Arts

Monkey See
7:03 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Jack Bauer Is Back, But One Woman Has His Number

Jack (Kiefer Sutherland) is back in Fox's 24: Live Another Day.
Christopher Raphael Fox

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 3:36 pm

Let's get one thing straight right away: Fox's new version of 24 references all sorts of newfangled ideas about politics, espionage and terrorism — from the use of drones to kill America's enemies to efforts by hackers in the Edward Snowden mold to expose governments' illegal acts.

But the heart of Fox's slimmed-down 24: Live Another Day is the same as it's always been: a principled, misunderstood Jack Bauer letting no rule book, villain or clueless bureaucrat stop him from doing what must be done for the greater good.

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The Two-Way
6:29 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Book News: Iranian Author Of 'Pomegranate Soup' Found Dead In Ireland

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

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Author Interviews
2:36 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Extra! Read All About It: 'Girl Stunt Reporter' Turns 150

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 9:28 am

In 1887, American journalist Nellie Bly had herself committed to New York's notorious Blackwell's Island insane asylum — on purpose, as part of an assignment from the New York World newspaper. When she was released 10 days later, she had seen cruelty that made her shudder.

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My Big Break
4:13 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

How To Make Your Idol Hate You, In One Unfunny Comedy Audition

Comedian Kurt Braunohler does not speak German, but that didn't stop him from faking his way to an audition for the film Brüno.
Mandee Johnson

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 10:03 am

As part of a 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. The following is what you might call an "almost big break."

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The Two-Way
8:39 am
Sun May 4, 2014

May the Fourth Be With You: It's Star Wars Day

Fans dressed as storm troopers and Darth Vader march in front of the Colosseum in central Rome on May 4, Star Wars Day.
TIZIANA FABI AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 8:41 am

Darth Vader walks the Earth today. By that, we mean he's walking all over the place. Fans of the sci-fi franchise are celebrating Star Wars Day — or May 4 for the less geek-inclined.

The day brings an excuse for people to dress as storm troopers and rebels and celebrate the films that first hit theaters in 1977. Star Wars Day is also being commemorated by businesses offering deals — discounts on videos, comics and other merchandise, from backpacks to Vans sneakers. You can find a list of the deals here.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Read Between The Letters

NPR

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 12:06 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a five-letter word. You will be given a clue for the word. Besides describing the answer, the clue will also contain the answer in consecutive letters. For example, given "It's near the planet Mars," you would say, "Earth."

Last week's challenge Mike Reiss, a writer for The Simpsons: Name a famous actor or actress whose last name ends in a doubled letter. Drop that doubled letter. Then insert an R somewhere inside the first name. The result will be a common two-word phrase. What is it?

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Author Interviews
6:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

A Quest For Higher Power In 'The Snow Queen'

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 12:06 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The writer Michael Cunningham is probably best known for his book "The Hours," which won him a Pulitzer Prize and was made into a film. Like "The Hours," Cunningham's new novel, "The Snow Queen," explores inner lives and family dynamics. But the characters in this new book also plunge into the metaphysical world. When I spoke with Michael Cunningham this past week, I asked him to read from a section of his new novel. It's a scene where one of the main characters, a man named Barrett, sees an ethereal light in the skies above N.Y.

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Africa
6:38 am
Sun May 4, 2014

South Africa Through The Eyes Of A Post-Apartheid Generation

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 8:48 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Next week, South Africa will go to the polls. It's a milestone election, coming 20 years after the country's first free election in 1994. It is also the first general election since the death of Nelson Mandela last December. For academics Katherine Newman and Ariane De Lannoy, this was an important moment to assess South Africa.

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This Week's Must Read
6:03 am
Sun May 4, 2014

James Baldwin Reappeared Just When We Needed Him Most

Author James Baldwin poses for a photo during an interview in London.
Jenkins Getty Images

Originally published on Sun May 4, 2014 12:21 pm

More than once this week I've caught myself reading yet another news story about Donald Sterling or Cliven Bundy, wondering what it means for me, a black gay man, to exist in America at the same time as men like them. Have they been thinking about people like me just as intensely as I, for the past few days at least, have been thinking about them? Are Sterling and Bundy privately wringing their hands? Or are they cursing America for eavesdropping on their bigotry?

