Arts

This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Great Sacrifices Give Great Rewards

Pauline Kersjes - Springfield HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

    It is July 31st. I am standing in an airport far away from here. I turn around for the last time and see my parents and three sisters waving goodbye with tears running down their faces. I have not cried a single tear today. I think the tears are all gone. I cried enough yesterday. I am way too excited to cry anyway. Today it is finally going to happen. I have been waiting for this moment for almost two years. I believe that this year is going to be worth it.

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The Two-Way
7:01 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Book News: Byline Tally Shows There's Still Gender Bias In Book Reviewing

Mutlu Kurtbas iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:01 am

This post was updated at 9:45 a.m. ET

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

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Movie Reviews
5:23 am
Mon February 24, 2014

'Child's Pose' Feels 'Terrifyingly Authentic'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:34 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film will be handed out in a couple weeks. And though Romania's "Child's Pose" is not one of the finalists, film critic Kenneth Turan says its as good as any of them.

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Business
4:05 am
Mon February 24, 2014

British TV Criticized For Airing E-Cigarette Commercial

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 6:34 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And the first commercial for an e-cigarette has aired on British television - five decades after ads for real cigarettes were banned there.

Vicki Barker reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

VICKI BARKER, BYLINE: The ad shows two fit, attractive 20-somethings running through a darkened cityscape, leaping into the future on a cloud of vapor.

(SOUNDBITE OF AD)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Pure satisfaction for smokers: Vype e-cigarettes - experience the breakthrough.

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Monkey See
10:08 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

Oh, Lady Edith

Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, whose rather appalling luck seems destined to follow her.
Nick Briggs PBS

[This piece contains information about the plot of Downton Abbey, up to and including Sunday night's fourth-season finale.]

Another season of Downton Abbey has come to a close, and once again, Lady Edith is unlucky. Unlucky in love, unlucky in life. She's unluckier than Bates, and he went to jail for something he didn't do, for what certainly felt like a really, really long time. She's unluckier than Matthew, and he's quite deceased.

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Author Interviews
1:26 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

'Cut Me Loose': After Exile, A Young Woman's Journey In 'Sin'

Leah Vincent is a board member of Footsteps and co-producer of the It Gets Besser project, both of which help support people who have decided to leave ultra-Orthodoxy.
Ned & Aya Rosen Leah Vincent

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 12:44 pm

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, in Pittsburgh.

"Yeshivish Judaism life is defined by religious law," Vincent tells NPR's Arun Rath. "We keep extra-strict laws of kosher, observe the Sabbath every week, maintain a separation of the sexes and a degree of isolation from the outside world."

When she was 16, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend. Contact with men is forbidden in her sect, and she was cast out from her community.

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All Tech Considered
12:02 pm
Sun February 23, 2014

A Father Plays Call Of Duty With His Son, Watched By Thousands

Jason Munkel and his father stream their Call of Duty games online every night. In the past year, they've gained more than 120,000 followers.
Twitch/Activision

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 2:59 pm

Jason Munkel and his father Bill are 39 years apart in age, but since last year, they've been sitting down together to play Call of Duty: Ghosts almost every night.

They also broadcast their gameplay to more than 120,000 followers, who watch the father-son duo pursue and shoot enemies on the screen, and talk to them during the game. Sometimes they do this for six to seven hours a day, and their audience has grown dramatically in just one year, though not all watch every day.

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Movie Reviews
11:08 am
Sun February 23, 2014

A 'Tale' That's A Labor Of Love, But Not A Complete Success

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads. And Hollywood can sometimes disappoint. Marc Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks

NPR

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:57 am

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Who's the entertainer, and what's the organization?

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Author Interviews
7:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

In 'Kinder Than Solitude,' History Always Haunts

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 10:57 am

Kinder Than Solitude, the latest novel from Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, examines the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on a generation of youth. Following three friends, the novel alternates between 1990s Beijing and present-day America, where two of the friends immigrated. At the heart of the story is the mysterious murder that brought the three friends together over 20 years ago, and what they're only now learning about it.

