Arts

Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Killer Apps

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:14 am

Puzzle guru Will Hines leads this final round, in which every correct answer is a word, phrase or proper noun that contains the letters "a-p-p" in order. For example, if he said, "It's what you tear off your birthday presents," you would say, "wrapping paper." Word nerds everywhere who rule this game, we applaud you.

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

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Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

R.L. Stine: What's Scarier?

Author R.L. Stine tries to guess whether Ask Me Another listeners find "ventriloquist dolls" or "a swarm of bees" scarier.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:50 am

You'd think a guy who writes scary books for a living would know a thing or two about what makes our hearts race and our palms sweat. We put the best-selling horror author of the Goosebumps and Fear Street series to the test in this Ask Me Another Challenge based on an audience poll. Did Stine know what scares our listeners more: ghosts, or being alone for the rest of your life?

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Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Sympathy For The Tasmanian Devil

Mick Jagger was reportedly inspired to write The Rolling Stones' hit song "Sympathy for the Devil" after reading Mikhaíl Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita. We were inspired to re-write "Sympathy for the Devil" after watching Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes. As such, house musician Jonathan Coulton's musical clues in this game are about various Looney Tunes characters, from Tweety to Elmer Fudd.

Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Zombie Gourmets

Originally published on Wed January 8, 2014 10:17 am

Zombies eat brains, everyone knows that. But if brains aren't available, zombies are not picky; they'll eat anything that rhymes with "brains." In this round, host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton serve up clues to groups of nouns or names that follow this rhyming pattern. Points awarded to those who answer in a scary zombie voice.

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Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Random Questions With: R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine: This man wants to terrify your children.
Lam Thuy Vo NPR

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 10:13 am

If you're a person of a certain age, R.L. Stine probably scared or delighted you with his Goosebumps and Fear Street series. (And you'll be happy to hear Stine recently announced a Fear Street reboot.) But the man who declares "terrify[ing] kids" as his job description actually started out as a humor writer — and his "jovial" nature remains intact.

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Ask Me Another
7:43 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Hurtful Words

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

They say that love is the universal language, but they're wrong — it's pain. In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton will tell you how people around the world say "ouch," and you have to name the language. "Úff, this eruption by the volcano Eyjafjallajökull is making me really hot!"...you said, in Icelan-glish. (That's Icelandic + English.)

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Book News: James McBride, Surprise National Book Award Winner

National Book Awards judges lauded writer James McBride, seen in 2007, for "a voice as comic and original as any we have heard since Mark Twain."
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

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

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The Salt
1:22 am
Thu November 21, 2013

Organic Farmers Bash FDA Restrictions On Manure Use

TK
Dan Charles/ NPR

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 1:34 pm

Many organic farmers are hopping mad at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and their reason involves perhaps the most underappreciated part of agriculture: plant food, aka fertilizer. Specifically, the FDA, as part of its overhaul of food safety regulations, wants to limit the use of animal manure.

"We think of it as the best thing in the world," says organic farmer Jim Crawford, "and they think of it as toxic and nasty and disgusting."

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Digital Life
11:34 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Selfies: The World Is More Interesting Because I'm In It

Tell Me More staff and friends pose for "selfies."
NPR

If Vincent van Gogh, Frida Kahlo or Romare Bearden were alive today, would they have loved the selfie?

"Selfies are just a way to show that you are part of the world," says NPR's Social Media Project Manager Kate Myers. "Here I am, and the world is more interesting because I'm in it."

The word "selfie" rose to new prominence this week after it was unanimously picked as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.

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Code Switch
11:11 am
Wed November 20, 2013

'Go Shorty, It's Your Birthday' And Other Black Bons Mots

A quote from Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations.
NPR

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 1:26 pm

A press copy of a 3-pound book recently came over the wholly metaphorical Code Switch transom. It's called Bartlett's Familiar Black Quotations, and it's kind of amazing.

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Television
11:03 am
Wed November 20, 2013

For Key And Peele, Biracial Roots Bestow Special Comedic 'Power'

Keegan-Michael Key (left) and Jordan Peele both started their careers at Second City, Peele in Chicago and Key in Detroit.
Ian White Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:19 pm

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All Tech Considered
9:50 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Russian App Wants E-Book Piracy To End, Happily Ever After

Moscow-based app Bookmate has a subscription e-book service — similar to others on the U.S. market, but with more of a focus on targeting piracy in emerging literary markets.
Courtesty of Bookmate

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 1:55 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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The Two-Way
5:27 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Book News: Charlotte Zolotow, Author Of Ethereal Children's Books, Dies

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 7:42 am

(This post was updated at 9:40 a.m.)

