Arts and Culture

Goats and Soda
4:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Why Are Chinese Artists Representing Kenya At The Venice Biennale?

In The Shame In Venice 2, Kenyan artist Michael Soi protests the makeup of his country's pavilion at the Biennale.
Courtesy of Michael Soi

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:05 pm

There's something sketchy at this year's Venice Biennale — the international art exhibition sometimes dubbed the Olympics of the contemporary art world.

When you come to the Kenyan pavilion, almost all of the artists will be ... Chinese.

The Biennale, one of the oldest and most important exhibitions of contemporary art in the world, takes place in Venice every two years. Thirty countries, including the U.S., have a permanent slot.

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Television
4:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Jon Stewart's Replacement Is Unlikely Choice For 'The Daily Show'

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:45 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
3:16 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

How 'One Nation' Didn't Become 'Under God' Until The '50s Religious Revival

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:27 pm

The words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and the phrase "In God we trust" on the back of a dollar bill haven't been there as long as most Americans might think. Those references were inserted in the 1950s during the Eisenhower administration, the same decade that the National Prayer Breakfast was launched, according to writer Kevin Kruse. His new book is One Nation Under God.

In the original Pledge of Allegiance, Francis Bellamy made no mention of God, Kruse says. Bellamy was Christian socialist, a Baptist who believed in the separation of church and state.

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The Salt
2:41 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Our Food-Safety System Is A Patchwork With Big Holes, Critics Say

Walking through the warehouse of food processor Heartland Gourmet in Lincoln, Neb., shows how complicated the food safety system can be. Pallets are stacked with sacks of potato flour, and the smell of fresh-baked apple-cinnamon muffins floats in the air.

Heartland Gourmet makes a wide range of foods — from muffins and organic baking mixes to pizzas and burritos. That means business manager Mark Zink has to answer to both of the main U.S. food safety regulators, the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration.

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Book Reviews
2:38 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Open A Critic's 'Poetry Notebook' And Find The Works That Shaped Him

Clive James — an author, critic, broadcaster, poet, translator and memoirist — was diagnosed with leukemia a few years ago.
Courtesy of Liveright

Clive James' most anthologized poem is commonly known by its first two lines: "The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered/And I Am Pleased." Those lines tell the uninitiated almost all they need to know about the pleasures to be found in reading James: chief among them, his wit and his appreciation of the underlying absurdity of so much literary effort — including his own.

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It's All Politics
2:13 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Elizabeth Warren On Hillary Clinton And Running For President

Sen. Elizabeth Warren talked about 2016 to WBUR's Here & Now: "What I care about is that everyone who runs for president, who runs for any national office right now, talks about this core set of issues."
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 3:19 pm

No one in politics today is hearing more calls from progressives to run than Elizabeth Warren, the popular and populist Massachusetts senator. Warren, though, denies any interest in the presidency and continued to do that Monday in an interview with Jeremy Hobson on WBUR's Here & Now.

"I'm out here fighting this fight," Warren said. "I'm fighting it every single day in the United States."

Asked if she wants to run, Warren said bluntly, "I do not."

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The Salt
10:24 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Passover Sandwich

Ann contemplates the little known Fifth Question: What exactly is this?
NPR

Editor's Note: This story was originally published in April 2014.

Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.

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Monkey See
9:31 am
Mon March 30, 2015

5 Thoughts On Trevor Noah Taking Over 'The Daily Show'

Seen here in 2012, Trevor Noah was announced Monday as the new host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 11:03 am

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The Two-Way
8:29 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Trevor Noah Will Replace Jon Stewart As Host Of 'The Daily Show'

Trevor Noah, 31, will become the new host of The Daily Show later this year.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 10:13 am

South African comedian Trevor Noah will become the new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, stepping into the role Jon Stewart has filled for 16 years.

Confirming reports of his new job Monday morning, Noah tweeted, "No-one can replace Jon Stewart. But together with the amazing team at The Daily Show, we will continue to make this the best damn news show!"

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Movies
6:56 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

A Father-Daughter Team Remakes 'Jurassic Park' In Lego Form

Eight-year-old Hailee worked with her dad on the Lego version of Jurassic Park.
Paul Hollingsworth

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:43 pm

The dinosaurs are lot smaller than the originals — and so is one of the filmmakers.

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Books
5:44 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Understanding The Dark Side Of Enlightenment On 'Diamond Mountain'

cover image

In 2012, Ian Thorson was found dead in a cave in Arizona. He and his wife had been kicked out of a silent Buddhist retreat that was supposed to last three years, but they decided to finish out the time alone in the desert — and that extreme quest for spiritual enlightenment eventually killed him.

