Arts

Ask Me Another
10:07 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Russian Dolls

Russian dolls nest inside of each other. Some words are like that as well: they contain one word nested inside of a different word. For example, a mother might urge her son to become a surgeon. (Tricky, we know!) Listen as host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge our contestants to assemble long words from a composite of two shorter ones.

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Ask Me Another
10:07 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Hi-Ho Elemental Metals, Away!

We all know about Silver, the Lone Ranger's trusty steed — but did you know that he had a whole herd of other stallions, also named after metals? House musician Jonathan Coulton tests our contestants' mettle in this musical game, in which the answers to his musical clues — sung to the theme song of The Lone Ranger — are all the names of other metals. Hi-ho, word games, away!

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Ask Me Another
10:07 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Bad To The Future

Babe Ruth's famous "called shot" is an example of a freakily accurate prediction. But what about those that don't work out quite as well? In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton asks our contestants about some historical predictions gone spectacularly wrong.

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

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Ask Me Another
10:07 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Double Feature

Coming not-so-soon to a theater near you...In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg asks our contestants to imagine famous movie sequels that could be made by combining two real film titles that share a word or syllable in common. Who wouldn't want to see Denzel Washington take on Magneto in Malcolm X-Men?

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

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
10:07 am
Thu January 30, 2014

AM/PM

From morning until night, Ask Me Another contestants are always working on their puzzling skills. In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung asks our contestants to come up with two-word phrases or proper nouns that have either the initials AM or PM. It's Positively Mesmerizing!

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

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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Monkey See
9:40 am
Thu January 30, 2014

I Like Big Trucks And I Cannot Lie: Cars, Trucks, And The Lady Brain

Try not to get too excited, ladies.
John Morris iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 2:26 pm

You know, when it comes to studies about how women think, I must admit that I always plunge in with great and girlish (!) excitement, because as much as the stereotyping may officially bother me, let's face it: there is part of me that thinks, "Oh, this is going to be good."

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UIS Visual Arts Gallery
9:27 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Artist Explores IL Environmental History & Hopes To Change Its Future

 Kevin Veara’s interests and passions may seem a bit unrelated. From wildlife preservation, to tattoos, to bird-watching and painting. Lately he’s been working to restore the presence of wildlife – on his own property and through his art. His work is on display at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery and there’s an opening reception tonight there from 5:30 to 8. WUIS’ Rachel Otwell recently spoke with Veara:

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Monkey See
8:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

A Story About A Little-Known Song In A Little-Known Movie That Got A Big Oscar Nod

The Oscar statue is seen at the entrance of the Hollywood & Highland Center before the 2012 Academy Awards.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:44 pm

Well, it's safe to say we're shocked — shocked — to find that Oscar campaigning was going on in here.

Tuesday night, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences — the Oscars people — rescinded the Best Original Song nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone," from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Book News: Two Poems By Greek Poet Sappho Discovered

An image of the ancient Greek poet Sappho.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

  • Parts of two previously unknown poems by the Greek lyric poet Sappho have been discovered on an ancient papyrus. An anonymous collector happened to show the papyrus to the Oxford University classicist Dirk Obbink, who realized its significance.

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The Edge
2:31 am
Thu January 30, 2014

'Mariachi Olympic Prince' Takes Glamour To Sochi Ski Slopes

Mexican-born Hubertus Von Hohenlohe, a German prince, plans to ski in style for the Winter Olympics.
Courtesy of Alex Jorio

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 7:38 am

In Sochi, Russia, Hubertus Von Hohenlohe will compete in his sixth Winter Olympics. The 55-year-old downhill skier and German prince won't be skiing under the flag of his royal heritage, however. He'll be with the team of his birthplace, Mexico.

In honor of his Querido Mexico (beloved homeland), Hohenlohe says he will race down the Russian slopes decked out in a state-of-the-art mariachi ski suit.

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NPR Story
11:50 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Writer Attica Locke Cuts Deep With Latest Thriller

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 1:28 pm

Attica Locke writes the kind of rooted-in-truth crime story that satisfies both your intellect and your need to have the hair on your neck stand up.

