Arts & Life

Movie Interviews
6:03 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Playing The Big Room: An Oscars Joke-Writer Reflects

Billy Crystal hosts the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012. Writing jokes for hosts is a tricky game, says longtime joke writer Dave Boone.
Kevin Winter Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 19, 2013 3:45 pm

Hollywood's biggest night is in just a few weeks. People tend to focus on the glitz, the glamour and — of course — the gowns. But we thought we'd take a moment to focus on the gags.

Or rather what goes into writing both the jokes that fall flat and the jokes that soar. For a bit of Oscars Writing 101, NPR's All Things Considered turned to Dave Boone, who has written for the Academy Awards eight times.

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The Record
5:22 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Saving The Sounds Of America

A 16-inch lacquer disc, a format used in the 1930s, from the collection of the Library of Congress. Most of the lacquer, the part of the disc where the sound was etched, has been lost to decay.
Abby Brack Library of Congress

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 9:44 pm

We've been able to record sound for over 125 years, but many of the recordings that have been made in that time are in terrible shape. Many more, even recordings made in the past 10 years, are in danger because rapid technological changes have rendered their software obsolete. So Wednesday, the Library of Congress unveiled a plan to help preserve this country's audio archives.

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Opinion
2:05 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Uses For Latin (If You're Not The Pope)

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:07 pm

Annalisa Quinn writes about books for NPR.org.

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Author Interviews
1:51 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

'Dead Sea Scrolls' Live On In Debate And Discovery

A part of the Isaiah Scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is seen inside the vault of the Shrine of the Book building at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
Lior Mizrahi Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 4:42 pm

The Dead Sea Scrolls are the ancient manuscripts dating back to the time of Jesus that were found between 1947 and 1956 in caves by the Dead Sea. Since they were first discovered, they have been a source of fascination and debate over what they can teach — and have taught — about Judeo-Christian history. In his new book, The Dead Sea Scrolls: A Biography, Yale professor John J. Collins tells the story of the scrolls, their discovery and the controversies surrounding the scholarship of them.

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Monkey See
12:59 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Rubio's Water Bottle And The Authenticity Craving

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.
AP

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Books
10:03 am
Wed February 13, 2013

'Dry Bones'? Hardly — There's Still Life In Detroit

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An image from "Detroit Disassembled," an exhibit on display at the National Building Museum. (Andrew Moore, The Aurora, Brush Park neighborhood, 2008)
Andrew Moore National Building Museum

"Girdles and red nail polish and intestinal cleansing and bar fights and sewer pipes and wiretaps and eternal life and decay all around. It was insanity. It was outrageous. It was a reporter's wet dream. Where the hell was I?

"I paid the bill and left.

"The sign outside said DETROIT CITY LIMITS."

The corrupt, crime-addled Detroit of Charlie LeDuff's new memoir, Detroit: An American Autopsy, isn't the same city that I left a month ago.

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The Two-Way
7:51 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Book News: Disgraced 'New Yorker' Author Talks Plagiarism — For A $20,000 Fee

Jonah Lehrer attends a panel discussion for the World Science Festival in 2008.
Thos Robinson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 10:33 am

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

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Lost In Everett's Hall Of Metafictional Mirrors

A friend of mine, with more than half a lifetime in the business of writing and a following of devoted fans, some years ago nailed a sign on the wall above his writing desk.

TELL THE [Expletive] STORY!

How I wish Percival Everett looked up every now and then from his keyboard to see a sign like this.

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Kitchen Window
2:09 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Porridge: A Just-Right Meal To Fight Winter's Chill

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 3:50 pm

Porridge doesn't get a lot of love and respect. It's the fairy tale stuff of Goldilocks, or the pauper gruel of Oliver Twist. But really, porridge can be a beautiful thing, especially during the cold slog of winter. It's a comforting way to start the morning, a nice warm hug of a breakfast. And, dare I say, it actually can be kind of exciting.

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Book Reviews
1:38 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

A Soured Student-Teacher Friendship Threatens 'Everything'

Matjaz Boncina iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 2:55 pm

Over the past week or so, I've mentioned James Lasdun's new book, Give Me Everything You Have to a bunch of colleagues; they've all heard about it already and they're all dying to read it. What Amy Chua's Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother was to parenting a couple of years ago, Lasdun's Give Me Everything You Have may well be to teaching: a controversial personal reflection on the professor-student relationship — except Lasdun, unlike Chua, really has no advice to offer; no certitude, nor help for pain.

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