Arts

Essays
7:03 am
Sun January 6, 2013

At Home In Fantasy's Nerd-Built Worlds

iStockphoto.com

Once, in an age long past, "epic" was a dirty word.

Way back when I was a young nerd growing up in the Midwest in the 1980s — long before I became a professional writer — histories of magic rings and chronicles of ancient evils were not exactly mainstream fare. Indeed, to publicize one's knowledge of Elvish sword-names and Orcish myth was to contract a kind of voluntary leprosy.

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Strange News
7:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

It Would Take Way More Seagulls To Lift James' Peach

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Host Rachel Martin delves into the physics behind Roald Dahl's childrens' classic, James and the Giant Peach. Physics students at the University of Leicester calculated that it would take 2,425,907 seagulls to lift James' Giant Peach, making Roald Dahl's number (501), entirely insufficient.

Movies
7:00 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Film Flubs In 2012: A List Of Inconsistencies

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

2012 was a great year for U.S. movie ticket sales - nearly $11 billion. Some of the highest grossing films include "The Avengers."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE AVENGERS")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (as character) What have I to fear?

ROBERT DOWNEY JR.: (as Tony Sparks) The Avengers - that's what we call ourselves. Earth's mightiest heroes type thing.

MARTIN: "The Dark Knight Rises."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "THE DARK KNIGHT RISES")

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (as character) I need to see Bruce Wayne.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Scrambling To Ring In The New Year

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 5:19 pm

On-air challenge: This week's puzzle celebrates ringing in the new year. Take the letters Y-E-A-R. Add one letter and scramble to make a new word that answers the clue. For example, by adding the letter B to Y-E-A-R, with the clue "maker of aspirin," the answer would be "Bayer."

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Books
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

'The Great Agnostic': Giving Up Politics To Preach Against Religion

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Attention American history buffs, here's a name you might not have heard before: Robert Ingersoll. According to author Susan Jacoby, he was "one of the most famous people in America in the last quarter of the 19th century."

"He went around the country," Jacoby tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He spoke to more people than presidents. He was also an active mover and shaker behind the scenes of the Republican Party."

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Performing Arts
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

A Way Without Words: Mummenschanz Mimes Celebrate 40

Troupe member Philipp Egli says the genius of Mummenschanz lies in simplicity. The most beautiful pieces, he says, start with black space and some people on stage.
Mummenschanz

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

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Books
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

For 'Wheel Of Time' Fans, The Last Battle Is At Hand

The Wheel of Time series tells the story of Rand Al'Thor, a farm boy who discovers he's a prophesied hero.
Tor Books

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

  • Hear An Extended Interview With Harriet McDougal
  • Hear an Extended Interview With Brandon Sanderson

It's the moment fantasy fans have been waiting for (really!): After more than 20 years, and 13 doorstopper volumes, the last book in the best-selling Wheel of Time series comes out Tuesday. The series unfolds an epic battle between good and evil — think Game of Thrones but more so: more characters, more magic, more tiny little world-building details, more everything.

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Author Interviews
6:15 am
Sun January 6, 2013

Kids Rule In The Land Of 'Hokey Pokey'

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 1:41 pm

You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out ... chances are you know the rest. But in Jerry Spinelli's latest book, the Hokey Pokey is much more than a children's song and dance. Hokey Pokey is the name of a magical universe where kids are in charge — no adults in sight. There are herds of bikes, endless cartoons, a cuddle station and dessert for lunch every day.

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Movies I've Seen A Million Times
5:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

The Movie Alan Cumming Has 'Seen A Million Times'

Christopher Guest's Waiting For Guffman
The Kobal Collection

Originally published on Sat January 5, 2013 6:29 pm

The weekends on All Things Considered series Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.

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Author Interviews
5:10 pm
Sat January 5, 2013

Digging Up A Different Detroit

The Detroit skyline as seen from Belle Isle.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 4:46 pm

Author Mark Binelli grew up in a Detroit suburb in the 1970s. The Detroit he knew was a study in decline. The city used to embody the American dream: the auto industry, consumer culture and Motown.

When he was offered a magazine assignment to write about the Detroit auto show in January 2009, Binelli tells weekends on All Things Considered host Jacki Lyden, he jumped on it.

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