Arts

2:21am

Wed December 5, 2012
Books

Susan Straight: One Home Town, Many Voices

Originally published on Wed December 5, 2012 9:09 am

Courtesy of McSweeney's

Think of all the great writers who have made their hometowns literary history — William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Thomas Wolfe, to name a few. Now, Susan Straight is getting the same praise for her portrayal of Riverside, Calif. It's a small town at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains, an hour east of Los Angeles.

Read more

2:08am

Wed December 5, 2012
Kitchen Window

Learning To Cook Under Pressure

Dave Scantland for NPR

Depending on your age and how much time you spent in the kitchen with your mother or grandmother, you may remember a big scary pot on the stove with what looked like a small weather vane on top. As it heated up, the top would begin spitting, hissing and wheezing like an asthmatic cobra.

At that point in my mother's kitchen, she'd warn us, "Stand back, just in case the top blows." What? I thought. Pots exploding in the kitchen? Cooking was that dangerous?

Read more

5:20pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Monkey See

Home Video Review: 'Lawrence Of Arabia' On Blu-Ray

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 6:50 pm

Peter O'Toole was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as the titular Lawrence of Arabia.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Time now for some home-viewing advice from our movie critic, Bob Mondello. This week, a 50th-anniversary Blu-ray release of the ultimate sand-and-sandals picture: Lawrence of Arabia.

Sand dunes for days, armies astride camels, and 29-year-old newcomer Peter O'Toole as British Army Lt. T.E. Lawrence, leading Bedouin warriors on a charge that would shake the Ottoman empire and shake up moviemaking for decades.

Read more

5:03pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Movie Reviews

An Aging 'Quartet,' Still Polishing Their Legends

Even after her final curtain, a diva is always a diva — as demonstrated by the flamboyant retired soprano Jean (Maggie Smith) in Quartet.
The Weinstein Co.

"Wrinklies," a widely accepted British term for elderly people, is by a generous margin more affectionate fun than the anodyne euphemisms we use here in the United States, where many of us fear crow's-feet almost as much as we do death. It's no accident that Americans have no equivalent term of endearment beyond the horribly neutered "senior citizen." Or that Hollywood movies mostly ignore the old — or consign them to the demeaning Siberia of crazy old coots (Jack Nicholson) or wacky broads (Jane Fonda, Betty White and so many more).

Read more

4:48pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Monkey See

PBS Remixes 'Reading Rainbow,' Delights Map And Book Nerds Everywhere

LeVar Burton and 7 year old Shane Ammon exploring the all Reading Rainbow adventure app at the "Reading Rainbow Relaunch" event in June.
AP

1:23pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Author Interviews

'Inventing Wine': The History Of A Very Vintage Beverage

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 1:40 pm

iStockphoto.com

Wine is our original alcoholic beverage. It dates back 8,000 years and, as Paul Lukacs writes in his new book, Inventing Wine: A New History of One of the World's Most Ancient Pleasures, was originally valued more because it was believed to be of divine origin than for its taste. And that's a good thing, Lukacs tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, because early wine was not particularly good.

Read more

1:06pm

Tue December 4, 2012
Television

Boxes Of TV Fun, Old And New, For The Holidays

The new five-DVD, one-CD box set The Incredible Mel Brooks is crammed full with comedy gold — and includes Brooks and Carl Reiner (above) doing their iconic skit "The 2,000-Year-Old Man."
William Claxton Demont Photo Management, LLC

I'm biased, of course, because I'm a television critic — but to me, giving someone a gift of a TV show you yourself enjoyed tremendously is somehow very personal. You're giving something that you love, and that in many cases will occupy many hours, if not days, of their time. And during that time, they'll occasionally be reminded of you.

Read more

12:33pm

Tue December 4, 2012
The Salt

From Humors To Self Control: The Evolution Of A Well-Balanced Diet

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 3:11 pm

How a wealthy table set with a second course in the month of January would look, according to Mary Smith of Newcastle, in her 1772 book, The complete house-keeper and professed cook.
British Library

Chances are you're familiar with the phrase "a well-balanced diet." Two to three servings of meat, poultry or fish; three to five servings of vegetables — you know the drill. When we talk about being "well-balanced" today, we're usually talking about the specific nutrients we put into our body.

While this might seem like a relatively new development — a product of the past 50 years of fitness programs and diet regimes — as it turns out, this idea goes back much further.

Read more

9:51am

Tue December 4, 2012
Monkey See

Sundance 2013: Who Cares About Ashton Kutcher? Bring On Jesse And Celine!

Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs in jOBS, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, which will close the Sundance Film Festival in January.
Glen Wilson Sundance Film Festival

The headline out of yesterday's announcement of the films that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013 had to do with jOBS (if it is up to me, I will never obey that silly typography again), the Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher wearing '70s facial hair.

Read more

7:03am

Tue December 4, 2012
New In Paperback

New In Paperback Dec. 3-9

Carola van Wijk AP

Fiction and nonfiction releases from Alex Berenson, Calvin Trillin, Beth Raymer, Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages