Arts & Life

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The New England Patriots don't always win the Super Bowl. Tom Brady isn't always the face staring at you on Snack Digesting Monday, the traditional follow-up to Super Bowl Sunday. But it can sure feel that way.

“Beautiful War: Studies in a Dreadful Fascination”

Author: Philip D. Beidler                                                                                     

Pages: 173

Price: $34.95 (Hardcover)

Although Beidler’s last book, “The Island Called Paradise,” is a collection of essays about Cuba, America’s wars have been his main concern from the beginning of his career. Beidler devoted an entire book to discussions of Vietnam War literature, and several collections discuss World War II, “The Good War,” and its cultural aftermath.

Pinball is big business in Japan. Known as pachinko, the multibillion-dollar industry is dominated by Korean Japanese, an immigrant community that has been unwelcome and ill-treated for generations.

Min Jin Lee's new novel Pachinko is about much more than the game. It's about the story of one family's struggle to fit into a society that treats them with contempt.

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Did I Get James Baldwin Wrong?

Feb 5, 2017

In 1983, I was studying abroad in Nice, France, and while other exchange students were flitting from city to city, checking off items on their bucket lists, I craved only one European cultural experience:

I wanted to meet James Baldwin, the mandarin prophet and former boy preacher; the African-American expatriate writer who once used his European exile to explore, defy, and decry the delusional fiction of race that has organized our minds, our possibilities, our world, and now leads us toward the precipice of self-annihilation.

The dynamic, sometimes evil and always enthralling Victor Newman has been a mainstay of CBS' daytime soap The Young and the Restless. The character is played by actor Eric Braeden, who is marking his 37th year on the show. Braeden also has a new memoir out called I'll Be Damned. In it, he shares stories from his career and his childhood in post-World War II Germany.

It took a car bomb to get the funds to renovate Egypt's Museum of Islamic Art, but three years later, a restored museum with modern galleries has reopened to showcase the museum's historic treasures.

The 2014 explosion outside police headquarters near the century-old museum in downtown Cairo heavily damaged the stone and wood façade and smashed 179 priceless objects.

Photography has lost some of its authority in recent years — as a discipline, at least. Its specialized mysteries have been torn away from their magical light boxes and poured through the irises of millions of plastic cellphones. But it still leaves an irrevocable signature on those artists who take it seriously — like, for instance, Belgian comics creator Dominique Goblet. Her approach is postmodern, with a scruffy, anything-goes mix of styles and moods, but it's marked everywhere by her forays into photography.

When Orto Ignatiussen landed a part in a Hollywood blockbuster in 2011, he thought it might be his big break. At the time, he was the director of a community theater in the small town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, already middle-aged and still hoping he might have a career as a serious actor.

In 1987, the popular sitcom A Different World brought stories of life at historically black colleges into living rooms across the country. For six seasons, the NBC TV show chronicled the goings on at the fictional Hillman College.

Since then, no other show on the small screen has been dedicated solely to the culture of historically black colleges — until now. Thirty years after A Different World's debut, BET has premiered The Quad.

For years Hollywood studios have been targeting movie audiences in India and China. In the past, they'd dub their films into local languages. Now, that strategy is shifting, and filmmakers are beginning to American stories with regional stars.

The new film xXx: Return of Xander Cage opened a week early in India — because it features one of that country's biggest movie stars, Deepika Padukone.

In December, soul singer Mavis Staples received a Kennedy Center Honor and earlier in 2016 she released a new album called Livin' on a High Note. But today, we're digging into the past to talk about her time with The Staple Singers, her family music group that delivered hits like "Respect Yourself" and "I'll Take You There."

Super Bowl Pets

Feb 4, 2017
Petful.com [Flickr]

Most pet owners know not to let their furry friends have chocolate, grapes, raisins, anything with onion or garlic, and anything that contains the artificial sweetner Xylitol.  But some of our favorite game day snacks can harm our pets in unexpected ways.  Keeping our four-footed family members safe will make for a better day for everyone!

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A Spacefarer's Next Great Adventure Begins At 'Home'

Feb 4, 2017

In 2015, Nnedi Okorafor's wildly successful Binti helped launch Tor.com's novella-publishing imprint before winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards the following year. A shape-shifting story of adventure, trauma, transformation and communication, Binti followed its namesake heroine from her Himba roots on Earth to faraway Oomza University, where hundreds of different peoples from across the galaxy go to study. In Binti: Home, Okorafor sends her heroine back to Earth on a quest to reconcile the new, conflicting parts of herself with her roots.

Daphne Merkin is a productive and admired professional, a writer and critic for the New Yorker and the New York Times Magazine, a novelist and essayist. But all of her life, she's struggled with melancholy, the blues, the black dog, the blue devils — depression, by any other name.

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Too much information running through your brain? Need a little reminder of something that could help? Well, we've got you covered with another commercial for nicer living.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Editor's note: This piece includes quotes from James Baldwin in which he uses a racial slur.

Fimmaker Raoul Peck's Oscar-nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro features the work of the late writer, poet, and social critic James Baldwin. Baldwin's writing explored race, class and sexuality in Western society, and at the time of his death in 1987, he was working on a book, Remember This House. It was never completed, but his notes for that project became the foundation for Peck's I Am Not Your Negro.

When we asked listeners to write commercials for the little, not-for-sale joys that enhance our lives, we noticed something interesting. There were a few themes that came up often — but then, there were also a few contributions that genuinely took us by surprise.

They were commercials for things and experiences that literally none of our 2,000 other ad writers brought up. But they resonated just the same.

"You don't look like you're from around here," a young Adolphus Busch is told as he arrives in America from Germany to pursue his dream of making beer. So begins Budweiser's new Super Bowl ad, released earlier this week into an ongoing political maelstrom over immigration.

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The Complaint Department

Feb 3, 2017

We take a trip to the Complaint Department, for a game in which clues are inspired by actual complaints and corrections we've received from our listeners. Each message has one word removed, and contestants try to complete the complaint.

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The Wisdom Of The Crowd

Feb 3, 2017

They say two heads are better than one, but just how many heads does it take to be better than Jonathan Coulton's? We test the "wisdom of the crowd" theory when a contestant tries to guess whose numerical estimate is closest to the correct answer: Coulton's or the crowd's?

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Hear Here

Feb 3, 2017

You'll be in a daze for days in our next game about words that sound the same. Every answer in this game are two words or phrases that sound similar but are spelled differently. For example, If the clue was: it's the cereal that's "kid tested, mother approved," and the "pumped up" item Foster the People sang about, the answer would be: Kix and Kicks.

The Final Countdown

Feb 3, 2017

The apocalypse is here and we feel fine! We parody songs about "the end" by replacing the lyrics to describe famous apocalyptic TV shows and movies. Contestants put on their tin foil hats and try to guess both items.

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Categories To The Letter

Feb 3, 2017

Who's the only U.S. President with the letter X in their last name? Richard Nixon, of course! In this final round, contestants are given a category and a letter, and must respond with the only item or person that fits the bill.

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