Arts

2:06pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Health

After A Cancer Diagnosis, Lessons In Priorities

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 10:30 am

Teaching high school English came naturally to David Menasche but a terminal brain cancer diagnosis forced him to leave the classroom. So he visited some of his former students to see what impact he's had on them. He writes about the experience in his forthcoming book, The Priority List.

1:16pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Movie Reviews

In A 'Miraculous Year' For Movies, Edelstein Picks His Favorites

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:44 pm

In the sci-fi romance Her, a lonely man (Joaquin Phoenix) finds love in a rather unexpected place — with a computer operating system named Samantha.
Warner Bros.

"It was a miraculous year," film critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. At a time when Hollywood is churning out Blockbusters and superhero movies that are guaranteed to make money at home and overseas, "it's really great when so many interesting movies, somehow or other, manage to bleed through," he says. " ... You really feel as if directors are taking chances in their storytelling. They are creating a new syntax for every story."

Here are his favorite movies this year:

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1:13pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Television

David Bianculli's Top 10 Shows: 2013 Was A 'Good Year For TV'

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:44 pm

Kevin Spacey (left) and Robin Wright star in House of Cards, directed by David Fincher. The Netflix series, which follows a Machiavellian politician, is an adaptation of a BBC series of the same name. Hear an interview with Spacey and Fincher.
Patrick Harbron Netflix

This was a good year for TV, says critic David Bianculli, and that had a lot to do with two new shows from Netflix: House of Cards, the American adaptation of the BBC political thriller series, and Orange Is the New Black, a dramatic comedy which takes place in a women's federal prison. "I was very impressed with the overall quality of what Netflix gave us," Bianculli tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "... That was quite a string of good shows."

So, without further ado, here's Bianculli's top-10 TV list for 2013:

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12:07pm

Tue December 24, 2013
The Salt

Hair Dryer Cooking: From S'mores To Crispy Duck

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:54 am

Ready for a blowout: Blasting the duck with the dryer before roasting dehydrates the flesh so the skin gets firm and crispy.
Michaeleen Doucleff NPR

This past year, we've introduced you to some wacky cooking methods. We've made an entire lunch in a coffee maker and even poached salmon and pears in the dishwasher.

But a few weeks ago, we stumbled upon a crazy culinary appliance that may be the most legitimate of them all: the hair dryer.

Now, before you think we've fallen off the kitchen stool from too much eggnog, check out the science and history behind the idea.

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12:00pm

Tue December 24, 2013
Food

Spicing Up Your Holiday Drink List

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 2:24 pm

General Harrison's Eggnog No. 3
David Kressler

When it comes to holiday drinks, there's always the traditional recipes for mulled wine and eggnog. But what about a taste of something new and different?

James Beard Award-winning mixologist Dale DeGroff has some surprising ideas to spice up your drink menu this season. He is widely credited with reviving the art of the cocktail. He's also president and founder of the Museum of the American Cocktail.

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7:57am

Tue December 24, 2013
Code Switch

Hey Hey Hey! Historian Draws Attention To '70s Black Animation Art

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 1:34 pm

An original production cel from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids. The show was among a burst of 1970s-era Saturday morning cartoons that featured positive African-American characters.
Courtesy of Pamela Thomas/Museum of UnCut Funk!

7:03am

Tue December 24, 2013
First Reads

Exclusive First Read: Chang-rae Lee's 'On Such A Full Sea'

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 9:37 am

Chang-rae Lee won the PEN/Hemingway award for best first novel for 1995's Native Speaker. His most recent book was 2010's The Surrendered.
Annika Lee

Chang-rae Lee's new novel, On Such a Full Sea, opens in a surprisingly contented dystopia: Hundreds of years in the future, the world has unraveled; in America, the government has crumbled and the population has fled. But its abandoned cities have been given new life by immigrant workers, moved in by big multinational corporations to provide pristine fish and produce to elite enclaves. In B-mor (once known as Baltimore), workers from China have built a relatively stable and prosperous community — though outside the walls of B-mor, the open counties are still lawless and rough.

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2:56am

Tue December 24, 2013
All Tech Considered

Check Out These Gorgeous, Futuristic Tech Company Headquarters

Originally published on Wed December 25, 2013 7:24 am

Architect's rendering of Apple's new facility
Courtesy of City of Cupertino

This past year, many of the best known technology firms were actively designing and building new corporate offices. It's the first time Silicon Valley giants like Apple, Google and Facebook have done so from the ground up. The same is true for Amazon, which is building in Seattle.

All of these projects are still in their early stages, but perhaps the most talked about and architecturally ambitious project that broke ground this year is the Apple headquarters building in Cupertino, Calif. It was a project near and dear to the late Steve Jobs.

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4:35pm

Mon December 23, 2013
The Salt

How To Build An Indestructible Gingerbread House

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

With our design, gingerbread families everywhere can enjoy the holidays without having to worry about their roofs caving in.
Morgan Walker NPR

Here's the thing about gingerbread houses. You labor over them for hours. You painstakingly decorate them with gumdrops and candy canes.

And then, someone shakes the table it's sitting on, and boom! It all comes crumbling down, leaving a huge, house-shaped hole in your heart.

Never again, we said.

This year, we were determined to build a stronger gingerbread house. One that wouldn't crumble, no matter what. One that could withstand an earthquake.

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4:18pm

Mon December 23, 2013
Digital Life

A YouTube Powerhouse Looks Beyond Its Gamer Base

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 6:53 pm

One of Machinima's signature offerings is a series called Christopher Walkenthrough, in which creator Jason Stephens, in character as actor Christopher Walken, navigates his way through popular video games. You kind of have to see it to understand.
Machinima.com

One of the most popular channels on YouTube is aimed toward people who play video games. It's got tons of content — thousands of game reviews, how-to videos of people gaming away enthusiastically, even little homemade movies that people have made using video-game software.

That last format is a user-generated phenomenon called machinima — "little m" machinima. "Big M" Machinima is a company, and it wants to be a new media empire. It's the entity behind that YouTube channel.

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