Arts + Life

Arts + Life
6:08 am
Fri December 19, 2014

When Working In Mixed Groups, Staying P.C. Boosts Productivity

In diverse workplaces and classrooms — such as this one at Connections Education in Baltimore — recent research suggests that adhering to standards of political correctness can actually boost, rather than inhibit, the generation of fresh ideas.
Tom Dubanowich PR Newswire

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 7:46 am

Here's some advice for your next office meeting: Hold your tongue. Total freedom of speech, recent research showed, has the potential to squash creativity. As it turns out, if you're in a group of both men and women, adhering to standards of political correctness can help generate far better ideas than simply letting the conversation run wild.

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Arts + Life
5:54 am
Fri December 19, 2014

NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

Terri Van Keuren (from left), Rick Shoup and Pamela Farrell, children of Col. Harry Shoup, commander of the Continental Air Defense Command, visited StoryCorps in Castle Rock, Colo., to talk about how their dad helped to create the U.S. military's Santa Tracker.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:22 am

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

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Arts + Life
3:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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Arts + Life
10:50 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:33 am

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

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Arts + Life
10:47 am
Wed December 17, 2014

'Clifford The Big Red Dog' Creator Bridwell Dies At 86

Author Norman Bridwell and his wife, Norma, pose for a portrait in 2011. The creator of the Clifford the Big Red Dog stories died Friday at age 86.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:26 pm

More than 50 years after he came up with a story about Clifford the Big Red Dog, artist and author Norman Bridwell has died. In 2012, Bridwell told NPR he had been shocked when his idea was accepted for publication.

A native of Indiana, Bridwell was 86. He died Friday on the Massachusetts island of Martha's Vineyard, where he had long lived with his wife, Norma.

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Arts + Life
5:05 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Theater Cancels New York Premiere of 'The Interview'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 10:43 am

Updated at 2:10am ET

A source close to Sony Pictures confirms to NPR that the New York premiere of The Interview scheduled for Thursday has been canceled by the theater that was to host the screening.

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Arts + Life
3:46 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Skating Out Classroom Stress As A 'Derby Dame'

Nina Park, also known as Elle L. Cool Jam, is a member of the Cosmonaughties roller derby team in the Boston Derby Dames league.
Kayana Szymczak for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:46 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Pilot? Artist? Bartender? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

Every fall, on the first day of school, Nina Park greets her new honors English class with a game called "two truths and a lie." Her students, 10th-graders at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Mass. have to guess which is which.

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Arts + Life
2:40 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Early On, Comedian John Cleese Says, He Had Good Timing But Little Else

John Cleese, pictured above in 1976 with Monty Python's Flying Circus (from left, Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones), says he worked hard to learn physical comedy by imitation — "It was not something I was naturally gifted at," he says.
AP

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 9:41 am

Performing live comedy is like "a series of little scientific experiments," says John Cleese. "When you do comedy in front of an audience, they are the ones who tell you whether it's funny or not," he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, and each subsequent night on stage is an experiment in making jokes land better than the night before.

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Arts + Life
1:05 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Watts Going On: The Gaudy Excess Of 'The Great Christmas Light Fight'

The Fuller family's Christmas light display in Clayton, N.C.
Brownie Harris ABC

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:11 pm

Perhaps you are familiar with the oft-quoted wisdom of (allegedly) Coco Chanel that when a woman gets dressed and believes she's ready, she should take off one accessory before she leaves the house.

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Arts + Life
1:03 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Your #NPRUglySweaters: The Joy Of Knitwear We Ought Not Wear

We asked, you delivered — photos of holiday sweaters galore.
Matt O'Malley Twitter

Originally published on Sun December 14, 2014 11:08 pm

When it comes to the perfect holiday sweater, for many people, cheesy is good — tacky is better — and astonishingly ugly is best of all.

The demand for ugly holiday sweaters has reached such a height that it's changed how businesses stock for the season, as Eleanor Klibanoff reported for us on Weekend Edition Saturday. Wal-Mart and Kohl's sell new "vintage" ugly sweaters, and actual vintage stores have had to start searching for new stock to sell.

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Arts + Life
3:26 am
Mon December 15, 2014

When Grandma's House Is Home: The Rise Of Grandfamilies

The number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply.
Stephanie Wunderlich Getty Images/Ikon Images

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 10:42 am

In a shift driven partly by culture and largely by the economy, the number of grandparents living with their grandchildren is up sharply. According to recent U.S. census data, such families have increased by about a third over the past generation.

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Arts + Life
3:20 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Mischief Under The Mistletoe: Office Partygoers Behaving Badly

Too much partying at the office holiday bash can lead to lawsuits, firings or just plain awkwardness.
Bill Sykes Images Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:14 pm

Thanksgiving kicks off holiday party season, and at office holiday parties around the country, this means co-workers will make merry and mischief.

This time of year, Minneapolis attorney Kate Bischoff is a busy woman.

