Arts

Book Reviews
8:10 am
Wed June 6, 2012

'The Watch' Humanizes Both Sides Of A Classic Tale

Since it was first staged in Attica, Greece, 2,000 years ago, Sophocles' Antigone, the tragic tale of a princess sentenced to death for secretly burying her brother, an apparent traitor to their kingdom, has inspired many adaptations. European modernist playwrights Jean Cocteau, Jean Anouilh and Bertolt Brecht transformed it for the theater. Carl Orff wrote an opera based on it.

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Critics' Lists: Summer 2012
7:03 am
Wed June 6, 2012

Pack Your Bags For Six Flights Of Fantasy

Harriet Russell

Can't afford the gas to take a road trip this summer? Not willing to spend a month's rent flying somewhere that's probably overcrowded and rainy anyhow? Empty pockets forcing you to embark upon that unholy phenomenon — gulp — the staycation?

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Books
2:23 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

The Sense of an Ending

NPR coverage of The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Economy
12:37 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Growing Economic Inequality 'Endangers Our Future'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 2:45 pm

Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz grew up in Gary, Ind. — a city that has weathered many economic storms over the past half-century.

Stiglitz went on to study at Amherst College and MIT, where he received a Ph.D. in economics. He later served on and chaired President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers and became the chief economist at the World Bank. But even as a child, Stiglitz says, he noticed ways in which the markets weren't working.

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Author Interviews
2:59 am
Tue June 5, 2012

The Marriage Is The Real Mystery In 'Gone Girl'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 9:37 am

Gillian Flynn's new novel, Gone Girl, begins on the morning of Nick and Amy Dunne's fifth wedding anniversary — the day Amy disappears.

It opens with a rather sinister reflection: "When I think of my wife," Nick says, "I always think of her head.... You could imagine the skull quite easily. I'd know her head anywhere."

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Author Interviews
5:16 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

The 'Truth' About Why We Lie, Cheat And Steal

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 8:49 pm

Chances are, you're a liar. Maybe not a big liar — but a liar nonetheless. That's the finding of Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University. He's run experiments with some 30,000 people and found that very few people lie a lot, but almost everyone lies a little.

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Book Reviews
1:37 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

'Unknown Man': The Riches Of A Terrible Past

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 1:41 pm

Andrei Makine has been hailed as a Russian Proust and a French Chekhov. This isn't as excessive as it sounds, though his new novel shares more with Solzhenitsyn for its vivid depiction of the hardships of war and labor camps and its critical assessment of the triviality of capitalist culture run amok.

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National Security
11:59 am
Mon June 4, 2012

'Obama's Secret Wars' Against America's Threats

Originally published on Tue June 5, 2012 12:51 pm

Last week, The New York Times reported that Stuxnet, the computer worm that infected computers around the world in 2010, was developed by the United States in conjunction with Israel to destroy Iran's nuclear centrifuges.

"It appears to be the first time the United States has repeatedly used cyberweapons to cripple another country's infrastructure, achieving, with computer code, what until then could be accomplished only by bombing a country or sending in agents to plant explosives," wrote David Sanger, the paper's chief Washington correspondent.

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Deceptive Cadence
10:56 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Kept From Playing Piano, Vanessa Perez Pushes Through To Success

Pianist Vanessa Perez performs at NPR in Washington, D.C.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:50 pm

There are stories both famous and infamous of children pushed into performing careers by their parents (Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Judy Garland ... the list goes on and on). But Vanessa Perez has become a fine young pianist despite her mother's best efforts to keep her away from the performing arts.

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Author Interviews
5:01 pm
Sun June 3, 2012

'Shadow': New Light On Islamic History

Historian Tom Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. His other history books include Rubicon, Persian Fire and The Forge of Christendom.
Sadie Holland

Originally published on Tue February 5, 2013 5:11 pm

Lightning from a clear sky — that's how historians have described the rise of Islam. Stories say the Prophet Muhammad received his revelations from the Angel Gabriel deep in the Arabian desert, hundreds of miles away from any outside influences. The Prophet was even said to be illiterate and therefore free of the taint of other religious writings.

