Arts

Business
2:31 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Study: Fast Food Has Gotten A Bit Slower

McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through performance times in 15 years, according to a new industry study.
M. Spencer Green AP

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 11:36 am

Fast food, it turns out, isn't quite as fast as it used to be.

A new study finds that McDonald's posted its slowest drive-through times since this survey was first conducted 15 years ago.

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Books News & Features
2:32 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Did The Cat Eat Your Gymsuit? Then These Books Are For You

Lizzie Skurnick wrote several books in the Sweet Valley High series. Her new imprint aims to celebrate and preserve classic young adult books from the 1930s through the 1980s.
Ig Publishing

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Young adult literature is big business right now; bookstores and movie theaters are full of titles like The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars.

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New In Paperback
2:31 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Sept. 30-Oct. 6: Love, Comedy And Some Four-Letter Words

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 4:53 pm

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

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

The Salt
1:38 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Remembering Marcella Hazan, Who Brought A Taste Of Italy To America

Marcella and Victor Hazan in the kitchen of their home in Longboat Key, Fla.
Laura Krantz NPR

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Marcella Hazan, whose cookbooks helped revolutionize Americans' conceptions of what real Italian cooking tastes like, died Sunday at her home in Longboat Key, Fla. She was 89.

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Author Interviews
12:54 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How Our Stone Age Bodies Struggle To Stay Healthy In Modern Times

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 8:00 am

If you got sick, you probably wouldn't go to an evolutionary biologist to get treated. But Daniel Lieberman, professor of evolutionary biology at Harvard University, says that his field can help you understand why you got sick, and make you more aware of healthy and harmful behaviors.

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Music Reviews
11:40 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Don't Feel Too Bad For Sad-Sack Bob Schneider

Burden of Proof is Bob Schneider's third album.
Dan Winters Kirtland Records

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:40 pm

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The Salt
11:25 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Sandwich Monday: McDonald's Mighty Wings

Mouth's eye view
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:10 pm

Chicken wing restaurants continue to pop up everywhere in this country — there are Wingstop, Buffalo Wild Wings, Aaron Sorkin's West Wings. Now, McDonald's is getting in on the act with Mighty Wings. They're available in three-piece, five-piece, and Who-Am-I-Kidding-I've-Got-Nothing-Left-To-Prove-piece.

Peter: I was as surprised to find an actual bone in this as I would be to find a bone in a banana.

Eva: How McDonald's got the bones in the nugget is the modern version of the classic ship in a bottle mystery.

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Movie Interviews
11:22 am
Mon September 30, 2013

'Valentine Road': A Path To Teen Tragedy

Valentine Road is actress Marta Cunningham's directorial debut.
HBO

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:39 pm

In February 2008, 14-year-old Larry King walked up to fellow classmate Brandon McInerney and, as a dare, asked him to be his valentine.

A few days later, on Valentine's Day, McInerney shot King twice in the back of the head at school. McInerney is now serving a 21-year sentence.

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Music
10:09 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Music That Moves Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson is the editor-at-large of the Huff/Post50 section of The Huffington Post.
Michael Buckner Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:37 pm

Rita Wilson is an actress, singer and editor-at-large for the Huff/Post50 website. She shares some of her favorite songs for Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series.

One of her favorite songs is Joni Mitchell's Blue. "What I love about the song is that not only is it beautiful melodically, but it is beautiful poetically," Wilson says. "The way she uses words and visuals and strings them all together is — I just think what makes Joni Mitchell Joni Mitchell."

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Parallels
9:09 am
Mon September 30, 2013

A History Of Love Gone Wrong, All In One Croatian Museum

At the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, each item is accompanied by a story from the donor on how a romance fell apart.
Sean Carberry NPR

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:50 am

I confess I'm not much of a museum tourist. On a recent visit to Croatia's capital, Zagreb, I strolled past three museums without feeling any urge to step inside. Then I came across one I just couldn't ignore: the Museum of Broken Relationships.

"It's a collection of objects donated by people who have broken up," says Drazen Grubisic, a co-owner of the museum. "Each item has an accompanying story."

Some are amusing, others sarcastic and a few are just plain heartbreaking.

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Monkey See
7:03 am
Mon September 30, 2013

'Breaking Bad' Lands Its Finale A Little Too Cleanly

Bryan Cranston wrapped up his run Sunday night as Walter White in Breaking Bad.
Ursula Coyote AMC

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:27 pm

[Hopefully, we don't have to point out that a piece about the Breaking Bad finale contains information about the Breaking Bad finale. But here we are.]

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan signaled in interviews leading up to Sunday night's series finale that those who craved some redemption for Walter White were the ones most likely to leave happy.

"We feel it's a satisfying ending," Gilligan told Entertainment Weekly. "Walt ends things more or less on his own terms."

