Arts

Author Interviews
12:45 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

'Blood Will Out' Reveals Secrets Of A Murderous Master Manipulator

The FBI pulled fingerprints off decades-old immigration papers to find Clark Rockefeller's true identity.
Lisa Poole AP

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 2:02 pm

Let's say you meet a Rockefeller — Clark Rockefeller — and suddenly you have this connection to a world of wealth and privilege. Or so you think, because one day you find out he's an imposter. And not just an imposter — a murderer.

That's what happened to Walter Kirn, and Kirn's a smart guy — he's a journalist and the author of two novels that have been adapted into films, Up In The Air and Thumbsucker. How he was deceived, and what the consequences were, is the subject of Kirn's new memoir, Blood Will Out.

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The Salt
11:50 am
Mon March 10, 2014

The Upside Of All This Cold? A Boom In Ice Cider

The icy winter is just what's needed for tasty ice cider.
Herb Swanson for NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 10:41 pm

If there's anything most of us are tired of this winter, it's bone-chilling cold.
It's enough to drive you to drink.

Literally. Because frigid weather is just what some enterprising artisans need to make a dessert wine that has been showing up on trendy tables and menus. Ice cider was invented in Quebec in the 1990s.

This time of year, it's fermenting on the other side of the border as well, as a few snowy states try to tap into the locavore market and turn perishables into profits.

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Code Switch
9:11 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Stokely Carmichael, A Philosopher Behind The Black Power Movement

Martin Luther King Jr., shown here with Stokely Carmichael during a voter registration march in Mississippi in 1966, regarded the younger Carmichael as one of the civil rights movement's most promising leaders.
Lynn Pelham Time

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:26 am

Before he became famous — and infamous — for calling on black power for black people, Stokely Carmichael was better known as a rising young community organizer in the civil rights movement. The tall, handsome philosophy major from Howard University spent summers in the South, working with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC, to get African-Americans in Alabama and Mississippi registered to vote in the face of tremendous, often violent resistance from segregationists.

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Monkey See
8:53 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Part Beauty, Part Hooey: That's A Wrap On 'True Detective'

Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) had a lot to say about life, philosophy and beer on HBO's True Detective, which wrapped its first season Sunday night.
Lacey Terrell HBO

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 12:26 pm

[This piece contains a detailed discussion of Sunday night's True Detective finale. If you haven't seen it and you plan to see it and you don't want to know what happens, stop reading.]

[Seriously, information ahoy.]

Spoiler alert: The dirty-faced, crazy-talking, disheveled impoverished guy did it.

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The Two-Way
6:27 am
Mon March 10, 2014

Book News: Ned O'Gorman, Poet And Founder Of Harlem School, Dies

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

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Asia
2:04 am
Mon March 10, 2014

'Sherlock,' 'House Of Cards' Top China's Must-Watch List

Plot lines adorn the walls of 221B Baker Street, a Sherlock Holmes-themed coffee shop in Shanghai.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:59 am

What do an eccentric British detective, a cut-throat Washington pol and a bunch of nerds at Caltech have in common?

They are characters in some of the most popular foreign TV shows in China.

Over the past five years, The Big Bang Theory alone has been streamed more than 1.3 billion times. To appreciate how much some young Chinese love the BBC series, Sherlock, step inside 221B Baker Street. That's Holmes' fictitious address in London as well as the name of a café that opened last year in Shanghai's former French Concession.

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Author Interviews
4:23 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

'Boy, Snow, Bird' Takes A Closer Look Into The Fairy Tale Mirror

Helen Oyeyemi's previous books include Mr. Fox and The Icarus Girl.
Piotr Cieplak Penguin Group

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 6:00 pm

Boy, Snow, Bird reimagines the traditional Snow White fairy tale. Helen Oyeyemi's new novel explores beauty, envy and identity in New England in the 1950s — race and skin color shape the characters' experiences.

The wicked stepmother in this story is named Boy; the fair beauty is Snow. The birth of Snow's half-sister, Bird, reveals a long-buried family secret. Throughout the book, characters are haunted by a sense that things are not as they appear in their relationships and in the outside world.

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The Salt
1:36 pm
Sun March 9, 2014

A Theme Park For Foodies? Italians Say Bologna

Customers dine at the original Eataly in Turin, Italy, which opened in 2007.
demoshelsinki/Flickr

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Italy has more UNESCO world heritage sites than any other country in the world, and its art and cultural riches have drawn visitors for centuries.

It also prides itself on being a culinary mecca, where preparing, cooking and serving meals is a fine, even sacred, art. And now that the country is in the deepest and most protracted recession since World War II, why not cash in on its reputation as a paradise for visiting gourmets and gourmands?

