At the end of July, thousands of visitors will descend on one of the great literary landscapes of history for the London Olympics. And if they're lucky, they may find themselves getting a ride from a man who drives for a living, but lives to read. London cabbie Will Grozier occasionally joins Weekend Edition to discuss what he's been reading. Lately, he's been thinking about books for the London Olympics visitor — reads that put both the games and the host city in context. He shares his recommendations with NPR's Scott Simon.
The Queen of Versailles is a movie about a couple who set out to build a colossal 90,000-square-foot home — the biggest in America — inspired by the palace of Louis XIV, the Sun King.
In another time, this might have been the premise for a fictional film — a fable about hubris and material excess. But in our time, The Queen of Versailles is actually a documentary about the real life of David and Jackie Siegel of Orlando, Fla.
<strong>Emotional Armor:</strong> Superheroes like Batman (Christian Bale) function as talismans when our fears are darkest — symbols of good, and of justice, when we wonder whether either exists.
Credit Ron Phillips / Warner Bros. Pictures
What is Batman for?
The whole idea's ridiculous, always has been. Guy dresses up like a bat to scare criminals. Shyeah. Not something that can truly chill the blood — a snake, say, or a spider — but a bat, the sight of which causes most of us to sigh and reach for a tennis racket to shoo the little guy out the nearest window.
It's an idea a kid would come up with, which is one reason it's come in for such merciless lampooning over the years: Pow. Zap. "Holy priceless collection of Etruscan snoods, Batman," et cetera.
Fifty years ago, a young architect named Norton Juster decided to procrastinate by writing a children's book; his roommate, a young cartoonist named Jules Feiffer, did all the illustrations. The result was The Phantom Tollbooth, which has since become a beloved children's classic.
Since Juster knows enough about The Phantom Tollbooth already, we've invited him to answer three questions about The Phantom Menace.
Melissa Harris-Perry, MSNBC's newest host, is a Tulane professor with a Ph.D. in political science from Duke. She hosts the two-hour <em>Melissa Harris-Perry</em> show, which airs on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Credit Eliot Kamenitz / The Times-Picayune /Landov
Cable news channels tend to treat intellectuals gingerly — as fragile curiosities or as targets for ridicule — when they appear at all.
Not MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry. This newly anointed cable host commutes 1,300 miles each week for her eponymous program of opinionated conversation, interviews and essays that runs live for two hours each Saturday and Sunday morning.
We've been doing PCHH for two years now, and we've never really talked in detail about Breaking Bad. That's kind of weird, but it's partly an artifact of the fact that it took us a while to develop an adequate background, since the only one of us who was a regular watcher from the beginning was Mike Katzif, our producer.
But this week, with me and Glen fully up to speed (along with Mike) and with Stephen and Trey recent experimenters who watched a few early episodes and then jumped ahead to Sunday's season premiere — heresy, I know, but they did it anyway — we dive in.
Sylvia Woods, known as the Queen of Soul Food, died yesterday at age 86. She opened the legendary Sylvia's restaurant in Harlem 50 years ago, around the corner from the Apollo Theater, and it soon became a gathering place for prominent African Americans, politicians, and foodies of all ages and races.
A zombie plague has wiped out 95 percent of America. Camps of survivors band together in pockets across the country, waiting for small squadrons of human "sweepers" to inch their way across major cities, destroying the remaining zombie-like creatures hiding out in office buildings and shopping malls.
But now the human sweepers have to tackle their biggest challenge yet: clearing the undead from Lower Manhattan.