NPR Staff

Pages

Music
5:01 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

John McNeil, A Trumpeter Robbed Of His Breath, Blows Again

Trumpeter John McNeil (far right) rejoins Hush Point, a group of friends from the New York jazz scene, on the new album Blues and Reds.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 7:26 pm

John McNeil may be the most important trumpet player you've never heard of.

Many aspiring musicians know him as an educator, through his many instructional books like The Art of Jazz Trumpet. But getting to know McNeil as a performer or recording artist hasn't always been easy: his records could be tough to find.

Read more
Author Interviews
4:45 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

Comedian Andrea Martin: 'I Don't Think Age Has Anything To Do With It'

Comedian Andrea Martin performs at New York's 54 Below in 2012. She published her memoir Lady Parts in September.
Michael Loccisano Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 5:54 pm

In her memoir Lady Parts, comedy star Andrea Martin writes that in the 1970s, comedians weren't as easy to come by as they are now. "Comedians were much more rare," she tells NPR's Arun Rath. They were "like rock stars, really celebrated."

Over the course of her career, Martin has appeared on-stage and on screens both big and small — she won a Tony for her role in Pippin, performed in the films My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and stars in the NBC TV series Working the Engels.

Read more
Space
4:23 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

An Aspiring Martian Continues To Pursue The Red Planet

Beemer, shown at the Mars Society's Mars Desert Research Station in Utah in 2011, is a candidate for both Mars One and the Mars Arctic 365 program.
Max Fagin

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 5:54 pm

Lt. Heidi Beemer has dreamed of going to Mars since she was 8 years old. She's carefully planned her life, from her education to her career, with a goal of getting to the red planet.

In January she got a step closer to that goal by making first cut of applicants for Mars One — a Netherlands-based nonprofit that has a goal of establishing a permanent, sustainable human settlement on Mars by 2025.

Now, she's preparing to interview for the next round.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:46 am
Sat December 27, 2014

Author Explores Armenian Genocide 'Obsession' And Turkish Denial

Earlier this year, protestors in Los Angeles called for recognition of, and reparations for, the 1915 Armenian genocide executed by Ottoman Turks.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Writer Meline Toumani grew up in a tight-knit Armenian community in New Jersey. There, identity centered on commemorating the mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I, a history that's resulted in tense relations between Armenians and Turks to this day.

Read more
Author Interviews
5:32 am
Sat December 27, 2014

'The Bishop's Wife' Tracks A Killer In A Mormon Community

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 10:10 am

Writer Mette Ivie Harrison is no stranger to struggles of faith; she says she spent six years as an atheist within the Mormon church.

"It wasn't something that I talked about openly," she tells NPR's Eric Westervelt. "I lost my faith, and I felt like I had made a promise to my husband and my children that I would continue to participate in the Mormon church. So I kept going."

Read more
StoryCorps
2:35 am
Fri December 26, 2014

The Grocery Delivery Man Who Brings Joy To A Housing Complex

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 6:52 am

Herman Travis, 55, lives in Holly Courts, a low-income housing complex in San Francisco.

Every Tuesday, Travis fills a shopping cart with groceries from a local food bank and makes home deliveries to his elderly and disabled neighbors. He started doing it in 2007 and says when he first started, people were skeptical.

"When I first started doing it. People was cautious. They didn't let me in their house, but after they got to really know me they would just be happy to see me," says Travis.

Read more
Movie Reviews
2:31 am
Tue December 23, 2014

A Vital Chapter Of American History On Film In 'Selma'

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King in the new movie Selma.
Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 2:47 pm

It's hard to believe, but there has never been a major motion picture that centers on one of this country's most iconic figures: Martin Luther King Jr. But that's about to change, with Selma, which opens Christmas Day.

The film explores the tumult and the tactics of the civil rights movement, from King's tense relationship with President Lyndon Johnson to the battle for voting rights for black Americans — a battle that reached a climax on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, as state police beat peaceful protesters trying to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

Read more
Found Recipes
3:44 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Yule Have To Try This Gingerbread Buche De Noel

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says she makes a "Franco-American" buche de Noel with American flavoring and French technique.
Alan Richardson Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:50 pm

Sweets this time of year take on all kinds of whimsical shapes: cookies cut into stars, stockings and gingerbread men, candy canes, peanut butter balls ... or logs covered in frosting.

