Arts

5:01pm

Thu September 12, 2013
NPR's Backseat Book Club

How One Unkind Moment Gave Way To 'Wonder'

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 6:16 pm

Random House

In Wonder, R.J. Palacio tells the story of Auggie, a tough, sweet, 10-year-old boy, who was born with distorted facial features — a "craniofacial difference" caused by an anomaly in his DNA.

Palacio tells NPR's Michele Norris that the book was inspired by a real-life encounter with her own kids six years ago. They were at an ice cream store and sat next to a little girl with a severe facial deformity. Palacio's 3-year-old son cried in fear, so the author grabbed her kids and fled. She was trying to protect the girl but also avoid her own discomfort.

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2:03pm

Thu September 12, 2013
Book Reviews

Filmmaker Turns To Education Reform, Gets 'Schooled'

While researching his buoyant, impassioned (and thoroughly subtitled) new book about education, I Got Schooled: The Unlikely Story of How a Moonlighting Movie Maker Learned the Five Keys to Closing America's Education Gap, M. Night Shyamalan suddenly found himself at the head of an inner-city school English classroom. And he was terrified. "Time stopped," he writes, "similar to when you are on a plane with turbulence that's supposed to last thirty seconds, but it feels like much, much longer."

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12:52pm

Thu September 12, 2013
Monkey See

Toronto 2013: Some Film Festival Highs And Lows

Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts in August: Osage County.
Toronto International Film Festival

Tastiest Scenery To Chew: August: Osage County, the John Wells-directed adaptation of the Tracy Letts stage play, stars Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Margo Martindale, Benedict Cumberbatch, and a generally very impressive cast. But Streep is cranked up to 11 as the miserable, pill-popping matriarch. I expect her to win an Oscar for this role, simply because it's so over-the-top and because she is compelling in it.

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12:09pm

Thu September 12, 2013
The Protojournalist

How It Sounds To Be 28

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:12 pm

Andrew Crago

Andrew Crago, 28, is an in-house designer for a nonprofit group in Chicago. He wears hearing aids and has tinnitus, so he is especially attuned to certain sounds.

What does your life sound like? Please send four sounds that tell the story of your life — at this moment in time — to protojournalist@npr.org. Please include your name, age, phone number and a list of your sounds. You may be contacted for an interview.

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9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

We're Not Gonna Bake It

Professional competitive eaters Eric "Badlands" Booker (left) and Crazy Legs Conti.
Josh Rogosin NPR

Professional competitive eaters Crazy Legs Conti and Eric "Badlands" Booker join Ask Me Another for a round that'll make you hungry. House musician Jonathan Coulton quizzes them about different types of baked goods, with clues sung to the tune of the Twisted Sister anthem "We're Not Gonna Take It." Plus, find out how many pounds of quiche Crazy Legs can put away, and get a taste of Badlands' other talent—competitive eating-themed hip-hop.

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9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

Minimum Sentence

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 12:03 pm

Some people have a last name that is also a verb, so their full name forms a complete sentence--like George Burns and Stevie Nicks. (If you're one of these people, we salute you.) In this game, house musician Jonathan Coulton gives contestants clues about famous people whose names also tell a story--a very short story.

9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

Isn't It Ironic?

Rest assured, this game contains no ironic t-shirts or mustaches. Here, irony is defined as an "incongruous yet appropriate juxtaposition that highlights the discordant, revelatory nature of the universe." Deep. Play along as host Ophira Eisenberg asks contestants about certain ironic situations, like how the best-selling holiday song of all time, "White Christmas," was written by Irving Berlin--who was Jewish.

Plus, Jonathan Coulton tops off this game with a rendition of the pop standard "Everything Happens To Me."

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9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

Sensational Spelling Bee

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

On our stage right now, we have Virginia Roberts and Grant Roberts. Welcome to ASK ME ANOTHER.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: You guys are visiting from Seattle, and I take it perhaps you are married with the same last name?

VIRGINIA ROBERTS: We'll see how it goes.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Virginia, you are an online dating coach, is that correct?

ROBERTS: That is correct.

EISENBERG: But what's the number one tip you give people when writing their online ad?

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9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

The Last Film I'd Want To See

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Now it's time to crown this week's grand champion. Let's bring back from Isn't It Ironic, Jessica Morello; from Minimum Sentence, Whitney Reynolds; from Sensational Spelling Bee, Virginia Roberts; and from Nursery Rhyme News, Kevin Maroney.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: They'll be playing our Ask Me One More final round, and I'm going to ask puzzle guru Mary Tobler to lead our final game.

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9:54am

Thu September 12, 2013
Ask Me Another

Adam Rapoport: Good Eggs, Bad Apples

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 1:33 pm

"I don't want a waiter to lecture me, and have to explain to me how to eat something. It's like, 'Dude, stop.'" Bon Appétit magazine editor-in-chief Adam Rapoport.
Courtesy of Adam Rapoport

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