Arts

Pop Culture
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Our Favorite TV Parties

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

So, those are the fabulous soirees of fiction, but what about those lower-brow shindigs - the parties on our favorite TV shows that we'd love to crash? There is, of course, Elaine's epic dance fail at her office party on "Seinfeld."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW)

JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS: (as Elaine) All right. Who's dancing? Come on, who's dancing? Want me to get it started?

Read more
From Our Listeners
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

A Diamond, A Motorcycle, A Wooden Ring: Best Gifts Ever

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Author Interviews
9:27 am
Sun December 15, 2013

StoryCorps: A Decade Of 'Ties That Bind'

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

If you've listened to NPR much over the past decade, you've heard StoryCorps conversations; those intimate interviews between two people that make you as a listener feel like you've been invited in to witness something special transpire. Dave Isay is the man behind StoryCorps. And he and his team have collected over 50,000 interviews over the years. The next iteration of the storytelling project is a book. It's called "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps."

Read more
The Salt
6:43 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Sriracha: First, The Crisis. Now, The Movie

Can't get enough of Sriracha? Now it can fill your belly and your screens.
Nick Ut AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 12:20 pm

Lately, it seems as if news about Sriracha has been as ubiquitous as the much-loved hot sauce itself.

First, there was the panic over a potential shortage, after a judge ordered the California factory where Sriracha is made to partially shut down, as our friends on the Two-Way blog have reported.

Now, this red hot culinary phenomenon is starring in its own documentary.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:29 am
Sun December 15, 2013

54 Days In The Eternal City: A Christian 'Pilgrimage' For Lent

Rome's St. Zeno chapel was built by Pope St. Paschal I in honor of his mother. The ceiling, a gold mosaic, was intended as an interpretation of heaven.
Stephen Weigel Courtesy of Basic Books

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.

"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."

Read more
Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

New Princesses Rescue Girls From A Distressed Damselhood

Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores." href="/post/once-upon-time-princess-saved-environment" class="noexit lightbox">
Princess Vinnea, guardian of plant life (left), and Princess Terra, protector of the land, examine one of many "gulavores" plaguing the land of Hortensis in the children's book Princess Vinnea and the Gulavores.
Courtesy Setsu Shigematsu

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

The princess industry is lucrative: DVDs, dresses, crowns, theme parties. But the story of going to the ball and waiting for Prince Charming is outdated.

So one Southern California mom has created a new princess series with modern sensibilities. Creator Setsu Shigematsu recasts princesses as environmentally conscious and not waiting around to be rescued.

At the heart of her series, The Guardian Princess Alliance, is what animates any fairy tale: simple storytelling.

Read more
Sunday Puzzle
6:23 am
Sun December 15, 2013

When Push Comes To Shove

NPR

Originally published on Sun December 15, 2013 1:04 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You'll be given a clue for the word. Besides giving you a direct hint to the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "push over hard," you would say "shove."

Read more
You Must Read This
5:03 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Surprising And Skillful, 'Yellow Dog' Deserves A Second Look

I came to Amis late. I wasn't born when he published his most esteemed book, Money, and I was a 4-year-old with no great passion for Holocaust novels when Time's Arrow was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Amis has always divided critics (all writers worth their salt do), and by the time I read him in the late-noughties the naysayers were beginning to form a grumbling consensus. I quickly found that loving Amis meant having to fight his corner.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:25 am
Sun December 15, 2013

Satan's Naked Women, Gatsby's Cocktails, And Other Literary Fetes

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

Throwing a perfect holiday party is no simple task. Do you want a swanky cocktail party, an intimate dinner party, or a huge New Year's bash? A whole host of decisions revolve around the menu — and don't forget your gluten-free or vegan invitees. Then there's the decor (is tinsel too much?), the music (festive, but not cheesy) and, of course, the guest list.

Read more
Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
9:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Hanukkah Lights 2013

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:40 am

Celebrate the Jewish holiday with Hanukkah Lights — selected stories commissioned by NPR. In this edition, a young boy learns that bigger and brighter things are not necessarily better; a lonely and alienated immigrant finds hope for the future while searching for potatoes to use in her family's Hanukkah latkes; an aging couple exchange awkwardly ironic Hanukkah presents; two men engage in a lively discussion over the traditions of the menorah and discover the healing power of an argument; and a precious gift leads to the reunion of old friends and a reconciliation of ancient cultures.

Read more
Music
3:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

The Inspiration Of Jazz Flautist Jamie Baum

Vincent Soyez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 3:59 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Thanks again for listening. This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, from NPR West. I'm Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

RATH: That is one of the most celebrated voices the world has ever heard, the Pakistani singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Khan died in 1997, but his recordings continue to inspire. Artists like jazz flautist Jamie Baum.

Read more
Around the Nation
3:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

On Newtown: Poet Yusef Komunyakaa

Last year, after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., NPR reached out to Pulitzer Prize winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa, who himself knows the grief of losing a child. The result was a poem, "Rock Me Mercy."

World
3:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Iranian Comedian Tries The U.S., Again

British-Iranian comedian and actor Omid Djalili gained a degree of fame in the United States talking about and even joking about issues of terrorism and the Middle East following 9/11. After several years and success in Britain, he's coming back to the States.

The New And The Next
3:13 pm
Sat December 14, 2013

Science Becomes 'Sexy' With Fast Cars And Gangsta Physics

Todd Rosenberg Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 4:19 pm

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest discoveries.

This week, Ozy co-founder Carlos Watson tells NPR's Arun Rath about a gangster-turned-astrophysicist and a race car driver working to making science "sexy" again. Plus, a look at the changing landscape of African art — no tribal masks allowed.

