Arts

Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

A Marriage, A Mother, A Move From Culture To Culture

The Iowa-born, Zimbabwe-bred actress Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) stars as half of a Nigerian couple living in Brooklyn and coping with culture clash in Mother of George.
Oscilloscope Laboratories

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:51 pm

From the start, Mother of George looks at its two protagonists, Adenike (Danai Gurira) and Ayodele (Isaach de Bankole), across distinct gender lines. The film opens at their traditional Yoruba wedding with two contrasted, tightly framed, straight-on shots of the groom and bride's parties.

Later, after the ceremonies, the differences between the two groups become more defined: We watch the women give Adenike child-rearing advice, while the men talk about how best to hide their infidelities.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

From A Saudi Director, A Familiar Story Made Fresh Again

All Wadjda (Waad Mohammed) wants is her own bicycle — but as Haifaa Al Mansour's film illustrates, that's a tricky proposition for a young girl living in Saudi Arabia.
Tobias Kownatzki Razor Film/Sony Pictures Classics

Wadjda is the sort of lovable young hustler we've seen in scores of films — a 10-year-old who wants something and will lie, threaten and cajole to get it.

But Wadjda's familiar premise is transformed by its unexpected location: The movie's protagonist lives in Saudi Arabia, and what she wants, even if she doesn't exactly realize it, is freedom.

Read more
NPR's Backseat Book Club
3:01 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

How One Unkind Moment Gave Way To 'Wonder'

Random House

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 4:16 pm

In Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of Auggie, a tough, sweet, 10-year-old boy, who was born with distorted facial features — a "craniofacial difference" caused by an anomaly in his DNA.

Palacio tells NPR's Michele Norris that the book was inspired by a real-life encounter with her own kids six years ago. They were at an ice cream store and sat next to a little girl with a severe facial deformity. Palacio's 3-year-old son cried in fear, so the author grabbed her kids and fled. She was trying to protect the girl but also avoid her own discomfort.

Read more
Book Reviews
12:03 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Filmmaker Turns To Education Reform, Gets 'Schooled'

While researching his buoyant, impassioned (and thoroughly subtitled) new book about education, I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap, M. Night Shyamalan suddenly found himself at the head of an inner-city school English classroom. And he was terrified. "Time stopped," he writes, "similar to when you are on a plane with turbulence that's supposed to last thirty seconds, but it feels like much, much longer."

Read more
Monkey See
10:52 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Toronto 2013: Some Film Festival Highs And Lows

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County.
Toronto International Film Festival

Tastiest Scenery To Chew: August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.

Read more
The Protojournalist
10:09 am
Thu September 12, 2013

How It Sounds To Be 28

Andrew Crago

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 11:12 am

Andrew Crago, 28, is an in-house designer for a nonprofit group in Chicago. He wears hearing aids and has tinnitus, so he is especially attuned to certain sounds.

What does your life sound like? Please send four sounds that tell the story of your life — at this moment in time — to protojournalist@npr.org. Please include your name, age, phone number and a list of your sounds. You may be contacted for an interview.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Nursery Rhyme News

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's say hello to our next two contestants, Amy Passiak and Kevin Maroney.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Amy, you are a classics major, and you work in art conservation. Kevin, you publish the New York Review of Science Fiction.

KEVIN MARONEY: It's true.

EISENBERG: Here is my first question for you, Amy. This is not a quiz, just curious. What is your favorite nursery rhyme?

AMY PASSIAK: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick. It's really the first one I can think of.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

We're Not Gonna Bake It

Professional competitive eaters Eric "Badlands" Booker (left) and Crazy Legs Conti.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Professional competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker join Ask Me Another for a round that'll make you hungry. House musician Jonathan Coulton quizzes them about different types of baked goods, with clues sung to the tune of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It." Plus, find out how many pounds of quiche Crazy Legs can put away, and get a taste of Badlands' other talent—competitive eating-themed hip-hop.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Minimum Sentence

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 10:03 am

Some people have a last name that is also a verb, so their full name forms a complete sentence--like George Burns and Stevie Nicks. (If you're one of these people, we salute you.) In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives contestants clues about famous people whose names also tell a story--a very short story.

Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Isn't It Ironic?

Rest assured, this game contains no ironic t-shirts or mustaches. Here, irony is defined as an "incongruous yet appropriate juxtaposition that highlights the discordant, revelatory nature of the universe." Deep. Play along as host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about certain ironic situations, like how the best-selling holiday song of all time, "White Christmas," was written by Irving Berlin--who was Jewish.

