Arts

The Salt
1:03 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Saving The Sweetest Watermelon The South Has Ever Known

Nat Bradford holds a Bradford watermelon, known for its sweet, fragrant red flesh. The melon was created by Bradford's forefathers around 1840 and was once one of the most important and coveted melons of the South.
Heather Grilliot Courtesy of Bradford Watermelons

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 3:44 pm

The most luscious watermelon the Deep South has ever produced was once so coveted, 19th-century growers used poison or electrocuting wires to thwart potential thieves, or simply stood guard with guns in the thick of night. The legendary Bradford was delectable — but the melon didn't ship well, and it all but disappeared by the 1920s. Now, eight generations later, a great-great-great-grandson of its creator is bringing it back.

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Book Reviews
10:03 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Fun, Fast-Moving 'Nimona' Is A Perpetual Surprise

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 5:48 pm

Over the course of the collected Nimona, it's possible to watch artist Noelle Stevenson blossom from a student to a superstar. Nimona originated as a two-page art-school experiment that expanded into a webcomic, published biweekly on Stevenson's website over the course of two years. What began in a visually and narratively simple style in June 2012 rapidly became more elaborate and sophisticated, expanding into a showcase for Stevenson's rapidly evolving talents.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue May 19, 2015

'Sophie Stark' Finds It Hard To Learn How To Be Human

Ariel Zambelich NPR

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 9:40 am

Toward the beginning of The Life and Death of Sophie Stark, an actress reflects on her decision to leave West Virginia for New York City. Her first few days in the city are disastrous; she moves from bad job to bad job while living in a basement apartment with a dirt floor. "I felt like I'd come to a place for people who didn't know how to be people," she says, "and if I was there I must not really know how to be a person either."

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Parallels
3:23 am
Tue May 19, 2015

How Heroin Made Its Way From Rural Mexico To Small-Town America

Courtesy of Bloomsbury Press

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 5:58 am

To understand how heroin took hold in rural America, you need to go back two decades and look at the surge of prescription drug use in Portsmouth, Ohio, according to journalist Sam Quinones.

A Rust Belt town that had fallen on hard times by the 1990s, Portsmouth became a place where doctors dispensed prescription drugs more freely than anywhere else in the country, Quinones writes in his new book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic.

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Author Interviews
3:22 am
Tue May 19, 2015

Cherokee Chief John Ross Is The Unsung Hero Of 'Jacksonland'

Cherokee chief John Ross battled the U.S. government for decades on behalf of his people.
The Art Archive

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 12:23 pm

The nation's seventh president was a man of legendary toughness who made his name in America's second war against the British — and he's someone NPR's Steve Inskeep has come to know well: Andrew Jackson.

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Fine Art
6:04 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Artist Shirin Neshat Captures Iran's Sharp Contrasts In Black And White

Shirin Neshat is an Iranian-born visual artist who has made her home country's turbulent history the subject of high art. The Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., is hosting a retrospective of her work. Above, Neshat's 1999 Rapture Series.
Photograph by Larry Barns Courtesy Gladstone Gallery

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 11:22 pm

Shirin Neshat, the most famous contemporary artist to come from Iran, is playing with her rambunctious Labrador puppy in her airy Manhattan apartment. "Ashi, Ashi, come here!" she calls.

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Arts & Life
5:22 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

LA County Museum Of Art Presents Last Sculpture By Chris Burden

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 9:26 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Performance artist and sculptor Chris Burden died last week of cancer. He was 69. Today, his final completed work opens to the public at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA. NPR's Mandalit del Barco reports.

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The Two-Way
3:00 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Google Wins Copyright And Speech Case Over 'Innocence Of Muslims' Video

A federal court has dissolved an order that forced Google-owned YouTube to take down the controversial "Innocence of Muslims" video. The ruling rejects copyright claims from Cindy Lee Garcia, an actress in the video.
Bret Hartman Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 3:58 pm

In a complicated legal battle that touches on questions of free speech, copyright law and personal safety, a federal appeals court has overturned an order that had forced the Google-owned YouTube to remove an anti-Muslim video from its website last year.

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All Tech Considered
3:00 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Attention White-Collar Workers: The Robots Are Coming For Your Jobs

The German service robot Toomas was designed to welcome customers and help them find items in a store.
Joerg Sarbach AP

Originally published on Tue May 19, 2015 11:56 am

From the self-checkout aisle of the grocery store to the sports section of the newspaper, robots and computer software are increasingly taking the place of humans in the workforce. Silicon Valley executive Martin Ford says that robots, once thought of as a threat to only manufacturing jobs, are poised to replace humans as teachers, journalists, lawyers and others in the service sector.

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Monkey See
10:31 am
Mon May 18, 2015

'Mad Men' Ends, Singing A Familiar Song

Jon Hamm as Don Draper.
AMC

Originally published on Mon May 18, 2015 2:48 pm

[This discussion of the Mad Men finale gives away all kinds of information about the Mad Men finale, so if you don't want to know things about it, please stop reading.]

The hippies were probably inevitable.

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