Books
7:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

For The Ruling In India, Two Books To Measure Its Impact

An Indian gay rights activist looks down during an anti-Section 377 protest in New Delhi on December 11, 2013.
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

In a surprise move, the Indian Supreme Court this week ruled to uphold a ban on gay sex. The ban, instituted under British colonial authority more than 150 years ago, had been repealed in 2009. With its reinstatement, the law, also known as Section 377, once again makes homosexual acts punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Read more
Simon Says
5:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent'

Anthony Rapp (left) and Adam Pascal perform a scene from the New York Theatre Workshop production of Rent in 1996.
Joan Marcus AP

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

Read more
Fine Art
5:23 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Sun May Set On The Collected Works Of A Western Icon

Courtesy of Harry Jackson Studios

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

The work of the late Harry Jackson ran the gamut from abstract expressionism, inspired by his friend Jackson Pollock, to the Western art for which he was best known. His sculpture of a hard-riding John Wayne was on the cover of Time Magazine in 1969.

Most of Jackson's life work is still at his studios in Cody, Wyo. But unless a major donor steps forward, it will be sold piecemeal to pay the bills.

On Ranch And Canvas

Read more
Monkey See
5:03 am
Sat December 14, 2013

NPR NSFW? Checking Out The Sexy Books On Mobile

Browse More Than 200 Of This Year's Standout Titles" href="/post/npr-nsfw-checking-out-sexy-books-mobile" class="noexit lightbox">

Read more
Monkey See
3:12 am
Sat December 14, 2013

The Case For — And Against — Loving 'Love Actually'

Karen (Emma Thompson) tries to console Daniel (Liam Neeson), whose wife has recently died.
Universal Pictures/Photofest

Read more
Fine Art
3:10 am
Sat December 14, 2013

In The Background: Art You May Never Notice

Mountain Gorillas, one of the first dioramas on which Fred Scherer apprenticed, completed in 1936.
Polina Yamshchikov for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 10:31 pm

You've probably never heard of painter Fred F. Scherer. If you've ever been to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York City, though, you may have seen his paintings — probably without realizing it.

Scherer died at age 98 a few weeks ago. His art — those big murals you see behind taxidermic animals in museum dioramas — deserves a closer look.

We visited the AMNH to photograph some of the installations containing his paintings, and spoke with Stephen C. Quinn, who recently retired as an artist from the museum, and knew Scherer well.

Read more
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:07 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Not My Job: Actor Oscar Isaac On Folk Music Vs. Filk Music

Oscar Isaac as the titular character in Joel and Ethan Coen's Inside Llewyn Davis.
Alison Rosa Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 9:27 am

The latest movie by Joel and Ethan Coen, Inside Llewyn Davis, is a lot like their other movies in which a guy endures a lot of terrible things happening to him. This one's different though, in that this time, the guy seems to deserve it. Oscar Isaac plays — and sings — the role of Llewyn Davis, a homeless, former merchant marine trying to make it in the 1960s Greenwich Village music scene.

Read more
Poetry
2:00 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Poem: Nelson Mandela, 'An Ordinary Man'

Jonathan Blakely/NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 4:56 pm

On Sunday, South Africans will lay to rest the remains of Nelson Mandela.

The legacy left by the activist and political prisoner who transformed a nation and became president is being remembered by politicians, historians and artists.

Among them is Thabiso Mohare, a young South African spoken word artist who performs under the name Afurakan. He wrote a poem for NPR about Mandela called "An Ordinary Man."

Read more
Code Switch
1:13 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Screening Room: Who Might Be The Next Black Actress On 'SNL'?

Kerry Washington (with Taran Killam) recently appeared on SNL to spoof the show's lack of a black female cast member.
Dana Edelson AP

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 1:22 pm

Read more
Barbershop
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

If You're Rich, Can You Say You Don't Know Right From Wrong?

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Music
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

'Wallace' Grew Up, So What's He Listening To?

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Movies
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Golden Globe Nominees: 'An Embarrassment Of Riches'

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Let's switch gears now and talk about your plans for the weekend. If you plan to head to the movies, you might be interested in the critics' picks from the Golden Globes. The nominations were announced yesterday. "12 Years a Slave" was one of the most honored films. That's the story of Solomon Northup who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. He's played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who was also nominated for his role in the film. Here's a clip.

Read more
BackTalk
9:53 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Learn From Your Grandparents, Says Listener

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 3:53 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, the Golden Globe nominations are in. We'll speak with film critic Wesley Morris about who got the nod, who was left out and why we care - if we care. But first, the envelope please - we've got your letters. It's BackTalk. That's where we hear from you about this week's stories. Editor Ahmad Omar is back with us for that. Welcome back, Ahmad. Thanks for joining us.

AHMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Thank you, Michel.

MARTIN: So what's going on today, Ahmad?

Read more
Monkey See
7:44 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Frozen' Princesses And Character Deaths

NPR

Originally published on Fri December 13, 2013 10:06 am

  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

First of all: WOW. We did our live show at NPR HQ this week, and it was wonderful, and all of you who attended made a fantastic audience. You'll be hearing the live show in two segments over the holidays while we take a rest, but in the meantime, we've got a brand-new show to roll out.

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Is Texting Actually Advancing Language?

Linguist John McWhorter says there's much more to texting than there seems.
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 1:53 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About John McWhorter's TEDTalk

Does texting mean the death of good writing skills? Linguist John McWhorter says that there's much more to texting — linguistically, culturally — than it seems, and it's all good news.

About John McWhorter

Read more
TED Radio Hour
7:28 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Does Language Bring Us Together Or Pull Us Apart?

"It is really peculiar on the face of it that our languages exist to prevent us from communicating with each other." — Mark Pagel
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:45 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Spoken And Unspoken.

About Mark Pagel's TEDTalk

Biologist Mark Pagel says our complex language system is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

About Mark Pagel

Read more

Pages