Arts

Movies
6:58 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

Casting Call: Hollywood Needs More Women

Actress Geena Davis addresses the audience at the "Driving Financial Success: Women + Movies = Bigger Box Office" luncheon at CinemaCon 2013.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 7:35 pm

Summer is the perfect time for a night out at the cinema, but maybe you've noticed something missing at the movies: women.

Women make up a minority of movie creators: 7 percent of directors, 13 percent of writers and 20 percent of producers; that's nearly five men for every woman working behind the scenes.

Out of last year's biggest movies, 28 percent of speaking characters were female. That's down from a third just five years ago, according to the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California.

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Author Interviews
4:05 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

How One Woman Nearly Deciphered A Mysterious Script

An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B — a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades.
Sharon Mollerus Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B.

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Television
3:09 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

A Deeper Dive Into Television's 'Difficult Men'

Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Walter White (Bryan Cranston) are plenty difficult themselves on AMC's Breaking Bad, one of many cable shows Brett Martin discusses in his book.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 4:28 pm

Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution from The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad, explores what the author Brett Martin describes as the "Third Golden Age of TV," based on a new kind of television character.

Subscription cable channels don't have sensitive sponsors, commercials or concerns about language or violence. In the book, Martin argues that this relative freedom, combined with the old-fashioned appeal of serial storytelling, creates a new kind of high-quality television programming.

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Arts & Life
7:20 am
Sun June 30, 2013

A Hindu Goddess Arrives To Bless Embassy Row

The goddess Saraswati now looks down upon Embassy Row in Washington, D.C.
Sarah Ventre NPR

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 3:28 pm

Embassy Row — otherwise known as Massachusetts Avenue — in Washington, D.C., is decorated with flags of every nation, flying in front of impressive embassy buildings.

In front of the embassies, there are often statues of national heroes. Winston Churchill graces the grounds of the British Embassy. Outside the Indian Embassy, Mahatma Gandhi looks as though he's in full stride, clad in loincloth and sandals.

And now, there's a Hindu goddess. Saraswati just arrived. She stands in a garden in front of Indonesia's embassy, glowing white and gold, with her four arms upraised.

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Three Books...
7:03 am
Sun June 30, 2013

3 Books That Watch Your Every Move

They can watch us, of course. We knew they could. We suspected. But to have it confirmed, to discover that exactly this and precisely that, these emails we sent, those calls we made, are neatly documented and filed away (just in case there should be a future cause for concern, of course, don't worry yourself, it will probably never be you) ... that's a little uncomfortable.

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Three Books...
6:48 am
Sun June 30, 2013

The Man, The Myth, The Reading List: Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.
AP

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 7:35 pm

Growing up in apartheid South Africa with widespread state censorship, it was hard to get to know our political leaders. The first time I actually saw a photograph of Nelson Mandela was in high school in the mid-1980s.

A braver classmate had managed to sneak a few grainy images into our school — a full-face, younger Mandela, his fellow Robben Island inmate Walter Sisulu and the South African Communist Party leader Joe Slovo.

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The Salt
5:30 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Your Choice In Utensils Can Change How Food Tastes

Cheese might take on a whole new flavor when you use a plastic utensil.
Elizabeth Willing Courtesy Flavour

Originally published on Fri July 5, 2013 12:45 pm

Being "born with a silver spoon in your mouth" has long been known to have advantages. Apparently, eating off a silver spoon also has its perks — it seems to make your food taste better.

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Sunday Puzzle
4:25 am
Sun June 30, 2013

Turn That Shrub Into Something Presidential

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 1:36 pm

On-air challenge: For the Sunday before the Fourth of July weekend, every answer is the last name of a U.S. president, which comes from their anagrams. For example, "shrub" without R is "Bush."

Last week's challenge: Write down these five words: "aide," "heart," "tough," "gelatin" and "emanate." There is something very unusual they have in common. What is it? And what's another word with this property?

Answer: mite, item

Winner: Gig Moineau of Newton, Mass.

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Author Interviews
6:44 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Lillian Leitzel, The Tiny, High-Flying 'Queen' Of The Circus

Leitzel is remembered as the first true circus diva.
Dean Jensen's collection Courtesy Crown Publishing Group

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 7:52 pm

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Monkey See
5:50 pm
Sat June 29, 2013

Girls' Legos Are A Hit, But Why Do Girls Need Special Legos?

Olivia also has a treehouse.
Lego

Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 9:55 pm

Two years ago, in 2011, 90 percent of Lego's consumers were boys. A tough statistic to swallow for those of us who grew up playing with Lego's gender-neutral buckets of bricks. But the statistic came straight from Lego, which was then focused on boys with franchised sets based on properties like Star Wars and The Avengers after weathering a disastrous period in the 1990s that left the company on the brink of collapse.

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