Arts

Book Reviews
1:02 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

'Stringer': Finding Your Feet In The Chaos Of Congo

Image from cover of Stringer

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 10:19 am

In journalism, a stringer is a freelance reporter or photographer who gets paid on the basis of each story or picture sold. So, much of the time there's no regular salary, no living allowance, and often, no travel subsidy. It's a tough way to make a living; especially since the competition in a major market like New York or London is prohibitively fierce. The trick for a young journalist is to find a location rich in material but light on the competitive side; the more poverty-stricken, dirty, corrupt and dangerous, the better.

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Monkey See
9:44 am
Thu January 9, 2014

'Parks And Recreation': Good For Nerds, Good For America

Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope and Adam Scott as Ben Wyatt on NBC's deeply pro-nerd Parks And Recreation.
Colleen Hayes NBC

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 12:56 pm

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Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Colorful Names

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

What do Vanna White, James Brown, and Ron Burgundy have in common? In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung asks you to identify famous people or fictional characters who has a color in their name.

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

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Happy Geek Colors

Potter and designer Jonathan Adler takes to the puzzle podium for his Ask Me Another challenge.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

Host Ophira Eisenberg puts designer Jonathan Adler in the puzzle hot seat for a quiz all about how certain colors got their name. Does the guy who coined the word "chambeige" know which color is named after a desert-dwelling animal that also gives its hair to make overcoats? Find out.

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

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Homophones To Phone Home About

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

What would you call a type of neck-wear worn while participating in a form of exercise founded by Billy Blanks? A "Tae Bo-bow tie"! In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg offers clues to phrases or compound words that change meaning when the words are reversed.

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

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me What To Do

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

Unfortunately, you won't be able to duet with Carl Kasell in this game. But we encourage you to sing along and identify songs with the word "don't" in the title, as performed by house musician Jonathan Coulton. For starters, we're pretty sure that Andrew Lloyd Webber song is not called "Don't Drink That Blue Margarita."

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Random Questions With: Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler in New York City.
Joshua McHugh

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

Designer Jonathan Adler's colorful, eye-popping pillows, rugs and vases adorn the interiors of many discerning homeowners, but his dream of creating a home furnishings empire was nearly deferred. Early in his career, discouragement from his pottery teacher at the Rhode Island School of Design and several unfulfilling jobs at talent agencies in New York City left Adler at his wit's end. But these events only fueled his fire to live out the pottery dream. Adler taught night classes at a pottery studio called Mud, Sweat & Tears (potter puns!) and eventually opened his own studio.

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Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Indigenous Diligence

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 2:28 pm

If Neapolitans are people from Naples, where do Sconnies come from? This game, led by house musician Jonathan Coulton, is all about demonyms — words that describe a person who hails from a particular geographic location.

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

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:48 am

In keeping with the title of this game, we'll keep this explanation short. All the answers in this game will be two-letter words. That's it!

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

The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Book News: Cache Of Letters From 'Frankenstein' Author Found

An image of author Mary Shelley, circa 1830.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

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Author Interviews
2:30 am
Thu January 9, 2014

A Former Child Soldier Imagines 'Tomorrow' In Sierra Leone

Orphaned by the civil war in Sierra Leone, Ishmael Beah told his own story in A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. Radiance of Tomorrow is his first novel.
John Madere Sarah Crichton Books/Farrar, Straus and Giroux,

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 8:21 am

Ishmael Beah was just barely a teenager when his town became engulfed in Sierra Leone's civil war in the mid-1990s. In his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone, Beah describes how, after he lost his parents and brothers to the conflict, he wandered the countryside with a band of boys and was recruited as a child soldier by government forces. The memoir describes the hellish atrocities committed by child soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

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Author Interviews
5:08 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

Sue Monk Kidd's new novel is a story told by two women whose lives are wrapped together — beginning, against their wills, when they're young girls. One is a slave; the other, her reluctant owner. One strives her whole life to be free; the other rebels against her slave-owning family and becomes a prominent abolitionist and early advocate for women's rights.

The book, The Invention of Wings, takes on both slavery and feminism — and it's inspired by the life of a real historical figure.

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The Salt
2:21 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

This GMO Apple Won't Brown. Will That Sour The Fruit's Image?

Soon after being sliced, a conventional Granny Smith apple (left) starts to brown, while a newly developed GM Granny Smith stays fresher looking.
Courtesy of Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc.

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:29 pm

If you (or your children) turn up your nose at brown apple slices, would you prefer fresh-looking ones that have been genetically engineered?

