Arts & Life

Movie Interviews
4:05 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Behind Optimus Prime (And Eeyore), One Man's Signature Voice

Voice actor Peter Cullen arrives at the premiere of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen in June 2009.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:20 am

Transformers: Age of Extinction has smashed its way to the No. 1 spot at the box office. Director Michael Bay's film franchise has consistently topped charts since the first film arrived in theaters in 2007.

The live-action films have embraced the latest in visual affects — but the movies have also called back to the series' past, through the voice of Peter Cullen.

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Book Your Trip
4:05 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

In 'Snowpiercer,' A Never-Ending Train Ride And A Society Badly Off Track

In Snowpiercer, Curtis (Chris Evans) and Yona (Ah-sung Ko) are trying to fight their way to the front of a train that is cruelly class segregated. "[It's] similar to Occupy Wall Street in terms of the 99 percent versus the 1 percent," says South Korean director Bong Joon-ho. "That's something that happens in other countries and also in Korea."
Radius TWC

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 10:50 pm

The world has frozen over in the movie Snowpiercer. Set after a climate change disaster, all the action happens aboard a train that has to keep circling the globe for its passengers to stay alive.

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Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Ja Rule: 'I Took It Upon Myself To Become A Man'

Ja Rule at NPR's New York bureau in June.
Quoctrung Bui NPR

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 7:55 am

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Sports
4:05 pm
Sun June 29, 2014

Colombia Advances In World Cup, Two Decades After Infamous Murder

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 5:27 pm

The Colombian national team has reached the World Cup quarterfinals for the first time ever. It comes on the anniversary of the infamous murder of star Colombian player Andres Escobar, just weeks after he scored an own goal in the Cup. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with John Rojas, a Colombian-American journalist whose new Spanish-language book Futbol de negro is a fictionalized account of those weeks.

Tuscaloosa Airport Upgrade
11:55 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Upgrades Planned At Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport

Tuscaloosa city officials are looking to upgrade the Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport.
Credit City of Tuscaloosa

  Tuscaloosa city officials are looking to upgrade the Tuscaloosa Municipal Airport.

The Tuscaloosa News city council's finance committee voted to use money from a planned bond issue, anticipated savings from the refinancing of two other bonds and money the town of Vance is paying for a tract of land to finance a portion of the planned upgrades.

The Federal Aviation Administration inspected the airport's secondary runway in March and officials said the striping and markings needed to be removed and replaced.

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Author Interviews
7:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Pitcher R.A. Dickey Tells Kids It's OK To Be Different

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 11:23 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

R. A. Dickey is a phenomenal pitcher. He's also a lone wolf.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASEBALL GAMES)

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #1: 1-2 to Davis...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #2: In the air. Strike three. Whoa. Back-to-back one-hitters for R. A. Dickey...

UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER #3: The phenomenon that is Robert Allen Dickey continues to get more and more unlikely.

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Author Interviews
7:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Author Plumbs The Human Psyche Through 'Animal Madness'

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 2:16 pm

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

Oliver was anxious all the time. He demonstrated compulsive behavior, and he howled every time his parents left him alone at home. Oliver was a dog - a Bernese Mountain Dog.

But he, like many animals, displayed some amazingly human psychological traits. That was the inspiration for Laurel Braitman's new book. It's called "Animal Madness." It looks at the mental states and behaviors of animals and how they sometimes mirror our own. Laurel Braitman joins me now from KQED in San Francisco. Welcome.

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Sunday Puzzle
7:12 am
Sun June 29, 2014

The Missing Link

NPR

Originally published on Sun June 29, 2014 1:21 pm

On-air challenge: For each set of three words, find a word that can precede each one to complete a familiar two-word phrase or name. The first word in each set will name an animal. Example: turtle, spring, office. The answer would be box — box turtle, box spring, box office.

Last week's challenge: Think of a 10-letter adjective describing certain institutions. Drop three letters from this word, and the remaining seven letters, reading left to right, will name an institution described by this adjective. What institution is it?

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PG-13: Risky Reads
6:03 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Michel Faber's 'Crimson' Gave Teen A New Sense Of Possibility

As a teenager, I believed in God, but I didn't know what he wanted from me. I attended Bible study, befriended the evangelical kids from my school and listened to the Christian rap group dcTalk. I read the Bible and books about staying pure. I wondered if the weird, queasy feeling around my molars was God speaking to me.

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Author Interviews
4:33 am
Sun June 29, 2014

'Rogue Elephant' Asks: Is Democracy Right For India?

Over the course of the past month, some 600 million Indians went to the polls to elect a new government — the largest exercise in democracy in the world.

The results surprised few: Discontented voters tossed out the ruling Congress Party and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Congress, which has controlled India much of the time since its independence in 1947, has now been reduced to a parliamentary remnant.

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Code Switch
4:21 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

'Everything I Never Told You' Exposed In Biracial Family's Loss

Everything I Never Told You is Celeste Ng's debut novel about a Chinese-American family living in 1970s Ohio. She is currently working on a second novel and a collection of short stories.
Kevin Day The Penguin Press

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 5:22 pm

It's May, 1977, in small-town Ohio, and the Lee family is sitting down at breakfast. James is Chinese-American and Marilyn is white, and they have three children — two girls and a boy. But on this day, their middle child Lydia, who is also their favorite, is nowhere to be found.

That's how Celeste Ng's new novel, Everything I Never Told You, begins.

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Book Reviews
4:20 pm
Sat June 28, 2014

Sorry, Europe. 'Quebert Affair' Plot Thrills, But Prose Lacks Substance

iStockphoto

Joel Dicker's breakneck thriller The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair lands stateside trumpeting international sales figures that are the stuff of a writer's wildest dreams: nearly a million copies in France alone. Naturally, our curiosity is roused. Could this be another surprise charmer like Muriel Barbery's quirky The Elegance of the Hedgehog? Or, as the publicity materials tout breathlessly, a "broadly comic" mashup of Twin Peaks, In Cold Blood, The Hotel New Hampshire and more?

Don't get your hopes up.

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Pets
8:45 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Reasons to Adopt a Cat

A handsome feline friend!
Credit Kevin Dooley [Flickr]

Some folks consider cats to be aloof and one-dimensional, but those of us who have feline family members know they are funny, affectionate, playful and, yes, independent.  But that very spirit that makes them independent also helps to make them lower maintenance pets when compared to, say, dogs.

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Music Interviews
6:51 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Classical Dub-Step Violin Finds Its Audience

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 9:44 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Lindsey Stirling's been described as a dancing-hip-hop-dub-step-classical violinist - you know, another one of those.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG)

SIMON: She made her mainstream debut when she auditioned for "America's Got Talent" in 2010. Made it all the way to the quarter-finals, only to be told by Piers Morgan and Sharon Osbourne - there just isn't a market for a dancing hip-hop violinist. Well, what a mistake that turned out to be.

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Pop Culture
6:51 am
Sat June 28, 2014

At VidCon, A Chance To See YouTube Celebrities Off The Screen

Originally published on Sat June 28, 2014 11:43 am

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The online video industry is growing up. It has its own annual conference called VidCon, now in its fifth year. VidCon wraps up today at the Anaheim Convention Center as Corey Takahashi reports. The three-day event draws producers, dealmakers and thousands of fans just who just hope to meet their favorite YouTube stars.

(SOUNDBITE OF FANS SCREAMING)

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