Arts + Life

Arts + Life
4:41 am
Fri March 27, 2015

Her Instagram Feed Finds The Fun In Long-Suffering Somalia

Ugaaso Boocow is back β€” and instagramming β€” in her homeland of Somalia.
Courtesy of Ugaaso A. Boocow

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 3:59 pm

Ugaaso Abukar Boocow has become an Instagram sensation by sending out stunning visual messages from an unlikely place: poor, suffering Somalia.

She was just a toddler when her grandmother fled with her to Canada to escape Somalia's civil war, leaving her mother behind.

Then last year, she decided to go back, moving to the capital, Mogadishu, and reuniting with her mother, whom she hadn't seen in over two decades.

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Arts + Life
10:18 am
Mon March 16, 2015

With Sunny, Modern Homes, Joseph Eichler Built The Suburbs In Style

After World War II, developer Joseph Eichler built well-designed and well-crafted tract homes that dotted California suburbs.
Stephen Schafer

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 9:04 pm

In Palm Springs, Calif., a $1 million home was just built β€” with plans resurrected from 1951. The original sold for about $15,000, and was called an Eichler, after developer Joseph Eichler, who offered well-designed, well-built tract homes to the masses a half-century ago.

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Arts + Life
7:29 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

From Waitress To TV Writer: A 'Surreal, Fantastic Cinderella Story'

Diane Ruggiero-Wright is a writer and producer for shows including Veronica Mars and the new CW show iZombie.
Priska Neely NPR

Originally published on Fri May 1, 2015 4:09 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

Diane Ruggiero-Wright has written and produced a number of TV shows, including the cult classic Veronica Mars. She's the co-creator of the new show iZombie β€” about a zombie who pretends to be a psychic and solves murders β€” which premieres on The CW on Tuesday.

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Arts + Life
5:17 pm
Sun March 15, 2015

Police Dog On Payroll: 'Indiana Bones' Is Woman's Best Friend

Indiana "Indy" Bones reports for duty on a field investigation, in which the dog sniffs to detect human remains for a reopened cold case.
Gloria Hillard NPR

Originally published on Mon March 16, 2015 11:48 am

From bomb and drug-sniffing duties to neighborhood patrol, dogs are widely used in law enforcement. Many agencies rely on volunteer canine teams to assist them with search and rescue operations and criminal investigations.

But the county of Los Angeles has a full-time four-legged detective on its payroll: Indiana Bones, or "Indy."

Karina Peck, an investigator and canine handler with the Los Angeles County coroner's office, is in a truck, rolling over uneven, hard-packed earth that dead-ends in a shallow canyon.

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Arts + Life
10:53 am
Sat March 14, 2015

Not My Job: Trombone Shorty Gets Quizzed On Obscure Musical Instruments

Mike Coppola Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 8:54 am

This week, we've brought the show to New Orleans, where Troy Andrews β€” better known as Trombone Shorty β€” began playing music at age 4. He was touring with his brother's band by age 6, and went to the same performing arts academy as Harry Connick Jr., Terence Blanchard and the Marsalis brothers. Now, just shy of 30, he's doing his part to spread New Orleans music around the world.

We've invited him to answer three questions about obscure musical instruments.

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Arts + Life
12:35 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Terry Pratchett, Prolific Fantasy Author, Dies At 66

Terry Pratchett at the 2012 South Bank Sky Arts Awards in London.
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri March 13, 2015 7:56 am

Sir Terry Pratchett, the prolific author behind the Discworld series, has died at the age of 66. The British writer had struggled with a rare, early-onset form Alzheimer's disease for the better part of a decade.

His publisher, Transworld Books, confirmed news of the writer's death in a tweet Thursday morning.

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Arts + Life
9:19 am
Fri March 6, 2015

10 Years Later, A Pair Of Strangers Revisit A Leap Not Taken

Retired California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs (left) and Kevin Berthia at StoryCorps in San Francisco.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 6, 2015 2:05 pm

Ten years ago Kevin Berthia lived in the San Francisco Bay area. He had an infant daughter who had been born premature, and the medical costs for her care climbed to nearly $250,000. He couldn't see a way out of debt.

