Arts & Culture

Ways to Connect

On a sunny weekday afternoon, chef Bonnie Morales leads me past the Q subway line in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. We are going shopping for Russian food.

Morales owns Kachka, a restaurant in Portland, Ore., that serves food from the former Soviet Union. It's one of the most popular places to eat in one of the hottest food cities in the country.

John Banville has written a novel that is at once an epochal act of imitation, salutation and imagination. He's taken Isabel Archer, Henry James' protagonist in his 1881 novel The Portrait Of A Lady, and painted a portrait beyond that classic frame. The result is a sequel, Mrs. Osmond, in much of the manner of Henry James.

By day, Liz Climo works on the animated TV show The Simpsons, where she's a character artist and storyboard revisionist. Off the clock, she draws comics of cute animals with human aspirations — some of which have been gathered into children's books. Her latest is called Rory The Dinosaur Needs A Christmas Tree.

Given all the time she's spent illustrating members of the Simpson family, we thought we'd ask her about Jessica Simpson — the pop star.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is open now, after winning praise and prizes at film festivals in Toronto and Venice.

Hoaxes work when we want them to. These longings can be benign: think of Herman Rosenblat's beautiful, fake story about a girl who kept him alive by throwing apples over the fence of a concentration camp, and meeting her years later on a blind date. Who wouldn't want to believe a love story like that?

I'm so happy to share our latest session with David Crosby. He made me howl with laughter, he's got so much heart, and he was truly generous in sharing his stories. Crosby is here to talk about his new album, Sky Trails, which features some of his contemporary collaborators — Becca Stevens, Michelle Willis, Mai Agan, and Michael League of Snarky Puppy. But we covered a lot of ground on Crosby's formative cronies, too, including The Byrds, Crosby Stills & Nash, Miles Davis, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell.

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One of America's most coveted dining experiences is a 40-seat restaurant in a converted grist-mill in the rural village of Freedom, Maine.

Chef Erin French, who is self-taught, opened the Lost Kitchen in her hometown of Freedom without much of a plan. She loved the space, and at first thought she would make English muffins and offer brunch, not convinced that the village of just over 700 people could become a dinner destination.

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And now a goodbye to the Warped Tour.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE ROCK SHOW")

BLINK-182: (Singing) I couldn't wait for the summer and the Warped Tour. I remember it's the first time that I saw her there.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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ELISE HU, HOST:

Hari Kondabolu is a Brooklyn-based standup comedian, the child of Indian immigrants, and a big fan of...

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE SIMPSONS THEME")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) The Simpsons.

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ELISE HU, HOST:

Backflipping Robot Is A Giant Leap For Robot Kind

Nov 17, 2017

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, was a day filled with news. So much news, in fact, that you might have missed the announcement of a backflipping robot. In less than a minute, the video posted by Boston Dynamics inspired screaming emotions from all corners of the Internet. It's a revelation in robotics, some said. It's the beginning of humanity's end, chirped others.

A decade after his Auto-Tune-assisted rise to fame, T-Pain releases his fifth studio album OBLiViON today. The 16-track project is the Nappy Boy's first full-length release in six years — his last album was 2011's rEVOLVEr -- and boasts features from the likes of Chris Brown, Ty Dolla $ign and Wale.

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

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

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The In Crowd

Nov 17, 2017

If you want to win Ask Me Another, just channel the Arthur theme song and "Believe in Yourself." Case in point: We challenged our contestants to a final round in which every answer is a three-word phrase with the middle word "in."

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

Mystery Guest

Nov 17, 2017

We spoke to Chloe Swantner, who practices an unusual craft. Can you solve the mystery before Ophira and Jonathan figure it out?

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

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

Sounds Like Teen Spirit

Nov 17, 2017

Finally, a game that combines the glitz of bromocriptine with the glamour of phosphocreatine! We rewrote Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" to be about other things that end with "teen."

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

Letters Witch

Nov 17, 2017

In this word game, contestants must identify a common two-word phrase, then move the first letter of the second word to the end of the first word to form a completely new phrase. Perfect for fans of wordplay, cruise ships, and Cruise's hips.

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

Actor and writer Mozhan Marnò started writing at a very young age, in a very serious place: her diary. She kept a journal between the ages of 8 and 22, then picked it up again ten years later. Her earliest entries, she told host Ophira Eisenberg, tended to focus on one theme in particular. "It was like, 'why I like John,' and then the next week it was like, 'pros and cons of John,' and then the next week it was like, 'why I hate John.'"

Say It With A Song

Nov 17, 2017

In this audio quiz, contestants must identify numbers from special musical episodes of non-musical TV shows. Not included: That 70s Musical!

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

Closed Mondays

Nov 17, 2017

Welcome to the Museum of Ask Me Another Game Descriptions! In this game, contestants have to identify whether a museum we describe is real or fake.

Heard On Mozhan Marnò: Diaries, Screenplays, And Blacklists

Comedian Sarah Silverman confronted one aspect of the wave of sexual abuse and misconduct revelations that have come out in recent weeks: the anguish when the perpetrator is a friend.

Vince Staples is impossible to categorize. A Southern Cali MC who prides himself on his Long Beach bona fides while eschewing the prototypical gangsta rap tag with which he's often mislabeled, he's a natural at bucking the status quo. Yet he also sees clear divisions between art and commerce that lead him to question how institutions choose to define — or fail to distinguish — the two.

Superman (Linda Holmes) was nowhere to be found, so Batman (Glen Weldon) and I (Wonder W... okay, I see where this is an imperfect analogy) were forced to assemble a new superteam to discuss the new DC Comics blockbuster Justice League. So we brought in two of our dear pals — Tasha Robinson from The Verge and Daoud Tyler-Ameen from NPR Music — to discuss a great big mash-up of moods, stars and stories. It's a lot to take in.

Benjamin Booker has a deeply tender voice that, at times, can feel like a whisper But it always cuts to the heart. "Believe," his opening number at the Tiny Desk has a yearning for something to hold on to, something to understand. It's a timeless desire which can be about the personal or the political.

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