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Books
5:03 am
Mon September 30, 2013

What Terrifies Teens In Today's Young Adult Novels? The Economy

Shailene Woodley plays Beatrice Prior in the upcoming movie Divergent (March 2014), based on the dystopian young adult novel by Veronica Roth. The hugely popular book contains themes of economic struggle and class warfare.
Jaap Buitendijk Summit

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 12:24 pm

If you think kids are too young to worry about unemployment numbers, consider this: Some of our most popular young adult novels fairly shiver with economic anxiety. Take Veronica Roth's Divergent, this week's top New York Times Young Adult best-seller and a perennial on the list since its publication in 2011.

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The Two-Way
4:53 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Book News: Marcella Hazan, Italian Cookbook Author, Dies

Marcella Hazan and her husband, Victor, in the kitchen of their home in Longboat Key, Fla.
Laura Krantz NPR

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

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The Salt
1:35 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Kombucha: Magical Health Elixir Or Just Funky Tea?

Kombucha made by artisan tea brewer Bill Bond in Akron, Ohio, comes in an array of flavors, such as lemongrass, ginger, blueberry and watermelon.
Peggy Turbett The Plain Dealer /Landov

Originally published on Tue October 1, 2013 10:34 am

Chances are, you've seen it in your local grocery store. Maybe you've even mustered the courage to taste it — or at least take a whiff.

Once mostly a product of health food stores and hippies' kitchens, kombucha tea is now commercially available in many major grocery stores.

And people aren't necessarily scooping it up for its flavor. Its taste has been described as somewhere between vinegar soda and carbonated apple cider.

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Sun September 29, 2013

How Two Brothers Waged A 'Secret World War' In The 1950s

Courtesy of Times Books

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 4:30 pm

John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles were the forefathers of using covert operations to upset foreign governments — with the aim of overthrow.

They learned the reach of American power abroad when they were partners at an influential New York law firm. Later, with John Foster Dulles serving as secretary of state and Allen Dulles as CIA chief, they shared power in the President Dwight Eisenhower's administration.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:02 am
Sun September 29, 2013

What's That (Vowel) Sound?

NPR

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 2:13 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a made-up, two-word phrase in which each word has two or more syllables. The first vowel sound in the first word is a short "e." Change that short "e" to a short "a" sound, and phonetically you'll get the second word of the phrase. For example, given "energetic backwoods father," you would say "peppy pappy."

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Three Books...
5:03 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Brief, Bright And Beautiful: Three Books On Nordic Summer

The far north of Europe, where I come from, is supposed to be the Mecca of melancholy. And yet there's a contradiction to our famous Nordic gloom: the Nordic countries are as much associated with light as with darkness. From our folklore to our folk songs to our literature, the Arctic summer light pierces our darkest tales. The season is almost like a religion to us.

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Movie Interviews
3:58 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, On Life And The Lenses We Look Through

With Don Jon, the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who stars as the titular porn-addicted Jersey boy, adds writer and director to his resume.
Relativity Media

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 9:22 am

Joseph Gordon-Levitt's movie Don Jon is about a young, simple guy with a few basic passions: his body, his pad, his cars, his family, his church, his girls, and his porn.

That's right: Jon is addicted to pornography. You could say he's managing that addiction pretty well — until he becomes taken with Barbara, played by Scarlett Johansson.

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Television
3:58 am
Sun September 29, 2013

The Most Shocking Moments Are True In 'Masters Of Sex'

Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan play famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson in a new series, Masters of Sex.
Craig Blankenhorn Showtime

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:53 pm

The new TV series Masters of Sex is set in the middle of the last century — before the 60's, before the pill, almost, it seems, before the invention of sex. It's the story of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, pioneering researchers in the field of human sexual response, and it's based on a 2009 book of the same name, by Thomas Maier.

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Parallels
3:54 am
Sun September 29, 2013

Holy Smokes, Batman, You're Protesting In Brazil!

An anti-government demonstrator dressed as Batman carries a Brazilian flag at a protest during Brazil's Independence Day celebrations in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month. The protesters called on the government to provide better security, education, health and public services.
Ricardo Moraes Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue October 8, 2013 7:52 am

It's not Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, but people are dressing up anyway.

A group of Brazilian protesters have been coming out in costume at demonstrations against Rio's governor, Sergio Cabral. There's the masked crusader Batman, of course, but also a motley assortment of other characters, including Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

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Author Interviews
4:59 pm
Sat September 28, 2013

'Faithful Scribe': Tracing Ancestry Through Pakistan's History

The Faithful Scribe, by Shahan Mufti

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 5:10 pm

In The Faithful Scribe, Shahan Mufti examines the history of Pakistan and its relationship to the United States. He also explores how his own family story is part of the tumultuous story of the world's first Islamic democracy.

"A huge impetus for me in writing this book was actually being on both sides of this present conflict, where America is involved in this war in Afghanistan," Mufti tells NPR's Arun Rath. "As we know, the place of Pakistan in this conflict is very dubious and questionable."

