Arts

The Salt
10:47 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Civil War Soldiers Needed Bravery To Face The Foe, And The Food

How did the food taste? These faces say it all. Photograph from the main eastern theater of war, Meade in Virginia, August-November 1863.
Timothy H. O'Sullivan Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 11:11 am

War is hell, Union Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman is famously said to have uttered.* And the food, he might as well have added, was pretty lousy, too.

As the nation marks the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg — a turning point in the Civil War — it's worth remembering that the men who fought on that Pennsylvania field did so while surviving on food that would make most of us surrender in dismay.

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Music
10:17 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Booker T: My Music Should Be The Soundtrack To Your Life

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 7:01 am

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

I'm Celeste Headlee and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Michel Martin is away. If you were to paint a picture of today's contemporary music styles, it might be saturated with synthesizers and samplers that make up a, well, a very contemporary sound, very 21st-century. But there are a few musicians out there achieving the sound of today, but with the instruments of yesterday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FEEL GOOD")

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Digital Life
10:17 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Martin Luther King's Memory Inspires Teenage Dream

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

And now we continue our special series remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech, which will be 50 years old this summer.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.: I have a dream...

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN 1: As a kindergarten teacher in a Texas public school, my dream is for our country to begin to value our youngest members of society.

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The Two-Way
5:21 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Book News: Authors Lose Class-Action Status In Google Books Case

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

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Kitchen Window
10:03 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Kick The Can: Soda Machines Beg For Experimentation

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:42 am

Last year, my husband picked up a nasty little habit — a drinking problem, if you will. Yes, he became addicted to sparkling water. All of a sudden, he was adding mineral water to my weekly grocery list and buying precious little green bottles imported from Italy every time we grabbed a sandwich.

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Author Interviews
4:30 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Tragic Story Of 'Traviata' Muse Marie Duplessis

Ross MacGibbon Collection of Musee de la Dame aux Camellias

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:12 pm

You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.

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Movie Reviews
3:33 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

In Swinging '60s London, A Frisky 'Look Of Love'

The high life catches up with pop-culture impresario Paul Raymond (Steve Coogan, right) and his daughter Debbie (Imogen Poots) when nudie-mag editor Tony Power (Chris Addison) introduces them to drugs.
IFC

The fourth collaboration between actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom is much like their first: Both The Look of Love and 2002's 24 Hour Party People are antic, self-conscious film bios about impresarios on the fringes of showbiz — soft porn and punk rock, respectively. But somehow the new movie, though it doesn't skimp on the nudity, the cocaine or the Britpop, is the blander of the two.

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Books News & Features
2:06 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

In A Campus-Bound Novel, A Thrilling, 'Educational' Affair

Sekulovski Emilijan iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:25 am

As soon as I hear that a novel is set in a college or a university, I'm in. David Lodge, Richard Russo, Donna Tartt, Chad Harbach — they've all created campuses with an intimate, sometimes cozy feeling that offers an escape from a world that can seem terribly open-gated and impersonal. Like an Agatha Christie novel, you know right away who the characters are and where the drama will play out.

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Book Reviews
12:24 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

American Mystery Finds A New Voice On 'The Bohemian Highway'

Novelist Sara Gran also writes for the HBO show Southland.
Deborah Lopez Houghton Mifflin

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 1:32 pm

It's been a while since I've heard a distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction: That Girl With the Dragon Tattoo dame seems to have put our homegrown hard-boiled detectives in the deep freeze. The mystery news of the past few years has chiefly come out of the Land of the Midnight Sun, dominated by the late Stieg Larsson and fellow Swedes Camilla Lackberg and Hakan Nesser, as well as Norwegians Anne Holt, Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbo.

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The Salt
11:56 am
Tue July 2, 2013

'Heart Attack On A Hook': Meet America's 'Worst Restaurant Meal'

Long John Silver's Big Catch platter will net you 33 grams of trans fats in one meal.
Courtesy of Clare Politano Center for Science in the Public Interest

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 10:19 am

Seafood is generally considered a more healthful choice when dining out — but not if you're battering and deep-frying it and serving it up with hush puppies and onion rings.

And that is precisely why the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nutrition and health policy watchdog group, have named Long John Silver's new "Big Catch" meal the worst restaurant meal in America.

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Parenting
10:28 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Avoiding The Post-Millennial Mid-Life Crisis

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 7:54 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. They say it takes a village to raise a child but maybe you just need a few moms and dads in your corner. Every week we check in with a diverse group of parents for their common sense and savvy advice. Today, as we broadcast from the Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado we decided to talk about new ideas about how young people can make the most of their 20s.

