Arts & Life

Arts & Life
5:42 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Civil Rights Radio Part 3-- "They told the teachers...'we're gone!' "

Birmingham News/Birmingham Bar Foundation

Birmingham area disc jockey Shelley the Playboy may have signaled the start of the children’s march in 1963, but he didn’t organize it. The credit goes to a lieutenant of Dr. Martin Luther King, the reverend James Bevel. One of the teenagers he inspired was James Stewart… “He wore one of the blue jeans suits, and had badges from everybody, and pins all over, and he was baldheaded and wore this skull cap,” Stewart remembered, “And he’s the one who was the kids’ ‘pied piper,’ he talked to us about getting involved.

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Author Interviews
4:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

A Real-Life Fight For Freedom In 'Nine Days'

Delacorte Press

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 9:10 am

Two high-school sophomores — Ethan Wynkoop and Ti-Anna Chen — sneak away from their homes in suburban Washington, D.C., and fly to Hong Kong. They're searching for Ti-Anna's father, a Chinese emigre and dissident who believes that China is just a spark away from democratic revolution.

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Education
4:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test

E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity.
Courtesy University of Georgia

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:30 pm

This is the second in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"

It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.

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Movie Reviews
2:26 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:37 pm

When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.

But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.

Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.

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The Salt
1:59 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:14 am

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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The Salt
9:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 3:25 pm

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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Book Reviews
9:09 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Owls, Yes, But Also Kookaburras And Dentists In Sedaris' Latest

Plenty of personal essayists, including really good ones like Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen and E.B. White, burn out or switch to fiction after a few books. Even Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer often acknowledged as the father of the genre that combines intelligent reflection with anecdotes and autobiography, produced only one volume — albeit a massive one. Yet here's David Sedaris with his eighth collection, the absurdly titled Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls: Essays, Etc.

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From The NPR Bookshelves
6:03 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Meet America's Poets Laureate, Past And Present

To celebrate National Poetry Month this April, NPR Books reached into the archives for some interviews with the nation's official poets. Poets Laureate past and present have revealed their eloquence and insight in these interviews, where they discuss their inspirations, their heart-breaking memories, their confrontations with aging — and, in the case of Ted Kooser, how his wife felt about his thousands of Valentines.

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Arts & Life
5:47 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Civil Rights Radio Part 2-- "We were taught what was right, what was wrong, and what was 'white."

Birmingham News/Birmingham Bar Foundation

“Let me know at the start of this conversation that I have never been a civil rights activist of any kind,” says former Birmingham radio disc jockey Shelley Stewart. “I want to make that perfectly clear.” The teenagers who took part in the 1963 children’s march see it differently They say they relied on signals and code words from Stewart’s radio show to know when the protest would begin. And even Shelley admits he knew firsthand what school kids, both black and white, could do in the race of racism. When he wasn’t on the air, Shelley the playboy played records at dance parties.

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Author Interviews
3:42 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Why Vaguely Defining Bullying Can Be A Problem

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 1:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's been a major push to prevent bullying in America's schools but some are now worried in our enthusiasm to tackle this social problem, we are creating new problems. Indiana is the latest state to pass a tough anti-bullying law. It requires schools to develop prevention programs and adopt rules for disciplining bullies, among other measures.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We spoke to Emily Bazelon about this. Her new book on bullying is called "Sticks and Stones." Emily, thanks for joining us.

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Kitchen Window
11:04 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Nettles Bring Spring To The Kitchen

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:02 am

My in-laws live in a half-wild, magical place perched along the edge of the Northern California coastline about an hour from San Francisco. On nice days — and even when it rains — my husband and I will take their black Lab for a ramble up into the woods behind the house where banana slugs carpet the narrow trail, salamanders creep shyly through the trees alongside it, and the air is full of birdsong and the good, damp smells of the growing things.

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Arts & Life
6:22 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Maine Court Sets $25,000 Bail For 'North Pond Hermit'

Christopher Knight, 47, has been charged with stealing food and other items from a camp in Rome, Maine. Knight's years of living in isolation earned him the nickname of the North Pond Hermit.
Kennebec County Sheriff's Office AP

Christopher Knight, whose 27 years of living in near-total isolation in Maine's wilderness made him an object of fascination after he was arrested for stealing food and supplies, appeared by video for a court hearing Tuesday, when a Kennebec County judge set his bail at $25,000 cash.

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Movie Reviews
6:09 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

'For My Health': The Latter Days Of Levon Helm

Though he began his career as a drummer for The Band, Levon Helm kept working long after the group's dissolution. The documentary Ain't in It for My Health captures his final years as a working musician.
Kino Lorber

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:57 am

Rock 'n' roll is filled with "one lives it, the other writes about it" pairings, from Mick Jagger drawing on the observed excesses of Keith Richards on down the line. But such arrangements only work when both parties feel like they benefit.

When The Band came into its own as a self-contained group in the late 1960s — after stints backing Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan — its songs drew inspiration from a mythic vision of the American South that was itself inspired by The Band's only Southern member, drummer Levon Helm of Turkey Scratch, Ark.

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Arts & Life
5:48 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Envelope Sent To Senator's Office Tests Positive For Ricin Poison

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 6:45 am

Quoting "congressional and law enforcement sources," CNN is reporting that an envelope sent to a senator's office has tested positive for the poison ricin.

"After the envelope tested positive in a first routine test, it was retested two more times, each time coming up positive, the law enforcement source said," CNN reports. "The package was then sent to a Maryland lab for further testing."

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Arts & Life
4:46 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Changes Help San Diego Homeless, But Long Road Remains Ahead

Wanda Rayborn, 63, was homeless for nine years and was living under a tree in downtown San Diego two years ago. She now lives in a newly renovated efficiency apartment — part of an initiative to help get homeless people off the streets.
Pam Fessler NPR

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 2:05 pm

Two years ago, we reported on an ambitious campaign to end homelessness in downtown San Diego, a city with one of the largest homeless populations in the nation. The effort involved an unprecedented coalition of business leaders, community groups and government agencies.

At the time, some advocates for the homeless — after years of seeing other, failed efforts to get people off city streets — were skeptical that the campaign would amount to much.

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