Arts

Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Urge To Merge

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:08 pm

In this game led by host Ophira Eisenberg, you get to become a corporate executive. Trust us, it's way more fun than board meetings and conference calls. We merge two well-known businesses, and it's up to you to create the new company's name. For example, if the company that prepares one in every six U.S. tax returns merged with a struggling video rental company, they would form H&R Blockbuster, which is a combination of H&R Block and Blockbuster

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

National Treasures

Contestants Gautam Hans (left) and Sharyn Horowitz give their best Nicolas Cage impressions for "National Treasures."
Steve Petrucelli

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:18 am

We hope you've been practicing your Nicolas Cage impression, or have seen his 2004 action thriller National Treasure. In this game, you must name famous items found in the Smithsonian Museum's collection, as described by house musician Jonathan Coulton. We encourage you to answer in the style of Cage's immortal line, "I'm going to steal the Declaration of Independence."

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Whee!

Contestants Anne Holsinger (right) and Jonathan Bettle correctly answer questions in the game "Whee!"
Steve Petrucelli

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:17 am

If you are prone to motion sickness on roller coasters, have no fear — the only twists and turns in this game led by host Ophira Eisenberg are in the clues. All of the answers are words that contain double "ee"s, just like the word you would say when you're on a ride: "whee!" For example, the Fox television series that features students competing in a cappella choir competitions is "Gleeeeee!"

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Battle Hymn Of The DCs

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:08 pm

House musician Jonathan Coulton decided to get a little patriotic for our stop in the nation's capital. He performs a rendition of "Battle Hymn of the Republic," in which you must salute famous individuals with the initials "D.C." Glory, glory, David Caruso!

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Random Questions With: Ian MacKaye

Ian MacKaye made his mark on the D.C. punk scene with Minor Threat and Fugazi.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:10 pm

  • Hear Ian MacKaye's 'Saturday Night Live' story

Thirty years after launching his music career, what does it mean for Ian MacKaye to be a punk rocker? In the 1980s, MacKaye rebelled against popular culture as the front man of the influential D.C. punk bands Minor Threat and Fugazi, and founded his own label, Dischord Records. These days, he maintains the label and plays in a more stripped-down outfit, The Evens, with his wife, Amy Farina.

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Such Characters

Contestants gather for the final round.
Steve Petrucelli

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:18 am

In this final round, led by puzzle guru Art Chung, contestants are given the names of two actors who have played the same role in different movies, and they must name the character. For example, Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro both played Vito Corleone from The Godfather trilogy. Who was a more convincing mob boss? We'll let you figure that out on your own.

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Ask Me Another
8:23 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Ian MacKaye: Un-Punk'd

Ian MacKaye (left) and NPR's Stephen Thompson play an Ask Me Another Challenge in Washington, D.C.
Becky Harlan NPR

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 2:08 pm

Throughout his career as a musician, Ian MacKaye has played, listened to and analyzed countless hours of music. But how will he fare in our version of "Name That Tune"? In this Ask Me Another Challenge, MacKaye teams up with Stephen Thompson, NPR Music Editor and co-host of NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, to identify punk songs performed acoustically by house musician Jonathan Coulton.

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Monkey See
7:08 am
Thu October 31, 2013

It Just Isn't Halloween Without A Little 'Hocus Pocus'

Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker star in Hocus Pocus as the Sanderson sisters, three 17th-century witches who are brought back to life in Salem, Mass., in 1993.
Walt Disney

I love me some fun-size Almond Joys, and pumpkin carving is a tragically under-sung creative outlet. But my favorite Halloween tradition comes in the form of a kid's movie starring Bette Midler in a set of fake buck teeth: Walt Disney's 1993 cult classic, Hocus Pocus.

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Author Interviews
2:03 am
Thu October 31, 2013

Recurring Dream: Morpheus Returns In Gaiman's 'Sandman' Prequel

The Sandman: Overture explores the back story of the central character, Orpheus, to explain how he wound up in captivity at the start of The Sandman.
Courtesy of DC Entertainment

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 8:54 am

Neil Gaiman started writing the Sandman comic books 25 years ago. Since then, he's written acclaimed fantasy novels, children's books and screenplays — but the pale, star-eyed Lord of Dreams remains one of his most beloved characters. Over the course of 75 issues, the series captivated fans and critics alike.

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Television
3:07 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Medicinal Laughs: Could 'Daily Show' Sour Millennials On ACA?

Jon Stewart, shown here interviewing President Obama on The Daily Show in October 2012, has been lampooning the problems with the Affordable Care Act website in recent episodes.
Brad Barket PictureGroup

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 4:00 pm

Problems with the rollout of the Affordable Care Act have been all over the news — and the not-quite news. Comedy Central's The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been one news-ish outlet that hasn't been too kind in its coverage.