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Television
1:18 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

On TV This Week: 'Babylon' Has Good Fun, 'Detective' Is The Real Deal

IFC's The Spoils Of Babylon follows a sister (Kristin Wiig) and adopted brother (Tobey Maguire) caught up in a passionate romance.
Katrina Marcinowski IFC

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:55 pm

Two new miniseries this week are worth special mention — and couldn't be more different.

True Detective, which begins Sunday on HBO, is a combination series and miniseries, kind of like American Horror Story on FX. Each season is designed to tell a different, self-contained story, followed the next year by a new tale with new characters and sometimes even new actors. This first season of True Detective is an eight-hour murder mystery starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, neither of whom is expected to return next season.

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Europe
1:18 pm
Wed January 8, 2014

The 'Pussy Riot' Arrests, And The Crackdown That Followed

Pussy Riot members Yekaterina Samutsevich (left), Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova sit in a glass-walled cage in a Moscow court on Oct. 10, 2012.
Natalia Kolesnikova AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 2:19 pm

Masha Gessen is a prominent journalist who is also a lesbian and an outspoken LGBT rights advocate in Russia. After Russia passed two anti-gay laws in June, she decided it was time for her, her partner and their children to leave. In late December, they moved to New York.

"The only thing more creepy than hearing someone suggest the likes of you should be burned alive is hearing someone suggest the likes of you should be burned alive and thinking, 'I know that guy.' "

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Monkey See
8:05 am
Wed January 8, 2014

'Saturday Night Live' Takes A Very Important First Step

Screenshot

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 9:03 am

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Kitchen Window
6:14 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Leftover Liquor Finds New Life As Liqueur

Eve Turow for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 5:24 am

Years ago, on an overnight bus ride in Argentina, a waiter poked his head through the drawn curtains: "Whiskey or Tia Maria?" he offered as a post-meal drink. Unfamiliar with the latter, I decided to take a taste. He steadied himself on the rocking walls and poured me a serving of the almond-colored digestif. I could smell the coffee aromatics as I took my first sip. The sweet liqueur popped on my taste buds with flavors of vanilla, coconut and rum. "Good, right?" he asked. I nodded. As the sugar and alcohol settled my stomach, I knew I had to learn more about this dinnertime tradition.

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The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Book News: Biography Of Fox's Roger Ailes Alleges Sexism, Anti-Semitism

Fox News Channel chief Roger Ailes attends a 2012 Hollywood Reporter celebration of "The 35 Most Powerful People in Media" in New York City.
Stephen Lovekin Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:56 am

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

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New In Paperback
5:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Jan. 5-11: A Beer Empire, A Habit Explainer And A New Kind Of Warfare

August A. Busch (center) and his sons, Adolphus III (left) and August Jr., seal the first case of beer off the Anheuser-Busch bottling plant line in St. Louis on April 7, 1933, when the sale of low-alcohol beers and wines was once again legal. Prohibition didn't officially end until Dec. 5 of that year.
AP

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:31 am

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

The Salt
4:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

A Cheesy Meltdown: Kraft Warns Of Velveeta Shortage

According to an AdvertisingAge report, Velveeta may be a little hard to come by in some areas over the next few weeks.
Paul Sakuma AP

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:24 am

If I say Super Bowl food, you think ... Velveeta? Maybe Velveeta with Ro*Tel.

Oh, yes. Ro*Tel's Famous Con Queso.

What could be more Sunday-in-January-indulgent than hot, creamy, processed cheese mixed with diced tomatoes & green chilies.

I have to admit, I've scooped up my share of con queso on a nacho chip or two.

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The Salt
5:59 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Think You're Cold And Hungry? Try Eating In Antarctica

Morrie Fisher drinks at Mawson Station, an Australian base in East Antarctica, in 1957. Apparently, these sorts of amusements tend to pop up when you're bored in a barren landscape.
Courtesy of the Australian Antarctic Division

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:24 am

If the icy blast of polar air that's descended upon much of the U.S. over the last couple of days has you reaching for the cookie jar for comfort — and ready to give up on those New Year's resolutions — then seriously? It's time to toughen up. Just think: At least you're not in the Antarctic.

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The Salt
5:05 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Top Diets Of 2014 (Hint: It's Probably Not What You Think)

Keep the rice brown and the skin off the chicken for a Spanish rice dinner that could qualify for the top-ranked DASH diet. Here's the DASH-approved recipe.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 11:27 am

U.S. News has ranked 32 diets, and which one comes out on top?

