Arts

Shots - Health News
12:04 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

'America's Bitter Pill' Makes Case For Why Health Care Law 'Won't Work'

Steven Brill is a journalist who also founded Court TV, American Lawyer magazine, 10 regional legal newspapers and Brill's Content Magazine. He teaches journalism at Yale.
Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 9:46 am

While reporting on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, journalist Steven Brill was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that required heart surgery.

"There I was: a reporter who had made hospital presidents and hospital executives and health care executives and insurance executives sweat because I asked them all kinds of questions about their salaries and about their profit margins," Brill tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "And now I was lying on a gurney in a hospital in real fear of my life."

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Monkey See
8:02 am
Mon January 5, 2015

From Patton Oswalt, A Movie Memoir That's Best Outside The Theater

Brad Barket Getty Images

The best of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt lies in his ability to truthfully observe what is small but important. That's true in his comedy, but it's true in his writing, too. Here he is in his new memoir Silver Screen Fiend, talking about his desperation to make an impression in his first movie role, a tiny part in the Kelsey Grammer comedy Down Periscope:

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The Salt
7:08 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

With so many craft breweries now in operation, just about every beer name you can imagine is taken. That's making it harder for newcomers to name that brew without risking a legal fight.
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 2:49 pm

Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they're all taken.

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Parallels
1:33 am
Mon January 5, 2015

The Theater Company Is 1927; The Technology Is Cutting Edge

The British theater company 1927 performs its latest play, Golem, based on the character from ancient Jewish folklore. The troupe's trademark is vintage style combined with distinctive animation.
Bernhard Mueller

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 5:40 pm

Lots of theater companies use animation and video projection. None uses it quite like the British troupe called 1927. The company has combined vintage style with sophisticated technology to carve out a unique niche in the theater.

1927's newest play, Golem, has just opened in London to rave reviews.

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Author Interviews
4:25 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

How 'Star Wars' Helped Patton Oswalt Beat His Movie Addiction

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 7:37 pm

Before he made it big in Holloywood, actor, writer and comedian Patton Oswalt was a junkie — addicted to movies, as he explains in a new memoir, Silver Screen Fiend.

The word addiction gets thrown around a lot, but Oswalt tells NPR's Arun Rath that his relationship to movies was downright pathological.

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Television
12:00 pm
Sun January 4, 2015

TV In 2015: Late-Night Shuffles, Big Goodbyes And More

Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman in AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul.
Ursula Coyote AP

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 6:31 am

What do a woman freed from a religious cult, a crooked lawyer and TV's longest serving late-night host have in common?

That's not the setup to an oddball joke. Instead, they're all part of the hottest trends coming to television in 2015, when a deluge of new shows combined with a boatload of new platforms threatens to transform the TV business over the next year.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:19 am
Sun January 4, 2015

A Winter Puzzle To Brrring In The New Year

Sunday Puzzle
NPR

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:20 am

Editor's Note: In a previous version of this page we posted the wrong on-air challenge. The correct on-air challenge for the week is posted below.

On-air challenge: Given a clue, each response is a two-word answer with the first word starting with B-R and the second word starting with R.

Last week's challenge: Take the following 5-word sentence: "THOSE BARBARIANS AMBUSH HEAVIER FIANCEES." These 5 words have something very unusual in common. What is it?

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Author Interviews
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

Humans On Display In 'Hall Of Small Mammals'

Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 8:12 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Writer Thomas Pierce has included no penguins in his new short story collection. It's called "Hall of Small Mammals." But the mammals he does showcase, besides humans, of course, tend to be highly unusual - part prehistoric, part ahistoric, magical even.

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Author Interviews
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

In 'God Loves Haiti,' Clutching Memories When The Earth Moves

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 10:20 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Author Interviews
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

How A Skeptic Learned To Love Meditation

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 3:06 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Interviews
5:48 am
Sun January 4, 2015

'I Was So Grateful For My Body': Jennifer Aniston Portrays Chronic Pain

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 12:14 pm

In the new movie Cake, Jennifer Aniston plays a woman suffering from chronic, debilitating pain. Her pain is both emotional and physical — her anger is so uncontrollable that she has been kicked out of her chronic pain support group. "You really do not know what happened to this woman," Aniston tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "As the story unfolds you slowly start to discover bits of information as to what happened and why she is in this state."

