Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

If you've ever wished you could be a fly on the wall at a recording session with Jimi Hendrix, it doesn't get much closer than this. From a technical standpoint, Eddie Kramer plugged in the wires, pulled the faders and placed the mics in studio with Hendrix. From a spiritual standpoint, he's responsible for capturing the electric genius of one of rock and roll's greatest.

When you talk about traditional Scandinavian foods, you end up talking about porridge. In a cold climate, only certain grains could thrive — namely barley and oats. Their warm mush was a building block of early Nordic foodways, and is still a staple.

Now, an everyday bowl of plain old grain mush hardly sounds controversial. But in the middle of the 19th century, Norway was gripped with a series of public debates that later became known as the Norwegian Porridge Feud. Really.

Adam Frank is a co-founder of the 13.7 blog, an astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester and author of the upcoming book Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth. His scientific studies are funded by the National Science Foundation, NASA and the Department of Education.

Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Lisa Feldman Barrett's TED Talk

Identifying basic emotions in others — like fear, sadness or anger — seems instinctive, but psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett says we're doing more guesswork than we think.

About Lisa Feldman Barrett

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About John Koenig's TED Talk

When we can't describe how we're feeling, we say we "have no words." But in his made-up dictionary, writer John Koenig has invented words to describe our most abstract and ephemeral emotions.

About John Koenig

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Tiffany Watt Smith's TED Talk

Did past generations experience and express emotions the same way we do? Probably not, says historian Tiffany Watt Smith — perceptions of our emotions depend on the time and place.

About Tiffany Watt Smith

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Michael Tilson Thomas's TED Talk

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas traces the history of classical music, revealing its power to present a variety of complex human emotions.

About Michael Tilson Thomas

Kang Lee: Can Technology Detect Our Hidden Emotions?

Mar 9, 2018

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Decoding Our Emotions.

About Kang Lee's TED Talk

Developmental researcher Kang Lee says scientists can detect emotions by reading subtle physiological signals beneath the surface of our skin.

About Kang Lee

Scoot over, cans; cartons are moving in on your shelf space. Specifically, the soft, light rectangular containers commonly associated with juice boxes — "aseptic cartons" to the carton literati.

"They're growing in popularity," says Jason Pelz, vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council, an industry group. "Broth is predominantly in aseptic packaging now, and you see a lot of coconut water in it."

Climate scientists Zoe Courville, 42, and Lora Koenig, 40, met more than a decade ago in the middle of the Greenland ice sheet where they were colleagues — before either of them had kids.

Now, Koenig, who lives in Colorado, has two sons, and Courville, who lives in Vermont, has one son.

The working moms are often away from home for weeks at a time studying the impacts of climate change in remote areas of the world. It was especially hard at first to be thousands of miles away from their families, the researchers say in a StoryCorps conversation.

Producer and engineer Eddie Kramer still remembers the first time he heard Jimi Hendrix play. It was 1967 and he was assigned to work with a young guitarist that everyone in London was talking about.

"Jimi got up and plugged into the Marshall stack," Kramer remembers. "I had never heard anything like it. It just completely blew me away."

You ever stop to think about how creepy rowing machines are?

In the hands of a cynical genius like Billy Wilder or a wily craftsman like Steven Soderbergh, Gringo might've become a satire for the ages, a mordant document that people of the future could study to understand this morally vacuous moment in the life of our republic. Alas, this bloody farce was directed by one Nash Edgerton — a stuntman and prolific music video director, and the big brother of star Joel Edgerton, who can currently be seen in the even-gnarlier spy drama Red Sparrow in the theater down the hall.

Nobody shuts up for a nanosecond in The Death of Stalin, a wickedly gabby black comedy about the noxious power vacuum that followed the Soviet dictator's sudden collapse from a stroke in 1953. We've come to expect untamed banter from director Armando Iannucci, creator of In the Loop and Veep, who, with his frequent collaborators David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows, adapted The Death of Stalin from two French graphic novels by Fabian Nury and Thierry Robin.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


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


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


New Hampshire doesn't have a signature drink, unless you like your maple syrup served neat.

But in recent years, sales of one particular brand of cognac have surged at state-run liquor stores. So much Hennessy is being sold, in fact, that one New Hampshire official is asking state Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to investigate whether the Liquor Commission is turning a blind eye to bootlegging and money-laundering activities.

If BØRNS has done his job right, what you see at one of his shows will inspire you to "have a party and get weird." And really, what more could we ask for from someone who uses his stratospheric voice to rip through off-kilter electro-pop?

Over the past few years, I've spent many hours reading up on — and a morning observing — the smart, sassy behavior of octopuses.

She was hanged in effigy and mocked in cartoons; laughed at by Congress for demanding equal rights for women and fined for casting her "illegal" vote in 1872; shouted down at public meetings and ridiculed in the press by the upright and uptight columnists of the day. That Susan B. Anthony, champion of the women's movement in the U.S., had to suffer these ignominies is well known.

In the boardroom on The Apprentice, the stakes seemed high. A quick decision from Donald Trump could end with winning, losing and embarrassment on network TV.

But in the Cabinet Room at the White House, people's lives and livelihoods are at stake.

In recent weeks, as President Trump led televised listening sessions about school safety and immigration in the Cabinet Room, former Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt watched with a feeling of familiarity or, as he puts it, "a minor form of PTSD."

Reading Brazen, French artist Pénélope Bagieu's cartoon celebration of rule-breaking women, I kept thinking about the feminist uses of cuteness. Not kittens-and-puppies cuteness, but the kind of cuteness associated with femininity — and not, usually, with feminism. Bagieu's brand of feminism comes with frills and curlicues galore. Her voice is pert and saucy, and her cartoons are darling.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit


Marvel's Jessica Jones follows an alcoholic private eye who has superstrength and serious anger issues.

In a scene from the show's second season, due Thursday on Netflix, Jessica gets a little carried away in anger management class. She bounces a rubber ball against a wall while talking about what makes her emotional: "My whole family was killed in a car accident. Someone did horrific experiments on me. I was abducted, raped and forced to kill someone." Eventually, the wall gives way.

Earlier this week, in the season 22 finale of The Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. whittled his potential fiancees down to two. But wait — there was twist. Luyendyk proposed to one of them, Becca ... and then he changed his mind and dumped her on-camera because he wanted to date Lauren, the woman he'd rejected. Viewers then saw 14 minutes of Becca crying her eyes out, which lead fans and critics to accuse The Bachelor of "manipulating the finale."

Long before he was the leader of rock octet Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Nathaniel Rateliff was a kid in rural Missouri sneaking around listening to rock and roll. Rateliff remembers finding a Led Zeppelin tape out in a country barn and secretly listening to it over and over in his headphones.

Caitlyn Smith has a voice that grabs you the first time you hear it. Her high register conjures thoughts of purple mountain majesty. When she drops into a murmur, it feels like she's telling you a secret she's never told anyone before. Considering those pipes, it's surprising that it took Smith 15 years to find her footing in Nashville.