Arts

Books
5:08 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In A Changing Climate, Science Fiction Starts To Feel Real

cover detail
Courtesy Night Shade Books

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:17 pm

The White House released a report this week on the impacts of global warming. Many places are already feeling the effects. There's drought in the Southwest, rising sea levels in Miami, and now even fictional worlds are feeling the burn.

There have been novels about climate change since the 1960's, but to me the definitive example is a book that's not well known outside the field of science fiction: The Windup Girl, by the American novelist Paolo Bacigalupi, which won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 2010.

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Movie Interviews
4:47 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

In 'God's Pocket,' There's A Mad Man Behind The Camera

John Slattery (left) reprises his role as Roger Sterling in the seventh and final season of Mad Men.
Frank Ockenfels Courtesy of AMC

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

The 1980s novel God's Pocket, by Pete Dexter, is a story of hapless drunks, construction workers and one washed-up newspaper columnist. The book takes its name from a fictional blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

At No. 6, Michael Pollan's Cooked looks at how fire, water, air and earth transform plants and animals into food.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

John le Carre's counterterrorism thriller, A Delicate Truth, appears at No.10.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

Diane Keaton lives with her daughter and son in Los Angeles.
Ruven Afanador Courtesy of Random House

Diane Keaton describes the ups and downs of living in a beauty-obsessed world in Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty, which debuts at No. 12.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of May 8, 2014

Greg Iles' Natchez Burning, the first in a trilogy about Southern lawyer and former prosecutor Penn Cage, debuts at No. 5.

NPR Bestseller List
3:03 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of May 8, 2014

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Arts & Life
12:41 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

'Wait Wait' Celebrates Carl Kasell, Our Official Judge and Scorekeeper

Carl decides to take a publicity photo shoot up a notch while Peter tickles the ivories.
Wait Wait Don't Tell Me NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 12:00 pm

For 30 years, Carl anchored the newscast for Morning Edition, and in 1998 he became Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me's official scorekeeper. His last show will air on May 17. Following that, Carl will become Scorekeeper Emeritus and will continue to record voice mail greetings for our winners. In honor of Carl's last show, Peter Sagal reflects on their years working together.

Presumably, the day I was born was the most important day of my life, but I don't remember that. I do remember the day I met Carl Kasell, though, so that tops my personal list.

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Movie Reviews
11:39 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Double': Double Toil And Trouble For Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg's performance as mystery doppelgangers will have you seeing Double.
Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 7:45 pm

In The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg invented Facebook. In Now You See Me, he mastered magic tricks. In Rio, his animated macaw learned to fly, and his Lex Luthor will soon be nemesis-ing the caped crusader in Batman Vs. Superman. But it's safe to say that none of those pictures asked half as much of Eisenberg as Richard Ayoade's The Double, which requires him, pretty literally, to meet himself coming and going.

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Movie Reviews
11:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'God's Pocket' Is Horrifying, Humanist And Heartbreaking

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 12:40 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his final film roles, stars as Mickey in "God's Pocket," the new movie directed by John Slattery. Slattery is famous for his role as Roger Sterling on TV's "Mad Men" and over the years has directed several episodes of that AMC series. He makes the transition to feature film directing with "God's Pocket" which he and Alex Metcalf adapted from the 1983 novel by Pete Dexter.

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Television
11:11 am
Fri May 9, 2014

'Penny Dreadful' Is Wonderful, But 'Rosemary's Baby' Is Dreadful

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 2:19 pm

Transcript

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm TV critic David Bianculli. This weekend two very different TV productions attempt to do much the same thing - revisit old works of literature in the horror and suspense genre and adapt them with new approaches for a new generation. NBC's four hour miniseries version of Ira Levin's "Rosemary's Baby" barely justifies the attempt.

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Monkey See
10:41 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Daniel Radcliffe And The Blood And Breath Of Live Theater

Originally published on Fri May 9, 2014 1:55 pm

There is a strong crossover between your Daniel Radcliffe People and your Harry Potter People, for obvious reasons. Next to me at Broadway's Cort Theater on Thursday night, watching Radcliffe in Martin McDonagh's comedy The Cripple Of Inishmaan (a production that's Tony-nominated for Best Revival Of A Play) were three young women. Their first priority: finding out where to await him when the show was over, and strategically how to get a good spot.

