Arts & Life

Music
2:26 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

'Spirit Of Family' Unites Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Darren Phillip Jones

Originally published on Mon February 3, 2014 11:58 am

For fans of world music, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo needs no introduction.

The group has been singing a capella together for 50 years, brought together by Joseph Shabalala, a young farmhand turned factory worker from the town of Ladysmith. He had a dream of tight vocal harmonies and messages of peace.

That dream developed, and the band came to the attention of Paul Simon, who had it record "Homeless" on his album Graceland. It introduced the group to the world.

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Book Reviews
12:02 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

Historical Trauma Makes For Thrilling Fiction In 'Officer And A Spy'

promo image

For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called "Belle Epoque," the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer. His latest novel, An Officer and a Spy, is set during this period of peace and prosperity between the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the lead-up to the First World War.

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The Salt
11:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Grade Inflation In The Maple Syrup Aisle: Now Everything Is An 'A'

The old and new maple syrup grading systems compared.
Courtesy of Butternut Mountain Farm

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 5:03 pm

Why would you choose a B grade if you can get an A?

Ask a baker. They'll tell you that if you like richer, darker, more intense maple syrup, you should pick Grade B.

But the idea that B beats A seems counterintuitive to lots of consumers who are just looking for something sweet to pour on their morning pancakes.

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Monkey See
10:40 am
Thu January 30, 2014

I Like Big Trucks And I Cannot Lie: Cars, Trucks, And The Lady Brain

Try not to get too excited, ladies.
John Morris iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 3:26 pm

You know, when it comes to studies about how women think, I must admit that I always plunge in with great and girlish (!) excitement, because as much as the stereotyping may officially bother me, let's face it: there is part of me that thinks, "Oh, this is going to be good."

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Monkey See
9:33 am
Thu January 30, 2014

A Story About A Little-Known Song In A Little-Known Movie That Got A Big Oscar Nod

The Oscar statue is seen at the entrance of the Hollywood & Highland Center before the 2012 Academy Awards.
Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 25, 2014 5:44 pm

Well, it's safe to say we're shocked — shocked — to find that Oscar campaigning was going on in here.

Tuesday night, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences — the Oscars people — rescinded the Best Original Song nomination for "Alone Yet Not Alone," from the movie Alone Yet Not Alone.

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Kitchen Window
12:08 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Get Extra Points For Super Bowls Of Dips And Spreads

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 3:39 pm

I'm not a big football fan. However, I look forward every year to Super Bowl Sunday. Who can argue with a day that, let's face it, is as devoted to partying as it is to the matchup on the field. So every time another Super Bowl rolls around, we invite a bunch of friends over for some beer, some eats and, of course, some serious game-watching.

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The Salt
10:40 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Frogs And Puffins! 1730s Menus Reveal Royals Were Extreme Foodies

Britain's King George II: Snazzy dresser, adventurous eater.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 11:10 am

You think 21st century foodies will go to great lengths for a culinary thrill? (Lion meat, anyone?) Turns out, they've got nothing on 18th century English royals.

Frogs, puffins, boar's head and larks and other songbirds were all fair game for the dinner table of England's King George II, judging by a chronicle of daily meals served to his majesty and his wife, Queen Caroline.

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The Two-Way
7:34 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Book News: Nurse's Debut Novel Wins Prestigious Costa Award

Costa Book of the Year author Nathan Filer poses with his prize for his debut novel Tuesday in London.
Sang Tan AP

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
7:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Anna Quindlen Is (Still) The Voice Of Her Generation

Courtesy of Random House

Originally published on Wed January 29, 2014 1:04 pm

Back in the 1980s, Anna Quindlen's New York Times column, "Life in the 30s," delineated — with humor and grace — what so many of her fellow newly liberated female Boomers were going through: the complications of using your maiden name after you have children. Check. The challenges of balancing a career with parenting. Check. Grocery shopping with small children in tow, "an event I hope to see included in the Olympics in the near future." Check again.

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Book Reviews
7:02 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Allende Creates Realism Without The Magic In 'Ripper'

Chilean writer Isabel Allende is the author of 20 books, including The House of Spirits and City of the Beasts.
Lori Barra Courtesy of HarperCollins

I've been wanting to read Isabel Allende's work for years now, for the praise it's received as an exemplar of the magical realist tradition (which I love) and for its focus on the lives of women (which I applaud). So it's with some bemusement that I discovered my first experience with it would be a crime novel about a San Francisco serial killer.

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