Arts

Monkey See
1:00 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

On 'Tonight Show,' Jimmy Fallon Looks To Bridge Two Eras

Stephen Colbert visits The Tonight Show for Jimmy Fallon's debut --€” and pays up the $100 he bet that Fallon would never host it.
Theo Wargo Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 3:24 pm

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Author Interviews
12:32 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Teens Rehearse For Adulthood In Wolitzer's 'Interestings'

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:03 pm

Teen years are sort of a "rehearsal" for adulthood, author Meg Wolitzer tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, and that's particularly true at the performing arts summer camp where her latest novel begins. It's 1974, and the main character, Jules, a newcomer to the camp, is invited into a circle of 15- and 16-year-olds who nickname themselves — with knowing irony — The Interestings.

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Television
12:09 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

With Humor And A Nod To History, Fallon Takes Over 'The Tonight Show'

Jimmy Fallon took over as host of The Tonight Show on Monday. "I hope I do well," he told the audience. "I hope that you enjoy this."
Theo Wargo Getty Images for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 2:03 pm

Opening nights of new incarnations of late-night TV talk shows are good, mostly, for first impressions — or, in the case of Jay Leno, sometimes a second impression. It's not fair to make strong judgments on the content alone, because a first show always is top-heavy with ideas, special guests and nervousness. But it is fair game to judge the set, the environment, the overall mood, and how well the host fits into the history of late-night television.

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The Two-Way
10:04 am
Tue February 18, 2014

In Act Of Protest, Ai Weiwei Vase Is Destroyed At Miami Museum

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's "Colored Vases" is shown on display in December at the Perez Art Museum Miami. One of the vases in the exhibit was smashed Sunday.
Zachary Fagenson Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:47 am

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery — except perhaps when imitation takes the form of smashing a vase by Chinese artist and dissident Ai Weiwei valued at $1 million.

Miami artist Maximo Caminero claims he did it "for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," according to the Miami New Times.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Tue February 18, 2014

The Real Me

Katerine Bowman - Southeast HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

I don’t choose to wear makeup. Some people may look at me with disdain, and others wonder why I opt out of such a common practice. I see girls around me with perfect faces, unable to tell that they are covered with the cloudy foundation, and with their eyes painted just right so that I find it easy to look and hard to look away. But I myself find no yearning to be “beautiful,” or to look “flawless” simply so that others may be more visually attracted to me.

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The Two-Way
6:56 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Jimmy Fallon, 'Your Host ... For Now,' Takes Over 'Tonight'

Jimmy Fallon during his debut Monday as host of NBC's The Tonight Show.
Theo Wargo Getty Images for 'The Tonight Show'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 9:42 am

The new guy's getting pretty good reviews.

Jimmy Fallon took over NBC's The Tonight Show on Monday night, saying he just wants "to do the best I can ... make you laugh and put a smile on your face."

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Book News: J.K. Rowling's Second Crime Novel Coming Out In June

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 6:32 am

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

'A Burnable Book' Is Fragrant With The Stench Of Medieval London

promo image

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 4:35 pm

I fell into a state of dazed puzzlement at the start of this book, whose first chapter includes a remote century's bitter winter, "sour ale" in an "undercroft tavern," the stink of Newgate Jail, French secret agents, a wild-haired preacher and conversations in Italian and French as well as English.

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Arts & Life
4:03 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Classical Music Piece Enhances Roald Dahl's 'Dirty Beasts'

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The children's author Roald Dahl died almost 25 years ago, and yet, today you can find more musical adaptations of his work than ever.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

"Matilda" is a hit on Broadway. A musical version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is running in London's West End.

GREENE: Over the weekend, the London Philharmonic Orchestra debuted the newest adaptation of Dahl's work, a classical piece for children based on a collection of poems called "Dirty Beasts."

