Arts & Life

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

You've heard of POTUS.

You've heard of FLOTUS.

But have you heard of BOTUS?

That would be BUNNY of the United States. Real name: Marlon Bundo. Bundo for short.

The little black-and-white bunny — named after Marlon Brando — belongs to Vice President Pence's daughter Charlotte and lives with the second family at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The process of coming to terms with one's sexuality varies widely, depending on the individual — it can be scary, invigorating, heartbreaking, life-affirming; usually it's some complex combination of those feelings and more. What does not vary in the process of coming out is the fact that it is a process. It has a timeline, and not necessarily a smooth one. It's marked by fits and starts, denials and avowals, fraught conversations in somebody's car, the fear of rejection and, hopefully, the relief of acceptance.

Which is probably why we keep making movies about it.

There are times when we can connect with someone, and then never see them again—a missed connection. We've been trying to help some of you connect with people you've been trying to find.

In the 1970s, two little girls met at an elementary school in Miami, Fla., and became close friends. One was black, and one was white.

Dr. Sharony Green is now an assistant professor of history at the University of Alabama, and she said her friend Beth helped her during a tough time.

Love, Simon is your typical teenage romantic comedy: a boy, a mystery love interest, misunderstandings, treachery and annoying teachers. The title character Simon is, in fact, deliberately typical.

"I'm just like you," Simon says in his opening voiceover. "I have a totally, perfectly normal life. Except I have one huge-ass secret."

Simon's big reveal is revealed right away: He tells us that he's gay. All that is intentional, according to director Greg Berlanti, who spoke to us in an interview.

Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time and Wakandan princess Shuri from Black Panther are a far cry from the typical Disney heroine. In Meg and Shuri, we have two outspoken black girls. This, in itself is a dramatic change for the company: in the past, Disney has rarely celebrated black girls for being smart or self-assured.

Shuri invents the gadgets that her brother T'Challa (aka Black Panther) uses to save the people of Wakanda. Think about it: how would the Black Panther repel all the blows he's dealt without the outfit Shuri created?

When Von Diaz was growing up, her mother sent her away from her home outside Atlanta to spend summers in Puerto Rico. Diaz was born on the island in Rio Piedras, but she found the trips back disorienting. She didn't speak Spanish well. She lay awake at night, pestered by mosquitoes and wilting heat. In her grandmother's kitchen, she found relief in grilled cheese loaded with ground beef picadillo, aromatic olive oil infused with garlic and oregano, and fried cinnamon donuts.

Irish Pets

Mar 17, 2018
Martin Hasketh [Flickr]

Knowing the history of a pet's breed and the purpose for which it was originally bred can help you appreciate the animal.  The Kerry Blue Terrier was originally bred to hunt rabbits and foxes; it would also herd cattle and sheep.  It is a hardy, devoted and playful friend.

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The Merry Spinster is one of the most anticipated books of the spring. Author Daniel Mallory Ortberg has recast classic tales, including "The Little Mermaid," The Velveteen Rabbit, "Beauty and the Beast," and even parts of the Old Testament, to make them resonate with new takes on romantic love, property rights, abusive relationships, gender roles and the stuffed animals we hold dear — and their unsparing lack of sentimentality.

This week's guest was never a very gifted athlete growing up. He had a spotty college career where he shared the starting spot with another quarterback, and was selected 199th overall in the NFL Draft back in 2000. Then he won the Super Bowl five times with the New England Patriots.

He's now the most famous Brady alive — but only because the TV show The Brady Bunch is no longer on the air. We asked him three questions about the classic family sitcom.

Click the listen link above to see how he does.

One of the most frequently hailed signs of social progress in the last 50 years is the growing acceptance and mainstreaming of homosexuality in the Western world. No novelist has chronicled this salubrious sea change in cultural attitudes more beautifully than Alan Hollinghurst. Beginning with The Swimming-Pool Library in 1988 and continuing through The Sparsholt Affair, Hollinghurst's grand literary project has been nothing less than to convey the changing status of homosexuality in British society in the last century.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

James Levine, the famed conductor who was fired earlier this week by New York's Metropolitan Opera following its internal investigation into allegations of sexually abusive conduct towards young artists, has responded by suing the Met and its General Manager Peter Gelb.

I Smell A Rat

Mar 16, 2018

It's time to RATchet up the stakes: the answer to each question in this final round game contains the consecutive letters R-A-T.

