Arts

Arts and culture

Games Fictional People Play

Jan 7, 2016

We get meta in this game about games. The twist is, the games we're talking about are from works of fiction. Think Quidditch, from Harry Potter. Of course, although Quidditch was created by JK Rowling, thanks to nerds, it's now a real sport where you can run around a field with a broomstick between your legs.

Heard in David Cross: Increasingly Poor Decisions

Hey, Mr. Cow!

Jan 7, 2016

We know how a human might give us the answer to the name of the 2002 Broadway musical directed by Twyla Tharp, but how would a cow respond? "MOOvin' Out," of course! That's the gist of this game, in which the answers are terrible animal-based puns.

Heard in David Cross: Increasingly Poor Decisions

I picked up Daniel José Older's Midnight Taxi Tango without having read its preceding volumes — partly to see how well it stands alone, and partly on the strength of last year's Shadowshaper, which left me hungry for more of Older's voices, his families, and for a Brooklyn that was more stomping-ground than film set. I loved Shadowshaper for upending the usual hierarchies of worth — celebrating rap, graffiti and salsa as crucial art forms, and showing a deep suspicion of institutions and authorities.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's a week into 2016 and perhaps time to see how these New Year's resolutions are coming. If your resolutions included decluttering, a book out this week hopes to capitalize on that. NPR's Lauren Migaki has more.

Director Todd Haynes believes love can blossom in the most improbable circumstances. Take his new movie, Carol. The film tells the story of an affair between the title character, a married 1950s socialite (played by Cate Blanchett), and Therese, an aspiring young photographer (played by Rooney Mara) who is working in the toy section of a New York City department store. They meet while Carol is buying a Christmas present for her daughter.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens revolves around the story of staff-wielding scavenger Rey.

(That's hardly a spoiler; she's front-and-center in the movie poster, after all.)

But in the world of Star Wars toys, Rey's been hard to find — and fans took to social media, under the hashtags #WheresRey and #WhereisRey, to complain about all the movie merchandise that left her out.

Jerry Spagnoli is a leading expert of the daguerreotype, the earliest form of photography dating back to 1839. His work adapting it to the digital age has earned him a spot among a group of artists dubbed the "antiquarian avant-garde." He has worked with Chuck Close on daguerreotype portraits and nudes, and exhibited his work around the world.

Forget journeys into the stacks or stints at a library scanner: For more and more of the New York Public Library's collections, access is just a click away.

On Wednesday, the library released more than 180,000 of its public-domain items — including maps, posters, manuscripts, sheet music, drawings, photographs, letters, ancient texts — as high-resolution downloads, available to the public without restriction.

China Miéville is a magician. He's the Keyser Soze of the New Weird because you never know who he's going to be. He can do noir, do steampunk, do aliens and magic caterpillars. He's a shape-shifter. An incredibly prolific Dungeons & Dragons loving geek golem who can both blow your mind with ideas as big as the universe and break your heart with language so precise and polished, it's like he's writing with diamonds.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

In the 10 years he spent driving an ambulance in Atlanta, former paramedic Kevin Hazzard rescued people from choking, overdoses, cardiac arrest, gunshot wounds and a host of other medical emergencies.

Yesterday the Library of Congress named graphic novelist Gene Luen Yang as its fifth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature. Here's why that matters.

Three sisters — and their brother — converge on their late grandparents' dilapidated cottage for what's likely to be a valedictory summer holiday together as they decide the old homestead's fate. Yes, Tessa Hadley's sixth novel is unabashedly Chekhovian. But The Past also channels those delicious English country house dramas in which characters thrown together under one roof unpack some of the psychological baggage they tote everywhere, airing out old resentments, disappointments, secrets and affinities.

The era of the real-life whodunit series is upon us. The podcast Serial first attracted legions of listeners drawn to the question of whether a young man should have been put in prison for the murder of his former high school girlfriend. HBO's documentary The Jinx focused on a trail of murdered and missing intimates of a troubled scion of a wealthy family.

Our food-obsessed media landscape has proven fertile ground for wordplay. There are now new words to describe every food niche or gastronomical preference.

Can't stand little kids running amok in your favorite Korean fusion restaurant? You might have bratophobia. And you could be a gastrosexual if you use your cooking prowess to attract that new special someone.

In his new book, Eatymology, humorist and food writer Josh Friedland has collected many of these neologisms in a 21st century food dictionary.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Before we get too far into 2016, it's worth taking one more look at what happened to media in the year that just ended. To paraphrase the old saying, ignorance of history dooms you to repeat it. And some of what happened in media in 2015, we really want to avoid repeating.

One of the world's most precious volumes starts a tour on Monday, in Norman, Okla. The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., is sending out William Shakespeare's First Folio to all 50 states to mark the 400th anniversary of the bard's death. Published seven years after he died, the First Folio is the first printed collection of all of Shakespeare's plays.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Imagine for a moment it's 1925 instead of 2016. And you're living in a stately English manor.

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN LUNN SONG, "DID I MAKE THE MOST OF LOVING YOU?")

These are dark times; our feeds are filled with news of shootings as well as the hateful speech that always results. Every year, writing this preview, I think of how poetry is one of our surest consolations. It can't do much about the fear and violence running rampant in America right now, but in the books to be published in 2016 especially, poets are taking responsibility, speaking out, identifying themselves, speaking the truth.

DNA from a genetically modified goat, a spritz of perfume, sculptures so small you need a microscope to see them.

They're all headed for the moon.

Care to break the hearts of Game of Thrones fans everywhere? It might just take seven words:

"THE WINDS OF WINTER is not finished."

So wrote George R.R. Martin in a lengthy blog post published in the wee hours Saturday. The author had hoped to publish the sixth installment of his massively popular fantasy book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, early in 2016 — which meant finishing and submitting the manuscript to his publishers before the end of 2015.

But Martin says those hopes have been dashed.

The second mystery by Mette Ivie Harrison boasts details about contemporary Mormon life that most of us aren't privy to.

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates says His Right Hand is is her "one that got away."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Sometimes, a good idea and fate collide to create an interesting opportunity. That's what happened with "All American Boys," a young adult novel whose co-authors chose a contentious subject, racial profiling.

Harlan Ellison is America's weird uncle. He's the angry, elderly cousin at the table — the one who, for weeks before dinner, everyone asks about. Is he coming this year? Is Harlan gonna be there?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Pages