Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:12 am
The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.
I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.
Early on in Confronting the Classics, Mary Beard tells the story of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus, who "used to seat his dinner guests on cushions that, unbeknownst to them, were full of air. As the meal progressed, a slave secretly let the air out, so Elagabalus could enjoy the sight of his companions subsiding, until they slid beneath the table."
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:36 am
Nine inches is the minimum distance required between middle school students during slow dances in the title story of Tom Perrotta's first book of short stories in 19 years. Nine miles — or make that nine light-years — is the distance between many of the narrators in these 10 stories, and the family and friends they've alienated with their stupid mistakes.
Mohsin Hamid's latest novel is called How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.
Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, Dissident Gardens, is expansive in scale. Chronologically speaking, it begins in the 1930s with Communist Party meetings in the U.S. It passes through the rise of McCarthyism, the establishment of the New York Mets, the hippie Age of Aquarius and the AIDS crisis. It ventures briefly abroad, to such places as behind-the-Iron-Curtain East Germany and war-torn Nicaragua. It ends in the Obama era of Occupy sit-ins and a rampant TSA.
There are a lot of operas that end with heroines on their deathbeds, singing one glorious aria before they die. That's what happens at the end of Anna Nicole, the controversial new work that New York City Opera is presenting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September. But the company's artistic director and general manager, George Steel, says it could also be City Opera's last gasp.
Seriously, if you were being attacked by zombies, you might yell out the word f- - -! But no one does on The Walking Dead. When it comes to language in this golden age of basic cable dramas, the rules are idiosyncratic and unclear.
"It's so arbitrary, hon," says Kurt Sutter. "It's just basically people in suits making up the rules."
Currency expert Ben Mazzotta of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, speaking to CBSMiami/CNN about the U.S. Treasury Department's efforts to create a newly designed $100 note that is more difficult to replicate.
Woodrow Wilson, America's 28th president, left the White House in 1921 after serving two terms. But today he remains a divisive figure.
He's associated with a progressive income tax and the creation of the Federal Reserve. During his re-election bid, he campaigned on his efforts to keep us out of World War I, but in his second term, he led the country into that war, saying the U.S. had to make the world safe for democracy. The move ended America's isolationism and ushered in a new era of American military and foreign policy.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:28 am
Lots of us play with our food. But for photographer Christopher Boffoli, it's become a full-time career.
Boffoli rose to fame a couple of years ago. You may have seen some of his photographs — amusing dioramas featuring miniature plastic figurines in dramatic settings crafted from food — when they went viral back in 2011. More than 200 such images — at least half of which, Boffoli says, have not been previously published — are collected in a new book, Big Appetites.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:38 am
Michael Ferguson sometimes jokingly refers to himself among colleagues as "the other black brewer."
That's because Ferguson, of the BJ's Restaurants group, is one of only a small handful of African-Americans who make beer for a living. Latinos and Asian-Americans are scarce within the brewing community, too.
"For the most part, you've got a bunch of white guys with beards making beer," says Yiga Miyashiro, a Japanese-American brewer with Saint Archer Brewery in San Diego.
The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.
The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award, was announced Tuesday morning. Although the prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:
I'll be honest. I often judge books by their titles — and Someone, isn't promising. It's generic, vague. Flat. And in the hands of a less talented author, this beautifully intimate novel would have been just that.
On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.
From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.
Bob Mondello and I took a break from our time at the Toronto International Film Festival today for a chat withAll Things Consideredand host Audie Cornish. We filled her in on just how many movies we've both seen, the surplus of stories about doppelgangers, the adventures of Daniel Radcliffe, and what we think are the early awards contenders.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 2:03 pm
The Burger King doesn't stay king by resting on his laurels. No, he stays king by constantly innovating (and by executing dissenters). New on the menu is the French Fry Burger, which is, you may have guessed, a burger topped with french fries. It costs $1, which should be considered a value and a red flag.
Peter: Since they're exactly $1 each, they can legally be used as currency.
Ian: And you can use actual dollars as napkins!
Mike: Dollar Menu is fast-food shorthand for "Day Old."
People who don't believe in God but have an almost religious belief in causes are at the center of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, Dissident Gardens. The novel opens in 1955 Queens, N.Y., when Rose Zimmer, a secular Jew and Communist, is expelled from the party, ostensibly because the local committee disapproves of her affair with a black police officer.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 9:15 am
A painting that had earlier been thought to be a fake and had been stored for decades in the attic of a Norwegian home has now been identified as a long-lost work by Vincent Van Gogh.
Sunset at Montmajour has been authenticated thanks to "extensive research into [its] style, technique, paint, canvas, the depiction, Van Gogh's letters and the provenance," Van Gogh Museum Director Axel Ruger says in a statement posted Monday by the Amsterdam museum.
The weekend brings some higher-profile screenings, and my schedule on Saturday and Sunday reflects that. If some of the Thursday/Friday films were an opportunity to see what you may never hear about again, some of the Saturday/Sunday films are a chance to get a jump on the next four or five months of chatter.
Diana Nyad's successful swim from Cuba to Key West on Monday was made all the sweeter because she had tried — and failed — four times before.
She learned you should "never, ever give up," but she also learned some practical lessons to help beat the elements in those earlier attempts. Out of failure, she innovated. And out of innovation, she succeeded.
If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.
But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
In the late 1980s and early '90s, success in the competitive world of late-night television sounded like this.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING AND DOG POUND NOISE)
MARTIN: That, of course, was the signature shout out from "The Arsenio Hall Show." Arsenio interviewed everyone from Muhammad Ali to Madonna and, of course, there was that seminal pop culture moment when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton played the sax on the Arsenio stage.
On the surface, Norman Rush's new novel is about a middle-aged man, Ned, who reunites with a group of college friends after one member of the group dies unexpectedly. But what transpires over the next few days ahead of the memorial service is less about Ned's relationship with these men and the heady, self-absorbed days of yore, and more about how Ned sees himself.