Arts

Author Interviews
12:02 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

The Patient Who Let Us Peek Inside A Brain In 'Present Tense'

In her latest book about Henry Molaison, Corkin tells the story of the amnesic man she studied for a half-century, whose brain helped teach neuroscientists about the distinctions between memory and intellect.
Basic Books

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 3:03 pm

In 1953, 27-year-old Henry Gustave Molaison underwent an experimental brain surgery in an attempt to alleviate his severe epileptic seizures. The surgery left him with a form of amnesia; he could remember many things from the past, but was unable to form new memories.

"He could tell us about where he was born, [that] his father's family was from Thibodaux, La., his mother came from Ireland," says neuroscientist Suzanne Corkin. "He talked about the towns in Hartford where he lived and about his specific neighbors. He knew the schools he attended, some of his classmates' names."

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Music Reviews
12:01 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Jason Isbell: Literary, But Keeping An Edge On 'Southeastern'

Jason Isbell's latest album, Southeastern, is personal and intimate.
Michael Wilson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 1:18 pm

When Jason Isbell was part of Drive-By Truckers, his guitar contributed to the band's sometimes magnificent squall of noise, while his songwriting contributed to the eloquence that raised the band high in the Southern rock pantheon. But the group was led by two other first-rate songwriters, Patterson Hood and Mike Cooley.

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Monkey See
11:38 am
Thu June 6, 2013

The Vexing Matter Of The Summer Blockbuster

In Iron Man 3, Robert Downey Jr. reprises his role as Tony Stark (aka Iron Man), and Gwyneth Paltrow reprises hers as his girlfriend, Pepper Potts.
Paramout Pictures

On today's Here & Now from WBUR, I talked to host Robin Young about the weird situation of summer blockbusters — which can easily go the way of Iron Man 3 (hit!) or the way of After Earth (non-hit!) and it's not always easy to tell what you're going to get until it happens.

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Art & Design
11:35 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Inside The Cel: Behind The Scenes With Animators

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:51 pm

The highly anticipated animated films Monsters University, Despicable Me 2 and Turbo hit theaters this summer. From cel technology to full-length, computer-animated, celebrity-studded movies, animation has come a long way.

The Two-Way
11:29 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Esther Williams, Swimmer Turned Movie Star, Dies

Esther Williams in August, 1942.
AP

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Arts & Life
10:07 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Chef Roblé Ali On Difficult Clients And Staying Skinny

Chef Roblé Ali prepares crabs for an event with singer-songwriter John Legend.
Bravo Heidi Gutman

Originally published on Thu June 6, 2013 12:38 pm

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Natalie Portmantoast

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

Very Important Puzzler Lizz Winstead is a huge fan of the "portmanteau," a word formed by combining two other words, such as "smog" being a combination of "smoke" and "fog." But the ones Lizz makes up are much funnier. In this game, Lizz joins host Ophira Eisenberg to prompt contestants to make their own portmanteaus by combining a famous person's name with a food item.

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Minnesotans We Have Known

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

Very Important Puzzler Lizz Winstead, a Minneapolis native, proves her fierce hometown pride in an Ask Me Another Challenge about famous people from her home state.

Plus, Jonathan Coulton covers the song "Kiss," by one of Minnesota's finest: Prince.

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Two Bee Or Not Two Bee

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now, we're going to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back the winners from all of our former games. From there's an apt for that: Eileen Fitzpatrick.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: From this, that or the other: Jaime green. From Mistransportation: Joe Miscavige. From Get Me Rewrite: Amy Ruttenberg. And from Natalie Portmantoast: Dianne Nora.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: I'm going to ask our puzzle guru Will Hines to take us out.

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

There's An Apt For That

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 10:01 am

Have you ever met a baker whose last name was Baker, or a blacksmith whose last name is Smith? Then you might be familiar with the term "aptronym," a word that refers to a person's name that happens to suit her job or characteristics. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about people both real and fictional whose last names are aptly suited to their professions.

Later, house musician Jonathan Coulton covers "Poisoning Pigeons In The Park," a seasonal favorite by Tom Lehrer.

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

This, That Or The Other V

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

We've got our next two contestants settling in, Jaime Green and Paul Griffiths, ready to play our next game.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Jaime, your hobby is astronomy. I want to know what you do with this hobby. Do you hang out with people and talk stars? Do you drive to a location?

