Arts

Television
2:05 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Where Jokes Go To Die, And Other Observations From Comic John Oliver

John Oliver guest hosted The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in June 2013. His new HBO show, Last Week Tonight, premieres Sunday.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images for Comedy Central

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 8:40 am

British comedian John Oliver made a name for himself as a correspondent for Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where he spent his time lampooning the media and the politicians on it.

Now, as sometimes happens with an actual star reporter, Oliver has his own show. It's called Last Week Tonight and it premieres Sunday on HBO.

He joins NPR Steve Inskeep to discuss mocking the U.S. with an English accent and why the White House Correspondents' Dinner is where jokes go to die.

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Strange News
4:14 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

The Man Who Would Own All The World's 'Speed' — But Only On VHS

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 6:17 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Ryan Beitz feels a need for speed. Specifically, he wants to get...

RYAN BEITZ: All available VHS copies of the hit 1994 action-adventure film "Speed," starring Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves and Dennis Hopper.

BLOCK: It's called the World Speed Project. And please note, Mr. Beitz is very particular: only copies...

BEITZ: On VHS.

BLOCK: No Beta, no laser discs, no DVDs.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Movies
4:08 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

In 'Blue Ruin,' Revenge Is Not Served Cool

Macon Blair plays Dwight in the unsettling revenge thriller Blue Ruin.
Radius TWC

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:20 pm

Revenge at the movies is a dish best served not cold, but cool. Homemade justice isn't just meted out by the wronged onscreen; it's delivered with swagger, style, and steely-eyed bad-assery. Michael Caine as Carter, Uma Thurman as The Bride, Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey: These are all individuals who are suave under pressure and look pretty hip to boot, in well-tailored three-piece suits, canary yellow racing leathers, and black leather jackets. (Shotgun, katana, and .38 Special accessories definitely not optional.)

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Movies
4:03 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

empty cubicles
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 10:33 am

I remember my first office desk well. It was the roaring '90s in Manhattan. "Silicon Alley," they called it. I was fresh out of college, working at a Web design company. The office had an open layout. We all shared long tables. I did have a window that looked onto a stone wall. I was given a computer, a drawer and a fancy ergonomic chair.

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Monkey See
3:53 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

An Eater's-Eye View Of Literature's Most Iconic Meals

" 'Have some wine,' the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea." (Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll)
Dinah Fried Courtesy of Harper Design

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:23 pm

In the opening pages of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel Rebecca, the narrator lays out a feast for the imagination: "Those dripping crumpets, I can see them now. Tiny crisp wedges of toast, and piping-hot, flaky scones. Sandwiches of unknown nature, mysteriously flavoured and quite delectable, and that very special gingerbread." Of course, the reader can't actually see these treats — and that's where graphic designer Dinah Fried comes in.

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Monkey See
2:33 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

A Punching Movie That Packs A Punch For People Who Like Punching

Paul Walker stars in Brick Mansions.
Relativity Media

It is never not awkward to talk about a film after one of the stars has died. That's perhaps never any more true than it is in the case of Brick Mansions, one of the last films of Paul Walker. Walker died in November of last year after a career that included a lot of movies like this one: silly, hyper action thrillers that often included, as this one does, moments in which everybody in the theater chortled at their insane, cartoonish brutality.

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The Picture Show
2:19 pm
Thu April 24, 2014

Tyler Hicks Tells The Story Behind His Pulitzer-Winning Nairobi Mall Photos

Tyler Hicks took this photo of a woman sheltering her children on the floor of a cafe at the Westgate Mall during an attack by militants in Nairobi on Sept. 21, 2013. The woman later contacted Hicks and told him she kept her kids quiet and still by singing along to songs that were playing on the mall loudspeakers.
Tyler Hicks The New York Times

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 2:41 pm

A few days after winning a Pulitzer Prize for his photos of a 2013 terrorist attack in a Nairobi mall, Tyler Hicks received an email. It was from one of the women he'd photographed that day — sheltering her two young children on the floor of a cafe. She had heard about the Pulitzer and seen her photo on The New York Times website.

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Arts & Life
11:19 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Debbie Allen On 'Fame,' Stage And Men In Tights

Originally published on Tue May 13, 2014 9:53 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now it's time for our Wisdom Watch. That's the part of the program where we hear from those who've made a difference through their lives and their work. Today, we hear from a woman who is a legend in the world of dance, theater, television and film. Debbie Allen played the iconic dance teacher Lydia Grant both in the movie and in the 1980s television series "Fame."

