Monkey See
8:48 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Remodeling With Canadians

'Property Brothers' Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott at the Scripps Networks Upfront in April 2013.
Donald Bowers Getty Images

My holiday break last week took an unexpected detour when a broken bone (not mine) changed our plans for a full family get-together. Thus, I was left with a few days of unanticipated free time on my own, which led me to the obvious conclusion: if I can't be fully relaxed and immersed in holiday joy the entire time, this is the perfect time to clean out my closets.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:17 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Day 6: In This Game, Things Might Get 'Weird'

House musician Jonathan Coulton has a laugh while performing on Ask Me Another.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:11 am

  • Listen to 'Two Tickets To Parodies'

This is the sixth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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The Salt
2:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar, But One Variety May Be Best

Studies suggest cinnamon can help control blood sugar, but if you want to incorporate more of this spice in your diet, consider using the Ceylon variety.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:47 am

If I say cinnamon, you say ... sugar? It's a popular combination, of course.

But if you're interested in the health-promoting effects of cinnamon, you may want to think anew about the spice.

For instance, says John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., why not add it to savory dishes? He uses cinnamon to create a spice and herb rub for lamb loin. He also whips up a great spinach salad with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon.

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Code Switch
1:21 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Films With Black Actors, Directors Go To 11 In 2013

Monica Calhoun (left), Melissa De Sousa and Nia Long star in The Best Man Holiday, one of this year's eleven top-grossing films starring black actors and by black directors.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:33 am

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year — numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. You'll hear the stories behind numbers ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

When it comes to race and film, the number of the year is 11.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
4:17 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Day 5: Is That Jonathan Coulton?!

Can you spot Jonathan Coulton? Sorry, "Jonathan Coultron."
John Horn

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:17 am

This is the fifth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Please enjoy this yearbook photo of the 1993 Whiffenpoofs—the premier collegiate a cappella group of Ask Me Another house musician Jonathan Coulton. Sorry, Coultron. Can you spot him?

Author Interviews
3:42 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Booking A Flight For The 'Golden Age Of Hijacking'

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 4:43 pm

Imagine air travel in the 1960s when flying the skies meant luxury. You could light up a cigarette on board and enjoy a five-star meal.

Going to the airport wasn't a hassle. There were no security screenings, and boarding a plane was just as easy as getting on a bus.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:02 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Now You Know Them

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 10:16 am

On-air challenge: You will be given some names that you probably never heard of before 2013, but that were in the news during the past 12 months. You name who the people are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker, Tim Goodman and Sandy Weisz.

Last week's challenge from listener Andrew Chaikin of San Francisco: Think of a well-known filmmaker, first and last names. Add "S-U-N" before this person's first name and last name. In each case, you'll form a common English word. Who is the filmmaker?

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Rediscovering The Intricate Verse Of Federico Garcia Lorca

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:19 am

Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish surrealist, wasn't just any writer. The poet and playwright was also a revolutionary who penned some of the most intricate and arresting verse of the twentieth century. Out now from New Directions, Selected Poems is perhaps the best introduction to the poet's oeuvre — and one of the foremost works of poetry in translation released this year. This edition, featuring a host of translators from Langston Hughes to Ben Belitt and W. S. Merwin, should have a place in any growing library.

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Arts & Life
3:08 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville

NPR's Petra Mayer has finally learned how to ride a bike.
Izolda Trakhtenberg

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:53 am

I love Key West, and I go there as often as possible: pina coladas, drag queens, shady hammocks, feral chickens — it's the best. There's just one problem: everyone gets around the island by bike, and I've never learned to ride one. Obviously that had to change.

Why didn't I learn? I really don't remember, and neither did my mom, when I asked her about the one time my parents tried to teach me. "You got on a big bicycle that was so big you couldn't really turn the wheels and got discouraged."

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Monkey See
3:03 am
Sun December 29, 2013

This Is (Not) The Most Important Story Of The Year

News of Justin Bieber's retirement sent shockwaves across the Internet.
Powers Imagery AP

Have you spent much of the holiday season debating whether Justin Bieber really intends to retire?

No? Well, what about the question of whether Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was rightly suspended for making bigoted remarks, or was in fact suppressed for giving voice to traditional values?

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Arts & Life
3:02 pm
Sat December 28, 2013

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 4:54 pm

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.

Arts & Life
6:55 am
Sat December 28, 2013

As The Lead Cools, Some See Their New Year Take Shape

Is that a cross? A ship with a figurehead? What future do you see in these lead shapes? In one New Year's tradition, fortune-seekers drop molten lead into cold water and guess what the shapes portend.
Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 2:31 pm

As we approach the threshold of a new year, it's only human to wonder what's ahead. In Germany and a few nearby countries, the answer to this age-old existential question is found in molten lead.

When Gesine Krätzner had some scraps of lead left over from a roofing project last winter, she knew just what to do with them. Krätzner lives in Portland, Ore., but grew up in Germany. As a kid, she would melt bits of lead with her family for a New Year's Eve tradition called Bleigiessen.

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