Arts

2:08pm

Mon December 23, 2013
Television

'Getting On' With It: A New HBO Show Doesn't Tiptoe Around Death

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Alex Borstein (left) and Niecy Nash star as nurses in the HBO comedy series Getting On, which was modeled after the hit BBC series of the same name.
Lacey Terrell HBO

When they set out to create the HBO series Getting On, Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer wanted to create a different kind of workplace comedy — one that celebrated the workplace and the employees in it.

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3:28am

Mon December 23, 2013
Games & Humor

David Sedaris Reads From His 'Santaland Diaries'

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 8:00 am

iStockphoto.com

You might not expect "Santa's Helper" to be a career-altering gig, but for David Sedaris, it changed everything. The writer and humorist spent a season working at Macy's as a department store elf. He described his short tenure as Crumpet the Elf in "The Santaland Diaries," an essay that he read on Morning Edition in 1992.

Instantly, a classic was born. Sedaris' reading has become an NPR holiday tradition. Click the "Listen" link above to hear Sedaris read his tale.

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5:00pm

Sun December 22, 2013
Author Interviews

Picture Books With A 'Clash Bash' Of Culture For Kids

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 10:54 am

Marisol McDonald is the main character in two of Monica Brown's bilingual picture books. The inspiration for the books came from Brown's own upbringing.
Illustrated by Sara Palacios Courtesy of Lee & Low

Millions of Americans speak a language other than English at home, and many of them are young children. Picture books are starting to reflect this diversity.

Monica Brown has written more than a dozen children's picture books with text in both English and Spanish. Raised bilingually by a South American mother and North American father, she says her inspiration comes from her own upbringing.

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2:58pm

Sun December 22, 2013
All Tech Considered

Museums Give Video Games Bonus Life, But The Next Level Awaits

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 9:36 am

Flower, a 2009 release from thatgamecompany, is one of two video games the Smithsonian American Art Museum has acquired for its permanent collection.
Sony Entertainment/Smithsonian American Art Museum

The long-running debate over whether video games constitute art may finally be moot — at least as far as the Smithsonian American Art Museum is concerned. Last week, SAAM acquired two video games, Halo 2600 and Flower, for its permanent collection.

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10:05am

Sun December 22, 2013
Arts & Life

How To Find A Worthy Volunteer Job On The Road

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Volunteering while traveling isn't really a novelty anymore. But sometimes that work you're doing, say, in a developing country, well, it could be doing more harm than good. On this week's travel segment, Winging It, we look at what it means to travel ethically.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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8:07am

Sun December 22, 2013
Sunday Puzzle

Follow Santa Claus' Lead

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 2:33 pm

NPR

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which, like Santa Claus, the first word starts with the letters S-A, and the second word starts with C.

Last week's challenge from listener Pete Collins of Ann Arbor, Mich.: Name an island in which some of the letters appear more than once. Drop exactly two instances of each repeated letter. The remaining letters can be rearranged to name something to eat. What is it?

Answer: Manhattan, ham

Winner: Fred Stadler of Oshkosh, Wis.

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7:03am

Sun December 22, 2013
Three Books...

In Search Of Identity: Three Of 2013's Best Translated Novels

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 12:15 pm

iStockphoto

I tend to like my heroes strong and capable; not self-important, yet with a certain brand of assurance. But in literature, as in life, profound truths often come to us not through confidence but through wrestling — through the quest for who we are and what we hope to become. Three newly-translated novels star not exceptionally robust heroes but unexceptional, aimless ones, each exploring the inward struggles that make us human.

These three international voices offer no barrage of answers. Instead, they remind us of the importance, and the power, of simply asking the questions.

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5:11am

Sun December 22, 2013
Book Reviews

'The Empty Chair' Meditates On The Space Between Two Stories

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 6:47 pm

Working in radio, you learn one uncomfortable truth faster than you would have otherwise: Few things make a story more difficult to tell than having a listener expecting to hear it. A microphone can make even the most relentless gabber stammer and become self-conscious.

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5:10am

Sun December 22, 2013
The Salt

Flying This Holiday? Here Are A Few Tips To Survive Airline Food

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:56 am

Dan Pashman of The Sporkful podcast suggests saucy pastas over meat: "They tend to hold up better to the chilling and reheating process."
iStockphoto

When you think about a scrumptious meal, airline food does not come to mind.

There are plenty of challenges to tasty airline meals, like the fact that many airlines now charge you for anything more than a tiny bag of chips and a plastic cup of non-alcoholic drink, at least on domestic flights. Plus, you can't cook on an airplane, so anything you're served has probably been chilled, then reheated. And flight delays certainly don't help with the freshness factor.

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5:05am

Sun December 22, 2013
The Salt

Grasslands Get Squeezed As Another 1.6 Million Acres Go Into Crops

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:59 pm

Retired farmer Joe Govert looks at a parcel of family land near Tribune, Kan. It has been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
Charlie Riedel AP

As the year winds down, we here at NPR are looking at a few key numbers that explain the big trends of 2013.

Today's number: 1.6 million.

That's 1.6 million acres — about the area of the state of Delaware.

That's how much land was removed this year from the federal Conservation Reserve Program, or CRP, which pays farmers to keep land covered with native grasses or sometimes trees. Most of that land now will produce crops like corn or wheat.

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