Arts & Life

Movies
9:26 am
Mon September 1, 2014

After A Ho-Hum Summer, Hollywood Ramps Up For Fall

Michael Keaton stars as a washed-up film star trying to make a stage comeback in Alejandro Inarritu's Birdman.
Alison Rosa

Note: There are 26 films in the on-air version of this story — but here are three favorites.

Hollywood hauled out Apes, Transformers, and X-Men and still had a humdrum summer at the box office. For the first time in years, no summer blockbuster's managed to crack the $300 million barrier at the North American box office. In fact, until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, the film industry was looking at its lowest attendance figures in more than a decade.

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Book News & Features
7:03 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Author Charles Cumming Ponders The Seductions — And The Sins — Of Spying

Charles Cumming's latest book is A Colder War.
Jonathan Ring

If you were making a movie about the world of British espionage, you'd want to cast someone like Charles Cumming as your undercover agent. He's tall and handsome and self-assured and utterly charming in that self-deprecating British way. You can imagine him effortlessly gliding through the small talk of embassy parties or sweeping a gullible female officer off her feet — in service of Queen and country, of course. In other words, it's easy to be seduced by him.

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Arts & Life
5:29 am
Mon September 1, 2014

MK Asante's Poem 'In Summer' Honors Paul Laurence Dunbar

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

All this summer on MORNING EDITION, we've been asking poets to read work that evokes this season.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Crime In The City
3:16 am
Mon September 1, 2014

Ghanaian Mystery Writer Says, 'It's Easy To Get Murdered In Accra'

Kwei Quartey sets one of the crime scenes in his second D.I. Dawson book in Agbogbloshie, an Accra slum.
Ofeibea Quist-Arcton NPR

Originally published on Mon September 1, 2014 7:55 am

White egrets swoop down on the Agbogbloshie Canal and stoop to pick at mounds of filth and trash in search of food. The clogged and stinky waterway dominates Agbogbloshie, the main shantytown in Accra, Ghana's capital city. You wonder how the birds manage to maintain white feathers as they wade in the putrid, muddy water.

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Author Interviews
6:33 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

'A Thousand Mirrors' Shows Two Views Of One Long, Brutal War

Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 7:19 pm

It's hard to comprehend the toll Sri Lanka's civil war took on the South Asian country. The United Nations estimates that between 80,000 and 100,000 people lost their lives in the conflict — all on an island just slightly larger than West Virginia.

Ethnic tensions between two main ethnic groups in Sri Lanka — the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils — simmered through the '60s and '70s. The civil war officially began in 1983 and continued until 2009.

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My Big Break
5:40 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

Fast-Talking 21-Year-Old Makes A Winning Bid For Auctioneer Glory

Blaine Lotz of Edna, Kan., is this year's winner of the prestigious World Livestock Auctioneer Championship, hosted by the Livestock Marketing Association.
Morgan Leigh Meisenheimer Livestock Marketing Association

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 7:17 pm

As part of a series called "My Big Break," All Things Considered is collecting stories of triumph, big and small. These are the moments when everything seems to click, and people leap forward into their careers.

When Blaine Lotz fires off prices from the auction block, the first thing you might notice is the lightning-fast speed of his words. But Lotz, wearing a suit and black cowboy hat as he rattles off numbers to a crowd of cattle-buyers, says there's much more to the art of auctioneering than speed.

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Television
5:40 pm
Sun August 31, 2014

X Prize Competition Could Make 'Tricorder' A Reality

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 7:17 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Code Switch
11:47 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Native American Artists Reclaim Images That Represent Them

Jason Lujan "re-contextualizes" the word 'Apache' in his art.
Jason Lujan

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 4:59 pm

There's been a lot of discussion about the name of a certain Washington football team — with lawsuits arguing that it is disparaging, and media outlets choosing not to use it in their content.

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Sunday Puzzle
8:03 am
Sun August 31, 2014

The Same Until You Shuffle

NPR

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 1:31 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer this week is a made-up two-word phrase, in which both words start with 'S' and they're anagrams of each other.

Example: Identical line where two pieces of fabric are sewn together = SAME SEAM

Last week's challenge: Name a world leader of the 1960s (two words). Change the last letter of the second word. Then switch the order of the words, putting the second word in front. The result will name a hit song of the 1990s. Who is the leader, and what is the song?

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Author Interviews
7:50 am
Sun August 31, 2014

This Time It's 'Personal': Lee Child Writes His 19th Jack Reacher Novel

Lee Child is the author of 19 Jack Reacher novels — and is currently working on the 20th.
Sigrid Estrada AP/Random House

Originally published on Sun August 31, 2014 1:31 pm

As Lee Child writes new installments in his Jack Reacher series, he thinks back to something his father said: When it came to books and films, "he would say he wanted the same but different," Child tells NPR's Linda Wertheimer. And that, for Child, is the fun and the challenge of it all.

Personal is his 19th novel starring Jack Reacher, the retired U.S. military policeman who puts his folding toothbrush in his shirt pocket and boards a bus to wherever that bus is going.

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