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans spoke with All Things Considered host Audie Cornish about why negative coverage on The Daily Show might be worse for the Obama administration than negative coverage on the nightly news.

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Author Interviews
12:25 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Astronaut Chris Hadfield Brings Lessons From Space Down To Earth

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has spent a total of six months in space. In his new book, he writes that getting to space took only "8 minutes and 42 seconds. Give or take a few thousand days of training."
NASA Courtesy of Little, Brown and Company

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 12:30 pm

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Beauty Shop
12:13 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Jay Z Adds Another Problem To Add To His 99: Barneys

Host Michel Martin talks with the Beauty Shop ladies about the thin line between creative and offensive Halloween costumes. They also discuss claims of racially profiling by retailer Barneys.

The Protojournalist
9:13 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Haiku In The News: Reality In Riyadh

A Saudi woman walks past vehicles stopping at a traffic light in Riyadh, where there is a government ban on women driving.
Fayez Nureldine AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 2:15 pm

Poetry is important. And the hope for this standing feature of The Protojournalist is that by searching for a poetic nugget in the constant rush of news we can slow down for a moment and contemplate what the news story really means.

Like finding a lovely pebble in a mountain stream. Or a dropped earring on a crowded sidewalk.

Haiku in the News — you can find other examples here — is not designed to be a trivial thing.

Gray Lady Poems

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The Two-Way
5:29 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Book News: Amazon's Kindle MatchBook Is Out — Will Publishers Opt In?

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveils new Kindle reading devices during a 2012 news conference.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 8:25 am

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

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Medical Magic Leads To Terror In 'Parasite'

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 12:37 pm

Welcome to SymboGen, your friendly neighborhood medical company; have you stopped by for your tapeworm implant? Fair warning: There have been some unusual side effects ...

Health care has swallowed American headlines in recent years; besides the arguments over who deserves treatment to begin with, issues are emerging in pharmaceutical brand ethics, anti-vaccination activism, and the overuse of antibiotics. The war against disease is spreading against the smallest enemies of all.

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NPR Story
3:48 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Brick-And-Mortar Bookstores Play The Print Card Against Amazon

Barnes & Noble is one of several stores that have refused to carry Amazon Publishing's books.
Karen Bleier AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 3:24 am

When it comes to book publishing, all we ever seem to hear about is online sales, the growth of e-books and the latest version of a digital book reader. But the fact is, only 20 percent of the book market is e-books; it's still dominated by print. And a recent standoff in the book business shows how good old-fashioned, brick-and-mortar bookstores are still trying to wield their influence in the industry. You might even call it brick-and-mortar booksellers' revenge.

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Author Interviews
12:41 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

'Hyperbole' Creator Considers All The Things

Originally published on Thu November 21, 2013 12:35 pm

The drawings are MS Paint-style doodles, and the stories are about everyday things like cake, poor spelling and dopey dogs. And yet each month, millions of people visit Hyperbole and a Half, the hybrid Web comic and blog created by 28-year-old Allie Brosh, who says she "tries very hard to be funny." Hyperbole has just come out in book form with a mix of old and new material featuring Brosh's absurdist take on the world and her author avatar, a stick figure with a pink dress and what might be a blond ponytail — or might not.

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Author Interviews
9:45 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Poet Nikki Giovanni On The Darker Side Of Her Life

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:10 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Monkey See
7:49 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Present Tense: Allie Brosh, Donald Glover, And Hurting Right Now

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 3:58 pm

There is much to praise about Allie Brosh's wonderful blog Hyperbole And A Half, perhaps the greatest gift the crude, blocky graphics of MS Paint have ever given us. Brosh's posts are hugely evocative, gut-bustingly funny, and startlingly inventive in using simple drawings in ways that allow for pauses and comic timing, not to mention things like blur effects that represent ... well, sugar-fueled madness.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Rebecca Walker Hurries Love In 'Adé'

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 1:05 pm

Rarely as the rush of romance felt so, well, rushed as it does in Rebecca Walker's maiden novel Adé: A Love Story. It's a wild ride along with an unnamed (more on that later) biracial college student who's traveling through Africa with her white best friend. Our unnamed narrator falls in love with a Swahili man she meets on an island just off the Kenyan coast, grows apart from her friend and closer to her lover's family, and must struggle with the brutal realities of life under brutal Kenyan leader Daniel arap Moi — all in 112 short pages.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Biography Doesn't Hold Back On Darkest Years Of 'The Man In Black'

ABC Television Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 30, 2013 5:49 am

In early 1968, country singer Johnny Cash gave one of the defining performances of his career when he played for inmates at California's Folsom State Prison. Robert Hilburn, a music critic early in his career at the Los Angeles Times, was the only reporter to cover that legendary concert.