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Author Interviews
8:03 am
Sun June 3, 2012

'Dinner': A Ritual Of Love

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 12:05 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Even if you're just finishing your morning cup of coffee, there's a question that you're likely to be asked by your wife or your kids or whoever turns up around 6:00 in the evening. It's harder to answer for some than others. What's for dinner? Jenny Rosenstrach says getting dinner on the table has become a source of major stress.

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Author Interviews
6:21 am
Sun June 3, 2012

One Man's Case For Regulating Hate Speech

Frank Collin, head of the National Socialist Party of America, tells the press about his organization's plans to march in the predominantly Jewish town of Skokie, Ill., on June 22, 1978. The Supreme Court affirmed the neo-Nazi organization's right to march, but Jeremy Waldron says that's just the kind of speech the government should be restricting.
AP

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 10:37 am

Warning: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

In the late '70s, Skokie, Ill., became the epicenter of the debate over free speech in the U.S. The town was home to many Holocaust survivors, along with their families, and that made it a target for the National Socialist Party of America — a neo-Nazi group from nearby Chicago.

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Music Interviews
6:20 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Noah Stewart: From 'Opera Boy' To Singer

Noah Stewart's debut album is entitled Noah.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 10:37 am

When tenor Noah Stewart was growing up in Harlem, N.Y., his friends called him "opera boy." They were onto something.

Earlier this year, he became the first black singer to hit No. 1 on the classical music charts in the U.K.

But Stewart's musical tastes aren't confined to Puccini, Bizet and Strauss, and his new, self-titled album gives him a chance to put his mark on everything from American spirituals to Top 40 hits.

Stewart says he doesn't mind being called an opera singer, but that he would rather just be called a singer.

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Space
6:20 am
Sun June 3, 2012

Look Up, Stargazers: June 5 Is The Transit Of Venus

To learn more about the Transit of Venus and to get tips for observing this rare astronomical event, visit the NASA website.
Joerg Koch AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 10:37 am

It's been a good season for stargazers, a veritable meteor shower of astronomical goodies, from a supermoon to a solar eclipse. Next up? On Tuesday, June 5, astronomy enthusiasts can witness the Transit of Venus — one of the rarest astronomical events.

During the six-hour transit, Venus moves in between the Earth and the sun. It's a daytime phenomenon: "Instead of seeing Venus as the brightest object in the night sky, you see Venus as a tiny black dot crossing the burning disc of the sun," explains Andrea Wulf, author of Chasing Venus.

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Author Interviews
5:13 pm
Sat June 2, 2012

'Life Behind The Lobby' Of Indian-American Motels

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 6:20 pm

Here are three remarkable facts about motels in the U.S. that you probably don't already know:

- At least 1 out of 2 motels are owned by Indian-Americans.

- Out of those Indian-owned motels, 70 percent are owned by Gujaratis, people with roots in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

- Of those Gujaratis, three-fourths share the last name Patel. There's even a name for these overnight establishments: "Patel Motels."

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Food
6:20 am
Sat June 2, 2012

America's Gone Bananas: Here's How It Happened

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

Today, Americans take bananas for granted. They're cheap, they're ripe, they're everywhere. But take a moment and consider: How did a pale, fragile tropical fruit become so commonplace in America? Immigrants arriving at the South Ferry terminal, where the Ellis Island ferry landed, were once handed bananas and told, "Welcome to America."

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Books
6:09 am
Sat June 2, 2012

London's Mayor On 'The City That Made The World'

London Mayor Boris Johnson stands atop the ArcelorMittal Orbit, an observation tower in London's Olympic Park, at its unveiling on May 11. Johnson is the author of Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World.
Christopher Lee Getty Images

Originally published on Sat June 2, 2012 11:01 am

In just a few weeks, the world will descend on London for the Olympic Games.

