Thu October 4, 2012
Author Interviews

Colbert: 'Re-Becoming' The Nation We Always Were

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

Courtesy of Grand Central Publishing

Stephen Colbert has no idea how other news pundits find time to write books. But he felt certain that his character on his Comedy Central show, The Colbert Report, needed to have another one.

"My character is based on news punditry, the masters of opinion in cable news, and they all have books," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "We don't have time to write a book and feed and wash ourselves, so something has to go out the window. And [for me] it was family, friends and hygiene for the past year."

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Thu October 4, 2012

How 'Star Wars' Seduced Another Generation Of Kids

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 6:03 pm

Ben Blier (left) and his friend Jesse Bleckner hang out in their Yoda T-shirts. On his first day of kindergarten, Ben wore a Yoda T-shirt with "Go to Kindergarten I Must" printed on the front and "Learn Things I Will" on the back.
Courtesy of Nancy Edson

Aruna Jayaraman knows where to find lemonade. Her son's friend Alexander sells it out in front of his house every weekend, hoping to earn enough money to buy a $400 Lego Death Star.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Book Reviews

Roving Eyes, Wandering Hands In 'How You Lose Her'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:58 pm

Riverhead Books

Ay-yi-yi, what is it with these Dominican men? Their hands — and eyes — never stop roving, even as they're slipping engagement rings on their true loves' fingers.

If that sounds like negative stereotyping, don't complain to me: I'm just passing along the collective cultural verdict of the women and men, most of them themselves Dominican, who hustle through Junot Diaz's latest short story collection, This Is How You Lose Her. A good man is hard to find in these stories, and when you do find him, he's always in bed with someone else.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Movie Interviews

'Precious' Director Daniels Flocks To Controversy

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 3:30 pm



I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Film goers will remember Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels for his provocative 2009 drama "Precious," which was based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire. It was an often grim, but also inspiring, story of an obese, illiterate, abused black teenaged mother who eventually finds a way to overcome her many challenges.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Monkey See

Careful, Frustrated 'Glee' People: 'The Break Up' Might Suck You Back In

Emma (Jayma Mays) and Will (Matthew Morrison) are only one of the challenged couples in tonight's Glee.
Jordin Althaus Fox

Every high-school show deals with the same problem — even if with Beverly Hills, 90210-like leisure — if it lasts long enough: What now?

Most often, as on 90210, everyone mysteriously goes off to the same college that doesn't exist. Sometimes, as on Friday Night Lights, the show follows some of the kids further but also toughens up and freshens the cast.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Book Reviews

A Mashup Of Mundane And Magical In 'Dragonslayer'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 8:48 am

Courtesy of Harcourt

It's been a big year — well, a big few years — for young adult fiction, which I'm not going to complain about in the slightest; nothing beats a good YA novel for pure storytelling punch. But I might complain, just a little, about the overwhelming sameness of some of the plots. Dystopian futures, quiet-yet-spunky teenage girls, doomed love triangles — sound familiar? Suzanne Collins has a lot to answer for. Luckily, you can crack open The Last Dragonslayer and spend time with a protagonist who has a refreshingly different set of priorities.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Monkey See

Recreating Indiana Jones' Boulder Run In D.C.'s 'Alley Of Doom'

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

Janet Whitley borrows a stranger's dog to run away from a 10-foot-high plastic boulder in Washington, D.C.'s "Alley of Doom."
Chris Suspect STRATA

At a back alley in Washington, D.C., an innocent bike rider came upon a Prius driving right at him head-on. The Prius, in turn, was being chased by a 10-foot boulder.

The bike rider had accidentally stumbled into "The Alley of Doom."

For one day, anyone who showed up to this alley in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, D.C., could take a free turn at playing Indiana Jones — donning a fedora and whip and fleeing from a gigantic, rolling boulder.

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Thu October 4, 2012
Movie Interviews

Bond Gadgets Stand Test Of Time (But Not Physics)

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

A scene from 1973's Live and Let Die features Jane Seymour and Roger Moore. In the film, Moore wears a supermagnetic wristwatch said to deflect bullets at long range.
United Artists and Danjaq, LLC AP

James Bond — the film franchise, that is — is turning 50. But if 007 is getting up there in years, his gadgets will never get old.

Throughout the series, the creators have always come up with wild gear for Bond to bring along on his missions — while often taking a lot more creative license than they might have needed. They've come up with pieces that were inventive and prescient at best, impossible in the real world at worst, as astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson tells NPR's David Greene.

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Thu October 4, 2012

From Tim Burton, Another Signature Lovable Loner

Originally published on Thu October 4, 2012 10:19 am

After his best friend and beloved dog dies, Victor Frankenstein (Charlie Tahan) decides to harness the power of mad science to bring Sparky back to life — albeit a little the worse for wear.
Walt Disney Pictures


Wed October 3, 2012
The Salt

Capturing Summer's Harvest, One DIY Wine Bottle At A Time

Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 6:40 pm

Customers at a Hartford produce market, choosing grapes to turn into homemade wine.
Jeff Cohen NPR

If buying a local wine just isn't local enough for you, then you might consider joining the growing ranks of people making homemade wine this fall.

Some home winemakers make wine with friends for fun, some make wine with family for tradition; some make it "old school," adding nothing, and drink it by Christmas; others do it "new school," adding preservatives, and wait a year or more to bottle.

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