Growing up, Barbara Handelsman often felt out of step with her family.
"When I was really little, I thought my sister always had all the power because she was pudgy and cute, where I had all elbows and knees," Barbara says. "I was so shy. I had no idea how to be the popular kid, and so I felt incompetent when it came to trying to be an A+ anything."
Madeline may be about to celebrate her 75th birthday next year, but the beloved little girl never seems to grow up. After more than seven decades she's still having adventures donned in her coat and big yellow hat with a ribbon down the back.
Readers were first introduced to Madeline in 1939 by author and artist Ludwig Bemelmans. He would go on to write a series of stories that each began in the same way:
In an old house in Paris That was covered in vines Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 7:55 pm
In an emotional statement on Thursday, Baby Veronica's biological father said he and the Cherokee Nation were dropping the legal fight to regain custody of the 4-year-old girl.
"I know we did everything in our power to keep Veronica home with her family," Dusten Brown said in Oklahoma. "Veronica is only 4 years old, but her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the entire world. I cannot bear for [it to continue] any longer.
Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.
Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.
Originally published on Tue October 15, 2013 3:17 pm
Most Americans don't get the 4 to 6.5 cups of fruits and vegetables we're supposed to consume every day, per government guidelines. But companies that make juice, especially high-end, "fresh" juice, are ready to come to our rescue.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 5:59 pm
Alice Munro, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature today, taught me something important and abiding and true about evil.
Specifically, she taught me about that singular species of evil we swim through all our lives. It's the evil to which we petty humans default, even — especially — as we reassure ourselves that we are blessed creatures, generous of spirit. It's the evil born of thoughtlessness and self-regard, and it crouches, waiting, in every conversation, every appraising look, every single human interaction that fills up our days.
Originally published on Wed October 16, 2013 12:53 pm
Perhaps great minds do think alike, because over the last few weeks, NPR was on the brain (and lips) of an internationally acclaimed rock star, a pro baseball pitcher-turned-substitute P.E. teacher, a favorite Saturday Night Live alum a hip hop artist and a late night talk show host.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 3:31 pm
Brendan James makes his second appearance on Mountain Stage, recorded live at the Culture Center Theater in Charleston, W.V. James wraps his tranquil voice and serene songwriting around his own energetic piano playing, a technique that's proven successful with fans and critics. His first three albums placed in the Top 10 on the iTunes pop charts, and his third earned the top spot on iTunes' singer-songwriter chart.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 5:19 pm
During World Cafe's annual summer visit to the Philadelphia Folk Festival, we finally met up with Luella & The Sun — a dark, raw and exciting roots band we've been watching for a while. The group is led by a charismatic Nashville singer, Melissa Mathes, and gritty guitarist Joe McMahan.
At the time of the festival, the band was still recovering from the aftermath of a devastating studio fire. Here, host David Dye talks with Mathes and McMahan about how they overcame the setback with the help of their community.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 6:14 pm
Scott Carpenter, the fourth American astronaut to fly in space and the second to orbit Earth, died on Thursday, a NASA official tells NPR.
Carpenter, an original Mercury 7 astronaut, was 88.
NPR's Russell Lewis filed this report for our Newscast unit:
"Scott Carpenter's 1962 flight was just five hours, and his mission was to determine how well humans could function in weightlessness. His capsule circled the Earth three times before returning for a parachute landing.
When Holy Ghost! started out, it was just two friends playing nu-disco before it was en vogue. Now, with a full band, a wall of synthesizers and a new album partially produced by DFA Records co-founder James Murphy, the Brooklyn band has taken its sound to another level. Its members recently visited The Village Studios for this live Morning Becomes Eclectic session, during which they performed this song, "Hold My Breath."
We get a lot of mail at NPR Music, and amid the packages our kids discard in disgust for not including the new Pokemon 3DS games is a slew of smart questions about how music fits into our lives — and, this week, tips on inter-generational bonding over music.
Jake Ibey writes via Facebook: "How do you introduce new music to a parent (mid-50s) who is stuck in late-'70s rock mode?"
Jessica Harris speaks with Daphne Koller, co-founder of Coursera, an educational company that partners with top universities around the world to offer courses online for free. Harris also speaks with Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice, founders of SoulCycle, an indoor cycling gym that provides a full-body workout.
In New Orleans, it's cool to be in the high school band — especially when Trombone Shorty shows up in the band room.
The brass player and bandleader recently paid a visit to New Orleans' Warren Easton High School to work with band members. It's part of his work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation, a music education initiative.
"[Trombone Shorty] is, without a doubt, the role model for the next generation right now," says Bill Taylor, the foundation's executive director.
Originally published on Thu October 10, 2013 1:56 pm
The two paintings are unmistakably by Vincent Van Gogh. Both show a street scene in the south of France, dominated by sturdy trees with limbs thrust upwards. Both show the same trees and the same houses and pedestrians — almost.
The Road Menders and The Large Plane Trees (Road Menders at Saint-Remy) were painted by Van Gogh in May 1889. They're so alike that they are sometimes called "copies." In fact, they're different: strikingly different in color, subtly different in detail.