During the mid-19th century, an unexpected craze swept America: butterfly collecting. Eager to move on from the Civil War and driven by Europe's long-standing fascination with the insect, the movement captured the interest of Americans from all ages and walks of life.
In an extensive book, Butterfly People: An American Encounter with the Beauty of the World, William Leach documents this butterfly phenomenon — from its founders and followers, to its eventual fall.
Daughn Gibson is kind of the heir to the Johnny Cash throne: a deep-voiced country singer whose songs are filled with characters of questionable morality — or just pure evil. He worked as a long-haul truck driver, a cashier in an "adult book store," a drummer in a metal band, and all sorts of other odd jobs before he became a bit of an indie music darling last year. NPR's Jacki Lyden spoke with Gibson about his new album, Me Moan; click the audio link to hear their conversation.
In a new work of crime fiction from author Mukoma Wa Ngugi you still have the detective and his buddy, the mysterious body that turns up at the outset, and the crazy bar where the cops and criminals hang out together. Only this time, we're not in Scandinavia, or South Florida or on Mystic River. We're in a Nairobi beset with political violence, hotel bombings and ethnic warfare.
You have probably never tasted it, but you have likely heard of it: the cronut.
It rolled out in May at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City. Since then, it has taken off. A black market has sprung up, with scalpers selling them for up to $100 a pop. Social and traditional media have lit up with coverage, and imitators around the world are trying to tap in on the success.
A child of the '60s and '70s, Guadalajara-born director Guillermo del Toro has been a fan of the Japanese kaiju film tradition since he was a kid. His latest movie, <em>Pacific Rim,</em> is his passion project and homage to the genre.
Credit Rafy / Warner Bros. Pictures
The Jaegers of del Toro's <em>Pacific Rim</em> are inspired by the <em>mecha</em> tradition in Japanese cinema.
From the audience-pleasing Hellboy to the critically acclaimed Pan's Labyrinth, Guillermo del Toro's movies are chock-full of mystical, often terrifying creatures. Now the Mexico-born director has made a big-budget entry in the genre that helped define his fascination with the monstrous: the Japanese kaiju films of the '60s.
The women who were crowned Miss Indian America are reuniting this weekend in Sheridan, Wyo. The Native American pageant ran from 1953 to 1984 and attracted contestants from across the country. Originally, the pageant started as a way to combat prejudices against Native Americans.
Wahleah Lujan, of Taos Pueblo in northern New Mexico, who won the title in 1966, was very shy at the time. In one of her appearances right after she was crowned, she told an audience: "The most important thing in my life is the preservation of our ancient pueblo and the Rio Pueblo de Taos."