Arts & Life

Monkey See
9:00 am
Mon May 11, 2015

The End Of 'American Idol'

Ryan Seacrest (from left), Jennifer Lopez, Harry Connick Jr. and Keith Urban
Matthias Vriens-McGrath Fox

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 1:23 pm

[Note: Listen to the audio above to hear a conversation I had with Pop Culture Happy Hour team member Stephen Thompson about the end of the show.]

Ahead of its fall programming presentation to advertisers in the afternoon, Fox announced Monday that the 15th season of American Idol, which will begin in January 2016, will be the last.

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Movies
5:13 am
Mon May 11, 2015

Documentary Spotlights Perfectly Accessorized Iris Apfel

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 9:45 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Everyone gets dressed in the morning, but Iris Apfel has made it her art form. She is 93 now and a subject of a documentary opening around the country this month titled "Iris." NPR's Ina Jaffe covers aging and caught up with the fashion icon.

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Author Interviews
5:35 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

Danielewski Returns With A Long, Sideways Look At 'The Familiar'

On pages 68-69 from Mark Danielewski's The Familiar, Volume 1, the main character Xanther looks out the window of her father's car during a rainy drive.
Mark Z. Danielewski Courtesy of Pantheon, a division of Random House LLC.

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 5:46 am

If you met the author Mark Danielewski on an elevator, here's how your conversation might go:

"What are you doing these days?"

"I'm writing a novel," he replies. "It's 27 volumes long."

"Wow," you might say. "What's it about?"

"It's about this little girl who finds a little kitten."

"Twenty-seven volumes, huh?"

"Ah, it's a very intense subject."

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My Big Break
4:40 pm
Sun May 10, 2015

After A Fiery Speech, A Top-Secret Job Offer In The Desert

Capt. Roger Moseley sits on the wing of an A-37 attack aircraft at Bien Hoa Air Base in Vietnam in 1971. His call sign in Vietnam was Ramjet — "because I don't have a lot of patience," Moseley says.
Courtesy Roger Moseley

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 7:30 pm

As part of a series called My Big Break, All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Roger Moseley had a reputation in the Air Force as an angry young captain.

Back in 1980, Moseley was a test pilot instructor. He had a real problem with the ethic back then, which was all about flying higher and faster.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:02 am
Sun May 10, 2015

For This Puzzle, J-st Ign-r- Th- V-w-ls

NPR

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 4:37 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a well-known U.S. city. For every word given, ignore the vowels. The word's consonants are the same consonants appearing in the same order as those in the city's name. For example, given the word "amiable," the answer is "Mobile" (Alabama).

Last week's challenge Think of a common two-word phrase for something you might see in a kitchen. Reverse the words — that is, put the second word in front of the first — and you'll name a food, in one word, that you might prepare in a kitchen. What is it?

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Author Interviews
5:31 am
Sun May 10, 2015

In Oklahoma, The Sky Has No 'Mercy'

The Mercy of the Sky

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 4:37 pm

Two years ago, one of the worst tornadoes on record hit the town of Moore, Okla. And you might say to yourself, well, doesn't this always happen there? It's called Tornado Alley for a reason.

And that's pretty much how the residents of Moore think about tornadoes. They're just part of life, and you take your chances. But that kind of thinking was part of the problem on May 20, 2013. The storm that came through that day was different. It was horrific.

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Author Interviews
4:15 pm
Sat May 9, 2015

If Science Could 'Clone A Mammoth,' Could It Save An Elephant?

A woolly mammoth skeleton gets auctioned off in Billingshurst, England.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 7:21 pm

It's been more than 20 years since Jurassic Park came out, and scientists have been cloning animals almost as long.

So where are the baby velociraptors already?

In Russia, there is a park all ready for woolly mammoths and scientists there say it's just a matter of time before they can bring back actual mammoths to enjoy it. But why bring back a species that went extinct thousands of years ago?

