Arts & Life

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STACEY VANEK SMITH, HOST:

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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

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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

Linda Holmes is in Los Angeles, NPR's Stephen Thompson and I are in D.C., and we're joined by the fantastic Brittany Luse of the highly recommended The Nod podcast, among a great deal of other things.

HBO's Insecure is one of those shows we were surprised to learn we haven't already devoted a segment to. Several of us gave its first season some shout-outs in our What's-Making-Us-Happy segments last year, but we haven't ever sat down to unpack it as a team. This episode, we correct that.

In 4 Days in France, a mesmerizing road movie by first-time director Jerome Reybaud, a young gay Parisian named Pierre (Pascal Cervo) packs his bags at dawn and leaves his sleeping lover, Paul (Arthur Igual). Departing the capital for a radically unstructured odyssey around a rural France enchantingly free of glam movie-Frenchiness, Pierre is guided by his Grindr app, with Paul in irritable pursuit behind him.

Twenty-two years ago, Kathryn Bigelow made Strange Days — a paranoid thriller written and produced by her former spouse James Cameron, set in the then-future of 1999. Inspired in part by the 1992 Los Angeles riots — which were sparked by the acquittal of the LAPD officers who'd beaten Rodney King near to death — the movie's plot involved the murder of black hip-hop artist "Jeriko One" by a pair of white Los Angeles cops.

Imagine Lost In Translation set in a much sleepier metropolis than Tokyo. That's Columbus, which derives its title from its Indiana locale, a small city known for many buildings designed by notable modernist architects.

When Martin Scorsese directed the nervy black comedy After Hours in 1985, it was both a catharsis and a reckoning, a means to reenergize himself after The King of Comedy flopped and address the hang-ups with women that united many of his characters. Instead of the jealous brutes in Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, and Raging Bull, that film follows an ineffectual office drone, played by Griffin Dunne, as a hoped-for sexual liaison turns into a luckless, surreal night in New York City.

When you think of stained glass, the name Tiffany probably comes to mind — those luminescent lamp shades or a stained glass window in a church or cathedral. But Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studio of artisans did much more than that, and some of their lesser known works — glass mosaics — are now on display at the Corning Museum of Glass in Western New York.

A pierogi war has broken out between two communities. A suburban Chicago chamber of commerce wants the Edwardsville Pierogi Festival in Pennsylvania to drop its name like a hot potato, threatening a trademark infringement lawsuit. Lawyers for the Whiting Pierogi Fest in Whiting, Ind., recently sent a letter to the Edwardsville Hometown Committee demanding it stop using the trademarked name or pay royalties for its use.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

For three days now, a drama has been unfolding at HBO. They've been hacked. Company information was stolen...

(SOUNDBITE OF RAMIN DJAWADI'S "GAME OF THRONES THEME")

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

In April, musician Jonathan Coulton released Solid State, a sci-fi concept album that represented a significant departure — both from Coulton's wry, bright, tuneful back catalog and from any conventional understanding of what a sci-fi concept album sounds like. Gone, for the most part, were the stripped-down but aggressively catchy hooks, and the lyrics riffing on the foibles of digital culture, that Coulton's built a career on.

Our Critic Doesn't Entirely

Aug 3, 2017

Jason Heller is a senior writer at The A.V. Club, a Hugo Award-winning editor and author of the novel Taft 2012.

Taylor Sheridan's tense, terse police procedural/Western, Wind River, begins with an icy, moonlit, Wyoming landscape. There's no one for miles, except a gasping, Native American teenage girl running in the snow, terrified and barefoot.

She falls. Screams. Gets up. Runs some more.

When was the last time you had a roll of film developed? For many, our digital devices are datebook, rolodex and camera all in one. But moments captured on film are finding a second life through a project based in Idaho, and it raises some questions about our digital future.

In his Boise basement darkroom, Levi Bettwieser deftly unspools, cuts and winds a roll of film into a canister. He rinses it in several chemicals, waits few minutes, then takes it out and holds it up to the light.

As a climate change activist, former Vice President Al Gore is used to speaking in front of both hostile and friendly audiences. But there is one individual he has all but given up on.

"I have no illusions about the possibility of changing Donald Trump's mind," Gore says. "I think he has made it abundantly clear that he's throwing his lot in with the climate deniers."

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