Arts

Ask Me Another
10:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Vowelling Off

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:17 am

In this paean to final rounds everywhere, puzzle guru Greg Pliska acts as liaison between contestants and their hope of squeaking their way toward becoming grand prize winner. How many words in your oeuvre contain three vowels in a row? This paragraph is riddled with them, for starters.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
10:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Job Search

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:18 am

What was your first minimum-wage job? Was it as a house musician on a public radio quiz show? The hardworking Jonathan Coulton covers tunes by the likes of Lady Gaga and Elton John, but replaces the rather glamorous jobs in the lyrics with different, and perhaps more attainable, professions.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
10:27 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Literary Comic Strips

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:18 am

The trickiest games on Ask Me Another ask you to keep two things in your brain at once, then mash them together to form a mega-answer. In this one, combine the titles of books and newspaper comic strips, such as "Doonesbury My Heart at Wounded Knee." (Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury meets Dee Brown's Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.)

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Ask Me Another
10:26 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Right Brothers

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:18 am

We salute German folklorists, Bavarian financiers and Harlem's greatest pair of tap dancers in this game, led by host Ophira Eisenberg, that covers famous sets of brothers who kept their triumphs in the family.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
10:26 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Italian Ices

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 11:19 am

This game honors those sweet frozen treats known as Italian ices. House musician and Italian-speaker Jonathan Coulton clues contestants to words, phrases and titles that end in the letters "i-c-e." The catch, of course, is that all answers must be said with a Continental flair: "i-c-e," will sound like "EE-chay." Buona fortuna!

Plus, Coulton swings a rendition of Renato Carosone's Neapolitan tune "Tu Vuò Fà L'Americano," whose lyrics lampoon Italians for imitating an American lifestyle that includes baseball, Camel cigarettes and rock 'n roll.

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Monkey See
8:29 am
Thu January 16, 2014

'Gravity,' 'American Hustle' And '12 Years A Slave' Lead The Oscar Nominations

Lupita Nyong'O and Chiwetel Ejiofor were both nominated for Oscars for their work in 12 Years A Slave.
Francois Duhamel Fox Searchlight

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 4:32 pm

Ever since the Oscars expanded the Best Picture field to include up to 10 nominees, they've been taking advantage of that extra space, and this year was no exception. While the original chatter was about the possibility of including more crowd-pleasers (there was much discussion of whether the expanded field would have helped The Dark Knight), what's consistently happened is that the "extra" nominations have gone to films that might have been too small to be nominated, not too "pop" to be nominated.

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The Two-Way
7:59 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Book News: World War I Diaries Of British Soldiers Digitized

British soldiers in the trenches, late 1914.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:14 pm

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

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Book Reviews
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Never Again: 'Trieste' Is A Harrowing Mix Of Memory And Memorial

iStockphoto.com

From Croatia comes a novel titled Trieste, by Dasa Drndic, originally published in Croatian in 2007 and now translated into English by Ellen Elias-Bursac. We might call the novel experimental because of some of the techniques the writer employs. But the story — a mother in search of a child, torn from her in the midst of monstrous warfare — feels ancient.

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The Salt
3:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Sometimes A Perfect Stranger Is The Best Dinner Host

A group gathers in a Ballston, Va., home for a supper club organized through the site Feastly. A new food trend gaining popularity in New York and other cities lets diners enjoy a meal prepared by a stranger in that person's home.
Courtesy of Noah Karesh

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:07 pm

With website names like Eat With, Side Tour, VoulezVousDiner and Feastly, a new food trend that is sweeping New York and other cities allows diners to enjoy fine meals inside someone else's home.

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Television
5:34 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Few, The Fervent: Fans Of 'Supernatural' Redefine TV Success

Dean Winchester (left, played by Jensen Ackles) and his brother Sam (Jared Padalecki) battle evil beings on CW's Supernatural. The brothers may be easy on the eyes, but sex appeal alone doesn't explain Supernatural's passionate fan base.
Cate Cameron The CW

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 7:44 pm

How do you measure love?

OK, it's a huge question. And maybe not one generally applied to television. But the metrics of success determine whether a television show lives or dies. (If this is the sort of topic that seems frivolous, consider the billions of dollars TV and other copyright industries contribute to the U.S. economy. The stakes start feeling higher.)

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