Arts & Life

Ethereum. Mysterium. Cat Dealers. Are these things cryptocurrencies, top electronic dance music DJs, or board games?

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Happily Alone

Mar 30, 2018

We've rewritten the TLC classic "No Scrubs" to be about famous women who were never married. Guess what historical figure Jonathan Coulton is singing about.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Largest And In Charge-Est

Mar 30, 2018

Which has a greater diameter: the world's largest disco ball or the world's largest beach ball? Puzzle guru Art Chung presents Ophira and Jonathan with two Guinness World Records, and they must guess which of the two is bigger.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Quebec Uniform India Zulu

Mar 30, 2018

The NATO phonetic alphabet has many super-serious uses, but we primarily know it as those words you use when you're trying to spell your name over the phone. In this final round, each answer is one of those twenty-six words. Good luck, and may the best contestant W-as-in-Whiskey, I-as-in-India, N-as-in-November!

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

The Spoken Word

Mar 30, 2018

You know those parts in songs where the singing stops and there's a poem, or a monologue, or something oddly spoken? In this game, Ophira and Jonathan perform dramatic recitations of odd spoken sections from popular songs, and contestants must guess the artist or song title.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

National Parody Radio

Mar 30, 2018

We here at NPR are self-aware enough to know that we're ripe for parody. Television knows it too. For this game, we've found clips of fake public radio shows and podcasts; contestants identify the TV shows they came from.

Heard on Lena Hall: From Yitzhak to Hedwig.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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The Windy City and the Bayou City are fighting.

Depending on your perspective, it's over something very big or something very small — two beans.

Though Chicago and Houston have been longtime rivals, Houston's installment of an enormous silver art piece on Monday got people in both cities all fired up. Just wait for the plot twist.

Comedian Louie Anderson would like to introduce you to his mom, Ora Zella Anderson. She died years ago, but he's been thinking about her a lot lately.

In his new book, Hey Mom: Stories for My Mother, But You Can Read Them Too, he's written a series of letters to fill her in on all that she's missed — like the breakthrough TV role that she inspired on the FX show Baskets.

Anderson plays the sweet, sometimes flustered mom, whose son Chip is played by Zach Galifianakis.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and Burt Reynolds took the one more traveled by, peeling through the backwoods South in a black Pontiac Trans Am with Sheriff Buford T. Justice on his tail. For a stretch in the mid-1970s, when Hollywood was overrun by film-school auteurs making high art on the studio dime, Reynolds was cashing checks on unpretentious commercial hits like The Longest Yard, Smokey and the Bandit, Semi-Tough, and Hooper.

When the 60-ish heroine of the moderately charming Finding Your Feet decides on a change of locale, she doesn't travel to anyplace as warm and colorful as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Yet viewers may think of that dramedy anyway, even though the expatriate merely takes refuge with her older sister in a cluttered apartment in a grungy London public-housing complex. The place is less than alluring, but enchantment is sure to arrive later.

Passover is a holiday celebrating the Jews' exodus from slavery — and also a broader embrace of the coming spring, of fresh green shoots both literal and metaphorical. But the menu? More often than not, in America, you're talking stodgy winter foods like gefilte fish and brisket, seasoned (if at all) with heavy aromatics. These aren't dishes that point to the coming spring. They're dishes that come from the root cellar.

It's no secret that Easter, a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has deep ties to ancient pagan rituals celebrating the renewal of spring.

And hot cross buns, the classic Easter treat, is a perfect example of how traditional foods can be repurposed to support new ideas and beliefs.

Penny can't wait to go away to college. She is tired of dealing with her mother, who acts more like her best friend than her mom; Penny has always had to be the grown-up for both of them, and she is done. She heads to school in Austin, Texas, feeling awkward and unsociable and hoping to channel her angst into learning to be a writer.

We snap a selfie with the tap of a finger. We're used to preserving smiling moments.

At the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, there's an exhibit right now which goes to darker places with a camera. The images in "Real Worlds" are from three major photographers, taken over half a century.

Updated at 5:50 p.m. ET

For many elected officials, it's something of a rite of passage: After getting to Capitol Hill, bearing their constituents' hopes and fears on their shoulders, virtually every politician finally decides to take a stand — in front of a painter paid to make their portrait. Some even decide to sit for it.

But either way, for a long time many of those official portraits were paid for by the same patrons: U.S. taxpayers.

Not anymore.

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When people talk about immigration, they talk in numbers. Take the migration policy proposals France's President Emmanuel Macron introduced last month: 90 days was the proposed amount of time a person without papers could be detained (up from the current 45). 12 months in jail, plus fines, would be the penalty for illegally crossing borders. Six months would be the new period for considering asylum applications (down from one year).

Solo Karaoke Booths Open In China

Mar 28, 2018

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The FX series The Americans has never been a ratings juggernaut, but over the course of five seasons it has earned the unstinting devotion of fans and critics. That's at least partly attributable to its willingness to put its characters, and its audience, through something that's become a hallmark of the era of "Prestige Television": Change.

StoryCorps

Rust and Tiffany Felix are a married couple who lived in different parts of the US before settling in Mobile, Alabama. They sat down with StoryCorps to talk about what they love about their new home and the challenges of maintaining their historic house - specifically dealing with the ghost who haunts it...


Award-winning composer Dan Romer is best known for scoring TV shows and films like Beasts Of The Southern Wild and Beasts Of No Nation. Recently, his career took a turn from movies to video games. He's written the music for the latest installment in the popular series Far Cry.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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There will be grunts.

Grunts of recognition, that is. If you watch Steven Spielberg's solidly built sci-fi phantasmagoria Ready Player One in a crowded theater, there will be grunts aplenty, so prepare yourself for them.

You can't, you won't — but try.

For over 40 years, Jan Morris' admiring readers have followed her wherever she's chosen to go. Perhaps best known for her grand descriptive powers as a travel writer, Morris, now 91, has also written acclaimed works of history and biography.

In 1974, she published a groundbreaking memoir called Conundrum about the other thing she's best known for: her courage in going public about being a transgender woman, at a time when that term wasn't even used. Two years earlier, Jan — then James, a married man and father of five — underwent gender reassignment surgery in Morocco.

At first glance, Broken Eggs, a 1756 oil painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, seems to depict a fairly innocuous domestic scene of a young woman on the floor next to a basket of broken eggs while a young man is being scolded by the family matriarch. The subtext, however, is a little different, because the broken eggs symbolize the loss of the young woman's virginity.

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