Arts & Life

Arts & Life
5:02 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Catholic Church At Crossroads: Demographics, Social Issues Pose Challenges

Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first pope to retire since 1415.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue April 2, 2013 1:42 pm

When Pope Benedict XVI said he was stepping down, he broke a tradition that had been in place since 1415. The pope, who gave his final blessing Sunday, leaves the Catholic Church in the midst of changing social views and demographic shifts among its followers.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
4:56 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Behind The Camera With Short-Doc Oscar Nominees

HBO

Haven't had a chance to watch the Oscar-nominated documentary shorts? All Things Considered is here to help. In the week leading up to the Academy Awards, NPR's Audie Cornish talked with the directors of the five short films nominated for best documentary short.

The films tell a range of stories — about a preventable disease that's ravaging Africa and the quiet loneliness of Florida retirees, the vibrant art of a homeless teenager and the hard life of "canners," and finally a salon that helps women with cancer cope with their scars.

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Arts & Life
4:40 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson Wins Second Daytona 500; Danica Patrick Makes Historic Leads

Jimmie Johnson celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway on Sunday in Daytona Beach, Fla.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 11:59 pm

A big first for Danica Patrick, but an even bigger second for Jimmie Johnson.

Patrick made history out front at the Daytona 500, only to see five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson reclaim his spot at the top in the end.

Johnson won his second Daytona 500 with a late push on Sunday, grabbing the spotlight from Patrick as she faded on the final lap. Patrick became the first woman in history to lead laps in "The Great American Race" and was running third on the last lap, but slipped to eighth in the late push for position.

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Arts & Life
4:23 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Turning A Glacier Into A Tuba: Ice Music From Norway

Ice musician Terje Isungset plays the ice blocks at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
Scott Suchman

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:52 pm

  • Terje Isungset (ice) with Mari Kvien Brunvoll (vocals)
  • "A Glimpse of Light" by Terje Isungset

For Terje Isungset, the cold weather in Washington, D.C., this week is no problem. The Norwegian musician was in town to perform as part of the Kennedy Center's "Nordic Cool" series, and he needed low temperatures to keep his instruments in good shape.

He has chimes, drums, a marimba and a "tube-ice" (like a tuba). They're all carved out of shimmering ice, harvested from the frozen lakes of Ottawa, Canada, and shipped to the Kennedy Center for an hour of melting music.

It's worth the effort, Isungset says, to get the perfect sound.

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Arts & Life
3:59 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Jimmie Johnson wins Daytona 500

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 4:41 pm

Jimmie Johnson has won the Daytona 500, one day after crash during a race there injured fans. Danica Patrick, who was hoping to make history, finished eighth. Jacki Lyden gets the latest from NPR's Mike Pesca.

Author Interviews
2:48 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Historical Fiction Gets Personal in 'Philida'

Random House

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 4:44 pm

André Brink is one of the most well-known anti-apartheid writers in South Africa. His latest novel Philida, which was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, is set in 1832 in the South African Cape, just two years before emancipation.

The title character lodges a complaint against her master, Francois Brink, who is also the father of her four children. He'd promised her freedom, but then backs out and marries a wealthy white woman.

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Arts & Life
2:19 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

In 'Fulton Blues,' Corey Harris Resurrects Memories Of Southern Neighborhood

Corey Harris' new album is titled Fulton Blues.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 8:53 pm

A new album by bluesman Corey Harris pays tribute to one Southern neighborhood with a particularly haunted past.

Fulton Blues is named for a district in Richmond, Va., that was once home to a large number of the city's middle class African-American families. But by the 1960s, Fulton had fallen on hard times. Its scenic views of the James River and easy access to downtown made it a target for "urban renewal," as it was euphemistically called in the Virginia Statehouse. The residents of Fulton were evicted and the neighborhood was razed.

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Arts & Life
12:25 pm
Sun February 24, 2013

Irish Women Emerge From Shadows Of 'National Shame'

Candles burn outside grounds of Leinster House, placed by relatives of victims of the Catholic-run work houses known as the Magdalene Laundries in Dublin, Ireland, on Feb. 19.
Peter Morrison AP

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 11:45 am

In post-independence Ireland, thousands of women found themselves incarcerated in church-run laundries. For the first time, the state has apologized for their treatment.

These women were a diverse group: former prostitutes, unwed mothers, orphans, homeless women, convicts and industrial school transfers put in the care of the Catholic Church.

