Arts

Monkey See
9:34 am
Tue May 6, 2014

C'mon, Mindy: Enough Already. Own Your Awesomeness.

Mindy Kaling as Dr. Mindy Lahiri in The Mindy Project. See how great she is? She needs to stop changing for all her boyfriends.
Jordin Althaus Fox

I like The Mindy Project a lot. It was my favorite new comedy last year, and it continues to be one I always look forward to in its sophomore season.

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The Two-Way
6:52 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Book News: Gay Bookstore Said To Be The Nation's Oldest Is Closing

A historical marker stands outside Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia. Owner Ed Hermance says he plans to close the doors for good later this month.
AP

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue May 6, 2014

From Flower To Factory, These Bees Are No Bumblers

Fortunate happenstance has led to me reviewing Laline Paull's The Bees alongside Dave Goulson's A Sting in the Tale. I am more than a little obsessed with bees, honey, watching wildlife and reading dystopias, and am therefore predisposed to find both books interesting. Together they make a splendid double-header of fiction and non-fiction: there is a precision and economy to the former and an almost lazy charm to the latter that makes them remarkably complementary.

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Code Switch
2:45 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Can Student Journalists Ban 'Redskins' From Their School Paper?

This mural by the football field features Neshaminy's mascot.
Aaron Moselle NPR

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 9:34 am

"Redskins."

That word sits at the center of a controversy in suburban Philadelphia. It's pitted student journalists against school board members, but has left the school community largely shrugging its shoulders.

Student editors at Neshaminy High School in Bucks County have vowed not to print the word, which is the school's Native American mascot.

The Neshaminy School Board, however, is expected to vote later this month on a policy that would reverse the ban.

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The Salt
2:27 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Pizza Connection: Fighting The Mafia Through Food

Francesco Galante leads the Libera Terra, a cooperative of farmers and producers who create food and jobs outside of the Mafia's control.
The Kitchen Sisters

Originally published on Thu May 8, 2014 8:07 am

In recent years, the effort to bring the Mafia under control in Sicily has spilled over into the world of food. Today a movement of small organic agricultural cooperatives has sprung up across the island to farm land once confiscated by the Mafia and bring these goods to a global market.

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Music
4:14 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Yeezy Or The Bard: Who's The Best Wordsmith In Hip-Hop?

Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.
Matt Daniels

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:16 am

William Shakespeare had a wildly extensive vocabulary. Of more than 800,000 total words in all of his works, almost 29,000 of them are unique.

Although impressive, there are a few rappers who give the Bard a run for his money. Data scientist Matt Daniels charted the vocabularies of hip-hop artists against Shakespeare and Herman Melville.

"This is not a serious academic study. This is an, like, 'I thought it'd be cool on the Internet [project],' " he says.

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Author Interviews
3:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Why Bring Up Death When We Could Talk About 'Something More Pleasant'?

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 5:35 pm

When people talk about extending the human lifespan to 120 it bothers Roz Chast. "That upsets me for a lot of reasons," she tells NPR's Melissa Block. "I feel like these are people who don't really know anybody over 95." The reality of old age, she says, is that "people are not in good shape, and everything is falling apart."

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Book News & Features
3:02 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

A Film And Fashion Icon On Aging, And The Power Of Turtlenecks

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

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 7:07 pm

Actress Diane Keaton remains an icon, decades after her Oscar-winning performance in Annie Hall. At 68, she's a single mother of two, once romantically linked to some of Hollywood's biggest heartthrobs and still starring in films. And she still rocks her trademark look: a bowler hat, tinted glasses, oversized clothes, scarves, gloves, long sleeves and boots — "Clothing that actually hides the body," she says. "There's a lot to hide in my case. I'm the only remaining person on earth with this particular look."

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The Salt
1:08 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Wonut

I don't know if it means anything, but my autocorrect keeps changing "wonuts" to "wounds."
NPR

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:29 pm

First, there was the cronut, the croissant-doughnut hybrid. Then there was the doughscuit. Then, the Liger. And now, there is the wonut, a waffle-doughnut hybrid from Waffles Cafe in Chicago. We ordered ours in Tiramisu flavor — that's those little speckles on top. (In case you were thinking, "Wait, it's topped with Dippin' Dots? All my dreams have come true!")

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Television
12:43 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

Todd Barry's New Stand-Up Strategy: 'Does Anyone Want To Talk To Me?'

Todd Barry has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Late Show With David Letterman and Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
Mindy Tucker

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 2:51 pm

Todd Barry is one of comic Louis C.K.'s favorite comedians. So when Barry had the idea to film a tour in which all he did was crowd work — or, engage the audience in improvised conversations — Louis C.K. decided to produce the film, called The Crowd Work Tour, and feature it on his website.

Barry also plays a version of himself on Louis C.K.'s show Louie, which begins a new season on Monday. He's recorded several comedy albums, appeared in the film The Wrestler and done a lot of voice-over work for animated TV series.

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Book Reviews
12:43 pm
Mon May 5, 2014

In 'Hotel Florida,' Three Couples Chronicle The Spanish Civil War

Ernest Hemingway and his third wife, Martha Gellhorn, at the Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho.
AP

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 2:40 pm

There's something romantic about biographer Amanda Vaill's device of making the Hotel Florida in Madrid the hub of her new book about the Spanish Civil War, called Hotel Florida; but, then again, there's always been something romantic about the Spanish Civil War itself. For the Spanish loyalists — who were supported by Russia and Mexico as well as the International Brigades of civilians from Europe and the Americas — the Spanish Civil War was a gallant stand against fascism.

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Race
10:55 am
Mon May 5, 2014

Post-Sept. 11 Hate Crime Reveals A 'Hurting' America

W.W. Norton

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 11:48 am

Just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Rais Bhuiyan was working at a Dallas gas station when Mark Stroman walked in, asked him where he was from, and then shot him in the face.

Bhuiyan, a former air force officer from Bangladesh, survived. But that shooting was one of three attacks Stroman carried out after Sept. 11. He killed two other South Asian immigrants, whom he perceived to be Muslim or Arab.

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Media
10:55 am
Mon May 5, 2014

How A Disgraced Reporter Tested The Public's Trust In Journalism

Originally published on Mon May 5, 2014 11:35 am

New York Times rising star Jayson Blair was busted in spring 2003 for plagiarizing and making up stories. Filmmaker Samantha Grant's new documentary, A Fragile Trust, sheds light on the scandal.

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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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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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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