Arts

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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Movies
11:28 am
Mon January 27, 2014

'Dear White People' A Hit At Sundance

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Arts & Life
11:28 am
Mon January 27, 2014

New Muslim Ms. Marvel Doesn't Drink, Date Or Eat Bacon

Kamala Khan, a Muslim teenager living in New Jersey, is the latest superhero to don the Ms. Marvel mantle.
AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 7:24 pm

Marvel is introducing a new character: Kamala Khan. She's a 16-year-old Muslim public high school student in Jersey City. She's also the new Ms. Marvel, and the first Muslim superhero to star in her own mainstream comic book series. Author G. Willow Wilson spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin about her new series.


Interview Highlights

On Kamala Khan's challenges to come

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Monkey See
10:15 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Pharrell Williams And The Power Hat

Pharrell Williams wore an unexpected piece of headgear to Sunday's Grammy Awards.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

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The Two-Way
9:46 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Book News: Caldecott For 'Locomotive'; Newbery For 'Flora & Ulysses'

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 11:18 am

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

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Pop Culture
5:20 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

For 'SNL' Cast Member, The Waiting Was The Hardest Part

Bobby Moynihan (left) appears on Saturday Night Live as the character "Drunk Uncle."
NBC Dana Edelson/NBC

As part of a new 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.

For about a decade, Bobby Moynihan lived a double life. By day, Moynihan says, he tended bar at a Pizzeria Uno in New York. By night, he performed improv comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.

But he says he always had one dream: to join the cast of Saturday Night Live.

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Media
4:21 pm
Sun January 26, 2014

'The Tonight Show' And The Business Of Late Night

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 1:54 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS: It's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR West. I'm Kelly McEvers, in for Arun Rath.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO")

JAY LENO: Welcome to "Tonight Show." Now, folks...

: Next month, a new host will welcome the audience on "The Tonight Show." After two decades of hosting the program, Jay Leno is passing the torch to Jimmy Fallon. Fallon announced NBC's decision to change hosts last spring.

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Author Interviews
11:22 am
Sun January 26, 2014

In Fragments Of A Marriage, Familiar Themes Get Experimental

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 11:47 am

Love, parenthood, infidelity, a crumbling marriage ... these are pretty traditional themes for fiction. It's not the kind of stuff that normally makes for an experimental novel.

But in Jenny Offill's new book, Dept. of Speculation, those familiar subjects take on an unusual form. The book is short, just 46 brief chapters, and instead of forming a narrative, they're disconnected snippets of prose, poetry and anecdotes. The story centers on two characters, "the wife" and "the husband," who are never named.

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Monkey See
9:23 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Watch The Grammy Awards With Us

US singer Bruno Mars performs during the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) 2013 ceremony in Amsterdam in November 2013.
Sven Hoogerhuis AFP/Getty Images

You've gotta love the Grammy Awards.

They've got a zillion categories showcasing all kinds of great and interesting music (really!) in all kinds of genres (really!). But when it comes to awards night, you see a tiny selection of awards (eight or nine, maybe, in three hours), together with a bunch of performances ranging from the flawless to the weird thing that happened last year involving Frank Ocean's video legs.

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Book Reviews
8:43 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Doyle's New 'Guts' Has Plenty Of Soul

Courtesy of Viking Adult

Restless and determined young Dubliner Jimmy Rabbitte put together a neighborhood soul band in 1987. Jimmy rounded up his pal Outspan and Declan and some other folks, including soul veteran Joey The Lips on trumpet, pretty Imelda and Natalie — the Commitment-ettes — as backup, and the rest was history. That's the gospel according to Dubliner Roddy Doyle's first novel, The Commitments.

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Technology
8:41 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Paramount Cuts Film, Giving The Starring Role To Digital

Originally published on Sun January 26, 2014 11:47 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's a heavy burden for such a light movie but it's possible that Anchorman 2 is the movie that will ring in the end of film. The L.A. Times reported last week that Paramount Pictures, the studio that made "Anchorman 2," will move to a completely digital format to distribute its films to theaters. It's a shift with huge implications, not just for cinephiles who are attached to the warmth and quality of 35 millimeter film, but for archivists who rely on film as a medium that will stand the test of time.

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Code Switch
7:44 am
Sun January 26, 2014

For Persian Jews, America Means 'Religious Pluralism At Its Best'

Roben Farzad and his mother in their 1978 visa photo
Courtesy of Roben Farzad

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Sunday Puzzle
7:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take Synonyms For A Spin (Or Pirouette)

NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:28 pm

On-air challenge: For each word given, name a synonym in which the first two letters are the same as the second and third letters of the given word. For example, spin and pirouette.

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Three Books...
6:02 am
Sun January 26, 2014

They Came From Inner Space: Three Books About Solitude

iStockphoto

Writers are a curious bunch, known for holding court at parties, charming their readers publicly, yet also famously — stereotypically — cranky in the daylight hours. They prefer their own quiet shuffling to any other human noise. I, too, admit a certain tendency toward this peculiar, self-inflicted isolation.

