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Games + Leisure

Games + Leisure

Quick, think of a physicist.

If you're anything like me, you probably didn't have to think very hard before the names Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton popped up.

But what if I asked you to think of a female physicist? What about a black, female physicist?

You may have to think a bit harder about that. For years, mainstream accounts of history have largely ignored or forgotten the scientific contributions of women and people of color.

When NBC News correspondent Katy Tur was a little girl, her parents pioneered aerial journalism. Flying over Los Angeles in a helicopter, they captured car chases, fires and shootouts – events which often horrified a public who hoped for the best but dared not look away. Maybe that's why Katy's bosses thought she'd be the perfect person to assign to cover the campaign of Donald Trump. Her new book Unbelievable chronicles her time on that beat.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words and phrases. Each one conceals the name of a world capital in left to right order, although not in consecutive letters. Every answer has exactly 5 letters.

Example: STOCK SYMBOL --> TOKYO
1. SERIOUSLY
2. PARTISAN
3. COCK-AND-BULL
4. HUMANOID
5. MINISKIRT
6. SOUTH AFRICA

Last week's challenge: The name of what vehicle, spelled backward, becomes phonetically a four-word phrase identifying another vehicle?

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you clues for two words. Reverse the last four letters of the answer to the first clue to get the word that answers the second clue.

Ex. Part of a flower / Flat dish --> PETAL, PLATE
1. Apportion / Coral island
2. Distress signal shot into the air / Wild, as an animal
3. Rugged / Many-headed serpent of myth
4. Nosy person / Implement for eating soup
5. Call the wrong telephone number / Lost
6. Fragility / Place to order a sandwich to go

Hanks For Nothin'

Dec 2, 2017

Break out your multiple Oscars for a game that mashes up Tom Hanks movie titles! It's his best work since Apollo 13 Going On 30.

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Start Me Up

Dec 2, 2017

DING! That imaginary bell means it's time for an audio quiz about the sounds you hear when events, movies, and video games begin.

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

This, That, Or The Other

Dec 2, 2017

Contestants guess whether phrases are spooky urban legends, nicknames of old-timey Hall of Fame baseball players, or a phrase following "The Adventure of" in the title of a Sherlock Holmes story.

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Cop To It

Dec 2, 2017

Get ready for the ultimate Sting operation: We rewrote songs by The Police to be about famous cop shows.

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Wisdom Of The Crowd

Dec 2, 2017

Can you guess how many people follow the most-followed raccoon on Instagram? We challenged house musician Jonathan Coulton and the hive mind of our audience to a guesstimation game.

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

The One-Thousandth Game!

Dec 2, 2017

We've officially played one thousand games on Ask Me Another! And what better way to celebrate than with a final round in which every answer contains the consecutive letters 'U-S-A,' just like the word 'thousandth.'

Heard On Jason Mraz: Choco-mole And Pie

Greta Gerwig was already an acclaimed actor and screenwriter, famous for movies like Frances Ha. But now she's written and directed Lady Bird, already a huge hit and the best-reviewed film ever on Rotten Tomatoes. The whole awkward outsider thing is going to be a challenge to keep up after winning an Oscar.

Her new film is about a fierce young woman who calls herself "Lady Bird," so we thought we'd ask her about actual female birds.

Click the audio link above to see how she does.

Lee Unkrich has helped make many Pixar movies, including the Academy-Award-winning Toy Story 3, which he directed. He's followed up a movie where he almost killed a beloved group of toys by making one in which almost everybody is already deceased — his new movie Coco centers around the Mexican holiday Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead).

Since Coco pays homage to actual Mexican culture, so naturally, we wanted to quiz him about the opposite of that: Taco Bell.

Click the audio link above to see how he does.

On-air challenge: I'm going to give you some words. For each word, move one letter to a different position to spell another word.

Ex. NEVER —> NERVE

1. HURLED

2. GALLERY

3. INFIELD

4. SOOTHER

5. STARTLE

6. AMENDER

7. WITHER

8. SPARED

9. TOPICAL

10. PARLEYS

11. RETAIN

12. NEAREST

13. SIMMERED

The last one is a little different. It has two answers — which go together to make a familiar compound word:

14. SHORE

Reading The Game: Red Dead Redemption

Jan 23, 2017

For years now, some of the best, wildest, most moving or revealing stories we've been telling ourselves have come not from books, movies or TV, but from video games. So we're running an occasional series, Reading The Game, in which we take a look at some of these games from a literary perspective.

If you've stepped foot in a comic book store in the past few years, you'll have noticed a distinct shift. Superheroes, once almost entirely white men, have become more diverse.

There's been a biracial Spider-Man, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, and just last week, Marvel announced that the new Iron Man will be a teenage African-American girl.

Joining this lineup today is Kong Kenan, a Chinese boy who, as part of a reboot of the DC comics universe, is one of four characters taking up Superman's mantle.

