Arts + Life

Arts + Life
12:45 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

Making Peace With Peace: Snow Days And Seasons

iStockphoto

So here we are, many of us in the D.C. area, doing what many in the Northeast — particularly New England — have been doing lately: looking out the window.

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Arts + Life
11:09 am
Tue February 17, 2015

An Ancestor Of YouTube, Selfies And Vines

From Chapel Hill, N.C., 1939
H. Lee Waters Duke University Libraries

Quietly watching historical film of real people doing real things can stir something powerful in us about our collective past. It's like being in a time machine with a big picture window. The images-in-action trigger real and imagined memories.

The moving pictures eerily remind us of where we came from, what those before us looked like and acted like — and appeared to care about — and about how we are all, in the end, the same and yet very different.

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Arts + Life
9:02 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Meet The Dogs Whose Names Are Too Long To Fit In This Headline

A French bulldog waits to enter the ring at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show. Fulla Bull Soulja Boy got the nod as best of breed.
Seth Wenig AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 7:24 am

Plenty of people like to use their dog's name in their passwords. Yet, for many of the owners competing in this year's Westminster Kennel Club dog show, that might be a tough proposition. Some of these dogs may be small — but just about all of their names are big.

Take, for instance, the border terrier who answers to the name Gizmo. His real name is actually McHill's His Royal Highness Prince Gizmo House of Gremlin. Then there's the basset hound named Easthill Broxden Woodland Lettuce Entertain You.

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Arts + Life
3:31 am
Tue February 17, 2015

So An American Comic Walks Into A Chinese Bar ...

Comedian Jesse Appell performs at a club in Beijing. Appell won a scholarship in 2012 to study comedy in China and has been performing on the country's small but growing stand-up comedy circuit.
Anthony Kuhn NPR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 9:28 am

When American comic Jesse Appell first arrived in China, his intestinal fortitude was tested by Beijing street food. And that's become material his stand-up act, which was on display recently at the Hot Cat Club, a small but popular Beijing bar and performance venue.

"I ate at restaurants that hadn't been renovated in so long they still had portraits of [Chairman] Mao up on the wall," he says.

The Mao reference seems suitably ancient to the young crowd of expats, and they burst out laughing.

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Arts + Life
7:35 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

One Playwright's 'Obligation' To Confront Race And Identity In The U.S.

Playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins may be only 30 years old, but he's already compiled an impressive resume. His theatrical works, which look at race and identity in America, have been performed in New York and around the country. Last year, Jacobs-Jenkins won the best new American play Obie Award for two of his works, Appropriate and An Octoroon.

An Octoroon is currently playing at Theater for a New Audience in New York.

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Arts + Life
3:33 am
Fri February 13, 2015

A Texas Community Takes On Racial Tensions Once Hidden Under The Surface

Kathy Van Sluyters (left), Barbara Carr and Colleen Dickinson chat on a recently finished sidewalk across from Wildflower Terrace, a mixed-income apartment building in the Mueller development for people ages 55 and over.
Julia Robinson for NPR

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 9:23 am

This is the second story in a two-part report on the Mueller neighborhood for the NPR Cities Project. You can find part one here.

The idea behind "new urbanism" is that a planned environment, designed with pedestrians and social interaction in mind, can create a meaningful community.

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Arts + Life
10:50 am
Thu February 12, 2015

'We're All One,' Chapel Hill Shooting Victim Said In StoryCorps Talk

Yusor Abu-Salha (right) recorded a StoryCorps interview last summer with her former teacher, Sister Jabeen. Abu-Salha died earlier this week, along with her sister and husband.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri February 13, 2015 10:37 am

"Growing up in America has been such a blessing," Yusor Abu-Salha said in a conversation with a former teacher that was recorded by the StoryCorps project last summer. She later added, "we're all one, one culture."

The recording gives us a new insight into Abu-Salha, 21, who was killed Tuesday along with her husband, Deah Barakat, 23, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, in Chapel Hill, N.C.

