Arts

13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:44 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

A Life In Science: From Housewife To Amazon Trailblazer

Aotus lemurinus, a type of owl monkey also referred to as the gray-bellied night monkey, seen here at the Santa Fe Zoo, in Medellin, Colombia.
Raul Arboleda AFP/Getty Images

It all started in 1968 at a pet shop called Fish 'N' Cheeps in New York's Greenwich Village. On the way to a Jimi Hendrix concert, Patricia Wright and her husband dashed into the shop to escape heavy rain. There, a two-pound ball of fur from the Amazon captured their attention. A few weeks and $40 later, this owl monkey became their pet; later on they acquired a female as well.

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Movie Interviews
11:35 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Historian Says '12 Years' Is A Story The Nation Must Remember

Chiwetel Ejiofor plays Solomon Northup, a free black man in upstate New York who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. The film 12 Years a Slave is an adaptation of Northup's 1853 memoir.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:46 pm

"We love being the country that freed the slaves," says historian David Blight. But "we're not so fond of being the country that had the biggest slave system on the planet." That's why Blight was glad to see the new film 12 Years a Slave, an adaptation of an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup. Northup was a free black man who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841 and won his freedom 12 years later. "We need to keep telling this story because it, in part, made us who we were," Blight tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Movie Interviews
11:33 am
Thu October 24, 2013

'12 Years A Slave' Was A Film That 'No One Was Making'

12 Years a Slave, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, is based on an 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, a free black man in upstate New York who was kidnapped into slavery in 1841.
Jaap Buitendijk Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 1:46 pm

The new movie 12 Years a Slave has been receiving high praise — critic David Denby recently described it in The New Yorker as "easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery." The film is adapted from the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup, who had been a free black man in upstate New York. A husband and father, he was a literate, working man, who also made money as a fiddler. But in 1841, after being lured to Washington, D.C., with the promise of several days' work fiddling with the circus, he was kidnapped into slavery.

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Ask Me Another
8:38 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Trivia Is The New Black

Get ready for trivia! Contestants prepare for the final round.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:48 am

In this week's show, recorded at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota, play games about famous sets of twins, grammatically-incorrect song lyrics--and did you know that James Bond also has a "license to grill"? Pun alert! Our V.I.P. is the woman who helped add 13 hours of marathon-watching to our schedules: Piper Kerman. She's the author of Orange is the New Black, the memoir that inspired the hit Netflix series about life in a women's prison. Plus, two Mystery Science Theater 3000 veterans riff on bad movies.

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Monkey See
7:43 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Time Untied: Why We'd All Be Better Off Without Release Date Myopia

iStockphoto.com

It makes all the sense in the world to cover new things — the movies opening this weekend, the TV shows premiering right now, the books that have just been released — to the degree people are asking the questions (1) What's interesting about this new thing? (2) Is this new thing good? and (3) What new things are there? Those are important parts of cultural coverage, and they always will be.

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Books News & Features
1:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden

J.D. Salinger wrote nine letters and postcards to aspiring Canadian writer Marjorie Sheard.
Graham Haber The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 7:47 am

Fans of the reclusive J.D. Salinger are in their element these days.

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Author Interviews
1:08 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Krauthammer's Tactical Advice For The Republican Party

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:17 am

Long before he was a conservative writer, Charles Krauthammer was a psychiatrist. He tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that he changed career paths because he didn't buy into popular beliefs about a psychiatrist's power: "There is a mystique about psychiatry," he says, "that people think that you have some kind of a magical lens ... Superman's X-ray vision into the soul. One of the reasons I left psychiatry is that I didn't believe that."

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

License To Ill

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Onstage right now we have Katie Sisneros and Zach Wilson.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Katie, Zach, you know James Bond had all these cool gadgets like a hydro car and a pen that shoots poison darts. So, Katie, you're studying to be an English teacher.

KATIE SISNEROS: Yes, you got it.

EISENBERG: What neat gadget, if you were a spy, would you like to have in your repertoire?

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

City of Twins

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

And we have our first two contestants, Nate Metcalf and Collette Smith.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nate, you are an actor and a playwright.

NATE METCALF: I work for a company that does theater for children. We go into elementary schools and do shows for kids on electrical safety, water conservation, recycling, that kind of thing.

EISENBERG: Well, that is very educational.

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

This, That Or The Other VI: Bad Movie Edition

Choose Your Own Adventure book, naturally.)" href="/post/or-other-vi-bad-movie-edition" class="noexit lightbox">
Kevin Murphy (left) comforts Bill Corbett after Bill incorrectly guessed that "War With The Mutant Spider Ants" was a movie title. (It's a Choose Your Own Adventure book, naturally.)
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 10:03 am

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.

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Peace And War

Contestants gather for a tense final round at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minn.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:37 am

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.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Piper Kerman: Recipes For Survival

Piper Kerman at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Eamon Coyne NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:35 am

  • Piper Kerman explains the recipe for 'Prison Cheesecake'

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Grammatically Incorrect Songs

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, Jess Banks and Paul Reyburn.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Paul, you're an actor and director?

PAUL REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And you were once in the "Full Monty." Did you go full monty?

REYBURN: We certainly did.

EISENBERG: All right.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: How was it?

REYBURN: Revealing.

EISENBERG: Revealing.

REYBURN: Yes.

EISENBERG: And Jess, interesting job, a game publisher.

