Arts

Beauty Shop
10:07 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Apologies Needed For Beyonce's Song?

Critics are slamming Beyonce for using an audio clip from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song "XO." Was she being insensitive, or artistic? Host Michel Martin hears from the beauty shop ladies: journalists Bridget Johnson and Keli Goff, and Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino.

Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:03 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Day 9: Ophira Eisenberg, The 1980s Girl Guide

Isn't she cute?
Astrid Eisenberg Courtesy of Ophira Eisenberg

This is the ninth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Yes, this is Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, circa 1980, as a Girl Guide.

What's a Girl Guide, you ask? We'll let Ophira explain:

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Television
3:33 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Malcolm Jamal Warner On Growing Up On 'The Cosby Show'

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:52 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

If you ever watched "The Cosby Show," you know this voice well.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE COSBY SHOW")

MALCOLM JAMAL WARNER: (as Theo) You know dad's cooking is really delicious. I just wish he wouldn't tell us what's in it.

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The Two-Way
4:31 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

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Book Reviews
2:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success

Cover Detail
Random House

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:10 pm

Meg Wolitzer's most recent novel is The Interestings.

What's potentially more troubling than a memoirist out for revenge? One who's only out for truth. Gary Shteyngart's dazzling, highly enjoyable book is the story of his life — a story that he owns, along with all the details. Yet, as an only child who immigrated from Leningrad to Queens with his parents in 1979, with no brothers or sisters to provide narrative distraction, he not only provides an intimate look at himself, he also by necessity put his parents under a fairly strong magnifying lens.

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Remembrances
8:00 am
Wed January 1, 2014

The Incredible Versatility Of Photographer John Dominis

Butterfly breeder Carl Anderson with monarch butterflies on his face, 1954
John Dominis Time & Life Pictures/Getty Image

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:59 am

Photographer John Dominis died Monday at age 92 and left behind one of those archives that are hard to comprehend. Over the course of a few decades at Life magazine, Dominis not only worked in just about every photographic genre but also seemed to have mastered them.

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New In Paperback
5:02 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Dec. 30- Jan. 5: Tsunami Survival, A Tokyo Diarist And The Vietnam War

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 7:44 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/.

You Must Read This
5:02 am
Wed January 1, 2014

Crossroads And Coins: Naomi Mitchison's 'Travel Light'

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 8:10 am

When I was 7 years old, living in a flat overlooking Hamra street in Ras Beirut, I read The Hobbit. I fell in love with it. I memorized all the songs and made up tunes to them; I memorized all the riddles and asked them of whoever would listen; I made up my own adventures in Mirkwood, my own encounters with Gandalf and Beorn and the Elves. I also read everything I could about Tolkien, and went in search of anything else he'd written. I decided that I too would be a writer, and that I would start with poems and work my way into fiction the way he did.

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Media
1:04 am
Wed January 1, 2014

In Troubled Magazine World, 'La Hulotte' Is One Rare Bird

Pierre Deom has been writing and illustrating La Hulotte since 1972. He released his 100th issue (lower right) in November.
Francois Nascimbeni AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 9:42 am

The journalism world may be in crisis, but one magazine in France has been steadily gaining subscribers for 40 years. It's a nature journal called La Hulotte, and twice a year it focuses on an animal or plant indigenous to the French countryside. The magazine published its 100th issue in November. It has more than 150,000 subscribers in many countries and is doing terrific financially.

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Cooking With A Cup O' Kindness (Beer, Cider Or Booze)

Sheri Castle's quick bread is based on popular beer bread recipes but uses hard apple cider instead.
Sheri Castle for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 4:32 am

In case you want to add a pinch of celebratory beverage to your first meal of the year, we invite you to look through the Kitchen Window. A spirited New Year's can come from the kitchen as well as the bar.

We've featured a number of stories using alcohol as an ingredient in cooking as well as in bartending — if it tastes good in a glass, it tastes good on a plate. It's also a great way to use up any leftover libations from your holiday celebrations.

