Arts

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:53 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Not My Job: We Quiz Nick Offerman On The Finer Points Of Manhood

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 3:45 pm

Nick Offerman was a serious theater actor when he was cast as meat-eating, scotch-drinking boss Ron Swanson in the hit sitcom Parks and Recreation — and now he's the nation's foremost symbol of purest manhood. Offerman has just published a book of of manly advice called Paddle Your Own Canoe, so we've invited him to play a game called "Time to take off the shirt and count the chest hairs." Three questions about extreme, masculine sports.

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Books
3:59 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

In Art Lost And Found, The Echoes Of A Century's Upheaval

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:08 pm

Every week, a cluster of stories comes to define the landscape of news media. These can be stories of international scope or local intimacy, but for their own distinctive reasons, they all offer narratives defined almost in real time.

To get a better grasp on the hectic pace of current events, it's often vital to turn to another kind of narrative — our favorite kind: books. That's why each week we'll invite authors to suggest a book that somehow deepens, contextualizes or offers an entirely new angle on one of the week's major headlines.

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The Two-Way
3:59 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Blockbuster Fades Out, But Some Zombie Stores Will Live On

This Blockbuster store in Mission, Texas, is franchised by Border Entertainment. The company has 26 stores across Texas and Alaska that will live on after the last 300 or so company-owned stores are closed by early January 2014.
Courtesy of Alan Payne

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:08 pm

Blockbuster was once the king of movie rental stores. At its peak, it had about 60,000 employees and more than 9,000 stores.

But after struggling for several years, the chain is breathing its last gasp. Dish Network, which bought Blockbuster in a 2011 bankruptcy auction, says it will close the remaining 300 or so company-owned stores by January.

On Twitter, it put out a call for "Blockbuster Memories."

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Movie Interviews
3:39 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Jake Gyllenhaal, Going After What's Real

Jake Gyllenhaal plays the stoic Detective Loki in Prisoners, trying to track down two missing girls.
Wilson Webb Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 7:08 pm

In the movie Prisoners, now in theaters, a detective investigates the abduction of two young girls. Things get a little more complicated when the father of one of the girls takes matters into his own hands, kidnapping and torturing the man he thinks is responsible.

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Monkey See
12:10 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Sisters And Brothers And A Holiday TV Quiz

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

This week's show, featuring a visit from our pal Kat Chow, kicks off with a Thor-inspired discussion of the sometimes fraught world of sibling relationships. We talk about where we come from in our own sibling worlds, and then check in with fictional siblings and real-world siblings. (Stephen has concerns regarding the Jonas Brothers.)

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The Two-Way
11:26 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Poet Pablo Neruda Was Not Poisoned, Officials In Chile Say

Chilean writer and diplomat Pablo Neruda died from prostate cancer, not poison, officials say. He was serving as Chile's ambassador to France in 1971 when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature.
STF AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:57 pm

It was prostate cancer, not an assassin's poison, that killed poet Pablo Neruda, officials in Chile announced Friday. The Nobel laureate's body was exhumed for testing this spring, due to claims from an employee and Neruda's family that the Chilean poet had been murdered at age 69.

From The Santiago Times:

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Barbershop
11:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Should Jonathan Martin 'Man Up' Or 'Leave It On The Field?'

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Arts & Life
11:11 am
Fri November 8, 2013

St. Louis Master: 'Diversity Is Big In Chess'

St. Louis might be known for legendary entertainers like Josephine Baker, or star athletes like Yogi Berra, but now there's something else putting the city on the map. It's known as the 'Chess Capital of the World.' Host Michel Martin learns more from St. Louis native and chess National Master, Charles Lawton.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of November 7, 2013

Hyperbole and a Half cover

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:29 pm

Allie Brosh's Hyperbole and a Half, debuting at No. 1, features stories and drawings from her blog.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of November 7, 2013

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:41 pm

In The Dinner, appearing at No. 12, Herman Koch writes of two families shaken by their sons' crime.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of November 7, 2013

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:32 pm

The Death of Santini, Pat Conroy's memoir of reconciling with his estranged father, debuts at No. 6.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of November 7, 2013

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:26 pm

Debuting at No. 11, S. is J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst's tale of a mysterious author and two readers.