Berthia fell into a deep depression and went to the Golden Gate Bridge.

"Before March 11, 2005, I never even went to the bridge," the 32-year-old said during a recent visit to StoryCorps. "I didn't even know how to get there. I had to ask for directions."

California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Briggs was there that day, too.

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Arts + Life
2:09 pm
Thu March 5, 2015

Larry David's First Time On Broadway: 'It's Not So Easy!'

David also co-created the NBC series Seinfeld. That show's character George Costanza is loosely based on David.
Thos Robinson Getty Images for The New Yorker

Originally published on Thu March 5, 2015 3:59 pm

Larry David wrote and stars in a new play that has broken the all-time record on Broadway for advance ticket sales β€” more than $14 million. Fish in the Dark is a comedy about a family's rivalries and dysfunction as its patriarch passes away. David tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that the idea came to him when a friend's father died.

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Arts + Life
8:59 am
Mon March 2, 2015

'Downton' Wraps Another Season Of Marriage And (Sigh) Muuuuuurder!

Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) made the acquaintance of Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode) on the season finale of Downton Abbey.
Nick Briggs Carnival Films 2014 for MASTERPIECE

When Downton Abbey, which wrapped up its fifth-season run on PBS Sunday night, is fun, it's so much fun. And when it's not good, it's usually talking about Mr. Bates and Anna and somebody getting murdered.

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Arts + Life
7:06 am
Sun March 1, 2015

Mr. Spock, Mixed-Race Pioneer

Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock. The character's mixed Vulcan and human heritage set him apart from the rest of the Star Trek crew.
Getty Images

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 2:35 pm

At a time when the mere sight of Petula Clark touching Harry Belafonte's arm held the potential to upset delicate sensibilities, the half-human, half-Vulcan character Mr. Spock embodied an identity rarely acknowledged, much less seen, on television: a mixed-race person.

Sure, the mixing of races was allegorical in Spock's case, as was the brilliantly subversive mode for social commentary on Star Trek. But that doesn't mean it didn't resonate.

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Arts + Life
1:23 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Impressionist Hero Edouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles

Edouard Manet's 1873 oil on canvas, The Railway, is on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Los Angeles until March 2. It is on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Studio A Courtesy of Norton Simon Museum

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 3:14 pm

A major star who has absolutely nothing do to with movies is having his day in Los Angeles right now. It's the 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Not exactly an Impressionist, Manet was revolutionary enough for the Impressionists to make him their hero.

Two LA museums are now featuring two major Manet works. Several museums in the area have Manets in their permanent collections. But these two β€” The Railway, on loan from Washington's National Gallery of Art, and Spring, which is worth about $65 million β€” are new in town and getting the star treatment.

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Arts + Life
12:37 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock On 'Star Trek,' Dies At 83

Actor Leonard Nimoy died Friday in Los Angeles at the age of 83.
Matt Sayles AP

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 4:02 pm

Updated at 1:16 p.m.

Actor Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock, the logical half-Vulcan, half-human in the original Star Trek series and several movies, has died at his home in Los Angeles, his granddaughter, Madeleine, told NPR. Nimoy was 83.

The cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, she said.

NPR's Neda Ulaby, who is reporting on the story, tells our Newscast unit:

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Arts + Life
3:39 am
Fri February 27, 2015

This Season On 'House Of Cards,' It's Tough To Be The Boss

Kevin Spacey's President Frank Underwood is embattled and often frustrated in the third season of Netflix's House of Cards.
David Giesbrecht Courtesy of Netflix

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 11:13 am

When House of Cards' third season opens, Kevin Spacey's murderous politician Frank Underwood is fooling the world again.

From the very first scene, he's bringing a presidential motorcade to his tiny hometown of Gaffney, S.C., pretending to honor his father's grave for the press.

"Nobody showed up for his funeral except me, not even my mother," Underwood says in one of those sly asides where he speaks directly to the audience. "But I'll tell you this: When they bury me, it won't be in my backyard. And when they pay their respects, they'll have to wait in line."

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

Obama To Ambitious Teen: 'You've Got 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 Mon May 11, 2015 11:26 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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