Arts

Arts and culture

All The Answers From A To A

Mar 3, 2017

This final round is inspired by our very own acronym: AMA! The answer to every clue begins and ends with the letter A.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

TV Guile

Mar 3, 2017

Quick — What's the TV show where celebrities quickstep and tango to show off marks left from surgeries and stabbings? If you said "Dancing with the Scars", you're already tuned in! We changed one letter in the title of a popular TV show and re-wrote the description based on the new name. Contestants buzz in to guess what it is.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

A Band By Any Other Name

Mar 3, 2017

There was a time when Black Sabbath was known as Polka Tulk Blues Band and Creed was The Naked Toddler. Contestants must guess famous bands based on their original (and slightly odd) names.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Mystery Guest

Mar 3, 2017

This week's mystery guest is Harvey Burgett, an accomplished music composer, conductor and organist. In 2015, Harvey won a national title for something he only started doing four years ago! Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask "yes" or "no" questions to figure it out what it was for.

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Magazines Other Than Vogue

Mar 3, 2017

Let your body move to the music as you guess the names of the magazines Jonathan Coulton is singing about, in this parody of Madonna's "Vogue."

Heard on Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

To Mock A Harper Lee

Mar 3, 2017

In this game, we describe hypothetical sequels to the classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird with much better names. Each title plays off the original EXCEPT we've replaced the word "kill" with a rhyming verb and the word "mockingbird" with a different, three-syllable animal. For example, if we said, "Scout excites a spotted, laughing, dog-like scavenger, by taking it on a roller coaster," the title of that sequel would be "To THRILL a HYENA."

Tim Daly: Mr. Madam Secretary

Mar 3, 2017

Madam Secretary star Tim Daly says men come up to him all the time to thank him for portraying a "competent" man on TV. Daly, who in the show plays the husband of the Secretary of State, told host Ophira Eisenberg that the portrayal can sometimes get a little out of hand. "In the first season...by the the fourth episode I'd cooked like fourteen meals, and I was like okay...if I'm playing a 21st century version of a housewife...I don't want to do that either!"

When we offered our friend Barrie Hardymon the chance to sit in our fourth chair for a discussion of Big Little Lies and Feud, I must tell you, listeners: she leapt. And if you know anything about Barrie, you know that she doesn't leap halfway.

As horror movies go, 1962's What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? was a B movie, in budget and, if I gave it one, a letter grade. It didn't deserve an A for its scares or its innovation, as Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho did two years earlier, or his movie The Birds would in the following year.

Sanity Is Slowly Lost In 'Spaceman Of Bohemia'

Mar 3, 2017

Jakub Procházka, a citizen of the Czech Republic in the very near future, loves nothing more than silence and solitude. So, despite his cozy position as a professor of astrophysics and a tranquil domestic life with his wife Lenka, he's oddly relieved to be chosen as the first Czech to travel to space, where the most profound silence and solitude abound. Not that his mission is a calming one: The year is 2018, and a strange comet has left a vast cloud of space dust between Earth and Venus. The night sky has turned from black to perpetually purple.

Copyright 2017 WNYC Radio. To see more, visit WNYC Radio.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

When Ryan Murphy explains what he does as a TV showrunner, he admits it can sound kind of lofty. "The greatest thing that you have when you're a showrunner is this opportunity to create worlds," he says, laughing a bit. "And it always sounds so insane when somebody says, 'Well, what do you do?' And you say, 'I create worlds.'"

He's a handsome fellow who can play all sorts when given half a chance, but Michael Shannon's alarming bone structure and "you-talkin'-to-me?" eyes tend to trap him in many Frankenstein-adjacent roles. Which is why you might be forgiven for spending much of Wolves, a somber family drama with a fun sports movie neatly tucked inside, waiting for Shannon to explode. And he is a familiar coiled spring as Billy, the self-immolating father of a promising high-school basketball star.

