Arts & Life

The Salt
10:48 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Edible Bonsai: East Meets West On These Cookie Canvases

Risa Hirai's bonsai cookies are made from sugar, flour, butter and egg. They're completely edible as long as they haven't been on display for too long.
Courtesy of Galerie Tokyo Humanité

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 4:37 pm

Risa Hirai is a Japanese artist who paints detailed images of bonsai trees and Japanese meals. But instead of using paint on a canvas, she works with icing on a cookie.

The 23-year-old is a senior at Tama Art University in Tokyo whose mouthwatering works will be exhibited at Gallery Tokyo Humanite all this week. Assistant director Maie Tsukuda tells The Salt it's the gallery's first cookie exhibit and notes that it's not an ordinary medium for artists.

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The Two-Way
7:09 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Book News: Amazon Tries To Claim '.book' Domain; Publishers Fight Back

Seattle-based Amazon wants control over new Internet domains such as ".book," ".author" and ".read."
Lionel Bonaventure AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 7:52 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Arts & Life
6:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Alabama Artist Tapped to Create Veterans Memorial

Artist’s conception of the memorial
Athens State University

An Athens State University art professor is being tapped to create a bronze statue in a Tennessee park to honor veterans.

Al.com reports that the Giles County Chamber of Commerce leadership class in Pulaski, Tenn., has accepted a proposal for the memorial by artist Pamela Keller.


The memorial in Sharewood Park will feature a life-sized likeness of a man sitting on a park bench holding two dog tags close to his face in his left hand while in meditation. There will be a small American flag in his right hand.

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Alabama Barbecue Competition
6:31 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Competition on for Alabama's Best Barbecue

People can go to Facebook and start voting on Alabama's best barbecue restaurant.


The Alabama Tourism Department is sponsoring the competition as part of its Year of Alabama Food. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell says barbecue is part of Alabama's heritage, and there has always been a debate about which restaurant is best.


The competition is in brackets like the NCAA basketball tournament and 32 restaurants are starting. Voting starts Monday, and voting in each bracket lasts for three days. Voting for restaurants in the Final Four will be April 1-5.

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Alabama Barbecue Competition
6:30 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Competition on for Alabama's Best Barbecue

People can go to Facebook and start voting on Alabama's best barbecue restaurant.


The Alabama Tourism Department is sponsoring the competition as part of its Year of Alabama Food. State Tourism Director Lee Sentell says barbecue is part of Alabama's heritage, and there has always been a debate about which restaurant is best.


The competition is in brackets like the NCAA basketball tournament and 32 restaurants are starting. Voting starts Monday, and voting in each bracket lasts for three days. Voting for restaurants in the Final Four will be April 1-5.

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Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport
6:27 am
Mon March 11, 2013

Birmingham Airport Opening Revamped Terminal

A layout of how the airport's new terminal may look like.
globalda.com

Alabama's largest airport is ready to begin operating from its revamped terminal.


Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport is opening the renovated terminal on Wednesday. Improvements include better parking, a centralized checkpoint between concourses, new concessions and a recreation area for young families.


The project is the first part of a more than $200 million expansion and upgrade to incorporate new security standards.

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New In Paperback
6:03 am
Mon March 11, 2013

March 11-17: A Family Reunion, A Hunted Werewolf, A Military Standoff

Originally published on Mon March 25, 2013 2:32 pm

Fiction and nonfiction softcover releases from Jeanette Winterson, Mark Haddon, Glen Duncan and Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Art & Design
3:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 1:14 pm

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir's pudgy, pink nude; Rothko's brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo's naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

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Author Interviews
3:40 am
Mon March 11, 2013

'Lean In': Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg Explains What's Holding Women Back

Courtesy Knopf

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 3:37 pm

Of all the posters plastered around Facebook's Silicon Valley headquarters — "Move Fast and Break Things," "Done Is Better Than Perfect" and "Fail Harder" — Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has a favorite: "What Would You Do If You Weren't Afraid?"

"[It's] something that I think is really important and I think very motivating," Sandberg tells NPR's Renee Montagne. " ... I wrote in my book, what I would do if I wasn't afraid is, I would speak out more on behalf of women."

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Arts & Life
12:00 am
Mon March 11, 2013

“Wash”: A Novel

“Wash”: A Novel

By Margaret Wrinkle

Atlantic Monthly Press

New York

2013

$25.00 (Cloth)

408 pp.

Make no mistake, “Wash” is a big, ambitious, demanding, novel, long but never plodding. Margaret Wrinkle, a Birmingham native, has done a prodigious amount of research and then put it in the service of a vivid imagination and a lyrical prose style.

“Wash” is a most impressive debut performance.

The novel is set mainly on the Richardson plantation “two days’ ride northeast of Nashville” in the year 1823, with long flashbacks.

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Arts & Life
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

Remembering Aldo Leopold, Visionary Conservationist And Writer

Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 9:13 am

"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now, we face the question whether a still higher 'standard of living' is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free." — A Sand County Almanac

A Sand County Almanac, a collection of essays and observations, was written decades ago by Aldo Leopold, the father of the American conservation movement.

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Author Interviews
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

A Twin Carries On Alone In 'Her: A Memoir'

Christa and Cara Parravani were identical twins. When they were 28, Cara died of a drug overdose, and Christa spiraled into depression.

In her new book, Her: A Memoir, Christa explores their bond of sisterhood, which went beyond blood into the elliptical world of twinhood.

Both were artists, one a writer and the other a photographer. Both married young. Both lived through a hardscrabble childhood with a troubled mother. But Cara's path diverged after she was attacked and raped at age 24.

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Theater
4:01 pm
Sun March 10, 2013

'The Last Five Years' Returns To New York

Adam Kantor and Betsy Woolfe star in the current off-Broadway revival of Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years.
The Hartman Group / Second Stage Theatre

The Last Five Years originally ran off-Broadway in 2002. Cited as one of Time magazine's "Ten Best of 2001," it won Drama Desk awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics.

There are only two characters in the musical, Jamie and Cathy. Jamie is a young novelist and Cathy is a struggling actress. Told in reverse chronological order, the drama shows what happens when an artistic couple's romance fizzles out.

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Arts & Life
5:50 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Sistine Chapel Conclave Prep Includes Ensuring Social Media Blackout

Wi-Fi will be blocked throughout Vatican City during the conclave, and cardinals with Twitter and Facebook accounts have been warned.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 10, 2013 6:35 pm

Last-minute preparations are under way at the Vatican where the conclave to elect the new pope begins Tuesday.

The 115 cardinal electors will remain at the Sistine Chapel incommunicado from the rest of the world as they vote. In the era of social media, however, Vatican officials are taking every precaution to prevent cardinals from yielding to the temptation to tweet and text.

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You Must Read This
5:21 am
Sun March 10, 2013

Darkness Visible: 'He Died With His Eyes Open' Is A Crime Novel Like No Other

A.L. Kennedy's latest novel is The Blue Book.

I've read He Died With His Eyes Open twice. I don't know if I could stand to read it again. Like all of Derek Raymond's work, it has a remarkable and disturbing physicality.

This book was the first of what came to be known as the Factory series. Its protagonist is an unnamed detective in London's Metropolitan Police. He will never rise above sergeant and works in the most despised branch of "the Factory": Unexplained Deaths.

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