Sat August 25, 2012
Monkey See

Alan Ball On Leaving 'True Blood' Behind

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 9:00 am

Writer Alan Ball arrives at the premiere of the fifth season of HBO's True Blood in May. Ball is leaving the series at the end of this season.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Nothing panics the fans of a show quite like the departure of the creator. That's just what's happening at True Blood, where creator Alan Ball is leaving after five seasons, but the show goes on. As he tells Laura Sullivan on weekends on All Things Considered, he feels some nostalgia, but he's ready.

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Sat August 25, 2012
Author Interviews

Struggling With Parenthood In Utopic 'Motherland'

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 10:16 am

Park Slope has become the "it" neighborhood to raise a family in Brooklyn. The new novel Motherland gives a tour of the neighborhood's brownstones, European coffee shops and personalities — in particular, the mothers of Park Slope, who definitely have a certain look.

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Sat August 25, 2012
Participation Nation

Art Of Mentoring In Minneapolis

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 11:33 am

Preparing a wall for a mural.
Courtesy of MPTA

Cross the Mississippi River on Saint Paul's Marshall Avenue and it morphs into Minneapolis' Lake Street — a colorful kaleidoscope of cultures.

As Lake Street's collection of murals grows, so does its sense of safety, beauty and community — thanks to groups of artist-activists.

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Sat August 25, 2012
The Salt

On A Quest To Roll Out The Bourbon Barrel And Fill It With Hot Sauce

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 10:39 am

Used bourbon barrels like these at the Goose Island Brewery in Chicago are finding new life by bringing distinctive flavor to beer, cocktails and hot sauce.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Washington, D.C. blogger Sam Hiersteiner is a hot sauce fan turned maker. He's already harvested two pounds of chiles — serranos, jalapenos, and habaneros — from his 30-plant pepper garden this month, and he's ready to mash them into hot sauce as soon as more ripen. Last year, he mashed fifty pounds total.While he loved the results, he thought it would be even better with a whisper of the flavor imparted by a barrel used for aging bourbon.

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Sat August 25, 2012
'Weekend Edition's' Taste Of Summer

Squash Savories To Soothe Summer's End

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Ken Wiedemann

The season is almost over, but summer squash is still plentiful in supermarkets.

Tanya Holland, executive chef and owner of Side BBQ and Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland, Calif., tells NPR's Scott Simon that she loves the versatility of summer squash.

"It can pretty much be used in any dish as a vegetarian substitute that might require chicken or a fish," she says. "It kind of takes on any flavor that you put it with."

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Sat August 25, 2012
Arts & Life

For Writers, The School Of Hard Cops

Originally published on Sun August 26, 2012 6:51 am

Retired Sgt. Derek Pacifico trains screenwriters and novelists to bring more realism into their police procedurals.
Vince Stewart

Police procedurals are the spaghetti and meatballs of television programming. With so many permutations of Laws and Order, CSI and wisecracking cops, you can practically see yellow crime-scene tape stretched around the prime-time schedule.

Sgt. Derek Pacifico spent more than two decades with the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sherriff's Department, responding to emergency calls and walking a beat. He has investigated close to 200 murders, shootings and other crime cases.

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Sat August 25, 2012

Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night 'Host Whisperer'

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 10:16 am

Longtime late night producer Peter Lassally tells Scott Simon that being interviewed for NPR is a "big, frightening experience." "I'm not a performer," he says. "I'm a quiet person who doesn't like to blow his own horn."
Mark Mainz Getty Images for AFI

Peter Lassally is known as "the host whisperer." If you've ever watched a late night show with an opening monologue, a couch and guests bouncing off each other, then you've seen his work — he practically invented the form.

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Fri August 24, 2012
Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!

Ambassador Peter Westmacott Plays Not My Job

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 11:39 am

Pascal Le Segretain Getty Images

We do what damage we can on this show, but it's not often we get the chance to cause a real international incident. So we're very excited that Sir Peter Westmacott, Great Britain's ambassador to the U.S., has agreed to play our game called "No homework, extended naps and eight hours of recess!"

A lot of big-time politicians got their start as little politicians, running for the student council. We'll ask Westmacott three questions about strange doings in the school halls of power.

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Fri August 24, 2012
Hardcover Fiction Bestsellers

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of August 23, 2012

Phillippa Gregory's The Kingmaker's Daughter, about 15th century power struggles, debuts at No. 12.


Fri August 24, 2012
The Picture Show

Finding The Beauty In At-Risk Teens

Originally published on Sat August 25, 2012 2:15 pm

Zoey. From the series At Risk, With Promise.
Courtesy of Amy Anderson

There is a sad, angsty, misunderstood teenager in all of us. Some of us are just better at letting it show.

So no matter how far past your teenage years you may be, Amy Anderson's portraits of at-risk teens in Minnesota may take you back to that time in your life when you wished the world could see you differently.

"I'm trying to show these kids in a way that most people don't see teenagers at all," she said. "So many teenagers feel disconnected and don't see the potential, beauty and value in themselves."

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