Arts & Life

Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue May 19, 2015

'Sophie Stark' Finds It Hard To Learn How To Be Human

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 8:40 am

Toward the beginning of The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, an actress reflects on her decision to leave West Virginia for New York City. Her first few days in the city are disastrous; she moves from bad job to bad job while living in a basement apartment with a dirt floor. "I felt like I'd come to a place for people who didn't know how to be people," she says, "and if I was there I must not really know how to be a person either."

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Parallels
2:23 am
Tue May 19, 2015

How Heroin Made Its Way From Rural Mexico To Small-Town America

Courtesy of Bloomsbury Press

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 4:58 am

To understand how heroin took hold in rural America, you need to go back two decades and look at the surge of prescription drug use in Portsmouth, Ohio, according to journalist Sam Quinones.

A Rust Belt town that had fallen on hard times by the 1990s, Portsmouth became a place where doctors dispensed prescription drugs more freely than anywhere else in the country, Quinones writes in his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

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Author Interviews
2:22 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Cherokee Chief John Ross Is The Unsung Hero Of 'Jacksonland'

Cherokee chief John Ross battled the U.S. government for decades on behalf of his people.
The Art Archive

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 11:23 am

The nation's seventh president was a man of legendary toughness who made his name in America's second war against the British — and he's someone NPR's Steve Inskeep has come to know well: Andrew Jackson.

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Arts & Life
4:15 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

LA County Museum Of Art Presents Last Sculpture By Chris Burden

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 8:26 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Performance artist and sculptor Chris Burden died last week of cancer. He was 69. Today, his final completed work opens to the public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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Fine Art
4:15 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Artist Shirin Neshat Captures Iran's Sharp Contrasts In Black And White

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born visual artist who has made her home country's turbulent history the subject of high art. The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., is hosting a retrospective of her work. Above, Neshat's 1999 Rapture Series.
Photograph by Larry Barns Courtesy Gladstone Gallery

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 10:22 pm

Shirin Neshat, the most famous contemporary artist to come from Iran, is playing with her rambunctious Labrador puppy in her airy Manhattan apartment. "Ashi, Ashi, come here!" she calls.

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The Two-Way
2:00 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Google Wins Copyright And Speech Case Over 'Innocence Of Muslims' Video

A federal court has dissolved an order that forced Google-owned YouTube to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video. The ruling rejects copyright claims from Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the video.
Bret Hartman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 2:58 pm

In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

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All Tech Considered
1:10 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs

The German service robot Toomas was designed to welcome customers and help them find items in a store.
Joerg Sarbach AP

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 10:56 am

From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce. Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that robots, once thought of as a threat to only manufacturing jobs, are poised to replace humans as teachers, journalists, lawyers and others in the service sector.

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Monkey See
9:24 am
Mon May 18, 2015

'Mad Men' Ends, Singing A Familiar Song

Jon Hamm as Don Draper.
AMC

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:48 pm

[This discussion of the Mad Men finale gives away all kinds of information about the Mad Men finale, so if you don't want to know things about it, please stop reading.]

The hippies were probably inevitable.

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Television
6:31 am
Mon May 18, 2015

'Mad Men' Finale: A Love Letter To Fans Filled With Mostly Happy Endings

The cast of Mad Men: January Jones (from left), Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, Christina Hendricks and John Slattery
Frank Ockenfels 3 AMC

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 1:01 pm

From the beginnings of the Mad Men phenomenon, many of the show's fans wondered if superstar adman Don Draper was destined to write one of the iconic advertising catchphrases of the time.

So it's a testament to the skills of show creator Matthew Weiner that some regular viewers were still surprised by the show's series finale Sunday, which implies that Don invented the classic 1971 Coca-Cola campaign, "I'd Like to Buy the World a Coke." This, after he concluded a long, soul-searching trip through America with a trip to a California yoga retreat.

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Television
5:21 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

TV Thriller 'Wayward Pines' Offers Suspense — And An Ending

In Chad Hodge's new Fox series, Secret Service agent Ethan Burke (Matt Dillon) travels to Wayward Pines, Idaho, in search of two missing federal agents.
Liane Hentscher FOX

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 7:56 pm

The new Fox thriller Wayward Pines opens with a chilling scene. A man wakes up in the middle of the forest with cuts and bruises all over his body. Lost and confused, he stumbles into town. The audience soon learns the man is a Secret Service agent named Ethan Burke, played by Matt Dillon.

"He goes to the town of Wayward Pines, Idaho, looking for two other Secret Service agents who went missing there and pretty soon he finds out he can't leave," Chad Hodge, showrunner and creator, tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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My Big Break
5:04 pm
Sun May 17, 2015

A 13-Year-Old, A Burlap Dress And A Career Launch That Took 'Grit'

Hailee Steinfeld played Mattie Ross in the Coen brothers' 2010 version of True Grit.
Wilson Webb Paramount Pictures

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 11:38 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.

Hailee Steinfeld is a new face in the Barden Bellas; she's joined the college singing group for Pitch Perfect 2. But the 18-year-old actress is not new to cinema.

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The Salt
8:00 am
Sun May 17, 2015

South Carolina Distiller Promises To Make Kentucky Liquor Quicker

Jars of Terressentia bourbon wait for final production. Terressentia uses a process to artificially "age" its bourbon in a few hours, forgoing traditional aging, which takes years.
Courtesy of Terressentia

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 12:04 pm

Kentucky bourbon is in high demand these days. Sales and production of the whiskey have surged in recent years.

The demand has created a problem: a shortage of barrels. Bourbon is typically aged for several years in wooden casks.

But one company has found a work-around. It's come up with a chemical process that ages bourbon not in years — but in hours. The innovation is unsettling an industry that is long-soaked in history and tradition.

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Music Interviews
7:19 am
Sun May 17, 2015

Oak Ridge Boys Take Their Impeccable Harmonies 'On The Road'

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 9:44 am

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

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There are a few musical riffs that are seared into my childhood memories - the opening bars of "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson, the big chorus from "Let's Get Physical" by Olivia Newton-John and this.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ELVIRA")

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Television
7:19 am
Sun May 17, 2015

'Mad Men' Writer: Show's Female Characters Aren't Thinking About Feminism

Watching Joan (Christina Hendricks, left) and Peggy (Elisabeth Moss) navigate the sexism of a 1960s ad agency is part of what has kept audiences hooked on Mad Men.
MIchael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 9:44 am

Editor's note: This conversation discusses plot points from the seventh season of Mad Men.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:19 am
Sun May 17, 2015

A Puzzle That Takes You Around The Globe

NPR

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 9:44 am

On-air challenge: This week's on-air puzzle is similar to last week's, only a little harder. Every answer is the name of a country. For each word given, ignore the vowels. The consonants, in order from left to right, are the same consonants in the same order as in the country. For example, given the word "omelet," the answer is "Malta."

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