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Movie Interviews
7:04 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Director Says 'Omar' Is A Love Story, Not A War Story

Adam Bakri plays a Palestinian baker recruited as an informant by the Israeli secret service in the Oscar-nominated film Omar.
Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 4:31 pm

Omar is a young Palestinian baker who often climbs the Israeli-built security barrier that divides his hometown — to visit his secret Israeli love, Nadia. After he's arrested and accused of the murder of an Israeli soldier, he starts working as an informant for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service; it's a dangerous game Omar plays, one that brings trust, love and friendship into question.

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The Two-Way
6:49 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 12:29 pm

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

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My Guilty Pleasure
6:03 am
Sun February 23, 2014

For This British Author, If It Bleeds, She Reads

iStockphoto

The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."

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Music Interviews
4:41 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Fred Armisen's Fake Bands (And Their Real Songs)

Bryan Cranston and Fred Armisen in character as The Bjelland Brothers, a sibling soft rock duo dreamed up by Armisen for a 2010 sketch on Saturday Night Live.
NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:57 pm

A lot of obscure bands want to reach a national audience, and they send their records to NPR. Unfortunately, there's a lot of forgettable stuff in the mix, and recently the staff of All Things Considered received the kind of CD it would usually toss.

It's got a pair of singles by two bands — The Blue Jean Committee, which came out of the 1970s Massachusetts folk scene; and The Fingerlings, a British post-disco/synth band of art-school graduates. Both sound desperately tiresome.

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Author Interviews
4:00 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

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Around the Nation
3:35 pm
Sat February 22, 2014

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

The $42-million August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh is for sale because it can't pay its bills. Some are questioning why the Center was allowed to fail.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 6:18 pm

In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.

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The Picture Show
11:47 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Beyond Sochi: Photos Of Russia By Russians

A kitten loves on an old woman in the Cossack village of Velikopetrovskaya near Cheliyabinsk.
Igor Lagunov, Magnitigorsk

The gap between how foreigners view Russia and how Russians view themselves is wide and as old as the country itself.

Russian photographer Valeriy Klamm felt that foreign photojournalists who came to work in his country arrive with the pictures they want to send back home already in their head: Bleak images of a cold and desolate place where autocrats lord over drunks.

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Books News & Features
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

'The Natural' Of 1952 Holds Lessons For Today's MLB

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 12:06 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's an old baseball legend about the kid out of nowhere who boards a train for a tryout in Chicago with nothing but his toothbrush and a bat he calls Wonderboy. The kid strikes out the Whammer, the best hitter in the game, but gets to his hotel and opens his door to a pretty girl. Wham, bam, she shoots him in the stomach and he doesn't make a comeback for 15 years.

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Books News & Features
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Celebrate Winnie-The-Pooh's 90th With A Rare Recording (And Hunny)

On his first birthday, Christopher Robin Milne — son of A.A. Milne — was given a teddy bear. That bear became the inspiration for the Winnie-the-Pooh tales, the first of which appeared in 1924. Father and son are pictured above in 1926.
Howard Coster Apic/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:43 pm

This month, A.A. Milne's beloved bear celebrates a big birthday. Winnie-the-Pooh made his first appearance as "Edward Bear" in a short poem titled "Teddy Bear" which was published in Punch magazine on Feb. 13, 1924.

In honor of Pooh's 90th, we're listening back to a rare, 1929 recording, in which Milne reads from his book, Winnie-the-Pooh.

So find a pot of your favorite "hunny" and click the audio link above to hear Milne's reading.

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Remembrances
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Writer Mavis Gallant Portrayed 'Lost Souls' Of Post-WWII Europe

More than 100 of Mavis Gallant's short stories were published in The New Yorker.
Louis Monier Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:43 pm

Unless you've been a devoted reader of New Yorker short stories for the last 60 years, you may not know the name Mavis Gallant. The magazine published more Gallant stories than almost any other writer, except John Updike.

