Arts and Culture

National Security
8:07 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

The U.S. Says North Korea Ordered The Sony Hack. How Do We Respond?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Two-Way
6:53 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

U.S. Officials Believe North Korea Was Behind Sony Hack

U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea was centrally involved in the recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network — possibly out of retribution for its film The Interview. Above, a security guard stands outside a theater during the film's premiere in Los Angeles last week.
Kevork Djansezian Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:29 pm

The recent attack on Sony Pictures' computer network that resulted in a flood of embarrassing emails and pirated movies has its origins in North Korea, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

More details about the U.S. investigation into the hacking attack could emerge as early as Wednesday night.

Read more
Movies
5:26 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sony Cancels Theatrical Release Of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:07 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Interviews
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Angelina Jolie On Her Film's 'Unbroken' Hero: 'He Was Truly A Great Man'

During World War II, Louis Zamperini spent 47 days stranded in shark-infested waters before he was rescued by Japanese soldiers and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:31 pm

The new film Unbroken, from director Angelina Jolie, tells the story of an Olympic runner and World War II prisoner of war. Louis Zamperini shattered records at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, and when the war broke out, he enlisted. Then, on a routine mission, his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean, leaving him stranded in shark-infested waters for 47 days. When he was eventually rescued by Japanese soldiers, he became a prisoner of war.

Read more
Remembrances
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Author Of 'Clifford' Children's Books Dies At 86

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movie Interviews
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Major Movie Theater Chains Drop 'The Interview' After Threats

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:26 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Movies
3:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Studios Hope Holiday Family Movies Will Grab Slice Of Shrinking Box Office

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
3:28 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

An Updated 'Annie' And The Tradition Of Nontraditional Casting

Quvenzhane Wallis (second from right) stars in an updated version of Annie, produced by Jay Z.
Barry Wetcher Sony Pictures Entertainment

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:26 pm

That lovable moppet with the red dress, the curly hair, the big dog, and the even bigger voice is back.

This time, though, Little Orphan Annie is back with a difference: Quvenzhane Wallis is playing an African-American orphan in an ethnically diverse, up-to-date world. And that got us thinking about other instances where producers have breathed fresh life into familiar shows by making them dance to a new beat.

Read more
Illinois Issues - The Scene
2:58 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sangamon Auditorium: Beware Second Party Ticket Brokers

Ticket for AC/DC
Credit Flickr/H. Michael Karshis

If you're someone who frequents concerts and shows, chances are you have purchased tickets online. Lots of times the sites that come up on a Google search for those tickets are being offered from secondary-market brokers (a fancy term for the people who often charge extra to buy the tickets for you.). They serve as largely unnecessary middle men, and you could lose a good chunk of change if you're not careful.

Read more
The Two-Way
2:39 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Sony Cancels Christmas Day Release Of 'The Interview' Amid Threats

A sign posted Wednesday on the box office window at the Sunshine Cinema in New York. The New York premiere of The Interview, a Sony Pictures comedy about the assassination of North Korean President Kim Jong Un, has been canceled.
Andrew Kelly Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:07 pm

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

Sony Pictures has canceled the Christmas Day release of The Interview, the comedy that centers on a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader. The move came after the largest U.S. movie theater chains said they won't screen the film in the wake of threats against them by a group that also allegedly hacked Sony's internal documents.

Read more
Author Interviews
12:32 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WILLKOMMEN")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Singing) Willkommen, bienvenue, welcome.

Read more
The Salt
12:13 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:51 pm

The winter holidays are a time of abundance, but for Christians in the Middle East, the official start of the Christmas season is marked by a decidedly rustic dish: porridge.

Archbishop Swerios Murad of the Syriac Orthodox Patriarchate in Jerusalem says his congregation will eat boiled wheat kernels this week to mark the Feast of St. Barbara, or Eid el-Burbara in Arabic.

"It's a simple porridge," Murad tells The Salt, "but it's very important that it be sweet."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Wed December 17, 2014

Book News: Sci-Fi Writer Signs On As 'Chief Futurist' For Secretive Startup

In a blog post, Neal Stephenson says it's time that people develop a new medium, "one in which three-dimensionality is a reality and not just an illusion laboriously cooked up by your brain."
Madeleine Ball NPR

It seems we have a new case of life following art. Over two decades ago, in his seminal novel Snow Crash, science fiction author Neal Stephenson imagined a virtual world he called a "metaverse," a collective virtual reality that brought its users together in a single shared space. Now, Stephenson is trying his hand at helping sculpt another kind of alternate reality--this time not in print, but in life at large.

