Arts

1:25pm

Wed October 10, 2012
Author Interviews

'Signal' And 'Noise': Prediction As Art And Science

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 1:56 pm

iStockphoto.com

No one has a crystal ball, but Nate Silver has perfected the art of prediction. In 2008, he accurately predicted the presidential winner of 49 of the 50 states, and the winners of all 35 Senate races. Before he focused on elections, Silver developed a sophisticated system for analyzing baseball players' potential and became a skilled poker player — which is how he made his living for a while.

Read more

10:44am

Wed October 10, 2012
The Salt

Too Busy To Peel Garlic? Try The 20-Second Microwave Tip

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 11:03 am

Garlic's papery skin slips off quick after a little turn in the microwave. Yes, the microwave is back.
khrawlings Flickr.com

If I were rich, I might hire a sous chef. But for now, I'm learning to cheat time. And here's a new way I've stumbled upon to save a minute or two every time I use garlic.

Toss it in the microwave. I put the whole bulb in — 15 to 20 seconds will do the trick. It makes peeling much easier. The cloves practically slide -– or pop — out of their skins, though I won't make any promises about stickiness.

But, since I'm on the science desk, I have to ask, how does it work?

Read more

7:03am

Wed October 10, 2012
Book Reviews

'Skinny' Starts A Conversation For Overweight Teens

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 10:59 am

Courtesy Point/Scholastic

Young Ever Williams hears a negative voice every day in her head, telling her just how fat and disgusting she is. Ever is the heroine of Skinny, Donna Cooner's new novel for young adults — and "Skinny" is the name she gives that awful voice. Navigating high school is difficult for most kids, but Ever has an additional challenge: She weighs 300 pounds. Her classmates taunt her cruelly, and the boy she likes ignores her.

Read more

3:20am

Wed October 10, 2012
Kitchen Window

'Tis The Season For Savory Tarts

Claire Adas for NPR

This is the most glorious time of year for a cook. Between the forbiddingly hot kitchens of summer and the long, produce-deficient months of winter comes a spell of abundant vegetables and perfect cooking weather — just right for savory tarts.

Read more

3:15am

Wed October 10, 2012
Author Interviews

Virgin's Richard Branson Bares His Business 'Secrets'

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 8:53 am

Richard Branson is the founder and chairman of Virgin Group.
Paul Morigi Invision/AP

Richard Branson is not your average entrepreneur. He dropped out of school at 15 and, despite suffering from dyslexia and attention deficit disorder, went on to found Virgin Group, a business empire that includes airlines, cellphone companies, banks, hotels, health clubs and even a space travel business.

Read more

4:47pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Movie Interviews

Andrea Arnold Tackles An Iconic Love Story

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 5:51 pm

Filmmaker Andrea Arnold won the Cannes Film Festival's Jury Prize for her 2006 film Red Road; her short film Wasp earned her an Oscar the year before.
Oscilloscope Pictures

Not counting Twilight, Emily Bronte's 1847 novel, Wuthering Heights, has been plundered, adapted and remade to death, including, it's not commonly known, by Luis Bunuel and Jacques Rivette. Most people know the book through movies, television miniseries, or even from the hilarious Monty Python semaphore version.

Read more

2:39pm

Tue October 9, 2012
PG-13: Risky Reads

Poison And Petticoats: The Incomplete Jane Austen

Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 3:13 pm

Hulton Archive Getty Images

Rebecca Harrington is the author of the book Penelope.

As a young child, I was very much enamored with romance (my Barbies were subjected to appallingly long balls — Ken was very urbane in his own way). So it was with a kind of relief that I first discovered Jane Austen. I was 9 years old when I stole my mother's copy of Pride and Prejudice and read it very late at night. I didn't really understand much or even who was speaking (old J.A. was never one for attribution) but I knew it was extremely romantic and that was all I needed.

Read more

12:32pm

Tue October 9, 2012
Commentary

One Debate, Two Very Different Conversations

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 2:13 pm

President Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney finish their debate at the University of Denver on Oct. 3.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

When you consider how carefully staged and planned the debates are and how long they've been around, it's remarkable how often candidates manage to screw them up. Sometimes they're undone by a simple gaffe or an ill-conceived bit of stagecraft, like Gerald Ford's slip-up about Soviet domination of eastern Europe in 1976, or Al Gore's histrionic sighing in 2000. Sometimes it's just a sign of a candidate having a bad day, like Ronald Reagan's woolly ramblings in the first debate with Walter Mondale in 1984.

Read more

10:47am

Tue October 9, 2012
Book Reviews

Bits Of Beauty Amidst The Gloom In 'Building Stories'

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 10:56 am

Pantheon

For the characters of Chris Ware's astonishingly ambitious comics project Building Stories, leading lives of quiet desperation is surprisingly noisy business. Plaintive, regretful and bitterly self-recriminating thoughts play on shuffle-repeat inside their heads, like a mordant Litany for the (I Wish I Were) Dead:

"Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the end of the world."

"At that point I was starting to get acquainted with the unfairness of life and learning it was better not to expect anything rather than set yourself up for disappointment."

Read more

2:33am

Tue October 9, 2012
Author Interviews

'Mr. Penumbra' Bridges The Digital Divide

Originally published on Tue October 9, 2012 11:25 am

iStockphoto.com

Author Robin Sloan has spent time on both sides of the digital divide, both as a short-story writer and an employee at Twitter — where he described his job as "something to do with figuring out the future of media."

Read more

Pages