Arts

Movie Reviews
5:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Lego Movie': A Goofy Toy Story That Genuinely Clicks

In The Lego Movie, ordinary-guy Emmet (Chris Pratt) is expected to save the world with the help of a rebellious crew that includes Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) and Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman).
Warner Bros.

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 6:24 pm

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

A Horror Comedy With 'Everything' And Then Some

Simon Pegg (Sean of the Dead, Star Trek) plays Jack, a writer gone paranoid while working on a book about 19th-century murderers.
Gaiam Vivendi

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

The Holocaust Recalled, Again, Through The Eyes Of 'The Unjust'

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

With a running time of more than nine hours, Claude Lanzmann's monumental 1985 documentary, Shoah, was never destined to become a mass audience draw. But this sober, taxing, utterly absorbing attempt to document the Holocaust grows ever more essential precisely as our collective memory is increasingly eroded by the reductive shorthand of emaciated bodies or piles of shoes discarded by concentration-camp inmates as they went to their terrible fate. For Lanzmann, understanding trumps empathy.

Read more
Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Family Matters, With A Dose Of Pharmaceuticals

Josiane Balasko and Michel Blanc
A BORREL Courtesy of Rialto

Josiane Balasko's Demi-Soeur suggests that modern pharmaceuticals can abet the storytelling in an old-fashioned sentimental farce: A dose of Ecstasy is all that's required to activate the relationship between Nenette (Balasko), a 60-year-old with the understanding of a first-grader, and her previously unknown half-brother Paul (Michel Blanc).

Read more
Code Switch
3:59 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Vanity Fair' Adds Color To Hollywood's Golden Moment

Chiwetel Edjifor (from left), Julia Roberts, Idris Elba, George Clooney, Michael B. Jordan, Jared Leto, Lupita Nyong'o, Naomie Harris, Brie Larson, Chadwick Boseman, Margot Robbie, Lea Seydoux.
Annie Leibovitz Via Vanity Fair

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:49 pm

Today, the March issue of Vanity Fair magazine hit newsstands in New York and Los Angeles; it will be available nationally on Tuesday. This is the 20th annual Hollywood issue, which showcases some of the industry's best talent. But this issue is quite different: Fully half the actors on the cover's three-panel foldout are black.

Befitting the occasion, the Oscar nominees on the cover are dressed in formal wear. George Clooney and Jared Leto are elegant in white tie and tails, and Julia Roberts wears the top half of a dinner jacket, a big grin and little else.

Read more
Book Reviews
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Book Review: 'Trieste,' by Dasa Drndic

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been nearly 70 years since the end of World War II, but Croatian writer Dasa Drndic makes the war and its countless horrors feel fresh and urgent in her latest novel "Trieste." Ellen Elias-Bursac translated the book into English.

Alan Cheuse with our review.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Perfume's Scents Of Subversion? Sweat, Musk And Patchouli

A combination of musk with a traditional floral scent made Chanel No. 5 a revolutionary fragrance.
Hiroko Masuike AP

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Barbara Herman has spent the better part of the past six years taking a deep nosedive into the world of vintage fragrances. Her quest has been to find the bold, sexy and downright odd smells that have defined women over the decades.

The result is a book called Scent And Subversion: Decoding A Century Of Provocative Perfume. It explains how, at the turn of the 20th century, most perfumes were still just one note, floral. Then, a now-iconic perfume came along — one that combined musk with a traditional floral scent.

Read more
Television
3:58 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Rest Easy, Bill: After 4,000 Clinton Jokes, Leno's Run Wraps Up

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:55 pm

Thursday marks Jay Leno's last night hosting The Tonight Show on NBC. He's told a lot of jokes over the years, but his most common target has been Bill Clinton — so says a study from the Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University. Professor Robert Lichter explains why he's spent more than 20 years of his life cataloging late night TV jokes.

Book Reviews
2:02 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

'Day Job' Aims For Romance In Real Life

Dutton/The Penguin Group

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:19 pm

A long time ago, in a world before email, cellphones and the World Wide Web, my girlfriends and I had a mantra: "Life is too short for annoying boys."

I was lucky. I met my own Mr. Perfect-For-Me when I was young enough to not feel desperate to find him, but old enough to have already lived a pretty interesting life. I had traveled. I had a college degree. I had a few "lessons learned" relationships in my back pocket.

