Arts & Life

Movie-Rap Mash Up

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants must mash up movie titles with the names of famous hip-hop and rap artists. For example, if we said, "Veteran cop Denzel Washington mentors Ethan Hawke about the album Three Feet High and Rising," you'd answer, "Training Day La Soul."

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

State the State

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants guess which U.S. state we're talking about based on a list of clues. Jell-O is the official snack of what state?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Jul 8, 2016

Queen diva Big Freedia's fierce and fabulous energy is contagious. Born and raised in New Orleans, this musical risk-taker and lightning-speed booty shaker was first introduced to bounce music (a call-and-response style subgenre of hip-hop) in the early '90s. She was immediately hooked and, as she tells Ophira Eisenberg, spent the following decades working nonstop to establish herself as an icon of the New Orleans music scene. Today she's on the cutting edge of the bounce movement, performing most nights of the week in clubs from New Orleans to L.A.

Stump Jonathan Coulton

Jul 8, 2016

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon in 1969, they wore spacesuits developed by a company well-known for making a piece of everyday clothing. Can Coulton guess what piece?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Did Ya Ever Notice?

Jul 8, 2016

We test how well you remember things that you've seen many, many times. How many dots are on a Domino's Pizza box — three or four?

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A Neeeeeeew Game

Jul 8, 2016

Contestants channel their inner Rod Roddy and imagine that they have the greatest job in the world: Being the announcer on The Price is Right. The answer to every question is something that starts with or sounds like the word "new." If we said, "Your prize is someone who constantly inconveniences you!" You'd answer... "A nuuuuuuu-isance!"

Heard on Big Freedia: Queen Diva Of Quizzes

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Floral Arrangements

Jul 8, 2016

Each of these answers contains the name of a flower or flowering plant. If we were to say, "British singer who recorded the albums "It's Not Me, It's You," and "Sheezus," you would reply, "Lily Allen."

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

I have lived in eight countries and 10 cities. I have never lived anywhere for longer than six years. But the one constant in my life, my anchor in a changing world, my defense against perpetual culture shock, is my pot of daal.

Daal -- yellow, red, brown or black — is a staple across India. It is often described, inadequately, I think, as lentil soup. Except it's so much more.

“Raw. Vegan. Not Gross: All Vegan and Mostly Raw Recipes for People Who Love to Eat”

Author: Laura Miller

Publisher: Flatiron Books   

Pages: 211

Price: $25.99 (Hardcover)

A few weeks ago I reviewed “Lulu’s Kitchen,” a cookbook by Lucy Buffett featuring recipes from her restaurant at Gulf Shores. Buffett wrote that the general philosophy at Lulu’s was “Fried. Died. And Gone to Heaven” and her menu used to include “rice pilaf and steamed vegetables, but we threw away more than we sold.”

This book, “Raw. Vegan. Not Gross.” is not like that book.

“South Toward Home: Travels in Southern Literature”

Author: Margaret Eby

Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.   

Pages: 240

Price: $ 25.95 (Hardcover)

In her Introduction, Margaret Eby, originally from Birmingham, describes the nature of her book. It is “not meant to be an encyclopedia of Southern literature, nor is it a travel guide. It is an odyssey of sorts through a pocket of the South that I grew up in and learned to understand through reading.”

Full disclosure, here at the start: I don't know Pokemon.

That's not technically true; here's a list of everything I knew about Pokemon before playing the new smartphone app, Pokemon GO (this knowledge absorbed solely through cultural osmosis, given the phenomenon's ubiquity).

1. Pikachu is a kind (species?) of Pokemon. It is an "electric-type" Pokemon. It is yellow. It has a cutesy voice. Said voice is profoundly annoying.

2. Squirtle is another kind of Pokemon, a "water-type" Pokemon. It, as one might imagine, squirts.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

On the surface Our Little Sister, a new film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, feels like nothing much is going on. Three grown sisters travel from their pretty seaside town in rural Japan to attend the funeral of their father, who had abandoned them to marry another woman. The young women end up taking their half-sister, Suzu Asano (the enchanting Suzu Hirose), who's just entering her teens, back to live with them in the family home they've shared for years.

A Television Giant Comes Into Focus

Jul 7, 2016

If Norman Lear hadn't invented Archie Bunker, someone else would have had to. The caustic, bigoted blue-collar worker ruled television throughout the 1970s on All in the Family, sitting in his easy chair and vocalizing many of the most abhorrent thoughts that, until then, most Americans kept to the privacy of their own easy chairs. Archie's old-world mind was the dying star around which the bright new Lear comedy universe could orbit.

The mediocre animated comedy The Secret Lives of Pets is based on an original idea by Chris Meledandri, the head of Illumination Entertainment, the studio responsible for the Despicable Me movies and their popular spinoff Minions. That idea?

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Underground Airlines will start a lot of conversations. A lot.

The book's narrator is an African-American man living in a near-future United States in which slavery has never been entirely eliminated ("Big Abe," meaning President-elect Lincoln, was shot early in his campaign, and several Southern states amended the Constitution to retain it).

Tough love, interventions and 12-step programs are some of the most common methods of treating drug addiction, but journalist Maia Szalavitz says they're often counterproductive.

"We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough and tough enough to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

When we think about the good life, art and food rank pretty high in importance. (OK, we at The Salt might be a little biased.) So it seems only natural that the two mix. Foods crop up in all kinds of art — from ancient Egyptian tomb walls to European still life paintings.

But in art, an apple isn't always just an apple. Many foods carry specific meanings for different global artistic traditions, and those meanings can change over time.

How well do you understand the secret language of foods in art? Take this quiz to find out.

In Chile, 'Marraqueta' Is The Daily Bread

Jul 7, 2016

Invoking the expression "to be born with a marraqueta under his/her arm" in Chile is to speak of a child that has their future assured. It's a little more common than a silver spoon in one's mouth, and far more democratic, as the marraqueta, pan batido or pan francés — as it's called outside of the capital city of Santiago, where I live — is a staple food eaten sometimes as many as three times a day.

There is a myth that the most worshipped woman in popular culture is the one perceived as most perfectly beautiful, but that's not so. What's worshipped the most is the one who threads the needle most precisely such that she is almost impossibly beautiful, but something about her brings her toward you and into focus, close enough that you feel like you could touch her.

The Hong Kong film industry is best known for martial arts and crime thrillers, and for launching the careers of international stars like Jackie Chan and Chow Yun-fat. But the most celebrated Hong Kong movie of the past year is not of the same mold. It's a low-budget, overtly political independent film presenting a dark vision of Hong Kong's future.

'I Am No One:' Feels Like Somebody's Watching Me

Jul 7, 2016

Patrick Flanery's new novel I Am No One asks whether it is more delusional to think you are being watched, or to think you are not being watched. Conventionally a mark of mental illness, it has more recently come to mean you're just well informed.

You are not, maybe, being particularly watched, but it is now obvious that a vast and impersonal state apparatus hovers perpetually just outside the boundaries of visibility, waiting to be triggered by that infelicitous internet search, that email from relatives abroad, that unlikely bank transfer.

Fresh Air producer John Sheehan discusses The Radio Adventures of Eleanor Amplified, a new adventure podcast for kids featuring an intrepid radio reporter who foils plots and outwits crafty villains.

Her name is Riri Williams. She reverse-engineered her own version of the Iron Man battlesuit in her MIT dorm room, got kicked out, and struck out on her own to do the superhero thing. Clumsily at first, but she's learning fast. So fast she's impressing Tony Stark, who's questioning his status as the Marvel Universe's go-to, super-powered Campbell's soup can. Readers first met her in the March issue of Invincible Iron Man.

'Faith' Makes Fat A Force To Reckon With

Jul 6, 2016

It's got to be said: The costume is ... not great. Faith, the plus-sized superhero starring in her debut volume from Valiant Comics, is a "psiot" who fights crime armed with the powers of flight and telekinesis. Unfortunately, she does it wearing a sort of half-coat, half-smock in the toothpastey palette of white with blue trim. Her matching white pants and plain white boots evoke a snowsuit. Faith's costume is so graceless, it almost seems like the work of an artist who's channeling unspoken fatophobia.

There aren't many lucky people in the fictional Jamaican town of River Bank, the setting for Nicole Dennis-Benn's debut novel Here Comes the Sun. A long drought has robbed many residents of their livelihoods, and their homes are being threatened by developers who want to build yet another huge resort, one where rich, white tourists can sequester themselves away from the reality of the poverty-stricken villages that surround it.

If you were a Soviet spy, chances are you knew your way around the menu at the restaurant Aragvi, in Moscow. That's where Stalin's security chief held court, and where KGB spooks met for power lunches. Movie stars ate there, too, as did cosmonauts. It was the place to be seen for Moscow's elite.

After the Soviet Union collapsed, Aragvi shut down. It stayed shuttered for many years. But it's just reopened.

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