Arts

10:14am

Thu January 24, 2013
Ask Me Another

John Hodgman: How Much Does The Know-It-All Know?

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 11:50 am

Brantley Gutierrez Brantley Gutierrez

10:14am

Thu January 24, 2013
Ask Me Another

Small Screen Test

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 10:44 am

Transcript

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Next up on ASK ME ANOTHER, we have our two new contestants, Scott Schwartz and Julieanne Smolinski.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Julieanne, I want to talk to you about this. You, you're a little famous.

JULIEANNE SMOLINSKI: Oh thank you, yeah.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Yes. People in the audience know. Can you...

SMOLINSKI: Those are my friends. They don't count at all.

EISENBERG: They - oh that's your friends. Do you know what I'm actually talking about when I just say that to you?

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7:03am

Thu January 24, 2013
Book Reviews

An 'Artful' Approach To Literary Criticism

Penguin Press

Ali Smith's superb new book, Artful, began as a series of talks on comparative literature that were delivered at St. Anne's College, Oxford, in January and February of last year. It must've been one hell of a show. "The second week, the students had tripled," Smith told The Independent, and by the final week you couldn't find an open seat in the back row.

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3:37am

Thu January 24, 2013
Research News

Shall I Encode Thee In DNA? Sonnets Stored On Double Helix

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:19 pm

William Shakespeare, depicted in this 17th century painting, penned his sonnets on parchment. Now his words have found a new home ... in twisting strands of DNA.
Attributed to John Taylor National Portrait Gallery

English critic Samuel Johnson once said of William Shakespeare "that his drama is the mirror of life." Now the Bard's words have been translated into life's most basic language. British scientists have stored all 154 of Shakespeare's sonnets on tiny stretches of DNA.

It all started with two men in a pub. Ewan Birney and Nick Goldman, both scientists from the European Bioinformatics Institute, were drinking beer and discussing a problem.

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3:33am

Thu January 24, 2013
Author Interviews

'Insurgents' Hoped To Change Military From Within

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:30 pm

Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

National security reporter Fred Kaplan was the first to publicly link Paula Broadwell to Gen. David Petraeus in last fall's affair scandal, but that's not the topic of his new book. In fact, it's barely an addendum. Instead, Kaplan focuses in depth on counterinsurgency — a cornerstone of Petraeus' legacy.

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5:50pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Asia

'Friends' Will Be There For You At Beijing's Central Perk

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 8:53 pm

Customers chat at a Beijing cafe modeled after the Central Perk cafe in the hit American sitcom Friends, in 2010. Nearly a decade after the series ended, the popularity of Friends continues among young Chinese, who use the show as a language-learning tool and enjoy its depiction of young Americans.
Ng Han Guan AP

Almost a decade since the end of the hit American TV series Friends, the show — and, in particular, the fictitious Central Perk cafe, where much of the action took place — is enjoying an afterlife in China's capital, Beijing. Here, the show that chronicled the exploits of New York City pals Rachel, Ross, Monica, Chandler, Phoebe and Joey is almost seen as a lifestyle guide.

Tucked away on the sixth floor of a Beijing apartment block is a mini replica of the cafe, orange couch and all, whose owner Du Xin introduces himself by saying, "Everyone calls me 'Gunther' here."

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5:20pm

Wed January 23, 2013
Fine Art

In 'According To What?' Ai Weiwei Makes Mourning Subversive

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 4:48 pm

Grapes, a spiky cluster of wooden stools from the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), is part of Ai Weiwei's repurposed furniture series.
Cathy Carver Courtesy Hirshhorn Museum

10:41am

Wed January 23, 2013
Television

Jimmy Kimmel: Making Late Night A Family Affair

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 12:04 pm

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel interviews Mel Brooks on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Randy Holmes ABC

This month, Jimmy Kimmel's late-night ABC talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, joins the 11:35 p.m. nightly lineup — which puts him in direct competition with two reining comedy kings: Jay Leno and Kimmel's idol, David Letterman.

Kimmel, who paid tribute to Letterman at the Kennedy Center Honors in December, didn't break the news to Letterman himself.

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7:38am

Wed January 23, 2013
Kitchen Window

A Slight Twist On The Sunday Roast

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 1:08 pm

Deena Prichep for NPR

There are certain foods that are almost as fun to say as they are to eat. This is especially true when it comes to British cuisine. There are the easy jokes about bangers and mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), bubble and squeak (fried patties of cabbage, potatoes and any other random leftovers) and stargazy pie (savory pastry with whole sardines horrifyingly poking their heads out the top crust). While it doesn't have quite the same Anglotastic drama, my favorite entry in the genre is the simple Sunday roast.

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7:03am

Wed January 23, 2013
Book Reviews

Here's To The Pleasures Of 'Drinking With Men'

iStockphoto.com

"More than anywhere else," writes Rosie Schaap, "bars are where I've figured out how to relate to others and how to be myself." It's the same for a lot of us, though many won't admit it. Americans tend to have a weirdly puritanical view of drinking, and a lot of people see bars as nothing more than havens for lowlifes and alcoholics. But as Schaap points out in her new memoir, they're missing out. "You can drink at home. But a good bar? ... It's more like a community center, for people — men and women — who happen to drink."

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