NPR Bestseller List
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of November 7, 2013

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Movie Reviews
10:51 am
Fri November 8, 2013

John Sayles' 'Go For Sisters,' Taking A Curious Direction

In Go for Sisters, former cop Freddy Suarez (Edward James Olmos) agrees to help a parole officer track down her wayward son along the U.S./Mexico border.
John Castillo Variance Films

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:21 pm

The first few minutes of John Sayles' Go for Sisters give a taste of what the director, one of the U.S.'s preeminent independent filmmakers, does best.

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Monkey See
10:31 am
Fri November 8, 2013

A Complete Curmudgeon's Guide To 'The Sound Of Music'

Evening Standard Getty Images

NBC has released the first trailer for its live version of The Sound Of Music, airing December 5.

Now, some have chosen to focus on the negative; on the nostalgic sense that to remake this show — or, more precisely, to remake the movie version, as they may well do, at least in part, owing to its ubiquity — is a mistake. No matter the talent involved, like Audra McDonald (as Mother Abbess) and Laura Benanti (as the Baroness), it will be an NBC remake.

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Music
10:10 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Daytrotter Highlights Famous & Unheard Indie Music

Daytrotter founder, Sean Moeller
Credit daytrotter.com

Given the rise of music streaming websites like Spotify and Rhapsody, the assumption is listeners gravitate toward music they've already heard. One website headquartered in Rock Island is looking to change that. Daytrotter brings Indie bands from across the United States and the U.K. to their downtown studio for recordings, typically around five songs.

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TED Radio Hour
9:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

What's It Take To Become A Polar Explorer?

frogdesignmind

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode To The Edge.

About Ben Saunders' TEDTalk

Explorer Ben Saunders wants you to go outside. Not because it's always pleasant and happy, but because that's where the meat of life is, "the juice that we can suck out of our hours and days." In 2004, Saunders skied solo to the North Pole. Saunders' next outdoor excursion? To try to be the first in the world to walk from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back again.

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TED Radio Hour
9:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Why Is The High Wire Impossible To Resist?

Ryan Lash TED

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 12:39 pm

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode To The Edge.

About Philippe Petit's TEDTalk

High-wire artist Philippe Petit tells the story of his 1974 tightrope walk between the Twin Towers and explains his lifelong fascination with pushing himself to the limit.

About Philippe Petit

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The Two-Way
6:10 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Book News: Claire Vaye Watkins Wins The Dylan Thomas Prize

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of the short story collection Battleborn.
Riverhead Books

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

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Movie Reviews
4:07 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Animator Hayao Miyazaki's 'Wind Rises' Is 'Special'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

A legendary Japanese animator has a new film out this week. It's only in select theaters for one week only, just enough to qualify for the Oscars. Our film critic Kenneth Turan says "The Wind Rises" is worth seeking out.

KENNETH TURAN, BYLINE: To see "The Wind Rises" is to both marvel at the work of Hiyo Miyzasaki and regret that this film is likely his last. Inspired by the life of a brilliant aircraft designer, it's quintessential Miyazaki: stunningly beautiful and completely idiosyncratic.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Asia
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Ex-Ambassador Examines U.S., Pakistan Relations

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Before the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the head of Pakistan's armed forces visited President Obama. In the room, as the two men talked, was Pakistan's ambassador to the U.S. As then-Ambassador Hussain Haqqani remembers it, President Obama hinted at what was likely to happen.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

For Haqqani, that conversation and all that followed was a classic moment in relations between the United States and Pakistan. Those relations have always been filled with miscommunication and misunderstanding.

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Television
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

2 Finalists Vie To Be 'Master Chef Junior'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight, a big moment for a couple of extraordinary chefs. They were originally 24 but after unimaginable cooking challenges, devastating eliminations, and, yes, some tears, the field is down to two. We're talking about the reality cooking show "Master Chef Junior." These contestants were ages eight to 13. Some stood on crates to reach their cooking stations? The two finalists: 12 year old Dara Yu and 13 year old Alexander Weiss. We spoke to them, along with one of the celebrity judges, Joe Bastianich.

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Business
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Neflix To Stream Original Series Based On Marvel Characters

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It was a wham, boom, pow kind of an announcement from Netflix. They're making four original series based on Marvel Comics.

