Arts

Code Switch
7:03 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Comic Artist Yumi Sakugawa On Friend-Love, Identity And Art

Yumi Sakugawa's book I Think I Am In Friend Love With You helps define the joys of modern friendships.
Yumi Sakugawa

About a month ago, I asked my followers on Twitter if they had any recommendations for a comic artist whose work I should check out. Person after person brought up Yumi Sakugawa, a California-based artist. And I was familiar with her work: she's the brains behind the ever-nostalgic strip, "Claudia Kishi: My Asian-American Female Role Model Of The 90s."

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Poetry
4:57 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Ice Cube Sculptures, Tulips And Death: A 2014 Poetry Preview

Matthea Harvey's upcoming collection mixes poetry with visual art — like this image. Faces drawn by Monika Zarzecna.
Matthea Harvey Graywolf Press

What's in store for us in 2014? Season 3 of Girls and Homeland sans Brody. The dawning of the smart watch. Smoother sailing for healthcare.gov? Growing tensions in Russia and Syria. It's enough to make one giddy and terrified all at once — thankfully, we have poetry to express all our powerful and conflicted feelings.

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Author Interviews
4:53 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Lovebirds + String + Watering Can + Dog = Rube Goldberg Magic

Colliers magazine between 1929 and 1931." href="/post/lovebirds-string-watering-can-dog-rube-goldberg-magic" class="noexit lightbox">
Rube Goldberg drew many of his devices, like this one for a machine that disposes of cigarette ashes, for his series, "The Inventions of Professor Lucifer G. Butts, A.K," published in Colliers magazine between 1929 and 1931.
Copyright Heirs of Rube Goldberg Abrams ComicArts

Originally published on Sat January 4, 2014 1:38 pm

Many people know Rube Goldberg as an adjective — a shorthand description for a convoluted device or contraption. But Rube Goldberg was a real person — one who earned a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning and who captivated imaginations with drawings of complex chain reactions that completed the simplest of tasks.

Goldberg died in 1970, but Jennifer George, his granddaughter, has collected the zany world he created in a coffee table book, The Art of Rube Goldberg: (A) Inventive (B) Cartoon (C) Genius.

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Arts & Life
3:29 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

'Playboy' Gets Pranked: Group Flips The Script On Sex

You can't buy these panties at your local Victoria's Secret. While they mimic the look of that brand's Pink line, they're actually part of a project by FORCE: Upsetting Rape Culture.
Courtesy of FORCE

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:43 pm

Rebecca Nagle sometimes finds herself asking the question: What would Hugh Hefner say?

"The only sex that is good is when it's good for everyone," she says, laughing. "And I've only ever had good sex."

Hefner didn't actually say that. Nagle wrote it.

"But you can really imagine Hugh Hefner saying that," she insists.

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This Week's Must Read
3:26 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Tough Commute This Morning? Your 'Journey' Could Have Been Worse

Members of Robert Falcon Scott expedition's at the South Pole pose for the camera: Robert F. Scott, Lawrence Oates, Henry R. Bowers, Edward A. Wilson, and Edgar Evans.
Herbert George Ponting Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:10 pm

Jynne Martin is a poet who recently served as Antarctica's writer in residence.

If like many East Coasters, you had a miserable commute today through the blinding snow, just remember that it could be worse. You could've been one of the 74 passengers and crew aboard the ship trapped in Antarctica sea ice on Christmas Eve, who waited a week to be rescued, then got stuck again, enduring high winds, freezing cold, and what must have been a painful number of Crazy Eights games.

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Book Reviews
1:40 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

A Critic Tours 'Echo Spring,' Home Of Beloved Boozy Writers

nito100 iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 3:19 pm

It's the quintessential "dog bites man" story. I'm talking about a new book I just read about a group of famous writers who — get this -- drank too much! I know, right? That's pretty much the equivalent of saying I just read a book about a group of famous writers who used commas in their sentences.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
12:27 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of January 2, 2014

In One Summer, at No. 5, Bill Bryson tells the true story of a few fascinating months of 1927.

The Salt
11:15 am
Fri January 3, 2014

'Cut Food': Take A Peek At The Beauty Inside Everyday Edibles

A hotdog and ice cream cone from Beth Galton and Charlotte Omnes' "Cut Food" series.
Courtesy of Beth Galton

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 10:18 am

Let's assume you've got a beautiful stuffed turkey, some time to kill and a hacksaw just itching to slice things apart. This could be the ingredient list for a real culinary disaster. But if you're Beth Galton and Charlotte Omnes, what you get is a peek inside the beauty baked into everyday foods.