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Monkey See
2:13 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Screen Time: Bob Mondello's Favorite Films Of 2013

Lea Seydoux plays Emma in the film Blue Is the Warmest Color, directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.
AP

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 4:56 pm

Conventional wisdom has it that television is where the creative action is these days, and yes, there are some terrific shows on cable.

But there are things it's hard to do on the small screen, and the year's most cinematic film delighted in reminding audiences why they like seeing movies in theaters.

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The Salt
1:26 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

A Judge's Cookbook Reveals The Secrets Of Bialys And Bagels

Judge Michael Zusman's bialys are topped with roasted onions, poppy seeds and coarse salt.
Daniel Zwerdling NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 5:40 pm

There are two important things that you learn about Michael Zusman, baker and co-author of The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home, when you bake with him.

First, his real job has nothing to do with bread or writing recipes: He's a trial judge. "Full time," Zusman says. "Wear a black robe every day."

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Faith Matters
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Elizabeth Smart Shares About Her Faith And Kidnapping

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Books
12:48 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Nikki Giovanni Chases Beer And Family

Originally published on Wed January 1, 2014 6:45 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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The Salt
12:15 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Does Champagne Actually Get You Drunk Faster?

Each bottle of Champagne contains around 50 million bubbles. But will any of them accelerate the inebriation process?
Victor Bezrukov Flickr.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 1:39 pm

Every time I spend New Year's Eve with my mom, she tells me the same thing: "Be careful with that Champagne, honey. The bubbles go straight to the head. And it won't be pretty tomorrow."

Thanks, Mom. Glad you're looking after me after all these years.

But is she right?

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Tue December 31, 2013

From Paper To Punks, The Best Games Of 2013

A screenshot from Tearaway.
Sony

The year passed so awfully quickly, like a twitch in a shooter game, that it kind of faked me out. A week ago, I didn't believe there were 10 stellar games to make a complete 'best of' story. But I looked at a list I'd been keeping since January. I was suddenly overwhelmed — I saw at least 30 worthy games. And from those, I plucked the very best of 2013.

Grand Theft Auto V (Rockstar Games)

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Number Of The Year
8:40 am
Tue December 31, 2013

From Pandas To Health Care: The 13 Numbers Of 2013

Johann Balleis / Adam Cole Wikimedia Commons / NPR

0: Twitter collected no profit, Snapchat collected no revenue, and Apple's stock has roughly stayed flat over the past year. But in Silicon Valley, where companies are judged by potential, zero is still something.

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Monkey See
7:23 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Remote Control: It Was Hard To Turn Off The TV In 2013

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 9:00 am

Here's why picking a Top 10 list of best TV shows has become such treacherous work for critics this year: Quite simply, 2013 was the year quality exploded in the television industry.

Thanks to the simultaneous maturing of Netflix, AMC, FX, HBO, Showtime, Amazon, BBC America, Sundance Channel, iTunes and many more media platforms, fans of great television had more options than ever to find high-quality product whenever and wherever they liked.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:03 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Day 7: Shake It Up With An 'Ask Me Another' Cocktail

Cheers!
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 8:35 am

This is the seventh day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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Monkey See
6:35 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Is The DVD Box Set Dead? Yes ... And No.

Are we witnessing the twilight of DVD and Blu-ray?

Kinda-sorta. With the emergence of various digital distributions systems — streaming and downloading through your laptop, your cable system, your game console — it's easy to see how these discs will be the next physical media formats to fade away. DVD and Blu-ray could well go the way of CDs and vinyl, becoming a niche boutique market for collectors.

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Book Reviews
5:08 am
Tue December 31, 2013

Opening The Literary Liquor Cabinet In 'Echo Spring'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue December 31, 2013 10:09 am

Remember Brick's frequent trips to "Echo Spring" in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? Echo Spring, Olivia Laing reminds us in her illuminating new book, is a nickname for the liquor cabinet, drawn from the brand of bourbon it contains. Symbolically, she adds, it refers to something quite different: "perhaps to the attainment of silence, or to the obliteration of troubled thoughts that comes, temporarily at least, with a sufficiency of booze."