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "FAME")

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Arts & Culture
11:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Marian Anderson Tribute - 'The Concert That Shook The Establishment'

Marian Anderson
Credit Carl Van Vechten

 75 years ago an African-American singer named Marian Anderson stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C and performed for tens of thousands of people. It's been called “The Concert that Shook the Establishment." During her lifetime - Anderson's unique voice was heard and praised around the world. She remains an important figure for music as well as civil rights.  Ollie Watts Davis, a professor of voice at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is paying tribute to Anderson this weekend.

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Monkey See
10:58 am
Thu April 24, 2014

'The Other Woman': When Terrible Movies Happen To Funny Actresses

Leslie Mann, Nicki Minaj, Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton have nothing to do in The Other Woman.
Barry Wetcher Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Fri April 25, 2014 7:19 am

There is a moment in The Other Woman in which Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz, playing a wife and her husband's former mistress — now friends — fall into a hedge together. When they're spotted, there's a little bit of physical business that's legitimately funny. If you can ignore the fact that the moments of this kind scattered through the film are decorating such a conceptually odious, stupid-to-the-bone enterprise, some of them may make you laugh.

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Ask Me Another
9:34 am
Thu April 24, 2014

'Let It Go': A Hit Song, Spawned From Partnership

"I wrote all the drag-queen-ish lines," Bobby says of "Let It Go." Kristen adds, "I was listening to a lot of Tori Amos at the time. A lot of things we didn't realize we needed to express went into this song."
Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Sun April 27, 2014 4:40 am

  • Hear Bobby and Kristen play a game about mashed-up musicals
  • On the many parodies of "Let It Go"

Has "Let It Go," the showstopper from Disney's Frozen, been stuck in your head all winter? You're probably humming it right now. It's a big-sounding song with a strong emotional core, written by husband-and-wife songwriters Bobby Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. If Queen Elsa, once destined to be the story's villain, is Frozen's superhero, then the Lopezes view "Let It Go" as her origin story moment.

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Shots - Health News
9:31 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Snoopy, Garfield And Friends Go Bald For Kids With Cancer

Can these cartoon pals help reduce the stigma of cancer treatment for children?
Courtesy of Ogilvy Brazil

It's not easy having cancer, especially when you're a kid. And it's even harder when that bald chemo head tells the whole world that you're sick.

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Ask Me Another
9:23 am
Thu April 24, 2014

This Quiz Never Bothered Me Anyway

Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, and their daughters, who appear as singers (and accidental lyricists) in Frozen.
Cindy Ord Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 11:25 am

Sure you have an Oscar, but do you have an Ask Me Another Rubik's cube? Frozen's married songwriters Bobby Lopez (Book of Mormon, Avenue Q) and Kristen Anderson-Lopez let their competitive swagger shine in a game where the answers are mashed-up musicals, like "The Lion King and I."

Ask Me Another
9:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Animal Lamina

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:28 am

You've got to think forwards and backwards in this game, to think up ridiculous palindromes that involve animals. Where might stylish alpacas go for new duds? A "llama mall"!

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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Ask Me Another
9:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Be Kind, Rewind

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:28 am

The days of rewinding VHS tapes are long gone, but in this game, imagine the plots of famous movies if you watched them end to beginning. A retired Rocky jogs backwards through Philadelphia...

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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Ask Me Another
9:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Working Title

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:28 am

Which sounds like a more appealing read, The Great Gatsby or Trimalchio in West Egg? They're the same book, but now you've learned Fitzgerald's working title. Identify more book titles in this game.

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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Ask Me Another
9:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Google, You Autocomplete Me

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:28 am

What's the weirdest thing you've ever Googled? Search histories can be so incriminating. In this round, guess celebrities based on their common search terms, like "height" and "goes crazy on Oprah."

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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Ask Me Another
9:15 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Four-Letter Friends

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 10:28 am

We don't have to bleep a single word in this final round. Rather, identify famous folks who have four letters in both their first and last names, like the Grammy-winning singer of "I Try," Macy Gray.

