Arts

5:02pm

Thu January 30, 2014
Movie Reviews

On Campus, Two Weary Souls Find A Spark To Kindle

Andy Garcia and Vera Farmiga star as two weary strangers who meet — and spark mutual midlife awakenings — while taking their kids on a college tour.
Anchor Bay Films

Long after many another serviceable movie premise has gone to its grave, the brief encounter will live and be well.

Talk about an unbeatable package: Nothing more urgently captures the disappointment of lives congealed by routine than does the sudden midlife romance; nothing so pointedly speaks to the undying desire for completion by another who understands and accepts us as no one else does; nothing so completely resounds with the fantasy of escape. And nothing so neatly contains all that unruly desire within the 11th-hour return to common sense and responsible self-sacrifice.

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2:41pm

Thu January 30, 2014
Music

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:58 am

Darren Phillip Jones

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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12:02pm

Thu January 30, 2014
Book Reviews

Historical Trauma Makes For Thrilling Fiction In 'Officer And A Spy'

promo image

For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called "Belle Epoque," the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer. His latest novel, An Officer and a Spy, is set during this period of peace and prosperity between the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the lead-up to the First World War.

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11:33am

Thu January 30, 2014
The Salt

Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:03 pm

The old and new maple syrup grading systems compared.
Courtesy of Butternut Mountain Farm

Why would you choose a B grade if you can get an A?

Ask a baker. They'll tell you that if you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B.

But the idea that B beats A seems counterintuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes.

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11:09am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

W. Kamau Bell: After 'Totally Biased,' What's Next?

Originally published on Sun February 2, 2014 5:30 am

W. Kamau Bell.
Matthias Clamer Courtesy of FX
  • W. Kamau Bell, heckled by Barbara Walters: hear the story

Imagine stepping offstage from performing your one-man comedy show in a tiny black box theater to find none other than Chris Rock waiting for you backstage. If you're W. Kamau Bell, then you've lived it.

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11:07am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

Bad To The Future

Babe Ruth's famous "called shot" is an example of a freakily accurate prediction. But what about those that don't work out quite as well? In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton asks our contestants about some historical predictions gone spectacularly wrong.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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11:07am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

AM/PM

From morning until night, Ask Me Another contestants are always working on their puzzling skills. In this final round, puzzle guru Art Chung asks our contestants to come up with two-word phrases or proper nouns that have either the initials AM or PM. It's Positively Mesmerizing!

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

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11:07am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

Double Feature

Coming not-so-soon to a theater near you...In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg asks our contestants to imagine famous movie sequels that could be made by combining two real film titles that share a word or syllable in common. Who wouldn't want to see Denzel Washington take on Magneto in Malcolm X-Men?

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

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11:07am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

Russian Dolls

Russian dolls nest inside of each other. Some words are like that as well: they contain one word nested inside of a different word. For example, a mother might urge her son to become a surgeon. (Tricky, we know!) Listen as host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton challenge our contestants to assemble long words from a composite of two shorter ones.

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11:07am

Thu January 30, 2014
Ask Me Another

Hi-Ho Elemental Metals, Away!

We all know about Silver, the Lone Ranger's trusty steed — but did you know that he had a whole herd of other stallions, also named after metals? House musician Jonathan Coulton tests our contestants' mettle in this musical game, in which the answers to his musical clues — sung to the theme song of The Lone Ranger — are all the names of other metals. Hi-ho, word games, away!

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