Read more
The Salt
10:46 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Way Beyond Brownies: Vice Launches A Marijuana Cooking Show

Aurora Leveroni, 91, is also known as "Nonna Marijuana."
Vice

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:03 pm

On Sunday, my mother sent me an email: "OMG! Watch this unbelievable cooking show!"

It wasn't spam, and my mother, who's 65, does not use OMG lightly.

The fuss was over a 20-minute video about a 91-year-old grandmother who cooks Italian classics in marijuana-infused butter.

Read more
Around the Nation
4:20 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Hacking Of Sony's Computers Creates Much Drama

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:32 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
Author Interviews
4:13 am
Wed December 17, 2014

25 Years Ago, 'Darkness Visible' Broke Ground Detailing Depression

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:29 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Read more
The Two-Way
7:28 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Creator Bridwell Dies At 86

Author Norman Bridwell and his wife, Norma, pose for a portrait in 2011. The creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog stories died Friday at age 86.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 1:26 pm

More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.

A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.

Read more
The Salt
4:21 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Japan's Beloved Christmas Cake Isn't About Christmas At All

A woman prepares a Japanese Christmas cake at the Patisserie Akira Cake shop on Dec. 23, 2011. The sponge cake is drenched in symbolic meaning.
Buddhika Weerasinghe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 12:15 pm

Read more
The Salt
4:18 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The 12 Days Of Quirky Christmas Foods Around The Globe

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:07 am

Wherever people celebrate Christmas around the world, they feast. It may be as simple as a bowl of porridge, but food rituals to mark the day as separate and special from all other days are practically universal. So often eating the food associated with this holy day helps families pause for a moment to remember who they are, and where they came from.

Read more
The Two-Way
4:17 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

Read more
Book News & Features
4:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Stan Lee — shown here in 2002 — helped create Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and the Avengers.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 5:39 pm

Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.

And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.

Read more
Goats and Soda
3:33 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:46 pm

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

Read more
Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season
3:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Hanukkah Lights 2014

Dominic Alves Flickr

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 3:19 pm

Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.

Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.

Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.

Read more
Extras: TED Radio Hour
2:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Playlist: I Never Knew That!

These TED Radio Hour stories amaze you.
Pai-Shih Lee Getty Images

Here at the TED Radio Hour, we love surprising ideas. From teddy bears to Sputnik, this playlist is full of astonishing stories that will stay with you.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Author Interviews
1:04 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 8:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

Read more
Monkey See
12:26 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in HBO's True Detective.
Michele K. Short HBO

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:44 am

When I was a kid, I loved reading Gene Siskel's movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune.

Read more
Illinois Issues - The Scene
12:02 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Local Book Club Provides Camaraderie For Vets

Justin Blandford (L) & Jim Warner

Veterans in the Springfield area have been gathering over the past few months to discuss stories they are reading about war and other topics they can relate to. It's become a therapeutic and social outlet. Justin Blandford is with the state's Historic Preservation Agency, which is helping sponsor the events, held at the Old State Capitol. He joined us for this chat. Along with him was the group's facilitator, Jim Warner, who begins this interview telling us about why he got involved:  

Read more
Monkey See
11:37 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Yes, 'Serial' Is True Crime — And That's OK

Sarah Koenig will, on Thursday, host the final episode of the first season of Serial.
Meredith Heuer

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 1:33 pm

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show. You can read Matt Thompson's initial entry in this conversation here and Gene Demby's contribution here.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:39 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Book News: James Patterson Makes Good On $1M Promise To Indies

James Patterson, together with a cadre of co-writers, consistently produces more than 10 books a year. Forbes estimates that Patterson made $90 million this year alone.
Janette Pellegrini Getty Images for Disney Publishing

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

Less than 10 months from the day James Patterson swore a million-dollar promise, he has kept his word. The best-selling novelist announced he has donated about $437,000 to 81 independent bookstores — a gift that completes his plan to donate $1 million of his own money to support independent booksellers.

Read more
Middle East
4:26 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Contestant From War-Torn Syria Wins 'Arab Idol'

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 5:09 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages