Arts & Life

Pet Holiday Travel

38 minutes ago
LifeSupercharger (John Liu) [Flickr]

For their safety as well as your own, pets should not be allowed to roam freely in a moving vehicle. One option is a restraint that connects to a seat belt and attaches to the pet's harness. Your furry friend can stand or lie down, but will not distract the driver. It will also be safer in the event of a collision. ************

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

In the world of ballet, The Nutcracker is sort of a gateway drug. Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon danced his first Nutcracker when he was 11, with London's Royal Ballet. After he moved to the U.S., he danced the Balanchine production with the New York City Ballet. Wheeldon is the choreographer behind a brand new Nutcracker created for the Joffrey Ballet. Expectations are high for this $4 million production, which premieres Saturday. It replaces the version that founder Robert Joffrey...

'Iraq + 100' Is Painful, But Don't Look Away

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Cool, they flee war zones, but the problem ain't ours Even if our bombs landed on them like the Mayflower -- Riz MC, "Immigrants," Hamilton Mixtape In a just world, every single person who was in favor of invading Iraq would have to read this book. It would be tattooed on the eyes of the invasion's architects, force them to see everything through these writers' words. Tony Blair would see himself in the invading aliens of Hassan Abdulrazzak's "Kuszib;" George W. Bush's thoughts would be...

The World War II drama, Land of Mine , has what sounds like the season's proudest, most patriotic title, but it's actually a dark pun — a reference to the more than one million land mines the Nazis buried on the Danish coastline, hoping to deter an Allied invasion. Perhaps the strategy worked, since American and British forces landed miles away in Normandy on D-Day, but it left Denmark with a booby trapped west coast, and a logistical problem of staggering proportions. The coastline wasn't...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: When the new season of the reality TV show "Celebrity Apprentice" premieres January 2 on NBC, a familiar name will be in the credits. Donald Trump will be listed as executive producer. It's another conflict of interest for the president-elect, and NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans says it could be a problem for NBC, too. ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: When Donald Trump first announced he was running for president back in June...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: Many of us look forward to flipping through the Williams-Sonoma holiday catalog and the unbearably festive kitchen delights it offers. ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: Then there are those of us who look forward to scrolling through Drew Magary's yearly guide to those delights called "The Hater's Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog." CORNISH: And Drew Magary is with us now. He's a writer for Deadspin and GQ. And Drew, I'm...

Damien Chazelle's new movie, La La Land , is very different from his first one, Whiplash — which was about a jazz drummer and his abusive mentor. La La Land is also about struggle and jazz, but instead of dimly lit rooms and a grey color palette, it's a brightly colored modern musical.

"I wanted this movie to be very unapologetic about being a musical," Chazelle tells NPR's Audie Cornish. "Just try to return to that simpler idea that I think really was at the core of the early ...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, FRESH AIR's TV critic, sitting in for Terry Gross. TV executive Grant Tinker died last week at age 90. Today, we'll listen back to Terry's 1994 interview with him, as well as a 1995 interview with Mary Tyler Moore, Grant Tinker's ex-wife, who starred in two famous and influential sitcoms with which Tinker was involved - "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Show...

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST: This is FRESH AIR. "La La Land" is the third film by the director Damien Chazelle, best known for his drama "Whiplash," which won an Academy Award for J.K. Simmons as a sadistic music teacher. The protagonist of "La La Land," played by Ryan Gosling, is also a jazz musician, but the film is a full-scale musical that also stars Emma Stone. Film critic David Edelstein has a review. DAVID EDELSTEIN, BYLINE: Damien...

Dog, Park, Or Monster?

23 hours ago

This, That, or the Other returns! Our clues fit into one of three categories: is it a dog breed, a national park, or a Japanese kaiju monster? Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tilt The Title

23 hours ago

In this game, contestants rearrange the titles of famous books to make entirely new books. For example, if we said, "In this book by John Steinbeck, fruits that are tired of being stomped on finally take their revenge," the answer would be The Wrath of Grapes . Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: It's time to welcome our first two contestant callers to the show. First up, David Pickett. You're a...

Stump Jonathan Coulton

23 hours ago

In this round of Stump Jonathan Coulton, it's the year 1004 and a relatively new hand-held object has just been derided by clergy as being "sinfully decadent." Can you figure out what the object is before Jonathan? Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. JONATHAN COULTON: From NPR and WNYC, coming to you from a studio in a skyscraper in midtown Manhattan, it's NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia, ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm...

Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By

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Pablo Hidalgo is a creative executive at Lucasfilm, but host Ophira Eisenberg isn't quite buying the title. "Sounds a little made up," joked Eisenberg from NPR's New York City studios. "What actually is your day-to-day job?" Hidalgo explained it quite simply: it's to know absolutely everything there is to know about Star Wars . As the universe expands, it's Hidalgo's job to make sure everything stays accurate and in sync — a Star Wars story consultant, if you will. Hidalgo's journey started...

Something Fishy

23 hours ago

Our finalists get nautical in this final round where every answer contains a form of marine life. For example, if we said, "it's a piece of sports footwear worn in ice hockey," the answer would be "skate." Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Now it's time to crown our big winner. Let's bring back our finalists, Mary, who was an intern at America's Test Kitchen and ate a lot of beef tenderloin and Owen...

Mis-Direction

23 hours ago

The never-ending struggle with your confused GPS hits an all-time high in this game about national landmarks. Contestants figure out where a virus-afflicted GPS is trying to direct them to. Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Next, our contestants will have to deal with the world's worst GPS, but first let's check in with them. Kirsten Lenthe, you are trying to visit all 50 states. So where in the...