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Fine Art
5:58 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Nigerian Bottle Cap Sculptor Taps Museum Staff's Inner Artists

Earth's Skin, 2007.Aluminum and copper wire, 177 x 394 in. (449.6 x 1000.8 cm).
Joe Levack Courtesy of artist, Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, the Akron Art Museum

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

Nigerian sculptor El Anatsui knows too well that when most people think of African art, they think of masks, something he would never ask his students to make.

"We don't even make masks in schools," he says.

Anatsui taught art for nearly 30 years in a remote Nigerian village before getting his first big break when his sculpture was shown at the 1990 Venice Biennale. His works consist of giant sheets of colorful metal that are so big he often doesn't even assemble them himself. Twelve of them are touring the U.S. through August 2014.

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Theater
5:57 am
Sat September 28, 2013

A Minimalist 'Menagerie' That Packs Plenty Of Power

In the play Amanda (Jones), is devoted to finding a "gentleman caller" for her daughter and so Tom (Quinto) brings one home (Smith).
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

The seventh Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' great American play The Glass Menagerie has just opened at the Booth Theatre in New York City for a 17-week run.

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The Salt
5:03 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Birch For Breakfast? Meet Maple Syrup's Long-Lost Cousins

Beyond maple: Sap drips from a pine tree. Around the nation, producers are making syrup from the sap of pine, birch, even black walnut trees.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 1:17 pm

Americans have a longstanding love affair with maple syrup. According to the USDA, production of the sticky stuff in the United States totaled 3.25 million gallons this year. However, it isn't the only tree syrup that's available to drizzle on your short stack or sweeten your latte.

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Author Interviews
4:05 am
Sat September 28, 2013

On Eliot's 125th, His 'Waste Land' Hasn't Lost Its Glamour

American-born British poet and playwright T.S. Eliot received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1948.
Chris Bacon AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 7:55 am

What do you get a Nobel Prize-winning poet for his birthday?

The poet, in this case, is T.S. Eliot, and this year he would have turned the intimidating age of 125. It's a tough question, but New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon has got an answer: a new re-issue of the first edition of Eliot's groundbreaking poem, The Waste Land.

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Author Interviews
3:25 am
Sat September 28, 2013

I, Spy: Valerie Plame Makes Her Fiction Debut In CIA Thriller

Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative in a 2003 Washington Post column. Her story was depicted in the 2010 film Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts as Plame.
Dennis Cook AP

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

Vanessa Pierson, the heroine of Valerie Plame's first novel, is — ahem — "blonde, lithe, and nicely sexy." She is also a CIA agent, determined to lasso a nuclear arms dealer named Bhoot before he arrives at an underground nuclear facility in Iran.

But just as her informant is about to tell her where Bhoot will be, he's shot by a sniper who misses Vanessa — or does he simply overlook her? How will Vanessa Pierson halt the terrorists, protect the world and, by the way, also keep the secret of her forbidden romance with David, a fellow CIA ops officer with green-flecked hazel eyes?

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Poetry
3:24 am
Sat September 28, 2013

News From Lake Wobegon: Garrison Keillor Has A New Book Of Poetry

Garrison Keillor has been the host of A Prairie Home Companion since it began nearly four decades ago. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1994.
Courtesy of Grove Press

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 9:16 am

If you're a regular public radio listener, you may hear Garrison Keillor every morning reading other people's poems on The Writer's Almanac. Now, the Prairie Home Companion host has decided to share some of his own poems for a change.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
3:21 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Not My Job: Consultant James Carville Gets Quizzed On Couples

Originally published on Sat September 28, 2013 12:18 pm

James Carville is a Democratic political consultant, a TV pundit, and one half of the most famous mixed marriage in the country — his wife is Republican consultant Mary Matalin.

We've invited him to play a game called "You're like two peas in a pod!" Three questions about freakishly similar couples.

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Movie Reviews
3:17 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

'Don Jon': Smooth Move There, Mr. Gordon-Levitt

Wonder where he gets that: Gordon-Levitt's Jon, looking a lot like a chip off the old block (Tony Danza).
Relativity Media

Once a child actor on TV, then an indie sensation, then an honest-to-God movie star going head-to-head with the likes of Bruce Willis in Looper and Leo DiCaprio in Inception, Joseph Gordon-Levitt hardly needs to burnish his LinkedIn resume at this point. But that's not kept him from adding a couple of skills — writing and directing — with his latest picture.

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Movie Interviews
2:24 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

A Brutal Movie From China, Ripped From The Headlines

In one of the four intertwining storylines of the brutal Chinese drama A Touch of Sin, a young receptionist (Zhao Tao) must resort to violence to defend herself.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:29 pm

If you want to see modern Chinese life at its darkest, consider A Touch of Sin.

The film is a series of loosely knit vignettes that revolve around themes of violence, greed, sex, power and crime. And there's nothing subtle about the imagery.

In one scene, a corrupt businessman tries to force a receptionist at a massage parlor to have sex with him by beating her with wads of cash — until she stabs him to death.

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