Arts

The Salt
3:42 am
Mon August 26, 2013

In the Beginning, There Were ... Dumplings?

A potsticker prepared by Chef Scott Drewno at the Washington, D.C., restaurant The Source.
Heather Rousseau for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 9:35 am

From Warsaw to Wuhan, people around the world love dumplings. They're tasty little packages that can be made of any grain and stuffed with whatever the locals crave. But where did they come from?

No one knows for sure, but Ken Albala, a food historian at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., thinks dumplings have been around for a very long time. "Almost without doubt, there are prehistoric dumplings," he says.

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Sports
5:08 pm
Sun August 25, 2013

Quitting Your Job For Fantasy Football

Fantasy sports attract an estimated 36+ million players in the U.S. and Canada.
istockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 6:04 pm

You may just call it late summer; for many die-hard sports fans, it's called fantasy football drafting season.

Fantasy sports is a huge business, with an estimated 36 million people in the U.S. and Canada picking teams and talkin' trash, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.

And now we may be at a tipping point.

One man - Drew Dinkmeyer - actually left his job as an investment analyst to play fantasy sports full-time.

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PG-13: Risky Reads
7:03 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Braving Both Napoleonic France And Teenage Angst With Aplomb

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:57 am

Fiona Maazel's latest novel is Woke Up Lonely.

The way my mom likes to tell it, I wasn't much of a reader growing up. My chief complaint of every book she dumped in my lap was that nothing happens. Ten pages in and no one had died.

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Author Interviews
5:19 am
Sun August 25, 2013

Haitian Youth Illuminated In 'Sea Light'

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 11:22 am

On her 7th birthday, a little girl named Claire disappears in a seaside Haitian village. Through Claire's fictional journey, award-winning author Edwidge Danticat shares glimmers of her own childhood in Haiti.

In Claire of the Sea Light, the protagonist's mother died during childbirth, and her father is a poor fisherman, struggling to make ends meet. Just moments before his daughter disappears, Claire's father had agreed to let a local woman adopt her in hopes of giving his daughter a better life.

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Sunday Puzzle
5:18 am
Sun August 25, 2013

It's All Greek To Me

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 11:22 am

On-air challenge: You're given some sentences. Each sentence conceals the name of a language in consecutive letters. Name the language. Each answer has five or more letters.

Last week's challenge: The Roman numeral for 38 is XXXVIII. What is special or unusual about this Roman numeral that sets it apart from every other Roman numeral that can be written?

Answer: If every possible Roman numeral were listed in alphabetical order, XXXVIII would be last.

Winner: Joseph Kuperberg of Pittsford, N.Y.

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Author Interviews
5:07 pm
Sat August 24, 2013

'The Blessing Cup': Polacco And Her Family Of Storytellers

Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

Originally published on Sun August 25, 2013 11:17 am

Patricia Polacco has written and illustrated more than 90 picture books. Her young readers are drawn to her stories about family and growing up. She has won many awards for her illustrations, which are done in gorgeous, full watercolor. Polacco's latest book is called The Blessing Cup.

Polacco tells NPR's Jacki Lyden that early life had a profound effect on her work. Many of her books feature her grandmother, called "Babushka" in Yiddish, and take place on her grandmother's farm in Michigan.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
11:24 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Not My Job: Tony Danza Plays Our Version Of 'Who's The Boss?'

Mary Altaffer AP

Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:51 am

Just after he graduated from college, Tony Danza was working out at a boxing gym when somebody said to him: you ever think about being on TV? Since then, he's been a fixture on TV with the hit series Taxi and Who's the Boss?, not to mention his own talk show, his own song and dance stage show, and now a new movie called Don Jon.

We've invited Danza to play a game called "Who's The Boss?": We'll tell him about three companies and three people who might be the head of those companies. He'll have to guess who's the boss.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Stripe-Torn Tigers, Fake Nazis And Magic Cake In 'The Color Master'

colored powder
iStockphoto.com

Aimee Bender is no longer the whiz kid of the American short story. The Color Master is her fifth work of fiction, and along with the idiosyncratic George Saunders she now stands as one of the reigning masters of the eccentric American short story. Fortunately, she's showing no signs of growing up. This latest collection offers a goodly number of one-of-a-kind stories, beautiful in their dreaminess and imaginative vision, a vision that ranges — you'll discover as you read — from stories about the origin of things to stories with an apocalyptic flavor.

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Author Interviews
6:23 am
Sat August 24, 2013

Sisterly Conflict Against A Great War Backdrop In 'Daughters Of Mars'

Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Sat August 24, 2013 11:39 am

Naomi and Sally Durance are heroes of the Great War, that war which was supposed to end all wars. It didn't, but it did help these two Australian sisters overcome sibling suspicion and grow closer to each other.

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Books
6:22 am
Sat August 24, 2013

'Bummers, Blisters And Boondoggles': A Jokester Joins The Army

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 2:59 pm

In a time when recollections can be reduced to just a few words, Jean Shepherd delivered monologues, soliloquies and musings. He was a raconteur.

Shepherd served in the Army during World War II — that same Army that stormed the beaches on D-Day, though Shepherd and his unit would never see the front lines. They were the homefront Army: stocking, re-stocking, sending, schlepping and training for a war they helped win — but only at a distance.

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