They're the duo behind "Cut Food," a photo series that literally cleaves into edibles — hot dogs, ice cream, fried chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy — to reveal gorgeous geometric patterns tucked within.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of January 2, 2014

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 12:17 pm

Outliers, at No. 10, presents Malcolm Gladwell's theories about the nature of unusual success.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of January 2, 2014

Originally published on Thu January 9, 2014 10:56 am

Junot Diaz chronicles the philandering adventures of Yunior in This Is How You Lose Her, at No. 14.

Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
11:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 2, 2014

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 12:32 pm

At No. 2, Dog Songs collects some of Mary Oliver's favorite poems about her canine companions.

NPR Bestseller List
11:03 am
Fri January 3, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of January 2, 2014

The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

TED Radio Hour
9:48 am
Fri January 3, 2014

What's It Like To Be Young And Bullied?

"I can't let my life be this. Because if I give up now, that's what my life will be. I'll never walk out the front door." — Shane Koyczan
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:48 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Overcoming.

About Shane Koyczan's TEDTalk

Shane Koyczan describes growing up endlessly tormented by bullies. When he turned to spoken-word poetry to cope, he found that millions related to his anti-bullying message.

About Shane Koyczan

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TED Radio Hour
9:48 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Can Autism Be An Asset?

"People just don't see things, this is where you need visual thinkers like me ... we need the different kinds of minds." — Temple Grandin
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 1:48 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Overcoming.

About Temple Grandin's TEDTalk

Temple Grandin struggled with autism until she realized her ability to "think in pictures" allows her to solve problems that others can't.

About Temple Grandin

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Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
8:21 am
Fri January 3, 2014

The Complete Jonathan Coulton Recordings, Season Two

Jonathan Coulton, Ask Me Another's versatile house musician, has a song to play for any occasion.
Steve McFarland NPR

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 9:59 am

This is the tenth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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Monkey See
7:29 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Silly Questions Live, For Special Guests

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

In part one of our live show from December, you heard us talk about culture and the end of the year, as we often do. You heard us explain what's making us happy this week — it was pretty much a regular show, with the addition of our terrific live audience.

This week, in part two, you'll hear something very different.

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The Two-Way
6:02 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Book News: 'Cazalet' Author Elizabeth Jane Howard Dies

English novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard is pictured in 1978.
Michael Fresco Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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

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Theater
2:26 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Don't Call Him Theo: Malcolm-Jamal Warner On Life After 'Cosby'

Malcolm-Jamal Warner plays Dr. John Prentice in Arena Stage's production of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
Amy Ta NPR

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:53 am

Actor Malcolm-Jamal Warner is best-known for the role he played in the '80s, as Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show. He's so well-known for that role, in fact, that even now — at age 43 — he still gets called by the wrong name.

"People kind of have a misconception, because when someone calls me Theo and I correct them, say, 'No, my name is Malcolm,' they think I have an attitude about it and I don't want to be associated with the show," Warner explains to NPR's David Green.

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Theater
2:26 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Broadway's 'Spider-Man' Musical Turns Off The Lights At Last

Reeve Carney (right) handed off the lead role in Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark to successor Justin Matthew Sargent in September 2013. The show closes Jan. 4, and the Smithsonian Institution announced today that it's acquiring Carney's costume.
Rob Kim Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 8:23 am

Regardless of how critics and audiences eventually responded, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark was always going to be one of the most-discussed shows in Broadway history. It had songs by U2's Bono and the Edge; it was directed by The Lion King's Julie Taymor; it was based on a hit Marvel franchise; there were going to be flying stunts right over the audience's heads.

And then somehow it all went very wrong, from injured actors to huge cost overruns.

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Architecture
2:25 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Bjarke Ingels: An Architect For A Moment Or An Era?

Ingels stands in the middle of what will become a giant, twisted wedge of an apartment building in New York City.
Dan Bobkoff For NPR

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 7:25 am

In a business that's often poorly paid and anonymous, 39-year-old Bjarke Ingels has become something rare, especially at his age: a "starchitect" in demand.

Now, the Danish architect, who has museums, apartment buildings and parks around the world, is taking his talents to New York City.