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Author Interviews
4:31 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 1:57 pm

Writer Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather Liu Feng Shu was a scholar in China's Qing dynasty during the late 1800s and early 1900s. As a patron of the arts, he built up an immense porcelain collection.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Japanese landed near his village on the Yangtze River. As the army approached, Liu and one of his workmen dug a giant hole in their garden, to keep the collection safe.

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My Big Break
4:31 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

For 'Dexter' Star David Zayas, Acting Was A Long Shot Away

Zayas is best known for his role as Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter. "The one through line of all 8 years of that character was his integrity and honesty," Zayas says.
Randy Tepper Showtime

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 4:43 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

David Zayas used to dream of being an actor. And he made it: he played Enrique Morales, the infamous inmate on HBO's Oz, as well as his most notable role, Sergeant Angel Batista on the Showtime drama Dexter.

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U.S.
4:31 pm
Sun March 29, 2015

Palm Springs Celebrates Its Past, And Tourists Arrive In Droves

Now a stop on Palm Springs tours, this iconic desert house — shown here in a 1970 photo — was designed by modernist architect Richard Neutra for department store magnate Edgar J. Kaufmann in 1946.
Slim Aarons Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 8:43 pm

About 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs, with its cloudless skies, bright sunshine and warm temperatures, was the desert playground of golden-era Hollywood. It attracted stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball.

As the years passed and the city's glamour waned, Palm Springs became better known for tanned retirees and sprawling golf courses. But these days, the city's past is making it a hip destination again.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:09 am
Sun March 29, 2015

For This Puzzle, Watch Your Words

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 9:33 am

On-air challenge: The challenge is a game of Categories based on the word "watch." For each category provided, name something in the category starting with each of the letters W-A-T-C-H. For example, parts of the human body would be "waist," "arm," "thigh," "chest" and "head."

Last week's challenge: Take the word "die." Think of two synonyms for this word that are themselves exact opposites of each other. What two words are these? A hint: they have the same number of letters.

Answer: Pass, fail

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The Salt
6:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

A Cheez Whiz ad from 1952.
Courtesy of Kraft Foods

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 9:33 am

Will Cheez Whiz survive the merger?

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Television
6:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

Cate Blanchett Swears On Australian TV; Flap Ensues

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 9:33 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

All was not prim and proper when actress Cate Blanchett sat down for an interview for the Australian show called "The Project." The interviewer took a decidedly casual tone.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE PROJECT")

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Fine Art
6:26 am
Sun March 29, 2015

New Postage Stamps Recognize The Genius Of Martin Ramirez

The U.S. Postal Service, in conjunction with the Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York, unveiled five new stamps Thursday depicting the paintings of Mexican artist Martin Ramirez.
Ricco-Maresca Gallery

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 4:52 pm

The U.S. Postal Service has just unveiled five new stamps depicting the paintings and drawings of Martin Ramirez.

An immigrant from Mexico, Ramirez was a self-taught artist who spent almost half of his life in California mental hospitals after being diagnosed as schizophrenic.

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Television
4:32 am
Sun March 29, 2015

In The TV Show 'Younger,' You're Only 26 Twice

With the help of her friend Maggie (Debi Mazar), single mom Liza (Sutton Foster) recasts herself as a 26-year-old in order to get a coveted publishing job. The new TV Land comedy Younger, made by Sex and the City creator Darren Star, premieres March 31.
Photo courtesy of TV Land

Originally published on Sun March 29, 2015 9:33 am

Tony award-winning actress Sutton Foster just turned 40, but in the TV Land show Younger she gets to be 26 again. Foster plays Liza, a middle-aged woman who needs to get back into the job market. The last time Liza applied for jobs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram didn't exist. Now, she's convinced that no one wants to hire someone her age. So she moves to Brooklyn, gets a few highlights, learns how to tweet, and applies for a job as an assistant to a fancy New York publisher.

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Book Reviews
4:31 am
Sun March 29, 2015

'The Precious One' Has Love At Its Heart

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 8:47 am

Sometimes when I'm talking about romance novels, I try to explain that one of the main reasons I love a good love story — indeed, why many romance fans love them — is because they give us a sense of hope. If these characters can overcome obstacles, become better people, and prove that they deserve each other, then love prevails. Love can change the world.

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Movies
8:54 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

The Chinese 'Paper Son' Who Inspired The Look Of Disney's 'Bambi'

Wong's style focused more on evoking emotion than capturing a photographic reproduction of nature.
Tyrus Wong Courtesy of the Tyrus Wong Family

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 9:25 am

The animals were getting lost in the forest — so the story goes.

