I cannot lie: I love this week's podcast very much, and only partly because I got to include a song I probably haven't heard in over 20 years and got our special guest Gene Demby to reveal one of those little things that makes him apoplectic.
Country and culture used to serve as the cornerstones of identity, but what does "home" mean to someone who comes from many places? Writer Pico Iyer talks about the meaning of home in a world where the old boundaries of nation-states no longer apply.
What is it like to raise a child whose very identity is fundamentally different than yours? Writer Andrew Solomon shares what he learned from talking to dozens of parents and how the experience shaped the identities of both parent and child.
Cosmo Wenman generated this 3-D model of the <em>Ares Borghese</em>, based on hundreds of photos, from the Basel Sculpture Hall. Wenman publishes the scans online, so that anyone can use them to 3-D print a replica of the masterpiece.
Credit Courtesy of Cosmo Wenman
These torsos were printed in layers of biodegradable plastic. The original sculptures reside at the Louvre in Paris.
Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.
Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:
In an old house in Paris That was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.
Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:54 pm
Loose, lively and agreeably unsolemn, the alt-culture biopic CBGB is an account of thatManhattan punk-rock crucible whose audience will likely be even smaller than the crowd that actually went to the club in the 1970s.
That's because to really enjoy Randall Miller's film, viewers not only probably need to have experienced the club in its formative years; they'll also need not to be too terribly invested in their own versions of what happened there. This is not a film for purists or quibblers.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 1:34 pm
There's the strong silent type, and then there's the strong mute type. In Robert Rodriguez's Machete Kills, journeyman tough-guy Danny Trejo skews toward the latter. If the recurring catchphrase in these films is "Machete don't ____" — as in, Machete don't text, Machete don't tweet, Machete don't die — the fact is that what Machete mostly don't do is speak.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 12:43 pm
Escape From Tomorrow, a dystopian fantasy about a laid-off worker on the lam at Disney World, comes bloated with marketing bluster: The movie, as its PR people have been trumpeting for months, was shot guerrilla-style at Disney parks in Anaheim and Orlando.
And finally this hour, we celebrate the 110th winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Alice Munro. She is the 13th woman to win the award. The Canadian writer was hailed by the Swedish academy as a master of the contemporary short story. Over her career, Munro has written 14 story collections and one novel. As NPR's Neda Ulaby reports, Munro began writing as a child in rural Western Ontario, raised in a family of tough Scottish Presbyterians.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 3:12 pm
Fast-food giant McDonald's is set to become a publishing giant as well — at least temporarily. For two weeks next month, McDonald's says it will oust the toys that usually come in its Happy Meals and replace them with books it has published itself.
Photographer and video artist Carrie Mae Weems was having a tough day at the studio last month when she learned that she had been named a MacArthur fellow.
"My assistants weren't doing some things they were supposed to be doing. And so I'm screaming at them, and just in the middle of my rant the phone rang," she tells NPR's Michel Martin. "I sunk into my chair, put my head down on my desk, and cried and laughed for about five minutes."
"Her days were days of flesh." That's just one of a multitude of striking observations that Jill Lepore makes about Jane Franklin, the baby sister of Ben. What Lepore means by that line of near-poetry is that Jane Franklin's life, beginning at age 17 when she gave birth to the first of her 12 children, was one of nursing, lugging pails of night soil, butchering chickens, cooking and scrubbing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 11:56 am
The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians — almost.
The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:17 am
Update: Friday, Oct. 11, 2013:
At 9:00 pm Thursday night, the USDA told us that Foster Farms had submitted and implemented immediate changes to their slaughter and processing systems to allow for continued operation.
"FSIS inspectors will verify that these changes are being implemented in a continuous and ongoing basis," Aaron Lavallee of USDA's FSIS told us. Additionally, to ensure that the Salmonella Heidelberg has been controlled, the agency says it will continue intensified sampling at Foster Farms facilities for at least the next 90 days.
Canadian author <a href="http://www.npr.org/books/authors/137943757/alice-munro">Alice Munro</a> has won the Nobel Prize in literature. The 82-year-old author recently announced that she plans to stop writing.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:31 pm
Alice Munro has been awarded the Nobel Prize in literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. The academy often explains its decision — what it calls the "prize motivation" — with lush precision; recent winners have been praised for their "hallucinatory realism," "condensed, translucent images" and "sensual ecstasy." But for Munro, the committee came straight to the point: They called her simply "master of the contemporary short story."