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Arts & Life
11:04 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Auction Halted Of Banksy Mural Removed In London

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over an artwork attributed to Banksy in London. The stencilled image depicts a poor child making Union Jack flags on a sewing machine and is located on the wall of a Poundland discount shop in the Wood Green area of north London.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 1:18 pm

Last week we told you about the uproar surrounding the auction of a piece of art by mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London.

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Arts & Life
8:46 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Paul C.P. McIlhenny, CEO Of Company That Makes Tabasco Sauce, Dies

Paul C.P. McIlhenny reigns as Rex as he arrives at Canal Street during Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans on Feb. 28, 2006, six months after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city. McIlhenny, the CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce, died Saturday in New Orleans. He was 68.
Alex Brandon AP

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 10:44 am

The CEO and chairman of the company that makes Tabasco sauce has died in New Orleans. Paul C.P. McIlhenny was 68.

McIlhenny died Saturday, according to a Sunday statement from the Avery Island, La.-based McIlhenny Co.

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Arts & Life
7:44 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI Delivers Final Sunday Blessing At Vatican

Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing Sunday during his last Angelus noon prayer, from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square at the Vatican.
Domenico Stinellis AP

Pope Benedict XVI has given his final blessing before he steps down from the papacy on Thursday.

Here's more from The Associated Press:

"Benedict told the crowd that God is calling him to dedicate himself 'even more to prayer and meditation,' which he will do in a secluded monastery being renovated for him on the grounds behind Vatican City's ancient walls.

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Oscars 2013: The 85th Annual Academy Awards
5:36 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Real-Life Shipwreck Survivor Helped 'Life Of Pi' Get Lost At Sea

Steven Callahan survived for 76 days adrift in an inflatable life raft. This 2002 photo shows Callahan with an improved life raft he designed after his ordeal. While enduring shark attacks, rain and helpless drifting, Callahan dreamed of a better survival vessel. Once he returned to land, he spent almost two decades designing this one, featuring a rigid exterior, a removable canopy and a sail.
Pat Wellenbach Associated Press

Originally published on Sun February 24, 2013 7:06 am

In Life of Pi, one of the nine Oscar nominees for Best Picture this year, a boy suffers a shipwreck and is lost at sea. It's a fictional story, of course, based on a novel, but director Ang Lee nevertheless wanted the movie to have depth and realism. But how do you add a realistic edge to someone drifting alone in the sea? For most people, even those in the imaginative business of movie-making, it's hard to picture the perils and isolation of months without rescue.

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Author Interviews
5:36 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Literary Idol Comes To Life in 'Farewell, Dorothy Parker'

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 11:43 am

What would you do if your literary idol came to life — came into your life — and then you couldn't get rid of her? Violet Epps, heroine of the new novel Farewell, Dorothy Parker discovers being a fan isn't the same as being a roommate when Dorothy Parker's spirit rematerializes from an ancient Algonquin Hotel guestbook — and then follows her home.

Author Ellen Meister tells NPR's Rachel Martin that she first encountered Parker's work as a teenager.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
5:03 am
Sun February 24, 2013

These 'Great Tales Of Terror' Live Up To Their Promise

Duncan P Walker iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 10:40 am

Michael Dirda's latest book is On Conan Doyle.

When I was a boy growing up in the working-class steel town of Lorain, Ohio, I used to ride my beloved Roadmaster bicycle to the branch library. Located in the Plaza Shopping Center, this former storefront was just around the corner from the W.T. Grant's and Merit Shoes. Inside there were perhaps six small tables, a couple of reading chairs, the librarian's checkout desk, and light oak bookshelves along three walls. There can't have been more than one- or two-thousand books.

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Arts & Life
4:46 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Israel Restores Wetlands; Birds Make It Their Winter Home

Cranes fly at sunset above the Hula Valley of northern Israel in January. Millions of birds pass through the area as they migrate south every winter from Europe and Asia to Africa. Some now stay in the Hula Valley for the entire winter.
Menahem Kahana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 3, 2013 7:45 am

Like many countries, Israel tried to drain many of its swamplands, then realized it was destroying wildlife habitats. So the country reversed course, and has been restoring the wetlands of the Hula Valley in the north.

The effort has had a huge and rather noisy payoff. Unlike many birding sites, where the creatures take off when you approach them, you can practically touch the cranes that inhabit the Hula Valley.

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