It's been an eventful weekend for Pokémon trainers — even without Team Rocket around.

After being released Wednesday, the mobile app Pokémon Go is currently the top downloaded free app, and the top grossing app, in both the Apple and Android stores.

Her name is Riri Williams. She reverse-engineered her own version of the Iron Man battlesuit in her MIT dorm room, got kicked out, and struck out on her own to do the superhero thing. Clumsily at first, but she's learning fast. So fast she's impressing Tony Stark, who's questioning his status as the Marvel Universe's go-to, super-powered Campbell's soup can. Readers first met her in the March issue of Invincible Iron Man.

To Be The Very Best: Pokémon Enters Into Augmented Reality

Jun 30, 2016

Halfway through your walk to school, a wild Charmander appears. Just a few throws of a Pokéball, and it could be yours. Will you stop to catch it?

Nintendo is betting you will. Not just that, they're betting that you've waited most of your life to see a Pokémon in the real world.

Origins By Night - Thursday, June 16, 2016 The podcast is broadcast from Big Bar On 2 in the Hyatt during Origins. Recording live at Big Bar On 2 beginning at 8pm! Hosted by: Mike Selinker, Lone Shark Games, James Ernest, Cheap Ass Games, and Paul Peterson, Game Designer  

http://originsgamefair.com/origins-by-night/

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

Growing up, cartoonist Daniel Clowes liked to draw, but he never thought he'd make much of a career out of it. "I was expecting to work for Cracked magazine for four years, and then try to get work putting up aluminum siding or something, doing my prison drawings while I was down for a DUI," he jokes to Fresh Air's Sam Briger.

What do these movies have in common?

Funny Face
New York Stories
Beetlejuice
The Big Lebowski
Ghost World

No Pink, But Plenty Of Red, In Hack-N-Slash 'Fairyland'

May 2, 2016

Editor's note: This piece originally identified Jean-Francois Beaulieu as the illustrator; in fact, he's the colorist and Skottie Young both wrote and penciled.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, so mark the occasion, we're going to play a game called "To boldly go where no man has gone before!" We'll ask pioneering journalist Lesley Stahl three questions about the original Star Trek, taken from a new oral history called The Fifty-Year Mission. Stahl covered the Watergate scandal in the 1970s and has been a 60 Minutes correspondent for 25 years.

'Caped Crusade' Peeks Under Batman's Iconic Cowl

Mar 23, 2016

Batman has two identities: his costumed, crime-fighting persona and his everyday identity as billionaire Bruce Wayne. Right? Or maybe it's not quite that simple — as Glen Weldon compellingly puts forth in The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture. The follow-up to his 2013 book Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, this new superhero overview peeks under the iconic cowl to unveil the many faces of Batman — as well as the many faces of his millions of fans — since the character's creation 77 years ago.

Stop me if you've heard this one: A young man from a noble family suffers hardship that robs him of his place in the family. When the men in charge of government refuse to help him, he takes matters into his own hands, gathering a ragtag group of bandits and whipping them into shape to steal from the rich and give to the poor. Also, he has magic powers. You're in, right? (If not, we can talk about the part where he builds doppelgangers out of straw and lets them get arrested in his stead, just to teach the king a lesson. Your move, Robin Hood.)

When most people want to play a game, the first thing they reach for is likely a smartphone or tablet. Actual pinball machines have become quaint curiosities, but a father-son duo in California is keeping these old-school games alive in a museum.

The Museum of Pinball is hidden away in an old industrial building, just off Interstate 10 and about 90 miles east of Los Angeles in Banning, Calif. It's pretty quiet when the rows upon rows of pinball machines are not turned on. But once the switch is flipped, it gets loud.

Wild Energy Flows Free In A Feminist Comics Anthology

Mar 10, 2016

Hot blue lightning seems to crackle, Star-Wars-Emperor-style, across the surface of The Complete Wimmen's Comix. Its title is a cheeky riff on the renaming passion that consumed feminism in the early '70s, and its two volumes come in a (actually rather ugly) salmon-colored box decorated with examples of the series' highly inconsistent artwork. The whole bulky thing feels like a suitcase bomb packed with jagged hunks of social revolution. And that energy keeps sparking throughout the 704 pages of this frenetic, anarchic, occasionally kamikaze production.

The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye feels like Singapore between two covers. The pressure-cooker country — tiny and polyglot, globally competitive and politically repressive — seems to have been poured into this dense book. As if to make it an even more authentic representation of its homeland, Charlie Chan Hock Chye has met with governmental opposition: Singapore's National Arts Council withdrew a grant from author Sonny Liew because of the book's "sensitive content."

In the weeks since the world was introduced to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the full power of its diverse casting has been revealed. It has engaged millions who might have ignored the film after the prequels disappeared into the sarlacc pit of critical disdain. It's brought a shine to the eyes of children who'd never seen their reflections in a story so grand and sweeping.

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