The DASH diet. It's an acronym for a dreadfully dull name, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet. Haven't heard of it?

True, it doesn't get much buzz.

But it's been around for a long time, and there's solid evidence that it works, not just for weight control but also to lower high blood pressure (a condition that affects 1 in 3 adults in the U.S.).

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Books News & Features
3:39 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Sherlock's Expiring Copyright: It's Public Domain, Dear Watson

A poster advertises a stage adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, starring actor William Gillette in 1899.
Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 7:53 am

Beloved sleuth Sherlock Holmes has stumbled onto a new conundrum: A federal judge in Chicago recently ruled that the characters in Arthur Conan Doyle's stories — including Holmes and his partner, Dr. John Watson — now reside in the public domain.

That means anyone who wants to write new material about the characters no longer needs to seek permission or pay license fees to the Doyle estate. That is, as long as you don't include any elements introduced in the last 10 Sherlock Holmes stories released in the U.S. after 1922.

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Monkey See
11:20 am
Tue January 7, 2014

A Hong Kong Film Titan, With A Reach Well Beyond His Roots

Run Run Shaw, pictured with his wife and daughter in London, was knighted in 1978 for his philanthropic endeavors.
Central Press Getty Images

The Hong Kong entertainment magnate and philanthropist Run Run Shaw, who died today at 106 or 107, isn't that well known in the West. But his fans, from Quentin Tarantino to the Wu-Tang Clan, sure are.

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Author Interviews
10:38 am
Tue January 7, 2014

'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

Gary Shteyngart's work has been translated into 26 languages.
Brigitte Lacombe Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:56 pm

Novelist Gary Shteyngart was a wheezing, asthmatic and fearful 7-year-old when he and his parents emigrated from the Soviet Union to Queens, New York, in 1979. (This was soon after America negotiated a trade deal with the Soviets that included allowing Jews to immigrate to Israel, Canada or the U. S.) He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his health was a deciding factor in his parents' decision to move.

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Book Reviews
9:02 am
Tue January 7, 2014

'Leaving The Sea,' Arriving At A Constant State Of Anxiety

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 12:42 pm

In the story that opens Leaving the Sea, two men begin conversing at a family party. Rick, the more straight-laced of the two, turns to his brother-in-law and says: "I love family."

The second man, Paul, replies by saying: "Oh, hey, did someone get hurt tonight?" Rick looks worried. Then Paul adds to the confusion by claiming to have seen a stretcher go into the hotel. The way this sentence is structured ensures that the reader mentally prepares for some awful event. But it never materializes. The author never mentions this incident again.

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Book News: Scores Of Books Burned In Lebanese Library Torching

A man inspects burnt books in north Lebanon's majority Sunni city of Tripoli on Saturday, a day after a decades-old library owned by a Greek Orthodox priest was burned.
Ibrahim Chalhoub AFP/Getty Images

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

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Author Interviews
12:58 am
Tue January 7, 2014

CIA Lawyer: Waterboarding Wasn't Torture Then And Isn't Torture Now

John Rizzo is the CIA's former acting general counsel. His new memoir is Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.
Jay Mallin Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 8:07 am

In the years following the Sept. 11 attacks, many Americans heard the term "waterboarding" for the first time — a technique aimed to simulate the act of drowning. Waterboarding was at the center of the debate about what the CIA called "enhanced interrogation techniques" — and what critics called "torture."

John Rizzo, acting general counsel of the CIA in the years after Sept. 11, 2001, has written a memoir about his three decades at the agency. He talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about Company Man: Thirty Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.

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All Tech Considered
12:56 am
Tue January 7, 2014

In Gaming, A Shift From Enemies To Emotions

The game That Dragon, Cancer is an interactive memoir about raising a child with pediatric cancer.
That Dragon, Cancer

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 4:56 am

A generation has grown up with video games — and video games are growing up, too. Developers are using the medium to tell sophisticated, emotionally complex stories.

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The Salt
1:54 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Ignatius R

No mouths were harmed in the eating of this sandwich. Except Eva's — she wants Worker's Comp for a bad case of Sandwich Jaw.
NPR

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:01 pm

It's -16 degrees today here in Chicago, which for many of us has triggered hibernation mode. Fortunately the great Jerry's Sandwiches has created the Ignatius R., with enough calories to get us to the end of winter, which we expect to occur sometime in August.

The ingredient list: fried chicken, cold hickory-smoked sirloin, applewood bacon, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, Carolina vinegar, fried shrimp, fried green tomato, mortadella, country ham, pickled okra, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Southwest mayo on a potato bun.

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