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Afghanistan
10:28 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Afghan Woman Fights For Women's Education

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we'd like to bring you the story of one young woman for whom going to school was literally an act of courage. Shabana Basij-Rasikh was six when the Taliban took over in Afghanistan. They made it illegal for girls to go to school. As a result, for years, Shabana and her sister put their lives on the line to go to a secret school in Kabul. Her persistence and bravery eventually led her to Middlebury College, where she graduated magna cum laude in 2010.

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Education
10:28 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Hot Tips To Reinvent Education

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Coming up, we will hear the story of one young woman who literally put her life on the line to go to school. Shabana Basij-Rasikh will join us to talk about growing up under Taliban rule in Afghanistan and the work she's doing now to make sure other young Afghan women can get an education. That's in just a few minutes. But first, we are continuing our conversation with our education innovators.

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Education
10:28 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Educational Innovators Ask 'Why Can't Learning Be Fun?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Movie Reviews
9:58 am
Tue July 2, 2013

A Familiar Wild West, But The Guy In The Mask? Who's He?

There's a backstory for just about everything in Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, including what drives the title character (Armie Hammer) to don the mask — and what's up with that dead crow Tonto (Johnny Depp) wears on his head.
Peter Mountain Walt Disney Pictures

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 5:25 pm

There's never been anything very lone about the Lone Ranger. He's always been accompanied by Tonto, his Native American sidekick; Silver his snow-white steed; and the William Tell Overture.

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Monkey See
9:32 am
Tue July 2, 2013

'Big Brother' Isn't Just A Terrible Show, It's A Wasted Opportunity

Houseguest Judd makes a toast during the season premiere of Big Brother.
Cliff Lipson CBS

Here's how Big Brother works.

Producers throw a bunch of people into a house, where they're stuck for about three months. All day and all night, they're watched by cameras, and they can be watched online — these are the so-called "live feeds," which are sort of like watching the security cameras in the most boring juice bar in Los Angeles. (I wrote about touring the house in 2010; it's very creepy.)

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Monkey See
7:02 am
Tue July 2, 2013

To The Dump, To The Dump, To The Dump Dump Dump: Write Us A Lone Ranger Joke

Milos Luzanin iStockphoto.com

This morning, as I perused the headlines, I saw a few items about the new Lone Ranger movie, and rather than being struck by interesting thoughts about the racial politics of Johnny Depp's Tonto, I abruptly remembered this joke: "Where does the Lone Ranger take his trash?" "To the dump, to the dump, to the dump dump dump." You know, because of the music?

And then I thought, "Who built the Lone Ranger's luxury apartment building?"

"Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump Trump Trump."

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Books
6:42 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Chronicle of 'Gettysburg' Refuses Easy Answers

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 6:50 pm

For historians, and for much more casual students of the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago holds seemingly limitless fascination — a search for "Gettysburg" on Amazon turns up over 7,500 books — and similarly limitless opportunity for debate. Did the Confederacy's iconic commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, bring defeat to his own army by reaching too far in ordering Pickett's fateful — and disastrous — charge? Did Gen.

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First Reads
5:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish'

David Rakoff, seen here in 2010, worked on Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for a decade, finishing shortly before his death in 2012.
Larry Busacca Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:03 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

David Rakoff was a mainstay on public radio's This American Life, and the best-selling author of Fraud, Don't Get Too Comfortable, and Half Empty. He died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47, shortly after finishing Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish, a short novel in verse that jumps from decade to decade, tracking a panoply of American characters across the 20th century: 1920s slaughterhouse workers, 1950s office girls, AIDS victims and '80s yuppies.

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Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue July 2, 2013

You'll Want To Hang Up On These 'Secret Conversations'

Originally published on Sat July 20, 2013 3:34 pm

A country girl from Grabtown, N.C., Ava Gardner arrived in Hollywood in 1941 knowing she couldn't act but, gorgeous as she was, she never had to let that slow her down. Her beauty — which reportedly intimidated Elizabeth Taylor — won her not just film roles and studio-paid acting lessons, but the attentions of all-American boy Mickey Rooney, whom she married and divorced before she turned 21. She had a similarly brief union with bandleader Artie Shaw — she called those two her "starter husbands" — before a tempestuous, headline-making marriage to Frank Sinatra.

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Code Switch
2:05 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Does Disney's Tonto Reinforce Stereotypes Or Overcome Them?

