Arts

5:26pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Education

More Than 50 Years Of Putting Kids' Creativity To The Test

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:30 pm

E. Paul Torrance, shown here in the mid-'80s, spent most of his career studying and encouraging students' creativity.
Courtesy University of Georgia

This is the second in a three-part series about the intersection of education and the arts.

Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?"

It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there.

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5:26pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Author Interviews

A Real-Life Fight For Freedom In 'Nine Days'

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:10 am

Delacorte Press

Two high-school sophomores — Ethan Wynkoop and Ti-Anna Chen — sneak away from their homes in suburban Washington, D.C., and fly to Hong Kong. They're searching for Ti-Anna's father, a Chinese emigre and dissident who believes that China is just a spark away from democratic revolution.

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3:26pm

Wed April 17, 2013
Movie Reviews

Digging Into Ricky Jay's 'Deceptive' Card Tricks

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 8:37 pm

Veteran magician Ricky Jay reveals much about himself in a new documentary on his life of deception. His card-trick techniques? That may be another story.
Kino Lorber

When people talk about movie magic, they rarely mean card tricks. They're talking about digital wizardry and special effects.

But a new documentary called Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay is all about card tricks — and a man who has devoted his life to them.

Card artist Ricky Jay keeps up a constant stream of chatter in his act onstage — everything from gambling poems to stories about The Great Cardini — and it's all very entertaining, but the patter is designed to distract you from what he's doing.

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2:59pm

Wed April 17, 2013
The Salt

Science In A Scoop: Making Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 12:14 pm

The store uses a patented machine to keep ingredients churning and mix in the liquid nitrogen in a safe, controlled manner.
Alan Greenblatt NPR

Robyn Sue Fisher's ice cream shop, Smitten, in San Francisco's Hayes Valley, may at moments resemble a high school chemistry lab, but that's because Fisher uses liquid nitrogen to freeze her product.

Nitrogen is "a natural element," she notes. "It's all around us."

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10:15am

Wed April 17, 2013
The Salt

'Modern Art Desserts': How To Bake A Mondrian In Your Oven

Originally published on Thu April 25, 2013 4:25 pm

Left: One of Piet Mondrian's grid-like color block compositions. Right: Caitlin Freeman's cake homage.
Art 2013 Mondrian/Holtzman Trust c/o HCR International USA Reprinted by permission from 'Modern Art Desserts'

As an artist, Caitlin Freeman found her calling in cake.

Freeman started out wanting to be an art photographer. But one day, while still in art school, she came across Display Cakes, artist Wayne Thiebaud's 1963 painting of frosted confections, during a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The image was so arresting, it stayed with her for years, and later inspired her to set off on a completely different career path: baking.

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10:09am

Wed April 17, 2013
Book Reviews

Owls, Yes, But Also Kookaburras And Dentists In Sedaris' Latest

Plenty of personal essayists, including really good ones like Nora Ephron, Anna Quindlen and E.B. White, burn out or switch to fiction after a few books. Even Michel de Montaigne, the 16th century French writer often acknowledged as the father of the genre that combines intelligent reflection with anecdotes and autobiography, produced only one volume — albeit a massive one. Yet here's David Sedaris with his eighth collection, the absurdly titled Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls: Essays, Etc.

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7:03am

Wed April 17, 2013
From The NPR Bookshelves

Meet America's Poets Laureate, Past And Present

To celebrate National Poetry Month this April, NPR Books reached into the archives for some interviews with the nation's official poets. Poets Laureate past and present have revealed their eloquence and insight in these interviews, where they discuss their inspirations, their heart-breaking memories, their confrontations with aging — and, in the case of Ted Kooser, how his wife felt about his thousands of Valentines.

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4:42am

Wed April 17, 2013
Author Interviews

Why Vaguely Defining Bullying Can Be A Problem

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 2:46 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

There's been a major push to prevent bullying in America's schools but some are now worried in our enthusiasm to tackle this social problem, we are creating new problems. Indiana is the latest state to pass a tough anti-bullying law. It requires schools to develop prevention programs and adopt rules for disciplining bullies, among other measures.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

We spoke to Emily Bazelon about this. Her new book on bullying is called "Sticks and Stones." Emily, thanks for joining us.

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12:04am

Wed April 17, 2013
Kitchen Window

Nettles Bring Spring To The Kitchen

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:02 am

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

My in-laws live in a half-wild, magical place perched along the edge of the Northern California coastline about an hour from San Francisco. On nice days — and even when it rains — my husband and I will take their black Lab for a ramble up into the woods behind the house where banana slugs carpet the narrow trail, salamanders creep shyly through the trees alongside it, and the air is full of birdsong and the good, damp smells of the growing things.

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7:09pm

Tue April 16, 2013
Movie Reviews

'For My Health': The Latter Days Of Levon Helm

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 9:57 am

Though he began his career as a drummer for The Band, Levon Helm kept working long after the group's dissolution. The documentary Ain't in It for My Health captures his final years as a working musician.
Kino Lorber

Rock 'n' roll is filled with "one lives it, the other writes about it" pairings, from Mick Jagger drawing on the observed excesses of Keith Richards on down the line. But such arrangements only work when both parties feel like they benefit.

When The Band came into its own as a self-contained group in the late 1960s — after stints backing Ronnie Hawkins and Bob Dylan — its songs drew inspiration from a mythic vision of the American South that was itself inspired by The Band's only Southern member, drummer Levon Helm of Turkey Scratch, Ark.

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