Arts and culture

Donald Trump wants to "Make America Great Again!" But much of how he plans to do that is still a mystery.

In his nearly two months as an announced presidential candidate, the controversial and outspoken billionaire businessman has promised he would be the "the greatest jobs president God ever created."

In Angélica Gorodischer's Prodigies, a home formerly occupied by the Romantic poet Novalis becomes a boarding house, in a small German town in the 19th century. At the helm of the residence is Madame Helena, who as a young bride left her unsatisfying husband and moved back to her childhood home, which she has converted into a space for boarders.

As I write this, California remains deep in its fourth year of drought.

One hundred percent of the state of Nevada is in drought — with 40 percent in the extreme drought category. Over to the southeast, 93 percent of Arizona's territory is in some form of drought. Even Washington state, far to the north, finds all of its territory in drought and 32 percent of its land in extreme doubt.

Magic happens in "Soul Case," one of the standouts from Nalo Hopkinson's latest short story collection Falling in Love with Hominids. Not a metaphorical kind of magic, either. Set in a Caribbean village that's based on the historical phenomenon of marronage — former slaves escaping into the wilderness and forming free societies — the story zooms in on a battle between villagers and the colonial army set to subjugate them. That is, until a spell is cast that weighs heavily on all who witness it.

You may know the acclaimed poet Elizabeth Alexander from her reading at President Obama's 2009 swearing-in ceremony.

Alexander, who teaches at Yale, published a new book earlier this year — but it's not poetry. The Light of the World is a memoir of the 16 years she shared with her husband Ficre, until his sudden death a few years ago.

'Sense8' Is Getting A Second Season — Now What?

Aug 10, 2015

Fans of Netflix's world-spanning science-fiction/action soap opera Sense8 have experienced a long, tense wait for renewal in recent weeks. While Netflix series like Daredevil, Bloodline and House Of Cards got their next-season notices back in March or April, and the second season of Grace And Frankie was finally announced in May, Netflix drew out the tension over Sense8 for months, sparking widespread speculation about what was holding up the announcement.

I remember a blue and white sign that used to tempt me every summer when I was a kid. It dangled from the marquee of our neighborhood movie theater: Painted penguins and three irresistible, snow-covered words, "It's cool inside."

There's something romantic about absinthe — that naturally green liquor derived from wormwood and herbs like anise or fennel. Vincent Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde drank it. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Pablo Picasso filled the glasses of cafe patrons with absinthe in their paintings. Absinthe was a drink of aesthetes.

On Sunday, 38-year-old ballet dancer Jonathan Ollivier died after his motorbike collided with a Mercedes. The accident occurred just after 11 a.m. BST and Ollivier was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the BBC, the driver was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and released on bail.

Ollivier was slated to perform in the final show of choreographer Matthew Bourne's The Car Man in London on Sunday night. The show was canceled.

Heavy metal is one music culture whose concerts can get pretty aggressive. Stage divers often try to climb up with the band then launch themselves into the awaiting arms of the audience — or that's the idea. In the city of Prague in 2010, one fan wasn't so lucky: At a particularly unruly show by the band Lamb of God, Daniel Nosek fell off the stage, hit his head and died weeks later.

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Anniversaries call for exhibitions, and art museums across New Orleans felt compelled to remember Hurricane Katrina as the 10th anniversary of its landfall approaches. But the anniversary shows at some of the city's most high-profile museums seem surprisingly understated, at least to outsiders' eyes. In fact, they barely seem to be about Katrina at all.

Music icon Prince is worried about the future of the music business for artists, and his top priority can be summed up in one word: Freedom.

"Record contracts are just like — I'm gonna say the word – slavery," Prince told a group of 10 journalists Saturday night, during a meet and greet at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis. "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign."

In her new film, Ricki and the Flash, Meryl Streep plays a musician who used to dream about making it big; now, she's content to play in a cover band, in a bar. Her boyfriend and bandmate is named Greg, and he's played by real-life rock star Rick Springfield.

