Arts & Life

The Salt
11:10 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Ukrainian Comfort Dish Chicken Kiev Claims French Parentage

Chicken Kiev made by Viacheslav Gribov, head chef at Kiev's Hotel Dnipro, comes with a small bone sticking out one end. If done properly, some of the butter inside will remain unmelted.
Amy Guttman

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:38 pm

You'd be forgiven for thinking chicken Kiev got its start in the Ukrainian capital. After all, a hearty dish of chicken filled with butter, wrapped in bread crumbs, and deep fried is the perfect meal to withstand subzero temperatures and cold winds blowing across the Dniepr River.

Ukrainian chefs say they have the only authentic recipe for the dish, but they concede that chicken Kiev, despite its name, has a far more sophisticated provenance: It's French.

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Television
11:01 am
Wed January 30, 2013

William H. Macy Is 'Shameless' On Showtime

In Shameless, William H. Macy is the dysfunctional father of six.
Cliff Lipson Cliff Lipson/SHOWTIME

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 1:05 pm

William H. Macy is the first to admit that he has played his fair share of losers. His latest role, as the alcoholic, narcissist Frank Gallagher — the single dad of a dysfunctional six-kid family — on the Showtime series Shameless, adds to the list of hapless characters Macy has portrayed on screen and stage.

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Monkey See
8:55 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Coastal Snobbery, 'The Masses,' And Respecting The Lowest Common Denominator

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 11:03 am

There are three phrases that are almost always bad news for a piece of cultural writing.

They are:

1. "The masses."

2. "Middle America."

3. "The lowest common denominator."

All three are ways to separate the writer and her sensibility — which are presumed to be congruent with the reader and her sensibility — from invisible and undefined others, for whom bad cultural content is produced and by whom it is unquestioningly gobbled up.

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Arts & Life
7:27 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Power Out, Trees Down From Ala Storms

Strong storms moving through Alabama left thousands of people without power and forced schools to delay opening as a precaution.


Alabama Power Co. said about 7,000 homes and businesses were in the dark early Tuesday, mostly in the western part of the state.


Officials say numerous trees are down near Fayette and in heavily wooded Winston County, but no injuries are reported.


Numerous school systems delayed opening because of what forecasters say is a high risk of damaging winds. The University of Alabama also opened late.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 6:23 pm

It used to be a truism among critics of British poetry that Keats and most of his fellow Romantic poets worked in the shadow of John Milton. I'm not making a perfect analogy when I suggest that most contemporary Japanese writers seem to be working under the shadow of Haruki Murakami, but I hope it highlights the spirit of the situation.

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Kitchen Window
12:47 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Understanding The Brussels Sprout

T. Susan Chang for NPR

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 12:44 pm

"What are those?" I asked my mom, suspiciously eyeing the little cardboard tub with its cellophane cover. It held a heap of pale, miniature cabbages. "They're Brussels sprouts," she said. "They're supposed to be good for you," she added, sealing my doom.

At dinnertime, the mystery vegetable reappeared, steaming hot and greenish-yellow but otherwise unaltered. It gave off a sulfurous stench. I recoiled, but I knew my job. I took a bite.

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Author Interviews
2:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

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Monkey See
11:04 am
Tue January 29, 2013

How '30 Rock' Found Its Tone When Liz Lemon Didn't Marry Her Cousin

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 1:49 pm

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New In Paperback
10:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Jan. 28-Feb. 3: Teen Lust, Gothic Fright And A History Of Introverts

In One Person by John Irving
Courtesy Simon & Schuster

Fiction and nonfiction releases from John Irving, Denise Mina, David Maraniss, Robert Kagan and Susan Cain.



Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

First Reads
9:41 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'The Dinner' By Herman Koch

iStockphoto.com
  • Listen to the Excerpt

Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is a meal that may give you indigestion, but you'll relish the burn. The book begins with two couples meeting for dinner in a posh Amsterdam restaurant: Paul Lohman, the entertainingly bilious narrator, his brother Serge, a rising politician almost certain to become prime minister in the next election, and their wives. But the dinner conversation is grim, even shocking. Each couple has a teenage son, and the two boys have committed a ghastly crime — a crime that's been captured on grainy viral video.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Separating Man From Myth In 'The First Muslim'

iStockphoto.com

Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an atheistic dystopia founded by Karl Marx, one of the post-Enlightenment's wayward secular philosophers. But Marx came from a deeply religious background — generations of rabbis on both sides — and his original motivation lay in that most Christian of principles: helping humanity's downtrodden.

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Arts & Life
5:54 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Forecasters Say Ala at Risk for Severe Weather

National Weather Service forecast for Central Alabama.
srh.noaa.gov

Forecasters say clashing weather systems are creating a chance for severe weather in Alabama.


The National Weather Service says severe storms with damaging winds, heavy rains and isolated tornadoes are possible Tuesday night into Wednesday.


The problem is an advancing cold front that's moving toward Alabama from the west. Forecasters say strong storms could develop as the cooler air meets with warm, moist flowing northward from the Gulf of Mexico.

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Poetry
2:36 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rare Robert Frost Collection Surfaces 50 Years After His Death

American poet Robert Frost, shown here in 1955, died on Jan. 29, 1963. Now, 50 years after his death, a rare collection of letters, audio and photographs sheds new light on his religious beliefs.
AP

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 7:36 am

Tuesday marks the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet Robert Frost, famous for such poems as "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "The Road Not Taken." Fans of Frost's works have another reason to pay special attention to his legacy this week: Jonathan Reichert, professor emeritus at the State University of New York at Buffalo, has just donated a rare collection of Frost materials to the university.

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Arts & Life
2:28 am
Tue January 29, 2013

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:57 am

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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All Tech Considered
3:14 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

E-Readers Track How We Read, But Is The Data Useful To Authors?

Data gleaned from e-readers gives writers a new kind of feedback to take into consideration — or ignore.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 5:23 pm

Reading always seemed to be the most private of acts: just you and your imagination immersed in another world. But now, if you happen to be curled up with an e-reader, you're not alone.

Data is being collected about your reading habits. That information belongs to the companies that sell e-readers, like Amazon or Barnes & Noble. And they can share — or sell — that information if they like. One official at Barnes & Noble has said sharing that data with publishers might "help authors create even better books."

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