Arts

11:08pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Monkey See

Oh, Lady Edith

Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith, whose rather appalling luck seems destined to follow her.
Nick Briggs PBS

[This piece contains information about the plot of Downton Abbey, up to and including Sunday night's fourth-season finale.]

Another season of Downton Abbey has come to a close, and once again, Lady Edith is unlucky. Unlucky in love, unlucky in life. She's unluckier than Bates, and he went to jail for something he didn't do, for what certainly felt like a really, really long time. She's unluckier than Matthew, and he's quite deceased.

Read more

2:26pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Author Interviews

'Cut Me Loose': After Exile, A Young Woman's Journey In 'Sin'

Originally published on Mon February 24, 2014 1:44 pm

Leah Vincent is a board member of Footsteps and co-producer of the It Gets Besser project, both of which help support people who have decided to leave ultra-Orthodoxy.
Ned & Aya Rosen Leah Vincent

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, in Pittsburgh.

"Yeshivish Judaism life is defined by religious law," Vincent tells NPR's Arun Rath. "We keep extra-strict laws of kosher, observe the Sabbath every week, maintain a separation of the sexes and a degree of isolation from the outside world."

When she was 16, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend. Contact with men is forbidden in her sect, and she was cast out from her community.

Read more

12:08pm

Sun February 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

A 'Tale' That's A Labor Of Love, But Not A Complete Success

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Book fans can be pretty picky about how Hollywood treats their favorite reads. And Hollywood can sometimes disappoint. Marc Helprin's "Winter's Tale" has been a favorite of readers since it was published in 1983. Los Angeles Times and MORNING EDITION film critic Kenneth Turan has a review of how well it works as a movie.

Read more

8:04am

Sun February 23, 2014
Sunday Puzzle

Famous Four-By-Fours That Aren't Trucks

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:57 am

NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer is the name of a famous person with four letters in his or her first name and four letters in the last. For each person, you'll be given initials and an anagram of the full name. You name the person.

Last week's challenge: Name a famous entertainer: two words, four letters in each word. You can rearrange these eight letters to spell the acronym of a well-known national organization, and the word that the first letter of this acronym stands for. Who's the entertainer, and what's the organization?

Read more

8:04am

Sun February 23, 2014
Author Interviews

In 'Kinder Than Solitude,' History Always Haunts

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:57 am

Courtesy of Random House

Kinder Than Solitude, the latest novel from Chinese-American author Yiyun Li, examines the impact of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre on a generation of youth. Following three friends, the novel alternates between 1990s Beijing and present-day America, where two of the friends immigrated. At the heart of the story is the mysterious murder that brought the three friends together over 20 years ago, and what they're only now learning about it.

Read more

8:04am

Sun February 23, 2014
Movie Interviews

Director Says 'Omar' Is A Love Story, Not A War Story

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:31 pm

Adam Bakri plays a Palestinian baker recruited as an informant by the Israeli secret service in the Oscar-nominated film Omar.
Adopt Films

Omar is a young Palestinian baker who often climbs the Israeli-built security barrier that divides his hometown — to visit his secret Israeli love, Nadia. After he's arrested and accused of the murder of an Israeli soldier, he starts working as an informant for Shin Bet, the Israeli secret service; it's a dangerous game Omar plays, one that brings trust, love and friendship into question.

Read more

7:49am

Sun February 23, 2014
The Two-Way

Last Of The 'Sound Of Music' Von Trapps Dies At 99

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 1:29 pm

Maria von Trapp in 2008 at the age of 93. The daughter of Austrian Baron Georg von Trapp points to her father on an old family picture. She died on Tuesday at her home in Vermont.
Kerstin Joensson AP

Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the seven original Trapp Family Singers — the Austrian family that inspired the 1965 film The Sound of Music -- has died at 99 at her home in Vermont.

Von Trapp, whose family escaped Nazi Germany, died on Tuesday of natural causes, her brother Johannes von Trapp said, according to the New York Daily News.

Read more

7:03am

Sun February 23, 2014
My Guilty Pleasure

For This British Author, If It Bleeds, She Reads

iStockphoto

The first thing you need to know about my guilty pleasure is that you probably share it. George Orwell certainly did. He writes about it in his 1946 essay, Decline of the English Murder: "It is Sunday afternoon ... Your pipe is drawing sweetly, the sofa cushions are soft underneath you, the fire is well alight, the air is warm and stagnant. In these blissful circumstances, what it is that you want to read about? Naturally, about a murder."

Read more

5:00pm

Sat February 22, 2014
Author Interviews

Forecasting The 'Future' By Tapping Into Human Consciousness

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

iStockphoto

Now more than ever before, we have the tools to study the mysteries of consciousness. Memory, dreams, the self are now being examined using high-tech brain scans developed by physicists on the cutting edge of their field.

Read more

4:35pm

Sat February 22, 2014
Around the Nation

Where Are The Heroes To Save Pittsburgh's African-American Center?

Originally published on Sat February 22, 2014 7:18 pm

The $42-million August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh is for sale because it can't pay its bills. Some are questioning why the Center was allowed to fail.
Keith Srakocic AP

In 2009 a gleaming performing arts space opened to great fanfare in downtown Pittsburgh. The distinctive $42 million-dollar building is as long as the block it occupies, and the corner of the building looks like the sail of a ship made in glass and stone.

Read more

Pages