Arts

Business
3:51 am
Fri January 17, 2014

DirecTV: Customers Balked At Weather Channel's Reality Shows

Originally published on Mon January 27, 2014 3:36 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story began as pretty much your standard contract dispute. The Weather Channel wanted more money for its programming, and DirectTV wanted to pay less.

So, at 12:01 Tuesday morning, the satellite service dropped the Weather Channel and replaced it with a smaller producer of weather programming, which raises the question: How much do TV viewers really want or need weather information when they can get it from other sources?

NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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The Record
11:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Gimme The Beat (Box): The Journey Of The Drum Machine

The Oberheim DMX rose to popularity in the mid-1980s, one of the first commercial drum machines that came close to mimicking real drum sounds.
Courtesy of Get On Down Publishing

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:06 pm

About 10 years ago, a disgruntled pianist in Los Angeles named John Wood began a popular bumper sticker campaign with the slogan, "Drum Machines Have No Soul." Not everyone was convinced, including producer Eric Sadler.

"Drum machines don't run themselves," Sadler says. "It's the people who put into the drum machines that give the drum machines soul, to me. I've definitely given some drum machines some soul."

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Code Switch
9:06 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Is There Room For Only One Black Film At The Top Of The Heap?

Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated in the category of best actor for his role in 12 Years a Slave as the 86th Academy Awards nominations are announced Thursday in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:51 pm

First, let's acknowledge one thing: 12 Years a Slave has achieved something amazing and wonderful.

With nine Oscar nominations, it has proven a brutal story about the worst degradations of American slavery can attract the biggest accolades Hollywood has to offer.

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Movies
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Snubs And Surprises Abound In Oscar Nominations

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:49 pm

Oscar nominations were announced this morning, and though lots of the slots went to the expected titles — Gravity, American Hustle and 12 Years A Slave led the pack — there were certainly some surprises.

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Movie Reviews
4:44 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Churl Of A Squirrel, On The Make In The Big City

Squirrels Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Surly (Will Arnett) start out on opposite ends of the moral spectrum in The Nut Job.
Toonbox Entertainment, Ltd.

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

'Big Bad Wolves,' On The Prowl In Tel Aviv

Religious-studies teacher Dror (Rotem Keinan) is the prime suspect in a series of gruesome murders in Big Bad Wolves, a bracing new thriller from the Israeli writer-director team of Aharon Keshales and Navot Papushado.
Magnet Releasing

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Two Families, Decidedly Unalike In Dignity

Ryota Ninomiya (Masaharu Fukuyama) and his son Keita (Keita Ninomiya) wrestle with identity and belonging in Like Father, Like Son.
Sundance Selects

Tokyo filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda is known for deft work with kids, sometimes in scenarios with little or no adult presence. But the English-language title of his latest movie, Like Father, Like Son, is a little misleading. There's no reference to a child in the Japanese title, which means "And So He Becomes a Father."

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Movie Reviews
4:02 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Jack Ryan Gets A Makeover, And A Quick Trip To Moscow

Chris Pine and Keira Knightley anchor Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, opposite Kevin Costner as a CIA veteran and Kenneth Branagh as the story's big bad.
Larry Horricks Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 2:05 pm

A franchise is what we used to call a Burger King or a Shell station, but nowadays the word appears more often in relation to movies: the Star Wars franchise, the Hunger Games franchise, the Jack Ryan franchise — or in the case of Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, the Jack Ryan franchise reboot. I don't know what's more depressing: that what fires up studio execs is the hunt for a new franchise or that critics have adopted this business lingo uncritically.

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Good News: Americans Are Eating 78 Fewer Calories Every Day

family dinners, like this one at the Brown-Spencer home in Mechanicsville, Va." href="/post/good-news-americans-are-eating-78-fewer-calories-every-day" class="noexit lightbox">
Americans are dining out less and eating at home more, new government research shows. This may mean more family dinners, like this one at the Brown-Spencer home in Mechanicsville, Va.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 5:55 pm

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has crunched some numbers, and its conclusion is that Americans are munching less. And on more healthful stuff.

On average, working-age adults were eating about 78 fewer calories per day in 2010, compared with five years earlier, according to a report released Thursday.

So what are we eating less of? Saturated fat. Researchers documented a 6 percent decline in calories from saturated fat between 2005 and 2010.

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Movies
2:07 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Go To 'American Hustle,' 'Gravity,' '12 Years A Slave'

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Oscar nominations are in. They were announced this morning in Beverly Hills. And "American Hustle" and "Gravity" are the early front-runners. Each of them got 10 Academy Award nominations, including best picture. "12 Years a Slave" was close behind with nine nominations. For more, we're joined now by Linda Holmes, who writes and edits NPR's entertainment and pop culture blog Monkey See. Good morning.