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My Big Break
3:57 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

Trading Pom-Poms For Field Boots: Mireya Mayor's Big Break

During a wildlife survey in Madagascar, Mayor discovered a new species of mouse lemur. "[It] weighs less than two ounces, fits in the palm of your hands," she says.
Mark Thiessen Courtesy of Mireya Mayor

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 8:54 am

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.

Mireya Mayor's life plays out like an adventure film.

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Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

In 'Citizen,' Poet Strips Bare The Realities Of Everyday Racism

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 9:59 am

Here's a common complaint about poetry: It's the oldest form of expression, but what can it do for us now, in an age of social media, Twitter, Facebook and national urgency?

African-American poet Claudia Rankine's latest collection, Citizen: An American Lyric, has an answer. It's a very personal meditation on race in America with a cover that recalls Trayvon Martin — a black hoodie against a white background.

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Remembrances
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Remembering The Voice Of Babe The Pig

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 9:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

You probably won't realize that you recognize Christine Cavanaugh until you hear her. The actress gave voice to popular cartoon and film characters throughout the 1990s, and last month, she passed away. NPR's Jasmine Garsd has this remembrance.

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Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Zig-Zagging History Of The Number Zero

Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 4:52 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Music
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

The Music That Makes Choreographers Move

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 9:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Pop Culture
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

Baseball Card Trading App Comes With A Virtual Stick Of Gum

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 9:59 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ERIC WESTERVELT, HOST:

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Author Interviews
6:00 am
Sat January 3, 2015

These 'Almost Famous Women' Won't Be Forgotten Again

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 10:07 am

In Almost Famous Women, writer Megan Mayhew Bergman takes us into the compelling lives of independent, inventive women at the margins of history. These are fictionalized accounts of real-life, risk-taking women who have largely been forgotten, and now are re-imagined by Bergman in her new book — a book she tells NPR's Eric Westervelt that she resisted writing at first.


Interview Highlights

On deciding to write about these women

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Fine Art
4:25 am
Sat January 3, 2015

For 98-Year-Old Artist, Every Mural Must 'Be A New Adventure'

Eric Bransby, pictured above in his home in Colorado Springs, is still creating art at 98. "I try to make each mural a project that will somehow expand my abilities a little bit more," he says.
Nathaniel Minor Colorado Public Radio

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 11:11 am

Eric Bransby is one of the last living links to the great age of American mural painting. He studied with one of this country's most famous muralists — Thomas Hart Benton — and went on to create his own murals in prominent buildings across the west. The artist is now 98 and still painting.

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The Two-Way
3:28 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Donna Douglas, Elly May On 'The Beverly Hillbillies,' Dies At 81

Donna Douglas as Elly May Clampett, lower right. Clockwise from upper left are Buddy Ebsen (as Jed Clampett), Nancy Kulp (as Jane Hathaway), Raymond Bailey (as Milburn Drysdale), Douglas, Max Baer Jr. (as Jethro Bodine) and Irene Ryan (as "Granny").
CBS/Landov

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 5:13 pm

Donna Douglas, the actress best known for her role as Elly May Clampett on the 1960s television hit comedy The Beverly Hillbillies, has died at age 81, a family member confirms.

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Movies
2:51 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

What 'Back To The Future 2' Got Right — And Wrong — About 2015

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

We have arrived. It's the future - or one version of the future imagined in 1989.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "BACK TO THE FUTURE 2")

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This Week's Must Read
2:51 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

For The New Year, Ray Bradbury's Buoyant Vision Of The Future

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

I have had enough of dystopias.