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Author Interviews
4:05 am
Sun May 4, 2014

The 'Marvelous Living' Of Soprano Jessye Norman

Jessye Norman performs late on June 6, 2008 during the 14th Sacred World Music Festival.
Abdelhak Senna AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:32 pm

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The Two-Way
1:31 am
Sun May 4, 2014

Obama Cracks Wise At White House Correspondents Dinner

Obama has two ferns brought to the podium as a spoof of his appearance on "Between Two Ferns" for his standup at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner.
Jacquelyn Martin AP

Originally published on Wed May 14, 2014 7:14 pm

President Obama made fun of himself at the White House Correspondents Association dinner on Saturday, the annual nerd-ball schmooze fest where Washington's media stars get comfy with a mix of political bigwigs and Hollywood beautiful people to celebrate a year of journalism.

Obama, known for his comic timing and delivery, didn't disappoint.

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Author Interviews
4:18 pm
Sat May 3, 2014

Drawing From The Experience Of 'Indolent But Relentless' Cancer

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 5:27 pm

A few years ago, the cartoonist Matt Freedman started having nagging pain around his ear. He bought mouth guards and tried pain relievers, but nothing seemed to work. Slowly, the pain got worse. In 2012, a bump appeared on his neck. It was a slow-growing, dangerous cancer that had already spread to his lungs.

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The Two-Way
10:54 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Dies; Played Sleuths On TV Hits

Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr., seen here at his California home in 1982, died Friday, his family announced.
Wally Fong AP

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 2:00 pm

Efrem Zimbalist Jr., an actor whose streak of leading-man success on TV stretched over three decades, has died. Zimbalist, who starred on ABC's 77 Sunset Strip and The F.B.I., was 95; his family announced his death, saying he died at home on Friday.

"We are heartbroken to announce the passing into peace of our beloved father, Efrem Zimbalist Jr., today at his Solvang ranch," the family said in a statement. "He actively enjoyed his life to the last day, showering love on his extended family, playing golf and visiting with close friends."

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Author Interviews
8:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

'The Noble Hustle': In Vegas And In Life, We Play The Cards We're Dealt

When Colson Whitehead first visited Las Vegas he thought it was kitschy and campy. Now he says he admires "this sort of great kingdom in the desert."
Ethan Miller Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Poker is a favorite metaphor for life, and Colson Whitehead says it's not a bad comparison — especially for big city life. "I think you survive in New York just by having fewer bad things happen to you," he tells NPR's Scott Simon. "And I think that's true for poker as well: If you can play your good cards your bad cards decently and hope that your other player is not as adept at riding these currents of luck and circumstance, you're in good shape."

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Sports
8:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

NBA's Ban On Sterling: Moral Justice Or Smart Business Move?

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

The NBA's ban on Clippers owner Donald Sterling has drawn approval all around. ESPN's Howard Bryant tells NPR's Scott Simon that with such heinous remarks, the league may not have had much choice.

Television
8:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

'24' Returns To Live Another Action-Packed Day

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The world is in a terrible fix. Drones are zipping. Threats are flying. Secrets are leaking. The president of the United States is in the crosshairs of crisis. Only one person can help - Chloe O'Brian. Oh, and her friend, Jack Bauer. But not everyone's happy.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAILER)

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Movie Interviews
8:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Poland's Tumultuous History Never Straightforward In 'Ida'

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Pawel Pawlikowski is a Polish filmmaker who gained international attention for his 2004 movie "My Summer Of Love." It's about two young women who spend an English summer together. It earned the British equivalent of an Oscar for best film and launched the career of actress Emily Blunt.

His latest movie is opening in the U.S. this weekend. It's called "Ida." And like "My Summer Of Love," it centers on two women. But as Howie Movshovitz of member station KUNC reports, it couldn't be more different.

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Author Interviews
8:52 am
Sat May 3, 2014

Ralph Nader Seeks A United Front Against Corporate America

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Ralph Nader has never been elected president, but his new book has a broad-based coalition of endorsements that range from Grover Norquist on the right to Robert Reich and Cornel West on the left, in which Mr. Nader finds in a partisan time the outlines of a new political force that crosses all party lines. His new book is "Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance To Dismantle The Corporate State." Ralph Nader joins us in our studios. Thanks so much for being with us.

