Arts & Life

Around the Nation
6:45 am
Sat December 15, 2012

No Orcs Allowed: Hobbit House Brings Middle Earth To Pa.

Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's descriptions and drawings, Lord of the Rings fan Vince Donovan built a hobbit-hole to house his collection of Middle Earth memorabilia.
Emma Lee NewsWorks

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

In rural Chester County, Pa., about 50 miles northwest of Philadelphia, thick fog swirls around the trunks of knotty trees. This piece of 18th-century farmland could, by all outward appearances, be one of the misty forests of Middle Earth, the setting of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings fantasy novels.

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Movie Reviews
6:45 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Hathaway, Jackman: No Complaints From These 'Miserables'

In the first act of Les Miserables, factory worker Fantine (Anne Hathaway) loses her job and is forced first to sell her hair and then become a prostitute in order to support her daughter, Cosette.
Universal Pictures

Originally published on Wed February 20, 2013 3:29 pm

You may have heard of a little movie called Les Miserables, coming to many, many theaters on Christmas Day. It's based on a 27-year-old musical that was in turn based on Victor Hugo's classic 150-year-old novel about a man, Jean Valjean, who stole a loaf of bread and served 19 years on a chain gang. After his parole, he takes on a new identity and finds happiness and prosperity — until he's tracked down by his old jailer. The epic story plays out over decades, eventually peaking against the backdrop — and the barricades — of the French student rebellion of 1832.

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Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!
6:42 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

NIH Director Francis Collins Plays Not My Job

NIH

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 11:25 am

Dr. Francis Collins is the director of the National Institutes of Health, which among other things means he's going to outlive us all. We've invited him to play a game called "OWWW!" Three questions about athletes and the surprising ways they find to injure themselves, inspired by Bleacher Report's list of The 50 Weirdest Injuries in Sports History.

Religion
6:07 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Singing Loud And Proud: Choir For LGBT Mormons Breaks Out

The One Voice Choir is not officially part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but the ensemble is invited to perform this weekend at an LDS church-sponsored event intended to reach out to the LGBT community.
Andrea Smardon KUER

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:13 pm

Growing up in Utah, Ross Owen watched the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on television every Sunday with his family.

"It was almost like watching a rock concert, and I thought, 'Oh, I'd love to do that,' " he says.

But by the time Owen was old enough to join the choir, he was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; he had been excommunicated after he came out as gay.

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Music News
5:10 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Indian Musicians Remember Their Teacher, Ravi Shankar

AFP Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 10:27 am

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

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Movie Reviews
2:52 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Looking For Bin Laden In 'Zero Dark Thirty'

Stationed in a covert base overseas, Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a member of the elite team of spies and military operatives who secretly devote themselves to finding Osama bin Laden in Zero Dark Thirty.
Jonathan Olley Sony Pictures

Kathryn Bigelow's kill-bin-Laden thriller Zero Dark Thirty is cool, brisk and packed with impressively real-sounding intelligence jargon. It presents itself as a work of journalism — just the facts, ma'am — but there's no doubting its perspective. It's the story of America's brilliant, righteous revenge.

The prologue is a black screen with sounds of Sept. 11: a hubbub of confusion and then, most terribly, the voice of a woman crying out to a 911 operator who tries vainly to assure her she'll be OK. The recording is genuine.

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Movie Reviews
1:49 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Behind The Scenes Of The Beatles' 'Magical Mystery Tour'

The Beatles look out of the Magical Mystery Tour coach skylight, on location in England in September 1967.
Apple Films Ltd Channel Thirteen

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 3:01 pm

On Friday night on PBS, Great Performances presents a documentary about the making of a Beatles TV special from 1967 — Magical Mystery Tour — then shows a restored version of that special. Magical Mystery Tour has the music from the U.S. album of the same name, but it's not the album. It's a musical comedy fantasy about the Beatles and a busload of tourists taking a trip to unknown destinations.

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Hardcover Nonfiction Bestsellers
1:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of December 13, 2012

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:20 pm

Calvin Trillin's Dogfight sends up the 2012 presidential election. It debuts at No. 7.

Monkey See
12:18 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

'Trouble Man' At 40: A Classic, But Where's Its Cult?

Robert Hooks is Mr. T, the abrasive detective hero of Trouble Man, a 1972 blaxploitation classic that gets less than its due these days.
JDF/B Productions The Kobal Collection

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Monkey See
10:56 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Is Everything Worse Than Ever? And A Gift Guide!

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour

You can't fill your end-of-the-year season with nothing but good cheer, or you'll turn into a candy cane. (That's science.) So we chose to tackle a slightly darker topic this week: Is everything worse than ever?

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