Arts

4:05pm

Sun June 30, 2013
Author Interviews

How One Woman Nearly Deciphered A Mysterious Script

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 12:17 pm

An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B — a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades.
Sharon Mollerus Wikimedia Commons

Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B.

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3:00pm

Sun June 30, 2013
Television

A Deeper Dive Into Television's 'Difficult Men'

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:28 pm

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are plenty difficult themselves on AMC's Breaking Bad, one of many cable shows Brett Martin discusses in his book.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, explores what the author Brett Martin describes as the "Third Golden Age of TV," based on a new kind of television character.

Subscription cable channels don't have sensitive sponsors, commercials or concerns about language or violence. In the book, Martin argues that this relative freedom, combined with the old-fashioned appeal of serial storytelling, creates a new kind of high-quality television programming.

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7:40am

Sun June 30, 2013
Arts & Life

A Hindu Goddess Arrives To Bless Embassy Row

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:28 pm

The goddess Saraswati now looks down upon Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Ventre NPR

Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.

In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.

And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.

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7:03am

Sun June 30, 2013
Three Books...

3 Books That Watch Your Every Move

They can watch us, of course. We knew they could. We suspected. But to have it confirmed, to discover that exactly this and precisely that, these emails we sent, those calls we made, are neatly documented and filed away (just in case there should be a future cause for concern, of course, don't worry yourself, it will probably never be you) ... that's a little uncomfortable.

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6:48am

Sun June 30, 2013
Three Books...

The Man, The Myth, The Reading List: Nelson Mandela

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:35 pm

Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.
AP

Growing up in apartheid South Africa with widespread state censorship, it was hard to get to know our political leaders. The first time I actually saw a photograph of Nelson Mandela was in high school in the mid-1980s.

A braver classmate had managed to sneak a few grainy images into our school — a full-face, younger Mandela, his fellow Robben Island inmate Walter Sisulu and the South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo.

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5:30am

Sun June 30, 2013
The Salt

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:45 pm

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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4:25am

Sun June 30, 2013
Sunday Puzzle

Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:36 pm

NPR Graphic

On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."

Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

Answer: mite, item

Winner: Gig Moineau of Newton, Mass.

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7:07pm

Sat June 29, 2013
Author Interviews

Lillian Leitzel, The Tiny, High-Flying 'Queen' Of The Circus

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Leitzel is remembered as the first true circus diva.
Dean Jensen's collection Courtesy Crown Publishing Group

In the first half of the 20th century, aerial performers — not elephants or tigers — were the big draw at circuses. And nobody was a bigger star than Lillian Leitzel, a tiny woman from Eastern Europe who ruled the Ringling Brothers circus.

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6:00pm

Sat June 29, 2013
Movies

Rescued, Hitchcock's Silent Films Flicker Anew

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:07 pm

Carl Brisson stars as sideshow boxer "One Round Jack" in Alfred Hitchcock's 1927 film The Ring. That and eight more of the master's early silent features have restored by the British Film Institute.
Rialto Pictures/BFI

Alfred Hitchcock's early silent films have resurfaced in what's being called the single biggest restoration project in the history of the British Film Institute, and now "The Hitchcock 9" are touring the U.S. this summer.

Hitchcock is best known for his Hollywood suspense films of the post-war era, like Psycho and Vertigo. But the director was born in England and began his directing career there during the silent era. In fact, he loved both seeing and making silent films.

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5:50pm

Sat June 29, 2013
Monkey See

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 9:55 pm

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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