LINDA HOLMES, BYLINE: Good morning to you.

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Found Recipes
12:57 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

A Taste Of South Texas In A 9x13 Dish

Don't be fooled by the name: Neither Sandy nor Crystal is quite sure where the King Ranch Casserole has its origins.
Courtesy of Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 11:19 am

When Sandy Pollock and Crystal Cook go to work on a traditional recipe, they usually like to bring it up to date with a modern twist or two. After all, they call themselves the Casserole Queens, specialists in making a classic quick-fix dish fit for today's dinner mat.

But when it came to changing the King Ranch Casserole, Sandy wouldn't hear of it. "There are just some things that you don't mess with," she says. "It's the way Mama made it!"

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Author Interviews
12:56 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Book Chronicles The Building Of Roger Ailes' Fox News Empire

Roger Ailes is the subject of a new book by New York Magazine contributing editor Gabriel Sherman. He describes Ailes' rule inside Fox News as "absolute."
Jim Cooper AP

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 4:00 pm

Fox News CEO and President Roger Ailes has succeeded in turning a television news network into an unprecedented force. Fox News is the most dominant media organization in America, generating more than a billion dollars in profit and earning the highest ratings of any cable news network.

Gabriel Sherman writes about Ailes' success with Fox News in his new book, The Loudest Voice In The Room: How The Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News — And Divided A Country.

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Movies
11:22 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nods Show 'Black & White' Year In Hollywood

The Oscar nominations are in! "American Hustle," "Gravity," and "12 Years a Slave" scored big. But did anything really surprise critics? Host Michel Martin speaks with actor and producer Rick Najera about the nods.

Monkey See
10:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Complicating The Tonya And Nancy Narratives, 20 Years Later

Fans of U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding put up a sign in support while she skated at the Clackamas Town Center mall rink in 1994, while a grand jury considered whether to indict her.
Eugene Garcia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:40 pm

There have always been two Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan narratives. Always.

The first one — the sparkly, easy, TV-coverage one — is that Nancy Kerrigan was a beautiful, elegant, classy skater and Tonya Harding was trash. In this one, Tonya had a thug husband who arranged for a vicious attack on poor, beautiful Nancy, who then had to rally to win a silver medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics.

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Wordless News
10:45 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Wordless News: Legalizing 'Charlotte's Web' Medical Marijuana

Maria Fabrizio

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:22 pm

  • Florida Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For Child Seizures

Every day, illustrator Maria Fabrizio posts a news-inspired image on her Wordless News blog. This week, all of her pictures will be inspired by stories she hears on Morning Edition.

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Right Brothers

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:18 am

We salute German folklorists, Bavarian financiers and Harlem's greatest pair of tap dancers in this game, led by host Ophira Eisenberg, that covers famous sets of brothers who kept their triumphs in the family.

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

Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Italian Ices

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:19 am

This game honors those sweet frozen treats known as Italian ices. House musician and Italian-speaker Jonathan Coulton clues contestants to words, phrases and titles that end in the letters "i-c-e." The catch, of course, is that all answers must be said with a Continental flair: "i-c-e," will sound like "EE-chay." Buona fortuna!

Plus, Coulton swings a rendition of Renato Carosone's Neapolitan tune "Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano," whose lyrics lampoon Italians for imitating an American lifestyle that includes baseball, Camel cigarettes and rock 'n roll.

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Literary Comic Strips

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:18 am

The trickiest games on Ask Me Another ask you to keep two things in your brain at once, then mash them together to form a mega-answer. In this one, combine the titles of books and newspaper comic strips, such as "Doonesbury My Heart at Wounded Knee." (Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury meets Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.)

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Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Job Search

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:18 am

What was your first minimum-wage job? Was it as a house musician on a public radio quiz show? The hardworking Jonathan Coulton covers tunes by the likes of Lady Gaga and Elton John, but replaces the rather glamorous jobs in the lyrics with different, and perhaps more attainable, professions.

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

Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Vowelling Off

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:17 am

In this paean to final rounds everywhere, puzzle guru Greg Pliska acts as liaison between contestants and their hope of squeaking their way toward becoming grand prize winner. How many words in your oeuvre contain three vowels in a row? This paragraph is riddled with them, for starters.

