Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 8:46 am
The title of Elgin James' debut feature, Little Birds, refers to the two teenage girls at its center. But for all the sweetness and fragility that title suggests, one of those girls, Lily (Juno Temple), has a knack for destruction better suited to a charging rhino.
Lily, in fact, is the stuff of parents' worst nightmares about what their children might become as teenagers: sullen, willful, cruel, smart enough to know how to hurt those closest to her with a few well-chosen words but too dumb to know how to protect herself from harm.
Farmers markets are popping up in cities all across the country, and people expect lots of different things from them: Better food, of course, but also economic development and even friendlier neighborhoods.
At its core, though, the farmers market is a business, and it won't survive unless the farmer makes money.
For every farmer who is hurting this year during the drought, others are benefiting. Many fields in the South, Northwest and Upper Midwest are producing bountiful corn crops. And because the drought has pushed prices to record highs, farmers who have corn to sell expect a terrific payday.
"The corn has actually really, really taken off all the way through season. It's grown fast. It's been accelerated. The corn looks really good now," says John Scott, whose family farm in Sargeant, Minn., is just bursting with corn.
For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, he'll have to close the gender gap. Polls show female voters favor President Obama over Romney by wide margins. Robert Siegel sat down with Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire to ask her about women and the GOP.
Scientists in Germany have been able to get enough DNA from a fossilized pinky to produce a high-quality DNA sequence of the pinky's owner.
"It's a really amazing-quality genome," says David Reich of Harvard Medical School in Boston. "It's as good as modern human genome sequences, from a lot of ways of measuring it."
The pinky belonged to a girl who lived tens of thousands of years ago. Scientists aren't sure about the exact age. She is a member of an extinct group of humans called Denisovans. The name comes from Denisova cave in Siberia, where the pinky was found.
A Tsui Hark movie in 3-D — not to mention the first wuxia film to be shot in the format — ought to serve up three times the spectacle of the usual Tsui affair. And damned if Flying Swords of Dragon Gate doesn't almost deliver.
Almost daily, Taliban assassins target Afghan government officials and community elders with ambushes or bombings. The United Nations says such killings are up more than 50 percent compared to the same period last year.
On Monday, the target was the powerful police chief in southern Afghanistan's Kandahar province. A suicide bomber struck the convoy of Gen. Abdul Raziq, who survived the attack and is at a U.S. military hospital recuperating from burns and other injuries.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 15, 2012. Audra McDonald plays Bess in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
This interview was originally broadcast on May 22, 2012. David Alan Grier plays Sporting Life in the opera Porgy and Bess, which closes on Broadway next month. Porgy and Bess won two Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.
Some postal codes encapsulate a socioeconomic profile in tidy shorthand: 10021 for Manhattan's tony Upper East Side, NW6 and NW10 for London's racially mixed, resolutely ungentrified northwest quadrant. Zadie Smith's London birthplace — a major wellspring of her work — is the setting of NW, her ambitious though somewhat dilatory fourth novel, which tackles issues of fortune and failure, class and ethnicity, and the often guilt-inducing and sometimes blurry lines between them.
Let's follow up on another story. Earlier this year, five big banks settled the so-called robo-signing case, admitting they rushed the foreclosure processes for thousands of homeowners. Now, those banks are working to forgive and modify $20 billion worth of home loans.
As NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports, yesterday was the first chance to look at how banks are handling this part of the settlement.
YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Joseph Smith's first full report wasn't due until November, but he was eager to keep the issue top of mind.
Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep. Every so often, people talk of eliminating the penny - which isn't worth much anymore. It survives, but not in a Chipotle restaurant in New Jersey. The Star-Ledger says a customer discovered the restaurant rounding his bill to the nearest nickel, often collecting an extra cent.
Now, as Isaac moves north from Louisiana, it could affect other parts of the country, and we'll be following that story as it develops.
The other big story we have been following this week is the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida. Today is the final day, and it's an important one for GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. He'll officially accept the nomination this evening. Yesterday, Romney took a break from the hubbub of the convention to do a little campaigning elsewhere. NPR's Ari Shapiro reports on his getaway.
But now to Tampa, where this evening Mitt Romney will formally accept his party's nomination for president.
Last night, though, the stage belonged to vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan. In a campaign, it often falls to the running mate to be the attack dog and Ryan sounded up for the job. It was also a chance for the rising GOP star to defend his own ideas.
Samuel Clemens, who is said to have taken his pen name Mark Twain from the cries of riverboat crewmen, found the inspiration for his classic works while growing up in the river town of Hannibal, Mo. Today, more than 125 years after the first pressing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, there's a new set of artistic characters in Twain's boyhood home.
The U.S. and other Western countries are often trying to isolate Iran, but this week the country is in the international spotlight as it hosts a summit of 120 nonaligned nations.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Kim-moon decided to go, ignoring the advice of Israel and the U.S. He promised to deliver a tough message, but others are skeptical, arguing that his visit plays into the hands of the Iranians and to U.N. detractors in Washington.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
Encounters between humans and bears have risen in Western states, especially in Wyoming and Colorado. That's due largely to drought. Bears are traveling longer distances for food because the berries they usually eat have dried up.
As we hear from Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen, hungry bears are turning to dumpsters, kitchen cabinets and refrigerators.
NPR listener Alice Benner says her Italian grandmother made ravioli that was "indescribably delicious."
Benner told us that she's tried to re-create the recipe many times. "The dough — the consistency — is totally wrong, usually too thick," she writes.
Benner's grandmother used Romano cheese in the filling — probably from an Italian deli in Chicago — but Benner says when she makes the ravioli, "the Romano cheese I've used never has the same punch. I've all but given up trying to make them."
Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.
"I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics — they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,' " Nunberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, as we've kicked off our coverage of the Republican National Convention this week, we've asked a number of our guests what a successful country looks like to them. I'll explain why I'm asking that in my Can I Just Tell You essay. And that's coming up in a few minutes.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 3:00 pm
When I was a kid, I awaited the annual publication of Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide with the awe and dread of a Parent/Teacher interview. Sure, film criticism is a subjective thing, but to my young eyes, the 16,000+ capsule reviews in Maltin's yearly reference book carried the weight of absolute truth. Each year, with the austerity of a poet and the precision of a diamond-cutter, Maltin and his army of cowriters pass swift, one-to-ten-paragraph judgment on hundreds of new films, and a small part of me will always believe the Guide is blessed with objectivity.
Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 9:56 am
"Ugh," my sister exclaimed one evening as we were making dinner. It was supposed to be an easy poached chicken with a ginger-scallion sauce, eaten with cold cucumber wedges, and we had just discovered that what we had bought at the store was not cucumber, but zucchini. It was an easy mistake to make — they were the precise same shade of green. But where the zucchini's skin was mostly smooth, the cucumber's was lumpy. We were not happy.
Too much is made of literature's ennobling qualities. There are those of us who come to books for the debasement and danger, for Hannibal and Humbert. For Faulkner's Popeye and Hedda Gabler. We want to meet the monsters.