Arts

5:08am

Sun December 29, 2013
Arts & Life

Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville

Originally published on Mon December 30, 2013 11:53 am

NPR's Petra Mayer has finally learned how to ride a bike.
Izolda Trakhtenberg

I love Key West, and I go there as often as possible: pina coladas, drag queens, shady hammocks, feral chickens — it's the best. There's just one problem: everyone gets around the island by bike, and I've never learned to ride one. Obviously that had to change.

Why didn't I learn? I really don't remember, and neither did my mom, when I asked her about the one time my parents tried to teach me. "You got on a big bicycle that was so big you couldn't really turn the wheels and got discouraged."

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5:03am

Sun December 29, 2013
Monkey See

This Is (Not) The Most Important Story Of The Year

News of Justin Bieber's retirement sent shockwaves across the Internet.
Powers Imagery AP

Have you spent much of the holiday season debating whether Justin Bieber really intends to retire?

No? Well, what about the question of whether Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson was rightly suspended for making bigoted remarks, or was in fact suppressed for giving voice to traditional values?

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5:02pm

Sat December 28, 2013
Arts & Life

The Trouble With Assessing 'Black Films'

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 6:54 pm

This year was lauded by many news outlets as an incredible year for black films. CNN heralded "Hollywood's African-American Renaissance;" The New York Times called 2013 a "a breakout year for black films." Shani Hilton, deputy editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, talks to NPR's Arun Rath about why she think those assertions are overstated.

8:55am

Sat December 28, 2013
Arts & Life

As The Lead Cools, Some See Their New Year Take Shape

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 4:31 pm

Is that a cross? A ship with a figurehead? What future do you see in these lead shapes? In one New Year's tradition, fortune-seekers drop molten lead into cold water and guess what the shapes portend.
Deena Prichep for NPR

As we approach the threshold of a new year, it's only human to wonder what's ahead. In Germany and a few nearby countries, the answer to this age-old existential question is found in molten lead.

When Gesine Krätzner had some scraps of lead left over from a roofing project last winter, she knew just what to do with them. Krätzner lives in Portland, Ore., but grew up in Germany. As a kid, she would melt bits of lead with her family for a New Year's Eve tradition called Bleigiessen.

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8:37am

Sat December 28, 2013
Bonus Round: Ask Me Another

Day 4: Mind Your Out-of-Date Manners

Ophira Eisenberg doesn't need your stinkin' etiquette rules. She makes up her own.
Becky Harlan NPR
  • Listen to 'Mad Men's Guide To Etiquette'

This is the fourth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

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8:08am

Sat December 28, 2013
PG-13: Risky Reads

A Young Seminarian Found Comfort In 'Giovanni's' Melancholy

I was a shy boy of 11, soon to be withdrawn from a Catholic Seminary where I had been bullied and lonely and unhappy, when I found Giovanni's Room. I was on summer holiday; I used to spend my days reading from my parents' extensive library, usually on the rattan lounger on the second-floor porch of our house in the small town of Afikpo. I remember feeling a kinship with James Baldwin — not so much with his characters, whom I couldn't often relate to, but with this melancholy that seeped through his pages.

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5:02am

Sat December 28, 2013
Author Interviews

'Havisham' Offers A Peek Behind That Decaying Wedding Veil

Originally published on Sat December 28, 2013 11:35 am

The enigmatic Miss Havisham has haunted the popular imagination for more than 150 years. She appeared in Great Expectations, one of Charles Dickens' best-loved novels: It's been read widely since its publication, and was made into several immensely popular movies.

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4:21pm

Fri December 27, 2013
This Week's Must Read

As Winter Rolls In, One Critic Recalls 'The Wind In The Willows'

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Paul Bransom's illustration from a 1913 edition of The Wind in the Willows shows Otter traveling through the snowy woods.
Public Domain

We want simple things from books in winter — or at least I do. I want a vindication of my desire to loaf, laze, retreat from the world, the assurances, in short, of The Wind in the Willows, whose edicts are sane and just: "No animal, according to the rules of animal-etiquette, is ever expected to do anything strenuous, or heroic, or even moderately active during the off-season of winter."

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4:21pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Movie Interviews

'42' Gets The Story Of Jackie Robinson Right

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 7:15 pm

Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) acknowledges the crowd in 42.
Warner Bros

As we close out 2013, we're returning to some of the year's films that were "inspired by a true story" and taking a look at the true-to-inspired ratio. Turns out, 42 — a biopic that portrays Jackie Robinson's 1947 integration of Major League Baseball — gets a lot of things right.

Arnold Rampersad, a professor of English at Stanford University who wrote a biography of Robinson, says the film really rings true.

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12:33pm

Fri December 27, 2013
Architecture

Architect's Dream House: Less Than 200 Square Feet

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 1:35 pm

Macy Miller

You might think going through a divorce and losing your home to foreclosure would be hard to bounce back from, and they are, but Tell Me More caught up with a woman who beat the odds and built a new home for herself.

Macy Miller, an architect from Idaho, built the home with her own two hands at a cost of only $11,000. The house is less than 200 square feet.


Interview Highlights

On building the home

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