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5:23 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

A 'House' Divided, Over Stories Lived And Told

Bored high school English teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) encourages a talented student to exploit a classmate's family for literary inspiration.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 3:38 pm

Among the semi-literate journals submitted by his high-school students, jaded French literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) is jazzed to find a rough diamond from a new pupil, Claude (Ernst Umhauer).

In weekly installments, the ingratiating but enigmatic teenager, who looks as though he just stepped out of a Pasolini movie, chronicles his efforts to insinuate himself into the family of one his classmates, an amiable but awkward underachiever named Rapha (Bastien Ughetto).

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It's All Politics
5:20 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Historically Speaking, No Surprise In Senate Gun Control Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks after losing a vote on broader background checks for gun buyers, Wednesday at the Capitol.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:54 pm

If it seems perplexing why an idea that has broad support nationally could fail to pass the U.S. Senate, here's an important reminder: The Senate is not a democratic institution.

It never has been, and it was never designed to be. Rather, it was structured to give small or sparsely populated states the ability to stop the majority's will. And on Wednesday, that's how it worked out, as the Senate failed to reach a 60-vote threshold to support new background checks on gun purchases.

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This Is NPR
5:11 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Forty Years Of Oops: A Look Back At Some Of NPR's Greatest Goofs

Reel-to-reel NPR audio tapes from the mid-1990s.
NPR

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 2:41 pm

When you listen to NPR on your local Member Station, the audio always sounds so pleasant and calm. The programming floats along, bouncing seamlessly from one topic to another, from one program to another, going off without a hitch.

Except when it doesn't.

Over the last 42 years, there have been plenty of glitches, snags, slip-ups and utter meltdowns when it comes to using the technical tools for recording and playing audio. A few employees agreed to tell us about some of these less-than-perfect moments.

An Entire Show, Cut to Bits

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Digital Dangers Abound In 'Disconnect'

Derek (Alexander Skarsgard) and wife Cindy (Paula Patton) are sandbagged by online identity thieves who steal their credit information — even as they're still grappling with the death of their young son.
LD Entertainment

The title of Disconnect may be read as describing any of several things: the gulf between online and real-world interactions; the chasm that opens between human beings when spoken communication fails; our default emotional position in the face of unthinkable tragedy.

Attempting to address all three interpretations within the confines of a single movie may be courting failure, but writer Andrew Stern and director Henry-Alex Rubin go one better, adding an unnecessary cybercrime angle that muffles the screenplay's more subtle psychological insights.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

'Unmade': China Tries Calling A Film's Shots

Co-director Gil Kofman has been tasked with getting his film made in mainland China — in Mandarin, a language he doesn't speak.
Seventh Art Releasing

The best documentaries about filmmaking are the ones that show it at its worst.

Movie sets are fundamentally boring places, where there's mostly a lot of waiting around going on. But when disaster strikes with millions of dollars on the line, the tension and drama are suddenly amped up to levels that often equal those in the movie being filmed.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Building A Home For A Client Who Can't Live In It

Artist Jackie Sumell set out to build a dream home for bank robber Herman Wallace, whose additional conviction for killing a prison guard is the subject of a long-running dispute.
First Run Features

The off-screen protagonist of Herman's House, Herman Wallace, already has a dwelling for his body: a 6-foot-by-8-foot cell at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, aka Angola. But the documentary's on-screen protagonist, Jackie Sumell, wants him also to have a place for his soul: a dream house for a man who desperately needs dreams.

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Movie Reviews
5:03 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Effects-Heavy 'Oblivion' Pines For An Analog Past

The enigmatic Julia (Olga Kurylenko) surfaces from the mysterious past of Victoria's husband, Jack (Tom Cruise), a repairman tending drones on a largely abandoned Earth.
Universal Pictures

The score for Oblivion was composed by M83, a superb French electronic outfit that derives its name from one of the spectral pinwheels known as spiral galaxies. I point this out because it's the best element of the movie — a cascade of dreamy synthesizers that registers as appropriately futuristic (at least the future as suggested by '80s pop) while allowing an undercurrent of romantic yearning.

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A Blog Supreme
4:59 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Jazz Salutes Its Disc Jockeys

Symphony Sid Torin (left) hosts a program at WHOM featuring the saxophonist Arnett Cobb.
William Gottlieb The Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 4:42 pm

The advent of bebop added a fresh sound to American music. It also added new voices to some metropolitan radio stations: the late-night jazz DJs who specialized in presenting this new music to their fellow hipster nightflies.

To recognize the work of the groundbreaking DJs who lent them critical exposure, jazz musicians of the period would occasionally write songs in their honor. Here are five of those songs.

The Two-Way
4:49 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Listen: Yo-Yo Ma Plays Bach's 'Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor'

Musician Yo-Yo Ma performs during "Healing Our City: An Interfaith Service" dedicated to those who were gravely wounded or killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Earlier today, President Obama led the city of Boston at an interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.

It was an emotional tribute in which the President Obama vowed that Boston would finish the race.

