Arts

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.

Read more
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?

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

House Of Games

It's the home stretch in this final round, a game in which all the answers contain the word "house." For example, a popular spy-themed restaurant in Milwaukee is "Safe House."

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Hidden Vegetables

Your parents might have snuck your veggies into unexpected dishes, but we got clever and hid the names of vegetables in the answers of this game. What German composer was a fan of red, edible roots?

Plus, hear Jonathan Coulton lead the crowd in a rowdy rendition of "Blister In The Sun" by the Milwaukee-bred rockers Violent Femmes.

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Both: The Newly-Formed-Band-Game

Aimee, presumably wearing the leather shorts she would save from a fire. No word on where Ted's giraffe-print cardigan is.
Christian Lantry

Musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo play together as The Both, but how well do these new bandmates know each other's quirks? To find out, we quiz them in the style of The Newlywed Game, where each must figure out how the other would answer questions such as "What's the worst piece of clothing you brought on tour?" and "What one item would you rescue from your burning house?"

Plus, hear a live version of "No Sir," from the duo's eponymous debut album as The Both.

Read more
Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

My-My-My-Clues

Was The Knack's "My Sharona" stuck in your head for all of 1979? We hope you're not sick of it. In this game, Jonathan Coulton sings rewritten lyrics about things that rhyme with "Sharona." My-my-my-my Corona!

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Shark Jumping

Inspired by a famous episode of Happy Days, this game is about "jump the shark" moments: that point when a TV show's quality starts to go downhill. We'll give you the moment, you tell us the show.

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

Ask Me Another
8:42 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Play Ball!

Swing for the fences in this game. Answers are the names of MLB teams, but here's the twist—the clues have nothing to do with sports. What 2013 Pixar film shares its name with the team from Atlanta?

Heard in Episode 316: Meet Me In Milwaukee

The Two-Way
6:52 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Book News: New York Public Library Scraps Controversial Renovation

The main branch of the New York Public Library in New York City.
Seth Wenig AP

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

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Avant-Garde Madness, Seen Through 'My Dog-Eyes'

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 2:45 pm

Oftentimes, madness breeds the finest art. It's factual. Some of the most historic and well-regarded pieces of literature have come out of a sort of psychosis. From the works of Edgar Allan Poe to Tennessee Williams and a host of others, the evidence is there. And I find it celebratory — the way the mind overcomes itself to render something beautifully charged.

"God? A surface of ice anchored to laughter."

Read more
The Seams
5:13 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Art Of A Lost American Couturier, On Display At The Met

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 3:32 pm

Thursday in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art officially reopens its fashion galleries after a $40 million, two-year renovation.

Named for Vogue magazine's editor, the Anna Wintour Costume Center features an inaugural exhibit of the work of Charles James, a flamboyant designer considered America's first couturier. This caps days of glamorous events at the Met, including the Costume Institute's benefit gala, presided over by Wintour — with Hollywood stars.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

From The Ocean Deep To The Courtroom: A Tale Of Sunken Treasure

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:59 am

When the SS Central America sank in 1857, it took down tons of gold with it — enough gold that the shipwreck contributed to a financial panic. And when the wreck was found, decades of legal battles ensued over rights to the recovered treasure. Gary Kinder, author of Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea, tells the fraught tale of shipwreck and reclaimed gold.

Read more
Media
3:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

After 6 Decades As A Staple, 'Jet' Magazine Ends Print Run

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:59 am

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block. An era in magazine history is closing. Chicago-based Johnson Publishing Co., or JPC, says "Jet" magazine is going digital. Some 700,000 subscribers will no longer see a print edition. It's with the exception of one special print issue a year. "Jet" has been a weekly staple in many African American communities for more than six decades.

NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates, from our Code Switch team, has this report.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:29 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Larry McMurtry Loves The West, But Knocks The Cowboy Off His High Horse

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:59 am

Larry McMurtry may well be the only Academy Award winner who used some of the precious moments of his acceptance speech to thank booksellers: "From the humblest paperback exchange to the masters of the great bookshops of the world, all are contributors to the survival of the culture of the book, a wonderful culture which we musn't lose," he told the audience in 2006 as he accepted the Oscar for his screenplay for Brokeback Mountain — which was based on a short story.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:52 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Author Farley Mowat, Who Wrote 'Never Cry Wolf,' Dies At 92

Farley Mowat arrives on the Red Carpet outside the Canon Theatre during the 2010 Canada Walk of Fame Tribute in downtown Toronto, Ontario, in October 2010. Mowat died Tuesday at age 92.
Heinz Ruckemann UPI/Landov

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 5:45 am

Farley Mowat, the Canadian author of the nature classic Never Cry Wolf, has died at age 92, Canadian media report.

The Star quotes Mowat's brother, John, as saying the acclaimed writer and environmentalist died Tuesday, just a few days shy of his 93rd birthday.

Read more
Television
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

'Hill Street Blues' Created Two Eras For TV Drama: Before And After

Among Hill Street Blues' many innovations, says David Bianculli, was focusing on a large ensemble cast instead of one or two central stars. Pictured here: Veronica Hamel as Joyce Davenport, Daniel J. Travanti as Capt. Frank Furillo and Robert Prosky as Sgt. Stan Jablonski.
David Sutton NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 1:49 pm

It's very easy, and not at all inaccurate, to divide dramatic series television into two eras: before Hill Street Blues — which has just been released on DVD in its entirety for the first time -- and after. Before NBC televised Hill Street in 1981, most continuing drama series were presented as stand-alone, interchangeable hours starring the same characters. Every week, TV detectives Joe Mannix or Theo Kojak or Tony Baretta would investigate a crime, catch the villains and wait for next week to do it again.

