Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:33 pm
Actress Sandra Bullock tops People magazine's World's Most Beautiful list for 2015, becoming the oldest person to do so in the list's 25-year history. Three-time winner Julia Roberts was 42 when she last took the top spot.
It's the first time Bullock has won the honor — but if you've been experiencing cultural déjà vu lately, you're not alone.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 3:35 pm
Chicago art collectors Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson have given a "landmark gift" of pop art to the Art Institute of Chicago, handing over 42 works that were created by Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and others.
After the donation was officially accepted Tuesday night, the museum's president and director, Douglas Druick, told The Chicago Tribune, "This is one of the landmark gifts in our 136-year history."
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 12:14 pm
When we talk about Toni Morrison, we are also talking about what it means to thrive in the midst of well-manicured and eloquent hostility. With God Help The Child, Morrison — America's only living Nobel Prize-winning novelist — has offered us not only her 11th novel, but an opportunity to meditate on the tension between the idea of the artist and the reality of the artist herself.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 2:29 pm
History may be written by the victors, but alternate history is written by anyone with a lust for the past — both established and imagined. Molly Tanzer's imagination is keener than almost anyone's. Her new novel, Vermilion is a work of alt-history that finds a fresh kind of magic in the mingling of fact and fantasy. In the book's wild vision of 1870, the North won the Civil War with the help of a race of intelligent, talking bears. A similarly endowed species of sea lion keeps shop in the streets of San Francisco.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 9:33 am
Pat Dowell, a freelance film reporter for NPR, died on Sunday. Dowell had been dealing with health issues for some time, but her death came as a surprise. She was 66 years old.
Pat was a freelancer for us for close to 30 years. Before that, she was a film critic for a number of publications and first appeared on our air in that capacity in 1974, when she talked to then-All Things Considered host Susan Stamberg about the TV series Rhoda and feminism.
Originally published on Wed April 22, 2015 6:46 am
In his 20 years as a New York City police officer, Steve Osborne made thousands of arrests. He says that when he was in uniform, it wasn't unusual to handle 20 jobs a night. And in plainclothes, in the anti-crime unit, his teams would make several felony collars a week, mostly robberies, assaults and gun arrests.
Originally published on Tue April 21, 2015 4:54 pm
Ross Macdonald had a smart answer to the tedious question of why he devoted his considerable talents to writing "mere" detective stories: Macdonald said that the detective story was "a kind of welder's mask enabling writers to handle dangerously hot material." Like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler (the great hard-boiled masters whom he revered), Macdonald set out to excavate the dark depths of American life, but to find his own "dangerously hot material" Macdonald descended into uncharted territory.
Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 12:56 pm
Imagine yourself clinging to a cliff face with nothing but uneven, worn wooden planks and chains to keep you from plummeting 7,000 feet to your untimely demise. Don't worry: You can rent a little red safety harness for $5. No one will make you wear it, though.
Oh, and you will probably encounter someone coming the other way, in which case you will have to maneuver around your neighbor as if playing a deadly game of Twister. Someone has to go on the outside, so I hope you're good at not blinking first.
You wouldn't do this for all the tea in China, you say?