There have been a number of books about great Jewish athletes, starring legendary baseball players like Sandy Koufax or Hank Greenberg, the "Hebrew Hammer." But a new book doesn't focus only on Jewish players — it looks at the myriad ways Jews have contributed to the American athletic landscape. Jewish Jocks: An Unorthodox Hall of Fame is a collection of essays compiled and edited by Franklin Foer and Marc Tracy of The New Republic magazine.
Foer and Tracy join NPR's Linda Wertheimer to discuss the rise of Jews in big-league sports.
Director Ang Lee has a surprising affinity for the Indian hero of Life of Pi — that's his name, Pi, and he's seen at several ages but principally as a 17-year-old boy adrift on a lifeboat in the South Pacific. He's the lone survivor of a shipwreck that killed the crew, his family and a variety of zoo animals his father was transporting to North America for sale.
Actually, Pi is the lone human survivor. He shares his boat and its dwindling food supplies with a man-eating Bengal tiger.
Jacques Audiard's Rust and Bone is an unapologetic melodrama rendered in what you might call semi-stylized neo-expressionistic realism, and it works like gangbusters. The picture takes some turns you don't expect, and some you do. But the ultimate effect is that of a filmmaker striving not to make a work of art, or a subtle drama that will win big festival prizes, or an afternoon's worth of cinema for sophisticated people. He just wants to send you home with a story and with the memory of his characters' faces. In other words, he wants to give you the world.
A change of pace for PBS long-form documentarian Ken Burns, The Central Park Five revisits New York City's recent past to tell the story of a pack of ruthless predators.
Two packs, actually: Gotham's prosecutors and police officers, and its reporters and columnists. Both groups went feral in 1989 against five innocent Harlem teenagers accused and then convicted in a rape and assault.
William Joyce's illustrated books for children are marvels of wit and wonder, rendered in softly shaded colors with an art-deco flair. In books like A Day with Wilbur Robinson and Santa Calls, winsome dinosaurs wear miniature fezzes on their tiny heads; a roly-poly Santa, complete with monocle (the better to read the names of good little boys and girls), looks as if he's just stepped off a '30s Christmas card; and modes of transport include Buck Rogers-style spaceships and locomotives of the sort Superman could stop with his bare hands.
Maurice Geddie of Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood picks up a free turkey donated by a local grocery store. He's hoping his wife will be willing to cook it, though she's been stuck cooking for storm victims at shelters for weeks.
It's been almost a month since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, and for many people, it means the first Thanksgiving outside of their destroyed homes or without the friends or family they usually visit.
In New York City, Thanksgiving has been mass-produced in shelters, churches and community centers where thousands upon thousands of storm victims can find free meals.
Many of them are sharing their first post-storm Thanksgiving with people who are hungry year-round.
Mahmoud Qurtom, 7, can often be found playing with his brothers and sisters, barefoot in the sand by his home's doorway in Gaza. He speaks only a word or two at a time, but smiles a lot. He explains why his right arm is in a sling.
"I was playing in the doorway," he says, "And then I ran away from the rockets."
Mahmoud's sisters brought him to their father, Osama Qurtom, who looked at him and saw nothing wrong. Then he noticed blood coming from a wound under the boy's arm, where a piece of rocket shrapnel had entered, fractured a rib and then lodged in his lung.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish and Happy Thanksgiving. We begin this hour with calm. The cease fire between Israel and Hamas is holding and now the detailed negotiations to forge a lasting peace can begin. The two sides will not meet face to face, but an Israeli delegation has flown to Cairo. Egyptian officials will convey proposals between the Israeli and Hamas negotiators.
At least two people are dead and dozens injured in a 100-vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 in southeast Texas that's being blamed on early morning fog on Thanksgiving Day.
KFDM TV reports that the dead included a man and a woman in a Chevy Suburban that was crushed by a tractor trailer. State troopers told the TV station that between 80 and 120 people were hurt; they were taken to hospitals in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Winnie. The crash occurred southwest of Beaumont, 80 miles east of Houston.
Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years now. His TV credits include the sitcom "Head of the Class." He co-starred with Judi Dench in the movie "Mrs. Brown." New projects include Dustin Hoffmann's directorial debut, "Quartet," with, among others, Maggie Smith. And he plays a dwarf king in "The Hobbit." But what he does, as he puts it, is standup comedy.
World maps help us make sense of the world around us, and our place in it.