Read more
The Salt
11:51 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Subway Phasing Out Bread Additive After Blogger Flags Health Concerns

Sandwich chain Subway has announced plans to drop the additive azodicarbonamide from its fresh-baked breads. Above, Subway founder Fred DeLuca poses carrying bread for sandwiches.
Jonathan Nackstrand AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 3:19 pm

Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.

Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.

Read more
Local Bands
10:51 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Complaint Line: Love, Marriage And Rock & Roll

http://thecomplaintlinemusic.com

It's no secret that marriage, disagreements, and nagging can sometimes go hand-in-hand.

And, with lyrics highlighting the challenges of romantic relationships, a local wedded pair has started a band together - calling it 'The Complaint Line'.

The duo is joined by two others who complete the rock set. The group (Shawnda Phillips on bass and vocals, John Phillips on guitar and vocals, Dayton Cripe on guitar and vocals, and Randy Anderson on drums) recently joined Rachel Otwell in the Suggs Studio for this performance and chat: 

Read more
Performing Arts
10:49 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Kicks Off New Tour

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 11:29 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
Monkey See
9:46 am
Thu February 6, 2014

The Two Kinds Of Fairness, As Explained By 'Top Chef'

In the Top Chef finale, it was Nina versus Nick.
David Moir Bravo

Reality shows, at their best, give you little flashes of understanding, often in spite of themselves. A great example came around Wednesday night, as Top Chef crowned its winner.

[Hey: INFORMATION ABOUT THE FINALE AHEAD, in case that wasn't obvious. Stop reading if you're still planning on watching and you'd like to be surprised.]

Read more
Monkey See
8:50 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Song And Dance: Of Course Clay Aiken Is Running For Congress

Clay Aiken, seen here in November, has announced that he's running for Congress.
Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 10:56 am

Read more
The Two-Way
6:17 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Book News: Hundreds Of Writers Denounce 'Chokehold' Russian Laws

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 8:53 am

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

Read more
All Tech Considered
6:07 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Sensory Fiction: Books That Let You Feel What The Characters Do

Changes in a book protagonist's emotional or physical state trigger discrete feedback in this wearable device.
MIT Media Lab

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 11:45 am

In our "Weekly Innovation" blog series, we explore an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Do you have an innovation to share? Use this quick form.

Read more
NPR Story
4:16 am
Thu February 6, 2014

1 Show Left For Jay Leno's 'Tonight Show'

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 6:59 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight we'll be saying goodbye to a guy who will be leaving his job at the top of his game. Again.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, 'TONIGHT SHOW')

JAY LENO: A couple of weeks ago, President Obama called me and told me personally if I like my current job I can keep my current job. Well, and I believed him. Yeah, I believed him.

Read more
Books News & Features
3:44 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

'Possessed By Genius': A Centennial Tribute To William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs' cult novel Naked Lunch has sold more than 1 million copies since its publication in 1959.
Evening Standard Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 9:23 pm

William S. Burroughs was a counterculture icon: In more than two dozen books, including the landmark novel Naked Lunch, he laid down an original vision that influenced everyone from political activists to punk rockers, filmmakers to sci-fi writers.

In 1962, writer Norman Mailer described him as "the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius."

Burroughs was born 100years ago Wednesday.

Read more
Code Switch
1:15 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

'Tiger Mother' Author Spells Out 3 Traits That Drive Success In The U.S.

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld appear on NBC News' Today show.
Peter Kramer Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:48 pm

If you're a fan of parenting books or just raucous debates about parenting styles, then you probably know about Amy Chua. The Yale Law School professor kicked off a ferocious debate with her 2011 memoir, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. She took pains to point out that the book was tongue-in-cheek, but it still got much attention for her defense of a demanding parenting style that she traced to her Chinese roots.

Read more
The Salt
12:51 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Ladies: Good Bacteria In Yogurt May Be Good For Waistlines, Too

A probiotic commonly found in yogurt seems to help women lose more weight and fat, a recent study finds. But you still have to eat healthy to see an effect.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 12:49 pm

Ladies, if that Super Bowl Sunday pitch from '90s heartthrob John Stamos didn't leave you craving more yogurt, here's some science that might do the trick: There's tantalizing new research suggesting that some friendly bacteria commonly found in yogurts may help women shed more weight while on a diet and keep it off.

