Arts

Arts & Life
12:23 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

How That Pinkish Goo Called Silly Putty Came Out Of Its Shell

One of the wonders of Silly Putty.
Tom Copeland AP

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 1:29 pm

Silly Putty abides.

While it may have escaped the notice of anyone under 40 years old, the pinkish goo in the red plastic egg stomped into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2001, where, with more than 300 million units or 4,000 tons sold since 1950, it's not likely to be supplanted by video games anytime soon.

Backed by a certain design simplicity, the 0.47 ounces of putty can be balled up and bounced, used to pull pictures off of comics and newsprint paper, pick up lint and pet hair, and be used for a variety of physical therapies.

So, silly? Hardly.

Read more
Ask Me Another
10:53 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 3

In the final segment, we pull out all the stops for a Very Important Puzzler and some special musical guests. In "Accidental Science," we challenge Radiolab host in the puzzle hot seat for a quiz about unintentional scientific discoveries. Then, They Might Be Giants devise a game literally filled with trick questions, appropriately titled, "Wrong, Wrong, Wrong."

Ask Me Another
10:52 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 2

Host Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle editor Art Chung continue the hour with a trio of games that push the limits on your ability to recall cultural references. In "Nick Names," identify famous people and fictional characters named "Nick." (See what we did there?) Sing along with house musician Jonathan Coulton in "Jingle All The Way," as he performs favorite commercial jingles...in Italian. Plus, insert comic strip characters into your favorite novels in "Literary Comic Strips."

Ask Me Another
10:49 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Really Hard Edition 2: Part 1

In this hour, take on some of our trickiest games in recent memory with host Ophira Eisenberg and puzzle editor Art Chung. Do your best to remember two things at once in "International Doppelgangers" as puzzle guru John Chaneski asks you to combine celebrities with the names of countries, like that South American star, Argentina Fey. Then, try a twist on the mash-up in "Russian Dolls" by "nesting," or placing words inside a different one to make a longer word — putting a LAMB inside of a CAKE creates a CLAMBAKE.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:02 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Book News: Apple May Pay Consumers $400 Million In E-Book Settlement

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

Read more
Book Reviews
7:03 am
Thu July 17, 2014

A Supernatural Family Reunion In 'The Book Of Life'

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 8:25 am

One upon a time, historian Deborah Harkness was doing research at Oxford's Bodleian Library when she accidentally discovered a lost book that had belonged to 16th-century astronomer John Dee. A few years later, her first novel, A Discovery of Witches, told the story of Diana Bishop, a historian who accidentally discovers a lost manuscript called Ashmole 782 in the Bodleian Library, and realizes it's a magical text of crucial importance to the daemons and vampires that crowd the streets of Oxford — not to mention the witches (a group to which Diana reluctantly belongs).

Read more
Code Switch
12:51 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Viola Davis Gets Groundbreaking Role As ABC Bets On Diversity

Actress Viola Davis speaks about her new ABC show How to Get Away with Murder at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:49 pm

Read more
The Two-Way
7:54 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Book News: Harper Lee Says New Biography Is Unauthorized

Author Harper Lee smiles during a 2007 ceremony in Montgomery, Ala.
Rob Carr AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:51 am

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

Read more
Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed July 16, 2014

'Pirates In The Heartland': At Least This Review Is Safe For Work

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 11:16 am

There's a line pop culture likes to flirt with. It's the line between naughty and nasty, between seamy and sordid, between icky and "come on, really, I just ate lunch." Back in the mid-'60s, when ladies always wore stockings and gentlemen still wore hats, S. Clay Wilson left that line in his rearview mirror.

Read more
Parallels
3:44 am
Wed July 16, 2014

The Grandes Dames Of The Sea Ply The Tuscan Waters

The vintage boats of Argentario Sailing Week, some more than a century old, plied the waters off Italy's Tuscan coast, known for its ideal sailing conditions.
Sylvia Poggioli NPR

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 10:48 am

A most unusual regatta recently took place off Tuscany's southern coast: Vintage sailboats known as the Grandes Dames of the Sea — some more than 100 years old — plied the waters of Porto Santo Stefano, a fishing village known for ideal sailing conditions

Among the more than 40 yachts was one, Manitou, that was known as "the floating White House" when her owner was President John F. Kennedy.

The boat is made of mahogany — a 62-foot boat that weighs 30 tons, skipper Alex Tillery says proudly. In contrast, he says, a modern 62-footer would probably weigh 8 tons.

Read more

Pages