Arts & Life

StoryCorps
7:59 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Memories Of An Ironworker On The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

An ironworker on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in the early 1960s.
©Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 11:46 am

It's been 50 years since New York City's Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opened. It was then — and still is — the longest suspension bridge in the country.

In 1964, author Gay Talese published a book about the construction called The Bridge. Here's an excerpt:

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Monkey See
7:44 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live From Sixth And I

NPR

On Tuesday night, December 9, we gathered at the historic Sixth & I synagogue in Washington for our biggest live show yet. Along with our great friend Barrie Hardymon, Stephen, Glen and I talked about some of our takeaways from the year, from podcasts to great books to the music that wouldn't die.

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Arts & Life
6:37 am
Fri December 12, 2014

High School Graduation rate improves, Montgomery "no smoking" ban

Governor Robert Bentley may be softening his position on expanding Medicaid. But there would be conditions. The Governor he says he's somewhat open to the idea. However, any Medicaid reform plan would have to be designed by the state and there would be rules. Bentley told state lawmakers he's willing to consider a state-designed program. Bentley says he would want the program to require recipients to look for a job, or join a job-training program. It would also use the private sector.

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All Tech Considered
4:18 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Please Touch! Cooper Hewitt Creates A Museum For The Internet Age

Interactive touch screens at the newly redesigned Cooper Hewitt museum let visitors sort through the catalog and create their own designs.
Cooper Hewitt

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 1:00 pm

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City collects the beautiful and practical — vintage Eames chairs, Jimi Hendrix posters, Victorian bird cages.

The museum, which is housed in the Andrew Carnegie mansion, is reopening after an extensive $81 million, three-year renovation — and the redesign has turned this historic building into one of the most technologically advanced museums in the country.

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Theater
5:39 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Glenn Close Ends 20-Year Broadway Hiatus With 'A Delicate Balance'

Glenn Close stars as Agnes in Edward Albee's play A Delicate Balance.
Brigitte Lacombe Philip Rinaldi Publicity

In 1995, Glenn Close won her third Tony Award for her role the Broadway musical Sunset Boulevard. Now, after 20-year hiatus, Close is back on Broadway. She's starring alongside John Lithgow in A Delicate Balance, Edward Albee's 1966 Pulitzer Prize-winning play. The story follows Agnes (Close), a suburban matron striving to keep the peace in a household she her husband (Lithgow) share with her sister, who's an alcoholic; their daughter, who's a serial divorcee; and their best friends who have fled their own home in an inexplicable terror.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

In A Serious Season, The Loose Charms Of 'Little Feet'

Nico Rockwell and Lana Rockwell star in Little Feet.
Factory Twenty Five

On Christmas, a slew of Oscar hopefuls will hit theaters, taking on the kind of important topics you might expect from such prestige pictures: corruption in contemporary Russia, the psychological aftereffects of war, the struggles of the civil rights movement. In their company, the eccentricities of Alexandre Rockwell's Little Feet, which is getting a digital release on Vimeo and Fandor as well as a theatrical run in New York, stand out even more than normal.

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Movie Reviews
4:03 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

The 1970s, Ugly And Adrift In 'Inherent Vice'

Joaquin Phoenix stars as Larry "Doc" Sportello — a private investigator with a pot smoking habit — in Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson's film adaptation of the novel by Thomas Pynchon.
Wilson Webb Warner Brothers Pictures

Paul Thomas Anderson probably wouldn't take kindly to being called a period filmmaker. And it's true that one of our finest pulse-takers of the American predicament is so much more than that. Anderson's movies track warped obsessives who come to define the particular times and places from which they get the tarnished American Dreams they pursue.

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Author Interviews
1:21 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Richard Pryor, A Comedy Pioneer Who Was 'Always Whittling On Dynamite'

Comedian Richard Pryor, pictured in 1977, grew up in a brothel, surrounded by violence. "He said once that it's easier for him to talk about his life in front of 2,000 people than it is to do it one on one," says Scott Saul, whose new book is Becoming Richard Pryor.
AP

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:14 pm

Comedian Richard Pryor's legacy still reverberates nearly 10 years after his death. Pryor took the most difficult troubling aspects of his life and turned it into comedy. He talked about being black in ways that had never been done before in mainstream entertainment. And he was fearless and hilarious talking about race relations.

