Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

Mystery Guest

Jan 12, 2018

Amy Webb has an interesting job that incorporates data and advice. Can you guess what it is before Ophira and Jonathan?

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Movie Sandwiches

Jan 12, 2018

If you tend to doze off in the middle of Movie Night, this game will be an extra challenge. In this final round, we took movies with three-word titles and removed the middle word. Contestants tell us what the missing word is.

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Stuck Singing "The Middle" With You

Jan 12, 2018

This one goes out to all you Jimmy Eat World superfans! We've rewritten their song "The Middle" to be about other things that are in the middle.

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Appiness Is A Warm Pun

Jan 12, 2018

Found a 5-star restaurant? Just tap this app to let out a loud, piercing cry that alerts other foodies to your exact location. Thanks, "Yelp." We redesigned popular smartphone applications to do exactly what their names suggest. Contestants guess the app based on its revised, more literal description.

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Jan 12, 2018

Breakout star Luka Kain had never vogued before filming Saturday Church, an indie film about Ulysses, a genderqueer teen finding community in the New York City ballroom scene. "I had a one hour crash course, [...] I learned three moves, [...] and I worked those three moves to high heaven." What's the secret to this dance style that originated out of 1980s queer culture? "You gotta have good knees!" the 17-year-old told host Ophira Eisenberg. "And this sounds cheesy, but be yourself, cause voguing is a form of self-celebration."

Whistle While You Work

Jan 12, 2018

So what if whistling bothers your co-workers? In this audio quiz, it just might give you an edge. Contestants hear clips from popular songs that feature whistling and ring in with the name of the song or artist.

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

For Your Amusement...Park

Jan 12, 2018

Is the Screamin' Gator Zip Line a real or fake amusement park attraction? We describe a park or attraction, and our contestants guess if it's real, or one we made up.

Heard on Luka Kain: Pikachu, Strike A Pose

Reality is weird — a series of events that connect from birth to death. Shame's singer, Charlie Steen, doesn't claim wisdom of the process, he's just pulling hot embers from this unruly fire, singing in a hoarse scrawl: "My nails ain't manicured / My voice ain't the best you've heard / And you can choose to hate my words / But do I give a f***."

As a child of Gary, Ind., I've waited years for a TV show or movie to intimately explore Chicago's poor, mostly black South Side neighborhoods — like The Wire did for West Baltimore and Boyz N The Hood did for South Central Los Angeles. I so wanted Showtime's The Chi, which debuts Sunday, to be that show in this moment, but the first four episodes I saw didn't quite hit the mark.

'The Commuter': Punching On The Metro-North Express

Jan 11, 2018

It's been a nearly a decade since Liam Neeson, already in his mid-50s and with a long and varied resume of film roles to his credit, switched, like Academy Award winner Nicolas Cage before him, into high-impact, low-ambition action flicks. He'll still show up for a Scorsese movie or a Lego Movie (and, one hopes, The Lego Scorsese Movie) now and then, but he has played more alcoholic/widowed/divorced/guilt-hobbled ex-cops or ex-killers at this point than Denzel Washington and Bruce Willis and Melissa McCarthy combined.

A bar fight breaks out during a pivotal scene in Django, the musically crisp yet mournful new wartime drama by Étienne Comar. As the fracas unfolds, the band keeps playing, with a blithe bemusement that seems to say: This happens all the time. But these are far from normal times.

When you're in love, "you just feel good, like you're wrapped in a big coat," says a character in Lover for a Day. Yet there are no big-coat moments in veteran director Philippe Garrel's latest examination of French erotic discontent.

The funniest throwaway moment in Freak Show, an unsteady coming-of-age fantasy, finds Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther), a gay teenager with a penchant for sequins and feather boas, introducing himself to his new classmates at a private school somewhere in the Deep South.

'Paddington 2': A Story That Bears Repeating

Jan 11, 2018

If only all of us could see the world the way Paddington sees London. The furry little bear in a raincoat looks around his adopted home and finds, in the smiling faces of his neighbors, nothing but joyful spirits and good intentions. There are no "no-go zones"; even a prison full of roughnecks can be a chance to help people in need. Forget the fact that he's a talking bear from Darkest Peru. It's Paddington's impenetrable spirit, his striving to do right by the world, to "always see the good in people," even those who wish him harm, that is the biggest wish-fulfillment of 2018.

