The Olympic motto - Faster, Higher, Stronger - has always applied to an ideal: a young, supremely fit athlete, performing wondrous tasks. The motto means something different for athletes over 50. Thousands of them are in Cleveland for the National Senior Games. These games may be lacking in youth and buff physiques, but NPR's Tom Goldman reports the event still has great significance for those are competing and watching.
The GOP has tried to bolster the number of women on Capitol Hill, as well. This week, the National Republican Committee launched Project Grow. It's aimed at recruiting, mentoring, and electing more Republican women into office - federal, state and local. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, of Tennessee's 7th District, joins us from City Hall in Fairview, Tennessee, just outside of Nashville.
Welcome to you and thanks so much for joining us.
REPRESENTATIVE MARSHA BLACKBURN: Oh, I'm delighted to be with you. Thank you.
Wallace Shawn (from left), Larry Pine and Deborah Eisenberg make up the cast of The Designated Mourner. Written by Shawn and directed by Andre Gregory, the Public Theater show is a product of one of the longest collaborations in the history of the American theater.
Credit Reed Saxon / AP
Wallace Shawn wrote the plays The Designated Mourner and Grasses of a Thousand Colors. He also co-wrote and co-starred in My Dinner with Andre.
Credit 20th Century Fox / AP
Wallace Shawn (bottom) appeared alongside Mandy Patinkin and Andre the Giant (top) in the 1987 cult classic The Princess Bride.
Wallace Shawn is famous for his career as an actor, but over the past four decades he has written a handful of plays that are intellectually demanding and rarely produced. His characters tell stories in monologues, rather than acting them out onstage, and they use cascades of words to make dizzying arguments.
His work is being showcased at New York's Public Theater this season. A revival of The Designated Mourner opened July 21 and the American premier of another Shawn play, Grasses of a Thousand Colors, will open this fall.
Verlyn Klinkenborg's essays about life on his farm in upstate New York have run in The New York Times since 1997. With a long family history of farming, his agricultural roots run deep into the soil.
"All of my aunts and uncles farmed; all of my cousins still farm," he says. "The home farm where my dad was raised has been in my family since the early teens, and ... following the track of modern agriculture, has changed its character hugely over time. But it's still in the family."
Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 12:11 pm
Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation Of Vital Phenomena.
Ditie, the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's transcendent novel, I Served the King of England, is described in the jacket copy as "a hugely ambitious but simple waiter in a deluxe Prague hotel." I first crossed paths with him when I, myself, was working as a night porter in a deluxe Edinburgh hotel.
Credit Jim Frank / On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler
As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Credit Courtesy Faith Ringgold and ACA Galleries, New York
In 1963, Faith Ringgold began a series of 20 paintings called "The American People." She she wanted to create images that would make people really look. "The more they look, the more they see," she says. Above, #18: The Flag Is Bleeding, 1967, oil on canvas.
Credit Courtesy Faith Ringgold and ACA Galleries, New York
"It was what was going on in America and I wanted [viewers] to look at these paintings and see themselves," Ringgold says. Above, American People Series #20: Die, 1967, oil on canvas.
Credit Courtesy Faith Ringgold
"People like stories," says Faith Ringgold. "I think I ... struck on a combination of imagery and politics that worked."
Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.
The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.
Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 12:41 pm
As the ailing Nelson Mandela turned 95 this month, the international community celebrated his legacy and rooted for his recovery.
Just to the north in Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe, 89, is running for re-election this week. He's looking to extend his 33 years in power, which have been marked by authoritarian rule, economic collapse and international isolation.
The Quinta de Boa Vista park is far away from the celebrations in Copacabana Beach, where three million people gathered Saturday to hear Pope Francis speak. But the park is attracting a crowd of young people.
Kiosks for religious orders like the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Legion of Mary line the park. It looks like a job fair, and in a way, it is.
Nuns from the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady of Lourdes dance around in front of their stand, to the banging of drums and the strumming of guitars.
On-air challenge: This puzzle is supersonic. Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name that has the consecutive letters S-S-T. Specifically, the first word will end in S-S, and the second word will start with T. For example, given, "A situation in which people speak on top of each other," you would say, "cross talk."
In Egypt, protests against the ouster of President Mohammed Morsi turned deadly Saturday, after Egyptian security forces launched the most violent crackdown yet on those demonstrators.
The Egyptian Health Ministry says around 80 people were killed — most of them in Cairo. The Muslim Brotherhood, from which the deposed president hails, put the death toll at nearly twice that number. Hundreds more were injured.
It's been too long since we simply sat up and pointed out a few of the many new releases worth a set of ears. Luckily, the staff on weekends at All Things Considered thought the same. They invited me to sit down with host Jacki Lyden and play a few cuts for them.
Here's music from an elder statesman of piano, a trumpeter who understands creole music personally, a drummer who writes tunes with a payoff, and a singer in her early 20s with maturity and kick.
During the 19th century, a panopticon was a prison or asylum with an all-seeing eye. Some of the C-shaped prisons with central watchtowers still stand in the U.S. and Europe.
Jenni Fagan's new book borrows the panopticon idea as the setting for a gritty, often poetic, novel. The story is based loosely on Fagan's own experience growing up in the Scottish foster care system for 16 years.
And as we mentioned earlier in the show, singer-songwriter J.J. Cale has died. If you're not familiar with his name, you've probably heard some of his music. He penned hits from the 1970s and '80s that were recorded by Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many others. The success of those songs gave him the freedom to release his own albums for more than four decades. NPR's Dan Bobkoff has this remembrance.
The film The Act of Killing is the most talked about movie of the year. It's a film that is both fiction and nonfiction. Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer talked to the old men in charge of the death squads in Indonesia in the 1960s that killed somewhere between 500,000 to 2 million civilians in the name of thwarting communism.
Why are these antiquated diseases on the rise again, and how strong is the threat of drug-resistant bacteria? Host Jacki Lyden talks to Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, Ga., about this trend in infectious diseases.
This week President Obama crossed the country, talking about the economy, and Congress attempted to pass a bill limiting the power of the National Security Agency. Host Jacki Lyden talks to Doyle McManus, Washington correspondent for The Los Angeles Times, about the biggest stories in the news this week.
Hear The Full Set: Hurray For The Riff Raff At Newport
The New Orleans band Hurray for the Riff Raff exists as a vehicle for the powerhouse songs of singer-songwriter Alynda Lee Segarra, whose gigantic voice conveys the grit of bluesy soul while still fitting within the realms of rootsy folk and country. The group just followed its dynamite 2012 album Look Out Mama with a Kickstarter-funded collection of covers (and two originals) called My Dearest Darkest Neighbor.
More than 1,000 inmates, many convicted of serious crimes, have escaped from a prison in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, the country's prime minister confirmed.
According to The Associated Press, it wasn't immediately clear if the jailbreak at Koyfiya prison was part of a larger series of protests taking place across the country on Saturday in response to the assassination on Friday of prominent political activist Abdelsalam al-Mosmary, who was an outspoken opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood.