Arts and culture

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Hollie McNish is a British poet and a spoken word artist whose videos have millions of views on YouTube, like this one, entitled "Embarrassed," about all the flak that McNish got for breastfeeding her daughter in public.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


On-air challenge: Here are some words. For each one, think of a word that can follow mine to complete a familiar two-word phrase. The first two letters of my word must be the first and last letters of yours.

Ex. Freedom --> FIGHTER ["freedom" starts with FR, and "fighter" starts and ends with FR]

3-letter answer


4-letter answers





5-letter answers





6-letter answers




How Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood 'Off The Cliff'

Jul 2, 2017

"I don't get it. It's two bitches in a car."

It's the least surprising thing in the world that a nameless Hollywood executive had this reaction to Callie Khouri's script for Thelma & Louise. It could be a line from the movie itself — there's no shortage of men with that attitude. (Thelma and Louise pull one of them over and blow up his truck.) It's more surprising that, in a town where million-dollar business is shaped by such opinions, the movie ever got made.

If you know any musicals at all, then you probably know the beloved Fiddler on the Roof. It tells the story of the dairy man Tevye and his family, and it's set in the town of Anatevka in czarist Russia.

In the musical, and second eldest daughter, Hodel, makes the bold decision to leave her family and everything she knows to find her fiancé, who has been sent to a labor camp in Siberia. As she boards the train, Hodel says to her father, "God alone knows when we shall see each other again."

Seventy-four high school singers and dancers, selected from a pool of 50,000 kids across America, recently came to New York City to strut their stuff. They were participants in the Jimmy Awards, which honor the best high school musical theater performers from around the country.

I wonder how many households of kids growing up in the late 1980s and early '90s had their ideas of the supernatural formed by the tall, thin black hardcovers of a Time-Life series called Mysteries of the Unknown. My family had them, and I don't think my parents could have told you where they came from. They just seemed to be library staples, with individual volumes like Psychic Powers, Mystic Places and Alien Encounters.

For parents, the thought of a child being sick or hurt can be a heart-stopper. Fortunately, for those who do confront such realities, there are doctors like Kurt Newman.

Newman is president and CEO of Children's National Health System, known as Children's National, in Washington, D.C. He started there as a surgeon more than 30 years ago.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


"Baby Driver" is a heist movie told from the point of view of the getaway driver named Baby.


ANSEL ELGORT: (As Baby) I'm the driver.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


If And Only If

Jun 30, 2017

What do mastiffs, bailiffs, and chiffon all have in common? The letters I-F-F, of course! For this final round, every answer will contain those letters in consecutive order.

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit

Meet The Expert

Jun 30, 2017 this installment of Meet the Expert, we chat with Karen Green, the Librarian for Ancient and Medieval History, and the Curator for Comics and Cartoons at Columbia University, about her two passions. Then she helps us challenge guest musician Julian Velard in a game about ancient precursors to comic books

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Golden Sidekicks

Jun 30, 2017

In a tribute to Blanche, Dorothy, and Rose, guest musician Julian Velard graces us with the Golden Girls theme song "Thank You For Being a Friend," rewritten to be about famous sidekicks. Our contestants buzz in to answer who he is singing about.

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Don't Be So Possessive

Jun 30, 2017

Take ownership of this tough word game, where the S of a famous person's last name is moved to the end of their first name to make a possessive phrase. For example, if we said that this star of Obvious Child is always tardy, the answer would be, "Jenny's Late," from Jenny Slate.

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Jun 30, 2017

"I [like to] make a lot of weird faces," GLOW's Betty Gilpin said, explaining why in her acting career, she's felt boxed-in by roles that require her only to look beautiful. Her actor parents and theatrical upbringing contributed to her hyper-expressive face. "My mom used to play a lot of super character-y I was sort of raised to be a clown. Because of that, my jobs were fewer and farther-between, but the jobs I did get let me make bigger faces."


Jun 30, 2017

Are you a logophile — a lover of words? Then you know that the suffix -phile is used to specify a love or affection someone has for something. For this game, contestants guess which of two audio clues a certain -phile would be way into.

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

Seize The Data

Jun 30, 2017

If staying home and binge-watching a streaming show is always your plan B, you might say you have a "Safety Netflix." Our contestants take a trip to Silicon Valley in this game where we mash up common names, phrases, and titles with technology companies.

Heard On Betty Gilpin: GLOW-ing Faces

He is sometimes known as the Indiana Jones of his area of research — ancient ales, wines and extreme beverages. Others call him Dr. Pat.

Patrick McGovern has spent decades searching for and analyzing the residues of fermented drinks that can be hundreds or thousands of years old — and then re-creating them.

This week's show starts off with a segment from our recent live show at the Bell House in Brooklyn, in which we talked about some of the ways pop culture has intersected with our summers and our summer vacations. You'll find out about Audie's history as a server, you'll hear Glen rant about sand, and you'll hear about a very special photograph of Stephen that I'm honored you can see for yourself.

Say you're headed to a summer cookout or barbecue or a family reunion but you don't want to show up empty-handed. What do you bring that can withstand the heat outdoors and make people happy?

We asked three chefs for their suggestions for dishes that will stand out from all the beans and burgers and slaw and dips sure to be on the table. The goal is to go home with nothing but a clean serving dish.

As it winds north through rural Thailand, Pop Aye makes only a brief stop at a Buddhist site. But there's plenty of karma in writer-director Kirsten Tan's affecting low-key drama, beginning with its human protagonist's quest to repay what he owes his elephant companion.

Among the photographs featured in the voluminous archive of photographer Elsa Dorfman, there's a joyful selfie — taken in 1988 before either the word or the practice became a thing — of Dorfman and her frequent subject, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg. Arms linked and holding hands, the two friends stand side by side, grinning broadly in unself-conscious camaraderie. Ginsberg is less known for his chipper outlook than for his sonorous meditations on lost America, and that goes double for filmmaker Errol Morris (The Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line).

Big as a Buick and with a buck like a bronco, the giant gray pig named Okja is a force to be reckoned with. She was born in a lab — well, two labs. In the context of Bong Joon-ho's new film Okja, the pig belongs to a nightmarish food conglomerate, an obvious Monsanto stand-in, which ships her to a small family farm in South Korea as part of a calculated effort to make genetically modified food less scary to the public. If people empathize with their mutant pigs, the company reasons, they'll eat them without questioning their origins.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Cape Cod occupies a particular place in the American imagination, especially in the summer. The name alone conjures images of cool breezes, charming cottages and eating lobster rolls on the beach. For New Englanders looking for a weekend getaway, Cape Cod sounds idyllic. But as Patrick Dacey demonstrates in his skillful debut novel, The Outer Cape, every place has its dark side.

One year ago, Barack Obama was winding down his final term and Donald Trump was ... a candidate for president?

Recently, Nancy Pearl has found herself in search of fast-moving stories. "I think that what I'm looking for these days is just a lot of plot," she explains. "I want the pages to turn of their own accord. I want some reason to really keep on reading."

Ahead of the July 4th weekend, the Seattle-based librarian shares a stack of recent favorites with host Steve Inskeep.

These recommendations have been edited for clarity and length.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


It all began rather simply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform," goes the opening line in the opening book of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear series. Readers, for their part, first met the orphan bear from Peru in 1958, in the pages of A Bear Named Paddington.