Arts & Life

Arts & Life
1:17 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

VIDEO: First 'Unassisted' Backflip By A Car?

Driver Guerlain Chicherit in his Mini Countryman, doing a backflip on Sunday in France.
Thierry Guillot Maxppp /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:53 pm

Driving a modified Mini Cooper Countryman, French rally driver Guerlain Chicherit has successfully pulled off what's said to be the first "unassisted" backflip by a car.

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Arts & Life
1:00 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

British Man Dies From SARS-Like Virus In U.K. Hospital

Coronaviruses have a characteristic crown of tentacles when viewed under the electron microscope.
BSIP UIG via Getty Images

The sixth person has died from a new kind of virus that causes symptoms similar to SARS, a hospital in the U.K. said in a statement Tuesday.

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Arts & Life
12:50 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

A Chinese Army Outpost That's Tucked Into Modern Shanghai

This 12-story building houses a Chinese military unit allegedly behind dozens of cyberattacks on U.S. and other Western companies. It's in a modern, if bland, part of Shanghai.
Peter Parks AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:44 pm

Some people in Shanghai — especially the foreigners — think the city's new Pudong section of town is dull, without character and profoundly unfashionable.

Twenty years ago, Pudong was mostly farms and warehouses. Today, it's home to those sleek glass-and-steel skyscrapers that have come to define the city's skyline in movies like Skyfall and Mission: Impossible III.

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Arts & Life
12:34 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Tunisian Prime Minister Steps Down Amid Crisis

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.
Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his resignation during a news conference today, the BBC reports.

Jebali resigned after days of protests erupted in the country. As we've reported, thousands of Tunisians took the streets to protest the assassination of Jebali's opponent.

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Author Interviews
12:27 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Today's Bullied Teens Subject To 'Sticks And Stones' Online, Too

When Emily Bazelon was in eighth grade, her friends fired her. Now a senior editor for Slate, Bazelon writes in her new book, Sticks and Stones: "Two and a half decades later, I can say that wryly: it happened to plenty of people, and look at us now, right? We survived. But at the time, in that moment, it was impossible to have that kind of perspective."

In Sticks and Stones, Bazelon explores teen bullying, what it is and what it isn't, and how the rise of the Internet and social media make the experience more challenging.

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Arts & Life
12:25 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

Gen. John Allen, Recent Top Commander In Afghanistan, Is Retiring

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen in March 2012.
Kevin Dietsch UPI /Landov

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 1:24 pm

Marine Corps Gen. John Allen, who led U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan until earlier this month and had been on track to be the top NATO commander in Europe, is retiring from the military.

The White House early Tuesday afternoon released a statement from President Obama that says, in part:

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Arts & Life
11:57 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Bowles, Simpson Release New Plan That Cuts Deficit By $2.4 Trillion

Co-chairmen of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, former Sen. Alan Simpson, right, and Erskine Bowles.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 6:00 pm

Just as Congress faces another self-imposed fiscal deadline, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, the Democrat and Republican who were charged by the president in 2010 to present a fiscal reform plan, presented a second solution today that seeks to cut the deficit by $2.4 trillion in the next ten years.

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The Two-Way
6:07 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Book News: New Bond, James Bond, Novel; Jane Austen's Love Lessons

Sean Connery during the making of the James Bond film "Never Say Never Again."
AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 8:51 am

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

  • A new James Bond novel by William Boyd will come out in the U.S. in October. The novel will be a return to the "classic" Bond, and will be set in the 1960s. Ian Fleming, the original Bond author, died in 1964.
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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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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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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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