The service was punctuated by a performance from Yo-Yo Ma, who chose the sarabande Bach's Cello Suite No. 5 in C Minor. It was haunting and beautiful, a piece that Ma also played following Sept. 11.

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Around the Nation
4:33 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Conn. Governor Lambastes Senate After Gun Control Bill Fails

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

The failure of gun control measures to get through Congress yesterday stands in sharp contrast to sweeping moves approved by some state legislatures after the Newtown shootings. Colorado, New York, Maryland, and Connecticut all passed broad expansions of gun control laws.

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The Two-Way
4:24 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

NASA Discovers New Earth-Like Planets Around Distant Stars

The Kepler-69 system as it compares to our own.
NASA

Originally published on Wed April 23, 2014 11:59 am

NASA's Kepler spacecraft has discovered three new "habitable zone" planets that are close to Earth's size, even if they're not all that close to Earth.

NPR's Joe Palca reports, the trio of worlds is about 1,200 light years away and are thought to lie in the so-called "Goldilocks zone" — where it's not too hot and not too cold for liquid water.

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Recipes
4:10 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

A 'Charleston Kitchen' Full Of Foraged And Forgotten Foods

Matt Lee (left) and Ted Lee (right) grew up in Charleston, S.C. After leaving the South as young adults, they founded a mail-order food company, The Lee Bros. Boiled Peanut Catalogue. They have written two previous cookbooks of Southern cuisine.
Squire Fox Clarkson Potter

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

A new cookbook by the Lee brothers just might inspire daydreams of a food-centric vacation to South Carolina. It's called The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen, and in it, Matt and Ted Lee feature recipes and stories from the Southern port city they grew up in. The brothers joined NPR's Melissa Block to talk about Charleston's distinctive food culture, starting with the dishes that they'd put on a typical Charleston menu.

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The Two-Way
4:05 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Ex-Justice Of The Peace Charged With Killings In North Texas

Texas authorities have charged Eric Williams, former justice of the peace, with the murders of the Kaufman County district attorney and his assistant.
Kaufman County Sheriff's Office AP

"A former justice of the peace has been charged with murder in the slayings of a North Texas district attorney and his assistant who prosecuted him for theft, officials announced Thursday," The Associated Press reports. Eric Williams is also charged with the murder of the district attorney's wife.

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Space
3:39 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Kepler Telescope Spots 3 New Planets In The 'Goldilocks Zone'

The small squares superimposed on this image of the Milky Way galaxy show where in the sky the Kepler telescope is hunting for Earth-like planets. Kepler, which launched in 2009, has identified more than 100 planets.
NASA

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 10:26 pm

Astronomers have found three planets orbiting far-off stars that are close to Earth-sized and in the "habitable zone": a distance from their suns that makes the planets' surfaces neither too hot nor too cold, but just right.

One of the three planets orbits a star with the prosaic name Kepler-69.

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Alt.Latino
3:37 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Guest DJ With California Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera

California poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera.
courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 11:01 am

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The Record
3:34 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

What Nick Drake Taught Me About Art And Love

The tribute album Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 9:51 am

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Deceptive Cadence
3:30 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

How Do You Handle Loneliness On The Road?

In her latest video message, opera star Joyce DiDonato ponders the art of loneliness on the road.
Nicholas Heavican

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Shots - Health News
3:14 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Walking While Old: Seniors Face Greatest Death Risk

City centers can be risky for pedestrians, but age, race and gender matter, too.
iStockphoto.com

Parents worry a lot about the safety of children crossing the street. It looks like they should be worried about Grandpa, too.

Older people are at higher risk of being killed by a car while walking, according to new data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Going up against a 2,000-pound moving metal object is never a good idea. Pedestrians account for 13 percent of all motor-vehicle traffic deaths, even though walking accounts for 10.5 percent of trips.

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The Two-Way
2:56 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Storm System Floods Parts Of Chicago, Threatens Tornadoes

A motorist drives through standing water in a flooded underpass on Thursday in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 3:05 pm

A large storm system moving through the center of the country, has already caused major flooding in Chicago and is threatening to bring severe weather to the Tennessee Valley all the way to the Gulf Coast, tonight.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn declared a state of emergency Thursday afternoon, NBC Chicago reported.

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It's All Politics
2:52 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Bipartisan Senate Gang Begins To Sell Immigration Plan

The "Gang of Eight" senators hold a news conference on Capitol Hill on Thursday to discuss their immigration overhaul bill. The senators, from left, are Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Richard Durbin, D-Ill., John McCain, R-Ariz., Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., Robert Menendez, D-N.J., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Michael Bennet, D-Colo.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:59 pm

Bipartisan bonhomie broke out Thursday afternoon when four Democratic and four Republican senators made a case for their comprehensive immigration overhaul proposal.

The scene at the Dirksen Senate Office Building stood in marked contrast to the ugly end Wednesday of a smaller cross-party effort to fashion gun legislation that would have expanded background checks and banned assault-style weapons.

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