Arts

All Tech Considered
3:41 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Inventor Ralph Baer, The 'Father Of Video Games,' Dies At 92

German-American game developer Ralph Baer shows the prototype of the first games console which was invented by him during a press conference on the Games Convention Online in Leipzig, Germany in 2009. Baer died on Saturday. He was 92.
Jens Wolf DPA /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 10:32 am

Ralph H. Baer, the man widely acknowledged as the "father of home video games" for his pioneering work in electronics and television engineering, died on Saturday at his home in Manchester, N.H. He was 92.

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Author Interviews
3:24 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Perry Wallace, Who Broke Basketball Barriers, Didn't Set Out To Be A Pioneer

Perry Wallace, playing for Vanderbilt University, blocks the shot of 'Pistol' Pete Maravich, circa 1970.
Frank Empson The Tennessean

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:44 pm

Language advisory: Quotes in this story contain language some find offensive.


Many people are familiar with the big stories of racial integration in sports — Jackie Robinson with the Dodgers, Althea Gibson at Wimbledon. But after the 1964 Civil Rights Act, many lesser-known African American athletes became "firsts" — whether they liked that distinction or not.

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The Two-Way
3:22 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

(Not) Eaten Alive: A Snake Tale, Made For TV

A still image from the Discovery TV special Eaten Alive, which angered some viewers after it aired Sunday.
Discovery

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 11:31 am

The outcome of an outlandish TV stunt Sunday night didn't go down well with many viewers, who say they were duped into expecting that the Discovery special Eaten Alive would actually portray a man being ingested by an anaconda.

But that didn't happen, forcing the network to defend the program today by saying it had been naturalist Paul Rosolie's "absolute intention to be eaten alive."

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Books
3:09 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

How Washington's Odd Couple Transformed Welfare

Richard Nixon and Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the U.S. Capitol Building in 1970.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

Most books about President Richard Nixon focus either on his foreign policies or on the crimes and misdemeanors that forced his resignation under threat of impeachment.

Not Stephen Hess's new book, The Professor and the President.

Hess, who has been writing about government for decades out of Washington's Brookings Institution, witnessed a rare partnership inside the White House.

The president — Nixon — was a Republican who felt obliged to do something about welfare.

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Arts & Life
2:39 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Don't Let The Kasha Vanish: Diners Band Together To Save Café Edison

The Café Edison serves what might be called Jewish soul food — blintzes, matzoh ball soup and kasha varnishkes.
Jeff Lunden

Originally published on Tue December 9, 2014 8:49 am

Yesterday, about 50 protestors — and some media outlets — gathered on West 47th Street near Times Square for a rally to save the Café Edison, a diner whose clientele includes everyone from Broadway luminaries to tourists. People carried signs, local politicians spoke, and a quartet sang — to the tune of "Silver Bells" — an ode to the cafe's matzoh balls.

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The Salt
2:00 pm
Mon December 8, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Doritos Loaded

Doritos Loaded: Just nachos that keep their feelings on the inside.
NPR

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 2:20 pm

Doritos are everywhere. They're in taco shells at Taco Bell, they're in pizza crusts in Australia and they're sneaking up behind you right now with murder in their eyes. 7-Eleven has introduced the Doritos Loaded, shorthand for "vaguely Doritos-shaped fried thing stuffed with cheese."

Robert: This is what happens to Doritos after they eat too many Doritos.

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Movie Interviews
11:04 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Chris Rock On Finding The Line Between Funny And 'Too Far'

Chris Rock wrote, directed and stars in Top Five, a film about a standup comedian who is trying to reshape his career.
Ali Paige Goldstein Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:52 am

In the new film Top Five, Chris Rock plays Andre Allen, a standup comedian who has starred in a series of blockbuster comedies as a catchphrase-spewing character called Hammy the Bear.

When Top Five begins, Allen has given up the Hammy movies, given up drinking and is trying to reshape his career with his new dramatic film about a Haitian slave rebellion. Like Allen, Rock says he has had doubts about his own career.

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Art & Design
11:03 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Spanish Artist Francisco Goya On Display In Boston: An Extraordinary Exhibit

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:13 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
7:49 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Book News: Doris Lessing's Personal Library Returns Home — To Zimbabwe

Sitting on the steps outside her London home, Doris Lessing learns from reporters that she won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

In retrospectives, Nobel Prize winner Doris Lessing often gets tagged as a British novelist, having been born to British parents and spent decades living in London. Yet for some 25 years of her youth, Lessing lived in Zimbabwe — then a British colony called Southern Rhodesia. After leaving the country, and even after being banned briefly for criticizing the colony's white leaders, she still devoted much of her energy in later years to opening libraries there.

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Author Interviews
4:44 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Author Of 'Bridge To Terabithia': Messages Are Poison To Fiction

Stories of My Life book cover

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 8:07 am

Katherine Paterson is the winner of two Newbery Medals and two National Book Awards. Her best-sellers include The Great Gilly Hopkins, Jacob Have I Loved, and her most famous book, Bridge to Terabithia.

Paterson was born in China to missionary parents. She tells NPR's Arun Rath that she had an idyllic childhood until about the age of 5, when Japan invaded China. "Those years were very scary years," she says.

