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:
A young black man is suing high-end retailer Barneys, saying he was arrested after buying a $350 belt. Host Michel Martin checks in with the Barbershop guys for a fresh cut on that story and the rest of the week's news.
Eating healthy can be a challenge, especially if you're on a tight budget. Host Michel Martin asks health guru and rapper Stic, of the rap duo Dead Prez, for his suggestions on eating well while on a so-called "hood" budget.
When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him paralyzed on his left side. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down. Prager tells his story and probes deep questions of identity, self-deception and destiny.
For more than a decade, Maajid Nawaz recruited young Muslims to an extreme Islamist group. But while serving time in an Egyptian prison, he went through a complete ideological transformation. He left the group, his friends, his marriage for a new life as a democracy advocate.
In January 2009, businessman Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York. On the TED stage, Elias tells his story for the first time, including how the crash changed his approach to life, love and family.
On this week's round-table podcast, Glen Weldon and I are joined by the marvelous Gene Demby and Kat Chow of NPR's Code Switch project. We're always happy to see Gene and Kat, who bring their very own brand of thinly veiled, sibling-like hostility, which is something we can fully relate to.
Hong Kong director Tsui Hark's latest film, Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, just hit cinemas in Asia.
Credit Courtesy of Wang Fengchen
Amateur storyteller Wang Fengchen performs his art in traditional teahouses and on the radio. His repertoire includes Judge Dee murder mysteries. Stories about Judge Dee were told orally by storytellers for centuries until they were finally collected in a novel in the 19th century.
The sleuthing exploits of Judge Dee, a character based on a 7th-century Chinese official, are gripping new audiences as new generations of writers, movie directors and storytellers tell his tale and build on his legend.
Judge Dee was cracking tough cases for centuries in China before Sherlock Holmes even got a clue. But perhaps more importantly, his stories continue to inform ordinary Chinese people's understanding of justice and law.
OK. The writer Cormac McCarthy has won a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. He has never written an original screenplay produced until now. That film, "The Counselor," opens this weekend. Kenneth Turan has our review.
Costa-Gavras' propulsive 1969 thriller Z, a thinly veiled account of the assassination of a Greek democratic politician by a military junta, shaped the political passions of many in my upstart generation. It also instilled in one impressionable young critic-to-be the conviction that the revolution would come packaged with the likes of Yves Montand as boyfriend material.
Americans seem to have a love affair with snacking.
As a society, we eat twice as many snacks as we did a generation ago. Women, on average, nosh on upwards of 400 snack calories per day, according to federal survey data. And men consume almost 600 calories a day in between meals.
So, if nibbling is our new pastime, researchers have a suggestion for one satiating snack that seems to help control our appetites: almonds.
Several times during The Square, Jehane Noujaim's account of Egypt's unfinished revolution, the camera gazes down on Tahrir Square, teeming with multitudes. Yet ultimately, one of the principal appeals of the D.C.-born Egyptian-American filmmaker's documentary is its intimacy.
It was Saint-Exupery's Little Prince who declared: "It's a little lonely in the desert." That's a notion writer Cormac McCarthy knows well, his later novels often taking place in dusty Western locales among those isolated from society.
Blue Is the Warmest Color focuses on the relationship that develops between Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos, left) and Emma (Lea Seydoux), and it includes two explicit sex scene that have raised hackles among some critics.
Credit Alberto Pizzoli / AFP/Getty Images
Abdellatif Kechiche speaks onstage at the Cannes Film Festival in May with Seydoux (left) and Exarchopoulos after all three were awarded the Palme d'Or for their work on Blue Is the Warmest Color, a festival first.
The French film Blue Is the Warmest Color has been making news for months.
It won the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival in May. Then the director and his stars got into a public feud about the conditions on set and the explicit sex scenes between the film's leading actresses. After months of controversy, the picture finally opens in American cinemas this week — with an NC-17 rating.
But before it became the cinematic flashpoint of the year, Blue Is the Warmest Color was also declared the love story of the year.
Originally published on Thu October 24, 2013 2:44 pm
It all started in 1968 at a pet shop called Fish 'N' Cheeps in New York's Greenwich Village. On the way to a Jimi Hendrix concert, Patricia Wright and her husband dashed into the shop to escape heavy rain. There, a two-pound ball of fur from the Amazon captured their attention. A few weeks and $40 later, this owl monkey became their pet; later on they acquired a female as well.