'Cracks In The Asphalt'

Models fill his firm's New York City office, including a design for a public pier in Brooklyn that looks like a sea creature.

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Art & Design
5:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Tiny Museum Preserves Proof Of Creators' Crazy Stories

Silicon Body Part Piercing Displays," "Cambodian Menu Photo Rejects" and "New York City Tip Jars."" href="/post/tiny-museum-preserves-proof-creators-crazy-stories" class="noexit lightbox">
Other exhibits on display at the Museum include "Silicon Body Part Piercing Displays," "Cambodian Menu Photo Rejects" and "New York City Tip Jars."
Naho Kubota for Mmuseumm

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:38 pm

Imagine a museum that's only 6 square feet. It's called, simply, Museum and it's housed in an old elevator shaft in an alley near New York City's courts. It has some odd exhibits on 18 small shelves, and only about four people can fit into the space at a time.

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Book Reviews
5:18 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

'Before I Burn' Uses Autobiography To Tell A Crime Story

Burning House
John Rich iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 6:14 am

My favorite crime novels always combine more than one genre. Like a detective mystery that's really psychological. Or a police captain who happens to be a gourmet. Honestly, most travel books don't even get going until a body or two is discovered.

In the case of Before I Burn by Gaute Heivoll, the mashup is suspense meets memoir. It sounds a little gimmicky, but I promise it's absolutely not. Instead we have a semi-autobiographical novel that's poetic, gripping and at times even profound.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

In 'Open Grave,' Plenty Of Open Questions

Josie Ho plays a character called Brown Eyes, who's the only one with any memory of what has transpired — but who can't communicate with the others.
Vermes Kata Tribeca Film

It's never a good sign when a character in a mystery has to give a speech at the end explaining exactly what's just happened. You know, just in case the story itself didn't actually manage to make it clear.

Sure, Hitchcock gets away with it at the end of Psycho, but only because the whodunit portion of that movie isn't the thing that makes it so great. Also, he's Alfred Hitchcock; the masters can get away with breaking some rules, because they can make up others that work just as well.

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Television
3:12 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Don't Know What To Watch On TV? We've Got You Covered

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans has suggestions for TV to watch in January, including Justified on F/X, True Detective on HBO, and Episodes on Showtime.

The Salt
2:49 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Cork Versus Screw Cap: Don't Judge A Wine By How It's Sealed

Winemakers are increasingly turning to screw caps. Now consumers are learning to get over their prejudice for cork, too.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 5:18 pm

Step aside, cork.

If you're a wine drinker, you've probably noticed that screw caps are no longer considered the closure just for cheap vino. Increasingly, bottles of very good wines are unscrewed, rather than uncorked.

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All Tech Considered
1:51 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Netflix Built Its Microgenres By Staring Into The American Soul

While counting Netflix's microgenres, Madrigal discovered the streaming service's favorite adjective: romantic. It appears in 5,272 categories.
Robert Sullivan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 7, 2014 9:17 pm

In the old days, a movie genre was a simple, communal category: Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama. One had to locate oneself in the Drama aisle at the video store and then look for just the right thing: A dark road trip movie with a strong female lead? Aha, Thelma & Louise.

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Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Visible And Invisible: 'Servants' Looks At Life Downstairs

Early 20th century British maids worked long, hard days with little time off.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:28 pm

Many Americans were introduced to the world of early 20th century British servants through the PBS series Downton Abbey, which premieres its fourth season Sunday. The show is set in an era when domestic service was the largest single occupation in Great Britain.

"In 1900, it was calculated to comprise a third of all women who were in the workforce," writer Lucy Lethbridge tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Beauty Shop
11:07 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Apologies Needed For Beyonce's Song?

Critics are slamming Beyonce for using an audio clip from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song "XO." Was she being insensitive, or artistic? Host Michel Martin hears from the beauty shop ladies: journalists Bridget Johnson and Keli Goff, and Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino.

The Two-Way
9:11 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Juanita Moore, Groundbreaking Actress, Dies

Actress Juanita Moore in 1960. She died Wednesday at the age of 99.
AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 11:19 am

  • From the NPR Newscast: NPR's Kat Chow on the life of actress Juanita Moore

"Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner's black friend in the classic weeper Imitation of Life, has died," The Associated Press writes.

The wire service adds that "actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said that Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years."

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