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The Salt
2:57 pm
Sun December 7, 2014

Female Butchers Are Slicing Through The Meat World's Glass Ceiling

Master butcher Kari Underly cuts into a hog during a "Women in the Meat Business" workshop in Chapel Hill, NC.
Leoneda Inge North Carolina Public Radio

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 11:30 am

Kari Underly is slicing through half a hog as if it were as soft as an avocado ... until she hits a bone.

"So what I'm doing now is I'm taking out the femur bone," she explains to a roomful of about 30 women watching as she carves the animal. "The ham is a little bit of a drag, if you will, 'cause we have to make money, and not everybody wants a big ham."

Underly is a fit, 46-year-old master butcher from Chicago. Her father and grandmothers were butchers. She put herself through college cutting meat. These days, she encourages other women to enter the business.

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Food
8:05 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Siblings Build A Butcher Shop For 'Meat'-Loving Vegans

No need to wonder what's in this bologna; The Herbivorous Butcher lists every ingredient on its website: Tofu, vital wheat gluten, tomato juice, tapioca flour, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, vegan beef bouillon, canola oil, soy sauce, agar agar, red beet powder, sugar, salt, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder and celery seed.
Jonathan A. Armstrong Courtesy The Herbivorous Butcher

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 11:44 am

Take a moment to imagine platters of andouille sausage, barbecue ribs and bacon. Now think of all of those dishes without meat.

It might seem like a contradiction, but brother and sister Kale and Aubry Walch — yes, Kale — are opening the first vegan butcher shop next spring in Minneapolis, to be called the Herbivorous Butcher. They plan to bring their customers all of those delicious meat flavors, minus the meat.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:03 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Just Say No, N-O

Sunday Puzzle
NPR

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 11:07 am

On-air challenge: Think of the old saying: "That means no, N-O!" Every answer today is a familiar two-word phrase or name with the initial letters N and O. Example: Any place that reports on current events: NEWS OUTLET.

Last week's challenge: Bertrand Tavernier is a French director of such movies as Life and Nothing But and It All Starts Today. What amazing wordplay property does the name Bertrand Tavernier have? This sounds like an open-ended question, but when you have the right answer, you'll have no doubt about it.

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Michel Martin, Going There
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

In Troubled Times, Does 'The Black Church' Still Matter?

A woman raises her hands during an interfaith service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. used to preach.
David Goldman AP

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 10:34 am

African-American clergy, academics and activists will hold a march on Washington this week, protesting the grand jury decisions in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City and call on the federal government to intervene in the prosecutions of police officers accused of unjustified use of force.

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Music Interviews
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Before Dylan, Dave Ray's Blues Rocked Minneapolis

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:31 pm

Copyright 2014 Minnesota Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.mpr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:38 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Billions Of Years Go By, All In The Same 'Room'

A two-page spread from Here.
Courtesy of Pantheon

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 11:50 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Book Reviews
5:03 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Millennia Of History, Beautifully Illustrated 'Here' In One Room

Here traces millenia of history — and prehistory — within the space of one large room.
Pantheon

Originally published on Mon December 8, 2014 9:05 am

What is it about Richard McGuire's Here? A simple-looking, black-and-white cartoon that first appeared in Raw magazine in 1989 — clocking in at a mere 36 panels — it's maintained its hold on comic artists' imaginations ever since. McGuire himself spent more than eight years creating this book-length version.

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The Salt
3:19 am
Sun December 7, 2014

A Pop-Up Cafe Caters To Hikers Along The Pacific Crest Trail

Hank Magnuski (left) feeds hikers at his pop-up Sonora Pass Cafe. Some of his diners also took the opportunity to use his wi-fi.
Lisa Morehouse

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 11:47 am

Hikers who complete the whole 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail say the only thing they talk about more than their aching feet is food. They have to carry it all, except when they get surprised by a little trail magic – like what happens near California's Sonora Pass.

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All Tech Considered
4:46 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Is Privacy Protection 'More Awesome Than Money'?

The four undergrads of the Diaspora team were given "a global commission to rebottle the genie of personal privacy" after scoring $200,000 in a Kickstarter campaign and support and mentorship from Silicon Valley's brightest.
Henrik Moltke/Flickr

Originally published on Sun December 7, 2014 2:58 pm

Standing in a Silicon Valley bookstore, Jim Dwyer knows not too many people are going to show up to his reading. There is, after all, a huge San Francisco ballgame tonight. Maybe that's why the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The New York Times seems content waxing long and poetic about the motivation behind More Awesome Than Money: Four Boys and Their Heroic Quest to Save Your Privacy from Facebook. Freedom's new frontier. Moral, democratized communication. The Big Bang moment of the digital age. "Plus, my wife told me about it," says Dwyer.

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The Salt
3:36 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

Getting Your 'Shine On Is Becoming Increasingly Legal

Cynthia Thomas puts labels on bottles of moonshine near Union Springs, Ala., Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Last year, High Ridge Spirits — Alabama's first legal distillery since Prohibition — joined the growing trend of more than 600 craft distilleries operating around the country.
Dave Martin AP

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 7:31 pm

Moonshine might bring to mind an illegal backwoods still in the mountains of the South, carefully hidden to evade authorities. In recent years, though, legal distilleries have been popping up in sort of a moonshine renaissance — and artisanal hooch is now a thing.