But the world goes to London every day, according to Boris Johnson, the former journalist who has just been re-elected mayor of London. In his new book, Johnson says people don't just visit the city, they've made their lives there for centuries now. It's a city, Johnson writes, where national soccer teams from all over the world can show up and count on crowds of thousands of fans to support them.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:03 am
Sat June 2, 2012

A (Very) Young Composer Gets His Chance At The New York Philharmonic

Very Young Composer Milo Poniewozik at the New York Philharmonic's School Day Concerts, where his piece was performed in front of more than 2,000 kids.
Michael DiVito New York Philharmonic

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:51 pm

What would it be like if you were 10 years old and composed a piece of music that was played by the New York Philharmonic? For a few New York City school kids, including one fifth-grader, it's a dream come true, thanks to the orchestra's Very Young Composers program.

Composer Jon Deak, who played bass with the New York Philharmonic for more than 40 years, says the idea for Very Young Composers came when he and conductor Marin Alsop visited an elementary school in Brooklyn several years ago.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
2:23 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of May 31, 2012

Colin Powell's collection of lessons and personal anecdotes, It Worked For Me, debuts at No. 6.

Deceptive Cadence
2:19 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Around The Classical Internet: June 1, 2012

Turkish-born pianist Fazil Say, who has been indicted for "insulting religious values."
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 4, 2012 6:31 pm

  • Today, a Turkish court approved the indictment of pianist and composer Fazil Say for inciting hatred and public enmity and insulting "religious values" in a series of Twitter posts. One of his lawyers says that he has also received death threats. The trial has been scheduled for October 18.
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Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers
2:03 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of May 31, 2012

Canada, about a teen's quest to find peace in the Saskatchewan prairie, debuts at No. 3.

Paperback Fiction Bestsellers
2:03 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of May 31, 2012

Train Dreams, in which a man struggles for survival after losing his family, debuts at No. 11.

Paperback Nonfiction Bestsellers
2:03 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of May 31, 2012

Steal Like An Artist strives to put readers in touch with the artist within. It debuts at No. 11.

NPR Bestseller List
2:03 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of May 31, 2012

Compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

Song Travels
1:18 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Jean-Yves Thibaudet On 'Song Travels'

Jean-Yves Thibaudet.
Kasskara Decca

Originally published on Fri May 3, 2013 5:59 pm

French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the leading performers on today's classical-music scene. He has more than 40 albums to his credit, including interpretations of the classical repertoire, as well as music by George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Bill Evans.

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NPR Story
12:39 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Why Ignorance Trumps Knowledge In Scientific Pursuit

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 1:22 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

People looking at the scientific world from the outside often see it as one dominated by facts, where scientists use a stepwise, systematic process that begins - you know, you learned all this stuff in grade school, a hypothesis, the collection of data, of observations, blah, blah, blah, you go through all these steps.

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Deceptive Cadence
12:26 pm
Fri June 1, 2012

Music Depreciation 101

Pablo Helguera

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 4:51 pm

Got an idea for a classical cartoon, or a reaction to this one? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.

Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. You can see more of his work at Artworld Salon and on his own site.

Author Interviews
11:13 am
Fri June 1, 2012

A Memoir About Mothers, Memory And Loss

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 11:40 am

This interview was originally broadcast on January 11, 2011.

Writer Mira Bartok was 40 years old when a semi-trailer hurled into her car on the New York Thruway. The force of the accident whipped the inside of her brain against her skull, causing what's known as coup contrecoup, a type of traumatic brain injury that for Bartok, affected both her long- and short-term memory.

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TED Radio Hour
10:17 am
Fri June 1, 2012

Do All Of Us Possess Genius?

"There's a courageous leap that has to happen for anybody who's working in the creative field."TED Media Executive Producer June Cohen, on working with Elizabeth Gilbert in crafting her TEDTalk.
Asa Mathat TED

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:01 pm

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Creative Process.

About Elizabeth Gilbert's TEDTalk

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TED Radio Hour
10:17 am
Fri June 1, 2012

When Does Creativity Start And End?

Poet Billy Collins
James Duncan Davidson TED

Originally published on Thu June 14, 2012 5:00 pm

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Creative Process.

About Billy Collins TEDTalk

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