Arts

The Salt
3:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Play With Your Food: The Kandinsky-Inspired Fine Art Food Challenge

Kazimir Malevich/Tretyakov Gallery; Beth Novey/NPR

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 2:35 pm

We love to have fun with food, and as you may recall, we recently told you about a scientific experiment showing that people who ate a salad arranged like a Kandinsky painting said it tasted better and was worth more money than a typical pile of greens.

The experiment inspired us to challenge you to tweet pictures of your food as fine art. And boy, you delivered.

Read more
Television
2:33 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

'The Strain' And 'Extant' Play On Fears Of Forces Out Of Our Control

The threat is both viral and vampire in The Strain, a show about the sudden outbreak of a disease that kills most of its victims — then begins to mutate them into another species entirely.
Michael Gibson FX

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 4:02 pm

They say every generation gets the science fiction it deserves, built around its biggest and most primal fears. Well, maybe they don't say that — but they should. In the '50s, all those movies about mutant giant monsters going berserk were a way for us to channel our fears about the atomic bomb. In the same way, in that same decade, all those body-snatcher movies were about being unable to tell friend from foe, or trust even your closest loved ones — the perfect paranoid parable for the Communist witch-hunting era.

Read more
Monkey See
12:57 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Social Media Meltdowns Highlight The Power Of The Audience

Anthony Cumia, at an April event commemorating 20 years of The Opie & Anthony Show, was fired after a series of racially charged tweets.
Cindy Ord Getty Images Entertainment

At first glance, Adam Richman and Anthony Cumia might not seem to have much in common.

True enough, they are media stars who took a hard fall thanks to untoward comments on social media. Richman, a host on the Travel Channel, saw the debut of his new show delayed indefinitely after an online spat led him to suggest one critic commit suicide.

Read more
Monkey See
11:28 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Press Tour Day 1: Paper Airplanes, Daniel Radcliffe, And Christmas

David Rees speaks onstage at the "Going Deep with David Rees" panel during the National Geographic Channels portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association press tour.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

For the next couple of weeks, I'm out in California covering the Television Critics Association press tour. Not familiar? Here's an introduction.

Day 1 of summer press tour began with hammering and ended with a giant Christmas tree.

Let's back up.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:02 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Book News: Amazon Makes Direct Offer To Hachette Authors

Paul Sakuma AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Read more
Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed July 9, 2014

With A Good Twist Or Two, This Haunted 'House' Adds Plenty Of Stories

Don't pay too much attention to the shifty eyes in the old portrait. Same goes for the mysterious tapping down the hall of the vast family manor — and, for that matter, the secrets lurking in its attic. Don't even be fooled by the ghost.

The Hundred-Year House may be crowded with the tropes and tricks of classic horror, but make no mistake: It's not a horror story. Rebecca Makkai's style, a patchwork of ambition and aw-shucks charm, lets in just enough sunlight to scatter those things that go bump in the night.

Read more
Book Your Trip
4:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

In 'Little Engine That Could,' Some See An Early Feminist Hero

Was "I think I can" the great-grandmother of "lean in?" Some readers see the plucky locomotive as a parable about working women, but some versions of the story feature a male protagonist instead.
Platt & Munk, Penguin Young Readers Group

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 8:23 pm

"Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong."

The beloved tale of the little blue engine — who helps bring a broken-down train of toys to the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain — has been chugging along for a very long time. But despite the locomotive's optimistic refrain — I think I can, I think I can, I think I can — the story has a somewhat checkered past: In its tracks, The Little Engine has left both a legal battle and a debate over whether the little blue engine is male or female.

Read more
Book Reviews
4:13 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Book Review: 'Shooting Star'

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 6:13 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

A 30-year-old novel has just been translated to English but keeps its Spanish name, "Muerte En Una Estrella." The author is Sergio Elizondo, and the translators are Rosaura Sanchez and Beatrice Pita. Our reviewer Alan Cheuse says it crackles.

Read more
Movie Reviews
3:44 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

'Violette' Evokes Exasperating Self-Pity, A Trait The French Like

In the new French film Violette, Emmanuelle Devos plays a fictionalized character based on Violette Leduc, the trailblazing French novelist.
Courtesy of Adopt Films

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 7:03 pm

Americans put a lot of stock in being likable. Pollsters take surveys of the president's likability. Test screenings check whether we like the characters in movies. And when a literary novelist like Claire Messud mocks the notion that fictional characters should be someone we'd like to be friends with, writers of popular fiction attack her for snootiness.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:32 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Meet The Musicians And Storytellers Of Kenya

Eric Wainaina
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 10:29 am

Read more

Pages