Arts

Arts and culture

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The kitchen is hopping and hot at L'Ami Jean restaurant in Paris, as chef Stéphane Jégo gets lunch underway. Jégo, who has been at this small Paris bistro for 14 years, is joined on this day by Mohammad El Khaldy, a chef from Damascus in Syria.

Is 'You Are Having A Good Time' Beautiful Or Grotesque? Yes

Jul 10, 2016

In "Night Report" — one of the standout stories in Amie Barrodale's debut collection, You Are Having a Good Time — a character named Ema is so moved by a novel about a woman with a married lover that she sends her own married lover a long, emotional, confessional text describing its contents. His phone then proceeds to break up her text.

Into tiny chunks.

Sent individually.

Over a long.

Time, piece by.

Piece.

When Ema wakes up the next morning, mortified, she discovers he has responded thusly: "Good times."

Journalist Gay Talese has never shied away from controversial topics. He took on the mafia in Honor Thy Father and dove deep into America's sex life in Thy Neighbor's Wife. But even Talese paused when he first heard about the Manor House Motel in Aurora Colo., back in 1980. Innkeeper Gerald Foos had outfitted his motel with a special platform which allowed him to spy on his guests — and he invited Talese to take a peek as well. Talese, a man of seemigly insatiable curiosity, did just that. But Foos demanded anonymity, so Talese decided not to write about the experience.

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

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami began making films in 1970 and continued working in his homeland after the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He helped make Iranian filmmaking a major international force, despite leaving Iran only twice to make movies. Kiarostami died Monday in Paris, where he had gone for cancer treatment. He was 76 years old.

Summer is often a slower time for book releases, which can feel like a shame when school is finally out and the days stretch out ahead, waiting to be filled with reading for pleasure. Fear not: This summer delivers, with great new young adult stories for all interests and genres!

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

She's only eight years old, but Zin-Mi knows a lot about her homeland. It is, she says, "the land of the rising sun" and "the most beautiful country." Of course, North Korea is the only place Zin-Mi has ever seen, and the only place she's ever likely to see.

Did Ya Ever Notice?

Jul 8, 2016

We test how well you remember things that you've seen many, many times. How many dots are on a Domino's Pizza box — three or four?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

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

A Neeeeeeew Game

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants channel their inner Rod Roddy and imagine that they have the greatest job in the world: Being the announcer on The Price is Right. The answer to every question is something that starts with or sounds like the word "new." If we said, "Your prize is someone who constantly inconveniences you!" You'd answer... "A nuuuuuuu-isance!"

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Floral Arrangements

Jul 8, 2016

Each of these answers contains the name of a flower or flowering plant. If we were to say, "British singer who recorded the albums "It's Not Me, It's You," and "Sheezus," you would reply, "Lily Allen."

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Movie-Rap Mash Up

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants must mash up movie titles with the names of famous hip-hop and rap artists. For example, if we said, "Veteran cop Denzel Washington mentors Ethan Hawke about the album Three Feet High and Rising," you'd answer, "Training Day La Soul."

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

State the State

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants guess which U.S. state we're talking about based on a list of clues. Jell-O is the official snack of what state?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

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

Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Jul 8, 2016

Queen diva Big Freedia's fierce and fabulous energy is contagious. Born and raised in New Orleans, this musical risk-taker and lightning-speed booty shaker was first introduced to bounce music (a call-and-response style subgenre of hip-hop) in the early '90s. She was immediately hooked and, as she tells Ophira Eisenberg, spent the following decades working nonstop to establish herself as an icon of the New Orleans music scene. Today she's on the cutting edge of the bounce movement, performing most nights of the week in clubs from New Orleans to L.A.

Stump Jonathan Coulton

Jul 8, 2016

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969, they wore spacesuits developed by a company well-known for making a piece of everyday clothing. Can Coulton guess what piece?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

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

Floral Arrangements

Jul 8, 2016

Each of these answers contains the name of a flower or flowering plant. If we were to say, "British singer who recorded the albums "It's Not Me, It's You," and "Sheezus," you would reply, "Lily Allen."

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

I have lived in eight countries and 10 cities. I have never lived anywhere for longer than six years. But the one constant in my life, my anchor in a changing world, my defense against perpetual culture shock, is my pot of daal.

Daal -- yellow, red, brown or black — is a staple across India. It is often described, inadequately, I think, as lentil soup. Except it's so much more.

Full disclosure, here at the start: I don't know Pokemon.

That's not technically true; here's a list of everything I knew about Pokemon before playing the new smartphone app, Pokemon GO (this knowledge absorbed solely through cultural osmosis, given the phenomenon's ubiquity).

1. Pikachu is a kind (species?) of Pokemon. It is an "electric-type" Pokemon. It is yellow. It has a cutesy voice. Said voice is profoundly annoying.

2. Squirtle is another kind of Pokemon, a "water-type" Pokemon. It, as one might imagine, squirts.

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

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

On the surface Our Little Sister, a new film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, feels like nothing much is going on. Three grown sisters travel from their pretty seaside town in rural Japan to attend the funeral of their father, who had abandoned them to marry another woman. The young women end up taking their half-sister, Suzu Asano (the enchanting Suzu Hirose), who's just entering her teens, back to live with them in the family home they've shared for years.

A Television Giant Comes Into Focus

Jul 7, 2016

If Norman Lear hadn't invented Archie Bunker, someone else would have had to. The caustic, bigoted blue-collar worker ruled television throughout the 1970s on All in the Family, sitting in his easy chair and vocalizing many of the most abhorrent thoughts that, until then, most Americans kept to the privacy of their own easy chairs. Archie's old-world mind was the dying star around which the bright new Lear comedy universe could orbit.

The mediocre animated comedy The Secret Lives of Pets is based on an original idea by Chris Meledandri, the head of Illumination Entertainment, the studio responsible for the Despicable Me movies and their popular spinoff Minions. That idea?

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

Underground Airlines will start a lot of conversations. A lot.

The book's narrator is an African-American man living in a near-future United States in which slavery has never been entirely eliminated ("Big Abe," meaning President-elect Lincoln, was shot early in his campaign, and several Southern states amended the Constitution to retain it).

Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive.

"We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

When we think about the good life, art and food rank pretty high in importance. (OK, we at The Salt might be a little biased.) So it seems only natural that the two mix. Foods crop up in all kinds of art — from ancient Egyptian tomb walls to European still life paintings.

But in art, an apple isn't always just an apple. Many foods carry specific meanings for different global artistic traditions, and those meanings can change over time.

How well do you understand the secret language of foods in art? Take this quiz to find out.

In Chile, 'Marraqueta' Is The Daily Bread

Jul 7, 2016

Invoking the expression "to be born with a marraqueta under his/her arm" in Chile is to speak of a child that has their future assured. It's a little more common than a silver spoon in one's mouth, and far more democratic, as the marraqueta, pan batido or pan francés — as it's called outside of the capital city of Santiago, where I live — is a staple food eaten sometimes as many as three times a day.

There is a myth that the most worshipped woman in popular culture is the one perceived as most perfectly beautiful, but that's not so. What's worshipped the most is the one who threads the needle most precisely such that she is almost impossibly beautiful, but something about her brings her toward you and into focus, close enough that you feel like you could touch her.

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