Arts + Life

Arts + Life
5:04 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

While The Audience Turned Away, 'American Idol' Found Some Great Singers

Candice Glover competes Thursday night for the American Idol win.
Ray Mickshaw Fox

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 2:11 pm

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Arts + Life
4:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

A Farewell To 'The Office': The 10 Best Episodes

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski in The Office.
Vivian Zink NBC

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 12:39 pm

It really only hit yesterday: It's the end of The Office.

After nine seasons, Dunder Mifflin is going dark Thursday night, with an hour-long retrospective at 8:00 and a 75-minute episode at 9:00 that may or may not feature a cameo from Steve Carell. There have been denials of an appearance from him that could be read as emphatic or tiptoeing, depending on whether you focus on the obvious implications of those denials or the technicalities that might allow for wiggle room.

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Arts + Life
3:39 pm
Thu May 16, 2013

From The Heart Of Egypt's Revolt, The Pulse Of Artistic Life

Egyptian folk singer Dina El Wedidi performs at Qasr El Nil Theater during the Downtown Cairo Arts Festival. Wedidi says efforts to revitalize venues like the Qasr El Nil are important because there aren't enough places for musicians of the post-revolution explosion to perform.
Mostafa Abdel Aty Courtesy of Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 8:34 pm

Egypt's capital, Cairo, is now synonymous with protests and sometimes violence. Late at night, the once-bustling downtown streets are largely empty these days. People worry about getting mugged or caught up in a mob.

But the recent Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival is an attempt to revitalize the area with music, art and culture in the old and forgotten venues of downtown Cairo, like the Qasr El Nil Theater.

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Arts + Life
5:32 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Stay-At-Home Dads, Breadwinner Moms And Making It All Work

Dawn Heisey-Grove hands off Zane to Jonathan after a midday feeding. The couple were both working full time when Jonathan lost his job as a graphic designer two years ago.
Kainaz Amaria/NPR

Originally published on Thu May 16, 2013 9:21 pm

The next time you see a father out shopping with his kids, you might need to check your assumptions.

"I'll get the, 'Oh, look, it's a dad! That's so sweet!' "says Jonathan Heisey-Grove, a stay-at-home father of two young boys in Alexandria, Va., who is pretty sure the other person assumes he's just giving Mom a break for the day. In fact, he's part of a growing number of fathers who are minding the kids full time while their wives support the family and who say societal expectations are not keeping up with their reality.

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Arts + Life
12:22 pm
Tue May 14, 2013

Why Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed Matters

Angelina Jolie, seen here in April, wrote in The New York Times about her double mastectomy.
Oli Scarff Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 14, 2013 3:34 pm

Pop culture does not mean celebrity culture; I have perhaps said this more often than anyone you're going to meet. Who dates, who gets a divorce, who has a tantrum, who has surreptitious photos snapped of him by mangy, grim opportunists — these things are not culture of any kind, popular or otherwise, unless there is something else at stake. They are curiosities, and given that we are curious creatures, their pull is not surprising, nor is it new, nor was it invented by the internet, or television, or Americans.

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Arts + Life
3:05 pm
Sun May 12, 2013

Banksy Mural May Be Coming To U.S. After All

A man inspects a plastic cover placed over Slave Labour, an artwork attributed to Banksy, in London. This piece of art was put up for sale in Miami last February, but the ensuing outrage led to the auction's cancellation. The mural is now part of an exhibition in London, and is is expected to move to the U.S. afterward.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 6:00 am

You might remember the story of the uproar earlier this year over a piece of art by the mysterious graffiti artist Banksy that disappeared from its home on a wall in north London and ended up on the auction block in Miami.

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Arts + Life
9:44 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Jacob & Sophia Rule Among Baby Names, Liz & Liam Are Hot

Originally published on Mon May 13, 2013 8:09 am

If this was a contest, some might call for the name Jacob to be retired after so many wins.

