Tue December 16, 2014
Goats and Soda

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:46 pm

The comic book superhero Priya survived a rape and now fights violence against women.
Courtesy of Ram Devineni

Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.

And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.

Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Book News & Features

Marvel At 75: Still Slinging Webs And Guarding Galaxies

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 6:39 pm

Stan Lee — shown here in 2002 — helped create Marvel mainstays like Spider-Man and the Avengers.
Reed Saxon AP

Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.

And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Hanukkah Lights: Stories of the Season

Hanukkah Lights 2014

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 12:34 pm

Dominic Alves Flickr

Candles, latkes, action: It's "Hanukkah Lights," with stories of the season from NPR. Join hosts Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz for original work from Andy Borowitz, Theodore Bikel, Anne Burt and Debra Ginsberg, plus a classic from the "Hanukkah Lights" vault by Erika Dreifus.

Whether you like your Hanukkah tales humorous or historical, magical or true-to-life, there's something for you in this brand-new collection of holiday stories.

Listen to the full hour-long special above, or hear individual "Hanukkah Lights" stories below.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Extras: TED Radio Hour

Playlist: I Never Knew That!

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:20 am

These TED Radio Hour stories will amaze you.
hidesy iStock

Here at the TED Radio Hour, we love surprising ideas. From teddy bears to Sputnik, this playlist is full of astonishing stories that will stay with you.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit


Tue December 16, 2014
Author Interviews

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:41 am

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Monkey See

Deggans: 'Fargo,' 'True Detective,' 'Transparent' Top Best TV Of 2014

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:44 am

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson star in HBO's True Detective.
Michele K. Short HBO

When I was a kid, I loved reading Gene Siskel's movie reviews for the Chicago Tribune.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Monkey See

Yes, Serial Is True Crime — And That's OK

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 5:11 pm

Sarah Koenig will, on Thursday, host the final episode of the first season of Serial.
Meredith Heuer

As The Conversation About Serial reaches a fever pitch in certain circles, those of us behind Code Switch and Monkey See have been talking quite a bit about the show.

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Tue December 16, 2014
The Salt

At Last, Muslims Can Savor A Halal Spin On Spain's Famous Jamón

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 11:29 am

Halal jamón products made with lamb and beef inside the Balkis Gourmet curing room in Cumbres Mayores in Andalusia, Spain.
Lauren Frayer for NPR

Wander into any bar in Spain, order a drink, and the waiter will very likely hand you free tapas. Very often it's some type of pork — jamón (ham), chorizo (spicy sausage) or panceta (cured bacon). You could say this country is obsessed with cured pork products. People joke that even vegetarians in Spain eat jamón.

Eating authentic jamón ibérico de bellota, a cured ham made from free-range pigs fed on acorns, is a key part of Spanish life, especially in the south.

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Tue December 16, 2014
Fine Art

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:33 am

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

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Mon December 15, 2014
Book Reviews

Murakami's 'Library' Is Dark, Creamy And Grainy At The Same Time

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit