Arts

3:17am

Thu February 28, 2013
Author Interviews

Dictionary Of Idioms Gets Everybody On The Same Page

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 12:04 pm

The "elephant in the room" is something obvious that can't be overlooked, even if no one is talking about it. The phrase was in use as early as 1935.
iStockphoto.com

If you've ever shot the breeze, had a heart-to-heart or bent somebody's ear — in fact, if you've ever talked at all — odds are you've used an idiom. These sometimes bizarre phrases are a staple of conversation, and more than 10,000 of them are collected in the latest edition of The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, which came out this week.

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5:19pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Fine Art

Artist Behind Rosa Parks Statue: She Was 'Superwoman Dressed In Clark Kent's Clothes'

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 5:57 pm

President Obama and the top congressional leaders gathered at the Capitol on Wednesday morning for the dedication of a new statue honoring civil rights activist Rosa Parks, whose refusal to give up a seat on a public bus sparked a boycott and a movement.

12:03pm

Wed February 27, 2013
Author Interviews

'Behind The Scenes' At The Vatican: The Politics Of Picking A New Pope

Originally published on Wed February 27, 2013 1:54 pm

In his new book, The Vatican Diaries, John Thavis draws on his nearly 30 years of reporting on the Vatican.
Viking/Penguin Group

The years of his papacy had seen "moments of joy and light, but also difficult moments," Pope Benedict XVI told some 100,000 spectators gathered in St. Peter's Square Wednesday during his final address. "There have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us ... and the Lord seemed to sleep."

As Benedict becomes the first pontiff to resign in nearly 600 years and cardinals gather in Rome to choose his successor, a series of scandals — child sex abuse, mismanagement at the Vatican bank, the leaking of secret church documents — has left the Vatican reeling.

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11:56am

Wed February 27, 2013
Arts & Life

Fashion For Pregnancy Bumps

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we want to talk about fashion, but a very specific type of fashion that's taken a big step forward in recent years. We're talking about maternity fashion. Pregnancy is a special time in most women's lives. But even the happiest moms used to dread those Peter Pan collars, those giant bows, and do I even need to mention, the T-shirts with the, you know, arrow pointing to the belly.

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7:26am

Wed February 27, 2013
The Two-Way

Book News: New Claims About Nixon In Posthumous Robert Bork Memoir

Judge Robert Bork in September 1987, at the Senate hearing on his nomination to the Supreme Court.
Charles Tasnadi AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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7:03am

Wed February 27, 2013
Book Reviews

Hamid's How-To for Success, 'Filthy Rich' In Irony

Originally published on Tue March 5, 2013 6:20 pm

Novelist Mohsin Hamid lives in Lahore, Pakistan, quite some distance from the Long Island of Jay Gatsby. But his new novel — his third and, I think, best so far — reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald's quintessential American work. As I read this novel about the dark and light of success in a world of social instability, I kept asking myself how much I might be inflating the value of Hamid's novel by rating it so highly. After all, this story takes the form of a gimmick, and gimmicks usually work against real quality.

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2:01am

Wed February 27, 2013
Kitchen Window

In Praise Of The Humble Lentil

Originally published on Thu February 28, 2013 10:01 am

T. Susan Chang for NPR

The year I discovered lentils, I was broke and lonely and didn't know how to cook. Lentils, it turned out, would have gone a long way toward providing the solution to some of these problems. However, when I first had them, they were a mystery.

They also were the cheapest thing on the menu at the Middle Eastern deli around the corner. The dish was mudardara, I was told. "What's that again?" I said, unable to untangle the knot of plosive consonants. It was repeated.

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5:57pm

Tue February 26, 2013
The Two-Way

Can U.S. Embassies Be Safe Without Being Unsightly?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

The U.S. Embassy in central London in 2009.
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

There's been a tug of war between aesthetically pleasing and safe when it comes to American embassies around the world.

Many embassies have been slammed as bunkers, bland cubes and lifeless compounds. Even the new Secretary of State John Kerry said just a few years ago, "We are building some of the ugliest embassies I've ever seen."

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3:25pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Music News

Women Of Grunge Reclaim Rock History In 'These Streets'

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:05 pm

Ron Nine, Mitch Ebert, Eden Schwartz, Fiia McGann and Gretta Harley perform in These Streets, a new play based on a series of interviews with Seattle musicians.
Courtesy of These Streets

Gretta Harley arrived in Seattle in 1990, when grunge was redefining the city. Bands like Nirvana, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden were turning Seattle into the epicenter of the music world. Harley was a punk rock guitarist searching for her tribe, and in Seattle's thriving music scene, she found it.

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3:05pm

Tue February 26, 2013
Commentary

Historical Vocab: When We Get It Wrong, Does It Matter?

Originally published on Tue February 26, 2013 7:12 pm

Linguist Geoff Nunberg finds that in the film Lincoln, screenwriter Tony Kushner oscillates between old and modern meanings of "equality."
DreamWorks/Twentieth Century Fox

Has there ever been an age that was so grudging about suspending its disbelief? The groundlings at the Globe Theatre didn't giggle when Shakespeare had a clock chime in Julius Caesar. The Victorians didn't take Dickens to task for having the characters in A Tale of Two Cities ride the Dover mail coach 10 years before it was established. But Shakespeare and Dickens weren't writing in the age of the Internet, when every historical detail is scrutinized for chronological correctness, and when no "Gotcha!" remains unposted for long.

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