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Adjacent Anthems

Jul 14, 2017

If you say you're from Dallas when you're really from Arlington, we've got a game for you. Jonathan Coulton sings songs about cities living in the shadow of nearby metropolises.

Chris Colfer: Fans, Fiction, And Fan Fiction

Matching Pairs

Jul 14, 2017

What if Laurel and Hardy were a kind of tree and a.k.a. Carl's Jr.? We ask this and other, better questions in this game, where we give alternate definitions for the names of famous duos.

Chris Colfer: Fans, Fiction, And Fan Fiction

This week's show took us, and our guest Audie Cornish, to two very different but very interesting places: high above the streets of New York City and deep inside the recesses of Andy Samberg's brain.

You can never tell what's going to hit — or when. Back in 1985, when Alison Bechdel first proposed a formula that women could use to pick movies, she couldn't have imagined she'd be known for the "Bechdel Test" three decades later. For that matter, she probably didn't imagine people would use something called the Internet to argue about it. The test, which asks that a movie feature at least two women who have a conversation about something other than a man, has proven resiliently controversial.

Early in To the Bone, writer-director Marti Noxon's harrowing yet utterly approachable drama about eating disorders, Ellen (Lily Collins) considers a plate of food her stepmother has optimistically plopped in front of her. She runs down the calorie count: 280 for the pork, 350 for the buttered noodles, 150 for the roll, and 75 for butter.

In a canny revision of one of literature's top nasty women, William Oldroyd's Lady Macbeth brings us a Gothic tale of a shackled young wife turned angry bird, wreaking havoc on all who cross her and plenty who don't. Set in rural Victorian England, the movie, which filters Shakespeare's toxic bride through a 19th-century novella by Nikolai Leskov, minces neither word nor image laying out the forces that conspire to warp young Katherine Lester (Florence Pugh).

About a century before homo sapiens ceased to be Earth's dominant species, the primatologist F.

It would be nice to believe that the reason humanity has taken next to no action to halt the destruction of the world's oceans is because we simply haven't seen the damage report. That argument held more water (sorry) back in 2004, when Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore made An Inconvenient Truth, a film that sought to raise awareness of man-made climate change in the hopes that a momentum would build to reverse the tide and slow the warming of the planet.

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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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In Sonoma Valley about an hour north of San Francisco, there are many reminders of the immigrants who built California's wine industry: tasting rooms that look like Italian villas or signs bearing French names. But you won't see any vestiges of the group that made up an estimated 80 percent of the workforce that first put Sonoma vineyards on the map: the Chinese.

With 22 Emmy nominations each, NBC's Saturday Night Live and HBO's Westworld tied for the most mentions in the Television Academy's list of contenders for the 2016-2017 season.

Saturday Night Live saw three of its cast members — Vanessa Bayer, Leslie Jones, and previous winner Kate McKinnon — nominated for best supporting actress in a comedy.

As you may have heard (AND I DEARLY HOPE YOU FRIGGIN' HAVE), our Summer Readers' Poll on Comics and Graphic Novels came out yesterday. You cast thousands of votes, and a crazily accomplished judging panel (which, due to some egregious error in the vetting process, also included me) combed over the top vote-getters, spent hours on the phone arguing for or against each one ...

Truth Is A Fragmentary Thing In 'American Fire'

Jul 13, 2017

"What really happened" is rarely something that can be pinned down: Where I see a pat on the back, you might see an assault; where I remember a rainy day, you may remember a hurricane. And then, of course, people lie. In American Fire, journalist Monica Hesse faces these quandaries of interpretation, faulty memory and lies, and deals eloquently with the he-said-she-said elements of her story.

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Marti Noxon made her name as a TV writer, director and producer, working on shows like "Buffy The Vampire Slayer," "Glee," also, "Mad Men."

Outside a London pub on a sunny afternoon, pints of beer in hand, Brittney Cornwell and Amy Hussey are gabbing about their love lives.

They're in their early 20s and work together at a bank around the corner. They say one thing seems to come up more than ever on dates these days: Brexit.

"You can't avoid it," Hussey says. "It's always a topic!"

Novelist Dina Nayeri always remembers something a professor told her: "You can either have roots or wings, but if you try to have both, you're probably going to fail."

Nayeri says her father, who is from a small town in Iran, is all roots. "He has his habits and his comforts ... " she says. "He feels deeply secure in his life and his place in the world."

For generations of children, the Eloise book series is a favorite. It tells the story of a 6-year old troublemaker who lives at New York's Plaza Hotel. Now "Eloise at the Museum," an exhibition at the New York Historical Society, looks at the creators of the series: author Kay Thompson, who died in 1998, and illustrator Hilary Knight, who's now 90.

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Television's most famous amphibian is set to get a new voice.

Steve Whitmire, the puppeteer who for 27 years has performed as Kermit the Frog, is no longer voicing the green lead of the various Muppets TV programs and films, a spokesperson for The Muppets Studio confirmed to NPR. He will be replaced by longtime show veteran Matt Vogel.

The spokesperson did not immediately comment on the reason for the switch.

Long, long ago, when the Earth was new and ichthyosaurs swam the turbid seas, Iron Man 2 arrived in theaters. [Ed. Note — Simmer down. It was 2010.]

It was, most agreed, a disappointment, compared with its predecessor, despite a fun and deeply, deeply squirrelly Sam Rockwell performance. (Remember how he had bronzer on his palms? And no one mentioned it. It was just a character thing? Remember that? That was cool.)

In his new memoir, actor Curtis Armstrong excerpts passages from a diary he kept while filming the 1983 film Risky Business.

July 1

Tom's an interesting character. Can't really make him out. He would appear to be on the brink of a great career.

The "Tom" mentioned in that section above is, of course, the film's star: Tom Cruise.

Armstrong the young diarist proved insightful about two things: 1. Cruise was indeed about to become a megastar, and 2. He was, and remains ... kinda squirrely.

Back in May, we asked you to tell us about your favorite comics and graphic novels — and you rose to the challenge. We got more than 7,000 nominations, so while you all are lolling around in the frosty air conditioning (or outside in the sun ... weirdos) we've been working away to whittle those thousands of nominations down to an awesome list of 100. Also, OK, I read a lot of Elfquest. For work! Really!

There's no shortage of myths about Henry David Thoreau, even in this American literary superhero's hometown of Concord, Mass. In fact, my informal poll of locals reveals that it's the rare person who knows what the 19th-century naturalist grew at Walden Pond, let alone how he survived.

Apparently, even as the town celebrates Thoreau's bicentennial birthday bash, the truth about his diet is as elusive as any celebrity's.

Jack Shaheen, a researcher and writer who spent his life battling stereotypes of Arab-Americans and Muslims in pop culture, died Sunday in South Carolina. He was 81.

One of Shaheen's notable victories came in 1993, when he helped persuade Disney to change some original song lyrics in the movie Aladdin, on the grounds that they were insensitive.

One of the main characters on HBO's hit series, Game of Thrones, is paralyzed. Another has lost his right hand. We've met an important character with a severe skin disorder and another with an intellectual disability.

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New York's Time Square is known to many as the crossroads of the world — and now a new tourist attraction displays much of it under one roof. Gulliver's Gate is a miniature, for-profit exhibition populated by tiny people and the equally small things that exist in their world.

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