RALPH NADER: Thank you very much, Scott.

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Book News & Features
4:40 am
Sat May 3, 2014

One NYC Indie Bookstore Survives By Being Small And Specialized

As bookstores both large and small close across the country, Posman Books is about to open its fourth store in Manhattan.
Harry Zernike Posman Books

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 3:11 pm

New York City's Posman Books is bucking a trend. Other booksellers — both independents and big chains like Barnes & Noble — are closing stores in Manhattan, but Posman is getting ready to open its fourth store in the city. It's one sign that some independent bookstores are managing to thrive despite the problems that have beset booksellers in recent years.

On a recent day, customers browsing at Posman Books in the Chelsea Market had a variety of needs: One was killing time before work, another was looking for a Mother's Day card, and yet another needed a new sketchbook.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:44 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

San Diego Animal Ambassador 'ZooKeeper Rick' Plays Not My Job

Ken Bohn San Diego Zoo

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 11:33 am

Rick Schwartz is the official animal ambassador for the world famous San Diego Zoo. And because he is an ambassador, he has diplomatic immunity — if he commits a crime on our show we can only hand him back to the orangutans for punishment.

Schwartz — and his sidekick parrot Rio — may know a lot about zoos, but what do they know about Zumba? We'll ask them three questions about the Latin music-inspired exercise craze that swept the nation.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
4:03 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of May 1, 2014

Comedian Jim Gaffigan's Dad is Fat describes the challenge of raising five kids in a Manhattan apartment. It appears at No. 12.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
4:03 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of May 1, 2014

The Circle, Dave Eggers tale of Silicon Valley power, appears at No. 8.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
4:03 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of May 1, 2014

Debuting at No. 15, retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens' Six Amendments suggests changes to the U.S. Constitution.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
4:03 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of May 1, 2014

Maeve Binchy's Chestnut Street, a collection of stories written throughout the author's life, debuts at No. 7.

NPR Bestseller List
4:03 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of May 1, 2014

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

Movie Reviews
3:41 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

In 'Belle,' A Complex Life Tangled In Class And Commerce

Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Dido Elizabeth Belle, the illegitimate daughter of a British admiral.
David Appleby/Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

Here's a unique specialty for a movie studio: slavery films. Last year, Fox Searchlight brought us an Oscar winner about a free black man hauled into 12 years of slavery. Now, in Amma Asante's Belle, the company is releasing what's essentially the reverse of that story — a similarly torn-from-life (though significantly less wrenching) tale of a slave girl who had the great good fortune to be raised as a British aristocrat.

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Monkey See
3:26 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Maintaining The IMAX Experience, From Museum To Multiplex

IMAX

Originally published on Sat May 3, 2014 10:17 am

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens this weekend, and some moviegoers will pay up to $6 more to see it in IMAX, where the screens are bigger and the action should be more intense. "So real you can feel it in your bones," is how IMAX puts it. But is the IMAX at the multiplex the same as the IMAX you can see at the museum?

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The Salt
2:09 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Urban Greengrocers Are Back, To Serve Big-Spending Locavores

Each Peach Market in Washington, D.C., is one of a growing breed of small, urban greengrocers.
Maanvi Singh NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:32 am

Each Peach Market in Washington, D.C., is a far cry from the Trader Joe's where I usually shop. For one thing, it's tiny — smaller than the apartment I share with two others. And there are no lines snaking through aisles and aisles of tempting goods.

You'll find the usual staples here, and also artisanal pickles, locally grown and cured charcuterie, and yogurt from Pennsylvania's Amish country. But don't expect much selection — there are just two brands of olive oil, rather than the several shelves to choose from at Harris Teeter.

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Barbershop
11:29 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Does 'Rich Bigot' Sterling Deserve A Break?

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Faith Matters
11:29 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Yiddish Culture Takes Center Stage

Originally published on Fri May 2, 2014 1:57 pm

An effort to preserve the Yiddish language is getting a boost from the theater world. The artistic director of the National Yiddish Theatre-Folksbiene talks about preserving the language through art.

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