Arts

11:28am

Wed December 18, 2013
Games & Humor

African-American Woman To Run Humorous 'Harvard Lampoon' Magazine

The humor magazine The Harvard Lampoon was founded in 1876, but for the first time, an African-American woman will run things. Host Michel Martin talks with President-elect Alexis Wilkinson and Vice President-elect Eleanor Parker about their plans for the magazine.

9:07am

Wed December 18, 2013
Monkey See

Two Ways Of Seeing An iPhone Christmas

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 5:44 pm

Screen shot

Apple recently released a Christmas ad it calls "Misunderstood."

In it, a kid — maybe 14 or so? — spends Christmas with his family. He seems to be always looking at his phone when everybody else is decorating the tree, making a snowman, skating, or whatever else they're doing. He smiles, but he sets himself apart.

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3:03am

Wed December 18, 2013
Food

The Stars Come Out For Holiday Bakers

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 1:21 pm

T. Susan Chang for NPR

As a young woman, I had an attack of nostalgia for a possibly imaginary cookie. It was prompted by a walk up New York's Third Avenue, where I saw in the bakery case of a local delicatessen a stack of small round cookies, covered in the tiny rainbow sprinkles known as nonpareils. Instantly, I was ambushed by a flashback to the tiny Italian pastry shop of the small riverside town just north of Manhattan where I grew up, and where, I felt sure, I had been given star-shaped sprinkle cookies of a similar kind as a reward for my excellent behavior.

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3:02am

Wed December 18, 2013
Books News & Features

Hear, Here: Four Audiobooks With A Brand-New Sound

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 11:08 am

Think a graphic novel is too visual to make a good audiobook? Think again. The audio version of Civil War uses sound effects, music and a full cast to bring the superhero story to life.
Courtesy of GraphicAudio

If your holiday shopping trip includes a stop at the bookstore, you might consider adding audiobooks to your gift list. And this year, as you slip on headphones to sample the offerings, what you hear might surprise you.

According to Robin Whitten, the founder and editor of AudioFile magazine, the genre has far surpassed the conventions of the taped readings of yore.

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5:03pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Movie Reviews

Ron Burgundy, Still A Legend In His Own Tiny Mind

Originally published on Thu December 19, 2013 4:13 pm

Great Odin's Raven! Will Ferrell's cheerfully idiotic Ron Burgundy and Christina Applegate's whip-smart Veronica Corningstone are back for a comedy sequel that critic Ian Buckwalter says is essentially an avalanche of one-liners.
Gemma LaMana Paramount Pictures

Make no mistake, Ron Burgundy is a terrible human being. In 2004's Anchorman, it's true, he learned a lesson (sort of) about the dangers of his overinflated ego and the lies of his culturally inherited misogyny. But everything came out OK in the end, and he ended things as a semi-likable rogue — casually misogynist, lackadaisically racist, generically insensitive and oblivious, but still a guy who loves his dog, his lady and his Scotch, and who isn't afraid to cry.

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5:03pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Movie Reviews

LaBute's 'Velvet Morning': Nothing Soft About These Surfaces

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 10:43 am

When Fred (Stanley Tucci) shows up on the doorstep of his former lover (Alice Eve) ready to resume their relationship, it doesn't necessarily go smoothly.
Rogier Stoffers Tribeca Film

I'll say this for Neil LaBute: The man sticks to his guns. Critics may carp about his sour vision of human nature, but he keeps plugging away at his micro-studies of the cruel struggle for interpersonal domination.

LaBute is a master of stagecraft, of course; I'm not sure why he works in film at all, other than to broaden his audience. Aside from the substantially more cinematic Nurse Betty, almost all of his movies are essentially stage plays, ably transposed to the screen but with minimal concession to the switch in medium.

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4:17pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Movie Interviews

From 'Crash Reel' To Recovery, And Everything In Between

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a severe brain injury after an accident on the halfpipe in 2009. His road to recovery is the subject of director Lucy Walker's documentary The Crash Reel.
Christian Stadler HBO Pictures

In 2009, snowboarder Kevin Pearce was riding high, soaring skyward, twisting his body into breathtaking acrobatics. He was 22, one of the world's top halfpipe riders, and a favorite to make the U.S. Olympic team for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

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3:09pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Movie Interviews

The Coen Bros. On Writing, 'Lebowski' And Literally Herding Cats

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:21 am

Joel (left) and Ethan Coen wrote and directed Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and True Grit. Their latest film is Inside Llewyn Davis.
Stuart C. Wilson Getty Images

If you ask the Coen brothers about how they write their films, you might not get a straight answer. "It's mostly napping," Ethan tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

"We go to the office, we're there, we're in a room together," Joel adds. "We take naps, but, you know, the important thing is that we're at the office, should we be inspired to actually write something."

The brothers don't split up writing responsibilities — they "talk through" the dialogue and "work it out together," Joel explains.

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12:06pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Around the Nation

Have A Very Merry Faux Pas-Free Holiday

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 1:17 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And for many of us, the week will kick off the final round of holiday parties. And that's the time for connecting with friends, celebrating the season and, in some cases, really messing up. So here to help us keep our holiday parties happy and faux pas free is Harriette Cole. She writes the nationally syndicated advice column "Sense and Sensitivity." Harriette Cole, welcome back. Thanks so much for joining us once again.

HARRIETTE COLE: Great to be with you. Happy holidays.

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12:03pm

Tue December 17, 2013
Ask Me Another

John Hodgman: 'Twas The Night Before This Day

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:20 am

Comedian John Hodgman helped lead a game, then picked up the ukulele for a rendition of "Auld Lang Syne."
Lam Thuy Vo NPR
  • John Hodgman and Jonathan Coulton perform "Auld Lang Syne"

"A Visit from St. Nicholas," popularly known as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," is a favorite poem among many who celebrate Christmas. But when it comes to holiday verse, why should Dec. 25 get all the attention?

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