Allads

23 hours ago

If Jonathan Coulton sang the Cyndi Lauper song "Time After Time," but the lyrics were about the show Project Runway after Tim Gunn retires, the answer would be "Time After Tim." That's the gist of this music game where we remove one letter from the title of ballads. Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST: Our next two contestants will play an especially challenging music-parody game. First up, Kirsten...

Mystery Guest

23 hours ago

This episode's Mystery Guest, Leslie Scott, calls in all the way from England. Leslie created something you can do with friends. Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask "yes" or "no" questions to figure it out what it is. (HINT: You've probably done it yourself!) Heard On Pablo Hidalgo: Red Five Standing By Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. JONATHAN COULTON: This is ASK ME ANOTHER, NPR's hour of puzzles, word games and trivia. I'm Jonathan Coulton here with puzzle...

We spend a lot of time on Pop Culture Happy Hour talking about interesting cable television, because interesting cable television gives us a lot to talk about. But this week, we look at two strong fall shows that showed up on broadcast networks. NBC's This Is Us is a breakout hit, and falls into the long-established tradition of family dramas that follow many threads at once and bring the crying relatively frequently. (Just ask Ari Shapiro of All Things Considered, our guest for this segment....

Thirty years ago, a new face debuted on daytime television: Oprah Winfrey. The new podcast, "Making Oprah," produced by member station WBEZ, chronicles Oprah's rise to stardom. Journalist Jenn White tells Oprah's story from her early days on her first talk show, AM Chicago , through to the biggest, most outrageous moments when 40 million people a week were watching her national show. It began with a station manager in Chicago, Dennis Swanson. He was the one who spotted something in the young...

In the shambling ensemble comedy Office Christmas Party , Kate McKinnon plays the uptight Human Resources person at an unruly tech outfit, a job about as thankless as hall monitor in Rock 'n' Roll High School . Every boozy party movie needs its requisite prude, but McKinnon keeps adding new layers of eccentricity, from a data-driven approach to cheese platter arrangement to secret perversions that dangle like loose threads from her interdenominational holiday sweater. And that doesn't account...

Slash fiction, for the unbent, is generally defined as fan fiction that pairs two characters or real people of the same sex in an intimate or erotic way: you've got your Kirk/Spock, your Sherlock/Watson, your Axl/Slash (sorry). The culture has been around for decades and is the subject of much queer-studies scholarship, but until the Internet such activity remained largely cloaked in shadow. Write slash fiction on your own and you may be thought a pervert; post it online and you gain...

The friction between art and life is director Damien Chazelle's ongoing obsession. It's a fine thing to ponder, though I didn't much care for his 2014 melodrama Whiplash , which worked up an overblown froth from the daffy proposition that you can bully a fledgling musician into becoming a genius drummer. La La Land , a frankly commercial but rapturous ode to art, love, and my much-maligned home town of Los Angeles, grows more organically out of Chazelle's charming 2009 debut, Guy and Madeline...

Even non-Christians must allow that the New Testament is a formidable document. So any attempt to write what Jaco Van Dormael's comedy calls Le tout noveau testament (The Brand New Testament) requires careful deliberation. But the Belgian writer-director and his co-scripter, Thomas Gunzig, just didn't think very hard about their undertaking. The result is a satire whose whimsies and sight gags frequently click, but whose philosophical impact is negligible. The setup is the best part. In the...

The BOTS Act of 2016 is now on its way to President Obama's desk, after both houses of Congress approved the legislation that seeks to widen access to online ticket sales and foil scalpers who try to corner the market. The ban applies to ticket sales for any public event that can be attended by 200 or more people; it targets software that routinely defeats attempts by venues to try to limit the number of tickets one buyer can purchase. The full name of the legislation is the Better Online...

I first got to taste Blue Seal ice cream 13 years ago. I was 24 years old and teaching English in a tiny mountain town called Furukawa, which means "Old River." One weekend, some Canadian friends and I flew to Okinawa, Japan's southern-most island. Once we arrived in downtown Naha, Okinawa's capital city, my friends decided to dine at a steakhouse. And as the only vegetarian in the group, I was on my own. As I wandered down Kokusai-dori, or International Street, I saw the welcoming orange and...

I hesitate to say it, but the one word that characterizes my best books of 2016 list is "serious." These books aren't grim and they're certainly not dull, but collectively they're serious about tackling big, sometimes difficult subjects — and they're also distinguished by seriously good writing. Here are 10 that you shouldn't miss. Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air . DAVE DAVIES, BYLINE: This is FRESH AIR. Our book critic Maureen Corrigan has her list of the 10-best books...

While Pop Culture Happy Hour was out in San Francisco recently, we dropped by KQED and caught up with Emmanuel Hapsis, the editor of KQED Pop , the station's pop culture blog, and the host of its podcast, The Cooler. Along with our affinity for writing and podcasting about many of the same things, Emmanuel and I share an affection for Younger , which recently closed its third season (not all of which we'd seen when we taped in late October, of course). In this Small Batch edition of the...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. STEVE INSKEEP, HOST: A new art exhibition is called "Picasso And Rivera: Conversations Across Time." It opened this week at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is where NPR's Mandalit del Barco found the grandsons of both masters. MANDALIT DEL BARCO, BYLINE: Bernard Ruiz Picasso and Juan Coronel Rivera met for the very first time yesterday. JUAN CORONEL RIVERA: Being grandson of somebody, it's difficult, you know. BERNARD...

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