Arts & Life

Parallels
2:28 am
Thu April 9, 2015

China's 'Barefoot Lawyer' And His Great Escape

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:04 am

In February 2006, I traveled to the farmland of eastern Shandong province to interview blind activist Chen Guangcheng. He had been abducted from Beijing by security agents and put under house arrest for the past six months.

When I arrived, Chen was closely guarded by men armed with clubs. I couldn't get into Chen's village, so I stayed with a family of peanut farmers nearby.

Their simple farmhouse was freezing cold on that snowy day. My hosts burned peanut shells in a stove to warm the place and cook us dinner.

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The Salt
2:26 am
Thu April 9, 2015

These Vintner Monks Turn Wilderness Into The Divine Gift Of Wine

The St. James vineyard at the Abbey of New Clairvaux. The 20 brothers of the abbey belong to an order with a tradition of winemaking that dates back nearly 900 years.
Lisa Morehouse for NPR

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 6:34 am

In a tiny Northern California town called Vina, there's a winery that's definitely off the beaten track. That might be because this region's better known for olive groves and cattle ranches than grapes. For these, vintners, though, it's spiritual work.

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Arts & Life
9:20 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Grandparent Movie Database

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:22 am

If grandparents ran IMDB, descriptions would sound like this: "He's that one in the Grabbed movies? He has a particular set of skills." Can you guess the actors by their slightly confused bios?

Heard in Sketchfest 2015: Alex Borstein, Brad Bird and Dan Savage

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Ask Me Another VIPs: Very Important Puzzlers
9:19 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Family Guy's Alex Borstein On Her Voice, Fans And New Gig On HBO

Getting On's Alex Borstein.
Carlo Allegri Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 7:13 pm

Although she's best known as the voice of Lois, the put-upon wife of Peter Griffin on Seth MacFarlane's Family Guy, Alex Borstein is a jane-of-all-trades. She's done improv, stand-up, sketch comedy on MADTv, and wrote for the '90s cartoon Pinky and the Brain.

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Ask Me Another
5:28 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

This That or The Other

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:22 am

Is Bluetooth is a historical figure, a sci-fi villain or a tech startup? There's something for every kind of nerd in our Silicon Valley-themed "This, That or the Other."

Heard in Sketchfest 2015: Alex Borstein, Brad Bird and Dan Savage

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Ask Me Another
5:28 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Pixar's Brad Bird Talks French Food, Animated Rats And New Film 'Tomorrowland'

Pixar's Brad Bird.
Jason Carter Rinaldi Getty Images for Disney

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 7:12 pm

Some people were born knowing what they want to be when they grow up. Brad Bird, the mastermind behind Pixar's The Incredibles and Ratatouille was one of those kids. At age thirteen, Bird finished his first animated film, a remake of The Tortoise and the Hare that ends in a five-way tie. He told Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, "My parents told me to send it to the [most famous] person and work my way down." Luckily for Bird, the most famous person ended up being Milt Kahl, a legendary animator at Disney, who took Bird under his wing (pun intended).

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Ask Me Another
5:28 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Malady Melody

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:22 am

Sick of certain songs? This game features songs about being sick — we've rewritten their lyrics to be about the common illness in their titles. You give me fever!

Heard in Sketchfest 2015: Alex Borstein, Brad Bird and Dan Savage

Ask Me Another
5:28 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Sex Advice Columnist Dan Savage Still Fresh After 20 Years

Sex Advice Columnist Dan Savage
Dan Dion NPR

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 7:12 pm

It's hard to imagine someone as edgy and iconoclastic as Dan Savage as an institution, but he's written his "Savage Love" advice column for Seattle's weekly newspaper, The Stranger, for over twenty years. "I'm giving sex advice to the children of people who were childless when they were reading my column," the journalist and gay activist told Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg.

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Ask Me Another
5:28 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

G-G-G Network

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 10:22 am

What do George Washington, egg nog and Ginger Rogers have in common? They're all part of the "3G" network. Contestants giggle, gaggle and Google their way to victory in this final round.

Heard in Sketchfest 2015: Alex Borstein, Brad Bird and Dan Savage

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Fine Art
5:23 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Father Of Modern Iranian Sculpture Gets First U.S. Show In Nearly 40 Years

Artist Parviz Tanavoli with his sculpture Big Heech Lovers.
John Gordon Courtesy of Parviz Tanavoli

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:56 pm

With his head of silver hair and stylish black blazer, Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli looks younger than his 77 years. He's been called the father of modern Iranian sculpture, but he hasn't had a major museum show in the U.S. in almost four decades. Now, Wellesley College's Davis Museum is giving viewers a chance to see 175 of Tanavoli's sculptures and drawings.

While leading a tour of the Massachusetts school's gallery, Tanavoli stops in front of his curvaceous sculptures known as "Heeches."

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The Two-Way
3:45 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

USPS Picks Perfect Line For Maya Angelou Stamp — If Only It Were Hers

The celebrated poet Maya Angelou crafted a number of lines that have resonated with her readers — but the one on this stamp, it turns out, isn't one of them.
AP

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 5:10 pm

As Abraham Lincoln always said, "The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they're accurate."

Well, no — barring a weird rift in time, he probably didn't say that. But when it comes to the quotations of other famous figures — and, it seems, even life offline — things occasionally get far murkier.

Just ask the U.S. Postal Service.

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Books
3:24 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Postal Service Slips Up With Special-Edition Stamp For Maya Angelou

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 5:23 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The U.S. Postal Service just released its stamp honoring the late poet and civil rights activist Maya Angelou. There was a big ceremony yesterday.

(APPLAUSE)

BLOCK: Oprah was there.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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Movie Reviews
3:13 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Ties That Bind Meet Lies That Blind In 'About Elly'

About Elly is "perched right on the fault line between modern thinking and Islamic tradition," says NPR film critic Bob Mondello.
Courtesy of Dreamlab Films

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 5:23 pm

Most Americans don't have a clear picture of what everyday life is like in Iran for the obvious reason that Iran has been isolated from the West for more than three decades. Still, windows open occasionally. A few years ago, Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning Best Foreign Language film, A Separation, offered Western eyes a glimpse of a middle-class Iranian marriage under stress.

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Television
2:25 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

'Louie' Hits Its Mark While 'The Comedians' Hasn't Yet Fully Succeeded

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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Author Interviews
2:25 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

'Displacement': The Frustrations, Fears And Absurdities Of A Cruise Upended

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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