Mon March 3, 2014
Author Interviews

What Really Happened The Night Kitty Genovese Was Murdered?

Originally published on Tue March 4, 2014 10:19 am

The most well-known image of Kitty Genovese is her 1961 mug shot, taken after a minor gambling arrest.
The New York Times Photo Archive Courtesy of WW Norton

In March 1964, there was a heinous murder in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Back then, there was no 911 emergency number, there were no good Samaritan laws and, despite her cries, there was no one coming to help Catherine Genovese.

Kitty, as she was known, was a bar manager on her way home from work in the early morning hours. According to news reports at the time, she was attacked not once but three times over the course of a half-hour. What's more: There were apparently 38 witnesses.

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Mon March 3, 2014
Monkey See

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About Steinbeck's 'Grapes Of Wrath'

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 4:44 pm

The Grapes Of Wrath opens in Dust Bowl Oklahoma.

Late last week, an email exchange between NPR Books' team members went something like this:


Nicole: YUP. But then, later, people eat pigs. So, does that make them even?

Colin: I trust this isn't a spoiler. Ahem.


Camila: Not a spoiler cus it's NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL. That's the worst part. It's just like "Oh yeah, remember the time that pig ate that baby? Memories."

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Mon March 3, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Shamrock Shake

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 3:48 pm

Michelle Obama says you should get at least five servings of green per day.

Long ago, McDonald's chose to honor St. Patrick banishing the snakes from Ireland with its Shamrock Shake, made with real snake. It was known for its subtle flavor and powerful aphrodisiac qualities. While the recipe has changed slightly over the years, the powerful aphrodisiac qualities remain.

Peter: Sucking this up through the straw is pretty hard work just to get something that tastes like toothpaste.

Miles: Shamrocks are good luck, but I think the woman who rang us up took it too far when she said, "You're gonna need it."

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Mon March 3, 2014
Author Interviews

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 1:35 pm

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.

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Mon March 3, 2014

Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Moves To Missy Elliot

Robert Battle is the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, so music is a big part of his job. He shares the songs that move him for Tell Me More's "In Your Ear" series.


Mon March 3, 2014
Movie Interviews

Actress Alfre Woodard On Truthful Storytelling In '12 Years A Slave'



As we mentioned, "12 Years a Slave" had a major impact at last night's Academy Awards. The film walked away with three awards - best picture, best supporting actress for Lupita Nyong'o and best adapted screenplay for John Ridley. The film was packed with star power, including a small but provocative role for Alfre Woodard as Harriet Shaw, the slave mistress of a nearby plantation owner.

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Mon March 3, 2014

Best Picture Win For '12 Years A Slave' Sends New Message To Hollywood?

The Oscars brought out the glitz, glamor and gowns in Hollywood. People Magazine's movie critic Alynda Wheat recaps the evening.


Mon March 3, 2014
Monkey See

Stages Of Winter Rage

A man shovels snow. He's probably around the middle one of all the stages of rage, we figure. Though if he were sobbing, you couldn't see it.
Lisa Kyle Young iStockphoto

[The following is a purely speculative, hypothetical story of winter. It corresponds to no actual meteorological data.]

October 20: Eeeeeeee! Snow in the forecast! Eeeeeeee!

October 21: I saw flakes! Here's an Instagram of flakes out my window! You can't really see them, but they're there, I promise! Flakes!

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Mon March 3, 2014
The Two-Way

Book News: Phyllis Krasilovsky, Author Of 'The Very Little Girl,' Dies

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Mon March 3, 2014
Monkey See

Oscars 2014: Low On Laughs, But A Great Speech Or Two

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 8:26 am

At Sunday's Oscar ceremony, the feel-good win of the night came when 12 Years a Slave star Lupita Nyong'o took home the supporting-actress trophy.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

The big winner was 12 Years a Slave, but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television.

Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black version of his Grammys hat to perform.

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