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The Two-Way
9:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Book News: Australian Prime Minister's 'Nasty' Move Sparks Lit-Prize Furor

Prime Minister Tony Abbott rankled the judges of the Prime Minister's Literary Award with a last-minute announcement. Judge Les Murray later called Abbott's pick a "stupid and pretentious book."
Stefan Postles Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:11 am

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

On Monday, Australia's top literary prize picked a pair of winners in its fiction category. Steven Carroll and Richard Flanagan, who was also this year's Booker Prize winner, split the Prime Minister's Literary Award and its winnings. The decision, while unusual, didn't raise many eyebrows at the time — but the aftermath has.

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Arts & Life
9:11 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Eighty Years Of Master Educator Ellis Marsalis

Ellis Marsalis performs at the NBA All-Star Game in 2008 in New Orleans.
Chris Graythen Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 10, 2014 1:45 pm

If anyone has earned the nickname Pops, it's Ellis Marsalis.

As jazz's best-known father figure, the senior Marsalis has four noted musical offspring: Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason. But if you consider all the musicians he's taught or mentored, his clan is even more extensive, diverse and influential.

I talked to six musicians who gave us the long view of the Marsalis family tree, and how they were schooled by its patriarch.

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Arts & Life
8:23 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Federal Preschool grants, Alabama teacher pension questions

Alabama preschoolers could soon benefit from a federal grant. Our state is one of eighteen in the nation receiving federal grants to boost access to preschool programs. Washington is awarding more than two hundred and twenty six million dollars nationally. Alabama will be given seventeen and a half million in development grants. The development grants are meant to help states with no or small preschool programs. Federal officials say they expect the grants to help states develop high-quality preschool programs in regionally diverse communities ranging from urban to suburban and rural.

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Parallels
4:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

The Risks, Rewards And Mysteries Of Reporting From Iran

Nazila Fathi reported from her native Iran for The New York Times. Fearing arrest, she fled in 2009 with her family and now lives in suburban Washington, D.C. Her new book, The Lonely War, describes the challenges of reporting from the country.
Hassan Sarbakhshian

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 12:53 pm

Nazila Fathi covered turbulent events in her native Iran for years as The New York Times correspondent. She learned to navigate the complicated system that tolerates reporting on many topics but can also toss reporters in jail if they step across a line never explicitly defined by the country's Islamic authorities.

Fathi recalls one editor telling her what journalists could do in Iran: "We have the freedom to say whatever we want to say, but we don't know what happens afterwards."

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Book News & Features
4:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Join The Morning Edition Book Club: We're Reading 'Deep Down Dark'

Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 10:21 am

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

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The Salt
5:36 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

More Drinking, Less Buzz: Session Beers Gain Fans

Chris Lohring founded Notch Brewing in 2010. The company's lineup includes a Czech pilsner, a Belgian saison and an India pale ale. All of the brews are session beers — meaning their alcohol by volume, or A.B.V., is less than 5 percent.
Courtesy of Notch Brewing

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:33 pm

Tailgating, camping trips and wedding receptions are just some of the occasions when many Americans down a few beers in one sitting. For those who prefer high-alcohol microbrews and other craft beers, that can lead to trouble.

But a growing trend is offering another option: Session beers emphasize craft-beer taste with alcohol as low as or lower than big-brand light beers.

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The Salt
4:52 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

From Potatoes To Salty Fries In School: Congress Tweaks Food Rules

When it comes to salty french fries or pizza served at lunch, schools may get more time to dial back sodium content, thanks to a provision in the federal spending bill headed for a vote on Capitol Hill.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:00 am

The gargantuan budget bill that lawmakers on Capitol Hill are expected to vote on Thursday does more than dole out federal dollars to keep the government running.

It also tweaks federal nutrition rules.

For starters, the bill — aka, the 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill — includes a provision that will give school food directors more flexibility when it comes to adopting 100 percent whole grain items, such as pasta and biscuits, in school breakfast and lunch meals.

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