Read more
Arts & Life
12:47 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Tim Gunn: On And Off The Runway, 'Life Is A Big Collaboration'

Under the Gunn finale fashion show." href="/post/tim-gunn-and-runway-life-big-collaboration" class="noexit lightbox">
"The term 'vegan leather' makes me think that you peeled a carrot and took the skin and made a jacket out of it," says Tim Gunn, pictured above at the Under the Gunn finale fashion show.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:19 pm

"Make it work," fashion guru Tim Gunn tells young designers on Project Runway. But life hasn't always "worked" for Gunn. "I can't even recite the number of schools I went to as a kid because I was constantly running away from them," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's so ironic that I would become a career educator because I hated school so profoundly. It wasn't the learning experience that I hated. I hated the social aspects."

Read more
Book Reviews
12:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Triumph Of The Bookworms: Two Novels To Cure Your Winter Blues

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 4:19 pm

In the opening paragraph of Moby-Dick, Ishmael tells us he takes to sea whenever he feels the onset of "a damp, drizzly November in [his] soul." I know how he feels. Whenever the frigid funk of February settles in, I, too, yearn to get out of town. This year I have, thanks to two exquisite vehicles of escape fiction. Both Rachel Pastan's Alena and Katherine Pancol's The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles are smart entertainments perfect for curling up with on a winter's night.

Read more
Monkey See
8:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

What Are Indie Booksellers Like At Parties?

Stacks of books on a store table.
iStockphoto

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."

Read more
The Salt
8:20 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Electronic Tongues Are The Beer Snobs Of The Future

Personally, we're most looking forward to having robot drinking buddies.
Bongo Entertainment Inc.

Originally published on Thu February 6, 2014 4:01 pm

If beer is the new wine, robots are the new beer snobs. Well, sort of.

Researchers in Barcelona have developed an electronic tongue that really knows the difference between a pilsner and a bock.

For now, it looks less like a slick, futuristic robot and more like a big of clump sensors. It's still a prototype, but its creators say it could some day replace human taste testers.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:32 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Book News: Charlie Chaplin's Only Known Novel Is Unveiled

Actor Charlie Chaplin (right) is seen in the 1952 film Limelight with his son Charles Chaplin Jr.
AP

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 11:43 am

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

Read more
Around the Nation
6:04 am
Wed February 5, 2014

100 Years Ago, Writer William S. Burroughs Was Born

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 6:19 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

William S. Burroughs was born 100 years ago today. His books included "Naked Lunch." He was a member of the Beat Generation, writers who rose to prominence in the 1950s for the most part and had a huge influence questioning society's standards and traditions. Burroughs was openly gay and wrestled with heroin addiction much of his life.

He lived all over the world, but spent his last years in Lawrence, Kansas where we go next. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports on his odd but enduring place in a Midwestern city.

Read more
The Edge
6:02 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

The Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, viewed from the Olympic host city of Sochi, shows off the stunning landscape of southern Russia.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 10:45 am

It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.

For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.

Read more
Movies
2:29 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Oscar Nominee, But Unwelcome At Home In Cairo

Khalid Abdalla, an activist and actor (The Kite Runner, Green Zone and United 93), and Ahmed Hassan protest in Jehane Noujaim's Oscar-nominated documentary, The Square.
Netflix

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:47 pm

On a cool Cairo evening, the cast and crew of The Square put on an informal screening of the film for their friends. Many of them are in the documentary, which chronicles three years of political unrest and revolution centered on this city's now-iconic Tahrir Square; all of them experienced some part of the events that unfolded there.

Read more
Book Reviews
5:12 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 7:00 pm

As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

Read more
The Salt
3:41 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Sweet Tooth Gone Bad: Why 22 Teaspoons Of Sugar Per Day Is Risky

Even seemingly healthful foods can contain unexpected spoonfuls of sugar.
Meg Vogel/NPR

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 7:00 pm

We've written lots lately about the potentially addictive qualities of sugar and the public policy efforts to limit consumption.

Read more

Pages