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 10:38 am
Sequels: 2, Tragic life events: 1, Daniel Cleaver guest appearances: several (v.v. good)
Yes, Bridgeteers, your favorite British flibbertigibbet is back — but this time, there's bit of a suprise: She's grown up, at least a little. Now 51 and a widow (the shocking death of Mark Darcy was revealed recently in The Sunday Times magazine), Bridget is struggling to take care of her two young children and still make time for her hot young boyfriend.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:21 pm
The world of Jane Austen — gracious country houses, empire-waist dresses, card parties and suppers and genteel raillery and a touch of social anxiety — is familiar literary ground. And no house is more familar and comforting than Longbourn, home to Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. But what goes on behind the scenes? Who irons those dresses and prepares those suppers?
The wreckage of an American helicopter sits in Mogadishu, Somalia on Oct. 14, 1993. The events of the Battle of Mogadishu became a flashpoint for conversations about military interventions — and fodder for a big-budget Hollywood drama.
Credit Scott Peterson / Getty Images
The remains of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan in May arrive at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. In <em>Breach of Trust,</em> writer and veteran Andrew Bacevich asks whether we the people are sufficiently connected to those who fight our wars — and die in them.
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
A Syrian soldier takes aim at rebel fighters positioned in the mountains of the town of Maalula in September.
Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for a recurring feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. This month her suggestions are all about heroes — whether being heroic means doing something, or not doing something.
A fishmonger tosses a just-purchased fresh salmon to a colleague behind the counter at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle.
Credit Elaine Thompson / AP
An Almadraba tuna is lifted by a crane in the port of Barbate, Cadiz province, southern Spain. Almadraba tuna is caught by an elaborate and ancient Andalusian fishing method used in Spanish coastal areas close to the Strait of Gibraltar since Phoenician times.
Credit Emilio Morenatti / AP
A halibut is seen on the line of a fisherman in Ilulissat, Greenland.
Credit Joe Raedle / Getty Images
A fisherman checks the measurements of a Dungeness crab he just pulled in from the Pacific Ocean off Marin County, Calif.
Credit Eric Risberg / AP
A swordfish chills on ice.
Credit PA Photos/Landov
A fisherman holds freshly caught potted brown shrimp in Southport, England.
Dallas 1963, by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis
Steven L. Davis and Bill Minutaglio, co-authors of <em>Dallas 1963</em>. Minutaglio is a professor at the University of Texas at Austin. His work has appeared in <em>The New York Times</em>, <em>Esquire</em> and <em>Newsweek. </em>
Nearly half a century later, the date remains difficult for many to forget: Nov. 22, 1963, the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In grainy photographs and countless conspiracy theories, the day endures in our collective memory. What often gets submerged in these images and reports, though, is the story of the place that hosted Kennedy on that day, the city that saw his death firsthand: Dallas.
Philosopher Samuel Scheffler doesn't believe in a traditional afterlife — that is, he doesn't think that a spirit or soul survives the body's physical death. But he does believe in another kind of afterlife: Regardless of what we think about our own life after death, Scheffler tells NPR's Robert Siegel, we all trust that others will continue to live after us. And, much like faith in a spiritual afterlife, that belief changes what we choose to do with our days on earth.
Originally published on Wed October 9, 2013 2:04 pm
Browsing farmers markets this fall, you may find some new apple varieties mixed in with the Granny Smiths, McIntoshes and Fujis. Susan Brown, head of the apple breeding program at Cornell University, estimates that there have been 130 new apples released around the world in the past six years.
This summer, she contributed two more to that tally: the SnapDragon and the Ruby Frost.
"There are no coincidences," Dawn Seliger says repeatedly throughout Nick Mamatas' new novel, Love Is the Law. She's not just philosophizing. She's chanting. In the book, Dawn is a teenage punk and aspiring magician who haunts late-'80s Long Island, stewing in her own adolescent alienation, rebellion and precocity. That is, until Bernstein, her middle-aged mentor and lover (although she denies that he's either) winds up dead from a bullet in the skull.