With only her second novel under her belt, she's won praise from other thriller writers like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos. And she just received another high honor: She was awarded the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence, which honors outstanding work by rising African-American writers, for her book The Cutting Season.

Locke was a screenwriter, but early in her career she encountered obstacles.

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Kitchen Window
10:16 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Get Extra Points For Super Bowls Of Dips And Spreads

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 2:39 pm

I'm not a big football fan. However, I look forward every year to Super Bowl Sunday. Who can argue with a day that, let's face it, is as devoted to partying as it is to the matchup on the field. So every time another Super Bowl rolls around, we invite a bunch of friends over for some beer, some eats and, of course, some serious game-watching.

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The Salt
9:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Frogs And Puffins! 1730s Menus Reveal Royals Were Extreme Foodies

Britain's King George II: Snazzy dresser, adventurous eater.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 10:10 am

You think 21st century foodies will go to great lengths for a culinary thrill? (Lion meat, anyone?) Turns out, they've got nothing on 18th century English royals.

Frogs, puffins, boar's head and larks and other songbirds were all fair game for the dinner table of England's King George II, judging by a chronicle of daily meals served to his majesty and his wife, Queen Caroline.

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The Two-Way
6:34 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Book News: Nurse's Debut Novel Wins Prestigious Costa Award

Costa Book of the Year author Nathan Filer poses with his prize for his debut novel Tuesday in London.
Sang Tan AP

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

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Allende Creates Realism Without The Magic In 'Ripper'

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is the author of 20 books, including The House of Spirits and City of the Beasts.
Lori Barra Courtesy of HarperCollins

I've been wanting to read Isabel Allende's work for years now, for the praise it's received as an exemplar of the magical realist tradition (which I love) and for its focus on the lives of women (which I applaud). So it's with some bemusement that I discovered my first experience with it would be a crime novel about a San Francisco serial killer.

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:04 pm

Back in the 1980s, Anna Quindlen's New York Times column, "Life in the 30s," delineated — with humor and grace — what so many of her fellow newly liberated female Boomers were going through: the complications of using your maiden name after you have children. Check. The challenges of balancing a career with parenting. Check. Grocery shopping with small children in tow, "an event I hope to see included in the Olympics in the near future." Check again.

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Author Interviews
1:17 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Entrepreneurs Looking For 'Windfall' Cash In On Climate Change

A boat skims through the melting ice in the Ilulissat fjord in August 2008, on the western coast of Greenland.
Steen Ulrik Johannessen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 1:48 pm

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Monkey See
8:35 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Pete Seeger And The Public Choir

Pete Seeger performs during a concert marking his 90th birthday at Madison Square Garden in New York on May 3, 2009.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Much will be said and has been said about Pete Seeger, who died Monday at 94, as an activist and musician. Blacklisted, tireless, stubborn, and funny, he wrote a lot of songs that seem to have simply always existed: "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?", "If I Had A Hammer," "Turn, Turn, Turn."

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The Two-Way
6:22 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Book News: Mexican Poet Jose Emilio Pacheco Dies At 74

Mexican writer Jose Emilio Pacheco poses for the photographers after the Cervantes Prize ceremony on April 23, 2010, in Madrid.
Carlos Alvarez Getty Images

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

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New In Paperback
6:02 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Jan. 26-Feb. 1: Stanley McChrystal, Jeff Bridges And James Salter

Stanley McChrystal's new memoir, My Share of the Task, recounts lessons from his years in the military.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 10:51 am

*Some of the language in the summaries above has been provided by publishers.

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

Book Reviews
6:02 am
Tue January 28, 2014

Conflict And Colonization Under Alien Ice In 'A Darkling Sea'

A Darkling Sea, James Cambias' first novel, is the perfect action romp for people who miss old-fashioned stories of planetary colonization. It has all the gee-whiz wonder of a classic space opera tale, complete with weird aliens. But it also reflects contemporary concerns like environmental contamination, and the political problems that can arise from first contact between very different civilizations. The result is an exciting, if ultimately flawed, tale of first meetings between alien groups.

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Books News & Features
3:58 am
Tue January 28, 2014

The Annual Awards For Children's Books Are Out

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:20 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

OK, the Grammy Awards are behind us. The Oscars are around the corner. And now, we have another award that also gets a lot of attention this time of year, from people who love kids' books.

