Arts & Life

In a prison hidden in the woods of Berlin, N.H., a group of 20 players are ready to compete for a chess tournament. They will sit in a windowless room engaged in a battle of the mind every Wednesday for five weeks — and one will be crowned the best player.

There are no prizes or trophies, merely a paper certificate for the winner, but for the inmates in this relatively isolated facility, the championship is a big deal.

As the world celebrates one hundred years of dadaism, it is worth looking at how this "anti-art" art movement that started in a café in Zurich during World War I resulted in an iconic artwork involving that most humble object of tableware: the teacup.

In 1936, a 23-year-old Swiss artist named Meret Oppenheim bought a teacup, saucer and spoon from a department store in Paris and wrapped them in the cream-and-tan pelt of a Chinese gazelle. Her hirsute little offering became a defining artifact of surrealism — the art movement that sprang from dadaism's flamboyant entrails.

When the video dropped on Saturday, we galvanized. Cleared our schedules, watched on repeat till our eyes turned red. Got into screaming matches with loved ones about what kind of hot sauce belongs in a #swagbag. Even made preemptive Valentine's Day reservations at Red Lobster, because you never know.

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The best thing Luke Skywalker had going for him in the original trilogy was that he never had to worry about who was going to feed the war orphans left behind by the rebellion, or rebuild trashed moisture farms. No, if you're Luke, all you gotta do is show up every once in a while, blow up a Death Star or have a lightsaber duel with your weird dad. He got to be the clean and bright hero, never having to face the ugly realities of upsetting a massive bureaucracy, destroying vital infrastructure and all the other petty inconveniences that come with a war.

Sunday night's Super Bowl landed a huge TV audience for its battle between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, which the Broncos took 24-10. While a football game is a football game, the Super Bowl is also a huge pop culture event, from the halftime show to the buildup and the barrage of advertising. We sat down the Monday morning after to take apart the highs, the lows, and the Beyonce of it all.

In 1999, Jhumpa Lahiri won a Pulitzer Prize for her very first book, Interpreter of Maladies. Her 2003 novel, Namesake, was turned into a movie, and she went on to publish Unaccustomed Earth and The Lowland. But Lahiri wasn't satisfied.

"I've always been searching to arrive at a certain voice that will probably elude me forever," she tells NPR's Ari Shapiro.

So Lahiri is trying something new — very new. She wrote her new memoir, In Other Words, in Italian.

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George Miller's latest Mad Max film, Fury Road, has been nominated for 10 Academy Awards, but the director still isn't sure how the movie will hold up over time.

Out for dinner with a group of friends, Christina Dierkes, a science writer with Ohio Sea Grant in Columbus, was feeling adventurous. It took some steely courage to order the Caribbean Roll at Mr. Sushi's. Not so much for the tuna and avocado on the inside — that's a combination that's appealing to many of us. But the tuna sushi in this spectacularly Americanized roll is topped with a deep-fried banana, honey, mayonnaise and a generous dash of coconut crumbs. Yum?

On the southwestern tip of the Korean Peninsula, laid out across ferry-filled harbors and rolling hillsides, is a vibrant port city called Mokpo.

Famous for its Japanese colonial architecture and for being the jumping-off point to scenic islands like Heuksan and Jeju— the "Hawaii of Korea" — Mokpo is also known for its fishing industry and its local seafood delicacy: hongeo.

In 2009, one of the founders of the online eyeglass maker Warby Parker approached management consultant Adam Grant about becoming an early investor. Grant says he declined because the company's founders weren't working at their startup full time; he also says it was the worst financial decision he's ever made.

Folklore For Hipsters: Fairy Tales Before They Were Cool

Feb 7, 2016

Reading The Tale of Tales, Giambattisa Basile's 17th-century book of fairy stories, is both exhilarating and exhausting. If that sounds like a warning, it is. If that sounds like a promise, well, good news.

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Being a responsible pet owner means making good choices for both you and your furry friend.    Animals need more than just a roof over their heads.  They need proper care and attention from us to make them happy, healthy companions!

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Game of Thrones may have killed off many major characters, but the manipulative, scheming Queen Cersei is still standing. She's played by Lena Headey, who we've invited to play a game called "You win and you die."

Since The Game of Thrones doesn't sound particularly fun to play, we'll ask three questions about even worse games.

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Abdulnasser Gharem doesn't have the background you might expect for a successful artist – let alone one famous for edgy work from Saudi Arabia. He was once a lieutenant colonel in the Saudi army. He went to high school with two of the 9/11 hijackers.

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Five pages into A Decent Ride, Irvine Welsh's newest novel, he makes a mention of Sick Boy — one of the main characters from his popular 1993 debut Trainspotting. That doesn't mean A Decent Ride is a sequel to Trainspotting (Welsh already did that with 2002's Porno). Instead, it's yet another visit to Welsh's shared universe of unsavory characters, a universe that sprawls from novel to novel while remaining mostly contained within his hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Jordanian movie Theeb has been nominated for a best foreign language film Oscar. It's a beautiful, sweeping story set in 1916 in an area of western Saudi Arabia then known as the Hejaz. The film's director, Naji Abu Nowar, says Theeb covers a pivotal moment in the region's history.

"The First World War is kicking off ... and the war is coming toward this area of Hejaz," he tells NPR's Kelly McEvers. "The British are ... inciting the Arab tribes to revolt against the Ottoman imperialists. And so you're on the brink of a massive change."

The new movie, Rams, has absolutely nothing to do with Peyton Manning. It's a story from Iceland that involves sheep, snow, a herd-afflicting virus called scrapie and sufficient sibling rivalry to power a Greek tragedy.

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Comedian Larry David has emerged this political season as a highlight of "Saturday Night Live" for his impersonation of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

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As you know if you are interacting with American commerce or popular entertainment at the moment, the Super Bowl is this weekend. Stephen Thompson, as he has explained for NPR in the past, has an annual Super Bowl party and chicken-eating contest called Chicken Bowl. This year will be Chicken Bowl XX — that is, Chicken Bowl 20, for those of you who are not Romans.

Which beer goes with guacamole? And which brew adds a nice clean, crisp finish to spicy wings?

Those are burning questions for anyone who wants to take his snack game to the next level this Super Bowl weekend. And two craft beer experts who wrote the book on pairing have the answers.

Last week, Mattel announced that Barbie is getting a makeover. A whole bunch of them, in fact. Now, 33 new Barbie dolls are available for purchase through the website, in three new body types — petite, tall and curvy — and seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 14 "face sculpts." We rounded up some sharp thoughts on this news, ranging from what this means for Mattel's bottom line to whether a widely hyped debut of Barbie's new looks is really a step forward.

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New editions of textbooks in France will look a little different.

References to onions? You'll see the word ognon rather than oignon.

A tale about a centipede? The many-legged insect will be known as a millepattes, no longer a mille-pattes.

And most controversially, France is removing the hat-shaped accent known as a circumflex in some cases. For example: the word for "to train" will be spelled s'entraine, and not the circumflexed s'entraîner.

At the beginning of The Club, four men and a woman are living quietly in a small Chilean seaside town. Their days are filled with prayer and religious songs, but also wine and greyhound racing.

This week's show had our toes tapping, you can believe that.

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