According to the Social Security Administration:

"Jacob and Sophia are repeat champions as America's most popular baby names for 2012. This is the fourteenth year in a row Jacob tops the list for boys and the second year for Sophia."

Rounding out the top 10 lists:

Girls / Boys

2. Emma / Mason

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Arts + Life
9:37 am
Fri May 10, 2013

We Get Mail: How Can A Vinyl Lover Start Over From Scratch?

For fans of vinyl records who regret discarding their collections, it's not too hard to start over.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue May 28, 2013 2:03 pm

We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the ironic promotional cassingles is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, how a regretful fan of vinyl records can re-create her discarded collection.

Kirsten Elbourne Mathieson writes: "I'm big-time regretting getting rid of all of my record albums years ago. Any advice for someone starting from scratch with vinyl after all these years? What albums must be heard on vinyl rather than CD/digital?"

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Arts + Life
10:03 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Preserving The Motherhood Advice And Memories Of A Mom

Carol Kirsch and her daughter, Rebecca Posamentier, visited StoryCorps in 2008. Posamentier visited again recently.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri May 10, 2013 8:10 am

In 2008, Rebecca Posamentier visited StoryCorps with her mother, Carol Kirsch.

"My mom was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's, and I was hoping to get her voice and her thoughts on tape before she couldn't express them anymore," Posamentier said recently during a second visit to StoryCorps.

Kirsch died in March 2011, but during that first visit, Posamentier chatted with her mother about well, motherhood.

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Arts + Life
12:49 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

At The Met Ball, Those Are Some Crazy Dresses

Beyonce, complete with thigh-high boots to match.
Timothy A. Clary AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 2:15 pm

Monday night was the big night for unusual dresses (you may remember a previous post about Madonna's bunny ears): the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, known as the "Met Ball." It had a loose punk theme (because the costume exhibit it's celebrating is punk-centric), but everyone got up to quite a bit of her own thing.

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Arts + Life
12:43 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Shut The Door, Have A Suite: 'Mad Men' Steps It Up

Jon Hamm as Don Draper in Mad Men.
Michael Yarish AMC

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:53 am

[CAUTION: This is all about Sunday night's Mad Men. Obviously, if you haven't seen Sunday night's Mad Men and you still intend to, you might hold off.]

It's reductive to conclude that on far too many episodes of Mad Men, nothing happens. Of course something always happens: someone feels something, or learns something, or is locked in a continuous internal struggle with something. A dynamic continues to simmer, a memory comes to the surface, angels and demons battle for somebody's soul.

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Arts + Life
12:20 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Remembering Monster-Maker Ray Harryhausen

Medusa from 1981's Clash of the Titans is among legendary animator Ray Harryhausen's many creations.
Peter Macdiarmid Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 2:19 pm

Ray Harryhausen, who died Tuesday in London at age 92, became fascinated with animation after seeing King Kong in 1933. He went on to create some of the most memorable monsters of old Hollywood, from dinosaurs to mythological creatures.

His monsters, however, were never completely divorced from the real world.

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Arts + Life
11:37 am
Wed May 8, 2013

In France, A Renewed Push To Return Art Looted By Nazis

A photo taken by the Nazis during World War II shows a room filled with stolen art at the Jeu de Paume museum in Paris. Using improved technology and the Internet, the French government is making a renewed push to track down the rightful owners of art looted by the Nazis.
Courtesy of Archives des Musees Nationaux A Paris

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 9:55 pm

During World War II, the Nazis plundered tens of thousands of works of art from the private collections of European Jews, many living in France. About 75 percent of the artwork that came back to France from Germany at the end of the war has been returned to their rightful owners.

But there are still approximately 2,000 art objects that remain unclaimed. The French government has now begun one of its most extensive efforts ever to find the heirs and return the art.

