Arts + Life

Arts + Life
3:36 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You Have This Strength Inside Yourself'

President Barack Obama participates in a "My Brother's Keeper" StoryCorps interview with Noah McQueen in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Feb. 20.
Chuck Kennedy The White House

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:01 am

Noah McQueen is part of "My Brother's Keeper," a White House program aimed at young men of color.

His teen years have been rough, and include several arrests and a short period of incarceration. But last week, he was at the White House. The 18-year-old sat down for a StoryCorps interview with President Obama, who wanted to know more about Noah's life.

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Arts + Life
6:45 pm
Thu February 26, 2015

Living Small In The City: With More Singles, Micro-Housing Gets Big

Jay Austin's tiny house in Washington, D.C., has 10-foot ceilings, a loft bed over the bathroom and a galley-style kitchen.
Franklyn Cater NPR

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:53 am

Back in 2012, something unusual got started in an alleyway in an already tightly developed part of northeast Washington, D.C.

On an 11th-of-an-acre lot next to a cemetery, behind a block of row houses, tiny houses started to go up. And not just one little house in backyard, like you might see in many places. The builders billed this as an urban tiny house community.

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Arts + Life
9:16 am
Mon February 23, 2015

The Oscars: What People Are Saying The Day After

Oscar winners J.K. Simmons (best supporting actor), Patricia Arquette (best supporting actress), Julianne Moore (best actress), and Eddie Redmayne (best actor) pose with their trophies, after an awards show that was heavy on advocacy messages.
Jordan Strauss Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:16 pm

Along with learning who won an Oscar at last night's Academy Awards, we learned a lot more: Who to call (your parents), and what women should be paid (the same as men). From civil rights to immigration and health issues such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's diseases, advocacy was a big part of last night's show. Here's a quick rundown of what people are saying Monday.

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Arts + Life
5:02 am
Mon February 23, 2015

When Kids Think Parents Play Favorites, It Can Spell Trouble

Originally published on Tue February 24, 2015 11:21 am

If you have siblings, you probably think that your parents liked one kid best β€” and you're probably right. Scientists say the family pecking order does affect children, but not always in the way you might think.

The vast majority of parents do have favorite child, according to research β€” about 80 percent. But that number sounds pretty darned high. So I decided to ask some kids in my neighborhood in Bethesda, Md., what they think happens in their families.

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Arts + Life
12:39 am
Mon February 23, 2015

'Birdman' Wins Big On A Soggy Night At The Oscars

Alejandro Gonzalez IΓ±Γ‘rritu accepts the Academy Award for best picture for Birdman.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 9:53 am

The rain that fell on Hollywood as the hours of red-carpet coverage wore on may have provided one of the evening's best visuals: actual people running around wearing plastic bags as they guided famous people out of limos, under umbrellas and to the waiting microphones of interviewers who wanted to know who made the dress, the shoes, the jewelry. It was literally the packing up and encasing of humanity to keep reality out: What could be more Oscars than that?

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Arts + Life
6:20 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

The Scents And Sensibility Of LA's Nosy New Perfume Enthusiasts

Scent Bar, in central Los Angeles, is home to over 700 niche fragrances β€” several of which are neatly arranged here.
Courtesy of LuckyScent

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 1:54 pm

The sense of smell is a powerful trigger β€” capable of calling to mind the sight of a new car, or the memory of a freshly mown lawn from many years past. But this power doesn't just serve to remind; it's also captivating scientists and inspiring a burgeoning subculture in Los Angeles, where many people are collecting fragrances like some people collect stamps.

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Arts + Life
5:10 pm
Sat February 21, 2015

Adobe Photoshop: 'Democratizing' Photo Editing For 25 Years

"Jennifer In Paradise," a photo of Jennifer Walters in Bora Bora in August 1988, was the first color image to ever be Photoshopped. John Knoll used the image of his then-girlfriend (now wife) to demo Photoshop to potential users.
John Knoll

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 9:48 pm

This week, the photo editing software Adobe Photoshop turned 25 years old. The program is an industry juggernaut β€” so famous that the word "Photoshop" has come to be synonymous with image manipulation.

But when the software started, says co-creator Thomas Knoll, it was a personal project. He and his brother John started working on the program in the late 1980s.

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

Making Peace With Peace: Snow Days And Seasons


So here we are, many of us in the D.C. area, doing what many in the Northeast β€” particularly New England β€” 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 β€” and appeared to care about β€” 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 β€” 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.

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 β€” 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.

In addition to poems and plays and stories, Langston Hughes also wrote letters β€” a lot of letters. The letters β€” 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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