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

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Author Interviews
2:32 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker Recounts First-Term Battles In New Book

Gov. Scott Walker speaks during a rally for South Carolina Republican Gov. Nikki Haley on Aug. 26 in Greenville, S.C.
Richard Shiro AP

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 2:54 pm

In his new book released this week, Unintimidated: A Governor's Story and a Nation's Challenge, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reflects on the political firestorm he survived at home in 2012 — and diagnoses what went wrong for the national party.

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Code Switch
3:43 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

An Appreciation: 'Essence' Cover Girl Barbara Cheeseborough

Barbara Cheeseborough died a few weeks ago in California at age 67.
Courtesy of Essence

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:18 pm

If you were black and female and grew up in the '70s, you were used to looking at pretty white women on the covers of major fashion and beauty magazines. If you wanted to borrow their look, you had to adapt. Ebony helped, with its Fashion Fair cavalcade of models — but they were fantasy ideals: lots of polish, no funk. Ebony was your mother's magazine.

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Code Switch
3:21 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

When Hollywood Movies Get 'Race-Themed' Into The Same Box

The Best Man Holiday is the latest in a long line of movies on which the fate of black cinema has rested.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:26 pm

The Best Man Holiday, the much-anticipated follow-up to the 1999 romantic comedy The Best Man, made $30 million and nearly nabbed the No. 1 spot at the weekend box office.

That wouldn't have surprised anyone on social media or who heard the peals of delight that greeted the trailers for Holiday over the summer.

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Author Interviews
1:24 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Anjelica Huston Tells Her 'Story' Of Growing Up With A Director Dad

In a new memoir, Anjelica Huston recounts her childhood in Ireland, her teen years in London and her coming of age in New York.
Robert Fleischauer Courtesy of Scribner

Originally published on Wed November 20, 2013 12:40 pm

Anjelica Huston is best-known for her performances in Prizzi's Honor, The Grifters, The Addams Family, The Royal Tenenbaums and the TV series Smash. But her new memoir about her early life, A Story Lately Told, ends just as her successful acting career begins. That part of her life will be in a second volume, now in the works.

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Movie Reviews
11:23 am
Tue November 19, 2013

'Great Beauty,' 'Narco Cultura': Excess, Succeeding Wildly

Toni Servillo plays a jaded journalist and perpetual partier in The Great Beauty, Italy's submission for the best foreign language film Oscar.
Guanni Fiorito Janus Films

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:36 pm

In The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, William Blake served up one of those mind-bending proverbs he's known for: "The road of excess leads," he wrote, "to the palace of wisdom." I thought about this line as I watched two terrific new movies that put Blake's words to the test.

Paolo Sorrentino's thrillingly good The Great Beauty tackles the idea head-on — it's an excessive film about excess. Sorrentino doesn't merely aim to update one of the most famous movies of all time (Fellini's portrait of decadent Rome, La Dolce Vita). He intends to better it.

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Book News: Syd Field, Author Of Hollywood Classic 'Screenplay,' Dies

Syd Field died Sunday in Beverly Hills, Calif. He was 77.
Courtesy of sydfield.com

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

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All Tech Considered
1:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

The Surprising Cultural Stamina Of Pokemon

Participants compete in the 2013 Pokemon World Championships in Vancouver, Canada, on Aug. 10. The Pokemon franchise has become a billion-dollar franchise since it debuted on American shores 15 years ago.
Sergei Bachlakov Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:57 am

Fifteen years ago, pocket-sized characters known as Pokemon arrived on American shores from Japan. The cute creatures were suddenly everywhere: television, video games, card games and a movie.

When the Pokemon cartoon theme song first hit American TV airwaves in 1998, "Gotta catch 'em all" became a mantra for kids. But few people imagined that in 2013 the stars of this cartoon would still be going strong.