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Movies
2:31 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Getting 'Dallas Buyers Club' Made Took Tenacity And 'Will'

Rayon (Jared Leto) and Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) are fellow AIDS patients smuggling alternative medications into the U.S. in Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
Anne Marie Fox Courtesy of Focus Features

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:03 am

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12:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

The State Journal-Register Prints 2014 This I Believe Authors

Lead in text: 
WUIS' This I Believe partner, The State Journal-Register, printed the first week's essays in the Tuesday Voice section.
Each year, public radio station WUIS-FM asks high school seniors to share what they believe. The program was started by journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951 and WUIS has participated for eight years.The station partners with the Rotary Club of Springfield, which provides scholarships to the selected authors.The winning essays will be broadcast on WUIS (91.9 FM) during the last two weeks of February.Today, we publish five of the winning essays.
Monkey See
4:57 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Beauty Of Spilling Your Sad Teenage Guts

I read Pam Ribon's Notes To Boys: And Other Things I Shouldn't Share In Public in a few sittings, but the longest stretch I consumed where one should ideally read this book: in a bubble bath. The calming atmosphere is good for the anxiety that comes from seeing a woman excavate her teenage brain, the vulnerability builds the empathy it takes to understand how terrified all these boys she was writing to must have felt, and if you get too mortified for her, you can always elect to go down the drain with the bathwater just to escape.

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Parallels
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

A Heinrich Himmler Documentary, In His Own Words

Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler and his daughter Gudrun. Vanessa Lapa, the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, has made a documentary called The Decent One, based on Himmler's letters to his wife and other personal documents.
Realworks

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

The film's protagonist is Heinrich Himmler, the merciless Nazi leader and a key architect of the Final Solution. The film's director is Vanessa Lapa, the grandchild of Holocaust survivors. Her family recently came into possession of long-lost private letters, diaries and photographs belonging to Himmler.

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All Tech Considered
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

DIY Houses In The Internet Age: Some Assembly Required

Good things come in small packages. Lacy Williams, an architecture student, and her boyfriend, Patrick Beseda, built a WikiHouse to live in during a field project in Utah.
Patrick Beseda and Lacy Williams

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:19 am

If you can barely swing a hammer, you can still build your own home.

Builders at the Maker Faire in New York City proved this point last fall, with something akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising.

The event celebrates the do-it-yourself aesthetic, particularly when it comes to digital fabrication and open-source construction plans. Using wooden mallets cut from plywood, a crew of eight banged together the slotted frame of a WikiHouse without a single nail.

The result: a livable home.

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Movie Reviews
3:43 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

Movie Review: 'Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 6:59 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

If the Olympics aren't your thing, and you're in the mood for a little road trip from the comfort of your couch, NPR's movie critic Bob Mondello has a suggestion. This week, he's looking at a 1963 comedy featuring 47 - count them - 47 comedians. No joke.

BOB MONDELLO, BYLINE: They called it the biggest comedy ever.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD")

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 1:59 pm

Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Mon February 17, 2014

A Squirrely Story

Mason Lott - Pawnee H.S.
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS

It was a beautiful summer day.  The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, and I was flying down Glenarm Road at speeds upward of 20 MPH.  The grass was high that day, providing an attractive view, and I was enjoying the ride with the rest of my cycling group who rode just a few paces ahead.

We were forty-five miles into our weekend ride, when I heard a small rustle in the tall grass. Moments later, I saw a ball headed right towards me.  The next thing I know, the “ball” was lodged in between my front tire and the frame of my bike.  

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The Salt
7:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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Monkey See
6:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:43 pm

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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My Guilty Pleasure
6:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

It's French, But Ooh, It's Pulpy: The Dark Adventures Of Fantômas

Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.

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Movie Reviews
4:24 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Helprin's 'Winter Tale' Brought To Life On Silver Screen

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:11 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads, and Hollywood doesn't always hit the mark. Mark Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

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Strange News
4:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Vikings Of The World, Unite In Battle: The Apocalypse Is Upon Us

Warriors battle at the 2012 JORVIK Viking Festival. This year promises to be even fiercer, with the apocalypse looming.
Allan Harris Flickr.com

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 6:12 pm

Steel your nerves, dear reader. Ragnarok, the Viking apocalypse, draws near.

According to Norse mythology, the end of times has been brewing for about 100 days. It all started when the wolf son of Loki broke out of prison and the giant Midgard Serpent rose from the sea.