Don't get me wrong here. I love a good vision of destruction — to stand at some safe distance and watch the world burn. I have an affection for zombies, have stared down plagues, have, through pulp and pixel, seen this world brought low in any number of ways and, no lie, enjoyed it.

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Movie Reviews
1:36 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

'Leviathan' And 'Two Days' Look For Oscar Gold

Marion Cotillard is Sandra, who must convince her factory co-workers to vote against giving themselves a bonus in order to preserve her job, in Two Days, One Night.
Les Films du Fleuve

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 4:23 pm

The week between Christmas and New Year's is always a boom time for Hollywood — generally the biggest box office week of the year. It is also a time of Oscar hopefuls, a group that included two foreign-language films in 2014: Two Days, One Night from Belgium, and Russia's Leviathan, both of which tackle social issues through the lens of family.

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The Salt
11:13 am
Fri January 2, 2015

No Yolk: Eggs Beat Most Other Foods In Our Blog Last Year

"The egg is a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking," says food writer Michael Ruhlman.
Donna Turner Ruhlman

Eggs are a marvel, a mystery and a mainstay of the American diet.

And so when we looked back at our most popular posts of 2014 and saw that three of the top 20 were about eggs, we weren't surprised. People love eggs.

And don't mind if we admit that these three stories, which went viral, were good ones:

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Billy Joel, Popular Song, PBS, And Needing A Piano

Billy Joel
Courtesy of Myrna Suarez

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 12:36 pm

I don't know when people started to think they could successfully make fun of you for being a person who grew up listening to a lot of Billy Joel — and perhaps still does — but they can all forget it.

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Movie Reviews
8:33 am
Fri January 2, 2015

'Leviathan' Shows A Film And Filmmaker Unafraid Of Big Questions

Alexey Serebryakov as Kolya in Leviathan.
Anna Matveeva Sony Pictures Classics

In Leviathan, Andrey Zvyagintsev's melodrama about a motor mechanic's desperate struggle to hang on to home and family in the New Russia, a photograph of Vladimir Putin gazes impassively down from a wall in the office of a corrupt mayor.

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Monkey See
8:08 am
Fri January 2, 2015

The Madly Uneven 'Downton Abbey' Turns Its Eye From Money To Sex

Allen Leech as Tom Branson and Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary.
Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Masterpiece

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 12:12 pm

[This piece assumes you've seen the first four seasons of Downton Abbey. As to the fifth, it avoids specific spoilers, but does talk about themes and threads enough that you might be 20 percent less surprised by a couple of developments. It's the best balance I could strike.]

Let us get this out of the way right off: Particularly after its first two seasons, Downton Abbey has been enormously uneven. It's satisfying in some moments, dull in others, and always prone to falling so in love with a particular story beat that it cannot move past it.

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Movie Reviews
8:03 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Murder, Cows And Bad Funerals In The Absurd Comedy Of 'Li'l Quinquin'

Quinquin.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 8:16 am

Although set in Bruno Dumont's home region of northern France, L'il Quinquin finds the writer-director in unexpected territory. The film is a arguably Dumont's first comedy, and was made as a four-part TV miniseries.

Yet with its relaxed pacing, inconclusive plot and elegant widescreen cinematography, the movie doesn't feel much like TV. And its humor is less a matter of overt gags than bemused attitude, which shows that the Dumont of Humanite and Hors Satan has barely relocated at all.

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Monkey See
7:07 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Pop Culture Happy Hour: From Sixth And I, Quizzes And Questions

NPR

In early December, we had a live show at the Sixth & I synagogue, the first part of which you've already heard. But sometimes, we like to top off our live events with a little bonus madness, so that's what's on tap this week.

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Movie Interviews
7:03 am
Fri January 2, 2015

'Life Itself': An Unflinching Documentary Of Roger Ebert's Life And Death

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 2:08 pm

In late 2012, filmmaker Steve James and Roger Ebert began talking about filming a documentary based on Ebert's memoir. Ebert's wife, Chaz, agreed. They didn't know that he would die within months.

Originally broadcast July 3, 2014.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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