While mapmakers may portray their world maps as accurate, scientific and neutral, every single one describes the world from a certain worldview and culture. From ancient Babylonia to the Renaissance, cartographers have been driven by politics, religion, emotion and math.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. For the fifth year now, the oral history project StoryCorps has put special attention on the day after Thanksgiving, the day often called Black Friday, StoryCorps transforms into the National Day of Listening.
Hinkley, Calif., may soon become a ghost town as residents move away from contaminated water.
Credit Gloria Hillard for NPR
Theresa Schoffstall's home — which is located just outside the boundary of the contaminated area and does not qualify for a buyout from PG&E — has been on the market for a year. Concerns for her family's health have her contemplating just walking away from the home she and her husband built 12 years ago.
Neat rows of grapevines run down the slopes of the Cotes de Beaune, all the way to the gravel driveway at Chateau de Corton Andre. The castle's traditional Burgundy black-and-yellow-tiled roof glistens in the autumn sun.
Alfred Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) and his wife, Alma Reville (Helen Mirren), work together to produce Psycho.
Credit Fox Searchlight
Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) had worked in Hollywood for more than a decade before Psycho and its notorious shower scene made her a legend. Her daughter Jamie Lee Curtis made her own horror-genre mark with 1978's Halloween.
When my nieces were small, I took them on a day trip to the Museum of the Moving Image on London's South Bank. We had fun touring a puckishly curated journey through the history of cinema, until my younger niece flushed the toilet in the noir-inflected bathroom — and set off the famous shrieking strings that amp up the shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, creating the most terrifying moment in American cinema.
Long before singer and pianist Michael Feinstein became famous in his own right, he had the privilege of working closely with legendary songwriter Ira Gershwin, as his archivist and cataloger. In his book, The Gershwins and Me: A Personal History in Twelve Songs, Feinstein writes firsthand about the musical world of the American composers and brothers, George and Ira Gershwin.
This is America, where Thanksgiving is portrayed in popular culture as a time for gatherings of loving families and friends, holding hands while saying grace over a roast turkey, passing casseroles and footballs, reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.
But. This being America, we also know that traditions — just like every other aspect of contemporary life — become more complex the more we examine them.
Ninety years ago near the village of Katonah, N.Y., art lovers Walter and Lucie Rosen bought Caramoor, a wooded estate, and built a home for their collection of painting and sculpture. Every room was a gallery, including their favorite, the Music Room; after they lost their only son in World War II, they presented a small concert series there to honor him. So began the transformation of Caramoor from a private home to an arts center and treasure for Westchester County, north of New York City.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. In Sweden, Anna Erickson got a letter accepting her into the local preschool. It had gone out to everyone in town born in '07. Great, except for one detail: Anna was born in 1907. So the 105-year-old won't be showing up to class. In New York, the elegant Waldorf-Astoria experienced a blast from the past this week when a man returned one of the hotel's silver-trimmed teapots, pilfered back in the 1930s. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
Good morning. I'm Linda Wertheimer. Kingston, Ontario held its annual Santa Claus parade this past weekend. But Virginia, we are sad to report a Grinch was in attendance. As the Christmas-themed floats cruised down the street, a man began shouting, claiming that Santa Claus does not exist. Apparently, he had gotten into the Christmas spirits instead of the Christmas spirit. He was arrested for public intoxication. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:20 pm
For Thanksgiving, NASA's space food experts always try to make sure astronauts get to enjoy traditional holiday fare, even if its not exactly home cooking. And being so far from home, astronauts can get pretty attached to their comfort foods.
This year, Kevin Ford, the commander of Expedition 34 and currently working at the International Space Station, says he has the ingredients to make one favorite Thanksgiving dish the NASA nutritionists may not have anticipated: Candied yams with marshmallows.
The yams are thermostablized and come in a plastic pouch.
Just 15 days after voters re-elected him, Jesse Jackson Jr. said health problems were keeping him from doing his job. He also acknowledged he is under federal investigation. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has to set a date for a special election by Monday, and the vote must be held within 115 days.
As we charge into the holiday gift buying season, gadgets are usually near the top of many people's wish lists. Our regular technology commentator Rich Jaroslovsky of Bloomberg News tells us about his gadget picks for 2012.
Rich, thanks for joining us.
RICH JAROSLOVSKY: Thank you.
WERTHEIMER: First, Rich, let's look at the camera. It's an amazing little machine. It doesn't even vaguely look like a camera. It looks like it must be expensive and do lots of clever tricks?
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:51 am
Union-backed organizations plan to picket selected stores across the country, about 1,000 in all. Journalist Charles Fishman tells Linda Wertheimer the groups protesting want to make Wal-Mart a better company and a better place to work. Fishman is the author of the book, The Wal-Mart Effect.