Arts & Life

The Salt
6:54 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

In Japan, Food Can Be Almost Too Cute To Eat

Hannari Tofu is a character who shows up on a range of plush merchandise.
Satorare/Flickr

Originally published on Mon March 11, 2013 11:49 am

From an early age, Japanese kids are taught to "eat with your eyes," and this emphasis on the visual delights of food can be found in many aspects of Japan's vaunted culture of cute.

Take children's television, for example. Some of the most beloved cartoon characters in Japan are based on food items.

Read more
A Blog Supreme
6:41 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Butch Morris, Jazz Bandleader And Conductor, Dies

Butch Morris in Amsterdam in 1986.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 10:20 am

Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris, an improvising musician who pioneered a system of ensemble interaction he called Conduction, has died at a hospital in New York City, his publicist confirmed. He had lung cancer, which was diagnosed last August. He was 65.

Read more
Author Interviews
3:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

Read more
Monkey See
12:04 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

How '30 Rock' Found Its Tone When Liz Lemon Didn't Marry Her Cousin

Tina Fey as Liz Lemon on NBC's 30 Rock.
Ali Goldstein NBC

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 2:49 pm

Read more
The Salt
12:02 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Why Chicken Wings Dominate Super Bowl Snack Time

Blame sports bars for the chicken wing boom, especially on Super Bowl Sunday.
jeffreyw Flickr.com

Take a look at this remarkable graph — is it the stock market? Home sales?

Nope. Click on the blue box in the lower right-hand corner and you'll see that the blue line tracks the number of chicken wings that Americans bought at grocery stores over the last year. See that mighty surge of wing-buying in early February? Apparently, you just cannot have a Super Bowl party without chicken wings — millions and millions of chicken wings.

Read more
Book Reviews
7:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Separating Man From Myth In 'The First Muslim'

iStockphoto.com

Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an atheistic dystopia founded by Karl Marx, one of the post-Enlightenment's wayward secular philosophers. But Marx came from a deeply religious background — generations of rabbis on both sides — and his original motivation lay in that most Christian of principles: helping humanity's downtrodden.

Read more
New In Paperback
7:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Jan. 28-Feb. 3: Teen Lust, Gothic Fright And A History Of Introverts

In One Person by John Irving
Courtesy Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:03 am

Fiction and nonfiction releases from John Irving, Denise Mina, David Maraniss, Robert Kagan and Susan Cain.



Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

First Reads
7:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'The Dinner,' By Herman Koch

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:41 am

  • Listen to the Excerpt

Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is a meal that may give you indigestion, but you'll relish the burn. The book begins with two couples meeting for dinner in a posh Amsterdam restaurant: Paul Lohman, the entertainingly bilious narrator, his brother Serge, a rising politician almost certain to become prime minister in the next election, and their wives. But the dinner conversation is grim, even shocking. Each couple has a teenage son, and the two boys have committed a ghastly crime — a crime that's been captured on grainy viral video.

Read more
Television
5:16 am
Tue January 29, 2013

FX To Debut KGB Spy Drama 'The Americans'

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 8:36 am

The Americans is a new series on FX about two Soviet spies living in the U.S. as a married couple. TV critic Eric Deggans says it's amazing to see Soviet spies as the heroes of a show because they were screen villains for so long.

The Record
3:40 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 10:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

Read more

Pages