Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 7:45 pm
From water bottles and bumper stickers, to fundraising emails and Twitter accounts, the logos of the 2016 presidential candidates will soon be plastered across the country. Graphic designer Armin Vit tells NPR about the designs so far.
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Originally published on Mon April 20, 2015 4:19 pm
People have been drinking tea for so long that its origin story is rooted in mythology: More than 4,700 years ago, one popular version of the story goes, a legendary Chinese emperor and cultural hero named Shennong (his name means "divine farmer") discovered how to make a tea infusion when a wind blew leaves from a nearby bush into the water he was boiling.
By the 4th century B.C., as Jamie Shallock writes in his book Tea, the beverage had become part of everyday life in China — though in a very different form than we might recognize today.
Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 3:05 pm
["Spoiler" alert: This interview about House of Cards discusses plot points from first two seasons, as well as themes addressed in the third season.]
In the pilot of the Netflix series House of Cards, politician Frank Underwood, played by Kevin Spacey, strangles a dog that was hit by a car. According to creator and showrunner Beau Willimon, there was a big debate among the producers whether to show the dog or not.
Here's why I'm going to miss FX's modern-day Kentucky Western, Justified, so much.
In last week's episode, our hero, unflinching U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens, has ambushed his bitter rival, backwoods Kentucky crime lord Boyd Crowder, shooting at him from across a darkened field on the side of a mountain in hopes of finally putting down the man who is most like his opposite number.
"You've given up everything that you are, so you can murder me," Crowder (Walton Goggins) yells at Givens (Timothy Olyphant) while hunched behind a rock for cover.
Originally published on Wed April 15, 2015 3:54 pm
Early in A Crown for Cold Silver — the debut novel by Alex Marshall (a pseudonym for an established author striking off in an epic new direction) — an old woman's battle scars are mistaken for matronly wrinkles. It's a tiny detail, but it speaks volumes. In Marshall's fictional, vaguely medieval world, Cobalt Zosia is a legendary retired general who once led her fearsome Five Villains to victory in a land rife with injustice, mostly of the haves-and-have-nots variety.
Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 12:22 pm
By Colin Dwyer
There's a label that occasionally gets slapped on works like these. I'm sure you've heard it before: "This book," reads the label's inevitably bold lettering, "is not for the faint of heart."
It's put there sometimes by censors, more often by sensationalizing marketers, and it always aims to warn you about things like Amelia Gray's Gutshot — a book brimming with blood, sexual deviance, mucus and madness. A book, in other words, that won't fail to make you shudder once or twice.
The day after Japan surrendered in 1945, and World War II ended, singer Bing Crosby appeared on the radio program Command Performance. "Well it looks like this is it," he said. "What can you say at a time like this? You can't throw your skimmer in the air — that's for a run-of-the-mill holiday. I guess all anybody can do is thank God it's over."
New York Times columnist David Brooks cites this and other aspects of that 70-year-old radio program as evidence that America once marked triumph without boasting.
Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 2:26 pm
Every springtime in the lovely Alsace region of France, people stand in blossoming pear orchards, sliding glass bottles over tender young pears. The workers fasten the bottles securely to nearby branches, and then wait a few months for each tiny pear to grow and ripen in its own little glass greenhouse.