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Art & Design
8:06 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Destroyed By Rockefellers, Mural Trespassed On Political Vision

After the Rockefeller Center mural was destroyed in 1934, Diego Rivera recreated this version, named Man, Controller of the Universe, which is on display at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. The story of the original mural's creation and destruction is the focus of a Mexican Cultural Institute exhibition in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Museo Frida Kahlo

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

When Mexican artist Diego Rivera was commissioned in 1932 to do a mural in the middle of Manhattan's Rockefeller Center, some might have wondered whether industrialist tycoon John D. Rockefeller Jr. knew what he was getting into.

In 1934, the legendary artist's work was chiseled off the wall.

Now, in Washington, D.C., the Mexican Cultural Institute has mounted a show that tells what happened to Rivera's mural.

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Race
7:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Busting Stereotypes To Become A Prima Ballerina

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

MISTY COPELAND: I'm Misty Copeland and I'm a soloist with American Ballet Theater.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And how many years have you been dancing, Misty?

COPELAND: I have now been dancing for I think it's about 17 or 18 years but professionally for 13.

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National Security
7:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Do We Really Need The Air Force?

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Sunday Puzzle
7:19 am
Sun March 9, 2014

A High Five On The Seven Seas

NPR

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

On-air challenge: For each five-letter word provided, insert two letters after the first letter to complete a familiar seven-letter word.

Last week's challenge: The challenge came from listener Harry Hillson of Avon-by-the-Sea, N.J. Take the first name of a nominee for Best Actor or Best Actress at last Sunday's Oscars. You can rearrange these letters into a two-word phrase that describes his or her character in the film for which he or she is nominated. Who is this star, and what is the phrase?

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PG-13: Risky Reads
4:10 am
Sun March 9, 2014

For A Sheltered Teen, 'Thorn Birds' Was A Much-Needed Eye-Opener

iStockphoto

I recently met up with one of my former high-school English teachers, and talk turned naturally to books. I told her how influential the books I'd read throughout my high school years had been, and mentioned several titles by name — The Count of Monte Cristo, Alas, Babylon, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, Of Mice and Men.

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Europe
4:09 am
Sun March 9, 2014

Hi Ho Spaniard! An Iberian Desert With Spaghetti Western Roots

Actor Jose Novo was born in Spain's Almeria region in the 1960s and claims to be the son of the American actor Henry Fonda, to whom he bears a striking resemblance.
Courtesy of Alvaro Deprit

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:00 am

If the Tabernas Desert in Spain's Almeria region looks like the set of a Hollywood Western, that's because it was one.

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Movie Interviews
5:27 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

'Kids For Cash' Captures A Juvenile Justice Scandal From Two Sides

Kids for Cash chronicles the story of Judge Mark A. Chiavarella, who was convicted in 2011 for sending thousands of children to a juvenile detention facility from which he'd received a "finder's fee."
Courtesy of SenArt Films

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 7:23 pm

In 2009, a major corruption scandal dubbed "Kids for Cash" hit the juvenile justice system of northeast Pennsylvania.

Two local judges had been enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for bad behavior by kids. Even minor offenses, like fighting in school or underage drinking, could mean hard time in a juvenile detention facility.

Federal prosecutors alleged the judges were actually getting kickbacks from those private detention facilities. They said the judges kept the juvenile detention centers full, and received cash in return.

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My Big Break
4:34 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

The Unforgettable Performance Ed Harris Doesn't Remember

Actor Ed Harris has been nominated for four Academy Awards.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 7:23 pm

As part of a new 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.

Actor Ed Harris, whose new film The Face of Love is out in select theaters, has taken on some indelible roles: from the controlling creator of the tiny universe in The Truman Show, to abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock.

But his most memorable acting experience came long before these Oscar-nominated performances.

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Religion
4:34 pm
Sat March 8, 2014

A Frat Of Their Own: Muslims Create A New Space On Campus

The brothers of Alpha Lambda Mu come from a variety of backgrounds and religious upbringings. "We meet at this middle ground we call brotherhood," says ALM founder Ali Mahmoud.
Dylan Hollingsworth

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 7:23 pm

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Books News & Features
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

From Uganda To The Midwest, 'All Our Names' Draws Portraits Of Love

creacart iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

In his latest book, Ethiopian-American writer Dinaw Mengestu explores the nature of loneliness, violence and love. Mengestu is known for his novels about the immigrant experience in this country, but this book, All Our Names, is something of a departure. Much of the story unfolds in Africa and there are two narrators: One is a young man who flees violence and revolution to seek refuge in America, the other is a white woman who has never left the Midwest.

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Author Interviews
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Meet The Murdering, Kidnapping Imposter Who Fooled Walter Kirn

iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 8:46 am

Walter Kirn has written insightful, best-selling novels — including Up in the Air and Thumbsucker, which were made into movies. He's an expert in the art of fiction.

So why did he fail to see the signs of falsehood in real life?

When Kirn was just starting his novel-writing career, he met a man who was a bold financier, an art collector, a fussy eccentric, a dog lover and a Rockefeller. They became friends.