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All Tech Considered
1:17 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

5 New Year's Resolutions From Women To Watch

Maya Penn
Marla Aufmuth TED

New Year's resolutions: Sometimes we make them; usually we break them. The annual goals are intended to bring out the best in us — but what if you're already extremely accomplished?

These five women have worked hard to help others, through businesses, innovation and writing. Four of them were speakers at the TEDWomen conference earlier in December in San Francisco (Katrina Alcorn was an attendee).

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Monkey See
10:40 am
Mon December 30, 2013

What Monkeys Eat: A Few Thoughts About Pop Culture Writing

iStockphoto

When I was first explaining what I wanted this blog to be like in 2008, I shared with some folks at NPR a theory I have had for some time about writing about popular culture. It goes like this: If you think monkeys are fascinating and you want to understand and be of value to them, it's not enough to be an expert on what monkeys should ideally eat. You have to understand what monkeys actually eat.

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Music Interviews
9:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Muslim Pop Star Yuna Climbs The U.S. Charts

Yuna doesn't just make music but also runs a fashion boutique where she sells funky but modest clothes.
Autumn de Wilde

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 2:43 pm

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Race
9:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Redefining Philanthropy: How African-Americans Give Back

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation released a study in 2012 showing that African-Americans give a larger share of their income to charities than any other group. Tracey Webb, founder of The Black Benefactors and BlackGivesBack.com, talks to host Michel Martin about African-American philanthropy.

Monkey See
8:48 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Remodeling With Canadians

'Property Brothers' Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott at the Scripps Networks Upfront in April 2013.
Donald Bowers Getty Images

My holiday break last week took an unexpected detour when a broken bone (not mine) changed our plans for a full family get-together. Thus, I was left with a few days of unanticipated free time on my own, which led me to the obvious conclusion: if I can't be fully relaxed and immersed in holiday joy the entire time, this is the perfect time to clean out my closets.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
7:17 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Day 6: In This Game, Things Might Get 'Weird'

House musician Jonathan Coulton has a laugh while performing on Ask Me Another.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:11 am

  • Listen to 'Two Tickets To Parodies'

This is the sixth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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The Salt
2:52 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Cinnamon Can Help Lower Blood Sugar, But One Variety May Be Best

Studies suggest cinnamon can help control blood sugar, but if you want to incorporate more of this spice in your diet, consider using the Ceylon variety.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 10:47 am

If I say cinnamon, you say ... sugar? It's a popular combination, of course.

But if you're interested in the health-promoting effects of cinnamon, you may want to think anew about the spice.

For instance, says John Critchley, executive chef at Bourbon Steak Restaurant in Washington, D.C., why not add it to savory dishes? He uses cinnamon to create a spice and herb rub for lamb loin. He also whips up a great spinach salad with raisins, pine nuts and cinnamon.

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Code Switch
1:21 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Films With Black Actors, Directors Go To 11 In 2013

Monica Calhoun (left), Melissa De Sousa and Nia Long star in The Best Man Holiday, one of this year's eleven top-grossing films starring black actors and by black directors.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 9:33 am

As we near the end of 2013, NPR is taking a look at the numbers that tell the story of this year — numbers that, if you really understand them, give insight into the world we're living in, right now. You'll hear the stories behind numbers ranging from zero to 1 trillion.

When it comes to race and film, the number of the year is 11.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
4:17 pm
Sun December 29, 2013

Day 5: Is That Jonathan Coulton?!

Can you spot Jonathan Coulton? Sorry, "Jonathan Coultron."
John Horn

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 7:17 am

This is the fifth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Please enjoy this yearbook photo of the 1993 Whiffenpoofs—the premier collegiate a cappella group of Ask Me Another house musician Jonathan Coulton. Sorry, Coultron. Can you spot him?

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