A U.S. appeals court has ruled against a group of authors, deciding in favor of a consortium of universities in a case that hinged on copyright law and provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The universities had allowed Google to make digital copies of more than 10 million books so that they could be searchable by specific terms.
Larry Wilmore just landed the second-toughest job in TV.
The toughest gig falls to Stephen Colbert, who will replace late-night talk icon David Letterman on CBS next year. But Wilmore has been named to replace Colbert, leading a show that will tackle topics barely referenced on television: race and diversity.
And Wilmore admits to just one teeny, tiny concern about replacing Colbert: He might screw it up pretty badly. And then they'd never let another black guy host another late-night TV talk show.
Ray Bandar's skeletons aren't in his closet — they're in his basement. Lots of them. Specifically, 7,000 skulls stacked floor to ceiling, including those of sea lions, cheetahs, jaguars, horses, zebras and other animals.
Bandar has spent 60 years building this scientific collection of animal bones. Now, many of his skulls are on view at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, which has just opened an exhibit featuring his work.
Film director and writer John Waters has broken many taboos and created intentionally perverse scenarios in his films — most notably in Pink Flamingos, about a competition for the title "the filthiest person alive."
Waters, who is now 68, was looking for an adventure he could write about. So he decided to hitchhike cross-country from his home in Baltimore to his co-op apartment in San Francisco.
Any novel that opens on a young American woman running a bookshop in a small town nestled in the Welsh countryside promises a glimpse into a life lived far from the madding crowd. That's the quaint plotline Tom Rachman's new noveltells uninterruptedly for the length of one brief chapter. Thereafter, Rachman returns only occasionally to the World's End bookshop and its shelves sporting idiosyncratic labels like: Artists Who Were Unpleasant to Their Spouses; History, the Dull Bits; and Books You Pretend to Have Read but Haven't.
Gosh all fishhooks! Fire up your flivvers and tea-carts, birds, because Drawn & Quarterly is at it again. The publisher continues its release of Gasoline Alley comics compilations with Walt Before Skeezix, a collection of some of creator Frank King's very first strips. Gasoline Alley later became known for its long-running stories and minute eye for domestic life. In this early incarnation, though, King's just drawing a jokey strip focused on four average guys who hang out in each other's garages, bonding around cars and their need for a male retreat.
In 1898, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created a special department of men called Agriculture Explorers to travel the globe searching for new food crops to bring back for farmers to grow in the U.S.
"These agricultural explorers were kind of like the Indiana Joneses of the plant world," says Sarah Seekatz, a California historian who grew up in the Coachella Valley, the date capital of the U.S.
Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 11:13 am
Even the snobbiest entertainment fan has got to admit it: Television is pretty good these days.
So it's easy to get distracted by talk of big-ticket dramas like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead or Orange Is the New Black. But the fact is, there's a whole wide universe of TV shows out there that aren't trying to top critics' best-of lists, make the short list at the Emmys or get recapped on Vulture.com.
Shep Gordon's job is managing musicians and chefs and turning them into stars. Gordon created celebrities out of the likes of Alice Cooper and Anne Murray, but he says fame isn't necessarily a good thing.
"I made excuses to myself for how I made a living and tried to do it as honorably as I could, but I can't say that I'm proud," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. " ... If you make someone famous, they have to pay a price."
Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 12:02 pm
Toss out the china and pick up the picnic basket! Summer cookbooks are fanciful creatures — high on whimsy and shamelessly devoted to making a good life better. For some, that means lingering in the farmers markets or gardening with the kids. For others it's indulging in some usually forbidden pleasures — the fried, the icy sweet, the charred and meaty. And for some, it means crossing oceans to sample less familiar fare — without ever leaving the porch. There's something for everyone, but all go just fine with bare toes and a sun hat.
When a new batch of Tonys was awarded Sunday night, Audra McDonald walked off the stage as the most decorated actress in the event's history. McDonald won for her portrayal of Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson's Bar And Grill.
In the spring of 2009, British author Tom Rob Smith received a disturbing phone call from his father. "And he was crying," Smith tells NPR's David Greene. "He never cries. And he said to me, 'You've got to come to Sweden. Your mom has suffered a psychotic episode, and she's in an asylum.' "
Then, Smith's mother called. She had just been released from the psychiatric hospital in Sweden, and she said everything his father had told him was a lie. "She wasn't mad. My dad was involved in a criminal conspiracy, and she was flying to London to tell me the truth."
And what about the drug he's on right now to help him kick his addiction to Vicodin? I asked him how long he thinks he'll have to take that. Three months, he says. Maybe a year, maybe more. And that's OK with him. >>MARTIN: If you can't get the lyrics to Disney's megahit musical, "Frozen," out of your head, you are definitely not alone. Disney has dubbed the musical into 41 languages.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LET IT GO")
UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: (Singing in foreign language).
Obvious Child's story goes like this: Boy dumps girl; girl is sad; girl rebounds with nice guy she meets at a bar, and then things get complicated. Comedian Jenny Slate plays Donna, the main character:
"Donna's in her late 20s. She's a comedian in Brooklyn. ... It's going pretty well for her at the start of the film. [But then] she ends up getting dumped and fired and then pregnant all in time for Valentine's Day. ... It all really starts to circle the drain a little bit."
Every time you see a Broadway show, chances are a lot of the actors are wearing wigs.
Sunday night at the 68th Annual Tony Awards, Broadway's highest honors will be presented in a ceremony at Radio City Music Hall. Awards will go to actors, actresses, set and lighting designers, but not the people who make the wigs the stars wear, even though the wigs are an essential part of theater craft.
Essential, and yet often invisible, says Jason P. Hayes, the wig designer for Harvey Fierstein's Tony-nominated play, Casa Valentina.
RACHEL MARTIN: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Aaron Martin had a problem with crystal meth. And last year, at the age of 19, it was part of what landed him in a correctional facility with a sentence of 46 months, although his actual crime was texting explicit pictures of his underage girlfriend.
Weekend Edition is kicking off a series of conversations with authors who'll recommend great reads for our listeners.
This week, we're paging through Time Present and Time Past, a new book from Irish author Deirdre Madden. It takes its name from T.S. Eliot's poem "Burnt Norton," and it takes place in 2006, just before the Irish financial crisis.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I have a few things in common: We both discovered Kafka while studying in Bogotá, and we both knew we wanted to write forever after borrowing copies of The Metamorphosis. Reading that little novel — an exercise in the seemingly endless possibilities of fiction — proved to be a transformative experience for both of us.