Heard in Episode 315: Let It Lopez

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Arts & Culture
8:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

A Band Called Old Shoe Pays Tribute To 'The Band'

Matt Robinson of band, Old Shoe
Credit old-shoe.com

It's been twenty years since the roots-rock group called The Band was inducted into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. And Illinois-based band will be paying tribute to them at Donnie's venue in Springfield on Saturday. Called Old Shoe -- the group's original music is heavily influenced by The Band and The Grateful Dead. Old Shoe's Matt Robinson tells us more in this piece produced by Rachel Otwell:

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The Two-Way
6:57 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Book News: Happiness Study Says Library Trips Are As Good As A Pay Raise

Pedestrians walk past the main branch of the New York Public Library in New York City in this 2013 photo.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 7:09 am

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Mitterrand's Taste For 'Intrigue' And Contradiction

It's probably a little too pat to say that all successful political careers are marked by contradiction and compromise, though you're not likely to hear many objections to that characterization. Politics is a game of survival, and with a few sadly notable exceptions, unyielding purists seldom make it to the top.

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Code Switch
6:22 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'People' Cover Is So Significant

People is calling actress Lupita Nyong'o the most beautiful woman in the world. She's the third black woman to get the magazine's title.
People AP

It has been a very good 12 months for Lupita Nyong'o: piles of awards (including an Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Patsy in 12 Years a Slave), a contract to be the face of Lancôme Paris cosmetics, and now this: the cover of People's annual "50 Most Beautiful" issue.

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Monkey See
3:01 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

On Television, More Transgender Characters Come Into Focus

Laverne Cox plays Sophia on Netflix's Orange Is The New Black, one of several current shows exploring the lives of transgender characters.
Paul Schiraldi Netflix

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:06 pm

Over the past year or so, I've looked at how TV's expanding universe represents gays and lesbians and working women. This piece about transgender representation feels like an important part of the same project.

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Architecture
3:01 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers

The shadow of One57 looms large over Central Park in New York City.
Courtesy photo

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 12:28 pm

Skyscrapers are a hallmark of large cities. Modern engineering makes it possible to erect something as tall as the Empire State Building on a very small footprint. Although developers love these buildings, in New York — the city of skyscrapers — residents have been upset at the shadows they cast over public spaces like Central Park.

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
1:46 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Household Words: Shakespeare's Enduring Lexicon

In 1964, for Shakespeare's 400th birthday, The Beatles performed an excerpt from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Roger Jackson Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 5:18 pm

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NPR Story
1:44 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Seth Meyers' 'Late Night' Challenge: What To Do With His Hands

Seth Meyers hosts the premiere of his talk show, Late Night with Seth Meyers, in February. "The trickiest part of this job the first week was just figuring out what to do with my hands," says Meyers, who was used to holding a microphone during standup. Remembering that he had pockets was key.
Peter Kramer AP

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 3:32 pm

Seth Meyers already had his dream job. As the host of Saturday Night Live's Weekend Update, "I sort of had already accomplished the job I never thought I would accomplish," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. He joined the cast in 2001 and was there for 12 years.

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Music
10:23 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Yaya Alafia's Songs Of Strength For Her Baby Boy

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:24 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Finally today, let's hear from a model and actress who also has Nigerian roots, Yaya Alafia. Last year was a breakout year for her with meaty roles in critically acclaimed films including Lee Daniels' "The Butler" and Andrew Dosunmu's "Mother of George." And she had a baby.

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Kitchen Window
7:58 am
Wed April 23, 2014

In Tasmania, A Food Bounty As Spectacular As The Scenery

Laura B. Weiss

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 2:01 pm

Have you seen the devil?

When you've been to Tasmania — or Tassie, as the Aussies call it — that's what everyone wants to know.

Sure, the Tasmanian devil, a squat, foul-smelling animal with a ferocious screech, has helped put the 26,000-square-mile island (roughly the size of West Virginia ) on the map.

But there's a lot more to Tassie than its infamous marsupial. And a lot of it is ace tucker — that's Aussie slang for good food.

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Monkey See
7:47 am
Wed April 23, 2014

What Do 'The Simpsons' Look Like In Lego?

The Simpsons enters the world of Lego in the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me."
Fox

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 8:26 am

Fox has started to release images of the Simpsons from the upcoming episode "Brick Like Me," which is — get this — the 550th episode. That means you could watch a different episode of The Simpsons every day for roughly a year and a half, weekends and weekdays, before you ran out of new ones.

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The Two-Way
7:10 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Book News: Gabriel García Márquez Left An Unpublished Manuscript

Writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who won the Nobel Prize in 1982, died last week at age 87.
Paco Junquera Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 10:17 am

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

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