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Monkey See
9:19 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Star Wars,' 'Louie' And Other Phenomena

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

We're joined this week by the lovely Petra Mayer of NPR Books, who brings her serious sci-fi and fandom chops to our opening chat about the big Star Wars news.

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

What's The Difference Between Real And Perceived Value?

Marketer Rory Sutherland speaking at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Rory Sutherland's TEDTalk

Marketer Rory Sutherland says advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. He says perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider "real" value.

About Rory Sutherland

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

A Movie About Product Placement — Paid For By Product Placement?

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock at TED.
James Duncan Davidson Courtesy of TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Morgan Spurlock's TEDTalk

Filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the mysterious but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship.

About Morgan Spurlock

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TED Radio Hour
8:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Is Authenticity Real?

Joseph Pine speaking at TED.
Asa Mathat Courtesy of TED

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Brand Over Brain.

About Joseph Pine's TEDTalk

Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but consultant Joseph Pine says creating "real" authenticity is a challenge.

About Joseph Pine

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The Two-Way
6:13 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Book News: Was Hong Kong Publisher's 10-Year Sentence Political Payback?

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

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Pop Culture
2:38 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Hard 'G' Or Soft, The GIF Takes Its Place As A Modern Art Form

Dramatic chipmunk is one of the examples of the The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture installation at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City.
Courtesy of Museum of the Moving Image

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

"!!!!"

That was the body of the note from NPR producer Evie Stone, along with a link to an exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image titled The Reaction GIF: Moving Image as Gesture.

Obviously, Evie and I share a certain sensibility. And just as obviously, I had to go to Astoria, Queens, to check out the exhibit — and report this piece.

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The Record
2:23 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Well Into Spring, 'Frozen' Soundtrack Keeps The Charts Cool

Singer Idina Menzel (center) and Frozen songwriters Bobby Lopez (left) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez pose with gold records in February. Since then, the movie's soundtrack has sold over 1.5 million more copies.
Alberto E. Rodriguez Getty Images for Disney

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Disney's animated film Frozen has been racking up impressive statistics since it was released last November. Its box office earnings total $1 billion, worldwide, the movie won two Academy Awards, and on the first day the home video came out, it sold 3.2 million copies. But one stat has taken both Disney and industry analysts by surprise: The soundtrack has become a phenomenon, topping the Billboard 200 chart 13 times.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

'Neighbors' Just Wants To Be The Gross Joke Next Door

Zac Efron in Neighbors.
Universal Pictures

Makers of R-rated comedies face an essential dilemma: finding brand new ways to gross out their snickering adolescent viewers. But as Neighbors demonstrates, there's another challenge that's just as tricky: piloting the raunchy scenario to a payoff that upholds the very middle-class values the movie gleefully profanes.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

To Be Young, Foolish And Baffled: Coming Of Age In 'Palo Alto'

Emma Roberts in James Franco's Palo Alto.
Tribeca Film

"What's going through your mind when you're doing that... or do you not think at all?" Those words, familiar to any teenager and parent, get yelled at Teddy (Jack Kilmer) about halfway through Palo Alto. Teddy, still in high school, is on probation after his second arrest, his final chance to get his act together before facing time in a juvenile detention center.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Jesse Eisenberg And Jesse Eisenberg In A Queasy Sea Of Despair

Jesse Eisenberg in The Double.
Magnolia Pictures

"You're in my place," is the first line in Richard Ayode's, The Double, spoken to Simon James (Jesse Eisenberg) on an otherwise empty subway train where he's apparently sitting in someone's preferred spot. It's also an apt – and maybe a little too on the nose – summary of what follows.

