Arts & Life

In her new book, Sugar in the Blood, Andrea Stuart weaves her family story around the history of slavery and sugar in Barbados. Stuart's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather landed on the island in the 1630s. He had been a blacksmith in England, but became a sugar planter in Barbados, at a time when demand for the crop was exploding worldwide. Stuart is descended from a slave owner who, several generations after the family landed in Barbados, had relations with an unknown slave.

  • Hugely good news for all you wandering minstrels: After years of pressure from groups like the American Federation of Musicians, the FAA has just passed a bill that (finally!) allows musicians to carry their instruments as carry-on luggage or, for larger instruments, to buy an extra seat. However, the federal agency has a year to implement the new standards.

Great blackout last night, right?

It's been clear for some time that substantially more people watch the Super Bowl than have the slightest interest in watching the actual football game. That's why there's such hubbub over the halftime show and the commercials — it gives non-football types something to pay attention to instead of football.

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Maurice Sendak, one of America's most beloved children's book authors, evocatively captured both the wonders and fears of childhood. His books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, revolutionized picture books by adding danger and darkness to the genre.

Over the course of his life, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than a dozen widely acclaimed books and illustrated almost 80 more. And although he died last May at 83, Sendak still has one more volume on the way.

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“Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address: Echoes of the Bible and Book of Common Prayer”

Author: A. E. Elmore

Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press

Pages: 265

Price: $32.95 (Cloth)

Over the past few years, there has been, upon this continent, a rebirth in public interest in Abraham Lincoln.

From movies about outbreaks, to television shows about zombies, to books about Armageddon, we're in love with the end of the world.

Author Sam Sheridan wants to teach you how to survive it, no matter the catastrophe. His new book is called Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.

He's got the skill set to prepare us: Sheridan's resume includes wilderness firefighting, construction work in the South Pole, and everything in between.

Got A Superbug? Bring In The Robots

Feb 3, 2013

Drug-resistant bacteria are a growing problem at hospitals across the country. The bacteria, such as Staphylococcus and Clostridium difficile, are difficult to prevent and impossible to treat.

"The problem is expanding, and it's going up and up and up," explains Dr. Trish Perl of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. "We're running out of antibiotics to treat, and so the challenge is can we prevent?"

Moaz al-Khatib sent waves through the Syrian activist community this week when he announced via Facebook that he was open to talks with representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime on two conditions: that political prisoners, thought to number in the tens of thousands, be released; and exiled Syrians be able to renew their passports at embassies abroad.

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

The movie that writer-director Jonathan Levine, whose credits include The Wackness, 50/50 and Warm Bodies — currently playing in theaters — could watch a million times is Hal Ashby's Coming Home.

For some months now, many of us at NPR have been enjoying a daily email from our friends here who report about books and the publishing industry. It's a tip sheet with news, and a bit of attitude.

Eyder and several others started saying "hey, we ought to publish this."

So, The Two-Way will.

Annalisa Quinn, who's been writing the notes, sends along this mission statement and a little bit about herself:

Sports fans and athletes alike are notorious for superstitions. Take Michael Jordan, who would famously wear his North Carolina shorts under his Bulls uniform.

On Super Bowl Sunday, fans on both sides of the country are engaging in some odd behavior: donning unwashed jerseys, sporting fresh facial hair and sitting in that oh-so-special spot.

While the routines may seem silly, superstitions may actually have helped us evolve as a species.

A 25-year-old man has been charged with killing the author of American Sniper and another person at a Texas gun range.

Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle wrote American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, a best-seller that detailed his more than 150 kills of insurgents between 1999 and 2009. He also set up FITCO Cares, a nonprofit that helps soldiers deal with post-traumatic stress disorder.

USIA / Wikimedia Commons

Montgomery is observing the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights icon Rosa Parks with a public art project downtown.

A 96-foot by 40-foot wall is covered in chalkboard paint and has space for people to complete the sentence "Before I die I want to..."

Montgomery's director of development, Chad Emerson, told the Montgomery Advertiser that citizens came up with the idea and volunteers did the work.

Update at 1:32 p.m. ET. Toll Rises:

The death toll from the coordinated attacks in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk has risen: The BBC says at least 16 people are dead, while Al Jazeera puts the number at at least 30.

Our original post:

In March, country music star Jason Aldean is playing Madison Square Garden. Tickets sold out in 10 minutes. Fans want to hear his latest No. 1 song, "Take a Little Ride."

Headlines were circulating last week about how, as Slate put it, "almost everybody" is rooting for the San Francisco 49ers over the Baltimore Ravens in Sunday's Super Bowl. Of course, it turns out that what this actually meant was more like "substantially more than half of the area of the country is included within counties in which more people like the 49ers on Facebook than like the Ravens on Facebook."

Alex Stone is the author of Fooling Houdini.

I first saw Guns N' Roses on MTV when I was in middle school. Mary Jordan had just ended our rocky three-week relationship — by phone — and I was sulking on a friend's couch. "Check it out," he said, gesturing at the TV. "Sweet Child O' Mine" was playing. "These guys are my new favorite band." Four minutes and 12 seconds later, they were mine too.

Eddie Huang has done many things in a short period of time.

He's been a lawyer, stand-up comic, and now he's the owner of New York's Baohous restaurant and the host of his own food show on Vice TV.

The most remarkable parts of Huang's life, however, took place before all that, back when he was growing up with his Taiwanese immigrant parents and navigating the ins and outs of American culture.

It's all chronicled in his new memoir Fresh Off The Boat.

Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is one of his most famous paintings, but very little is actually known about it. The girl herself is a mystery who has inspired both a novel and a movie speculating on her true story.

Sure, you can go to a Super Bowl party and be That Guy. The one who gleefully lectures the crowd on the merits of running the inverted veer out of the pistol in order to freeze the weak-side backer.

In Afghanistan, there was no sound of music when the Taliban ruled from 1996 to 2001. The Islamist militants destroyed music CDs and instruments and even jailed musicians.

Today, there are music schools and young Afghans playing in public. And, this weekend, 48 Afghan boys and girls are traveling to the U.S. to perform at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

On-air challenge: In recognition of the Super Bowl, the key word is "yards." You will be given some categories. For each one, name something in the category beginning with each of the letters Y, A, R, D and S. For example, if the category were "Girls' Names," you might say Yvonne, Alice, Rachel, Donna and Sally.

Danny Tindell / Dothan Eagle

Hundreds of people have turned out at a service to remember an Alabama bus driver who was shot to death trying to protect the young children on his school bus.

Mourners who attended a viewing service at a funeral home Saturday night remembered 66-year-old Charles Albert Poland, Jr., as a humble hero who taught Sunday School and often lent a helping hand to others.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LAURA SULLIVAN, HOST:

The New York Times doesn't mince words when it writes, "Wayne Shorter is generally acknowledged to be jazz's greatest living composer."

The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears

Feb 2, 2013

In 2008, reports of polar bears' inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger's attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

Wagbrag

Pets, especially dogs, have a natural smile - but it looks even better when they can show off their pearly whites!

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Grand Central Terminal, one of world's most iconic commuter destinations (or departure points, depending on which way you're going), celebrated a big birthday this week. Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the largest railroad terminal in the world.

Manil Suri's new novel, The City of Devi, opens with India and Pakistan on the verge of nuclear war. India is roiled by factional violence between Hindus and Muslims. Bombers strafe citizens, vigilantes settle scores, and terrorists set off dirty bombs around the country as Mumbai boils over with fear and fury. And if that's not enough, it's also a sex comedy.

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