NPR will broadcast part of Yusor Abu-Salha's conversation with her former teacher on Friday's Morning Edition, as part of its StoryCorps series.

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Arts + Life
9:09 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Miniseries Explores The Ugly Fallout Of A Disciplinary 'Slap'

Rosie (Melissa George) and barbecue hostess Aisha (Thandie Newton) comfort Rosie's 5-year-old son (Dylan Schombing) after another parent hit him.
Virginia Sherwood NBC

For a lot of parents, spanking your kids isn't an option. But not too long ago, many a child's bottom met the occasional switch. And while attitudes about corporal punishment have changed, it's still a provocative issue — one NBC is taking on in The Slap, a new miniseries that premiers Thursday.

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Arts + Life
8:00 am
Thu February 12, 2015

How Scams Worked In The 1800s

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 11:18 am

These days we are constantly warned of scams and schemes designed to hoodwink us. The FBI sends out scam alerts from its Internet Crime Center. The Federal Trade Commission cautions against all kinds of fraudulence, from the recent Anthem Hack Attack to IRS impostors.

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Arts + Life
7:54 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Bob Simon, Veteran Of CBS News And '60 Minutes,' Dies In Car Crash

CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, seen here in New York City in 2007, won four Peabody Awards and 27 Emmys in a long and distinguished career.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Metropolitan Opera

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 11:37 am

Decorated journalist Bob Simon, a correspondent for 60 Minutes known for his insightful reporting from far-flung spots around the world, has died in a car crash in New York City. He was 73.

Simon was a passenger in a town car on Manhattan's West Side on Wednesday evening when the car hit another vehicle and then crashed into a pedestrian median, according to local media citing police.

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Arts + Life
6:27 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Tumultuous Relationships, But Not Much Gossip, In Langston Hughes' Letters

Langston Hughes, pictured above in 1961, was a poet, novelist, playwright and "inveterate letter writer," says editor Arnold Rampersad.
AP

In addition to poems and plays and stories, Langston Hughes also wrote letters — a lot of letters. The letters — compiled for the first time in Selected Letters of Langston Hughes -- offer insight into a man deeply devoted to his craft, and chronicle his often tumultuous personal and professional relationships.

"He was an inveterate letter writer," Arnold Rampersad, co-editor of the compilation, tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He would write sometimes 30 or 40 working late into the night, into the early morning. He believed in letters and he also saved them."

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Arts + Life
6:00 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Wisconsin Sculptor Rebuilds After 60-Foot Ice Sculpture Collapses

Roger Hanson began rebuilding the ice sculpture the day after his original 60-foot work collapsed. He's determined to restore the sculpture in time for a series of light shows planned around it.
Matthew Rethaber WXPR

Originally published on Sun February 15, 2015 12:09 pm

On the edge of Lake Superior, a 60-foot tower of man-made ice came tumbling down last week.

The ice sculpture was part of a public art project commissioned by the city of Superior, Wis., and the man behind the unusual sculpture is determined to make it rise again.

Two weeks ago, the ragged pillar of ice towered above Barker's Island. You could see it from the road driving into Superior.

"I think it's pretty impressive," says resident Alya Pfeil. "At first I thought it was just frozen ice, nothing to it. But it's actually quite impressive."

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Arts + Life
9:17 am
Wed February 11, 2015

NBC Suspends Brian Williams For 6 Months Without Pay

Brian Williams speaks onstage at the New York Comedy Festival in November of 2014.
Monica Schipper Getty Images for New York Comedy Festival

NBC News has suspended Brian Williams, the anchor and managing editor for the network's nightly newscast, for six months without pay.

Williams had stepped down voluntarily, after Stars and Stripes questioned an incident he described on air.

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Arts + Life
6:58 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Watch Jon Stewart Break The News Of His Departure To An Audience

Jon Stewart taped an episode of The Daily Show on Tuesday, hours before the news broke that he plans to leave the show.
Comedy Central

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 9:18 am

Taping last night's show shortly before the news of his departure became public, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart faced an awkward task: telling a studio audience that he's leaving the show.

