Arts/Life

The Salt
2:48 pm
Mon June 18, 2012

Chef Tempts Tourists Back To Tijuana By Focusing On The Food

Chef Javier Plascencia finds inspiration for his dishes at the Mercado Hidalgo, a huge indoor market in Tijuana
Melanie Stetson Freeman Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 1:34 pm

Say the word Tijuana, and many people automatically think of a city riddled with drug violence. But native son Javier Plascencia is hoping to change all that by cooking up high-quality cuisine that focuses on the region's diverse ingredients.

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Book Reviews
10:41 am
Mon June 18, 2012

'Beautiful Ruins,' Both Human And Architectural

In Jess Walter's new novel, Beautiful Ruins, there's a beaten-down character named Claire who works in Hollywood reading scripts for a living. Claire is inundated with reality TV show pitches, many of them featuring drunk models or drunk sex addicts — in short, scripts so offensive that, Claire thinks, to give them the green light for production would be akin to "singlehandedly hastening the apocalypse."

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Author Interviews
10:41 am
Mon June 18, 2012

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A New Superman Bio!

Christopher Reeve played Superman in Richard Donner's 1978 film. Larry Tye has written a new biography of the Man of Steel.
Anonymous AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:15 am

Eighty years ago, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created the iconic comic book character Superman, but it took several years of rejections before they finally sold him to Detective Comics Inc. in 1938. The distinctive superhero made his first appearance in the comics in June 1938 — and since then has appeared in radio dramas, TV shows, video games, newspaper comics and countless films.

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Monkey See
9:13 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Silverdocs 2012: Documentaries Galore

Detropia is one of the films on this year's slate at the Silverdocs documentary festival.
Silverdocs

It's that time again.

As I did last year at this time, I'll be spending this week at the Silverdocs documentary festival in Silver Spring, Md. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you're very familiar with this project, as it was the first place I saw a couple of fairly high-profile documentaries including Being Elmo and Buck, but also where I saw a couple of smaller movies that became favorites, including Resurrect Dead: The Mystery Of The Toynbee Tiles. (Available on Netflix streaming! Do it!)

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PG-13: Risky Reads
8:15 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Teenage Brain: Gateway To A 'Bright And Dark' World

Cover detail

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 3:27 pm

Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose most recent works include The Uncoupling and a book for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.

You know how people talk about so-called gateway drugs — drugs that lead to harder ones? I think some books can be considered gateway books, because reading them leads you to start reading other books that are similar but more intense. Lisa, Bright and Dark, John Neufeld's 1969 novel for young adults, is one of these.

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Summer Books 2012
5:34 am
Mon June 18, 2012

The Best Young Adult Novels? You Tell Us

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:11 am

Teen fiction shares the virtues of youth itself: energy, vividness, passion. Like adolescents, teen novels revel in drama and grapple with Life's Big Questions.

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Arts & Life
2:03 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

Chanticleer: A Botanical Distraction From Daily Life

Chanticleer is a historical estate and garden in Wayne, Pa., part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia.
Courtesy of the Lyden family

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 1:19 pm

Ever wanted to just disappear into a secret garden of earthly delights, of twists and turns of evocative ruin, exuberant tropics, the Zen of a Japanese teahouse?

Consider Chanticleer, in Wayne, Pa. It's part of the old Main Line ring of estates around Philadelphia. In fact, right across the street from the garden is the former home of Helen Hope Montgomery Scott, the heiress portrayed by Katherine Hepburn in Philadelphia Story.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
1:58 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

The Movie Whoopi Goldberg's 'Seen A Million Times'

Gregory Peck won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his 1962 performance in To Kill a Mockingbird.
AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 11:59 am

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen a Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
1:56 pm
Sun June 17, 2012

After War And Fame, Dad Is Author's Challenge

Anthony Swofford is the author of Jarhead: A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles, which was adapted into a film starring Jake Gyllenhaal as the author.
John Moore Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 5:47 am

Seven years ago, writer and former U.S. Marine Anthony Swofford had the success of a lifetime when his 2003 memoir Jarhead was turned into a high-budget Hollywood movie.

Swofford, then 35, had hit it big. But flush with cash and still grappling with post-war life, he suddenly found himself in the throes of a self-destructive rampage replete with drugs, alcohol and infidelity.

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Author Interviews
4:19 am
Sun June 17, 2012

A Future President Finds Himself In New Obama Bio

A new biography of President Obama provides a rare glimpse of him as a young adult. In Barack Obama: The Story, journalist David Maraniss chronicles the president's "classic search for home."
AP

Originally published on Thu June 21, 2012 8:10 am

In the years since he took office, there has been no shortage of coverage of Barack Obama's presidency and politics. But for journalist David Maraniss, it is the president's personal history that remains intriguing.

