The Missy Elliott song "Work it" is actually about word games. Hear us out: Her lyrics, which command us to "flip it and reverse it," could also be applied to movie, book and TV show titles. In this game, host Ophira Eisenberg describes a re-imagined pop culture premise, and you must flip and reverse the order of the words in its title.
After the game, house musician Jonathan Coulton covers the Elvis Costello tune, "Deep Dark Truthful Mirror."
The former politician Bo Xilai offered a spirited defense in court in China on Thursday, surprising observers who had expected a quick show trial to end the country's biggest political scandal in decades. However Bo was allowed to cross-examine witnesses and tell judges he had been framed in the bribery charges against him. He said he had confessed to the charges under psychological pressure during interrogation.
Hundreds of people are believed to have perished in an alleged government-launched chemical weapon attack earlier this week on the rebel stronghold of Ghouta, outside of Damascus. Melissa Blocks speaks with Abo Abdulrahman, a doctor from a field hospital there, who reports an enormous influx of patients coming into his clinic.
Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was released from prison on Thursday and immediately flown to a military hospital in Cairo. The court-ordered release does not mean the end of his problems. The 85-year-old Mubarak is still facing charges of conspiracy and murder in a re-trial that could begin as early as this weekend. A small group of Mubarak supporters gathered outside the prison for his release, but overall the decision to transfer him to the hospital has not ignited any street protests.
April 5, 2014 — that's the day Afghans are scheduled to head to the polls to elect a successor to President Hamid Karzai. He's constitutionally banned from running for a third term. But, in a country that loves a good conspiracy theory, many think that Karzai will find some way to stay in power. Even if he doesn't, there are still many questions about how free and fair next year's vote will be.
A young man is treated at a hospital Wednesday in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria. According to activists, he was one of many casualties in what they say was a chemical weapons attack by government forces. The Syrian government has denied using such weapons.
Credit Bassam Khabieh / Reuters/Landov
A survivor from what activists say was a chemical weapons attack rests inside a mosque in the Duma neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, on Wednesday.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:37 pm
In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Syrian civilians suffering from convulsions, nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath began streaming into hospitals in the Eastern Ghouta area just outside Damascas. Two doctors who were on duty at two different hospitals described what they saw to NPR's Rima Marrouch, who reached them from Beirut.
Dr. Abu Yazan was working an overnight shift in a field hospital in Eastern Ghouta, outside the capital, Damascus, on Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning.
A group foster home + abused and at-risk kids + tough love + junior staff nearly as troubled as their charges: The potential for cliche is everywhere in Destin Cretton's enormously engaging Short Term 12, and — happily — is everywhere avoided. What might seem on paper a cloyingly sentimental heartwarmer becomes, in Cretton's hands, a briskly believable, often funny, always invigorating and ultimately wrenching story of emotional fortitude.
The difference between a provocative film and a challenging one can be difficult to parse. Yet it's essential to understanding the success and occasional missteps of Ulrich Seidl's Paradise: Faith, the second part in a trilogy that, so far, has excelled at exploring the depths of human misery.
Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 3:07 pm
"She's so pretty, she could be in any movie," a fan gushed after a screening of Joe Swanberg's Drinking Buddies. There's a lot more to Olivia Wilde than her feline loveliness, which, combined with a challenging stare that dares you to dismiss her as fluff, reminds me of a young Michelle Pfeiffer. But not much of that is allowed out to play in this strained comic drama about two young couples struggling to answer universal questions in particular ways.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 6:10 pm
The Packard plant, which once symbolized the might of America's auto industry, is at risk of heading to auction if a pending development deal fails. If that happens, The Detroit Free Press reports, the 35-acre site eventually could be sold "for as little as $21,000," a figure that comes from Wayne County Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:38 pm
Last week The Getty Museum in Los Angeles announced a pretty cool thing. Its new Open Content Program makes available hundreds of thousands of digital images for free download and use. There's a lot to sift through, and the possibilities are endless. But it doesn't take long before interesting images jump out.
Like, while browsing the photo collection I found myself face to face with 19th century photographer Gaspard Felix Tournachon (known as "Nadar") and thought: "Wait, is this a ... selfie!?"
From January 1992 to September 2001, Branford Marsalis set the JazzSet pace, hosting 39 new shows a year (now we do 26) from the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band; festivals in Iowa City, Telluride, Pasadena, Mount Hood, Montreal and Brevard, N.C.; the new music festival in Groningen, the Netherlands, and the Havana Jazz Festival in Cuba; clubs from Yoshi's in California to Sculler's and the Regattabar in Boston. WGBH producer Steve Schwartz sent us lots of Boston sets during that first decade, all of them much appreciated.
Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 5:43 pm
The international community once again rose in near unanimity to condemn a mass killing of civilians in Syria. But, as with so many previous episodes, no one proposed concrete action intended to prevent such bloodshed in the future.
The White House on Thursday expressed "deep concern" and urged a U.N. investigation into what the Syrian opposition says was a chemical weapons attack near Damascus on Wednesday that left hundreds dead.
Host Jessica Harris speaks with Ian Falconer, the author and illustrator of Olivia, a children's book series about a pig. Falconer is a set and costumer designer for opera and dance, as well as the creator of more than 30 covers for The New Yorker Magazine.
Harris also talks with Brij Kothari, the founder of Planet Read.