Arts & Culture

Ways to Connect

A Store By Any Other Name

Feb 18, 2016

We head to the mall with nothing but a debit card and a thesaurus. We read clues in which the name of a popular retailer is replaced with a synonym and asked our contestants for the real store name.

Heard on Adrian Tomine: Cover Me

This, In A Bottle

Feb 18, 2016

Shampoo, Wes Anderson and orange juice-- what do these things all have in common? Jonathan Coulton sings Jim Croce's "Time in a Bottle" with clues about stuff you find in bottles.

Heard on Adrian Tomine: Cover Me

Cover Me With Adrian Tomine

Feb 18, 2016

When he was sixteen, Adrian Tomine began self-publishing his acclaimed comic book series Optic Nerve in his bedroom at his parents' house. Characterized by distinct simplicity coupled with subtle emotion, his illustrations can be seen today in McSweeney's, Best American Comics, and in his beloved covers for The New Yorker.

Release The Catchphrase

Feb 18, 2016

The 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans wasn't that memorable, save for Liam Neeson's line, "Release the Kraken!" Contestants answer with phrases that start with the "cr" sound as Zeus himself.

Heard on Adrian Tomine: Cover Me

Pop Culture Court

Feb 18, 2016

Order in the court! In this game, we describe fictional Supreme Court cases that are actually the titles of movies, TV shows, and other things with the word "versus" in them.

Heard on Adrian Tomine: Cover Me

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

The Freedom 251 smartphone, which went on sale Thursday, has sparked intense interest in India and beyond. Priced at 251 rupees ($3.65), the 3G device is being called the cheapest smartphone in the world. But it's also sparking questions about how the phone works — and whether it's legal.

Eartheater, a.k.a. Alexandra Drewchin, makes psychedelic music that's at once familiar and mutated. On a pair of albums released last year — Metalepsis and RIP Chrysalis — Drewchin, with a penchant for pop subversion and vocal alterations, found folk music in synths and harsh noise, and vice versa.

An image of man passing a baby under a fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border has taken top honors at this year's World Press Photo of the Year.

The photo, titled "Hope for a New Life," was taken by Australian photographer Warren Richardson and shows a man with his eyes set on the horizon, passing the infant under coils of razor-wire into outstretched arms in the moonlight.

Lies We Tell Ourselves Propel 'The Widow'

Feb 18, 2016

Looking at crimes from a different angle has become something of a trope these days — The Girl on the Train, anyone?

However, clever though Paula Hawkins' novel was, modern writers did not invent the alternate perspective. Think Rear Window, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Rebecca. Murder does make voyeurs of us all (as Hamlet didn't quite say).

'How To Be A Tudor': Not As Stinky As You Think

Feb 18, 2016

Sometimes you want your history close to home. It's a good thing, then, that Ruth Goodman seriously commits to her research. In How to Be a Tudor, billed as "a dawn-to-dusk guide to Tudor life," she recounts her experiences with lower- and middle-class daily habits, including Elizabethan hygiene regimens (not bad), rush-mat floors (quite nice), roasting meat on a spit (spectacular) and attempting to plow fields for planting (sad trombone).

Updated 12:25 p.m. ET, with the FCC's vote.

The Federal Communications Commission has begun a process that could lead to TV viewers being able to own their cable TV set-top boxes.

That's probably a problem most subscribers didn't know they had, but a congressional study found that cable subscribers pay an average of $231 a year to rent their cable boxes.

One of the most dramatic homes in Los Angeles has just been donated to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Designed in 1961 by John Lautner — an influential Southern California architect — the glass and concrete house clings to the side of a canyon. Its present owner, James Goldstein, has been revising and perfecting it for 35 years.

The artist and thinker, who just released a new album that's only one part of a larger multimedia conception, takes us from the drummers of Burundi to Adam Ant, Octavia Butler to David Bowie, Rakim to Young Thug. We also hit on ageism in rap, artistry for sale and how to work interviews.

ALI SHAHEED MUHAMMAD: Saul Williams in the house! What up?

FRANNIE KELLEY: Thank you for coming.

When the iconic gold Oscar statues are handed out at the Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28, they'll look a little bit different.

The statues will more closely resemble the early awards.

Here's a puzzle: Put two quarters side by side so the ridges mesh like gears, then hold one still and roll the other all the way around it. How many revolutions will George Washington make?

That's a riddle from Ethan Canin's new novel, A Doubter's Almanac. The book follows Milo Andret, a troubled math genius, through three generations of his family. Canin tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about his protagonist's Michigan childhood, and the answer to the book's two quarter puzzle.

'Furnace' Burns With Horror And Wonder

Feb 17, 2016

In Engines of Desire, Livia Llewellyn's debut collection of short stories from 2011, reality was just another raw material to be stretched and reworked. Llewellyn's follow-up collection, Furnace, is a slightly slimmer volume, but it doesn't skimp when it comes to her distorted vision. Beautiful and hideous in the same breath, its 13 tales of erotic, surreal, existential horror pack a logic-shattering punch.

He loves Argentinian empanadas and dulce de leche. In 2015, he said that if he had only one wish, it would be to travel unrecognized to a pizzeria and have a slice — or two or three. In other words, he may be protected by the world's smallest army and be responsible for the spiritual governance of 1.2 billion people, but when it comes to eating, Pope Francis loves comfort food as much as the next person.

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Our first Rx Dose mix of 2016 is fashionably late, and all the better for it. Corralling our favorite dance tracks from January (and beyond) took a little longer than expected for a host of boring reasons, but hopefully, once you hear this month's roster, you'll agree it was worth the wait.

After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, the U.S. War Relocation Authority made a decision it would soon regret. It hired famed photographer Dorothea Lange to take pictures as 110,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans were removed from their homes on the West Coast and interned at remote military-style camps throughout the interior.

The agency had hoped Lange's photos would depict the process as orderly and humane.

Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee is known for portraying kings and princes. But lately he's been thinking about real people: Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, to name a few.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The attacks in Paris left 130 people dead. Most died in a concert hall, the Bataclan, listening to an American rock band, Eagles of Death Metal.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Author Ruta Sepetys likes to look for what she calls "hidden chapters of history." She writes historical fiction for teens, and judging by the success of her debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, adults are also reading her.

Korean food is built on bold flavors: spicy pickled vegetables, sweet, smoky meats and pungent, salty stews. That can be a little intimidating for some American diners. But the authors of a new book called Koreatown hope to change that.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The poet Larry Levis died in 1996. He was 49 and had already published five books. His writing just keeps coming. A third posthumous collection edited by David St. John is out. It's called "The Darkening Trapeze." Tess Taylor has our review.

When Franz Liszt wrote The Fountains of the Villa d'Este, he added a Latin quotation from the Gospel of St. John. It says: "But the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life." That composition is featured on the newest album by French pianist Helene Grimaud, called Water.

Watching Ben Folds perform his songs on piano at the Tiny Desk, there seems to be a direct line between thought and expression, except perhaps when he stumbles or forgets a line or two. Folds has a knack for plainspoken, smartly crafted words that sometimes sting and always seem to speak the truth — like these words from "Phone In A Pool":

Seems what's been good for the music

Hasn't always been so good for the life

Pages