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Media
3:47 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Like Good Bourbon, Magazine Is A Sip Of The South

David DiBenedetto, the editor-in-chief of Garden & Gun, holds an editorial meeting in the magazine's Charleston, S.C., offices.
Debbie Elliott NPR

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 11:23 am

Garden & Gun magazine bills itself as the "Soul of the South." In five short years, the up-and-coming magazine has amassed a dedicated following and picked up critical acclaim.

The cover of the summer issue of Garden & Gun entices you to hit a Southern road. A smiling young woman in skinny white jeans, a straw hat and wayfarers tucked into her pocket appears ready to jump into a vintage red Mercedes roadster, top down — all under a bright Carolina blue sky.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
3:46 am
Sun June 17, 2012

Want A Winner? These Books Made The Critics' Cut

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Thu March 27, 2014 7:32 am

It's an election year, and that may be good news for those of us who like our summer reading: Laura Miller of Salon.com says a lot of publishing companies don't want to release all their best books in the fall because they'll have to compete with all that presidential campaign news. And that means more great books to choose from when the weather is hot.

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Monkey See
11:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Can Men And Women Be Friends?

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 18, 2012 7:41 am

It's a question that kicks around endlessly without resolution: Can men and women really be just friends? On Weekend Edition Sunday, NPR's Rachel Martin talks to Faith Salie and Mario Correa, hosts of WNYC's RelationShow, about this very topic.

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Theater
10:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

The Stage On Which Juliet First Called Out For Romeo

Archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology recently excavated the site of the 16th-century Curtain Theatre, where Shakespeare staged some of his plays.
Museum of London Archaeology AP

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 1:05 pm

Archaeologists have discovered the remains of the Bard's old stomping grounds — ruins of a famous 16th-century theater, buried below the streets of modern London. Known in its heyday as the Curtain Theatre, it's often been eclipsed by its more famous younger sibling, the Globe.

But the Curtain is a big deal in its own right. Some of Shakespeare's most famous works premiered there — Romeo and Juliet and Henry V, just to name a couple. NPR's Rachel Martin talked to the archaeologist who dug up the theater, Chris Thomas of the Museum of London.

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Sunday Puzzle
10:03 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Hit Me Baby One More Time

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun June 17, 2012 11:23 am

On-Air Challenge: Every answer is a word, phrase or name starting with the letter "B," ending in "Y" and having "A" and "B" inside, in that order, although not necessarily consecutively. For example, if I said "assistant to a baseball team," the answer would be either "batboy" or "ballboy."

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Author Interviews
3:24 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

No Longer A Southern Writer, Richard Ford Goes To 'Canada'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 3:57 pm

"First, I'll tell you about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later."

So begins Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard's Ford's latest novel, Canada.

The story is narrated by retired school teacher Dell Parsons as he looks back on the tumult that ensued when his parents — two unlikely criminals — find themselves in a financial bind and haphazardly hold up a small-town bank.

It's part of his job as a writer, Ford says, to set the unexpected into motion.

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Arts & Life
2:23 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Embracing The Quirkiness Of Djuna Barnes

novels she's now known for, women's rights advocate Djuna Barnes was a journalist and illustrator." href="/post/embracing-quirkiness-djuna-barnes" class="noexit lightbox">
Before publishing the plays and novels she's now known for, women's rights advocate Djuna Barnes was a journalist and illustrator.
Djuna Barnes Papers, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 5:06 pm

A writer, illustrator and provocateur in the Roaring '20s, Djuna Barnes stood out.

"She was much more interested in embracing the quirky and embracing that idea that became so famous in feminist circles half a century later," Catherine Morris says, "the idea that the personal is political."

Morris is the curator of a new exhibition of Barnes' writings and illustrations called "Newspaper Fictions" at the Brooklyn Museum's Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

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Monkey See
11:32 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Cheap Date Saturday: 'Operation Cupcake' Versus 'Piranhaconda'

Dean Cain, left, in Operation Cupcake. The Piranhaconda, right, in Piranhaconda.
Hallmark/SyFy

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Commentary
6:03 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Raising Dad: Books For A New Kind Of Fatherhood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 8:54 pm

My father, like many who raised kids in the 1960s and '70s, would never have thought to reach for a book on parenting. No matter how engaged he was in our lives, he always deferred to "the expert" — our mom. These days, however, it seems more and more fathers are writing books about fatherhood, and this year the sheer number of them suggests a generational watershed.

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Author Interviews
4:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

A Shriver Learns It's Harder To Be Good Than Great

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."

A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.

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Monkey See
4:08 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Explaining Muppet Theory: Are You An Ernie Or A Bert?

Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie in the 2005 Tournament of Roses Parade. They even look like a clash between Order and Chaos, don't they?
Matthew Simmons Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Most of the time, Slate's Dahlia Lithwick covers the Supreme Court. She's been doing that for the last 13 years. But recently, you may have seen her name floating around in connection with the piece she recently wrote that she discusses with Scott Simon on Saturday's Weekend Edition.

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Author Interviews
4:03 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Rediscovering A Forgotten Boxer's 'Longest Fight'

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

Just a couple of years before boxer Jack Johnson was lauded, reviled, and hounded as the world heavyweight champ — and decades before Muhammad Ali lost his title when he took a stand on Vietnam — a man named Joe Gans was the lightweight champion of the world. He reigned from 1902 to 1908 as the first African-American boxing champ in history, and a man who broke trails for the great fighters who followed.

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Fresh Air Weekend
12:33 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Fresh Air Weekend: Fermenting, Joan Rivers

Yogurt is produced by the bacterial fermentation of milk. "Bacteria in our gut enable us to live," says author Sandor Katz. "We could not survive without bacteria."
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 10:17 am

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:


Joan Rivers Hates You, Herself And Everyone Else: Comedian Joan Rivers' new book I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me details the things Rivers can't stand.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:21 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Novelist John Irving Plays Not My Job

Cesar Rangel AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 9:54 am

John Irving is the author of The World According To Garp, A Prayer for Owen Meany, The Cider House Rules and many other works of fiction. His latest novel is called In One Person.

We've invited Irving to play a game called "The World According to Gorp." Garp is about sex, castration and bears. Gorp, on the other hand, is the mix of "good old raisins and peanuts" you eat when you're hiking.

Monkey See
4:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Theater Diary: When Reactions Speak Louder Than Words

Mariah, at right, is the steel-spined matriarch of Porgy and Bess's Catfish Row. Actress NaTasha Yvette Williams, with Norm Lewis's Porgy and Bryonha Marie Parham's Serena, creats one of the show's pivotal moments without having to speak a word.
Michael J. Lutch

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 5:46 pm

There's plenty of high drama going on in Porgy and Bess, and high drama can often mean intense acting.

God knows Audra McDonald is tearing up the stage as the drug- and drink- and sex-addled Bess: I've never seen her loosen up her joints and contort her body the way she does in two or three of the show's more scorching moments. She's located something rough and ugly deep inside, and found a physical and a vocal language for it.

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Monkey See
10:14 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Week In Theater And A Day To Appreciate Dads

NPR
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Television
9:53 am
Fri June 15, 2012

'Car 54' Re-Release Drives An Old Fan To Reminisce

NYPD officers Gunther Toody (Joe E. Ross) and Francis Muldoon (Fred Gwynne) patrolled the Bronx in the 1960s sitcom Car 54, Where Are You?
Shanachie Entertainment

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:24 pm

I grew up in New York City, but I didn't watch Car 54, Where Are You? until I got hooked on it in syndication long after it was originally aired. So I was very happy to see the complete series of 60 episodes released on two DVD boxed sets. The episode in Season 2 titled "I Hate Capt. Block," about trying to teach a recalcitrant parrot to talk and the way people are not much smarter than parrots, is one of the most hilarious things I've ever seen on television, maybe as inspired as Sid Caesar's foreign film parodies or Carol Burnett's version of Gone with the Wind.

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Remembrances
9:53 am
Fri June 15, 2012

For 'Wiseguy' Henry Hill, Mobster 'Days Were Over'

Hill (left, with Ray Liotta, who played him in the movie GoodFellas) was the central figure in Wiseguy, the 1986 Nicholas Pileggi book that later became the Martin Scorsese-directed film.
Rebecca Sapp WireImage

Originally published on Fri June 15, 2012 4:29 pm

Henry Hill, the mobster-turned-informant portrayed by Ray Liotta in the film Goodfellas, died Tuesday at age 69. Hill's colorful life — he lived in Cincinnati; Omaha; Butte, Mont.; Independence, Ky.; and Topanga, Calif., among other places — was documented in crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi's 1986 book Wiseguy and then in Martin Scorsese's film Goodfellas, which was based on Pileggi's book.

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TED Radio Hour
8:02 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Why Are Squatter Cities The 'Cities Of Tomorrow'?

"To just assume that these places should be driven out of existence is not the answer." — Robert Neuwirth
Robert Leslie TED

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Future of Cities. Watch Robert Neuwirth's full Talk — Our Shadow Cities — on TED.com.

About Robert Neuwirth's Talk

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TED Radio Hour
8:02 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Is Density Our Destiny?

"Cities are the place where change happens. Not just for individuals, but for whole societies." — Stewart Brand
Robert Leslie TED

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