Plus, Jonathan Coulton tops off this game with a rendition of the pop standard "Everything Happens To Me."

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Sensational Spelling Bee

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now, we have Virginia Roberts and Grant Roberts. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You guys are visiting from Seattle, and I take it perhaps you are married with the same last name?

VIRGINIA ROBERTS: We'll see how it goes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Virginia, you are an online dating coach, is that correct?

ROBERTS: That is correct.

EISENBERG: But what's the number one tip you give people when writing their online ad?

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

The Last Film I'd Want To See

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Isn't It Ironic, Jessica Morello; from Minimum Sentence, Whitney Reynolds; from Sensational Spelling Bee, Virginia Roberts; and from Nursery Rhyme News, Kevin Maroney.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: They'll be playing our Ask Me One More final round, and I'm going to ask puzzle guru Mary Tobler to lead our final game.

Read more
Ask Me Another
7:54 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Adam Rapoport: Good Eggs, Bad Apples

"I don't want a waiter to lecture me, and have to explain to me how to eat something. It's like, 'Dude, stop.'" Bon Appétit magazine editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport.
Courtesy of Adam Rapoport

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 11:33 am

Read more
Monkey See
6:42 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Nothing Personal, But I'm Not Reading Your 'Breaking Bad' Analysis

Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston as Jesse and Walt on AMC's Breaking Bad, which will have its finale in a few weeks.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 7:12 am

The closer we get to the end of Breaking Bad, the less I want to read about it.

I'm not calling for a moratorium on Breaking Bad content from now until the finale (and not only because of ... you know, futility.) From now until then, I expect an avalanche of recaps, interviews, think pieces, retrospectives, speculations and so forth. That's exactly as it should be with any show coming to a close, let alone a show as great as this one.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:13 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Book News: Lance Armstrong's Lies Are Protected, Judge Says

Lance Armstrong talks to the media after the 2011 Xterra Nationals triathlon in Utah.
Jim Urquhart AP

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 5:32 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Mary Beard 'Confronts' The Classics With Wit And Style

iStockphoto.com

Early on in Confronting the Classics, Mary Beard tells the story of the Roman Emperor Elagabalus, who "used to seat his dinner guests on cushions that, unbeknownst to them, were full of air. As the meal progressed, a slave secretly let the air out, so Elagabalus could enjoy the sight of his companions subsiding, until they slid beneath the table."

Read more
Pop Culture
3:18 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Hannibal Buress And The Comedy Of The Unexpected

Hannibal Buress looks at the world from a slightly skewed perspective — and often as not, his observations lead him down some convoluted comedic byways.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon September 23, 2013 9:22 am

Read more
Book Reviews
7:23 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Suburban Islands Of Regret, More Than 'Nine Inches' Apart

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:36 am

Nine inches is the minimum distance required between middle school students during slow dances in the title story of Tom Perrotta's first book of short stories in 19 years. Nine miles — or make that nine light-years — is the distance between many of the narrators in these 10 stories, and the family and friends they've alienated with their stupid mistakes.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:15 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Book News: Richard Dawkins Under Fire For Child Abuse Remarks

Author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins made a March 2012 visit to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Doriane Raiman NPR

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 8:57 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Wed September 11, 2013

In These 'Gardens,' The Tree Rings Of The Radical Left

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 3:48 pm

Mohsin Hamid's latest novel is called How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.

Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, Dissident Gardens, is expansive in scale. Chronologically speaking, it begins in the 1930s with Communist Party meetings in the U.S. It passes through the rise of McCarthyism, the establishment of the New York Mets, the hippie Age of Aquarius and the AIDS crisis. It ventures briefly abroad, to such places as behind-the-Iron-Curtain East Germany and war-torn Nicaragua. It ends in the Obama era of Occupy sit-ins and a rampant TSA.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

New York City's 'People's Opera' May Face Its Final Curtain

Pamela Armstrong (left) as Alice Ford and Heather Johnson as Meg Page in New York City Opera's production of Falstaff. The so called people's opera may have to cancel its upcoming season if fundraising falls short.
Carol Rosegg New York City Opera

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 8:15 pm

There are a lot of operas that end with heroines on their deathbeds, singing one glorious aria before they die. That's what happens at the end of Anna Nicole, the controversial new work that New York City Opera is presenting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in September. But the company's artistic director and general manager, George Steel, says it could also be City Opera's last gasp.