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Movie Interviews
4:08 am
Sun January 26, 2014

Take A Ride With Baltimore's Renegade Bikers, The '12 O'Clock Boys'

A new documentary follows The 12 O'Clock Boys, a gang of Baltimore dirt bikers who do dangerous stunts at top speeds on city streets." I think it's a kind of escape for these guys; it's a kind of renegade sport," says filmmaker Lotfy Nathan.
Noah Rabinowitz 12 O'Clock Boys

It doesn't take long to understand why a Baltimore gang of dirt bikers is called the 12 O'Clock Boys: Flying at top speeds down city streets, they flip precariously high wheelies, maneuvering their bikes to near vertical positions, like clock hands at high noon.

The police try to crack down on them, but that only adds to the gang's allure — especially for a young rider named Pug. "If I fall, I'm gonna hop back on my bike," Pug says. "Doesn't matter if I break my arm or anything, I'm hopping back on this bike."

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Monkey See
4:06 am
Sun January 26, 2014

8 Picture Books That Make Us Wish We Were Kids Again

Courtesy of Candlewick Press

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 10:21 am

Update: On Jan. 27, the American Library Association awarded the Caldecott Medal to Locomotive by Brian Floca. Three Caldecott Honor books were also named, including Journey by Aaron Becker and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner.

Our original post:

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Sat January 25, 2014

The Mystery Of Isabel Allende: Author Explores New Genre

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 6:53 pm

Isabel Allende planned to retire in 2011. Instead, she wrote a murder mystery.

The New York Times bestselling author is known for her unique style that blends historical reportage, memoir and literature. Her books have sold over 60 million copies and are translated into more than 35 languages.

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Author Interviews
11:26 am
Sat January 25, 2014

'Le Divorce' Author Finds Stories Closer To Home In 'Flyover'

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:31 am

For most of her readers, the American author Diane Johnson is wholly identified with France and especially Paris. She's the author of novels like L'Affaire, Le Marriage, and Le Divorce — the last of which was made into a film.

So it comes as something of a surprise that Johnson's new book is about her roots in the American Midwest. And not only her own roots, but the roots of a family tree going back two centuries, painstakingly reconstructed from a trove of diaries and letters passed on by her mother.

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Books News & Features
11:14 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Before He Fell To Earth, 'The Little Prince' Was Born In N.Y.

A detail of a drawing from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
Graham S. Haber Courtesy of The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 12:31 pm

One of the world's most beloved books is The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery. Published in 1943, almost two million copies are sold every year, in about 250 languages.

If asked where you think the book was written, you might say Paris. You'd be wrong. Try Long Island — as in Long Island, N.Y.

When the late Nikos Kefalidis bought the house on Beven Road in Northport, Long Island, in the late 1970s, he knew that 30 years before, Saint-Exupery had written and illustrated part of Le Petit Prince in that house.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
9:15 am
Sat January 25, 2014

Not My Job: How Much Does A Former Hedge Fund Manager Know About Hedges?

Mark Lennihan AP

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 2:07 pm

Mad Money, CNBC's daily show about the stock market, is not your typical financial show. Host Jim Cramer shouts, he throws things around, he pushes buttons to make funny noises.

Since Cramer is a former hedge fund manager, we'd like to see just how much he knows about actual hedges. We'll test him with three questions about the world of topiary.

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Arts & Life
9:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

DIY Lip Color That's Good Enough To Eat

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:14 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Something you may find on that vanity is a lipstick, so let's pucker up and head downtown to Soho.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LYDEN: There's a little bit on Prince Street where people can go to find that perfect lip color. We're at Bite, a shop that lets you come up with your own lip shade.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (Singing) It's on your collar. It told the tale on you. Lipstick's on your collar, said you were untrue...

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Author Interviews
9:04 am
Sat January 25, 2014

An Admitted 'Ham' Shares Slices Of Show-Biz Life

Originally published on Sat January 25, 2014 11:14 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Sam Harris says he's been a ham all his life. He's been drawn to the spotlight since he was a kid, belting out "Sound of Music" tunes in a makeshift nun's habit, in his family's garage. Practice, practice, practice - and plenty of audacity - paid off all the way to Carnegie Hall. In 1983, Harris won the very first season of the television show "Star Search" with his performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW")

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Fine Art
7:43 am
Sat January 25, 2014

The Art Of Vanity On Display In 'The History Of The Dressing Table'

This French mechanical table was intended for Madame de Pompadour. The designs depict her many interests, including gardening, painting, music and architecture.
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 9:03 am

Ever since there have been puddles of water, human beings have gazed at their reflections.

Our need to primp and preen, whether we lived in the Bronze Age or the Space Age, can be seen in a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York called Metropolitan Vanities: The History of the Dressing Table.

Curator Jane Adlin offers a show that reminds us that while our vanity may ultimately be in vain, the instinct goes back a long way.

An Ancient Conceit

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