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
12:59 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: On Survival

Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown
Victoria Will The Daily Beast

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 4:15 am

Daily Beast editor Tina Brown joins NPR's Steve Inskeep from time to time as part of an ongoing conversation Morning Edition calls Word of Mouth. This month she's talking about stories of survival — from a dangerous Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan to a terrorist attack in Mumbai. And then there's survival of a different sort: sticking out a very long career in Hollywood.

Making It Through A War Zone

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The Kennedy Assassination, 50 Years Later
2:44 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

50 Years After Assassination, Kennedy Books Offer New Analysis

President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, are greeted by an enthusiastic crowd upon their arrival at Dallas Love Field on Nov. 22, 1963.
AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 4:27 pm

In the 50 years since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the public has never tired of books about the charismatic young president and his tragic death.

This year, the market has been particularly flooded with Kennedy books — from glossy photograph collections to serious biographies and histories to a new round of books devoted to conspiracy theories.

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New In Paperback
2:10 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Nov. 18-24: Famine, Family And A Song Of Lament And Hope

Free Press

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

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
1:46 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

'Promised Land' Wrestles With Israel's Brutal Contradictions

Israeli soldiers work from a Gaza Strip watchtower.
Gali Tibbon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun November 24, 2013 7:01 am

In his new book My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, Israeli journalist Ari Shavit tackles several basic questions: Why was Israel created? What has it achieved? What went wrong? Where is it heading? Will it survive?

The book is based on interviews with hundreds of Israelis — Jews and Arabs — as well as his own story and family history (two of Shavit's great-grandfathers became Zionists in the late 1800s).

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Remembrances
11:58 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Fresh Air Remembers 'Golden Notebook' Author Doris Lessing

Doris Lessing, pictured here in 2006, once refused to allow the queen to declare her a dame of the British Empire, because — as the author put it — "There is no British Empire."
Martin Cleaver AP

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 11:24 am

Novelist and essayist Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94.

Lessing won the Nobel Prize in 2007. She lived in England most of her life, but she grew up in southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Lessing often addressed racism and colonialism in her writing, including in a series of novels about a fictional character named Martha Quest. She was best known for her 1962 book, The Golden Notebook, which was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time.

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The Salt
11:38 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Sandwich Monday: IHOP At Home

The only thing missing is that sticky feeling when you accidentally touch the side of your hand to your plate.
NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:28 pm

Sure, you want IHOP all the time. But what if you want the "P," without the "I" and the "H"-- at which point the "O" is just kind of hanging there? Fortunately, you can now have food from the International House of Pancakes at home, even if your house is not the slightest bit international. We sampled IHOP's new microwavable Griddle n' Sausage breakfast sandwich.

Eva: Now I have something to eat when I'm drunk at 3 a.m. alone at home.

Miles: After I finished my meal, I left a $4 tip in my microwave.

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Books
10:04 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Actor Hill Harper On His Life-Changing 'Letters' From An Inmate

Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 1:13 pm

He's best known for starring in hit TV shows like CSI: NY and Covert Affairs, but actor Hill Harper's most significant role may be off the screen.

After writing several advice books, including the best-seller Letters to a Young Brother, Harper began receiving letters from young men in prison. He documents his relationship with one of them in his new book, Letters to an Incarcerated Brother.

He spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about the prison system and how this friendship changed his life.

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The Salt
9:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Coffee Maker Cooking: Brew Up Your Next Dinner

Parallel processing: Couscous cooks in the coffee maker's carafe while broccoli and cauliflower steam in the basket.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Originally published on Fri November 22, 2013 5:36 pm

A few months ago, we introduced you to the wild world of dishwasher cooking. Poach salmon while cleaning dirty plates? No problem.

But some of you expressed concerns about having your sockeye sit so close to soapy water and the high energy cost of running a dishwasher.

Well, we've stumbled upon another wacky cooking method that may overcome these issues: using your coffee maker.

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Television
9:55 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'Totally Biased' TV Show Canceled, A Total Loss?

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 2:11 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
7:36 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'The Best Man Holiday' And The Language Of Expectations

Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs star in The Best Man Holiday.
Michael Gibson Universal Pictures

The Best Man Holiday, made on an estimated production budget of $17 million, nearly doubled that on its first weekend, bringing in an estimated haul of more than $30.5 million.

As Lucas Shaw wrote yesterday for The Wrap, the film joins 12 Years A Slave, The Butler, and other films from black filmmakers that have somehow surprised people with their success.

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