Few people love bad movies like Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett love bad movies--you know, movies that are "so bad, they're good"? The pair is known for their work on the cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000, and now are part of the team that creates RiffTrax--downloadable commentaries that you play along with a cheesy or shlocky film to create the sense that you're hanging out with your friends and making fun of the movie. Only your friends are professional comedians.
It's Opposite Day for this final round, in which puzzle guru Art Chung will give you the "opposite" of a well-known book title, and you must figure out the real one. For example, "The Visible Woman," is a clue to The Invisible Man. So if we tell you "bad misfortune," what we really mean is--good luck.
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The elusive British graffiti artist Banksy has taken to the streets of New York this month, tagging buildings throughout the city. Last week we brought you the story of his fans, who have been on the hunt, early each day, to find his latest creation. They have to move quickly; Banksy creations are often vandalized after their locations become known.
The sexting scandal surrounding former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner has been fodder for comedians, punsters and those who love double entendres. Now it's the source material for a play, The Weiner Monologues, coming to off-off-Broadway's Access Theatre Nov. 6 through Nov. 10.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 2:56 pm
Still looking for a Halloween costume that makes a statement? Look no further than your grocery aisle, if you dare.
Ever since Carmen Miranda danced her way onto the silver screen with a fantastical fruit-laden hat in the 1940s, food as costume has provoked reactions of both delight and horror.
Costumes made of real food have sparked discussions about race, hunger, vegetarianism, commercialism, sexuality, morality and the ever-popular female body image for decades. Here are a few of the more memorable examples.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 8:39 am
Every now and then, my random wanderings through file photos from the previous 24 hours bring me to something that makes me pause.
This is apparently the menu from an event referred to in the photo captions as Christina Hendricks Toasts Johnnie Walker Platinum. (It is at least a list of food posted there.) The event was held at the Santa Monica Museum Of Art on Tuesday night.
Roth Unbound, Claudia Roth Pierpont's aptly titled study of Philip Roth's evolution as a writer, unleashes a slew of memories — including my eye-opening first encounter with Portnoy's Complaint as a naive 14-year-old. It also stokes a strong desire to re-read his books, which I suspect will be the case for many.
Broadway composer John Kander is a living legend: With his songwriting partner, the late Fred Ebb, he created the scores for the smash hit musicals Cabaret and Chicago, as well as the enduring anthem "New York, New York."
Now, at 86, Kander has a new writing partner — and a new musical, The Landing, opening off-Broadway Wednesday.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 3:19 pm
A new trend is brewing in the coffee world: coffee prepared by a robot, able to be preordered via cellphone and picked up at an unmanned kiosk, perfectly adjusted to your taste and ready to go.
To some, this might seem lamentable: the beginning of the end of coffee shops as we know them. No more huddling around warm cups of coffee with friends or sipping a refreshing iced latte while reading.
We're used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, "more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a resistant bacteria, and about 23,000 people die from it," journalist David Hoffman tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 2:00 pm
Gene Luen Yang broke out in 2006 with American Born Chinese, the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award. It weaves three stories — about a Chinese-American boy, a terrible stereotype named Chin-Kee and the mythical Monkey King — into a complex tapestry of identity and assimilation.
The editors of The Book of Jezebel: An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Lady Things, are carefully unambitious about the aim of the book: "we thought it might be fun to collect our various observations, fascinations, annoyances, and inspirations in one easy-to-use, attractive volume." On the surface, it seems like a cheeky gift book, a pseudo-serious encyclopedia that juxtaposes cellulite with the Latvian artist Vija Celmins, Clueless with Clytemnestra, the porno Deep Throat and the Native American politician Ada Deer.
When the 2006 secretive military tribunals at Guantanamo Bay began, only one courtroom sketch artist was allowed in. Her name is Janet Hamlin.
The Associated Press sent her there. Since then, Hamlin has created a rare visual record of the human drama unfolding in Guantanamo's courtrooms. Those images are now collected in a book, Sketching Guantanamo.
There's one area of the economy that's growing faster than business or government.
According to the Urban Institute, in the 10 years between 2001 and 2011, the number of nonprofits increased 25 percent. But most of them aren't very good at measuring their effectiveness — at least, that's the conclusion of the nonprofit watchdog Charity Navigator, which rates thousands of nonprofits to help donors make decisions on their giving.
If you're a novelist who takes a decade or so between books, you can only hope that your readers remember how much they loved you in the past. It's a saturated market out there, and brand loyalty doesn't always extend to novelists.
By the time champion cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed a career of doping to Oprah Winfrey in January, he'd already been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned from further competition. Wall Street Journal reporters Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O'Connell covered and regularly broke stories about the investigation that ended Armstrong's career.
Dizzy dames don't age well. An attractive young thing doing prat falls is disarming; an older woman stumbling around for laughs spells hip replacement. Sad to say, Bridget Jones has hung on to her once-endearing daffiness, self-deprecation, and wine dependency far past their collective expiration date. That's one of the big reasons why her latest outing, called Mad About the Boy, is painful to read.
I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, it's the 20th anniversary of the horrific genocide in Burundi that took thousands of lives. We'll hear from a survivor about how he found healing and forgiveness for his tormentors through running. That's just ahead. But first, off the top of your head, how many black female comic book characters can you name? There's Storm of course from the X-Men. She was my favorite growing up. But other than that, who else?
People used to say the sun never sets on the British empire. These days, says NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik, it would be more accurate to say the sun never sets on Rupert Murdoch's empire.
In a new book, Murdoch's World, Folkenflik writes about the Australian newspaper owner whose company now stretches to India, Great Britain and the United States. He describes a powerful media insider who wants to be seen as an outsider.