Arts

Movie Reviews
7:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

A Tall And Silly Tale Signifies Nothing In 'Tusk'

In Kevin Smith's best movies — and his worst ones, for that matter — the characters talk a whole lot of nonsense. That's also true of Tusk, the writer-director's second foray into horror. This time, the villain actually follows through on his nutty chatter. But he still spends a lot more time talking than torturing.

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Movie Reviews
7:53 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Crossing The Desert, Making 'Tracks'

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 9:07 am

Scenic and a touch bloodless, Tracks is a tastefully off-Hollywood version of the upcoming Wild. Wild is bound to make a lot more noise, and not just because it has Reese Witherspoon in the lead as a grief-stricken Cheryl Strayed hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to get over her beloved mother's death. Tracks is a little too subdued for its own good.

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Movie Reviews
7:52 am
Fri September 19, 2014

'This Is Where I Leave You' Makes A Family Story Too Ordinary

Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver and Corey Stoll play the quarrelsome Altman siblings, each with their own share of emotional baggage.
Nicole Rivelli Warner Brothers Pictures

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 8:48 am

Ordinariness is a quality in movies that likely bothers critics and enthusiasts more than it does other people. The more films you see, the more the enemy becomes not just poor quality but familiarity, simply because even an inoffensive cliche becomes a cinematic earworm after a while — something that makes your brain flinch simply at the "this again!" of it all. This Is Where I Leave You, a family comedy-drama adapted by Jonathan Tropper from his 2009 novel, is unfortunately a very ordinary film, particularly for one adapted from such a thoughtful and tonally tricky book.

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Monkey See
7:51 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Fall Films Preview And Betting On New Television

NPR

We've had a lively summer on PCHH, full of live events and quizzes and special guests and even Stephen hosting episodes (!) (kidding!), but this week, we've got our pal Bob Mondello in the studio for some good old-fashioned movie and TV chatter.

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Book News & Features
5:50 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel Awarded MacArthur Fellowship

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:57 am

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

Movie Reviews
4:04 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Movie Review: 'Last Days In Vietnam'

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 6:57 am

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

So we tried to get into a movie the other night but couldn't get a ticket for the one we wanted. "Last Days In Vietnam" was sold out, which probably does not surprise LA Times and MORNING EDITION critic Kenneth Turan.

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Code Switch
4:52 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Look, Mom, I Finally Made It To Broadway!

Broadway, New York City.
Neilson Barnard Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 10:35 am

OK, I sort of made it to Broadway. It's WNYC's Greene Space in SoHo, the New York City neighborhood.

Friday is date night. But even if you are flying solo, come join us in person, or on Twitter.

We have a terrific lineup of some of the most exciting playwrights working today to talk about Broadway.

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Author Interviews
2:56 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

The Long, Scary Journey From A 'Terrorist's Son' To A Peace Activist

In a March 2014 TED talk, Ebrahim credited The Daily Show's Jon Stewart with helping him realize that "a person's race, religion or sexual orientation had nothing to do with the quality of one's character."
Ryan Lash

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:39 pm

When Zak Ebrahim was 7 years old, his father, El Sayyid Nosair, assassinated Meir Kahane, the militant ultra-Orthodox, anti-Arab rabbi who founded the Jewish Defense League. That was in 1990.

Then, from prison, Nosair helped plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — and was later convicted as one of the conspirators.

Ebrahim was shocked to learn what his father was capable of. So was Ebrahim's mother. Ebrahim writes his story in his new memoir, The Terrorist's Son.

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Television
2:43 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

'Madame Secretary' Pales In Comparison To 'The Good Wife'

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 4:39 pm

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Arts
11:49 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Humanities Film Series Kicks Off In Jacksonville

It’s the second year for  The Humanities Film Series in Jacksonville. This year’s is meant to make you think about moral courage, and the challenges that can come with doing the right thing. It kicks off Thursday night at 6:30 at the Jacksonville Public Library. Christopher Strangeman teaches history at MacMurray College in Jacksonville and helped get the film series started, he joined us for this interview about it. 

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Ask Me Another
9:58 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Passionate Proclamations With Gilbert Gottfried

"Every time something pops in my head, I think twice about it and I do it anyway." - Gilbert Gottfried.
Joe Scarnici Getty Images

Gilbert Gottfried likes his comedy with a side of something dangerous.

"I think an audience - like when they go to a horror movie or get on a rollercoaster - they want that feeling like they're going to die," he said. "And then [they] get off and everything's okay. And I think when they see a comic they want to feel like something bad could happen. And with me, something bad is happening, because they spent money to see me."

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Ask Me Another
8:37 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Go Johnny, Go!

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

Go, Johnny Coulton, go! Our one-man house band plays the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" with the lyrics rewritten to be about other famous guys named John. Can you sing your way to victory?

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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Ask Me Another
8:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Rap It Up

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

We're wrapping up the show with a game featuring the letters R-A-P. All answers contain those letters in consecutive order. For example, "a long-haired lady in fairy tales" is "Rapunzel."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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

Transcript

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Ask Me Another
8:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Cultured Film Quotes

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

We love low-brow film, but every once in a while, we crave high culture. In this game, we've classed up a few famous movie quotes with the names of important historical figures: "I'll be Bach."

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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Ask Me Another
8:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Everything But The 'Y'

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

There are words... and then there are super words! Supervocalics are words that include each of the vowels A, E, I, O and U, like "tambourine." All of the answers in this game share this special power.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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Ask Me Another
8:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Time Machine

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

Join us, if you will, and travel back to 1914. All questions must be answered from the vantage point of that year, such as, how many stars are on the US Flag? But be quick: WWI is about to start, and the Wi-Fi here is terrible.

