Arts & Life

Arts & Life
10:58 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Children's Theatre Helps Give 'Extreme Makeover'

Andrew Gibbon, in black, is a set designer at the Children's Theatre of Charlotte. He designed one of the rooms on an upcoming episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Children's Theatre of Charlotte

The Children’s Theatre has been staging performances for over sixty years.

The sets they build, however, do not have the same longevity. They are up for only three or four weeks.
So the Theatre’s set designers had their hands full last year when Extreme Makeover: Home Edition asked them to construct two children’s bedrooms – on a one week deadline.

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Three Books...
7:03 am
Mon December 17, 2012

3 Books To Read Before The End Of The World

Getty Images

According to the adherents of the 2012 apocalypse theory, rooted in a controversial reading of ancient Mayan numerology, Earth is going to break into pieces and/or be consumed by a solar flare and/or disappear into a black hole on Dec. 21, right before Christmas.

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Best Books Of 2012
7:03 am
Mon December 17, 2012

True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Nishant Choksi

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 6:26 pm

It's probably not true that truth is stranger than fiction, but in the hands of a great biographer, it can be just as compelling. Novelists can create unique and unforgettable characters — there's never been anyone quite like Jane Eyre or Ignatius J. Reilly — but there's no shortage of fascinating literary protagonists who just happened to exist in real life.

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Monkey See
3:30 am
Mon December 17, 2012

No. 1 At The Box Office? Four Reasons Why It Doesn't Matter

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was No. 1 at the box office this past weekend. But a No. 1 ranking means less about whether a movie will be profitable — and more about a fleeting cultural moment.
James Fisher Warner Bros. Pictures

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 5:19 pm

This weekend, millions of Americans trekked across Middle Earth with Bilbo Baggins. The result? The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was No. 1 at the North American box office. It joins the list of other films that ranked No. 1 one their opening weekends, such as Underworld Awakening, Paranormal Activity 4 and Batman.

But here's the thing: The weekend battle at the box office doesn't necessarily decide the war in Hollywood, says Edward J. Epstein, author of The Hollywood Economist. Epstein says to be skeptical of what you read in Hollywood rags.

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Sunday Puzzle
6:43 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Sticking With The Sunshine State

NPR Graphic

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 12:25 pm

On-air challenge: Every answer is a familiar two-word phrase or name in which the first word starts with "F" and the second word starts with "LA."

Last week's challenge: Name a major U.S. city in two words. Take the first letter of the first word and the first two letters of the second word, and they will spell the standard three-letter abbreviation for the state the city is in. What city is it?

Answer: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Winner: Mark Sobolik of Newburg, Ore.

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Movie Interviews
6:42 am
Sun December 16, 2012

Hunt For Bin Laden More Than Just One Woman's Fight

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 12:17 pm

It is one of the most compelling real-life dramas in recent history — chronicled in documentaries, news stories and books — and now the hunt for Osama bin Laden is coming to the big screen.

Director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal are the latest to embark on a Herculean task of summing up the more-than-a-decade-long CIA search for the leader of al-Qaida.

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NPR Story
5:14 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

'Rock Me, Mercy': A Poem Written In Mourning

Originally published on Sat December 15, 2012 7:04 pm

Transcript

GUY RAZ, HOST:

We leave you tonight with a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa. He wrote it last night after hearing about the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. And we asked him to read it for us tonight. It's called "Rock Me, Mercy."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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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.

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