In Alabama, legal moonshine starts in an 80-gallon kettle in a horse barn in rural Bullock County. The man in charge is Jamie Ray.

"This where I'd steep the grain. I'll add a sack of rye to this ... Let it seep for a couple of hours and that converts the grain to a simple beer," Ray says.

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Author Interviews
3:36 pm
Sat December 6, 2014

At 86, Poet Donald Hall Writes On, But Leaves Verse Behind

Donald Hall is a former U.S. poet laureate and was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2010.
Linda Kunhardt Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

At 86 years old, the poet Donald Hall can no longer write poetry. Not enough testosterone, he says. But the former U.S. Poet Laureate and recipient of the National Medal of Arts still has prose in him: He has just published a collection titled Essays After 80.

The book spans Hall's entire career, his family life, his addiction to smoking and his thoughts on his own beard.

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Code Switch
9:38 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Four Lessons From The Media's Conflicted Coverage of Race

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani appeared on the Fox Business Network earlier this year. He has been a frequent cable news commentator about the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
Rob Kim Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 11:52 am

Now more than ever, America needs productive conversations about race, stereotyping, police, crime and social justice. And too often, our national media continues to fall short.

After many years of dissecting how race works in media, I was both disappointed and but, sadly, not surprised by much of the coverage so far. It repeats many of the same mistakes we've seen for years in how we talk about race-fueled controversies in America.

We don't have the right conversations.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:14 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Not My Job: E Street Drummer Max Weinberg Gets Quizzed On New Jersey

Frank Micelotta Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 10:56 am

Max Weinberg — a proud son of Newark, N.J., where we are taping our show this week — has been drumming with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for some 40 years.

We've invited Weinberg to play a game called, "We're sorry, New Jersey."

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Latin America
5:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

A Spanish 'Rent' Marks Return Of Broadway Musicals To Havana

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:51 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Broadway is coming to Cuba for a three-month run starting this month. The Spanish-language production of "Rent" will be the first to full Broadway musical to be performed in Cuba in more than 50 years. NPR's Jasmine Garsd reports.

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Author Interviews
5:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

First-Generation 'Boston Girl' Becomes Career Woman In Diamant's Latest

cover crop
Scribner

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:51 am

Anita Diamant's new novel Boston Girl begins with a question: a granddaughter asks her grandmother, "How did you get to be the woman you are today?"

Addie Baum was "the other one"-- an afterthought — the youngest of three sisters, born in 1900 in Boston's North End to Jewish immigrant parents. It was a time when most women didn't finish school, couldn't vote, and worked at low-level jobs just until they were married, to men they likely didn't choose for themselves.

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Movie Interviews
5:48 am
Sat December 6, 2014

From Chic Manhattanite To 'Monk With A Camera'

Before becoming a monk, Nicky Vreeland apprenticed with the great photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.
Asphalt Stars

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 9:51 am

When we first see Nicky Vreeland in the new film Monk with a Camera, he's a middle-aged man in a burgundy robe and with a shaved head. In other words, he's a Buddhist monk — the abbot of Rato Dratsang, one of the Dalai Lama's monasteries, and director of The Tibetan Center in New York City.

But as Vreeland maneuvers through his present, we get glimpses of his past as the grandson of fashion icon Diana Vreeland. Once upon a time, he was a chic, young Manhattanite who hobnobbed in posh zip codes and apprenticed with the great photographers Richard Avedon and Irving Penn.

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Book Reviews
4:28 am
Sat December 6, 2014

Playful And Serious? 'How To Be' Is Both

cover crop
Pantheon

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 4:45 am

Can a book be both linguistically playful and dead serious? Structurally innovative and reader-friendly? Mournful and joyful? Brainy and moving? Ali Smith's How To Be Both, which recently won the prestigious, all-Brit two-year-old Goldsmiths prize for being a truly novel novel, is all of the above — and then some.

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This Week's Must Read
4:03 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

After The California Downpour, 'The Drought' Offers Some Dry Reading

J.G. Ballard didn't exactly predict California's current drought in his 1964 novel The Burning World (later renamed The Drought). But like so many of his books, it does carry eerie hints about humanity's accelerating race to stay ahead of nature.

The Burning World is part of a series of dystopian science-fiction novels that Ballard wrote in the 1960s before he became famous for works like Crash and Empire of the Sun.

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Code Switch
2:23 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Chris Rock On Standup, Sellouts And Defining Success

Chris Rock talked with Audie Cornish from NPR's New York bureau.
Brian McCabe

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 5:20 pm

Quick: Can you name your top five favorite singers? What about authors? And comedians? Chris Rock plays this game in his new movie, Top Five. The film, which Rock wrote, directed and stars in, tells the story of Andre Allen, a marquee comedian who has abandoned his standup roots for blockbuster film glory.

"He's languishing," Rock tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "He's not as edgy as he once was. He's kind of watered down; he's kind of sold out."

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