In 2017, Lena Waithe made history as the first black woman to win an Emmy for outstanding comedy writing. The award specifically recognized Master of None's "Thanksgiving" episode, which Waithe co-wrote with Aziz Ansari and based on her experience coming out to her mother.

The federal government's top fisheries experts say that three widely used pesticides — including the controversial insecticide chlorpyrifos — are jeopardizing the survival of many species of salmon, as well as orcas that feed on those salmon.

It's a fresh attack on a chemical that the Environmental Protection Agency was ready to take off the market a year ago — until the Trump administration changed course.

There's no kind of anguished desperation that feels quite like the desire to communicate with loved ones who we've lost. It can turn even the most rational person into a believer in the supernatural — to the bereaved, even if there's just a small chance of connecting with a dead friend or family member, isn't it worth the three dollars for the first minute and 99 cents for each additional minute?

Nearly two weeks after Logan Paul posted a YouTube video depicting an apparent suicide victim — and just over a week after he removed it and apologized — the online video platform has announced it is scaling back its relationship with the vlogging star.

A bumper sticker spotted in Montana reads, "No barley, no beer." It's a reminder that Montana's barley farmers are struggling. Barley is an unforgiving crop that needs a precise recipe of water and sunshine to thrive — too much of either will cause it to wither and die. And amid a changing climate and unpredictable seasons, that's exactly what's happening.

Some artists in New York may be wishing to get older faster. A gallery there caters to artists age 60 and older. No kids allowed.

Some 200 artists have exhibited at the Carter Burden Gallery since it opened nine years ago in Chelsea. Business is good, and works sell from $200 to $9,000. It's a lot like hundreds of other galleries in New York — except for one important thing: The Carter Burden has an age limit. Why?

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Historian and author Randall Hansen is a lucky man: The title of one of his books is almost exactly the same as another that recently became very, very well-known.

Hansen's book is Fire And Fury: The Allied Bombing Of Germany 1942-1945. The beginning of that title "Fire and Fury" is the same as that of journalist and author Michael Wolff's new exposé about the Trump administration, Fire And Fury: Inside The Trump White House.

Though he's here to perform live music from his latest solo album Thrum, Joe Henry is also well-known as the producer of a lot of music. It might even take you longer to Google and browse all of his credits, than it would to listen to this complete session!

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "COCO")

RENEE VICTOR: (As Abuelita) No music.

UNIDENTIFIED ACTORS: (As characters, singing in Spanish).

Alfonso Verdis' first job was selling vegetables on the streets of Tlapa in Guerrero, Mexico. He was 9 years old, trying to support himself after his mother's death.

"It was hard for me," he recalls. "I decided to come to [America] for that reason. I didn't want to be doing that my whole life." Six years later, at age 15, Verdis arrived in New York City, but food remained his livelihood.

At first the only people he knew were his two sisters, but they were busy supporting their own young families. Eventually a friend's brother found him a job in a restaurant.

In the 19th century, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote in his essay Nature: "A man is a god in ruins."

Ever since people contemplated the existence of a divine dimension — and this belief must go back to the very early stages of Homo Sapiens or even earlier — with Neanderthals, a split occurred between the human condition and the eternal.

As humans, it is our curse and our blessing to be aware of our own mortality — and to suffer with the loss of our close ones — and, in a broader sense, with the predicament of others.

Ali Smith is flat-out brilliant, and she's on fire these days. Writing in the heat of outrage following England's divisive Brexit vote, she opened a seasonal quartet of novels last year with Autumn, a moving requiem for an unusual friendship between two unlikely kindred spirits, a young art historian and her singularly cultivated old neighbor, whose waning days coincide with an alarming erosion of civility and compassion in the not-so-United Kingdom. Deservedly, Autumn landed on the Booker Prize shortlist.

Lea Berman and Jeremy Bernard have organized state dinners and congressional picnics, each serving as White House social secretary for different administrations. Bernard worked for President Obama; Berman for President George W. Bush. And they've collaborated on a new book that uses their White House experiences to draw out lessons in how to handle crises, defuse awkward moments and manage expectations. It's called Treating People Well: The Extraordinary Power Of Civility At Work And In Life.

Pages