Read more
Author Interviews
11:44 am
Wed May 7, 2014

From Poker Amateur To World Series Competitor In 'The Noble Hustle'

Poker players take part in the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament in Las Vegas.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 12:37 pm

When the World Series of Poker began in 1970, it was a pretty modest affair — seven veterans of the game competing for just the honor, no prize money. Today, more than 6,000 players pay the $10,000 entrance fee for the No-Limit Texas Hold 'em Tournament. ESPN televises the final table, and last year the winner took home more than $8 million in prize money.

Read more
Pop Culture
9:11 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Pomade, The New Old Grooming Product for Manly Men

Getty Images Getty Images/Cultura RF

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 3:56 pm

"Hot towel!"

With a nod, the requested towel is tossed to a waiting barber. He gingerly places it on the temples and neck of his customer, already bowed in position. Hot shaving cream is applied to the customer's neck, then deftly whisked off by Javi Olmedo, a tall, tattooed barber clad in black.

Read more
Monkey See
8:19 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Once More Into The Jaws Of The TV Dinosaur Known As Upfrontasaurus

Look, this is a dinosaur, okay? It could be any dinosaur. It has sunglasses on. We're not in scientific reality. Don't ask specific dinosaur questions.
iStockphoto

Next week, the broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox and the CW — will make their upfront presentations in New York. (There are some scattered cable ones too, like ESPN and TNT/TBS.) This is where they present their new shows, in the form of clips and sizzle reels, to advertisers. From a business perspective, it's really important in the same way that any sales pitch is really important: they sell ads, they make money, and when they get the advertising people excited, a show becomes a presumed frontrunner before it even premieres.

Read more
Kitchen Window
7:50 am
Wed May 7, 2014

It's Time To Toast Farm-To-Table Cocktails

Peter Ogburn for NPR

It was inevitable. With virtually every restaurant working hand-in-garden glove with local farmers, farm-to-table cocktails had to be the next big thing. Since you'll be at the farmers market anyway, look at the seasonal produce as potential drink, as well as dinner, material.

Read more
The Two-Way
6:51 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Book News: Putin Clamps Down On Cursing In Books, Movies

Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ria Novosti Reuters/Landov

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

Read more
Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed May 7, 2014

'Worn' To Be Wild: A Visual Feast Of Fashion

Worn cover image

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 7:04 am

Quick! What do you want in your fashion magazine? A) Taxidermy B) Tutus C) Advice on repairing your favorite Italian leather boots D) Gandhi E) All of the above.

Read more
Business
4:06 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Edgy Video Promotes Christie's Contemporary Art Sale

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 4:24 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with a new way of marketing high-end art.

Spring auction season has kicked off in New York City. Yesterday, paintings by Picasso and Monet helped the auction house, Christie's, cello most $300 million worth of paintings.

As NPR's Elizabeth Blair reports, this year, Christie's is promoting its auctions in a new way, with something that looks a lot like a music video.

ELIZABETH BLAIR, BYLINE: It's pretty slick.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Read more
Theater
2:36 am
Wed May 7, 2014

Dancers Find A Second Act At Palm Springs Follies

With their matching blue wigs, the dancers in the Palm Springs Follies chorus (they're called the "long-legged lovelies") give a whole new meaning to the cliche "blue-haired old ladies."
Ina Jaffe NPR

Originally published on Wed May 7, 2014 10:45 pm

The Palm Springs Follies is an old-fashioned musical revue designed for an audience who remembers when this sort of entertainment wasn't old fashioned. But it's not only for older people — it's by older people. The dancers range in age from 55 to 84.

The show, an institution in Palm Springs, is getting ready to wrap up its 23rd and final season in May.

Read more
Code Switch
8:52 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

Critics Find Little Humor In 'SNL' Writer's Jokes About Slavery

Leslie Jones played an "image expert" on last weekend's SNL.
NBC

Almost 21 years ago, Whoopi Goldberg was honored at the New York Friars' Club. More than 3,000 people crowded into the New York Hilton to hear Goldberg roasted by her celebrity friends.

Read more
Sports
1:54 pm
Tue May 6, 2014

With Faith And Focus, Mariano Rivera Became Baseball's 'Closer'

Mariano Rivera says handling the pressure of being a closer wasn't easy. "You have to know who you are and your abilities and how to block all these things that are thrown at you," he says.
Patrick McDermott Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 8:04 pm

Mariano Rivera has been called baseball's greatest closer. He was the relief pitcher the New York Yankees called in from the bullpen to get the final outs, typically when they held the lead. If the lead was small — and the Yankees won — Rivera was credited a save. In fact, he retired after last season with more career saves than any pitcher in Major League Baseball: 652.

He is revered for what he did and didn't do. He didn't behave scandalously, pick fights, take drugs, throw at batters' heads or chase big contract offers to other cities.

Read more
Television
10:51 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Viewers Not Laughing About SNL Slavery Skit

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 12:38 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, we're switching gears now. You know that terrible feeling you get when you tell a joke that bombs? You think you're saying something hilarious or edgy or clever and crickets or gasps or worse, thousands of people lighting up Twitter to say just how unfunny or messed up you are.

Read more

Pages