She died Tuesday in Paris at age 91.

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Author Interviews
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Hollywood Goes To War In 'Five Came Back'

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 2:43 pm

Hollywood helped win World War II — and by that, we don't mean John Wayne, but five of the country's most celebrated film directors, who went to work making films for the War Department that showed Americans at war, overseas and in the skies, living, fighting, bleeding and dying. Those films changed America — and deepened the men who made them, including John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, George Stevens, and Frank Capra.

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The Salt
7:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Cholent: The Original Slow-Cooked Dish

While traditional cholents feature meat and beans cooked for a whole day, some modern versions, like this one, use vegetable protein and a quick braise.
rusvaplauke/Flickr

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:06 pm

This chilly winter, many of us have warmed ourselves — and our kitchens — with long-cooked meals. Roasts, beans, and stews have been in heavy rotation. But there's a dish called cholent that isn't just cooked for a few hours — it's cooked for a full day.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat February 22, 2014

Love And Whiskers In 'On Loving Women'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:08 am

True love isn't usually associated with minimalism. It isn't usually associated with little animal heads, either, and yet Montreal artist Diane "Obom" Obomsawin manages to make all three work together just splendidly in her graphic novel On Loving Women. It's more like a graphic collection of short stories, actually: Obomsawin illustrates a dozen or so different women's accounts of how they first fell in love with other women, or girls — all of whom have, you guessed it, little animal heads.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
4:17 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Look Out! Not My Job Guest Sen. Mark Warner Gets Quizzed On Warnings

Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 11:03 am

Mark Warner says that he got off to a good start, making it to Harvard Law School, but then promptly failed at everything he tried. No wonder, then, that he had to settle for a career in the U.S. Senate, where he's currently a democratic senator from Virginia.

We've invited Warner to play a game called "Danger! Get Away! Ahhhhh!" Three questions about warnings.

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This Week's Must Read
3:42 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

A Cure For Sochi Fatigue, Shaken, Not Stirred

George Lazenby takes aim at his pursuers in a scene from the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
United Artist Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 8:47 am

The Sochi Winter Olympics haven't been short on drama: The Russians upset the South Koreans in figure skating; the Dutch upset us in speed-skating; everybody got upset about Bob Costas's eye infection. But after two weeks and a great deal of curling, a certain amount of Sochi fatigue is setting in. So it might be refreshing to look back at one of the iconic heroes of winter sports: Agent 007 himself, James Bond.

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Movie Reviews
12:14 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

'Wind Rises' Is Exquisite, And Likely To Be Hayao Miyazaki's Last

In the film, which Miyazaki says is his last, the wind carries off the parasol of a fragile girl, Nahoko, into the hands of Jiro — who will fall in love with her.
Studio Ghibli Nibariki

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 5:57 pm

The 73-year-old Japanese animation titan Hayao Miyazaki says The Wind Rises is his final film, and if that's true — and I hope it's not but fear it is, since he's not the type to make rash declarations — he's going out on a high.

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The Salt
11:47 am
Fri February 21, 2014

What Sbarro's Woes Say About Where We Get Our Fast Food Now

Customers at a Sbarro in Chicago on April 4, 2011, the day that the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri February 21, 2014 6:23 pm

In 1985, Joe Sbarro declared that he had high hopes for his cafeteria-style pizza chain, founded in 1956.

"Sbarro's dream is to be another McDonald's," he told Newsday.

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Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of February 20, 2014

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:05 am

Experts share their fears in What Should We Be Worried About?, edited by John Brockman. It appears at No. 14.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
11:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of February 20, 2014

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:03 am

Appearing at No. 4, Cockroaches, by Jo Nesbo, is the second Harry Hole novel — translated into English for the first time.

Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
11:04 am
Fri February 21, 2014

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of February 20, 2014

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 9:05 am

In The Sixth Extinction, debuting at No. 1, Elizabeth Kolbert describes how human activity is driving species loss.

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