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

Ask Me Another
9:55 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: An Adventurer Travels Back In Time

Elizabeth Gilbert.
Jennifer Schatten

Originally published on Sun January 19, 2014 4:17 am

"I wrote for and about men," says author Elizabeth Gilbert, of her early career as a journalist for GQ, Esquire and Spin. "Which is why it's so ironic that now I am the uber chick lit author."

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The Two-Way
7:54 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Oscar Nominees For Best Picture Include 'Captain Phillips,' 'Gravity'

Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips.
Hopper Stone, SMPSP

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 10:22 am

Let the arguments begin over who and which film should have been nominated but weren't.

This year's nominees for Oscars from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were just announced and they include:

Best Picture

-- American Hustle

-- Captain Phillips

-- Dallas Buyers Club

-- Gravity

-- Her

-- Nebraska

-- Philomena

-- 12 Years a Slave

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

'Gravity,' 'American Hustle' And '12 Years A Slave' Lead The Oscar Nominations

Lupita Nyong'O and Chiwetel Ejiofor were both nominated for Oscars for their work in 12 Years A Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:32 pm

Ever since the Oscars expanded the Best Picture field to include up to 10 nominees, they've been taking advantage of that extra space, and this year was no exception. While the original chatter was about the possibility of including more crowd-pleasers (there was much discussion of whether the expanded field would have helped The Dark Knight), what's consistently happened is that the "extra" nominations have gone to films that might have been too small to be nominated, not too "pop" to be nominated.

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The Two-Way
6:59 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Book News: World War I Diaries Of British Soldiers Digitized

British soldiers in the trenches, late 1914.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:14 pm

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

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Book Reviews
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Never Again: 'Trieste' Is A Harrowing Mix Of Memory And Memorial

iStockphoto.com

From Croatia comes a novel titled Trieste, by Dasa Drndic, originally published in Croatian in 2007 and now translated into English by Ellen Elias-Bursac. We might call the novel experimental because of some of the techniques the writer employs. But the story — a mother in search of a child, torn from her in the midst of monstrous warfare — feels ancient.

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Race
5:43 am
Thu January 16, 2014

'12 Years A Slave' Inspires 'True Conversations' About Slavery

Lupita Nyong'o and Chiwetel Ejiofor play Patsey and Solomon, two slaves on a Louisiana plantation, in 12 Years a Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Movie Interviews
3:49 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Hollywood Anticipates: Oscar Nominations Are Out Thursday

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 2:07 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGE, HOST:

Hollywood is up early this morning for the Oscar nominations and 2013 offered a host of movies now vying for recognition from Academy voters.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "DALLAS BUYERS CLUB")

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY: (as Ron) I got this DDC in France supposed to keep the healthy cells you've got from getting the HIV. I gotta get some of this.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: (as character) None of those drugs have been approved by the FDA.

MCCONAUGHEY: (as Ron) Screw the FDA. I'm going to be DOA.

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Animals
5:49 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Months After 'Blackfish' Release, Controversy Over SeaWorld Grows

Two killer whales fly out of the water during a show at SeaWorld Orlando's Shamu Stadium in 2010.
Phelan M. Ebenhack AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 8:11 pm

The documentary Blackfish made a splash at the Sundance Film Festival when it premiered last January, and got more attention when it was released in theaters over the summer. But it didn't reach its largest audience until October, when millions watched it on CNN.

It's a powerful documentary that focuses on Tilikum, the male orca who pulled trainer Dawn Brancheau into the water and killed her at SeaWorld Orlando in 2010. In telling the story, Blackfish relies heavily on interviews with former SeaWorld trainers like Samantha Berg.

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Television
4:34 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Few, The Fervent: Fans Of 'Supernatural' Redefine TV Success

Dean Winchester (left, played by Jensen Ackles) and his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) battle evil beings on CW's Supernatural. The brothers may be easy on the eyes, but sex appeal alone doesn't explain Supernatural's passionate fan base.
Cate Cameron The CW

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

How do you measure love?

OK, it's a huge question. And maybe not one generally applied to television. But the metrics of success determine whether a television show lives or dies. (If this is the sort of topic that seems frivolous, consider the billions of dollars TV and other copyright industries contribute to the U.S. economy. The stakes start feeling higher.)

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Arts & Life
4:31 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

These Guitars Are For The Birds — Literally

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 6:44 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

So that's one question. And here's another that we're sure has been bothering many of you for years. What happens when you give a bird a guitar? Well, you'll get your answer at a new exhibition opening Saturday at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. It's called "From Here to Ear."

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Picture this: One room, 70 zebra finches, 14 tuned and amplified guitars, no fingers.

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