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Arts + Life
5:26 pm
Tue May 7, 2013

'Show Boat' Steams On, Eternally American

When she's discovered to be a multiracial woman "passing" as white, the Cotton Blossom's star performer, Julie (Alyson Cambridge), is forced to leave the company.
Scott Suchman Washington National Opera

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 2:50 pm

It's been more than eight decades since Show Boat -- the seminal masterpiece of the American musical theater — premiered on a stage in Washington, D.C. Now the sprawling classic is back, in a lush production put on by the Washington National Opera.

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Arts + Life
11:43 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Things Come (Very, Very) Apart

Todd McClellan Courtesy of Thames & Hudson

Originally published on Wed May 1, 2013 9:52 pm

Todd McLellan must have a lot of fun at his job.

How else to explain someone who meticulously dismantles, then painstakingly rearranges hundreds of tiny parts of machinery. And that's before he throws everything into the air.

The Toronto-based commercial photographer was the kind of kid who always took things apart, including an entire 1985 Hyundai Pony in secondary school. He said that if an object interested him, it would soon be in pieces.

"I've always had a technical grounding trying to figure out how things work," he said in a phone interview.

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Arts + Life
11:38 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Crowd Funding Effort Seeks To Save Venice's Everyday Gondolas

Nicolo Zen, director of Traditional Boat Museum of Venice, launched a crowd funding project to save one of the last traghetto gondolas — everyday boats used by the city's locals.
Christopher Livesay

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 9:00 pm

Even if you haven't been to Venice, you're probably familiar with the city's famous tourist gondolas: With baroque silver ornaments, shiny black lacquer, and sumptuous red seat cushions, they're unabashedly fancy, not to mention ubiquitous. A ride with a gondolier costs at least 80 euros (about $105), rain or shine (and it's 110 — $144 — more to be serenaded).

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Arts + Life
12:07 pm
Sat May 4, 2013

A 'Decadent And Depraved' Derby With Hunter S. Thompson

When illustrator Ralph Steadman accepted an assignment with writer Hunter S. Thompson at the Kentucky Derby, he never imagined the weekend that would ensue. Here, Steadman depicts the race's winner, a colt named Dust Commander.
Ralph Steadman

Originally published on Sat May 4, 2013 6:27 pm

In the spring of 1970, a British illustrator named Ralph Steadman had just moved to America, hoping to find some work. His first call came from a small literary journal called Scanlan's. It was looking for a cartoonist to send to the Kentucky Derby. Steadman had heard of neither the race nor the writer he was to accompany, a fellow named Hunter S. Thompson.

Steadman hadn't read any of Thompson's work, and he certainly didn't know that the writer had a bit of a drinking tendency, but he agreed to go.

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Arts + Life
8:01 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Ohio Movie House Screens Its Last Reel-To-Reel

After Tuesday, projectionist Andy Holyoke will help retire the Little Art Theatre's vintage Italian reel-to-reel projectors.
Courtesy of Steven Bognar

It's the end of an era at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs, Ohio. On Tuesday, the theater will run its old, 35 mm film projector for the last time. Then, starting Wednesday, it will close for several months to install an expensive new digital projection system.

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Arts + Life
3:07 am
Tue April 30, 2013

When It Comes To Productivity, Technology Can Hurt And Help

With instant messages buzzing, emails pinging and texts ringing, how can employers increase productivity in the workplace? Software companies are tackling the problem, tracking employees' computer time to find ways to improve their efficiency.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 3:27 pm

Even when people think they're buckling down, studies show the average office worker wastes over a third of the day. There's Facebook, of course, and the email from a friend with a YouTube link. After all that, is it time to go get coffee?

Worker pay is the most expensive line item in the budget for most businesses, which means billions of dollars are going to waste.

But here's the silver lining: It turns out lack of productivity presents a big business opportunity.

Joe Hruska is pretty blunt about how much work anyone does in a typical day.

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Arts + Life
4:57 pm
Sat April 27, 2013

Two Daytime Soaps Return, But Will Fans Follow Online?

New episodes of All My Children will be airing on Hulu starting Monday.
Hulu

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 3:15 pm

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