Arts & Life

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Haruo Nakajima, the Japanese actor who was the first person to put on the Godzilla suit and bring the iconic monster to life, has died. He was 88.

Tony Award-winning actress and singer Barbara Cook, an ingénue in Broadway's Golden Age — during the 1950s and '60s — who later transformed herself into a concert and cabaret star, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tuesday of respiratory failure, surrounded by friends and family at her home in Manhattan, according to her publicist.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake wrote his new book Conscience of a Conservative: A Rejection of Destructive Politics and a Return to Principle in secret, not even telling his closest political advisers about his plans until it was ready. And given the political test he'll face over the coming year, it isn't hard to see why.

If you've heard of Edwin Stanton, it's probably because of what he did after Abraham Lincoln's assassination in 1865. Even as the Civil War president lay dying, Stanton went to work in an adjoining room — issuing orders to protect other leaders, directing generals' movements and informing the nation of Lincoln's death. He also began the search for the assassin and his co-conspirators.

"He did not announce that he was taking charge: he simply was in charge," writes historian Walter Stahr in Stanton: Lincoln's War Secretary.

Few things are more delightful than a dog running on the beach. Except, maybe, a dog surfing on a beach.

Dozens of dogs — and more than 1,000 people — showed up to the second annual World Dog Surfing Championships on Saturday in Pacifica, Calif.

Dog surfing is relatively new — the first competition was in San Diego 12 years ago.

And while the event may seem silly, competitive dog surfing is growing quickly, with contests in Hawaii, Florida, Texas and as far away as Australia.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

What do Salt-N-Pepa, Amy Winehouse, Oasis and the theme song to the animated TV show "Futurama" have in common - these six seconds.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE WINSTONS' "AMEN, BROTHER")

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's been a mediocre summer so far for Hollywood box office numbers - down about 11 percent from last summer. But one movie has had remarkable staying power.

(SOUNDBITE OF RUPERT GREGSON-WILLIAMS' "WONDER WOMAN'S WRATH")

Are human beings hard-wired to be perpetually dissatisfied? Author Robert Wright, who teaches about the interface of evolutionary biology and religion, thinks so.

Wright points out that evolution rewards people for seeking out pleasure rather than pain, which helps ensure that human beings are frequently unsatisfied: "We are condemned to always want things to be a little different, always want a little more," he says. "We're not designed by natural selection to be happy."

"The Admiral's Baths" By: Dana Gynther

Aug 7, 2017

“The Admiral’s Baths”

Author: Dana Gynther

Publisher: CreateSpace

Pages: 351

Price: $16.00 (Paperback)

There seems to be evolving a book we can call a Dana Gynther novel.

The protagonist will be a female, or several females. She or they will face difficulties, and, to some to degree or other, prevail.

The Birmingham novelist Kerry Madden explains that she first makes the reader fond of the heroine, then puts her up a tree and throws rocks at her.

It’s like that.

We're recapping Season 7 of HBO's Game of Thrones here on Monkey See. We'll try to turn them around overnight, so look for them first thing on Mondays. And of course: Spoilers abound.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has apologized to a breastfeeding visitor who says she was told to cover up.

The woman, who posts on Twitter as @vaguechera, says she had "flashed a nanosecond of nipple" in the museum's courtyard when she was told to conceal her breasts. Instead of bearing that in silence, she busted out her phone and started tweeting.

She ribbed the V&A, pointing out that the museum seemed totally fine with some bare bosoms — as long as they were made of stone instead of flesh.

Bethanne Patrick is a freelance writer and critic who tweets @TheBookMaven.

A quandary: There is an absolutely thrilling dilemma baked into Are You Sleeping, a debut thriller from Kathleen Barber. However, not only can I not discuss it without revealing too much — I'm not even sure if it's meant to be a dilemma, or if it's an oversight by the author and her editors. If the former, it could have used more framing; if the latter, someone needs several lashes with a red pencil for overlooking things.

Nina Martyris is a literature-focused freelancer. Her writing has appeared in NewYorker.com, The Paris Review Daily, The Guardian, NPR and elsewhere.

Copyright 2017 WBEZ. To see more, visit WBEZ.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

In the caste system of India, the family you're born into can determine a lot - where you live, who you marry, the jobs you'll have. Sujatha Gidla was born in untouchable - the lowest caste in Indian society.

Some people love Jeffrey Tambor for his run as the sidekick on The Larry Sanders Show. Others love him for his role as the felonious dad on Arrested Development. And then still others love him for his role Maura, a divorced, transgender parent of three in Transparent. We'll split the difference and love him for the Hellboy movies.

We've invited the actor to play a game called "TAMBOOOOOOOORRRRR!" Three questions about the timber industry.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Comedian George Lopez performed his latest special, "The Wall," live on Saturday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The outspoken comedian, who in his nearly 40 years of performing has branched out into books, documentary filmmaking and more, spoke with NPR's Stacey Vanek Smith ahead of his live HBO special about his aptly titled show and the politics behind it, his thoughts on comedy during the time of President Trump and that time he played golf with the real estate mogul.

His special will be available on demand on HBO's various platforms.

American Humane Association

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs.

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The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.

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Law Enforcement dogs include what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices.  Arson dogs are animals trained to sniff out accelerants that may have been used to start a fire.  Every year hundreds of lives (and billions of dollars in property) are lost as a result of fires that were set intentionally.  The dog works with a handler who is a law enforcement officer trained to investigate fire scenes.

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If he had to choose two teams to play in the World Series based only on their home stadiums, Rafi Kohan would like to see the Boston Red Sox versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Red Sox's Fenway Park "really is a magical place and they've done a tremendous job with their renovations" he says, and the Pirates' PNC Park is "just a beautiful little park."

New People is a novel where infatuation gnaws at what looks like happiness.

Maria lives in Brooklyn with Khalil, her fiance. They met at Stanford — and they love each other, the light skin color they share, and the life they begin in the late 1990's, Khalil an up and coming dot-commer, Maria a grad student studying the Jonestown Massacre. They're called the "King and Queen of the Racially Nebulous Prom." But Maria's eye wanders to a poet who is vividly and distinctly different from her fiance.

Jason Sheehan is currently the restaurant critic at Philadelphia magazine, but when no one is looking, he spends his time writing books about giant robots and ray guns. Tales From the Radiation Age is his latest book.

Just your average summer beach read about emergent super-AI, nuclear annihilation, Silicon Valley and Amazon product reviews.

Begins And Ends With ME

Aug 4, 2017

It's all about ME this final round, where every answer begins with the letter M and ends with the letter E.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Mystery Guest

Aug 4, 2017

What exciting business has Gary Souza's family carried on for more than 100 years? Jonathan and Ophira ask yes-or-no questions to find out.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Meet The Mondegreens

Aug 4, 2017

A mondegreen isn't a trendy salad ingredient, it's a humorously misheard lyric from music or poetry! House musician Jonathan Coulton messes up some familiar songs, and our contestants name the real lyrics he's misheard.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

Movies With A Twist

Aug 4, 2017

If the classic Gene Kelly movie about talkies were updated to include ASL, it might be called "SIGNin' in the Rain" instead of "SINGin' in the Rain." We've switched the positions of two letters in a movie's title to create a totally new film.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

Aug 4, 2017

Kerry Bishé started her career performing with the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks company. She and the other actors traveled all over the state, setting up the stage with their bare hands. This simplicity of life appealed to Bishé, who considers herself quite the Luddite. "I collect typewriters...they're amazing," She told host Ophira Eisenberg. "I can see it working, there's ink on a ribbon--it's so good."

Chipmunk'd

Aug 4, 2017

We played with the forbidden filters of ProTools and you have to suffer the consequences. In this audio quiz, we've changed the voices of famous people to sound like they're one of Dave's famous chipmunks.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

Startup Stories

Aug 4, 2017

Did NASCAR begin as informal races between bootleggers trying to outrun the cops, or did we make that up? See if you can tell if these corporate origin stories are real or manufactured.

Heard on Kerry Bishé: Halt And Catch Science

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