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Television
4:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Fumbling Through 'Fatherhood,' Even With The Best Advice

Fatherhood is Hank Azaria's new documentary series on the triumphs and challenges of becoming a dad.
AOL

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:49 am

Actor Hank Azaria wasn't sure he wanted to become a father.

"I am not a children kind of person," he says in the first episode of Fatherhood, his new AOL documentary series. "I feel about kids the way I feel about most people. Which is, most of them are annoying. Children are no exception — they're just annoying short people."

So Azaria set out to document his quest for parental wisdom, quizzing his friends, poker buddies and experts about why they chose to become parents.

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My Big Break
4:18 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Mike Rowe's Own Dirty Job: Selling Knick-Knacks Overnight

Mike Rowe's Dirty Jobs was canceled in 2012. He now runs the mikeroweWORKS Foundation.
Courtesy of Mike Rowe

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:49 am

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.

Before Mike Rowe was the host of Dirty Jobs on the Discovery Channel, he was selling knick-knacks on the QVC cable network in the middle of the night. He got the job after winning a bet in a Baltimore bar.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:15 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Get Ready To Flip Your Lid

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:44 am

On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is called "One, Two, Three — Flip!" The answer will come in the form of two words, and for each word you'll get a clue beforehand. Reverse the order of the first three letters of the first word to get the second word. Example: Cavalry sword and more villainous = SABER, BASER.

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Movie Interviews
7:10 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Disney's First Crop Of Trained Animators, Profiled

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:44 am

The first generation of animators to attend Walt Disney's California Institute of the Arts in the 1970s is profiled in Vanity Fair magazine. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Nancy Beiman, who was part of that first class.

Movies
4:28 am
Sun February 16, 2014

Martin Scorsese Takes Poland's Communist-Era Art Films On The Road

The hero of Andrzej Wajda's Ashes And Diamonds is torn between fighting Poland's post-World War II communist regime and returning to a normal, peaceful life.
Courtesy of Milestone Film

Originally published on Sun February 16, 2014 10:44 am

Martin Scorsese fell in love with Polish movies when he was in college.

"The images have stayed in my head for so many years, since the late '50s," he says. "I close my eyes, I see them, especially from Ashes And Diamonds, from The Saragossa Manuscript. They're very vivid, expressive, immediate."

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NPR Story
4:00 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

The Secret Operation To Bring Nazi Scientists To America

Adolf Hitler salutes to a crowd of soldiers at a Nazi rally in 1938. Years later, in the final months of World War II, the United States undertook an enormous effort to attract Nazi scientists.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 8:18 pm

In the fall of 1944, the United States and its allies launched a secret mission code-named Operation Paperclip. The aim was to find and preserve German weapons, including biological and chemical agents, but American scientific intelligence officers quickly realized the weapons themselves were not enough.

They decided the United States needed to bring the Nazi scientists themselves to the U.S. Thus began a mission to recruit top Nazi doctors, physicists and chemists — including Wernher von Braun, who went on to design the rockets that took man to the moon.

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Three Books...
2:43 pm
Sat February 15, 2014

Muses And More: 3 Books We Owe To Writers' Lovers

Many writers used their romantic partners as inspiration for characters and plot lines: Tolstoy's courtship of his wife, Sophia, became the model for Levin's wooing of Kitty in Anna Karenina, while Gustave Flaubert shamelessly infused intimate details about his mistress into the titular Madame Bovary. But some scribes owe much more to their significant others. These career-defining books might never have graced our shelves if it weren't for writers' strong-willed other halves.

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Digital Life
8:54 am
Sat February 15, 2014

An App On The Search For The Secret To Happiness

Originally published on Sat February 15, 2014 12:13 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Social scientists have a new way of researching happiness. Now, for years you had to ask somebody why they were happy in order study what makes somebody happy, but that's been hard to do every minute of every day until now. Guy Raz of the TED Radio Hour explains.

GUY RAZ, BYLINE: Matt Killingsworth is a scientist who...

MATT KILLINGSWORTH: ...studies the causes and nature of human happiness.

RAZ: Which used to mean bringing people to a lab and interviewing them and trying to figure out...

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