JAIME GREEN: I write about it.

EISENBERG: You write about it?

GREEN: Yeah.

EISENBERG: Alone.

GREEN: Yes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Okay. Paul, do you have any smart nerdy hobbies?

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Mistransportation

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

Transportation alternatives are so hot right now, but house musician Jonathan Coulton has got a few innovations of his own. In this game, he's singing popular songs about travel--although he's replaced the method of transportation in the song with a different, more whimsical, type of vehicle. Can you name the original?

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Ask Me Another
9:27 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Get Me Rewrite

Originally published on Fri June 7, 2013 8:06 am

In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg changes the titles of some well-known movies by exactly one letter, and reworks their plots to suit. For example, Star Wars becomes Star Bars when the plot is changed thusly: A long time ago, Luke and Obi-Wan walked into Mos Eisley and went on the greatest pub crawl in the galaxy.

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The Two-Way
5:37 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction

A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven, poses prior to Wednesday's awards ceremony for the Women's Prize For Fiction at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

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

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2013
5:01 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Female Perspectives: Five Novels That Bring Outsiders In

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 1:04 pm

For readers in search of tales that step outside familiar viewpoints, there is an abundance of fiction by women unraveling the big themes of conflict, religion, race and love — from new and different angles. The five novels I'm recommending offer up-close-and-personal engagement with characters who are often at odds with their communities or whose lives are so far on the periphery that we can be sure history books would pass them by. They make far-flung places and faraway lives feel immediate.

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Book Reviews
5:01 am
Thu June 6, 2013

'Cinnamon And Gunpowder': Haute Cuisine On The High Seas

Food porn and rip-roaring pirate adventure are two great tastes that taste great together in Eli Brown's rollicking Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Owen Wedgwood is the brilliant but rather prissy chef to shipping magnate Lord Ramsey — until privateer captain "Mad Hannah" Mabbot shoots Ramsey at point-blank range and takes Wedgwood prisoner, charging him to earn his keep by preparing her one magnificent dinner a week, using only the ingredients he can find on her ship, the Flying Rose.

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Code Switch
3:16 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

The Force Is With The Navajo: 'Star Wars' Gets A New Translation

Star Wars has been translated into many languages — most recently, Navajo. Above, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) in a scene from the 1977 classic.
20th Century Fox Film Corp. AP

Originally published on Wed July 3, 2013 8:26 pm

If you've ever wondered how to say "May the Force be with you" in Navajo, you're in luck. On July 3, a new translation of Star Wars will be unveiled on the Navajo Nation reservation in Arizona. The 1977 classic has been translated into many languages, and the latest effort is the brainchild of Manuelito Wheeler, director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Ariz.

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Television
12:15 pm
Wed June 5, 2013

'Arrested' No More: Hurwitz On Why The Bluths Are Back

David Cross (left) reprises his role as Dr. Tobias Funke, the sexually ambiguous brother-in-law of Jason Bateman's character, Michael Bluth, in Netflix's new season of Arrested Development.
Netflix

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:05 pm

The Bluth family of the cult show Arrested Development can be oblivious, mean — to each other and anyone who enters their orbit — and eccentric. But that, says show creator Mitch Hurwitz, is in some ways the point.

"The goal with the show has always been that the Bluths are wrong," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "[They're] self-centered. They haven't had to develop. [Their] money allowed them to stop developing."

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Monkey See
9:16 am
Wed June 5, 2013

The Critic, The Viewer And The Episode Dump

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 9:28 am

I have substantial affection for both Hollywood Reporter TV critic Tim Goodman and the Fox executive who tweets as "Masked Scheduler." They're both amusing, resolute grumps at times, but great fun to follow on Twitter. So you can imagine how uncomfortable it was to see them have a testy exchange about the new episodes of Arrested Development (which, remember, was on Fox and is now not). Tim liked them, and was reacting to early criticism of the first couple of episodes.

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Monkey See
6:16 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Once Again, Elizabeth Taylor And Richard Burton Get A TV Movie

Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter in BBC America's Burton And Taylor.
BBC America

On the heels of Liz & Dick, Lifetime's campy take on the love story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that starred none other than Lindsay Lohan, BBC America will be delivering another made-for-TV version this fall. Because they couldn't call it Liz & Dick, this one is called ... Burton And Taylor. (Innovation!)

