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The human species is about to change dramatically. That's the argument Yuval Noah Harari makes in his new book, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

Harari is a history professor at Hebrew University in Israel. He tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that he expects we will soon engineer our bodies and minds in the same way we now design products.


Interview Highlights

On how we will begin to engineer bodies

Updated at 4:10 p.m. ET

A literary treasure buried for more than a century has been unearthed by Zachary Turpin, a grad student at the University of Houston.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, as anti-communist sentiment gained ground in the United States, paranoia and persecution swept through Hollywood. The House Un-American Activities (HUAC) began interrogating some of the country's most talented filmmakers and actors, accusing them of being communists or communist sympathizers.

Saying that he's been diagnosed with the same condition that struck his mother and grandfather, singer David Cassidy has revealed that he is fighting dementia. The star whose career was launched by 1970s TV show The Partridge Family had recently told fans that he was on a farewell tour.

"I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming," Cassidy, 66, tells People magazine, in an interview about his condition.

Oh, no! Trouble on the tracks! Christina Baker Kline's Orphan Train has collided with the circus caravan from Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants, and out of that wreck has come Pam Jenoff's The Orphan's Tale. The novel is a magical carnival saga, a bit grittier than either of its antecedents, and with more at stake.

There isn't an Oscar for choreography, but if there were, La La Land would almost certainly be taking it home this year. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, this musical for the 21st century is full of tapping, waltzing, fox-trotting salutes to 20th century musical classics.

Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos lost both a speaking gig at a prominent conservative event and a book deal in less than 24 hours.

First, Monday afternoon the American Conservative Union rescinded its invitation to the right-wing provocateur — noted for his political posts on the Internet — to speak at its annual Conservative Political Action Conference this upcoming weekend. Then, a few hours later, Simon & Schuster announced that it was canceling the publication of Yiannopoulos' upcoming book, Dangerous.

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The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday. And along with best picture and best actor and actress, there's an award for best original score. One of the nominees this year is the movie "Moonlight."

(SOUNDBITE OF PODCAST, "SONG EXPLODER")

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So Much Anxiety Over Sibling Rivalry

Feb 19, 2017

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars hear from a woman who is thinking about having a second child, but terrified of the idea that the children could be cruel to each other.

Argentina can be beguiling, but its grand European architecture and lively coffee culture obscure a dark past: In the 1970s and early '80s, thousands of people were tortured and killed under the country's military dictatorship. In many cases, the children of the disappeared were kidnapped, and some of those children were raised by their parents' murderers.

If Hacksaw Ridge breaks Kevin O'Connell's Oscars losing streak, he'll have a pile of acceptance speeches to choose from. Over the years, he's earned 21 Academy Award nominations for sound mixing, but doesn't have a single statue to show for it.

Most of his unused acceptance speeches are sitting in a drawer. "I don't pay much attention to that stuff anymore," O'Connell says. "I almost feel like this is like a rebirth for me at this point, you know?"

O'Connell's a re-recording mixer — he brings sound into movies.

On Saturdays, Jim Stokes searches for typefaces.

And on the floors of parking lots, the displays in antique stores and the dust jackets of his modest 4,000 book science-fiction collection, he finds them.

Then, he waits until Sunday to post them on Twitter.

If you added up all the time Nora Roberts has spent just in the No. 1 spot of the New York Times best-seller list, she would clock in at more than four years. She's had 198 books on the list in total — both romance novels and thrillers.

Roberts sometimes publishes under the name JD Robb, so we've decided to ask her three questions about another, somewhat less prolific JD — J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Four dancers in bright unitards are twisting, gliding and strutting their way through an airy gallery in Minneapolis. They're former members of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and they're performing movements the choreographer created.

For seven decades, Cunningham delighted his many fans — and perplexed and mystified others. He died in 2009 at the age of 90. Now, a new exhibition at Minneapolis' Walker Art Center celebrates his dance legacy, and explores his impact on modern music and visual art.

At a time when much of the country says it hates Washington D.C., politics, power brokers, spin doctors, and compromise — not to mention the press — the executive director of the American Press Institute has written a novel that combines all of those features into a thriller. Oh, there's the tiniest bit of sex, too.

It begins, like so many simpler books before it, with a party. And with a death.

But this is no simple party. It is a state dinner at the White House, hosted by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln — a lavish, decadent state dinner thrown in 1862, as the meat grinder of the Civil War is just beginning to churn.

Beginning Friday, the New York branch of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host the exhibit Native Fashion Now, a traveling show from the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. It highlights a dazzling array of contemporary fashion made by dozens of Native American designers.

Miffy the rabbit seems quite simple. Two black dots for eyes, a sideways X for a mouth, a body inked in gentle curves — the artistry of Dick Bruna's creation rests precisely in its apparent artlessness. And in the six decades since Miffy was first put to page, Bruna's venerable rabbit has earned the affection of young fans worldwide, the admiration of art critics and even an entire museum in her honor.

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These days, you're more likely to come across the concept of a Rorschach test in a cultural context than a clinical one. The actual psychological test — in which participants are asked to interpret 10 symmetric inkblot images — isn't as widely used as it once was. But metaphorically, Rorschach is still our go-to term when something elicits a variety of interpretations among different people.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Big Little Lies, which begins Sunday on HBO, is a miniseries that begins with a murder scene, and investigation, in the close-knit oceanside town of Monterey. It's a seven-episode drama, and HBO made the first six available for preview. Even after watching all of them, I still don't know the identity of the murderer — or, for that matter, the victim. But that's on purpose.

This That Or The Other

Feb 17, 2017

In this week's edition of This That or the Other, poetry meets mystery meets...alt rock. Are these the titles of poems by Robert Frost, Nancy Drew books, or the name of alternative rock bands?

Heard on Roy Wood Jr.: Puzzle Banger After Banger

Celebrity Name Combos

Feb 17, 2017

Contestants must guess the phrase created by combining the last names of celebrities. For example, if we said, "When the star of City Slickers met Ricky Ricardo's wife, he used THIS to see their future," the answer would be "Crystal Ball" — mashing together the last names of Billy Crystal and Lucille Ball.

Heard on Roy Wood Jr.: Puzzle Banger After Banger

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