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

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

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Ask Me Another Again Later

Mar 16, 2018

In a brand-new segment, host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton test their trivia acumen against their toughest competitor yet: a Magic 8-Ball. Ophira, Jonathan, and the 8-Ball each answer a series of yes-or-no questions. Who will come out on top? Sources say "listen."

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

Singing Around The House

Mar 16, 2018

In this music game, we've rewritten songs with the word "house" in the title to be about famous residences. Guess what house Jonathan Coulton is singing about, and, for a bonus point, guess the song he's parodying.

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

Mary J.K. Blige

Mar 16, 2018

I.M. Pei is famous for designing the Louvre Pyramid, but what about the lesser-known architect/movie buff IMDB Pei? Every answer in this game is the name of a famous person with initials in their name. We replaced those initials with an initialism beginning with the same letters.

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

Before appearing on the hit comedy The Good Place, William Jackson Harper was nearly ready to give up on acting. "I was in the basement of my feelings," he told host Ophira Eisenberg. "I was, you know, living with a whole bunch of dudes. And I was thirty-five. And I was like, 'I think I've been fair to this profession. I think it's time to move along.'" He went to Los Angeles for one last pilot season and was cast as the indecisive ethics professor Chidi Anagonye on NBC's afterlife sitcom.

Tunes For Tots

Mar 16, 2018

This game is what happens when rock stars have toddlers and suddenly need music their kids can listen to. We'll play a children's song by a well-known musical artist, and contestants ring in to tell us who's singing.

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

Memorabilia For Real, Ya?

Mar 16, 2018

A program from Lucille Ball's funeral? Dan Quayle's law degree, which was chewed up by his dog, Barnaby? Puzzle guru Art Chung's discarded coffee cup? They're all here! Guess which pieces of celebrity memorabilia are real and which are fake.

Heard On William Jackson Harper: Getting To The Good Place

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Consequences of Racism.

About Miriam Zoila Pérez's TED Talk

Why do pregnant women of color have different health outcomes from their white counterparts? Writer and activist Miriam Zoila Pérez explains the ways racism manifests for these women and their babies.

About Miriam Zoila Pérez

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Consequences of Racism.

About Clint Smith's TED Talk

How do you raise a child in a world taught to fear the color of their skin? Poet and writer Clint Smith explains the difficulty of black parenting, and the implications of being black in America.

About Clint Smith

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Consequences of Racism.

About Dena Simmons's TED Talk

When Bronx-native Dena Simmons received a scholarship to attend a majority white boarding school, she felt like an imposter. Simmons suggests ways students of color can be made to feel more accepted.

About Dena Simmons

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Consequences of Racism.

About Adam Foss's TED Talk

Former prosecutor Adam Foss lays out the damaging effects an arrest, a criminal record, and a prison sentence can have on marginalized individuals. He argues prosecutors can be at the helm of reform.

About Adam Foss

In one sense, St. Patrick's Day is a failure.

The holiday as we know it in America was promoted by activists to celebrate Irish culture, in order to fight prejudice against Irish immigrants. Today, many of us celebrate by going out drinking and acting out the very stereotypes the day was created to combat.

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Stimulant drugs like Adderall and Ritalin are commonly prescribed to kids with what's known as ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. But recently, adults became the biggest users of these drugs.

That's partially because more adults are being diagnosed with ADHD for the first time. But the new Netflix documentary Take Your Pills focuses on the use of these drugs to boost cognitive performance in college classrooms and the workplace.

Jose Padilha's 7 Days in Entebbe opens with a galvanizing flurry of activity. But the bustle is not the 1976 airliner hijacking that begins the main story, or the Israeli commando raid that concludes it. The prologue is a modern-dance piece whose relationship to the rest of the movie is puzzlingly tenuous.

'Tomb Raider,' Franchise Nadir

Mar 15, 2018

"All you need for a movie is a girl and a gun," Jean-Luc Godard said, though he claimed he was quoting D.W. Griffith. But whether it was the man who made Breathless who proffered that formula or the guy who made The Birth of a Nation, they obviously didn't know everything there is to know about filmmaking: You need a tank-top, too.

In 1960, the great Japanese director Nagisa Oshima made Cruel Story of Youth, his second feature, about a rebellious young couple who perform sexual shakedowns on middle-aged men. Their M.O. is simple: She seduces, he robs. At the time, Oshima offered the film as a quick-and-dirty analog to the nascent French New Wave, with the couple representing a lost generation given to rebellion and criminality.

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