The 1980s and early '90s produced a generation of talented male actors known for taking on complicated, sometimes even controversial roles. Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Ethan Hawke - they all went on to become huge stars. But the legend of one member of that generation stands out, despite his early death - River Phoenix. Here he is in a 1986 classic "Stand By Me."
(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "STAND BY ME")
WIL WEATON: (As Gordie) You want to be the Lone Ranger and the Cisco Kid - walk and talk and - Jesus, where'd you get this?
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
For 26 years, Andrew Neiderman has been ghostwriting for Virginia Andrews — also known as V.C. Andrews, author of the bestselling novel, Flowers in the Attic. Under his watch, Andrews' name and gothic style of storytelling have spread to 95 countries in dozens of languages.
Weekend Edition has been asking you to share your scary stories, the ones that have become family lore. This week, we're sharing those stories and delving into how and why they affect us.
Singer-songwriter Rita Hosking grew up in a house that was haunted. It was known as the Old Erickson Place on Hatchet Mountain in California. In her 2009 album Come Sunrise, she tells the tragic story of the woman and her little boy who lived there years before.
ADVISORY: This essay contains violent and sexual content that some readers may find offensive.
Dirt for days. Around-the-clock degradation. Scandal too good to be true. Is this the latest from a publishing porn princess or prince? No: this lip-smacking low behavior is from Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars.
Douglas Lee thought he knew just about everything about the family business.
Since the late 1930s, the Lee family has sold insurance at 31 Pell Street in New York City's Chinatown. Their entrepreneurial roots in the Chinese-American community stretch back to 1888, when the Lees opened a grocery store at the same location.
Composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, shown here conducting the New York Philharmonic orchestra in 1963, was a legend in American music. Letters to and from Bernstein have been compiled into The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new book edited by Nigel Simeone.
Leonard Bernstein was a singular American genius. One of the great orchestra conductors of the 20th Century, he was also a composer of hit musicals like West Side Story, as well as symphonies and ballets. He was a teacher and television personality — his Young People's Concerts introduced generations of children to classical music.
Most people watch The Simpsons to laugh. And, perhaps, feel a little superior to the animated family who are Springfield's best known, if often most dysfunctional citizens.
But Simon Singh, the Cambridge-trained physicist and best-selling author, watches the show not just for laughs, but also for the ... math? In his new book, The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets, he argues that the writers and producers have woven a lot of math into The Simpsons — and into a highly honored show from the same team, Futurama.
Andy Ricker is passionate about changing how Americans think about Thai food. So passionate that he was willing to go deep into debt for it.
Ricker spent the better part of a decade eating in roadside restaurants, noodle stands and home kitchens across Thailand before opening his first restaurant, Pok Pok, in Portland, Ore. Eight years later, Ricker has seven restaurants in Portland and New York City, and he's just written his first cookbook.
The generation now coming of age in the U.S — sometimes called the millennials — is the largest ever. They pose a problem for television broadcasters: Many millennials watch little or no live TV.
On Monday, ABC and Univision are joining forces to launch a cable channel that hopes to change that. Fusion plans to attract a young audience by blending news with entertainment and humor. And it's aiming for a specific group of millennials — young Latinos.
Fish sauce — that funky, flavor-enhancing fermented condiment — is part of what gives Southeast Asian cooking its distinctive taste. But it turns out, this cornerstone of Eastern cooking actually has a long history on another continent: Europe. And it goes all the way back to the Roman Empire.
Originally published on Sat October 26, 2013 8:59 pm
When Norman Mailer spoke, you paid attention. Whether he was standing on a stage and speaking for an hour — without notes — on writing, or art, or politics, or in a manic monologue around a dinner table, or in a chance encounter on the sidewalks of New York or in an airport, you listened. Especially if you grew up idolizing him, as many of us did.
Actor John Lithgow has won awards for performances ranging from the goofy alien patriarch in 3rd Rock from the Sun to a demonic serial killer on Dexter to dramatic and musical roles on Broadway. (And if that weren't enough, he's written best-selling children's books, too.)
I admit it — I have a tendency to feel jaded. So if someone were to tell me that Brenda Hillman spent the last 17 years writing four books of poetry, one for each of the elements — land, air, water, and fire — I might brush the work aside. I might think that the project sounded cheesy, cliché, not for me. But I would be wrong, because the lush, sidelong, textured poems in Hillman's stunning new book Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire refuse simplicity. This book — the final exploration of the fourth element, fire — dances and leaps.
France's government has taken legal steps to protect the country's independent booksellers from behemoths like Amazon. It already prohibits discounts of more than 5 percent on books. Now it's considering a law that would not allow online retailers like Amazon to offer both a 5 percent discount and free shipping.
Credit Eleanor Beardsley / NPR
Jean-Paul Collet, owner of two independent bookshops in Paris, says his stores never would have survived without French legislation that bars discounts of greater than 5 percent on books.
Imagine buying a genuine Pablo Picasso painting valued at $1 million — and paying only $135.
That's the prize if you win the "1 Picasso for 100 Euros" raffle Sotheby's is currently putting on. It's the first time a Picasso has been offered as a raffle prize, and while 100 euros (about $135) isn't cheap for a raffle ticket, at one in about 50,000, your chances of winning are a lot better than the megalotteries a lot of people enter.
This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Craig Venter was the first person to ever create a living thing from scratch, a cell, a bacterium, into which was inserted manmade genetic material - DNA. And for all intents and purposes, it was alive, moving, reproducing. It opened up a whole new world of what he and we now call synthetic biology, creating stuff from genetic code as we need it.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: The most spectacular science shocker ever filmed. Too real to be science fiction, now science fact.
IRA FLATOW, HOST:
That theme signals a new series we're calling Science Goes to the Movies. If you ever watch sci-fi flick and think, now, com on. Did that really happen? Well, to us, that's what this series is all about. We're going to ask scientists to put on their film critic hats and help us separate the fact from Hollywood fiction.
Blue Is the Warmest Color is a lesbian coming-of-age movie, and its long and graphic sex scenes have already generated controversy. The director, Abdellatif Kechiche, is a man, and at least one prominent female critic has accused him of leading with his own libido — a charge that I vigorously dispute, but of course I'm a man so take that as you will. Here's what I saw: a film that captures the intensity of sexual discovery — and dependency — in a way I've never seen. It's 179 minutes, every one of them charged. It's a remarkable experience.
Stella Cole and Kevin Purcell join us to talk about a play that runs this weekend at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. Called 'The Little Years' it explores the trials of a female math prodigy. Following her over the course of over 40 years, from the time she was a teen during the 1950s, the Canadian play explores what happens when a brilliant young mind goes to relative waste: