Arts & Life

First Reads
6:03 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Wave' By Sonali Deraniyagala

Sonali Deraniyagala was born and raised in Colombo, Sri Lanka. She now lives in New York and North London.
Ann Billingsley

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 7:28 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Economist Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, parents and two young sons in the terrifying Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. They had been vacationing on the southern coast of her home country Sri Lanka when the wave struck. Wave is her brutal but lyrically written account of the awful moment and the grief-crazed months after, as she learned to live with her almost unbearable losses — and allow herself to remember details of her previous life.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue February 19, 2013

A Bona Fide American Tragedy In 'The Terror Courts'

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 9:53 am

The torture of alleged terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay — first reported by the Red Cross in 2004 and since attested in thousands of declassified memos and acknowledged by a top official in the administration of George W. Bush — has never been far from the headlines, and rightly so. But another breach of human rights and American values at the Cuban prison camp gets far less attention: the secretive military commissions that prosecute these suspects away from the American justice system.

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Disabled Cruise Ship
5:10 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Coast Guard Says Cause Of Cruise Ship Fire Was A Leak

U.S. Customs and Border Protection provided assistance to the disabled Carnival Triumph Cruise Ship when it arrived in Mobile Feb. 14.
Credit U.S. Customs and Border Protection / Flickr

A Coast Guard official says the cause of the engine-room fire on the Carnival cruise ship Triumph was a leak in a fuel oil return line.


In a teleconference Monday, Cmdr. Teresa Hatfield estimated that the investigation of the disabled ship would take six months.


She said the Bahamas is leading the investigation, with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board leading U.S. interests in the probe.

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Children Deaths-Bridge
4:59 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Ala. To Appeal Ruling For New Trial In Bridge Deaths

The state plans to appeal ruling for a new trial for a man accused of throwing four small children off a coastal bridge in 2009.

Prosecutors say they'll ask the Alabama Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision throwing out the 2009 conviction and death sentence of a man accused of throwing four small children off a coastal bridge.


The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday ordered a new trial for Lam Luong. The court ruled publicity surrounding the case made it impossible for the suspect to have a fair trial in Mobile where the crime occurred.


Attorney General's office spokeswoman Joy Patterson said Monday the state plans to appeal.

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Movie Interviews
3:46 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Quvenzhane Wallis: 'If I Have To Be Fierce, I'll Be Fierce'

Quvenzhane Wallis plays Hushpuppy in the film Beasts of the Southern Wild.
Fox Searchlight Pictures

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 4:38 pm

Quvenzhane Wallis was just 5 years old when she auditioned for a role in the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 6 when she shot the movie. Now, at age 9, she is the youngest ever to receive a best actress Oscar nomination.

In the film, Quvenzhane plays a wild child named Hushpuppy, who lives with her sick father in a ramshackle, isolated community called the Bathtub, on the fringes of the Louisiana coast.

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Poetry
11:53 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Inaugural Poet Richard Blanco: 'I Finally Felt Like I Was Home'

Richard Blanco reads his poem "One Today" during President Obama's second inaugural, on Jan. 21.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 1:40 pm

"I just got the phone call one day," is how poet Richard Blanco describes to Fresh Air's Terry Gross how he learned he had been selected to write and read the inaugural poem for President Obama's second swearing-in on Jan. 21.

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Arts & Life
9:09 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Can You Learn To Like Music You Hate?

Harmony — it's in the ear of the beholder, Australian researchers say.
iStock

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 6:23 pm

You hear some music you hate. That's fair. We all do on occasion. But can you learn to love — or at least not loathe — that music? Can you intentionally transform the visceral response you have to certain pieces and styles, or does that happen at some more incalculable, subtle level?

Researchers at Australia's University of Melbourne say that the more dissonance (which they describe as "perceived roughness, harshness, unpleasantness, or difficulty in listening to the sound") that we hear in music, the less we enjoy said music. Seems obvious enough, right?

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Arts & Life
9:08 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Jailhouse Bach

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 10:53 am

Got an idea for a classical cartoon or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book is Helguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

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The Salt
9:03 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Fake Food George Washington Could've Sunk His Fake Teeth Into

Stargazy Pie, a cornish dish named for the way the fish heads poke through the crust towards the sky.
Courtesy of Sandy Levins

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 2:02 pm

If you want to see what George Washington might have munched on, then Sandy Levins is your gal. All the foods she whips up look scrumptious, but if you sneak a bite, you'll get a mouthful of plaster or clay.

Levins is one of a handful of frequently overlooked artisans who craft the replica meals you see in the kitchens and dining rooms of historic houses and museums. Adding faux food to a historical site can help visitors connect to the past, she tells The Salt.

"It's something everyone immediately identifies with, because everyone eats," she says.

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The Two-Way
7:02 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Book News: Amazon Fires German Security Firm After Claims Of Intimidation

Books in an Amazon warehouse in Bad Hersfeld, Germany.
Jens-Ulrich Koch AFP/Getty Images

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

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Books
2:32 am
Mon February 18, 2013

'The Dinner' Asks: What Will You Do To Protect Your Family?

Herman Koch is a Dutch writer and actor. The Dinner is his sixth novel; it originally came out in Dutch in 2009, and has since been published in 25 countries.
Mark Kohn

Originally published on Mon February 18, 2013 5:42 am

Dutch author Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is one meal you may feel a little strange after. The titular dinner is one planned by two couples — two brothers and their wives — at which they must discuss a terrible crime most likely committed by their sons. The crime is not yet public, but grainy video footage exists — and both sets of parents know it depicts their offspring.

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Book Reviews
12:00 am
Mon February 18, 2013

The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks”

Author: Jeanne Theoharis

Publisher: Beacon Press

Pages: 304

Price: $27.95 (Cloth)

The author of this new biography of Rosa Parks begins by addressing an obvious concern: don’t we already know, if not all there is to know, then at least all we need to know, about the life of Rosa Parks?

Her answer is a convincing no.

First, the two biographical accounts that have been done are incomplete for different reasons.

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Arts & Life
4:00 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

In D.C., Activists Protest Keystone Pipeline

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Coming up, that's a lot of pay stubs, the 100th anniversary of the income tax. Then a Three-Minute Fiction standout. And later, he may be faster than a speeding bullet, but can Superman outrace this controversy?

But first, tens of thousands of college students and environmental activists marched around the White House today.

UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: Hey, Obama, we don't want no climate drama. Hey.

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Arts & Life
4:00 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Happy Birthday To Income Taxes

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

Well, it may not be the happiest of anniversaries, but get out the candles anyway. This month marks the 100th anniversary of the American income tax.

Joining us to talk about a century of the tax we all love to hate is Joe Thorndike. He has a pretty exotic job: tax historian. He's just written a book called "Their Fair Share: Taking the Rich in the Age of FDR." He's also the director of the Tax History Project. Joe, thanks for joining us.

JOE THORNDIKE: Thanks for having me.

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Arts & Life
2:01 pm
Sun February 17, 2013

Want To Keep Your Messages Private? There's An App For That

Cell phone communication can be hacked, tapped or otherwise tampered with. A new app aims to change that.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Sun February 17, 2013 7:46 pm

It sounds like something out of a spy movie: A new app called Silent Circle allows users to "burn" sensitive messages sent on their phones.

Jon Callas, one of the people who developed the app, says the idea is pretty simple.

"It's a timer. So you can say, one hour; seven minutes. Whatever," Callas tells Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

It's called a "burn notice." When the time's up, the text is erased from both the sender and receiver's phones.

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