Bottles of alcohol are gathered to be smashed by Taliban authorities in Kabul in 2001.
Credit Adem Altan / AFP/Getty Images
People toast with beer in a park in Ankara in 2011 to protest new regulations tightening alcohol sales in Muslim, but secular, Turkey.
Credit John Moore / Getty Images
A sign posted at the entrance of a French restaurant in Kabul (from February 2006) highlights one of the many vagaries of rules governing alcohol in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world.
Credit Abdullah Muhsen / Reuters /Landov
A waiter pours a drink at a bar in Dubai in 2011. In the United Arab Emirates, foreign residents may obtain permits to buy alcohol from a handful of designated stores. Booze is also available in licensed hotels and pubs. Locals, yet again, are out of luck.
Reporting in the Middle East and Afghanistan can be challenging enough between dodging the bullets and bureaucracy. But, equally as confounding can be figuring out how and where to have a cold one after a hard day's work. The range of alcohol laws in Muslim countries can be simply dizzying.
Exorcistic, a rock parody inspired by a certain1971 novel and the William Friedkin film made from it, showcases Merlin as a rapping priest inspired by Max von Sydow's Father Merrin. Above, the show poster for the musical's Los Angeles fringe production.
Credit Thomas Hargis / Steve Allen Theater
In Re-Animator: The Musical, L.A.-based actor and opera singer Jesse Merlin plays Dr. Hill, a sex-obsessed surgeon who quite literally loses his head. (And, um, comes back from the dead.)
What do a reanimated deviant surgeon, a cannibalistic serial killer and a demon-plagued, vomit-spattered priest have in common? They're all characters in camp stage musicals inspired by horror films — and they're all played by the same classically trained opera singer.
His name is Jesse Merlin, and he looks a little like a young, untanned George Hamilton. But he has a bass-baritone voice that would be perfect for Gilbert and Sullivan.
Since that's not what Hollywood's looking for, Merlin had to scare up roles elsewhere.
Tash Aw was born in Taipei, grew up in Malaysia, and now lives in London. His first book, The Harmony Silk Factory, won the Whitbread Award for First Novel and was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.
The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, preachers serve as spiritual guides for their flocks, but what happens when a preacher loses his own faith? We'll talk with one man who knows what that's like in just a few minutes. But first, anthropologists and archaeologists, of course, study the way that groups live throughout history.
The other day my 14-year-old asked me whether I would re-live my teen years for $1 million. The answer was a resounding "No!" Memories of searing humiliation still lurk in my (scarred) subconscious. The senior prom alone could keep me chatting with a psychiatrist for months. (Even though, from what I've heard, my date is happily out of the closet and a very successful interior decorator. All's well that ends well, right?) At this point, those memories should be a funny, rosy glow far in the distance. Ha.
World-class snowboarder Kevin Pearce suffered a severe brain injury in a brutal 2009 crash captured by cameras he and his teammates were wearing. His road to recovery — and to a new sense of self — is the central narrative thread of the documentary The Crash Reel.
Credit Christian Stadler / HBO Pictures
High-energy footage evokes the thrills viewers crave from watching extreme sports — and suggests the audience's complicity in the crashes and injuries that are the inevitable cost.
"You need to be prepared for the Kevin who comes back not to be the same Kevin."
That's what a doctor told the parents of snowboarder Kevin Pearce following the brain injury he suffered in late 2009, while training for the Vancouver Olympics.
Those words, simple but painful for a parent to hear, are essentially what Lucy Walker's moving documentary, The Crash Reel, is about: the way traumatic brain injuries — wounds that, after recovery, can seemingly be invisible — leave their victims no choice but to be different people.
Artisanal food fever is raging, and the latest sign is the rise in sales of old-fashioned butter churns.
Purveyor Glenda Lehman Ervin of Lehman's sells old-timey kitchen gadgets online and at her family's store in Kidron, Ohio. She says the clientele is quite diverse. "There are lots of people interested," she says.
It's not just homesteaders, hipsters and do-it-yourself-minded foodies getting in on the hands-on pursuit.
Some of the greatest summer food experiences take you outside. Whether it's shucking corn and barbecuing or spitting watermelon seeds, an outdoor setting can add a whole new dimension to food.
Bill Smith, chef at Crook's Corner in Chapel Hill, N.C., says some of his favorite summer food memories took place at picnic tables over messy bowls of his grandmother's crab stew. He shared a recipe for All Things Considered's Found Recipes series.