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Remembrances
3:54 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Remembering Author Farley Mowat, Who 'Wore His Kilt Dangerously'

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

Canadian writer Farley Mowat has died at the age of 92. The prolific author published 45 books, perhaps the most popular of which was Never Cry Wolf. He is remembered by Doug Gibson, Mowat's publisher and longtime friend.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Television
3:16 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Let's Be Careful Out There: The Legacy Of 'Hill Street Blues'

Michael Conrad as Sgt. Phil Esterhaus does the cop roll call, concluding with his signature line: "Let's be careful out there."
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 6:49 pm

This is the moment that launched a TV revolution, every week. The police roll call: Sgt. Phil Esterhaus faced his colleagues — a paternal, knowing grin on his face — while he ran down the day's advisories about a black male pickpocket wearing a blond wig and purple dress, or the need for officers to catch a rapist terrorizing their precinct.

"Let's spend a little less time flirting with the hookers and the waitresses and put some heavy attention on that park," Esterhaus told his patrolmen in one roll call, sparking laughter and feigned denials from the crowd.

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Television
3:03 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Lurid Meets Literary In 'Penny Dreadful,' An All-Star Gothic Revue

Showtime's new psychological thriller re-imagines classic Victorian boogeymen like Dr. Frankenstein, Dorian Gray and Count Dracula all lurking in London's darkest corners, discussing romantic poetry. Reeve Carney and Eva Green star as Dorian Gray and Vanessa Ives.
Pat Redmond Showtime

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:19 pm

There's a specific subset of NPR listeners who are also dedicated horror fans. If you fall in that category, the new drama Penny Dreadful -- premiering Sunday on Showtime — may hit all your sweet spots. Imagine an all-star Gothic revue that brings together Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Dorian Gray, Count Dracula — plus a core team of original characters including a Wild West sharpshooter, an astringent lady spiritualist and an intrepid explorer, in the Sir Richard Burton or David Livingstone mode.

But the show's creator was originally inspired by romantic poetry.

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The Salt
2:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rice Theory: Why Eastern Cultures Are More Cooperative

It takes a village to grow rice paddies: Taiwanese farmers break a Guinness World Record for the largest number of people planting rice at once in August 2012.
Sam Yeh AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:26 pm

Ask Americans to describe themselves, and chances are you'll get adjectives like "energetic," "friendly" or "hard-working."

In Japan, the responses would likely be much different. "Dependent on others" and "considerate" might pop up, studies have found.

Psychologists have known for a long time that people in East Asia think differently, on average, than do those in the U.S. and Europe. Easterners indeed tend to be more cooperative and intuitive, while Westerners lean toward individualism and analytical thinking.

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Author Interviews
12:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

A Cartoonist's Funny, Heartbreaking Take On Caring For Aging Parents

Roz Chast Bloomsbury

It's never easy to talk with aging parents about the end of life, but it was maybe particularly difficult for Roz Chast and her parents, which is why her new graphic memoir is called Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

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Movie Reviews
12:26 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Two Italys Take A Road Trip In 'Il Sorpasso'

Courtesy of the Criterion Collection

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 7:33 pm

If the road movie has a home, it's surely the United States. After all, the settling of America was itself a kind of humongous road picture — all those wagons rolling across the new continent's spectacular vastness. And with our ceaseless love of movement, we became the first people to be transported — in every sense — by the automobile. Small wonder, then, that so many famous Hollywood films, from It Happened One Night to Thelma & Louise, are all about hitting the road.

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Movies
12:00 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Arab Activists Who Refuse To Bow To The Giant

A protest during the Arab Spring
We Are The Giant

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 1:59 pm

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Books
12:00 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Rat Pack's Sammy Davis Jr. Lives On Through Daughter's Stories

Frank Sinatra performing with Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
Photo: David Sutton MPTV.net RatPac Press & Running Press (The Perseus Books Group)

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 1:59 pm

In his own words, Sammy Davis, Jr. was "the only black, Puerto Rican, one-eyed, Jewish entertainer in the world."

His daughter, Tracey Davis, shares memories and details of his life in her new book, Sammy Davis Jr.: A Personal Journey with My Father. It's based on conversations Davis had with her father as he battled throat cancer near the end of his life.

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