In the process, Stewart couldn't resist making fun of himself.

"Seventeen years is the longest I have ever in my life held a job," he said, "by 16 years and 5 months."

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Arts + Life
3:33 am
Tue February 10, 2015

The French Debate: Free Speech Versus Hate Speech

Students hold pens and signs reading "I am Charlie" in La Rochelle, France, on Jan. 8. They were paying tribute to the 12 people killed the day before in an attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.
Xavier Leoty AFP/Getty

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 8:39 am

When terrorists attacked a satirical magazine in Paris last month, killing eight journalists, millions took to the streets in support of free speech. They waved pencils and carried signs in solidarity with the magazine Charlie Hebdo.

But in the weeks since those attacks, scores have also been arrested for condoning terrorism and inciting racial and religious hatred. Many now wonder if the government's crackdown on hate speech is compromising free speech.

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Arts + Life
5:16 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Supreme Court Won't Stop Gay Marriages In Alabama

The Rev. Charles Perry of Unity Church, in Birmingham, Ala., marries Curtis Stephens, center, and his partner of 30 years, Pat Helms, Monday at the Jefferson County Courthouse. Alabama began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block the marriages in the state.
Hal Yeager AP

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 7:59 am

The U.S. Supreme Court refused Monday to step in and stop gay marriages from taking place in Alabama. The move sent the strongest signal to date that the justices are on the verge of legalizing gay marriage nationwide. Within hours of the high-court ruling, same-sex marriages began taking place in Alabama, despite an eleventh-hour show of defiance by the state's chief justice.

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Arts + Life
11:19 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Time's 'Person Of The Year' Is Feeling Kind Of Lost

Back in Seattle after six weeks of Ebola duty in West Africa, Karin Huster was told by the health department that she might want to send away her two cats during her quarantine — "just in case." The cats didn't go anywhere.
Courtesy of Karin Huster

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 8:06 am

"And now," the public health officer murmured apologetically, "here is the bad news."

I did not need any bad news.

For the past six weeks, I'd faced daily deaths in the Ebola treatment unit in Sierra Leone where I'd been working as a nurse, a seemingly losing battle with the disease and colleagues falling sick with Ebola.

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Arts + Life
10:07 am
Mon February 9, 2015

From Soy Sauce To Bullet Trains: Famed Japanese Designer Dies At 85

After designing a soy sauce bottle for Kikkoman in 1961, Kenji Ekuan went on to design everything from motorcycles to a bullet train.
Mj-bird Creative Commons

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 11:24 am

As with many elite industrial designers, you know his work even if you don't know his name. Decades after Kenji Ekuan created Kikkoman's iconic soy sauce bottles with their red caps, he designed Japan's Komachi bullet train, in a career driven by a desire to make good design accessible to everyone.

Ekuan died Sunday in Tokyo at age 85; Japanese news outlets say he had suffered from a heart disorder.

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Arts + Life
8:21 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Alabama Courts Issue First Marriage Licenses To Same-Sex Couples

Shante Wolfe (left) and Tori Sisson camped outside the Montgomery County Courthouse on Sunday.
Brynn Anderson AP

Originally published on Mon February 9, 2015 3:15 pm

Alabama has become the 37th state to recognize same-sex marriage, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request that would have extended the state's ban Monday. But the state's chief justice says probate courts don't have to follow federal rulings on the issue.

Updated at 1:45 p.m. ET: Supreme Court Rejects State's Request

Expressing regret at the Supreme Court's decision, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange says it will probably bring more confusion and will keep him "from enforcing Alabama's laws against same-sex marriage."

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Arts + Life
3:57 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Out Of The Shadows, TV Star Shines A Light On Immigration

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:52 pm

On Capitol Hill, the immigration debate is a political story. But for millions of people across the country, it is something deeper. "This is not a political issue; it is a human issue," says Diane Guerrero. "Me and my parents were a family, and now we're not. We're separated."

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