Arts & Life

'Darkest Time Of Night' Will Keep You Turning Pages

Jul 1, 2018

What keeps us reading is a varied and curious thing. For one book, it's plot, for another, it's pacing, for still another, relevance — and so forth. (When you find a book that has it all? Call the Pulitzer hotline ...)

Nothing says "gentrification" quite like the opening of a Whole Foods.

That's the message, at least, of a new musical about the idea that a location of the largely organic, high-priced grocery chain could one day open in Washington, D.C.'s Anacostia neighborhood.

Anacostia lies east of the Anacostia River in Southeast D.C., in a part of the city that's historically been more impoverished and more heavily African-American than other areas.

4th of July Pet Safety

Jun 30, 2018
petfinder.com

We love to include our pets in our celebrations, but this is one time they might be better off at home.  Loud, noisy fireworks are not fun for your furry friend.  Add the summer heat and the dangers in some of the holiday foods, and including your pet might not be the best choice.

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Photographer George Rodriguez chronicled Los Angeles for nearly six decades from Hollywood to the Chicano movement to hip-hop and beyond. As NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports, his work is now being celebrated in a new book and his first gallery retrospective.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Fourth of July is next week, a day to reflect on what it means to be an American. We wanted to hear from you, specifically people who recently became citizens, to find out what it's like to be a new American on America's Independence Day.

Bobby Shafran got an unexpectedly warm welcome on his first day at college in 1980.

"Immediately everyone greeted him like he'd been there for years," says filmmaker Tim Wardle. "Guys coming up to him, slapping him on the back, girls are kissing him. He's never been there before — he doesn't know what they're talking about."

Suffering, suffering, and how would you like a slice of abjection on the side? When it comes to books by writers of color, sometimes it seems like we're only allowed to write serious, painful tomes. Reading lists of our most noteworthy books can feel like one After School Special after another — or, as librarian Ammie E. Harrison put it to me, a "trauma buffet."

Goodbye To Harlan Ellison, 'America's Weird Uncle'

Jun 29, 2018

Editor's note: This piece uses some strong language; we think Harlan Ellison would have approved.

Harlan Ellison is dead. He was 375 years old. He died fighting alien space bears.

Harlan is dead. He exploded in his living room, in his favorite chair, apoplectic over the absolute garbage fire this world has become. He's dead, gone missing under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind many suspects. He went down arguing over the law of gravity with a small plane in which he was flying. Harlan took the contrary position. He won.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Legendary gambling destination Atlantic City, N.J. is trying to re-make itself into a place where you can do more: attend a convention, see a show, visit a spa, hang out at the beach and get a nice meal.

The goal is to attract more tourists — and their dollars. The city also wants to provide jobs for the thousands left unemployed after five casinos closed in the last four years.

The biggest sign of this re-make strategy is two casinos that have re-opened under new owners.

François Clemmons is as big of a Fred Rogers fan as anyone — maybe bigger. In the documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, Clemmons, who spent 25 years portraying Officer Clemmons on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, is featured as someone who was close to Rogers, and a trailblazer in his own right.

Empathy, tolerance and acceptance: More and more, educators are focusing on the importance of schools' paying attention to stuff other than academics.

And for the past two months, an exhibit at the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington, D.C., has gathered the work of student artists expressing themselves — through their work — about these issues.

The exhibit is called "Total Tolerance," and it highlights themes of racism, sexism and diversity.

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden Potential

About Jeff Smith's TED Talk

After serving a year in prison, Jeff Smith realized his fellow inmates were just as business savvy as many on the outside. He now works to help inmates harness those skills when they leave prison.

About Jeff Smith

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden Potential

About Pearl Arredondo's TED Talk

Pearl Arredondo grew up in East Los Angeles, the daughter of gang members. Education was her ticket out. She says young people need mentors to push them not to be victims of their own circumstances.

About Pearl Arredondo

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden Potential

About Victor Rios TED Talk

Victor Rios had dropped out of high school. But one teacher helped him turn his life around. Today, he's a sociologist who studies youth and the factors that nurture their potential.

About Victor Rios

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hidden Potential

About Regina Hartley TED Talk

Regina Hartley grew up a self-described scrapper, with far fewer opportunities than her peers. Now the VP of Human Resources at UPS, she says she knows the value of candidates who faced adversity.

About Regina Hartley

"Are you ... my little bunny?"

It is impossible to convey, in paltry written English, the astonishing breadth of dark, rich, velvety plumminess with which Hugh Grant delivers that line in Amazon's gloriously fun 3-episode mini-series, A Very English Scandal.

It is plummier than an Argentinian Malbec. Plummier than the Williams family's icebox at midnight.