Yes, really — logs.

Not real logs, of course — these are holiday cakes, rolled and frosted to look like a yule log and known as buche de Noel. Sometimes the cakes are dotted with little meringue mushrooms or edible holly leaves. While the cake may not be on every American's baking list, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says it's iconic in Europe.

Read more
Movie Interviews
2:35 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

In Exodus, Christian Bale's Moses is more of an action hero than a religious figure.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 4:50 pm

For nearly a century, Hollywood has been turning out cinematic adaptations of the biblical book of Exodus. There have been Technicolor versions, animated versions and even a silent version. Now, filmmaker Ridley Scott has a 3-D contribution: Exodus: Gods and Kings.

NPR's Robert Siegel asks Robert Alter, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, for his thoughts on the film. Alter has translated most of the Hebrew Bible, including the five books of Moses, and he's a leading secular scholar of Scripture.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:00 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Smashing Snow Globes: A Writer On Essays, Novels And Translation

Mexican writer Valeria Luiselli is the author of the novel Faces in the Crowd and the book of essays Sidewalks. She is currently working on the novel The Story of My Teeth.
Alfredo Pelcastre Coffee House Press

Originally published on Sat December 27, 2014 5:54 pm

Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City, but she'll admit with a laugh that where she's from is a complicated question. She lived there for only two years before packing up for, at various times, Costa Rica, South Korea, South Africa, India, Spain and France.

These days, Luiselli lives in Harlem. And that's the neighborhood where her novel Faces in the Crowd is set: both the Harlem of the recent past and the Harlem of the Harlem Renaissance, along with present-day Mexico City.

Read more
Music Interviews
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Anthony Hamilton Brings Home Holiday Funk

Anthony Hamilton's first Christmas album is called Home for the Holidays.
LaVan Anderson Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 8:30 am

Once a pop artist has been working long enough, the Christmas album feels like an inevitability. Soul singer Anthony Hamilton wanted to try it out, but he was wary of falling into cliché and repeating the formulas that have shaped holiday records for years.

Read more
My Big Break
4:24 pm
Sun December 21, 2014

Desperate To Speak: How Emily Blunt Found Her Voice

As a child, Emily Blunt had a stutter that was so bad, she could hardly say her own name. "The misdiagnosis [was] that I was a tense child," Blunt says. "And I wasn't. I was desperate to speak."
John Phillips AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 7:07 am

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

You may know British actress Emily Blunt from The Devil Wears Prada, where she played the senior assistant to Meryl Streep's fashion editor, or The Edge of Tomorrow, where she coaches Tom Cruise in combat skills as he relives a battle over and over again.

Read more
Games & Humor
11:13 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Listen: The Not-So-True Story Of Santa's Naughty-Or-Nice Division

Photo Illustration by NPR

Originally published on Thu December 25, 2014 3:46 pm

You can listen to our special audio holiday card here.


Santa sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake ... but how does he do it? Sure, the elves lend a hand — but, as it turns out, hours of surveillance video make the job a lot easier.

This year, we present an audio Christmas card to share the real* story on how the North Pole decides who's naughty or nice.

Read more
Movie Interviews
3:58 am
Sun December 21, 2014

Bradley Cooper And 'American Sniper' Widow Team Up To Tell SEAL's Story

Originally published on Sun December 21, 2014 12:01 pm

In his book, American Sniper, Chris Kyle detailed his 150 plus kills of Iraqi insurgents during his time as a Navy SEAL. The book was on its way to being adapted into a film when Kyle was shot and killed by a troubled young veteran.

Read more
The Salt
5:24 pm
Sat December 20, 2014

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 5:40 pm

Here's an experiment: take a bite of whatever food you have nearby and listen to some music, something with high notes. Now, take another bite, but listen to something with low notes.

Notice anything?

Researchers at the University of Oxford have been looking for a link between sound and taste. They've found that higher-pitched music — think flutes — enhances the flavor of sweet or sour foods. Lower-pitched sounds, like tubas, enhance the bitter flavors.

Read more

Pages