Arts

Arts and culture

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Five centuries ago, Christians in Europe who hoped to go to heaven knew they might first have to spend a few thousand years in a fiery purgatory, where they would be purified of their outstanding sins.

It was not a pleasant thought, but the Catholic Church offered some hope: A cash offering to the local priest could buy an "indulgence" certificate, entitling the believer to a shorter purgatory sentence.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

How Misspellings Caught A Spy

Nov 19, 2016
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In February, country music superstar Trisha Yearwood came to play our quiz, and she mentioned we might want to talk to her husband, who we understand is something of a musician himself. Who can say no to Trisha Yearwood? So this week we welcome Garth Brooks to Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me!

There are a lot of other Garths out there, so we'll quiz him on three other notable Garths. Click the audio link above to see how he does.

Vice President-elect Mike Pence was presumably seeking a quiet night out at the theater, enjoying one of Broadway's hottest tickets with a Friday night performance of Hamilton: An American Musical.

What he got instead was a welcome of boos and cheers from the crowd and a pointed plea from the diverse cast and crew afterwards about what they believe really makes America great.

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Vice President-elect Mike Pence stepped out last night to see one of the hottest shows in New York, "Hamilton: An American Musical." Mr. Pence was greeted with equally loud cheering and booing when he walked into the theater.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Moonglow, Michael Chabon's new novel, is like a moonshot in search of life before it goes dark.

Mike, the narrator, goes to his grandfather on his deathbed, where strong painkillers crack open the stories the old man has kept under wraps for so long. The grandson can finally see his grandfather as a young man, an unheralded hero of the OSS in World War II, an engineer who dreamed of the stars, a pool hustler, a lover and an unabashed felon.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The photographer and author documented life in Nazi Germany and in Josef Stalin's gulags, as well as the arrival of Jews in Israel. She died Thursday in New York, at the age of 105. You can see several of her photographs here.

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Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Taxonomy Anomaly

Nov 18, 2016

Wait, what kind of animal is a panda ant — is it a panda, an ant, or a wasp? In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg tells contestants a bizarrely named animal, and they have to guess what kind of animal it actually is.

Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More

International Brands Of Mystery

Nov 18, 2016

Ever try getting some Kentucky Fried Chicken in Quebec? Good luck Google Maps-ing it without knowing its local name, P-F-K, or "Poulet Frit Kentucky!" In this game, contestants guess brands based on their overseas identities.

Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More

On Again, Off Again

Nov 18, 2016

All bets are off in this week's final round, where each answer contains the word "off." For example, if we asked, "Name the story of a high school senior that ditches school to ride around Chicago in this 1986 comedy," you'd say, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More

Even acclaimed actors like Dennis Quaid, known for his roles in The Rookie, The Right Stuff, and The Parent Trap, have to start somewhere. "I worked as a clown at Astroworld," he revealed to host Ophira Eisenberg. "It's the wonderful place of fun, fun, fun!" he joked. After leaving the lucrative $2.85-an-hour world of theme park entertainment behind, Quaid moved to L.A. to pursue an acting career. It wasn't long before he scored his defining role in the 1979 cycling film Breaking Away.

The N-th Degree

Nov 18, 2016

Get ready to be exponentially impressed with this game, where contestants add the letter 'N' to common phrases, and turn them into less common phrases. For example, if you were to add an "N" to a glum person to convert them into a bag used for flood protection, you'd turn your sad sack into a sand sack!'

Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More

Changes

Nov 18, 2016

Ever leave spare quarters in your other pair of jeans, the ones you were wearing earlier in the day? In this music game, we rewrote the lyrics to David Bowie's "Changes" to be about things that change or get changed.

Heard on Cary Elwes, Dennis Quaid & Christian Cooke: The Art Of More

Food works better than Valium, I'm famous for telling my eating-disordered clients. Cookies and milk are comforting. A bowl of ice cream eases stress like nothing else. But as comforting as food can be, if it's the only thing that helps you manage your mood, you're at greater risk for more serious mental health problems, from anxiety and depression to body dissatisfaction and eating disorders.

After a few weeks of vacation and touring, I'm very glad to be back on the show this week, particularly because we're talking about Arrival, a movie so intriguing and layered I managed to write an entire essay about it, expanding on some of the ideas in this episode. On hand is our friend Chris Klimek in the fourth chair, which is just right given his deep body of knowledge about perplexing space movies.

Long before European settlers plowed the Plains, corn was an important part of the diet of Native American tribes like the Omaha, Ponca and Cherokee. Today, members of some tribes are hoping to revive their food and farming traditions by planting the kinds of indigenous crops their ancestors once grew.

Many, many Thanksgivings ago, my fiance took me home to Allentown, Pa., to be inspected by his family. During our visit, my mother-in-law-to-be served a relish so delicious that I married her son.

Ever since, I've shared the recipe with NPR listeners right before Thanksgiving. Now, supportive listeners may be shocked to learn that over the years, I've gotten a good deal of grief about this recipe — especially from my NPR colleagues, many of whom have never bothered to taste it!

Hands of Stone, a biopic about long-lived Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán, managed to duck audiences completely back in August. In his new fight-flick Bleed for This, writer-director Ben Younger — best known for the Mamet-esque white-collar crime drama Boiler Room — achieves a better result focusing on one of Durán's more colorful opponents: Vinny "The Pazmanian Devil" Paz (née Pazienza), whose comeback from a catastrophic injury seems more far-fetched than any sports flick's faux-inspirational contrivance. It really happened, though.

Late in The Edge of Seventeen, a deftly blackish teen comedy written and directed by newcomer Kelly Fremon Craig, high-schooler Nadine sits on the toilet with her head in her hands. She's taken a beating on the usual fronts of adolescent suffering, as well as another ordeal no youngster should have to bear. "Please God, help me," the girl mutters. Then, "Why do I even bother?" Because to cap it all off there's no toilet paper. If you've seen any other movies or TV shows that producer James L. Brooks has had a hand in, you will recognize the comedy of embarrassment hard at work.

The Chandler family owns a boat, a beautiful one with a large deck perfect for fishing, and they like taking it out on the bay just south of their tiny Massachusetts town. Once out on the water, as seagulls take flight around them and colorful waterfront property beckons from rocky cliffs, grown brothers Joe and Lee love to horse around with Joe's son Patrick, teaching him how to fish, and cautioning him about the schools of sharks swimming just under the water's surface. Sharks always travel in schools, don't you know, Patrick?

Yves Saint Laurent collides with Cormac McCarthy in Nocturnal Animals, a domestic melodrama/thriller that proceeds along two parallel tracks to a dead end. The second feature by fashionista-filmmaker Tom Ford boasts some gripping scenes and a few stabs at satire, but ultimately offers little beyond its assured sense of style.

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