Arts

Arts and culture

There's something meaningful, almost defiant, about the title of Lauren Holmes' debut, Barbara the Slut and Other People. It's not the first part, either; while the word "slut" is still frequently used as a term of abuse, it has lost some of the power to shock that it had a few decades ago. It's the final few words — "and other people," not "and other stories," which is the usual naming convention for short story collections.

'Baby' Is A Pretty Feat Of Misdirection

Jul 30, 2015

A novelist friend once told me she loves the TV series American Crime because it focuses on "the other people affected, the ones you never hear about, when a crime happens." You might think creators of fiction, like my friend, would be the first to consider "the other people affected," but finding a suspense novel that upends both the linearity and the nature of what constitutes "crime" occurs less than I might like.

Candy Crush

Jul 29, 2015

Sweet, dude. Celebrities get the sugar rush-treatment in this mashup game that combines your favorite candies with well-known people. Which rap & rock star shouts "Bawitdaba!" as he battles the tart, acidic flavor of his favorite chewy candy?

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Yo Yo Yo!

Jul 29, 2015

Put on your best New York accent and get ready to shout along with this game — all the answers begin with the letters Y-O. Because, you know, YOLO.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

The Tin Age Of Television

Jul 29, 2015

The 1980s gave us some TV gems, like Cheers, The Golden Girls, and Full House. But there were also some shows that, shall we say, didn't enjoy quite as much success. In this game, guess whether TV show descriptions are of actual short-lived '80s shows, or if we made them up.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Totally Rad Sayings

Jul 29, 2015

We're celebrating all things '80s in this show, and why not start with the decade's unmistakable slang? We'll thesaurus-ize some '80s phrases, and you have to give us the original saying. It's completely long, round, and hollow (totally tubular)!

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

You're Eighty-Sixed!

Jul 29, 2015

Our host, the SummerStage Festival, was founded in 1986, so we decided to pay homage to that year — musically. Play along as house musician Jonathan Coulton sings the biggest hits of 1986, rewritten to be about the biggest celebrities born that year.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

Why You Buggin'?

Jul 29, 2015

It's summertime, and you know what that means: lots of time outside, and lots of bug bites to go with it. Grab your DEET-free bug spray for this final round — every answer here is an insect, arthropod, or arachnid.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

First Day Of Camp

Jul 29, 2015

Agloe, N.Y., is a place suspended between fiction and reality.

The town started showing up on maps in the 1930s, but it's actually a "paper town," or a fake town created by cartographers to catch those who might copy their work. Mapmakers Otto G. Lindberg and Ernest Alpers came up with the name by rearranging their initials.

Woody Allen is a prolific filmmaker — he's been releasing films pretty much every year since the mid-1960s. (His latest, Irrational Man, is now in theaters.) But Allen isn't exactly prolific as an interview subject. When film critic Sam Fragoso sat down with Allen in Chicago, the filmmaker revealed his insecurities (well, not so much revealed as reiterated), and discussed why actors like to work with him and what he regrets.

They were under watch by the FBI and the New York Police Department. And by the early 1970s, the Young Lords emerged as one of the country's most prominent radical groups led by Latino activists.

Inspired by the Black Panthers, a band of young Puerto Ricans wanted to form a Latino counterpart to the black nationalist group. In fact, one of the founding Young Lords in New York City almost started a group called the "Brown Tigers."

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Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Tuesday was the first day of the summer press tour for the Television Critics Association. Press tour is an event that goes on for a couple of weeks, in which TV networks bring in personnel from their new shows (and sometimes their existing shows) for panel press conferences where the convened critics and reporters can ask questions.

Though tea strainers often come in brightly colored, sweet packaging with punny names like "the manatee," the lowly tea bag is often forgotten. Made from silk, plastic or paper, these bags are meant for one-time use only. Yet some artists are giving the tea bag a second life, letting their simple shapes and colors shine.

Colorado artist Wewer Keohane has been making art from spent tea bags for over 20 years. Sometimes she simply uses tea as a subtle dye, or pastes pieces of empty bags into an otherwise two-dimensional painting.

Science journalist Anil Ananthaswamy thinks a lot about "self" — not necessarily himself, but the role the brain plays in our notions of self and existence.

An Airborne Adventurer's Journey In 'Circling The Sun'

Jul 28, 2015

As she approached old age in the 1980s, the author, aviator and adventurer Beryl Markham had been largely forgotten. Her 1942 book detailing a pioneering east-west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by plane, West with the Night, was long out of print. She had returned to her beloved Nairobi and was eking out a living training thoroughbred racehorses. Then a bit of praise tossed her way by Ernest Hemingway ("It really is a bloody wonderful book") turned up in a long-lost letter.

Everything from the blockbuster National Treasure to the TV series Sleepy Hollow has trafficked in the idea that America might not be exactly what it appears. Similarly, Austin Grossman's new novel, Crooked, imagines a United States founded not only on democracy and independence, but on the murky foundation of dark magic. But rather than handling this premise with a light, pulpy touch, Grossman's vision of the secret history of Richard M. Nixon is as eerie and absorbing as it is fantastically ludicrous.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

A couple weeks ago, Code Switch blogger Gene Demby and I sat down to reflect on a decade-old sports moment — a single play in a single game — and describe how it affected us as rival fans of the teams involved. In this second episode of the series we're calling The Giant Foam Finger, the two of us tackle a far unwieldier subject: hatred.

Summer blockbuster season is upon us. Dinosaurs, little yellow minions, an ant-man, all vying for our hard-earned entertainment dollars. But if you're looking for gentler thrills, try the Library of the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills. There, you can poke through artifacts from the movies' golden years.

The Margaret Herrick Library's vaults contain millions of pieces of paper holdings — director's shooting scripts, photos, production designs, payrolls and, of course, fan mail.

A game-winning home run becomes a game loser — and 25 days later, it's turned back into the game-winner.

That alone would warrant an entry in baseball's history books.

But cast it with David and Goliath, include a temper tantrum of epic proportion, and hinge it all on an obscure old rule — and you've got the infamous Pine Tar Game.

That 1983 game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals is recounted in a new book by New York Daily News sports columnist Filip Bondy.

The Context: Rivalries And Rules

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Caitlyn Jenner's new reality show, ”I Am Cait,” premieres on E! tonight.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "I AM CAIT")

CAITLYN JENNER: Isn't it great that maybe someday you'll be normal? Just blend into society.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Superheroes, by definition, are extraordinary individuals - not exactly the type to blend in with a crowd - but what about Ant-Man?

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "ANT-MAN")

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

In December 1984, a war was raging in Afghanistan; millions of refugees were fleeing to Pakistan to escape the fighting.

National Geographic photographer Steve McCurry was there — stationed at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border to cover the crisis.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Women's Comics Are Surfing The Crowd

Jul 26, 2015

If you're in any doubt whether women are having a Moment in the comics world, take a look at the new incarnation of superhero Black Canary. DC Comics' Annie Wu has taken the character's platinum hair and fishnets from kittenish to riot grrrl by way of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Glowering from the cover of the first issue, she seems to be saying, "Put your eyeballs back in your head and let me save you."

"I promise you I will show the same contempt for the historical record that it has shown for me."

So intone the opening pages of Austin Grossman's Crooked, in what are supposed to be the thoughts of our 37th president, Richard Nixon — or, at least, those thoughts as Grossman imagines them.

Put That Wok To Work: A Trick For Smoking Fish Indoors

Jul 26, 2015

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We learn how to smoke fish without any specialized, pricey equipment.

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