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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 downfrom a third just five years ago, according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.
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.