Arts

11:14am

Mon December 31, 2012
The Salt

Green Grapes And Red Underwear: A Spanish New Year's Eve

Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
Jeff Koehler

If the thought of watching the ball drop in Times Square again is already making you yawn, consider perking your New Year's Eve celebration with this tradition from Spain: As midnight nears on Nochevieja, or "old night," the last day of the year, the entire country gathers in front of television screens or in town squares, clutching a small bowl of green grapes and wearing red underwear. More on the underwear later.

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10:21am

Mon December 31, 2012
Movie Interviews

The Hobbit Filmmaker Turns To Crime Documentary

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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7:03am

Mon December 31, 2012
PG-13: Risky Reads

A Dangerous World of Hackers And Ninjas

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 1:29 pm

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Nick Harkaway is the author of Angelmaker.

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3:31am

Mon December 31, 2012
Books

Listen Up! Audiobooks For Every Taste

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

iStockphoto.com
  • Hear an excerpt of 'Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power'

If you're feeling overwhelmed by the holiday rush — too swamped, even, to spend an afternoon reading those books you got for Christmas, we have some recommendations for you — but these are audiobooks, so you can listen while you multitask.

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3:29am

Mon December 31, 2012
The Salt

Cheap Bubbly Or Expensive Sparkling Wine? Look To The Bubbles For Clues

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 10:03 am

The bubbles in champagne tickle the tongue and transfer wonderful aromas to the nose.
iStockphoto.com

There's nothing like the distinctive "pop" of the uncorking of a bottle of bubbly to create a sense of celebration. Whether it's Dom Perignon or a $10 sparkling wine, bubbles add pizazz.

Sparkling-wine lovers sometimes point to the glittering streams of tiny bubbles as an important attribute. Why? Well, tiny bubbles are a sign of age, explains French chemist Gerard Liger-Belair, author of Uncorked: The Science of Champagne.

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3:28am

Mon December 31, 2012
Author Interviews

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

iStockphoto.com

The familiar image of the salesman in American culture hasn't always been a flattering one. Just think of Alec Baldwin as the verbally abusive "motivator" of two real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross.

Daniel H. Pink, author of the new book To Sell is Human, says that this relentless, predator-style approach to selling has become outdated. He believes that the art of sales has changed more in the past 10 years than it did in the previous century.

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5:42pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Book Reviews

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:33 pm

Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara.
Thorne Anderson

Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain just as he released his widely acclaimed first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Later in the year, it was nominated for the National Book Award.

We asked Fountain to share with us what he's looking forward to in the book world next year. He says he's read about 25 books for release in 2013 and tells host Jacki Lyden, "The state of American fiction is really strong, at least from where I'm standing."

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7:50am

Sun December 30, 2012
Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know

Close The Year Out With Some Best-Selling Last Words

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:27 pm

iStockphoto.com

People often make lists of the greatest opening lines in fiction, but closing lines really appeal to me. They're your final moments with a book and can help you remember and treasure it forever.

The last weekend of the year seems an appropriate time to consider the final words of our favorite novels and short stories. Here are some that I'm especially fond of:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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5:12am

Sun December 30, 2012
Commentary

On Your Plate In 2013, Expect Kimchi And Good-For-You Greens

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:14 pm

Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
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Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf offers her predictions of what we'll eat in the new year.

Asia is the new Europe. It's been gradual: from pan-Asian, Asian fusion and Asian-inspired to just deciding among Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and Burmese for dinner.

Should we have the simple food of the Thai plateau or the hot, salty, sour foods of southern Thailand?

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5:04am

Sun December 30, 2012
Sunday Puzzle

If You Didn't Know, Now You Know

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 1:32 pm

NPR Graphic

On-air challenge: This week is the annual "new names in the news" quiz. You're given some names that you probably never heard of before 2012, but who made news during the past 12 months. You say who they are. These names were compiled with the help of Kathie Baker and Tim Goodman, who were players on previous year-end quizzes.

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