Arts & Life

Movie Reviews
4:43 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

After The Recession, An American Versailles On Hold

When they outgrew their 26,000-square-foot mansion, David and Jackie Siegel set out to build their dream home, which was to be the biggest in the U.S. The Queen of Versailles looks at what happened when the recession ruined that dream.
Lauren Greenfield Magnolia Pictures

Originally published on Thu July 19, 2012 4:03 pm

When director Lauren Greenfield started filming The Queen of Versailles, a documentary about 74-year-old David Siegel, a billionaire timeshare magnate from Orlando, and Jackie, a trophy wife 30 years his junior, they had outgrown their 26,000-square-foot home.

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4:42 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Staying Up Late: 5 Picks For The Ravenous Reader

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 7:47 am

It's late. The clock is ticking. You have to be awake again in 6 hours. You're exhausted.

But you just really want to finish this one chapter.

One of your eyes starts to close — that's OK, you'll rest it for a minute, and then you'll rest the other one. You just want to stay awake to finish the next couple of pages.

This book is too good. You can't stop; you must know what happens.

Sometimes a book is better than sleep. Here are five recommendations for reads that will keep you up late.

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NPR Music Essentials
9:01 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Heavy Rotation: 5 Songs Public Radio Can't Stop Playing

Baltimore hip-hop artist Al Great.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun July 22, 2012 7:34 am

Last month, we started a new feature called "Heavy Rotation" where we asked public radio DJs from around the country to tell us about the best new music on their playlist. The response was overwhelming, so we've decided to make it a monthly sampler.

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The Two-Way
11:13 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Fifth Fatal Shark Attack Has Australia Reconsidering Great Whites' Protection

A Great White off the coast of South Africa in 2009.
Dan Kitwood Getty Images

There are shark encounters you may laugh at — such as the one we posted about last week. The reactions of a young woman and man when a bull shark steals a fish from the end of her line are wonderful.

Then there are the stories that are no laughing matter — such as those coming in recent days from western Australia.

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The Two-Way
6:41 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Here's A Scoop: When News Breaks, People Check YouTube For Videos

Russia Today

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 7:23 am

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Around the Nation
6:33 am
Mon July 16, 2012

90 Year Old Celebrates Birthday On A Roller Coaster



Good morning. I'm Renée Montagne. Former President George H. W. Bush says when he turns 90 he'll celebrate by skydiving. Thrill seeking at 90 is becoming a trend. Thelma Gratch spent her 90th, presumably with arms raised, hurtling down a 230-foot high roller coaster at 80 miles an hour. She's had a season pass to an amusement park outside Cincinnati since 1979 so chances are she's spent other birthdays screaming her head off. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Arts & Life
8:45 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Unchain Your Dog

farm4.static flickr

Keeping your dog on a chain might seem like the responsible thing to do, but it may be kinder and safer to find another way to restrain your best friend.


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The Picture Show
12:59 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

How To Make A Ghost Town

Water Tower, Treece, 2012. The water tower was sold at auction for scrap metal. The remaining structures in town were sold or demolished, and even the roads were torn up.
Dina Kantor

Originally published on Thu July 12, 2012 8:53 am

When photographer Dina Kantor first drove into the town of Treece, she was amazed by the beautiful mountains. Until she realized: Wait a minute, this is Kansas. And those mountains are not actually mountains. They are piles of "chat," or mineral waste from decades of mining.

"They're beautiful and scary at the same time," she says on the phone.

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Dance Improv
9:18 am
Thu July 12, 2012

Improvisational Dance featuring Yo-Yo Ma and Charles Riley

Spike Jonze presents a unique improvisational dance collaboration between internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Los Angeles dancer Charles "Lil' Buck" Riley.   The video originally aired on You Tube and has had over a million viewers. 

Newspaper Cutbacks
5:03 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Anniston Star dropping Monday paper in October

The Anniston Star plans to discontinue its Monday print edition in October and make other cost-cutting moves while refocusing on digital content.

The newspaper, owned by Consolidated Publishing Co., in announcing the changes said the Monday paper is the smallest in advertising and circulation. Editor Bob Davis said readers can access new content on Mondays on the newspaper's website (

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3:48 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Old Havana: Spirit of the Living City

“Old Havana: Spirit of the Living City”

Author: Photographs by Chip Cooper and Nestor Marti

Publisher: The University of Alabama Press

Pages: 208

Price: $49.95 (Cloth)

First things first.

Describing a book of photographs in words is a tricky and probably thankless task. So let me begin simply. This is an absolutely beautiful book. You could take any page in the book, have it framed and hang it proudly on your wall.

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3:34 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Creatures of the Night: In Search of Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves and Demons

Creatures of the Night: In Search of Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolves and Demons

Author: Gregory L. Reese

Publisher: I.B. Tauris & Co.

Pages: 208

Price: $17.00 (Paper)

The author of this volume, Dr. Gregory Reese, is an old hand at explaining the unusual and the paranormal. Reese, who has a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, is the author, previously, of “Weird Science and Bizarre Beliefs,” “UFO Religion: Inside Flying Saucer Cults and Cultures” and, perhaps most intriguing of all, “Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King.”

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3:27 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Austin and Emily: Sometimes Love Is Blind…and Deaf…and Dumb

“Austin and Emily: Sometimes Love Is Blind…and Deaf…and Dumb”

Author: Frank Turner Hollon

Publisher: MacAdam/ Cage

Pages: 294

Price: $20.00 (Paper)

Frank Turner Hollon, an attorney in Baldwin County, Alabama, has been a steady producer of dark, painful novels, usually involving betrayal and often death. With books such as “The Point of Fracture” and “Blood and Circumstance” he generated a loyal readership.

After a while, I left that group, thinking Hollon was repeating himself, writing too fast and too thin.

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3:19 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Shiloh: 1862

“Shiloh: 1862”

Author: Winston Groom

Publisher: National Geographic

Pages: 443

Price: $30.00 (Cloth)

Alabama author Winston Groom has had a remarkable spring of 2012.

His novel “Forrest Gump” was reissued in a 25th anniversary edition, and now his sixteenth book, his third study of a Civil War battle, has been published. This is a highly detailed narrative and the reader had better want to learn a lot about the Battle of Shiloh, April 6th and 7th, 1862.

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3:07 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Crater: A Helium-3 Novel

“Crater: A Helium-3 Novel”

Author: Homer Hickam

Publisher: Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Pages: 311

Price: $14.95 (Cloth)

Over the years Homer Hickam of Huntsville has tried his hand at several genres. He’s done straight nonfiction with books like “Torpedo Junction,” series fiction with his WWII Josh Thurlow of the U.S. Coast Guard books, and of course his several volumes of memoir, set in West Virginia, beginning with “Rocket Boys.”

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