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Ask Me Another
4:58 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Celebrity Spoonerisms

Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 8:37 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Joining us now are Susan Herder and Kelly Guncheon.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Hello, Susan.

SUSAN HERDER: Hi.

EISENBERG: You work helping teachers adapt new technology.

HERDER: I do.

EISENBERG: Is it like helping them post on their students' Facebook walls or what's going on here?

HERDER: No, we don't quite go that far. Not yet.

EISENBERG: Oh, that's too advanced.

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Art & Design
3:21 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Getting 'Banksied' Comes With A Price — And Maybe A Paycheck

Cara Tabachnick's family owns the East Williamsburg building that Banksy chose as the canvas for one of his latest works. They installed a metal gate and commissioned a guard to protect the art from vandalism or removal.
Alyssa Goodman AP

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 5:04 pm

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.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Are You A Sage Foodie? A Quiz To Test Your Food Literacy

Screenshot of the Food Literacy Quiz

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:06 pm

So, Food Day is almost upon us (it's Oct 24). And maybe it's time to test your mettle.

The folks behind this celebration have devised a Food Literacy Quiz to gauge your knowledge of all things food — from farm to table.

Think you know tomatoes? Well, by evaluating a series of photos shown in the first question of the quiz, you may learn something about how its seeds are dispersed.

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Theater
2:07 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Anthony Weiner (The Myth, Not The Man) Takes The Stage

New York Rep. Anthony Weiner announces his resignation from Congress in the wake of a sexting scandal on June 16, 2011. His speech that day was incorporated into the play The Weiner Monologues.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:43 pm

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.

'Found Texts' (You Finish The Joke)

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The Salt
1:30 pm
Wed October 23, 2013

Put Some Sizzle In Your Halloween Costume ... With Sausage?

Geene Courtney models a scarf, skirt, bracelets and a crown made from hot dogs, frankfurters and kielbasa in her role as Queen of National Hot Dog Week, circa 1955.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

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.

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Monkey See
8:25 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Famous People Eat Weird Stuff, And Other Provincial Annotations

This was listed as "atmosphere" from the Johnnie Walker event.
Charlie Gallay Getty Images

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.

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The Two-Way
6:19 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Book News: Two Cleveland Kidnapping Victims Writing A Book

A poster was still on display outside the Cleveland home of Amanda Berry after she was rescued in May along with Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight.
Tony Dejak AP

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 23, 2013

An Exhaustive Survey From Columbus To Nemesis In 'Roth Unbound'

PBS

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.

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Theater
2:54 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

For John Kander, A New 'Landing' At A Familiar Spot

David Hyde Pierce (center), Julia Murney and Frankie Seratch star in The Landing, a new musical from Broadway veteran John Kander, who co-wrote it with Greg Pierce. David Hyde Pierce previously starred in one of the latter collaborations between Kander and his late songwriting partner, Fred Ebb — the 2006 musical Curtains.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 6:40 pm

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.

"Life Goes On"

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The Salt
2:13 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Coffee Coming Up, Nice And Hot ... And Prepared By A Robot

Briggo's Coffee Haus takes up about 50 square feet of space, has a nice exterior wood design, and accepts orders either on-site or via a website.
Courtesy Briggo

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.

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Science
1:58 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

Antibiotics Can't Keep Up With 'Nightmare' Superbugs

On Tuesday night, PBS' Frontline will investigate how decades of antibiotic overuse has led to the emergence of drug-resistant superbugs.
Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 4:15 pm

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.

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Television
1:49 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

On 'Sesame Street,' The Sweet Sounds Of Another Thoroughfare

Sesame Street music director Bill Sherman with Elmo and Zoe on the set. Sherman won a Tony Award for In the Heights in 2008 and has recruited Broadway peers to compose for the children's show.
Howard Sherman for NPR

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Author Interviews
1:03 pm
Tue October 22, 2013

'Boxers & Saints' & Compassion: Questions For Gene Luen Yang

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.

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The Salt
10:14 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Chocolate Fashions Make For A Truly Sweet Little Black Dress

Breakfast of chocolate at Tiffany's? Ten pounds of the dark, sweet stuff were used to craft this Audrey Hepburn-inspired dress and matching handbag, created by master chocolatier Mark Tilling of Squires Kitchen.
Photo: Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Salon du Chocolat

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 10:51 am

If you find yourself sauntering down the runway wearing 40 pounds of chocolate, don't sweat it. Seriously — you might find yourself dripping on the audience.

So warns Fiona Bitmead, one of 10 models who showed off edible chocolate creations Friday night at the Salon du Chocolat in London. Five handlers helped her get dressed.

"[I] had to worry about a dress melting on me!" she says. "I can't say I've ever wanted to eat the dresses I've worn down the catwalk before."

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Book News: U.S. Authors Face Hard Choice When Publishing In China

A woman walks past a display at a bookstore in Beijing.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue October 22, 2013 5:44 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 22, 2013

'Lady Things': The World According To Jezebel

iStockphoto.com

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.

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Author Interviews
1:24 am
Tue October 22, 2013

At Guantanamo, 'Sketching' Defendants, Witnesses And KSM's Nose

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed wore a camouflage vest to court. He argued that he was a warrior, and his lawyers convinced the judge to agree to let him wear paramilitary clothing to court.
Fantagraphics Books

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 1:45 pm

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.

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