Perhaps it's the combination of Sunday night's Mad Men finale and the flurry of Sopranos discussion that followed the death of James Gandolfini, but it's hard not to be struck by the explosion of writing about television that's occurred in the last 15 years or so, facilitated (of course) by the ability to go from rolling credits to publication in an hour (if necessary). After any major episode, there will be a flurry of commentary, and even after minor episodes of minor shows, there are write-ups here and there.
The tenuous nature of efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan were dramatically underscored Tuesday morning when gunmen attacked buildings near Afghanistan's presidential palace in Kabul as journalists were gathering to hear from President Hamid Karzai about nascent plans for peace talks with the Taliban.
An elaborate cake exactingly modeled from the work of a Dutch minimalist painter. A piece of literary criticism as interesting and expansive as its subject. A photograph of an eerie, antlered hat sculpted from feathers and tulle. Art criticism, written with a novelist's eye. Here are five books that traverse genre and medium, while keeping the same aim: to analyze, celebrate and re-imagine beautiful works of art.
Israeli graphic novelist Rutu Modan's deceptively clear and simple line work — she can conjure a face in two dots and a single, expressive pen stroke — is a deliberate artistic choice. Narratively, Modan's work (including the acclaimed Exit Wounds andher Jamilti and Other Stories) lives in the realm of the indistinct, the undefined and the hotly disputed. In her books, conflicts between family members, lovers and nations all occur in the context of Jewish cultural history.
German police say they have arrested a 57-year-old trucker whom they accuse of carrying out 762 shootings on European highways over the past five years.
"We found the famous needle in a hay stack," said Joerg Ziercke, chief commissioner of the German Federal Criminal Police. "A dangerous criminal who on several thousands of kilometers of highway in Germany, France, Belgium and Austria would reach for a gun whenever, wherever to shoot at other vehicles and endanger people's lives. It's unprecedented in Germany criminal history."
A rare event has taken place in the Middle East - the ruler of an Arab country has voluntarily stepped down. The emir of the Gulf state of Qatar handed power over to his son in a quiet ceremony in Doha this morning. NPR's Sean Carberry has our report.
(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)
SHEIKH HAMAD BIN KHALIFA AL THANI: (Through Translator) As I address you today, I declare that I will hand over the reigns of power to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani...
The Erie Canal was cut through upstate New York almost 200 years ago. It opened up new shipping routes to the West and proved to be an economic lifeline for the Great Lakes region. The canal fell out of favor as faster transportation methods, like the railway, became available. But lately, it's been getting a second life.
Qatar's ruler said Tuesday he has transferred power to the 33-year-old crown prince in an anticipated move that puts a new generation in charge of the Gulf nation's vast energy wealth and rising political influence.
Some believe that there are only four Rolling Stones, but then some say there's a fifth: keyboardist Chuck Leavell. He's been on tours with the band for more than 30 years — but that hasn't been his only gig. At 20, he was asked to join The Allman Brothers Band.
When the blood pressure drug Bystolic hit the market in 2008, it faced a crowded field of cheap generics.
So its maker, Forest Laboratories, launched a promotional assault on the group in the best position to determine Bystolic's success: those in control of prescription pads. It flooded the offices of health professionals with drug reps, and it hired doctors to persuade their peers to choose Bystolic — even though the drug hadn't proved more effective than competitors.
The Senate has taken another step toward approving a sweeping immigration overhaul bill, as the legislation passed an essential test Monday evening. By a vote of 67-27, the chamber voted to include an amendment on border security to the final bill.
The margin of the vote means the measure cannot be the target of a filibuster. The Hill reports:
Oscar-winning director Sofia Coppola has a new movie out called The Bling Ring. It's based on the true story of middle-class Los Angeles teenagers who famously robbed celebrities' houses, the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and Orlando Bloom. She and Emma Watson, one of the stars in the film, talked about the movie on Weekend Edition Saturday.
Coppola told NPR Host Scott Simon the idea for the movie came from reading an article about the kids. She was struck by the fact that they didn't need anything; the kids were only in it for the excitement.
On May 18, 2003, Bobby "Blue" Bland appeared on Mountain Stage in Huntington, W.Va. Daniel Lanois, Tracy Nelson and singer-songwriter Will Hoge were on the bill that night, as well. When news of Bland's passing broke, Hoge was one of many who took to social media to pay tribute. He was also kind enough to share a few more words with us about the impact Bland had on his career.