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Arts + Life

Arts + Life

Pop Culture Happy Hour entered this week juggling a couple of problems. For one, a gigantic blizzard had just dumped roughly two feet of snow on the D.C. area, making transportation virtually impossible and, it turns out, stranding Glen Weldon in a Virginia cabin for much of the week. Getting the gang together would be no easy task.

Andy Goodling met his boyfriend, Bryan, at college in Pennsylvania. Six years ago, they started dating — but for years, they kept their relationship hidden.

"Bryan was my best friend, but we were both very much in the closet," Goodling tells his father, Scott, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "You know, we knew who we were. We just didn't want to actually say it."

Actor Richard Dreyfuss has played a variety of roles — from the bubbling teen in American Graffiti to a man lured by aliens in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Now, in a new ABC miniseries, he plays Bernie Madoff, the former Nasdaq chairman who orchestrated a Ponzi scheme considered to be one of the largest financial frauds in American history.

Up until recently, there were only 12 works by celebrated Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in American public collections. Now, there's one more on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Dos Mujeres (Salvadora y Herminia) is the first painting Kahlo ever sold, and it's been in the same family ever since.

Kahlo is known for her fantastical self-portraits, but Dos Mujeres shows two other women.

Flip through the pages of Mi Comida Latina and you may quickly fall under its spell. The pages of this cookbook beckon with vibrant watercolor illustrations and recipes written in the kind of delicate hand lettering that make us mourn penmanship as a dying art. The end result combines the charm of a children's book, the promise of a tasty meal and the intimacy of a journal.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

I remember being 14 years old and standing out in the cold at the stage door of Pippin, waiting to get actor Ben Vereen's autograph on my Playbill. More than 40 years later, I still have that program, and I thought about it a lot last weekend as I watched crowds of young people — many in elaborate costumes — geeking out over their shared love of theater.

This is a guest post from WNYC's Note to Self podcast, which explores effects of technology on our lives. Its "Infomagical" challenge will launch on Feb. 1, and you can sign up on the WNYC website.

Oscar-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein may be best-known for producing movies like Pulp Fiction, The English Patient and Shakespeare in Love. But the indie film mogul has also been busy producing TV. His latest project is a version of War and Peace, a co-production with the BBC and Lifetime.

The miniseries — which airs simultaneously on A+E, Lifetime and History — is an updated retelling of Leo Tolstoy's classic Russian novel. And it's a passion project for Weinstein.

On Sunday, the FBI's Fox Mulder and Dana Scully will once again start taking on unsolved cases of the paranormal kind. That's right: The X-Files is back.

Actors Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are reprising their roles of Scully and Mulder in six new episodes. The show is being revived under the helm of its original creator, Chris Carter. Duchovny and Anderson tell NPR's Scott Simon how their characters have changed in the years between the original X-Files and this reboot.

Pittsburgh is being lauded for its resurgence and livability, but not all of the city's neighborhoods are reaping the benefits of this revival. Homewood has the city's highest murder rate; it's an impoverished neighborhood, where a third of the houses are blighted. But there's also hope, in no small part because of artist Vanessa German.

The latest films in the Star Wars and Hunger Games franchises were not just box office smashes. They also shared something else in common: Both tapped into a widespread debate about casting.

Shovelful by shovelful, snowplow by snowplow, the East Coast is digging its way out from underneath an enormous winter storm that blanketed much of the region with up to 3 feet of snow.

And as high winds and 36 hours of snow give way to clear skies and sunshine, some people are taking to the wintry landscape with glee.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Forgive us if you've heard this (and heard it, and heard it) already: The East Coast is getting its fair share of snow this weekend.

If you have, chances are you've also heard another little anecdote. When folks get snowed in for a couple of days — the urban legend goes — the population in that area is likely to see a boost in births just nine months later. In other words: Blizzards might be prime baby-making time.

Following criticism over the lack of diversity in this year's Oscar nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has voted to approve changes aimed at doubling the number of women and people of color in its membership by 2020.

The board of governors unanimously approved a series of changes to "make the Academy's membership, its governing bodies, and its voting members significantly more diverse," the organization said in a statement.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

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DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

From the way we speak to the things we do, few things spark cliches like the threat of a winter storm. For days now, we've been talking about Jack Frost's plans. And as people hunker down, staples like bread, milk and toilet paper have been flying off store shelves.

Many of us are already sick of hearing about the white stuff — and we haven't even felt the wrath of Ol' Man Winter yet. (Side note: What did we ever do to this man to make him so vengeful?)

When Marine Cpl. Zach Skiles returned from Iraq, he couldn't sleep, hold down a job or pay rent. Earlier this year, he and his father sat down to talk for the first time about his life after the war.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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