Johnny Depp says that with his portrayal of Tonto in The Lone Ranger, he tried to "right the wrongs of what had been done with regards to the representation of Native Americans in cinema."
Disney

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 11:00 am

The Lone Ranger has long been a fictional hero, taming the Wild West with his trusty Indian guide, Tonto. The faithful companion helps the white man fight bad guys, and does so speaking in pidgin English.

Tonto made his first appearance on the radio in the 1930s, voiced by a non-Native American actor, John Todd. In the series, Western settlers face down what they call "redskins" and "savages." And trusty Tonto is always on hand to interpret the smoke signals.

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The Salt
4:11 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Taking High-Heat Tandoor Techniques To The Backyard Grill

Punjabi Lamb Kebabs, like many tandoor dishes, can also be made on gas or charcoal grills.
Christopher Hirsheimer

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:24 am

In America, summer grilling generally means heading to the backyard and throwing some hot dogs, burgers and maybe vegetable skewers on the fire. But in India and Pakistan, where summers last for seven months, grilling takes on a whole new level of sophistication.

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Movie Reviews
2:41 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Branagh Imagines Mozart's 'Magic Flute' In Wartime

Pamina (Amy Carson) and Tamino (Joseph Kaiser) in Kenneth Branagh's production of Mozart's The Magic Flute.
Revolver Group

Mozart's The Magic Flute, the last opera he lived to complete, has some of his most sublime and sublimely comic music. Technically, it's more of a musical comedy, what in German is called a Singspiel, a play with songs and spoken dialogue. I was excited to learn that it was filmed by Kenneth Branagh, whose Shakespeare movies I really admire. Mozart's mixture of fairy tale and high morality presents a great opportunity for a filmmaker; in 1975, Ingmar Bergman released a version for Swedish television that has become a beloved classic.

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Author Interviews
12:34 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

From Kids' Books To Erotica, Tomi Ungerer's 'Far Out' Life

Tomi Ungerer's 1967 book Moon Man follows its lonely protagonist as he visits Earth for the very first time.
Tomi Ungerer

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 2:00 pm

Children's-book writer Maurice Sendak learned a lot from author and artist Tomi Ungerer. In Far Out Isn't Far Enough, a new documentary about Ungerer, Sendak says, "I learned to be braver than I was. I think that's why [Where The Wild Things Are] was partly Tomi — his energy, his spirit.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Sandwich Monday: The Famous St.Paul Sandwich (of St.Louis)

This exists.
NPR

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 10:28 am

Since Sandwich Monday began, certain sandwiches have been our white whales: the Hippogriff Burger, a Reuben signed by J.D. Salinger, an Actual White Whale sandwich. Also, the mysterious St.Paul sandwich, native to St. Louis: It's an egg foo young patty, with lettuce, pickle and mayo, on white bread. But we finally caught one.

Miles: This is the same sandwich my Model U.N. group made the first time we all got high together.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Book News: Penguin, Random House Complete Publishing Mega-Merger

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

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New In Paperback
5:03 am
Mon July 1, 2013

July 1-7: 'Hallucinations,' Hollywood Fame And Covert Operations

Knopf

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 9:20 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/.

Crime In The City
1:55 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder

From the Toronto Islands — one of many real-life Toronto locales in Robert Rotenberg's legal thrillers — visitors have a clear view of the city's skyline.
Sean Dawsean Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:02 am

Robert Rotenberg has written four legal thrillers set in Toronto, that old industrial city on the shores of Lake Ontario. He's a criminal lawyer — all his books are centered on trials — and he loves his city so much that he makes multicultural Toronto a character in his books. His first release, Old City Hall, is even named after a Toronto landmark: a beautiful stone building that is now used as a courthouse.

Real Courtrooms, Real Courtesy

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Movies
5:35 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Casting Call: Hollywood Needs More Women

Actress Geena Davis addresses the audience at the "Driving Financial Success: Women + Movies = Bigger Box Office" luncheon at CinemaCon 2013.
Chris Pizzello AP

Summer is the perfect time for a night out at the cinema, but maybe you've noticed something missing at the movies: women.

Women make up a minority of movie creators: 7 percent of directors, 13 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers; that's nearly five men for every woman working behind the scenes.

Out of last year's biggest movies, 28 percent of speaking characters were female. That's down from a third just five years ago, according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.

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Author Interviews
2:05 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

How One Woman Nearly Deciphered A Mysterious Script

An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B — a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades.
Sharon Mollerus Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 10:17 am

Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B.

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