Arts

5:06pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Digital Life

Composing Game Soundtracks That Move 'Faster Than Light'

Composer Ben Prunty creates soundtracks and sound effects for video games.
Courtesy of Ben Prunty

This weekend, independent video game developers and fans gathered for the international IndieCade Festival in Los Angeles.

One of the featured speakers Saturday was sound designer Ben Prunty, who integrates audio into some of the most popular independent video games. Prunty composed the soundtrack to the computer game Faster Than Light, which was nominated for IGN's Best Overall Music and Best PC Sound of 2012.

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4:17pm

Sun October 6, 2013
Digital Life

Isabella Rossellini, Getting Animal Again With 'Mammas'

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 5:06 pm

In her Web series, Mammas, film star Isabella Rossellini portrays animal mothers. Here, she's an oil beetle.
Courtesy Sundance Channel

Film star Isabella Rossellini has a fish on her head.

She is a mouthbrooder, she explains, helpfully — meaning a fish who incubates her eggs in her mouth.

Rossellini's newest Web series is Mammas, an unconventional look at the natural world and our accepted notions of it.

"My films are comical films. They are made to laugh at," Rossellini tells NPR. "They are comical — and scientifically correct."

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11:14am

Sun October 6, 2013
Author Interviews

'Book Of Matt': An Alternative Motive Behind The Infamous Murder

Originally published on Mon October 7, 2013 3:21 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Fifteen years ago today, a young man named Matthew Shepard was beaten and tied to a fence outside Laramie, Wyo. He later died of those injuries. The two men convicted of his murder, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, were said to have been motivated by hate because Matthew was gay. The event drew national attention. President Bill Clinton condemned it as a hate crime.

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10:27am

Sun October 6, 2013
Sunday Puzzle

Find The Rhyme And The Reason

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 3:05 pm

NPR

On-air challenge: For each given category, name things in the category starting with the letters R, H, Y, M, E. For example, if the category were "chemical elements with names ending in -ium," you might say: radium, helium, yttrium, magnesium and einsteinium. You can give the answers in any order, and any answer that works is fine.

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7:18am

Sun October 6, 2013
Author Interviews

An American Jewish 'Bride' Remembers Her Escape From Kabul

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 11:14 am

In her memoir, Phyllis Chesler questions whether she and her first husband, Abdul-Kareem, were ever really in love. "Were we soul mates?" she writes. "I am not sure. I dare not remember — the pain would be overwhelming and pointless."
Courtesy Palgrave Macmillan

Phyllis Chesler and Abdul-Kareem met in college. She was an 18-year-old Jewish girl from the East Coast; he was a young Muslim man from a wealthy Afghan family. They fell in love over New Wave cinema, poetry and existentialism, and eventually they married.

In her new memoir, An American Bride in Kabul, Chesler tells her story of excitedly traveling to Afghanistan in 1961 with her new husband, who said he wanted to be a modernizing force in his country. But, as she tells NPR's Rachel Martin, her passport was almost immediately confiscated upon arrival.

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7:03am

Sun October 6, 2013
PG-13: Risky Reads

'Spell'-Bound By A Goofy Book — And Later, United By It

Melissa de la Cruz and her husband Michael Johnston are the co-authors of Frozen.

How is this a risky read, you might ask? Piers Anthony's Xanth series is a tongue-firmly-in-cheek affair, filled with awful puns about bad dreams delivered by horses — literal "night mares" — and corny jokes about how Xanth is eerily similar to the geography of Florida, the author's home state.

Isn't this book just funny? How is it risky? Or dark? Or adult? Yet precisely because of its naughty, offhand humor, we found it risky and thrilling. Let us explain ...

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6:08am

Sun October 6, 2013
Movie Interviews

Revisiting The Doomed On Their Quest For 'The Summit'

Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 7:05 pm

Pemba Gyalje Sherpa survived his August 2008 climb on K2 and was even able to help save some of the other expeditionaries. But 11 died trying to conquer the mountain that month.
Robbie Ryan IFC Films

Mountain climbing requires stamina and skill, but at some point — especially on the world's tallest and riskiest peaks — it becomes a game of chance. In August of 2008, if you were one of the dozens of people trying to climb to the top of K2, the odds of your living to tell your story weren't good: During the last push to the summit and the immediate descent that followed, 11 people died.

In the documentary The Summit, filmmaker Nick Ryan tries to piece together what happened in what has been called the deadliest event in modern mountain climbing.

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5:45pm

Sat October 5, 2013
Technology

Developers At Indie Game Festival Looking For Big Break

Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 12:25 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Sales of the insanely popular video game "Grand Theft Auto V" passed the billion-dollar mark just three days after its release this month. But not everyone sees mainstream titles as the industry's game changers. When searching for the next big thing, some of the biggest gaming companies actually look to the little guys: indie game developers. And as NPR's Daniel Hajek reports, they're finding them this weekend at a Los Angeles festival that brings out the underground talent.

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3:58pm

Sat October 5, 2013
Author Interviews

How Reddit Emerged From A Rejected (And Very Different) Idea

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 6:36 pm

iStockphoto.com

Reddit calls itself "the front page of the Internet." The social news site and global discussion board has become increasingly popular since it launched in 2005. Topics range from politics and entertainment to animal videos and conspiracy theories. Many public figures have used Reddit to reach out to fans and supporters, and last year, President Obama used the site to answer voter questions live.

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8:03am

Sat October 5, 2013
Author Interviews

Spies And Novelists Both 'Accomplished Liars,' Says New Bond Author

Originally published on Sat October 5, 2013 11:11 am

William Boyd is one of the great living British novelists — and now he's tackling one of the great British heroes.

"I am now a James Bond pedant," Boyd tells NPR's Scott Simon. "I can bore for England on the subject of James Bond. But I knew I couldn't do it frivolously, I had to take it very seriously, however much fun I was having. And I had to make myself, you know, absolutely steeped in Bond and in Fleming and that world."

Steeped in Bond, not shaken, of course.

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