Researchers found that as men grow older — from, say, 50 on — they have fewer obstacles and annoyances to worry about in life and, furthermore, they are more equipped to deal with adversity. But around age 70, life — or at least the perception of happiness — begins to go downhill.
"Living in Argentina, I've learned a lot about how the world works. You live in The States and a dollar's a dollar," says Richard Shindell. That's not the case in other countries, where "the IMF, Moody's and what they say about a country is important information for normal people."
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 12:27 pm
Remember when you were little and you relied on friends or music videos to learn the latest dance moves? You couldn't rewind MTV to break down the steps, and you might look a fool for sashaying left instead of right, or whatnot. This is the beauty of the GIF, a motion suspended in looped animation that allows you all the time in the world to get that shimmy down. SXSW was full of crazy dance moves and we had Adam Kissick capture five worth emulating.
Witness the triumphant return of Ohio native Kelsey Kinney with the Happily Ever Laughter tour with Chicago’s Second City on March 21 and 22. In addition to revisiting classic sketches from the 54-year history of Second City, Kelsey and the rest of the cast will engage in improvisation with the audience, during which she will guarantee that they’ll "make comedy gold happen right before your eyes."
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 8:10 pm
Every reality show is an entirely true story.
It is not the story that it claims to be — the story of two tribes building a new civilization, the story of America's search for its next superstar — but it is a true story nevertheless. It is, or at least it contains, the true story of the conception, creation, marketing, viewing, analyzing and evolution over time of a piece of entertainment that lives in the swampy, foggy, half-real version of the truth that it creates.
Originally published on Mon March 10, 2014 11:56 am
The last thing anyone would say about South By Southwest is that it's an avenue for self-improvement. The annual mega gathering, which began last week for film and interactive-technology mavens and turns into a music conference and festival tomorrow, fulfills many needs for the culture nerd. Communal bonding? Yes – somewhere around 100,000 people will wander the Austin streets looking to high-five each other during this time. Fun? For sure.
Originally published on Sat March 8, 2014 10:23 am
Here's what I remember: The day it happened, I was around 8 years old, which puts me in the second grade. It was definitely a Sunday (because we never went anywhere on Saturdays). My dad had decided to take me to the Museum of Modern Art to see some paintings, and I always liked going places with my dad, it didn't matter where, so we arrived at the lobby, bought our tickets, handed them to a man who tore them in half, like at the movies. Then we took the escalator, walked into a big gallery, and as we were moving through — that's when it happened.
Aaron didn't intend to tell his classmates that he was homeless. But when he recorded his own story with StoryCorpsU — a project designed to help kids in high-needs schools build stronger relationships with their teachers — he says, it just came out.
"I felt ... like a big load was let off," Aaron explains. (NPR has withheld Aaron's last name, at the request of his foster care agency, to protect his privacy.) "I don't know what made me say it, but I'm like, 'Let me just be honest and just get it out.' "
The big winner was 12 Years a Slave, but there was quite a bit of love to go around at Sunday night's Oscars. What there wasn't, as usual, was a lot of riveting television.
Sure, there was John Travolta squinting at the teleprompter and introducing Idina Menzel (to sing the Oscar-winning Best Original Song "Let It Go," from Frozen) as — no kidding — "Adele Dazeem." And there was a fun dance number featuring Pharrell Williams and his own Oscar-nominated "Happy," which he wore a formal black version of his Grammys hat to perform.
Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 11:52 am
The best thing about late-night TV can also be the trickiest.
On the fringes of TV's big stage, shows airing after midnight can be a home for invention; a place where quirky personalities and developing talent can try things with the potential for massive success or demoralizing failure with relatively low stakes.
That history — and its potential for greatness — may be one reason why Seth Meyers' funny, well-paced, completely professional debut Monday as the new host of NBC's 12:35 a.m. Late Night show nevertheless left me a little underwhelmed.
Comedy actor, writer and director Harold Ramis is best known for the 1984 film Ghostbusters, which he co-wrote and starred in along with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. Ramis had co-written and planned to star in the long-awaited Ghostbusters III — but did not get the chance. Ramis died Monday in Chicago from an autoimmune disorder. He was 69 years old.
Ramis co-wrote Animal House, Meatballs and Stripes. He co-wrote and directedCaddyshack and directed Murray in Groundhog Day.
Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 11:08 pm
[This piece contains information about the plot of Downton Abbey, up to and including Sunday night's fourth-season finale.]
Another season of Downton Abbey has come to a close, and once again, Lady Edith is unlucky. Unlucky in love, unlucky in life. She's unluckier than Bates, and he went to jail for something he didn't do, for what certainly felt like a really, really long time. She's unluckier than Matthew, and he's quite deceased.
Think for a moment about an artist who is really out there in some way. Maybe a musician comes to mind, somebody like Lady Gaga or a painter like Salvador Dali. New research now asks whether you like such artists because of their art or because they conform to a mental stereotype of how artists are supposed to behave. NPR's social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam joins us regularly on this program. Hi, Shankar.
Originally published on Thu February 20, 2014 1:36 pm
If you're familiar with the Nick Hornby book or the 2002 film of About A Boy, you will find that what has been kept in the new TV adaptation, coming Saturday night in a preview to NBC, is the clichéd skeleton of the story: a lazy, glib bachelor befriending the child of a single mom and learning how not to be such a selfish baby. Child-averse jerk and wisecracking moppet: a well-worn dynamic that animated, among other things, the early stages of Two And A Half Men.