Put it this way: When you order moo shu pork, it comes on the side. Is how plummy.

Science fiction writer and provocateur Harlan Ellison, who wrote stories including "Jeffty Is Five," "'Repent, Harlequin!' Said the Ticktockman," and "I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream," died in his sleep at home in Los Angeles at age 84. Like many who write short stories and novellas in genres like speculative fiction, the sweep of his career is evident in his collection of awards: Hugo Awards, Nebula Awards, Edgar Awards and many others.

In 'The Cakemaker,' Grieving Is Baked In

Jun 28, 2018

At first, we barely get to know the baby-faced, blue-eyed gentleman from Berlin, except for his recipes: golden cinnamon cookies, a lush and creamy Black Forest cake. This seems to be the way Thomas (Tim Kalkhof) likes it. He works at a traditional German bakery and largely keeps to himself, an oddity in a city with some of the wildest nightlife in the world. He even loves quietly, so much so that we can't read on his face when someone truly special enters his life. But his hero's journey will take him to a place where making his sweets breaks religious law.

Sicario: Day of the Soldado is a specimen of what might be called exploitation verité. This sequel to the grim-but-arty 2015 drug-war thriller Sicario has been stripped of many of its forebear's assets: Director Denis Villeneuve has been having too strong a decade work-wise to be lured back for this nonessential mission. Nor has at-long-last-Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins returned, nor principal actors Emily Blunt and Daniel Kaluuya.

'Leave No Trace' Stays With You

Jun 28, 2018

"Leave no trace."

It's a phrase you hear a lot in and around our National Parks — it's the camper's creed, the standard they hold themselves up to: That while enjoying the scenery, you should leave your site exactly as pristine as you found it.

Director Debra Granik's new movie Leave No Trace is about a father and daughter who take that notion further than most. It's a film about being on the run, even when no one's in pursuit.

Now in his grizzled late fifties, Bobby Shafran is an affable, ordinary fellow whose life ran away from him back in 1980, when the nineteen-year-old freshman drove his beat-up Volvo to enter community college in upstate New York. He was puzzled at being effusively greeted by fellow students who called him Eddy. It quickly transpired that he was a dead ringer for another student at the college named Eddy Galland, who turned out to be the twin Bobby never knew he had. The discovery got into the local press, and soon a third lookalike, David Kellman, turned up.

With Gonzo Flair, A New Graphic Novel Kills Hitler

Jun 28, 2018

From the get-go, there's absolutely no mystery about what kind of Hitler book Son of Hitler is — and isn't. When the cover features a closeup of the man himself grimacing comically as he's strangled (complete with wet protruding tongue), you know there's audacity afoot. Anthony Del Col helped create the anything-goes Kill Shakespeare series, and he and Geoff Moore have set out to inject a similar sensibility into the World War II spy genre.

Disney has moved one step closer to purchasing a big chunk of 21st Century Fox. On Wednesday, the Justice Department announced it had approved the proposed deal, valued at a total $71.3 billion.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

W. Kamau Bell is embracing the word "negro." It's a term that connects him to civil rights icons of the past.

"Some people may be offended by it, but to me it just feels very like classically, importantly black," Bell says. "It reminds me of a time when black people were angry and doing something about it. For me it takes me right back to the height of the civil rights movement with Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and Malcolm X."

Joe Jackson, patriarch of the legendary Jackson family, which included Michael and Janet Jackson, has died, the estate of Michael has confirmed in a statement. No cause of death was given, though he had reportedly been diagnosed with cancer.

Officially, Joe Jackson was a band manager, taking five of his sons from a locally celebrated pop vocal group in Gary, Ind., in the mid-1960s to international acclaim, acting as the launchpad to superstardom for his son Michael. Their paths, however, would be revealed through the decades as ones paved in checkers.

'Red Waters Rising' Leads Old Friends Into New Trouble

Jun 27, 2018

In the Devil's West trilogy, Laura Anne Gilman has given us an imagined history of the United States — one that feels nearly as true as facts, both crazier and more reasoned than our Old West reality. Silver On The Road defined that world. One where the Devil — the actual Devil, smelling warmly of whiskey and tobacco, dressed in a prim cardsharp's suit — holds dominion over everything in the United States west of the Mississippi, and defends it and its people from the predation and influence of Washington, Spain, the French and all of the East.

Comfort never goes out of season, so neither do cooking shows. On this episode, we look back on a conversation Glen Weldon and I had with Barrie Hardymon and Kat Chow about the cooking television we know and enjoy. We talk about Top Chef, about Barefoot Contessa, about Chopped and about whether you can actually become a better and more confident cook through TV. Barrie even stops to wonder: does a tomato deserve underwear? (It makes sense coming from her.)

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