Arts & Life

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Tiffany Watt Smith's TED Talk

Did past generations experience and express emotions the same way we do? Probably not, says historian Tiffany Watt Smith — perceptions of our emotions depend on the time and place.

About Tiffany Watt Smith

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Michael Tilson Thomas's TED Talk

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas traces the history of classical music, revealing its power to present a variety of complex human emotions.

About Michael Tilson Thomas

Climate scientists Zoe Courville, 42, and Lora Koenig, 40, met more than a decade ago in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet where they were colleagues — before either of them had kids.

Now, Koenig, who lives in Colorado, has two sons, and Courville, who lives in Vermont, has one son.

The working moms are often away from home for weeks at a time studying the impacts of climate change in remote areas of the world. It was especially hard at first to be thousands of miles away from their families, the researchers say in a StoryCorps conversation.

You ever stop to think about how creepy rowing machines are?

In the hands of a cynical genius like Billy Wilder or a wily craftsman like Steven Soderbergh, Gringo might've become a satire for the ages, a mordant document that people of the future could study to understand this morally vacuous moment in the life of our republic. Alas, this bloody farce was directed by one Nash Edgerton — a stuntman and prolific music video director, and the big brother of star Joel Edgerton, who can currently be seen in the even-gnarlier spy drama Red Sparrow in the theater down the hall.

Nobody shuts up for a nanosecond in The Death of Stalin, a wickedly gabby black comedy about the noxious power vacuum that followed the Soviet dictator's sudden collapse from a stroke in 1953. We've come to expect untamed banter from director Armando Iannucci, creator of In the Loop and Veep, who, with his frequent collaborators David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows, adapted The Death of Stalin from two French graphic novels by Fabian Nury and Thierry Robin.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit



When Kara Cresswell-Osborne was 16 years old, a disturbing experience at her grandparents' church in Montgomery, Alabama opened her eyes to the existence of racism in her family. 

In February of 2017, StoryCorps came to Mobile, Ala. and Kara shared this story with her mother Kimberly Geissmann in an open, honest conversation about family history, shame and racial acceptance.

WARNINGThis story contains a quote where a racial slur is used...

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


She was hanged in effigy and mocked in cartoons; laughed at by Congress for demanding equal rights for women and fined for casting her "illegal" vote in 1872; shouted down at public meetings and ridiculed in the press by the upright and uptight columnists of the day. That Susan B. Anthony, champion of the women's movement in the U.S., had to suffer these ignominies is well known.

In the boardroom on The Apprentice, the stakes seemed high. A quick decision from Donald Trump could end with winning, losing and embarrassment on network TV.

But in the Cabinet Room at the White House, people's lives and livelihoods are at stake.

In recent weeks, as President Trump led televised listening sessions about school safety and immigration in the Cabinet Room, former Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt watched with a feeling of familiarity or, as he puts it, "a minor form of PTSD."

Reading Brazen, French artist Pénélope Bagieu's cartoon celebration of rule-breaking women, I kept thinking about the feminist uses of cuteness. Not kittens-and-puppies cuteness, but the kind of cuteness associated with femininity — and not, usually, with feminism. Bagieu's brand of feminism comes with frills and curlicues galore. Her voice is pert and saucy, and her cartoons are darling.

Armando Iannucci has created some of the most biting political satire of the past 25 years, on the radio, TV and on movie screens. His latest is a political spoof about the demise of dictator Joseph Stalin in 1953; The Death of Stalin hits theaters this weekend.

Marvel's Jessica Jones follows an alcoholic private eye who has superstrength and serious anger issues.

In a scene from the show's second season, due Thursday on Netflix, Jessica gets a little carried away in anger management class. She bounces a rubber ball against a wall while talking about what makes her emotional: "My whole family was killed in a car accident. Someone did horrific experiments on me. I was abducted, raped and forced to kill someone." Eventually, the wall gives way.

Earlier this week, in the season 22 finale of The Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. whittled his potential fiancees down to two. But wait — there was twist. Luyendyk proposed to one of them, Becca ... and then he changed his mind and dumped her on-camera because he wanted to date Lauren, the woman he'd rejected. Viewers then saw 14 minutes of Becca crying her eyes out, which lead fans and critics to accuse The Bachelor of "manipulating the finale."


Aurelia Chestang grew up in Mobile, Alabama in the 1940s. She sat down with StoryCorps to tell her daughter, Yvette, about her grandparents - the challenges they faced during a deeply segregated era and how they overcame strict racial boundaries by hosting elaborate parties...  

There is a part of a filmgoer who is exhausted by an avalanche of stuff — much of it forgettable, much of it created by committee, much of it branded within an inch of its life and all of it subject to commercial expectations that are either indifferent or hostile to art — that says, "I cannot get on board with a film that delivers wisdom through a giant, glowing Oprah."

"Hauntingly beautiful." "Terrifying and seductive." "A bit too crazy for me."

These are some viewer reactions after watching Alex Garland's Annihilation, a fantasy sci-fi drama that leaves you in a weird state for days.

Down a dark, cramped alleyway in the heart of densely packed Manila, a resistance movement is holding strong.

The movement is focused on protecting a beloved Philippine form of public transport, the passenger truck known as the jeepney — but to reach its headquarters in a nearly hidden lane, it's a good idea to ditch your own vehicle. The lane is so narrow that even the slightest wrong move could result in scratches or a dislodged side-view mirror from hitting a wall.

Bal Krishna is the name sometimes given to the young Hindu god Krishna. Balkrishna Doshi was named for him, when he was born in 1927.

"They wanted me to remain young," the 90-year-old architect explains, as he bursts into peals of laughter.

Doshi is the newest winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, known as the Nobel for architects.

A few years ago, I heard Luis Alberto Urrea perform a story from his collection The Water Museum. I say perform because he kept the book closed the whole time. He'd learned the story by heart, and listening to him deliver "The Southside Raza Image Federation Corps of Discovery," voices and all, felt like sticking my finger in a socket. The whole room was vibrating by the time he took a bow. So when I started reading Urrea's latest novel, The House of Broken Angels, my expectations were through the roof. And yet, somehow, he exceeded them.

Updated at 8:45 p.m. ET

The effort by a group of investors to buy the Weinstein Co., founded by the disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, has ended.

The collapse of the deal was confirmed in a statement issued Tuesday by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former Obama administration official.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


In the fall of 2012, I discovered the best hot sauce in the United States in, of all places, Tucson.

Oscars TV Ratings Fall, Again

Mar 6, 2018

The powerhouse ratings grabber that is the Oscars telecast dropped to record low viewership this year, falling nearly 20 percent from 2017. It's the fourth consecutive year that viewership has declined.

Usually tied to the success of blockbuster movie hits, normally no fewer than 30 million people tune in on the big night to see the outcome of movie nominees. But this year just 26.5 million people watched, according to Nielsen records — which is even fewer than this year's Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, which drew 27.8 million viewers.

We tend to forget how near a thing it was, how outlandish an idea it seemed to some at the time, this concept of women gaining access to the ballot box. In one of history's great thrillers, the battle to ratify the 19th Amendment, almost a hundred years ago, came down to single vote, a single male legislator and — crucially — a single dear, darling, determined mother.

To create the fantastical, otherworldly story in A Wrinkle In Time, the cast and crew traveled to the mountains of New Zealand and to a sequoia forest in Northern California. They also created elaborate sets on a soundstage in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, which is where director Ava DuVernay was behind the camera over a year ago.