The film was written by Diablo Cody, who says her inspiration for the character Ricki came from her own life.

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Things Left Unspoken Haunt Hard-Hitting 'Dragonfish'

Aug 9, 2015

The spoken word doesn't count for much in Vu Tran's hard-hitting debut novel, Dragonfish. The book turns on a few weary confessional speeches, but what people write is usually much more important than what they say. A secret diary, a series of anguished notes, and multiple caches of hidden letters all play significant roles. In Tran's story, it's nearly impossible for people to say what they feel, but tamping down their emotions is endlessly destructive.

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This at Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We learn an unusual technique for cooking eggs to give you a silky, yolky sauce for huevos racheros.

Jennine Capó Crucet was the first person in her family to be born in the United States. Her parents came to Florida from Cuba, and she grew up in Hialeah, a suburb of Miami that is 95 percent Hispanic.

For Crucet, going to Cornell was a bit of a shock — she was the first person in her family to attend college at all, let alone at a prestigious school in upstate New York.

On the morning of March 11, 2004, ten bombs exploded on four commuter trains in Madrid. By the time the smoke had cleared, nearly 200 people had been killed; more than 1,800 were wounded, many gravely. It was one of the worst terrorist attacks in history; years later, several Islamists of North African heritage were convicted of the bombings.

At the foot of the Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming, a century-old ranch plays host to a small art museum. It's quite an idyllic setting — but just a few years ago, the Brinton Museum's finances didn't paint such a pretty picture.

An endowment set up in 1960 preserved the historic ranch near Sheridan, Wyo., as well as the bachelor-rancher Bradford Brinton's art collection. By 2008, though, it seemed that before long the museum would have to close, says the place's director, Ken Schuster.

"You could really see the writing on the wall," Schuster says.

Starlee Kine is the creator and host of the Mystery Show podcast, which takes on — and solves — a mystery every week. (Not to be confused with last fall's hit podcast Serial, in which they explored a mystery without ever solving it.)

We invited Kine to play a game we're calling "What's up, Doc?" This last week marked the 75th anniversary of the debut of Bugs Bunny. We'll ask Kine three questions about the beloved cartoon character.

Life Through The Lens Of A Falling 'Fishbowl'

Aug 8, 2015

Lars von Trier's films Melancholia and Antichrist both open the same way, with catastrophe playing out in beautifully rendered, ultra slow motion. One calamity destroys the Earth and the other only claims the life of one toddler, but both films have the same feeling of presenting disaster as a sort of pregnant pause, played out so exquisitely that viewers have to appreciate the technique even as they're given plenty of time to register and mentally protest the terrible but inevitable results.

Historical romance is big business — it's the most popular subgenre of a billion-dollar industry. You can read about pirates, knights, Regency rakes and just about anything else. But for a long time, you couldn't read about black history. Until Beverly Jenkins came along.

Jenkins calls herself a "kitchen table historian." She doesn't have a history degree, but she does have a mission: To light up the parts of black history you don't learn in school.

Think back to the 1990s — to movies like Boyz n the Hood or Menace II Society.

Now, imagine one of those movies shot in black and white, with prayer beads and scenes from a mosque. And imagine it all in French.

A machine with superhuman intelligence is a staple of science fiction. But what about a machine with just ordinary human intelligence? A machine that's so humanlike in its behavior that you can't tell if it's a computer acting like a human, or a real human?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit



Brian "B Flow" Bwembya used to make music for lovers, donning shades and gold chains in music videos and singing "You're the reason for my life, you're the only one I would make my wife" to pretty girls.

By now, you may have heard about the new Broadway musical Hamilton. When it opened off-Broadway in February, it earned almost unanimous raves and awards for blending history and hip-hop. Its sold-out run had A-list celebrities and politicians clamoring for tickets. Thursday night, the story of Alexander Hamilton, and the Founding Fathers and Mothers, opened on Broadway.