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Health Care
6:53 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Affordable Care Act Isn't Perfect, But It's A 'Pretty Good Structure'

Courtesy of Public Affairs

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 11:20 am

For the Affordable Care Act to be considered a success years down the road, Ezekiel Emanuel believes that all Americans must have access to health coverage, and it must be better quality and lower cost. "And I think it's well within our grasp," he says.

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Movie Interviews
4:24 am
Sat March 8, 2014

Hollywood Bug Man Understands How Cockroaches Think

Entomologist Stephen Kutcher has wrangled insects for more than 100 films, commercials and music videos.
Courtesy of Stephen Kutcher

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:33 pm

When most people see bugs on the big screen, they squirm, panic or squeal. But not Steven Kutcher. Kutcher is the man responsible for getting those insects on the screen. He's been Hollywood's go-to bug wrangler since the 1970s, handling, herding and otherwise directing insects in over 100 feature films.

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Author Interviews
4:23 am
Sat March 8, 2014

'Night In Shanghai' Dances On The Eve Of Destruction

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:31 am

A lot of talented jazz musicians in the 1930's couldn't buy a drink in the places they played. They were the African-American musicians who helped create the era's signature sound — but still had to live under the sting of segregation. Unless they went elsewhere.

Author Nicole Mones' new Night in Shanghai centers on classcially trained Baltimore pianist Thomas Greene, who's recruited to play jazz — a music that's new to him — in a new place: not Harlem, or the south side of Chicago, or even Paris, but Shanghai.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
5:20 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Not My Job: Drummer Stewart Copeland Gets Quizzed On Police Tactics

Mark Mainz Getty Images

Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 11:03 am

In the late '70s American drummer Stewart Copeland was living in England and joined up with guitarist Andy Summers and a singer named Sting. They formed a band called The Police, and then basically provided the soundtrack for the 1980s. Since then, Copeland has scored movies, theater performances and occasionally gotten the old band together again.

We've invited Copeland to play a game called "You have the right to wonder what the heck I'm doing." Three questions about questionable police tactics.

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Movie Reviews
3:44 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

'Particle Fever': Thrills, Chills And High Subatomic Drama

Yes, that is a man standing there, in the middle of this one small fraction of one experimental node of the Large Hadron Collider.
CERN

All you really need to know about Particle Fever is that it includes footage of physicists rapping. About physics. Wearing giant Einstein masks.

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Movie Reviews
3:30 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

'Grand Budapest Hotel': Kitsch, Cameos And A Gloriously Stylized Europe

Ralph Fiennes plays Gustave H., a hotel concierge given to bedding his elderly guests, in Wes Anderson's latest film.
Bob Yeoman Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 3:46 pm

Wes Anderson has his share of groupies and his somewhat smaller share of skeptics who find him a tad precious. As someone who leans toward the precious view, but is open to his grace notes, I found The Grand Budapest Hotel mostly delightful.

It's a madcap comedy, but with hints of tragedy lurking outside the usual Anderson dollhouse frames. The central character is Gustave H., played by Ralph Fiennes. He's the concierge of a kitschy, opulent, high-class European hotel between World Wars I and II.

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Fine Art
3:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Too Many Artists, Too Little Time: The Problems And Promise Of The Whitney

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The art show everyone loves to hate opens today in New York City. Every two years, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosts a show that's billed as an overview of art in America. The Whitney Biennial inevitably gets trashed by art critics, museum visitors and artists alike. As Karen Michel reports, this is the last biennial before the museum moves to a new building.

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Movie Reviews
3:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:29 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Filmmaker Wes Anderson makes movies that are eccentric, pointedly artificial and, to his fans, very funny. From his early comedies "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tannenbaums," to last year's Oscar-nominated "Moonrise Kingdom," Anderson's movies have looked and sounded different from everyone else's in Hollywood. And critic Bob Mondello says that streak continues with his spoof of extravagant 1930s melodramas. It's called "The Grand Budapest Hotel."

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Television
3:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

From One Dream To Another, 'The Returned' Shows Promise

Originally published on Sun March 9, 2014 9:42 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's something most writer only dream of, but Jason Mott is living the dream. ABC has turned his first novel into a TV series. "Resurrection" premieres Sunday night. As NPR's Eric Deggans reports, it explores one transition just about everyone faces sooner or later.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: For Jason Mott, it all started with a vision about life after his mother's death.

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This Week's Must Read
3:09 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

A Ukrainian Conscience Lost By Complicity, Recovered By Remorse

An anti-government protester sits on the Founders of Kiev monument during clashes with riot police in central Kiev.
Louisa Gouliamaki AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 6:29 pm

Anthony Marra recommends Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman as a way to understand the events unfolding in Ukraine.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Barbershop
11:05 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Barbershop Guys Dig Into Hollywood Beef

Screenwriter John Ridley won an Oscar for 12 Years A Slave, but he's being criticized for an old essay about black people. The barbershop guys give their own speeches on the topic.

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