This one stars Dominic West and Helena Bonham Carter, and the first photo was released yesterday.

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The Two-Way
5:58 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Book News: Germany's Longest Word Gets The Ax

Cuts of beef and pork lie in a display counter at a supermarket in Berlin, Germany.
Sean Gallup Getty Images

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

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Book Reviews
4:03 am
Wed June 5, 2013

For A Girl And Her Horses, A Bumpy Ride To Adulthood

iStockphoto.com

Anton DiSclafani's debut novel, The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls, is a painstakingly constructed ode to a young girl's sexual awakening — just ladylike enough to be more bodice unbuttoner than bodice ripper. Like Rumer Godden's classic 1958 novel, The Greengage Summer, this is perhaps one of the classier books a young teen would hide under her covers to read with a flashlight. It features a 15-year-old narrator, Theodora "Thea" Atwell, whose family banishes her to a North Carolina equestrian boarding school in 1930. There's been a scandal.

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Kitchen Window
3:44 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

We All Scream For Ice Cream

Michele Kayal for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 1:19 pm

My husband's cousin, Milind, stops the car alongside Mumbai's famous Chowpatty Beach, and I think it's because we're going to take in the scene: the cavorting clowns, the camels, the balloon sellers, the people thronging the sand as though it's noon instead of midnight. I begin walking toward the beach, but Milind pulls me in the other direction. Toward the New Kulfi Center.

"Milind, please," I moan. The ice cream stand is just the latest stop on an hours-long eating odyssey that took us from street food to a juice shop to grilled cheese.

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Author Interviews
2:52 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

McCann's 'TransAtlantic' Crosses Fiction And Fact, Ireland And U.S.

Colum McCann won the National Book Award in 2009 for Let the Great World Spin.
Dustin Aksland

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 4:22 pm

About five years ago, Colum McCann stumbled upon a small piece of history he had never known: In 1845, Frederick Douglass, then an escaped slave who was already famous for his anti-slavery writings and speeches, visited Ireland to raise money and support for his cause. McCann says he knew almost immediately that he wanted to turn this historical fact into fiction: "This intersection between history and fiction, between what is real and what is not real, fascinates me," he says.

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Television
1:34 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

New 'Arrested Development' Gags Are Best Served In One Sitting

Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter reprise their roles as George and Lucille Bluth in Netflix's new fourth season of Mitch Hurwitz's Arrested Development.
Netflix

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 2:45 pm

When Mitch Hurwitz and his collaborators began making the Fox sitcom Arrested Development 10 years ago, it was loaded with jokes — in-jokes, recurring jokes and just plain bizarre jokes — that rewarded viewers who watched more than once. But even though it won the Emmy for best comedy series one year, not enough viewers bothered to watch it even once, so the show was canceled in 2006 after three seasons. And that would have been it, except for a loyal cult following that built up once the show was released on DVD and the Internet.

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The Salt
1:18 pm
Tue June 4, 2013

Coronation Chicken: A Lowly Sandwich Filling With A Royal Pedigree

Sixty years on, this retro dish is still a favorite with Her Majesty.
Monkey Business Images iStockPhoto.com

Originally published on Wed June 5, 2013 10:46 am

If you want to eat like a queen, maybe it's time to break out the cold chicken, curry and cream sauce.

Queen Elizabeth II celebrated the 60th anniversary of her coronation in a ceremony Tuesday at Westminster Abbey. But the event also marks the anniversary of a dish as resilient as the British monarch herself: Coronation Chicken.

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Race
9:43 am
Tue June 4, 2013

What Do We Know About 'African American Lives Today?'

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Race
9:43 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Is It A Surprise That Single Black Men Are Looking For LTR?

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Race
9:43 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Money To Matrimony: Talking About The Black Experience

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 11:48 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We want to continue the conversation we just started about the new poll, African-American Lives Today. It is a survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which is one of NPR's funders, and the Harvard School of Public Health. For a closer look at the survey itself, you can check it out on the Code Switch page of NPR.org. And we shared the poll with some guests on the program who've been thinking about or writing about a lot of the issues touched on by the poll.

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The Two-Way
5:57 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Book News: Neruda's Death? Experts Say The Assassin Didn't Do It

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda arrives in Capri, Italy, in 1952.
Keystone Getty Images

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

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