"I often represent clients who are handling the aftermath of a holiday party when it has gone off the rails," Bischoff says.

This includes, but is not limited to, bosses hitting on interns. There was also the case in which a manager gave a direct report a sexually explicit gift. Perhaps it was a joke, but it resulted in a harassment claim.

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Arts + Life
2:12 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

50 Years Of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas': Share Your Sad Tree Photos

Charlie Brown and Linus pick out a scrawny tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special based on the "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles M. Schulz. The beloved show is airing for the 50th year Tuesday.
United Feature Syndicate Inc. AP

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:31 am

"This little green one here seems to need a home."

And with that, Charlie Brown picks out a scrawny tree that even his friend Linus doesn't see fitting "the modern spirit" of Christmas. Lucy, he says, will not be happy.

As you likely know, the tree embodies the spirit of A Charlie Brown Christmas, a TV special that has proven to be timeless and is now airing in its 50th year.

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Arts + Life
1:36 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

For Giving Tuesday: A Guide To Gifts That Give Back

Each item, including boots from Guatemala, a basket from Rwanda and a soda can cuff from Kenya, are handmade. And when people buy these gifts, the profits go back to the artisans and their community.
Courtesy of Teysha; Indego Africa; Serrv

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 2:18 pm

After you've seized all the deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, it's giveback time.

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Arts + Life
5:09 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

The American Origins Of The Not-So-Traditional Celtic Knot Tattoo

Originally published on Tue November 25, 2014 6:31 pm

What is the most cliched tattoo you can think of? Chinese characters? A tribal armband?

How about a Celtic knot? Those interlocking lines that look like ropes or basket weaving.

Last week I was in Ireland and decided to investigate the roots of this trend.

I spoke with Kevin McNamara at the Dublin Ink tattoo parlor.

"It would be a weird week in the shop if I didn't do at least, like 40," he told me. "That's not a literal number, but yeah, it's nuts."

Without Celtic knots and shamrocks, McNamara said, he would never have learned how to tattoo.

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New Boom
9:49 am
Mon December 1, 2014

For These Millennials, Gender Norms Have Gone Out Of Style

Cameron Finucane, a burly, 26-year-old technology consultant in Ithaca, N.Y., started painting his nails a few months ago. He has just started dating Emily Coon, a 24-year-old writer who has sworn off nail polish.

Finucane and Coon, as well as many other millennials, say they find traditional notions of gender too confining, even ill-fitting. They are challenging the idea that men must dress a certain way, and women another. And they are rewriting the rules and refashioning clothes so that they can dress and accessorize in whatever way feels right to them.

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Arts + Life
4:53 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Diversity On 'The Walking Dead' Wasn't Always Handled Well

Chad Coleman, left and Sonequa Martin-Green star as Tyreese and Sasha on AMC's The Walking Dead.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:22 pm

Language advisory: Quotes from The Walking Dead in this story contain language some find offensive.


For The Walking Dead, it was less like a conversation between two characters and more like a mini manifesto.

The moment came during an episode called "Four Walls and Roof," as Bob Stookey spoke to hero Rick Grimes about a central theme this season: keeping your humanity in midst of a zombie apocalypse.

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Arts + Life
1:49 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Photos From Around The Snow-Covered Country This Week

The Curly Lambeau statue at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., gets coated in snow on Monday.
Kiichiro Sato AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:29 am

Winterlike weather hit the West and Midwest, and it hit hard. Northern areas of Wisconsin saw up to 18 inches of snow, while central Michigan was left shoveling through more than 16 inches. The freeze is expected to hit the East Coast after some unseasonably warm weather there this week.

Arts + Life
5:41 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Sacred, Sad And Salacious: With Many Meanings, What Is True Blue?

Phil Stanton (from left), Chris Wink and Matt Goldman are the founders of the theatrical performance troupe Blue Man Group.
Jemal Countess Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:49 pm

The color blue has meant a lot of things to a lot of different people. In medieval times, the Virgin Mary's cloak was often painted a celestial, pure, sacred blue. In the early 1900s, Pablo Picasso created somber blue paintings during a period of depression. The color has been championed by everyone from jazz musician Miles Davis and singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell to the theatrical Blue Man Group.

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Arts + Life
3:49 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Famous Paintings Sell For Millions At Auction, But The Artist Gets Zero

Andy Warhol's Triple Elvis [Ferus Type] is set to be auctioned at Christie's, and expectations are high — but Warhol's estate won't see any of the money.
Christie's Images LTD. 2014

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 2:02 pm

It's fall auction season in New York, and two Andy Warhol silkscreens are on the block at Christie's. One is of Elvis Presley — it's called Triple Elvis; the other is Four Marlons — as in Marlon Brando. In the late 1970s, a German casino bought both works for $185,000. This time around, they're expected to fetch more than $100 million. Andy Warhol's estate won't see any of that money: Unlike musicians or novelists, visual artists don't earn future royalties. But that may be about to change.

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