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The Salt
12:54 pm
Sat May 9, 2015

GIs Helped Bring Freedom To Europe, And A Taste For Oregano To America

American GIs line up in the street in Troina, Sicily, utensils and dishes in hand, as they wait for a meal from a large pot, July 1943. Oregano grows abundantly in Southern Italy, where many GIs encountered the herb for the first time, and fell in love. Many brought the craving back home with them after the war.
U.S. Army Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 3:45 pm

This week marks the 70th anniversary of V-E Day, the great Allied victory over Hitler's forces in Europe during World War II.

What you may not realize is that the war helped forever change the American palate, as returning GIs brought home a craving for a pungent, fragrant herb they had encountered overseas: oregano.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Pet Moms

Just wrapping a gift for my mom for Mother's Day!
Credit firepile (Robin Zebrowski) {Flickr]

Nowadays, we can buy pet costumes for Halloween, take our dog or cat out in a pet stroller, board them at pet daycare, even buy veterinary health insurance for them.  We can even adopt (as opposed to "buy") them from our local animal shelter.  Legally they may be considered property, but humans are treating their furry companions as part of the family!

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
8:24 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Not My Job: Actor Steve Buscemi Gets Quizzed On Government Jobs

Kris Connor Getty Images

Originally published on Sat May 9, 2015 9:48 am

Steve Buscemi has become one of the most beloved, busy and recognizable actors of our time, with starring roles in classics like Reservoir Dogs and Fargo. He just finished a five-year run as the sentimental gangster boss of Atlantic City on HBO's Boardwalk Empire.

We've invited Buscemi to play a game called "Complete Form B46-A and get back in line."

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Arts & Life
7:00 am
Sat May 9, 2015

TV And Hollywood Pattern-Maker Sells A Three-Decades Cache

Originally published on Sun May 10, 2015 5:29 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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The Salt
6:33 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Taking Mom Out For Brunch? It's A Feminist Tradition

The right to dine out alone in public during the day was an early victory in the women's rights movement. And as brunch took off in post-war America, for some, it became an exercise in women's lib.
Chaloner Woods Getty Images

More than a quarter of American adults will dine out this Mother's Day – and most of them will opt to fete Mom with a breakfast, lunch or brunch out. If this describes your plans, guess what? You're honoring a feminist tradition.

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Arts & Life
6:29 am
Sat May 9, 2015

Michelle Obama delivers Commencement Address at Tuskegee

Michelle Obama invoked the storied history of Tuskegee University as she urged new graduates to soar to their futures. The first lady gave the commencement address Saturday at the historically black university in Alabama. Obama said the defining story of Tuskegee is that of rising hopes for all African Americans. Obama described how the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American pilots of World War II, endured humiliating slights and how the schools' first students made bricks by hand when there was no money for construction.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Sat May 9, 2015

The Martians Are Coming! 'Broadcast Hysteria' Looks At The War Over 'Worlds'

Courtesy of Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 8:41 am

Orson Welles thought he was ruined after the 1938 broadcast of his adaptation of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. The 23-year-old actor-director's star was just beginning to rise, but the panic caused by the radio show sparked an immediate backlash. Major newspapers reported on cases of mass hysteria across America. Because of The War of the Worlds, they alleged, hundreds of thousands of unassuming citizens were convinced that a real Martian invasion was taking place, starting at ground zero: The small town of Grover's Mill, New Jersey.

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Author Interviews
4:11 am
Sat May 9, 2015

For 'New Yorker' Cartoonist, '90 Percent Rejection Is Doing Great'

Unlike the comic talent stereotype, cartoonist Matthew Diffee says he had "a wonderful family to grow up with."
Courtesy of Scribner

Originally published on Mon May 11, 2015 2:09 pm

Matthew Diffee has been drawing cartoons for The New Yorker since 1999. When asked which comes first, the image or the words, he tells NPR's Scott Simon, "They both come at the same time. I start with words, but while I'm thinking words I'm picturing the drawing already."

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