Actors are the most visible links the movies possess to their own past, because while actors age, the image of them that we carry with us does not. When you look at Shirley MacLaine today, you can see the young widow giggling over a corpse in Alfred Hitchcock's The Trouble With Harry, the melancholy mistress in The Apartment whose radiant smile masks the fact that she's given up on love and life, and the heartbreaking single mother forced to watch her daughter die in Terms of Endearment.

Fifteen years ago, director Jeffrey Blitz kicked off his career with the hit documentary Spellbound, which brought audiences into the high-stakes world of spelling bees, following eight competitors on the road to the 1999 National Spelling Bee. The kids were all outcasts, products of hard-driving parents who pushed them to memorize words like "hellebore" and "seguidilla" and study their lingual roots like thickly bespectacled Talmudic scholars.

Long live Logan, James Mangold's sad, stirring requiem for the X-Men franchise's most beloved character. The only problem with calling it the boldest and most affecting superhero flick in many years is that it's barely a superhero movie at all.

For a man who had just spent a week living inside a rock, sucking oxygen through tiny air holes and storing days' worth of his own waste in bottles closely around himself, Abraham Poincheval was admirably even-keeled.

"I'm a little dazed, which I imagine is totally normal after one week living in a rock," the French performance artist told reporters who had gathered Wednesday at Paris' Palais de Tokyo museum to see him emerge from the more than 10-ton boulder.

Nora McInerny is tired of small talk. "I don't want small talk ..." she says on her podcast. "I want the big talk."

McInerny's show is called Terrible, Thanks for Asking, and she begins each interview with the same question: How are you? The responses she gets go way beyond the typical "I'm fine."

McInerny deals with death, loss and coming through trauma. But her approach to these tough subjects is saturated with love and humor.

In 2009, Maj. Mary Jennings Hegar was shot down by the Taliban in Afghanistan while co-piloting an Air National Guard medevac helicopter. Though she was wounded in her rifle arm, Hegar managed to return fire while hanging onto a moving helicopter, which saved the lives of her crew and her patients.

In Latin America, Lent is full of elaborate Catholic rituals, from palm weavings and sawdust carpets to processions of robed penitents. But only in Ecuador will you find fanesca, the equally elaborate Lenten soup.

'High Noon' Takes Aim At The Hollywood Blacklist

Mar 2, 2017

Well, one more ceremony, and Will's a free man, more or less.

In a new book, The Complacent Class, economist Tyler Cowen argues that the United States is standing still.

People have grown more risk averse and are reluctant to switch jobs or move to another state, he says, and the desire to innovate — to grow and change — has gone away.

In an interview with NPR's Rachel Martin, Cowen says he's worried that more and more communities are self-segregating — by income, education or race.

Infinity is a concept that's nearly impossible to grasp, let alone see. But it's one of artist Yayoi Kusama's obsessions.

When Ali Cobby Eckermann received the email announcing she'd won one of the world's richest literary prizes, the unemployed Aboriginal poet says she had no idea what to think — though two thoughts weren't long in coming.

Worlds collide in Waking Lions, a new novel by Israeli writer Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Like Tom Wolfe, who used the device of a hit-and-run accident in The Bonfire of the Vanities as a means to violently "introduce" New Yorkers of different races and classes to each other, Gundar-Goshen also begins her story with a car ride gone haywire.

Despite what you may hear from alarmists, it's not easy for refugees to get to the United States — or really anywhere, for that matter. If they're even able to escape their own country, they face constant roadblocks and long waiting lists before they're able to establish themselves, however precariously, in another country. There are no magic doorways they can walk through that will just bring them to another land.

Starbucks has come full circle.

More than three decades ago, during a trip to Milan, Howard Schultz was inspired to turn the coffeehouse chain into a space that served as a community gathering place. Now Schultz, the company's CEO, has announced Starbucks is opening its first location in Italy, in the heart of Milan's city center.

One might think Italian coffeehouses would be shaken by the looming arrival of this global java giant. But many are saying, bring it on.

Today is Pancake Day in the United Kingdom, or Shrove Tuesday, as it's known on the Christian calendar. It's a time for indulging before the beginning of Lent and, in Britain, racing around with a frying pan, flipping pancakes.

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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