NPR's Neda Ulaby reports on why Netflix is leaping into the business of capes, masks and superpowers.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Netflix has gotten a reputation for decidedly grown-up original series, "Orange Is The New Black," "House of Cards" and the revival of "Arrested Development."

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT")

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Fine Art
2:04 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Saudi Soldier Questions Authority With Art (And Plastic Wrap)

Gharem's solo exhibition at Edge of Arabia's gallery space in London ran from Oct. 8 - Nov. 8.
Alex Maguire Edge of Arabia

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Abdulnasser Gharem is a lieutenant colonel in the Royal Saudi Arabian Armed Forces, a man who's served in his country's military for more than two decades. But Gharem's true passion lies in a decidedly less rigid field — contemporary art.

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Architecture
2:03 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Size Does Matter, At Least In The Tallest Building Debate

The view from the Willis Tower, formerly known as Sears Tower, in Chicago.
FleishmanHillard

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:20 pm

There's a question that's looming over the new skyscraper at the World Trade Center site in New York: Should it count as the tallest building in the country?

The developers say yes. But by some measures, the Willis Tower in Chicago — formerly known as Sears Tower — can still lay claim to the title.

Now, an obscure organization known as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat is preparing to settle the debate.

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Book Reviews
4:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Inspired By History, A Novelist Writes Of Jewish South Africa

iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

Roughly three-quarters of South Africa's Jewish population are descendants of Lithuanian immigrants. Of these peasants, townspeople, tradesmen, shopkeepers and intellectuals who fled centuries of persecution and embarked on a passage to Africa, many dreamed of a new land and the promise of new beginnings. Kenneth Bonert's ancestors were part of this diaspora. In his debut novel, written in language as dense and varied as the South African landscape he describes, Bonert delivers a taut, visceral account of a young Jewish boy's African life.

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Code Switch
4:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Striking Harmonies With The Jubilee Singers' Past And Present

Soprano Nigia Hunt is a junior at Durham School of the Arts. She and others are singing for Paul Kwami, auditioning for a solo in the Duke Performances concert.
Leoneda Inge/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

The Fisk Jubilee Singers are known worldwide for their flawless voices and stellar performances of Negro spirituals. They're from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., but they travel around the world to perform their music. Negro spirituals were originally sung by slaves and remain tightly linked to African-American culture. Paul Kwami, the choir's musical director, said singing these spirituals was a way for slaves to lament their servitude, along with the hope of being free one day.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

The End Of The World, As She Knows It

Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is just a typical teen struggling with boys, family and growing up — and also what might be the apocalypse.
Nicola Dove Magnolia Pictures

Because it serves up Armageddon with a side order of teen romance, How I Live Now is not always credible. But as a portrait of a surly 16-year-old whose internal crisis is overtaken by an external one, the movie is persuasive.

For that, credit goes partly to director Kevin Macdonald, but mostly to his star, Saoirse Ronan. Playing a neurotic urbanite who learns to survive in a war-ravaged landscape, the actress is, appropriately enough, a force of nature.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

One Big Lie, And All Of Lance Armstrong's Others

Alex Gibney's documentary started as a flattering profile of competitive cyclist Lance Armstrong, but all that changed after Armstrong admitted to years of doping — and lying to everyone about it.
Frank Marshall Sony Pictures Classics

"I didn't live a lot of lies. But I did live one big one. It's different, I guess. Maybe not."

So said disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to filmmaker Alex Gibney early this year, just hours after he confessed to Oprah that he'd doped during his seven wins of the Tour de France.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Turns Out One Does Simply Walk Into More 'Thor'

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his hammer are back for a supernatural sequel, battling the forces of evil again — this time without his fellow Avengers.
Jay Maidment Marvel

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 1:22 pm

Audiences for Thor: The Dark World may initially be confused as to whether they accidentally wandered into a preview screening of the next installment in the Hobbit series.

The opening prologue — a solemn Anthony Hopkins narrates an epic tale of ancient wars between the forces of good and a race of evil elves — feels like pure Tolkien, and with good reason: the Norse mythologies that inspired the Lord of the Rings author also informed Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Larry Lieber as they went about developing their godlike superhero.

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