The name of the An-sky Yiddish Heritage Ensemble doubles as its mission statement: The quartet of performers and researchers has built a repetoire of old Yiddish folk songs dating back 100 years to the shtetls of Ukraine, in hopes of keeping that music from disappearing. Michael Alpert, who sings in the group, says it's part of a revival of Eastern Eurpoean Jewish culture that's be going on for nearly 40 years.
The man once hailed as the "Salvador Dali of the kitchen" is getting his own art exhibit.
Ferran Adrià might not be a household name, but for nearly three decades, as chef and mastermind of the acclaimed Catalan Spanish restaurant El Bulli, he moussed, foamed and otherwise re-imagined cuisine in modernist ways that have inspired many of the world's top chefs.
Everything about the New York City mayor's race is supersized.
No less than a dozen candidates are vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as leader of the nation's biggest city — five Republicans and seven Democrats. The candidates have appeared at more than 100 forums and debates, and the primary is still two months away.
Observers say that the crowded field could favor big personalities.
The office of the interim Egyptian president is now backtracking on reports of the appointment of Mohamed ElBaradei as prime minister. NPR's Leila Fadel reports this comes "after the second-largest Islamist party in Egypt [Salfi el-Nour], which has so far been on board with the military coup, reportedly rejected the appointment."
We've all been to concerts and performances that bring us to our feet in wild applause.
WERTHEIMER: But what makes us clap more for some performances than others? You'd think it's obvious: the better the show, the more applause. Think again. New research at Uppsala University in Sweden has revealed that applause spreads through a crowd more like a contagion than a reaction to a performer. Researchers watched audience members respond to academic talks - talks even as dull as this one.
Filmmaker and artist Miranda July is blasting emails copied from the outboxes of some well-known names on intimate topics to anyone who signs up.
The project is called We Think Alone, and includes messages sent from a range of notable people (who agreed to participate in advance, of course). Those names include the NBA's all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul Jabar, fashion-designing siblings Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and a Canadian-American theoretical physicist.
When novelist Mario Alberto Zambrano was a little boy, his imagination was piqued by a colorful deck of cards. Loteria is a Mexican game that's a lot like bingo, if bingo was full of vivid imagery. Instead of announcing numbers, the dealer turns over illustrated cards while calling out a riddle that corresponds with the picture — a spider, a rooster, a mermaid, a bottle.
Zambrano tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer that he used to wonder if those pictures were significant.
Defense manufacturers worldwide are facing tough times ahead, as tight budgets force Western governments to cut spending. But while the West is cutting back, developing countries around the world are spending more on defense — a lot more.
Last fall, defense contractors warned of massive layoffs if the U.S. government enacted the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration. Now, sequestration is in effect, but job losses are limited, in part because many Pentagon contracts were already in place and will keep assembly lines rolling for much of this year.