Arts & Life

The Salt
7:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

A Journey Through The History Of American Food In 100 Bites

One of America's favorite bites: the hotdog. Here, a man and women enjoy the dogs at a California fair in 1905.
Courtesy of Sourcebooks

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:37 am

Apple pie isn't American in the way people often mean. Every ingredient, from apples to butter to nutmeg and cinnamon, came from somewhere else.

But then, so do most Americans.

A new book traces the roots of American tastes from pemmican to Coca-Cola to what are now called "molecularly modified" foods. Libby O'Connell, the chief historian and a senior vice president for the History Channel and A&E networks, wrote The American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites.

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Music News
7:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Brilliance In Bumps And Bruises, On Air And On Screen

Dave the Spazz does a weekly show on WFMU.
Courtesy of Ray Ray Sunshine Films

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

A new documentary about WFMU, the scrappy, chaotic and iconoclastic radio station in New Jersey, debuts today at the DOC NYC film festival. Sex and Broadcasting is described by the filmmakers as "an American tale of life, liberty and independent radio." In an opening scene, station manager Ken Freedman is on the air and delivers what amounts to a manifesto.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Spend Some Time 'Loitering,' And Feel Less Alone

The essay, some time in its long journey from Samuel Johnson's "loose sally of the mind, an irregular undigested piece," has become something that can be persuasive instead of discursive, something that slices and gleams, an accumulation of arguments as relentless as the stacking of bricks.

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Author Interviews
5:29 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Roger Moore: The Man With The Golden Life


Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 1:51 pm

Sir Roger Moore has been The Saint, one of the Persuaders, and, of course, James Bond. But he calls himself One Lucky Bastard, which is the title of this memoir about a life spent working and laughing alongside the likes of Tony Curtis, Michael Caine, Frank Sinatra, Diana Dors, David Niven — and many more.

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This Week's Must Read
5:38 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

After Catalonia's Independence Vote, An 'Homage' To George Orwell

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:26 pm

On Sunday morning as I cast my vote in the Catalan election, I thought of the day that George Orwell arrived in Barcelona. It was the day after Christmas in 1936 and Spain was in the midst of a terrifying and utterly chaotic civil war.

Orwell was shot in the throat and barely survived to tell the tale of what he saw, but survive he did, and in 1938 Homage to Catalonia, his personal account of the near six months he spent on the front lines of the Spanish Revolution, was published to little attention. In fact, it wasn't published in the United States until 1952.

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Movie Interviews
4:28 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

'National Gallery' Offers A Lingering Look At Art

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:34 pm

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Movie Reviews
3:04 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Satirists Go Serious in 'Foxcatcher' And 'Rosewater' — And It Works

Steve Carell ditches any pretense of comedy in Foxcatcher.
Scott Garfield/Sony Pictures Classics

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 6:34 pm

What do you get when you mix big-deal comedians with real-life calamities? Sounds like a joke, but Steve Carell and Jon Stewart are answering that question this week in their movies Foxcatcher and Rosewater. And it turns out, seriousness suits them.

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1:56 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

'Getting On' With It: A New HBO Show Doesn't Tiptoe Around Death

Set in the geriatric extended-care wing of a California hospital, Getting On is a different kind of workplace comedy. Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer adapted the show from a BBC series of the same name, and added new material largely inspired by experiences they had with their own mothers.

Originally aired Dec. 23, 2013.

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The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Book News: In Support Of Persecuted Colleagues, Writers Turn To Letters

Alain Mabanckou, a French novelist born in the Republic of Congo, wrote a letter to support Cameroonian poet Dieudonne Enoh Meyomesse.
Etienne de Malglaive AFP/Getty Images

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

Saturday marks the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, a day of remembrance on behalf of persecuted writers across the world. Now in its 33rd year, the event was hatched by PEN International to support and, in many instances, seek to free those writers now threatened because of their work.

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Monkey See
9:25 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Revived Properties And Cultural Dichotomies


We chose not to assign ourselves Dumb And Dumber To this week. Call it the shortness of life, call it the urgency of busy schedules, call it limited tolerance for catheter jokes — we declined. We did, however, get talking about whether this film, and others that come many years later to try to pump life into an aging franchise, are ever simply too late to the party to be successful.

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