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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Ask Me Another
8:33 am
Thu September 18, 2014

The Big Score

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 9:58 am

We wish we were as enthusiastic about anything as announcer Andres Cantor is about a soccer ball going into a net. Play a game about words or names that contain the sound "go," like "GOOOOO-pher!"

Heard in Episode 326: Too Soon

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Race
6:50 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Jacqueline Woodson On Being A 'Brown Girl' Who Dreams

Author Jacqueline Woodson reads from her newest novel, Sept. 15.
Kat Chow NPR

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 1:37 pm

The first time author Jacqueline Woodson says she really understood poetry — and loved it — was after reading Langston Hughes in elementary school.

"Until then, I thought it was some code that older white people used to speak to each other. I didn't know what was going on with the line breaks and the words," Woodson recalls. "Once the floodgates opened, they opened."

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The Two-Way
6:30 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Book News: Fiction Longlist Is Out For The National Book Awards

The fiction shortlist for the National Book Awards will be announced Oct. 15.
NationalBook.org

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

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Calvino's Cosmicomic Collection Treads The Final Frontier: America

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 10:05 am

Italo Calvino has a habit that's hard not to find disconcerting. Halfway through a story, or even a few sentences in, he often pauses — briefly, glibly — to mention in passing that everything he has written so far is wrong. Oh, and the same goes for what's to come. But it's best not to let it slow us down, he suggests. This will happen sometimes when you're inventing worlds and ideas that can't be put into words.

But words are all he's got — so deal with it.

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Book Reviews
5:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Martin Amis' 'Zone Of Interest' Is An Electrically Powerful Holocaust Novel

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:48 pm

When I picked up Martin Amis' new novel, The Zone of Interest, it felt as though I had touched a third rail, so powerful and electric is the experience of reading it. After years of playing the snide card and giving his great store of talents to the business of giving other people the business, Amis has turned again to the matter of Nazi horrors (he tried to deal with it in a gimmicky way in his 1991 novel Time's Arrow), and the result is a book that may stand for years as the triumph of his career.

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Poetry
5:03 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

"I became a poet in Pittsburgh," says, poet and University of Pittsburgh professor Terrance Hayes, pictured above at his home.
Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

On Wednesday, poet Terrance Hayes was named one of 21 MacArthur Fellows. Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal and subvert canonical forms."

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History
4:20 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Multispectral Imaging Could Reveal Secrets Of Martellus Map

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 5:03 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Salt
2:36 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Want To Learn About The Scientific Method? Go Bake Some Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies can be the gateway to a better understanding of the scientific method.
iStockphoto

Bethany Brookshire, aka @SciCurious, is a blogger at ScienceNews, where she covers the latest science research and develops creative science outreach projects.

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Parallels
2:19 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

From Quebec To Kashmir, Separatists Watch Scotland Vote

These supporters of Scottish independence are saying yes, and separatist groups in other parts of the world hope it will give them a boost as they seek to break away.
David Cheskin AP

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 3:04 pm

Scotland's referendum on independence Thursday could resonate far beyond the borders of the United Kingdom. There are many places with separatist movements, like the militias in eastern Ukraine who have been battling the Ukrainian government this year.

Here's a look at some of the other places with separatists who want to break away from their current rulers, from Canada to Spain to Belgium to India.

Quebec

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Author Interviews
12:43 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

As A Lyricist And Novelist, The Mountain Goats' Lead Man Writes About Pain

John Darnielle's first novel, Black Sabbath's Master of Reality, was about a teenage boy in a psychiatric institution who is obsessed with heavy metal.
Lalitree Darnielle Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 2:35 pm

When The Mountain Goats' founder John Darnielle was a teenager, he went through a self-destructive phase.

"Your intelligence doesn't override your desire to destroy yourself," Darnielle tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I really, really did not want to be in my own skin. I really wanted to get high and stay high."

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Shots - Health News
12:01 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Colorado Tries Hard To Convince Teens That Pot Is Bad For You

This human-scale lab rat cage is parked near a skate park in Denver, Colo., to make a point about the lack of science on marijuana.
Richard Feldman Studio/Sukle Advertising and Design

Originally published on Fri September 19, 2014 9:29 am

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

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Arts
11:34 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Springfield Art Co-Op Founder "Blossoms" On East Coast

A still of the artist from a video in his current exhibition
Courtesy of Andrew Woolbright

The Pharmacy artist co-op in Springfield has come a long way since its humble beginnings a few years ago. The group will soon move from their digs in what once was the Watt Bros. Pharmacy off South Grand Avenue to a new location downtown. It's hosted numerous art shows, as well as literary, musical, and educational events.

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The Two-Way
7:38 am
Wed September 17, 2014

Book News: A Q&A With Alison Bechdel, Cartoonist And MacArthur Winner

U.S. cartoonist Alison Bechdel works in her studio at the castle of Civitella Ranieri in central Italy on Sept. 2.
Riccardo De Luca Courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 9:46 am

The winners of the MacArthur "Genius Grant" awards were announced Wednesday morning, and include poet Terrance Hayes, playwright Samuel D. Hunter, poet and Arabic translator Khaled Mattawa and cartoonist and memoirist Alison Bechdel. Bechdel is the creator of the cartoon strip Dykes to Watch Out For and author of the graphic memoirs Fun Home and Are You My Mother? Bechdel spoke with NPR by email on Tuesday afternoon.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed September 17, 2014

'Broken Monsters' Hits Horror Out Of The Park

Originally published on Wed September 17, 2014 1:58 pm

The world has become hard to shock. It's not because evil is a new thing — that's been around since the beginning of time, and it definitely wasn't created by movies, video games and every other popular scapegoat for the decline of society. But it's undeniable that we've all become a little inured to things that might have been considered unspeakably horrifying 50 years ago.

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