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New In Paperback
3:16 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Oct. 28-Nov. 3: Flights From England, Persia And Polite Conversation

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 9:55 am

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

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

Movie Interviews
3:00 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

In Cambodia, A Tide Of 'Change' Sweeps Some Lives Under

At 17 years old, Sari Math has left his father behind to work on a Chinese-owned cassava plantation. Faced with an ever-diminishing catch, he and his father could no longer support themselves by fishing alone.
Migrant Films

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 10:15 am

In Kalyanee Mam's new documentary, A River Changes Course, a teacher stands before a room packed with grade-schoolers, leading them in an arithmetic drill. They're in Cambodia, and though the drill is in the Khmer language, the body language is clear enough as the children hold up their hands one at a time, displaying all five fingers: 5 and 5 make 10, in most any dialect.

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The Salt
12:04 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Lard Bread

Lard bread gives a bad name a good name.
NPR

There's a thing you can find, mostly in Brooklyn, called lard bread. It's bread, with cured pork baked right into it, and it's not the slightest bit embarrassed about its name. We had ours imported from Brooklyn's Mazzola Bakery.

Eva: Now I know when people call me "lard bread" they mean it as a compliment.

Miles: Hard outside with a ham surprise inside. This is the closest we'll ever come to a meat piñata.

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Author Interviews
10:56 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Botched Investigation Fuels Kennedy Conspiracy Theories

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 1:11 pm

It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, and polls show that a majority of Americans still believe Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin. Though an official investigation concluded that Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone, conspiracy theories about the assassination were spawned almost immediately, and they keep coming to this day: Republican consultant Roger Stone has a new book — The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ — arguing Lyndon Johnson was behind the crime.

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Theater
10:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Condola Rashad: A Fresh Face To The Classic 'Juliet'

Condola Rashad stars opposite Orlando Bloom in the new Broadway production of Romeo & Juliet.
Carol Rosegg

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:02 pm

Many people might know Condola Rashad as the daughter of actress Phylicia Rashad, who played Claire Huxtable on The Cosby Show, and NFL sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. The 26-year-old got Tony Award nominations for her performances in Stick Fly and The Trip to Bountiful. Now she takes on her first lead role on Broadway in the new production of Romeo & Juliet. Her Romeo is Orlando Bloom of Lord of the Rings fame.

Condola Rashad spoke with Tell Me More guest host Celeste Headlee about making the iconic role her own.

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Television
10:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Sean Combs' Revolt TV: Puff Daddy Magic?

Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs has launched his own channel for cable. Revolt TV aims to bring a new generation - and its love of social media - to music television. Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the venture with NPR television correspondent and critic Eric Deggans.

The Salt
8:06 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Buffett Family Puts Money Where Their Mouth Is: Food Security

Warren Buffett (left), Howard G. Buffett (center) and grandson Howard W. Buffett collaborated on a book about the challenges of feeding more than 2 billion more mouths by 2050.
Scott Eells/Bloomberg Bloomberg via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 28, 2013 12:06 pm

Oh, what a job. You've got $3 billion to address society's most intractable problems. So what do you do?

If you're philanthropist Howard G. Buffett, son of famed investor Warren Buffett, you set a deadline: 40 years.

And you move at "fast-forward" speed (that's the way Warren describes his son's pace) to steer the most vulnerable people on Earth towards a future where food production is efficient, plentiful and affordable.

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Author Interviews
3:59 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

'We Walk In Circles,' Pursuing Dreams And Finding Creativity

iStockphoto.com

At Night We Walk in Circles is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The book follows young actor and aspiring playwright Nelson as he traverses his nation, performing in a provocative play called The Idiot President.

It's Daniel Alarcon's second novel — his first was Lost City Radio, published in 2007. The Peruvian author says there are some parallels between him and his protagonist, dreaming of a life as an artist.

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Movie Interviews
3:07 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Word On The Street Is Oscars 'Whisper Campaigns' Have Begun

Tom Hanks stars in Captain Phillips, a film that's recently been subject to a "whisper campaign" of pre-Oscars criticism.
Hopper Stone Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Originally published on Sun October 27, 2013 3:59 pm

The Academy Awards are still months away, but some Hollywood insiders are already on the attack.

Studios have huge publicity machines that lobby for their movies to win, but there's also a shadowy strategy that's not as visible as the advertising blitz. It's good old-fashioned trash-talking: So-called "whisper campaigns" are a sneaky way to lobby against the competition.

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