Originally published on Tue January 13, 2015 10:49 am
My Nintendo Wii character, my Mii, looks a lot like me. She has the same haircut, the same skin tone and even the same eyebrow shape. And while my Mii plays tennis slightly better than I do, I designed her to be a real, virtual me (albeit with balls for hands).
But it turns out I might not have needed to mimic my appearance to let people know what I'm like.
Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 2:30 pm
Marvel Comics has provided some of Hollywood's biggest box-office characters ever: The Avengers, the X-Men, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Iron Man, Spider-Man, all starring in gargantuan special effects blockbusters.
And like every superhero, Marvel Comics has an origin story. It begins in New York City, in 1939.
Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 6:46 pm
Two years ago this day, a 23-year-old woman was brutally gang-raped on a moving bus in New Delhi. Three days later she died from her injuries. The incident pushed millions in the city and all over India to protest the widespread violence against women. The protests led to tougher laws and empowered women to stand up against sexual violence.
And one man was inspired to create a comic book superhero.
Ram Devineni, a New York-based filmmaker, gave life to Priya, a survivor of gang rape who seeks to stop violence against women.
Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 11:11 am
Tristan Walker is successful by anyone's standards: He went to a top-notch prep school, graduated as valedictorian at college, went on to become a trader on Wall Street, earned an MBA at Stanford, and then helped to launch the location app Foursquare.
But what makes Walker so remarkable is that he is one of the few African-Americans to rise up the ranks in Silicon Valley.
The man behind the most popular female comic book hero of all time, Wonder Woman, had a secret past: Creator William Moulton Marston had a wife â and a mistress. He fathered children with both of them, and they all secretly lived together in Rye, N.Y. And the best part? Marston was also the creator of the lie detector.
Harvard professor and New Yorker contributor Jill Lepore reveals this and other surprising details about Marston in the new book The Secret History of Wonder Woman.
Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 6:47 pm
The fourth and final issue of the weekly, four-issue Marvel Comics miniseries Death of Wolverine, written by Charles Soule and drawn by Steve McNiven, will be published Wednesday. This prompted an incredulous text from a friend, Golfrguy, to NPR's nerd-about-town Glen Weldon:
Golfrguy: dude they're killing off wolverine???????
Elizabeth Gilbert was a successful magazine writer in New York when she went through a life crisis and decided to travel the world. When she got back, her book Eat Pray Love become one of the biggest best-sellers of the past decade, along with its sequel Committed. Her latest novel is called The Signature of All Things.
Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 11:15 am
This is a story about love. It's a story about bad things happening to good people, about memory and perseverance â and comic books. But most of all, it's a story about a voice. A mellow, smooth voice, just right for late-night jazz.
Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:59 am
On-air challenge: Today's puzzle is ba-a-a-ad. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with BA- and the second word starts with D-.
Last week's challenge: This challenge came from listener Matt Jones of Portland, Ore. There are three popular men's names, each six letters long, that differ by only their first letters. In other words, the last five letters of the names are all the same, in the same order. Of the three different first letters, two are consonants and one is a vowel. What names are these?
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 11:05 am
Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour
This week's show is a very special event for us: it's our visit to Comic-Con.
Because Maggie Thompson (mother to PCHH regular Stephen Thompson) was a special guest at San Diego Comic-Con this year, she invited us to do a panel discussion with her. So Stephen, Glen Weldon and I â along with a crucial audio assist from our pal Petra Mayer â set up in one of the rooms upstairs in the convention center and taped a show. (We still don't know what caused the constant thumping. This is what happens when we travel without our producer, Jessica.)
Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:23 am
A pacifier and a knife: These two images open The Graveyard Book, P. Craig Russell's graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's 2009 novel. They're oddly complementary devices, the tool of infancy and the weapon of grownups, expressing the quixotic innocence of a kids' book (well, young-adult book) set in a place of death.
Originally published on Mon August 25, 2014 11:51 am
Amy Tan grew up all around the Bay Area where her Chinese American family was part of a group of friends they called "The Joy Luck Club." In 1989, Amy published a book of stories by that name, which became an international bestseller. Her latest novel is The Valley of Amazement.
We've invited Tan to play a game called: "It's the bronze golden look that says, 'early death from melanoma!'" Three questions about tanning and the tanning industry.
Originally published on Wed July 30, 2014 10:36 am
The first time I took one of the online Myers-Briggs inventories and it spit out that I was an introvert, one of my friends questioned the results. Specifically, he said, "Are you sure you weren't holding the test upside-down?"