Read more
Television
4:05 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

What The $@** Is Up On Cable These Days?

Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln), in between curses on AMC's The Walking Dead.
Gene Page AMC

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:11 pm

Seriously, if you were being attacked by zombies, you might yell out the word f- - -! But no one does on The Walking Dead. When it comes to language in this golden age of basic cable dramas, the rules are idiosyncratic and unclear.

"It's so arbitrary, hon," says Kurt Sutter. "It's just basically people in suits making up the rules."

Read more
The Protojournalist
1:24 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Haiku In The News: The New $100 Bill

Mark Wilson Getty Images

"It's certainly one

of the most valuable

bills to counterfeit."

Currency expert Ben Mazzotta of the Fletcher School at Tufts University, speaking to CBSMiami/CNN about the U.S. Treasury Department's efforts to create a newly designed $100 note that is more difficult to replicate.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:00 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Woodrow Wilson Brought New Executive Style To The White House

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 2:41 pm

Woodrow Wilson, America's 28th president, left the White House in 1921 after serving two terms. But today he remains a divisive figure.

He's associated with a progressive income tax and the creation of the Federal Reserve. During his re-election bid, he campaigned on his efforts to keep us out of World War I, but in his second term, he led the country into that war, saying the U.S. had to make the world safe for democracy. The move ended America's isolationism and ushered in a new era of American military and foreign policy.

Read more
The Salt
11:39 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Photos: Enter A World Of Cupcake Sledding And Broccoli Lawns

Broccoli Mower: "Douglas stubbornly refused to accept his wife's opinion that he had let the lawn go too long without attention."
Christopher Boffoli Courtesy Workman Publishing

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 10:28 am

Lots of us play with our food. But for photographer Christopher Boffoli, it's become a full-time career.

Boffoli rose to fame a couple of years ago. You may have seen some of his photographs — amusing dioramas featuring miniature plastic figurines in dramatic settings crafted from food — when they went viral back in 2011. More than 200 such images — at least half of which, Boffoli says, have not been previously published — are collected in a new book, Big Appetites.

Read more
The Salt
7:42 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Why Aren't There More People Of Color In Craft Brewing?

Michael Ferguson, of the BJ's Restaurants group, is one of only a small handful of African-Americans who make beer for a living.
Greg Barna Courtesy 'Beer Geeks'

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 7:38 am

Michael Ferguson sometimes jokingly refers to himself among colleagues as "the other black brewer."

That's because Ferguson, of the BJ's Restaurants group, is one of only a small handful of African-Americans who make beer for a living. Latinos and Asian-Americans are scarce within the brewing community, too.

"For the most part, you've got a bunch of white guys with beards making beer," says Yiga Miyashiro, a Japanese-American brewer with Saint Archer Brewery in San Diego.

Read more
The Two-Way
5:17 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Book News: NoViolet Bulawayo, Jhumpa Lahiri Shortlisted For Booker Prize

NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author. She is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Smeeta Mahanti Courtesy Reagan Arthur Books

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

  • The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award, was announced Tuesday morning. Although the prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:

Read more
Book Reviews
5:03 am
Tue September 10, 2013

'Someone' Quietly Mesmerizes With Intimate, Ordinary Story

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 4:04 pm

I'll be honest. I often judge books by their titles — and Someone, isn't promising. It's generic, vague. Flat. And in the hands of a less talented author, this beautifully intimate novel would have been just that.

Read more
Author Interviews
1:05 am
Tue September 10, 2013

During Katrina, 'Memorial' Doctors Chose Who Lived, Who Died

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2005.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 5:08 am

On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.

From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.

Read more
Found Recipes
4:07 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

This Football Season, Grab Some PB&J And Spread Your Wings

Sunny Anderson came up with the recipe when trying to find new flavor combinations for chicken wings.
John Lee

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 3:20 pm

The regular NFL season has officially started, which — for many viewers — means hours of excitement (and angst) fueled by chips and dip, sliders, nachos and, of course, chicken wings.

Sunny Anderson, a personality on the Food Network and author of Sunny's Kitchen: Easy Food For Real Life, is a big fan of wings.

"Wings are great because they're primal. First of all, you're eating with your fingers; you're gnawing meat off the bone, you know what I mean, and there's a good meat-to-skin ratio," she says.

Read more

Pages