The American Library Association has announced this year's Caldecott and Newbery Award winners. NPR's Lynn Neary reports.

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Author Interviews
2:44 am
Tue January 28, 2014

'Founding Mothers' Helps Kids 'Remember The Ladies'

Deborah Franklin defended her home against a mob that was angry about the Stamp Act.
Courtesy of Harper

Originally published on Tue January 28, 2014 7:20 am

In 2004, Morning Edition contributor Cokie Roberts published a book about the ways in which the wives, mothers, daughters and sisters of America's Founding Fathers helped forge the nation. Now she's back with an illustrated version aimed at children. It's called Founding Mothers: Remembering The Ladies.

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Book Reviews
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Book Review: 'The Guts,' By Roddy Doyle

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

"The Commitments" was the first novel from Irish writer Roddy Doyle. The story introduced us to a young Dubliner named Jimmy Rabbitte, the founder of a neighborhood soul band. Subsequent books stayed with the Rabbitte family, detailing life's trials as they've aged. Well, now a new novel and we have the story of a middle aged Jimmy Rabbitte recovering from cancer surgery.

Alan Cheuse has our review.

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Book Reviews
4:17 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

A New Look At George Eliot That's Surprisingly Approachable

English novelist George Eliot (1819 - 1880), pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans, poses for a photograph.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

Meg Wolitzer's latest novel is The Interestings.

I have to admit that the first time I tried to read Middlemarch by George Eliot, I ended up putting it aside after only 20 pages. My teenage self, feeding heavily at the time on Pearl S. Buck and Go Ask Alice, found the novel difficult and dry. But then one day, when I was older and more discerning and less antsy, I tried again, and this time I was swept in. This time, I guess I was ready.

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All Tech Considered
3:16 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

For Taiwanese News Animators, Funny Videos Are Serious Work

In their effort to make their animations seem more realistic, the Next Media team models various facial expressions it will use in a piece. These are models of singer Leslie Cheung.
Elise Hu NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 12:17 pm

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The Salt
2:19 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The White Castle Slider

Sliders come in five-packs, or as White Castle calls them, "swarms."
NPR

Time magazine recently named The White Castle Slider the Most Influential Burger of All Time, above the McDonald's burger, the Burger King Whopper, and President Millard P. Burger, the first all-beef president of the United States.

Ian: I guess it's better than when the White Castle Slider won Time magazine's Person of the Year.

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The Salt
11:51 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Making Moonshine At Home Is On The Rise. But It's Still Illegal

A worker at New York's Kings County Distillery, which opened in 2010. Before going legit with the operation, co-founder Colin Spoelman (not pictured) learned to make moonshine in his Brooklyn apartment without a permit.
Courtesy of Valery Rizzo

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:26 pm

Within days after each season premiere and season finale of the Discovery Channel's reality show "Moonshiners," they come — a small but perceptible wave of people — to purchase suspiciously large amounts of corn, sugar and hardy strains of fermenting yeast at Austin Homebrew Supply.

"We know what they're up to," says Chris Ellison, the manager of the Texas store.

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Author Interviews
11:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

'Pope And Mussolini' Tells The 'Secret History' Of Fascism And The Church

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 12:45 pm

It's commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists when Benito Mussolini's party ruled over Italy in the 1920s and '30s. But in The Pope and Mussolini, David Kertzer says the historical record and a trove of recently released archives tell a very different story.

It's fascinating, Kertzer tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, "how in a very brief period of time, Mussolini came to realize the importance of enlisting the pope's support."

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Book Reviews
11:48 am
Mon January 27, 2014

On This Spanish Slave Ship, Nothing Was As It Seemed

Detail from the cover of The Empire of Necessity.
Courtesy of Metropolitan Books

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 4:14 pm

Shortly after sunrise, on the morning of Feb. 20, 1805, sailors on an American ship called the Perseverance, anchored near an uninhabited island off the coast of Chile, spied a weird vessel drifting into view. It flew no flag and its threadbare sails were slack. The captain of the Perseverance, a man named Amasa Delano, decided to come to the aid of the ship, whose name, painted in faded white letters along its bow, was the Tryal.

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