Burt Bacharach has written huge hit songs, each recognizable after just a couple of notes: "Alfie," "What the World Needs Now," "That's What Friends Are For" — the list goes on. He's written 73 Top 40 hits, along with musical comedies and other collaborations. He's won Oscars and the Gershwin Prize. His songs are often poised on the edge between poignancy and joy, or sometimes the reverse.
Round 11 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest begins now!
Here's how it works: We ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes, so no more than 600 words. Each round, we invite an author to throw out a challenge and help us judge the contest.
Natalie Maines launched her music career with the Dixie Chicks; her powerful vocals leading the all-female trio in their rise to fame. The group took some time off after they faced backlash from the country music community following their expression of disapproval for President George W. Bush. Now, Maines is back with a solo album called Mother, and she came to NPR to talk about it with All Things Considered Host Melissa Block.
A train moves past a cutout of Bollywood actors John Abraham and Sunny Leone, outside a cinema hall in Mumbai. Four top Indian filmmakers have come together to make <em>Bombay Talkies</em>, a collection of short films that hits theaters on Friday.
It's a captivating story: A global rice-growing revolution that started with a Jesuit priest in Madagascar, far from any recognized center of agricultural innovation. Every so often, it surfaces in the popular media — most recently in The Guardian, which earlier this year described farmers in one corner of India hauling in gigantic rice harvests without resorting to pesticides or genetic modification.
In fall 2011, Sebastian Thrun, a research professor at Stanford, and Peter Norvig, the top scientist at Google, teamed up to develop and teach a free, online course on artificial intelligence. Their aim, as Norvig said in an impassioned and compelling TED talk, was to develop a course at least as good as, if not better than, the course they teach together at Stanford. They'd put the result online and make it available to everyone, for free.
"'The World Is Changing' is groove with a message." That quote, a pretty good summary of the music of Femi Kuti in just nine words, comes from Juan Gélas, the creative director of a new video for Kuti's new song. Femi Kuti is a saxophonist, trumpeter, keyboard player and singer and songwriter. The son of legendary afrobeat musician Fela Kuti, he carries on the tradition of mixing Nigerian beats along with jazz and a healthy dose of politics. Juan Gélas says, "Femi Kuti continues to be a leading protest artist out of modern Africa and his voice talks to us all."
If there's one conversation you listen to today, make it Melissa Block's talk with Carmen Blandin Tarleton and Marinda Righter.
Tarleton, who was disfigured when her estranged husband poured Lye over her body, received a face transplant in February. This week, for the first time, Tarleton met Righter, the daughter of the face donor.
Righter and Tarleton embraced and then Righter asked Tarleton if she could touch her face.
"It was probably one of the best feelings I've had in my life," Tarleton told Melissa.