Finally, this hour, "The Price is Right" and how to get it.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)
CORNISH: We're talking about the popular daytime game show, of course. Sure, you could study up on the cost of canned goods, living room sets and big screen TVs to win or you could tip the odds in your favor and apply game theory. That's what Ben Blatt did for a recent article in Slate. He joins us now. Hey there, Ben.
It's easy, when writing about network TV, to be cynical.
For example, when I heard the Fox network had been holding annual conferences on diversity, telling top show producers their casts and crew had to feature more people of color, I remained skeptical. What's the catch, I wondered?
Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett's new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers' magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.
When you think of recycling, you probably think of cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. Well, think a little bigger.
There are businesses devoted to recycling metal, paper, plastic, oil, textiles, cell phones, computers, motors, batteries, Christmas lights, cars and more. The hidden world of globalized recycling and reclamation, and its impact on the environment and the global economy, is the subject of the new book Junkyard Planet by journalist Adam Minter.
As an aid worker, Jessica Alexander worked in Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Haiti, but don't call her a hero or a saint. Alexander tells Michel Martin about why she wanted to challenge perceptions of aid workers in her new book, Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid.
It's hard to remember when you look at the last umpteen seasons of MTV's The Real World, but back at the beginning, it was a pretty fascinating show. It once involved people who had actual plans to be musicians or artists or activists, and although there was always conflict, the days before everyone knew the rhythms of Real World editing — which became the rhythms of reality editing in general — it was, I repeat, a pretty fascinating show.
Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 12:45 pm
Three Studies of Lucian Freud, a 1969 triptych painting by artist Francis Bacon, was sold for a record $142.4 million Tuesday night at Christie's in Manhattan.
It's now "the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction," The Associated Press reports. The previous record: "the nearly $120 million paid for Edvard Munch's The Scream, which set a world record when it was sold at Sotheby's in a 2012 sale."
Even taken together, the charges didn't seem to amount to that big a deal — just a matter of quoting a few factual statements and a Wikipedia passage without attributing them. But as Rand Paul discovered, the word "plagiarism" can still rouse people to steaming indignation. Samuel Johnson called plagiarism the most reproachful of literary crimes, and the word itself began as the name of a real crime. In Roman law, a plagiarius was someone who abducted a child or a slave — it's from "plaga," the Latin word for a net or a snare.
Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 9:17 am
[This piece contains some plot details about About Time, but nothing major that isn't revealed in the film's marketing.]
Movies are the closest thing we have to time travel, so it's no wonder — or rather, it's a rich and enduring wonder — that so many memorable films have made it their subject. Actually, let's strike that. Few if any of those films are actually about time travel. Most films that involve it use it as a means of discussing something else.
A long lost work by Agatha Christie goes on sale today as an e-book. In 1954, Christie wrote "Hercules Poirot and the Green Shore Folly" to help her church raise funds for stained glass windows. It's about a parlor game of murder. The book is filled with references to local places and even to Christie's home, perhaps clues about her life. We'll all have to engage those little gray cells.
It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
Rapper and producer Sean "Diddy" Combs, director Robert Rodriguez, and basketball legend Magic Johnson each now has his own new cable TV networks. Their channels were part of a merger deal Comcast made with the FCC to give a shot to new networks owned by African Americans, Latinos and others.
Last month, Combs threw on his classic Puff Daddy alias to welcome millennial viewers to his new music network, Revolt.
This Veterans Day, considers these lines from the preface to Fire And Forget, a collection of short stories by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
On the one hand, we want to remind you ... of what happened ... and insist you recollect those men and women who fought, bled, and died in dangerous and far-away places. On the other hand, there's nothing most of us would rather do than leave these wars behind. No matter what we do next, the soft tension of the trigger pull is something we'll carry with us forever.
Now to an award dedicated to giving young American readers an accurate and balanced account of Africa. Parents and teachers looking for books that go beyond the portrayal of lions and giraffes or safaris might want to check out the winners of this year's Children's Africana Book Awards. The prize, which was awarded on Saturday night, was set up to showcase the best children's books about Africa that are published in the U.S.
On Veteran's Day, we honor those who have served by talking with five women who have fought for this country. All five are also authors. We hear how they hope to encourage a new generation of women in the military. Join @TellMeMoreNPR for a Live Twitter chat at 11:00am ET. We will talk about women in combat, race in the military, balancing career & motherhood and why women choose to serve.
Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 3:56 pm
A few years ago I did an author visit at an overcrowded junior high school in a rougher part of San Antonio. I write young adult novels that feature working-class, "multicultural" characters, so I'm frequently invited to speak at urban schools like this.
As is often the case, the principal and I talked as the kids filed into the auditorium. The student body was mostly Hispanic, he told me, and over 90 percent qualified for free and reduced lunch. It was an underprivileged school, a traditionally low-achieving school, but they were working hard to raise performance.
AMC's The Walking Dead has key ratings better than network dramas. The show gets desirable young viewers by not skimping on explicit action, gore or storytelling. So why haven't the networks tried to imitate the show? Blame the FCC, which cracks down on explicit network broadcast content but overlooks cable.
Fans of the critically acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey are counting down the weeks until the fourth season airs on PBS's Masterpiece in January. They have even more to look forward to — the series has been renewed for a fifth season.
Credit Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Ill.
Robert Henri's 1913 Figure in Motion was a realistic, but bold response to Matisse's and Duchamp's nudes.
Credit Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution
The 69th Regiment Armory on East 25th Street may have seemed like an odd venue, but it was big enough to hold the 1,400-work exhibition. "There were lots of comparisons in 1913 of the Armory Show being a bomb from the blue, so the Armory is not inappropriate," says curator Kimberly Orcutt.
Credit Philadelphia Museum of Ar / 2013 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris/Succession Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp's Cubist-inspired Nude Descending a Staircase was famously described by one critic as "an explosion in a shingle factory."
Credit The Baltimore Museum of Art / 2013 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Henri Matisse angered viewers with his "distorted" Blue Nude, a 1907 oil on canvas.
Credit Delaware Art Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
McSorley's Bar by American realist John Sloan is a 1912 slice-of-New-York-life scene of relaxation and libation.
One hundred years ago in New York City, nearly 90,000 people came to see the future of art. The 1913 Armory Show gave America its first look at what avant-garde artists in Europe were doing. Today these artists are in major museums around the world, but in 1913, they were mostly unknown in America.