Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

It's Like Uber

Mar 3, 2016

We're going to pitch some app ideas! Each of them is a word or phrase combined with the word "Uber." So something that's like Uber, but for the plant that pandas love to eat, would be a "Bamboo-ber."


Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

Disruptive Spelling

Mar 3, 2016

Hulu — can you use that in a sentence please? Our spelling-bee-style final round is an actual spelling bee! We ask our contestants to spell the names of notable app and tech companies.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

After working as a regional weatherman at a northern Midwest station for nine years, Phil Johnston concluded that he didn't know a single thing about the weather. Rather, his forecast read "film school." Johnston took a chance and pursued his passions by enrolling at University of Columbia's MFA film program. Today, you've seen his work in Cedar Rapids, Disney's Wreck-it Ralph and Zootopia, and in Sacha Baron Cohen's The Brothers Grimsby.

The Rainbow Connection

Mar 3, 2016

Inspired by the rainbow flag, this game features answers that are a mashup of two things, connected by a color, such as the fictional Oprah Winfrey/Prince film, "The Color Purple Rain."

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

At the Lee Valley consignment sale near Tekamah, Neb., dozens of used tractors, planters and other equipment were on the auction block for farmers trying to save a few extra dollars. It was a muddy day, with trucks and four-wheelers leaving deep black ruts — fitting conditions for an industry wallowing in bad news.

Paul Goldberg's audacious first novel begins at 2:37 a.m. on Feb. 24, 1953, when a Black Maria, a car used to transport prisoners through the night, leaves the "improbably tall, castle-like gates" of Lubyanka, Moscow's KGB headquarters and prison. Three men — a state security officer and two young soldiers — are inside, on their way to arrest a Red Army veteran and onetime Moscow State Jewish Theater actor named Solomon Shimonovich Levinson.

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

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There's lots of evidence that getting too little sleep is associated with overeating and an increased body weight.

The question is, why? Part of the answer seems to be that skimping on sleep can disrupt our circadian rhythms. Lack of sleep can also alter hunger and satiety hormones.

Slice The Price Of Fruits And Veggies, Save 200,000 Lives?

Mar 2, 2016

Lowering the price of fruits and vegetables by 30 percent can save nearly 200,000 lives over 15 years — roughly the population of Des Moines, Iowa. That's the message being touted by researchers this week at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology meeting in Phoenix.

Comic Louie Anderson has had a hugely successful stand-up career for the past 30 years, but he admits he wasn't a very good actor early on. "I didn't know who I was or how to do it," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

'Borderline' Is Urban Fantasy With A Cinematic Punch

Mar 2, 2016

Chances are, if you don't have firsthand acquaintance with neurodiversity, disability or mental illness, your ideas of what they can look like come from films or books that get made into films. This is certainly true of me: I first learned about autism and schizophrenia from films that grossly misrepresented them, and had never heard of sociopathy or borderline personality disorder before watching Girl, Interrupted in my midteens.

Hear that change jingling in my pocket? Good. I have two little questions for you.

  1. I have a quarter, a dime and a nickel. How much money DO I have?

  2. I have three coins. How much money COULD I have?

The first question is a basic arithmetic problem with one and only one right answer. You might find it on a multiple-choice test.

A bright red tablecloth adds a pop of color to Ashara Manns' kitchen at her home in Flint, Mich.

The substitute teacher is at the stove, where she pours two bottles of water into a stockpot before dumping in big bags of mixed greens.

"Normally, I would rinse these with the running water, so hopefully they're still safe," Manns says.

Flint residents have been told not to drink or cook with the city's lead-tainted tap water, so Manns and her husband, Bennie, rely on bottled water to prepare their meals.

Chances are, you've never heard of flubendiamide. It's not among the most toxic insecticides, and it's not among the widely used chemicals, either. In recent years, it has been used on about a quarter of the nation's tobacco and 14 percent of almonds, peppers and watermelons.

It was a love of mystery novels that brought Gary Shulze and Pat Frovarp together — a love of God Is a Bullet by Boston Teran, to be specific.

"I was looking at books," Frovarp, who is 75, tells NPR's Ari Shapiro. "Gary and I had seen each other. We didn't know one another. And he walked over to me in this particular bookstore and handed me a book by Teran and said, 'You've gotta read this book, it's really good.'"

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Spring is just a few weeks away.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Hallelujah.

CORNISH: Sunny days, flowers, bees...

SHAPIRO: Buzzsaws, nail guns, plywood...

Marriage is losing ground in America. According to the U.S. Census, the proportion of married adults dropped from 57 percent in 2000 to 52 percent in 2009. For the first time ever, single adult women outnumber married adult women in the U.S.

Rebecca Traister says the declining marriage rates among adult women are less about the institution of marriage and more about the choices available to women today.

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

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Here's an exercise in deductive logic, with implications for our food supply.

Fact: Insects such as bees and butterflies are helpful, and sometimes essential, for producing much of our food, including a majority of our fruits, vegetables and nuts.

While a caffeinated workforce is generally a happy one, it may not be an efficient one — at least, not from a planetary point of view, according to the German city of Hamburg. As part of a wider effort to reduce waste and energy consumption, Hamburg has banned the use of coffee pods in government-run buildings, offices and institutions like schools and universities.

A few years ago, Olivia Laing found herself an expatriate Brit living in New York City. No stranger to urban life, she nonetheless grew overwhelmed — by the quirks of each new sublet, by the slight social differences in an otherwise familiar language, and most of all by the blurry rush of humanity around her, so close yet somehow so distant.

Petina Gappah's new novel is narrated by a woman named Memory who is telling her story from inside a maximum security prison in Harare. She's been sentenced to death for murdering her adoptive father.

The story, Memory explains, "begins on a long-ago day in August when the sun seared my blistered face and I was nine years old and my father and mother sold me to a strange man."

Originals: How To Spot One, How To Be One

Feb 29, 2016

Consider this: Frank Lloyd Wright was a procrastinator. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are afraid of taking risks. Most of Beethoven's compositions are pretty awful. Conventional wisdom suggests these originals were successful despite their hemming and hawing, their hedging, and their many flops. But Wharton professor Adam Grant says these defects are actually fundamental to originality. In his new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam investigates who comes up with great ideas, how, and what we can do to have more of them.

An Academy Award winning actor who was a longtime Ventura County resident has died.

George Kennedy starred in more than 200 movies, and television shows.

Some centuries old priceless artifacts from the religious and art worlds are going to go on display this week in Ventura County, in a one of a kind exhibition.

With Spotlight winning the Oscar for Best Picture, NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Sacha Pfeiffer, one of the reporters portrayed in the film who worked to break the story of sexual abuse by Catholic priests. This story originally aired on Nov. 9, 2015 on All Things Considered.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Denmark is once again distinguishing itself in the race against food waste — this time, with a supermarket hawking items once destined for the trash bin.

Those items might include treats for a holiday that happened last week, a ripped box of cornflakes, plain white rice mislabeled as basmati, or anything nearing its expiration date. In other words, perfectly edible items that are nonetheless considered unfit for sale by the retailers and manufacturers who donate them.

Host Chris Rock made sure Sunday's Oscars were about as black as they could be, given that no black people had been nominated in any high-profile categories.

Of course, Rock brought the pain, as he always does, in a razor-sharp monologue skewering sensibilities on all sides of the #OscarsSoWhite debate. And his comedy bits throughout the show kept up a steady drumbeat, reminding audiences in the hall and at home just who had been left behind.

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