A year after Walt Disney made history with the release of his studio's first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, his artists were struggling to find the right design for the woodland backgrounds of Bambi, the coming-of-age tale of a young deer.

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Author Interviews
4:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

'Night At The Fiestas' Spins Stories Of Faith And Family

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 4:29 pm

When writer Kirstin Valdez Quade talks about her New Mexican roots, it's not just her own childhood, growing up in the region, that she means — it's a connection much deeper than that.

"My family has been in northern New Mexico for hundreds of years," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. "My family's presence can be traced back to 1695 and some of the earliest conquistadors. So there's a long family history in the region."

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Music
4:24 pm
Sat March 28, 2015

Using Computers To Connect With Classical Music

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 4:30 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:19 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Not My Job: 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner Gets Quizzed On Glad Men

Dan Steinberg AP

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 9:49 am

Does anybody remember the days when people on TV had to be nice, honest people you could root for? After seven seasons of the groundbreaking TV show Mad Men, neither do we.

The final season of the show is about to launch and so we've invited Mad Men creator Matt Weiner to play a game called "Glad Men" — three questions about people who try to cheer other people up. We'll quiz him on the lives of a success coach, a motivational speaker and a happiness guru.

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Music News
6:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Influential Guitarist John Renbourn, Co-Founder Of Pentagle, Dies

John Renbourn performs onstage at the Royal Festival Hall in London June 29, 2008. The influential guitarist died at his home in Scotland Thursday. He was 70.
Barney Britton Redferns

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 12:41 pm

Guitarist and composer John Renbourn co-founded the group Pentangle and went on to become revered by guitarists around the world. Renbourn was found dead of an apparent heart attack at his home in Scotland on Thursday, after failing to show up for a concert. He was 70 years old.

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The Salt
6:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Making Cheese In The Land Of The Bible: Add Myrrh And A Leap Of Faith

A Palestinian Bedouin girl milks a sheep in her family's makeshift camp in the West Bank. Herders live close to their animals, their main source of income.
Emily Harris NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 9:56 am

In spring, West Bank almond trees bloom white. Dry brown hills turn temporarily green and are dotted with bright wildflowers. The ewes and nanny goats of Bedouin herders that wander the West Bank eat well this time of year.

It's cheese season.

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Author Interviews
6:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Hunting Mythical Monsters 'At The Water's Edge'

Emily Jan NPR

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 9:56 am

Maddie Hyde is a Sara Gruen heroine. She's bold, she's warm, and she's been cast out of Philadelphia polite society — in this case the family of her husband Ellis, who is 4F in the middle of World War II. To avoid the glares and scowls, and to earn their own way in the world after being cut off from a family fortune, they cross the Atlantic during a high tide of submarine warfare to try to burnish their family name by hunting down an older kind of monster in a Scottish village.

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Music News
6:39 am
Sat March 28, 2015

The Tale Of Mingering Mike, Who Painted Himself A Music Career

Mingering Mike's Joseph War & Friend, 'As High As The Sky' (mixed media on paperboard).
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 12:29 pm

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has just added a handful of soul records to its collection — or at least that's what you might think when you first see the work of Mingering Mike. A self-taught artist, he grew up in a tough part of Washington, D.C., just a few miles from the museum, though his family didn't spend much time there. Now, his work is in the museum permanently.

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Book News & Features
5:03 am
Sat March 28, 2015

Pour A Bucket Of Blood On These New Adaptations Of 'Carrie'

In Carrie The Musical, now being revived at a California theater, Carrie gets a jarringly Disneyesque song before her fateful prom.
La Mirada Theatre

Stephen King's Carrie (his first published work) is now more than four decades old, but it's never fallen out of pop culture favor. It was a fresh, horrifying look at the nightmare that could be high school, with a memorably mousy teenage protagonist who unleashed her telekinetic powers on her town.

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Simon Says
4:56 am
Sat March 28, 2015

At Last, A Fitting Farewell For Richard III

White roses adorn the statue of Richard III outside Leicester Cathedral before the reinterment ceremony of King Richard III.
WPA Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 28, 2015 9:56 am

Richard III was buried this week, two years after his abandoned bones were certified to be under a modern-day car park, and 530 years after he was the last English king to die in battle on English soil.

If you look past all the dukedoms and earldoms, the dust-up between the Houses of York and Lancaster called the War of the Roses doesn't sound dramatically different from a mob movie: thwacks, whacks, hanky-panky and blood.

Shakespeare just put that with more elegance.

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