Arts & Life

Arts and lifestyle coverage from around the globe and Illinois.

Ways to Connect

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

In the quirky little college town of Yellow Springs, Ohio, home to many unconventional ideas over the years, there's now a small insect factory.

It's an unassuming operation, a generic boxy building in a small industrial park. It took me a while even to find a sign with the company's name: EnviroFlight. But its goal is grand: The people at EnviroFlight are hoping that their insects will help our planet grow more food while conserving land and water.

While NPR's Melissa Block is in Brazil, we'll be showcasing the work of several Brazilian writers. On Tuesday we heard Tatiana Salem Levy's love letter to Rio. Now we turn to 20-year-old Yasmin Thayná, who discovered her love for writing as a teenager when she participated in a local program aimed at cultivating artistic talent in low-income communities.

This weekend through next week, two motion picture classics from 1962 will alternate screenings at the Lincoln Theater 4 in Lincoln, Illinois - To Kill a Mockingbird and Lawrence of Arabia.   Bob Meyer talks with independent theater owner David Lanterman about the two movies' enduring appeal and the advantages of screening great films of the past alongside the latest Hollywood releases.

In the mid-1970s, Arkansas' electric chair was being used by the prison barber to cut hair, and the execution chamber in New Hampshire was being used to store vegetables. That's because in 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court shocked the nation by striking down Georgia's death penalty law, effectively ending executions in the United States. But the decision provoked a strong backlash among those who favored the death penalty, and within four years the high court reversed course and issued a set of rulings that would permit the resumption of executions.

Don Cheadle may be one of Hollywood's quietest superstars. He was known for having high impact in supporting roles before Hotel Rwanda catapulted him to fame. He earned an Oscar nomination for playing the real-life hotel manager who protected more than a thousand Tutsis from the Hutu militia during the Rwandan civil war. Cheadle appeared in other critical and box office hits like Crash and Flight. He's now earned an Emmy nomination for his role in the TV show House of Lies.

Sesame Street kicked off its new season this week, and it's putting a special focus on Hispanic heritage. There's also a new character on the block: Armando (also known as Mando). He's played by actor Ismael Cruz Cordova, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He earned a bachelor's in fine arts from New York University and has appeared in several films and the CBS drama The Good Wife. He's currently performing off-Broadway.

Loose Change

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Finally, what we've been waiting for. Let's bring back our winners to play the Ask Me One More final round. From Name that Candy Bar, Sarah Sheppard.

(APPLAUSE)

Celebrity Secret...Words

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Moving on, here are our next two contestants: Margaret Maloney and Eric Schulmiller. Happy to have you.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Now, you are a cantor at a synagogue, awmane.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And you have Schul in your name.

Street Music

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let me introduce our next two contestants: Sterling Walker and Steve Spinoglio.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Sterling, you have a PhD in neuroscience. I didn't know that was a real thing. I just thought that was something you say sarcastically to people.

(LAUGHTER)

Time To Turn Off The TV

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our next two victims, I mean contestants. We have Dan Moren and Alexander Yellen.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Dan, now you refer to yourself as a veritable IMDB.

It's All Squeak To Me

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's welcome our next two contestants, in front of me right now, Tina Kendall and Stephen Kendall. Wait a second.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: So you both have the same last name, huh?

TINA KENDALL: Yes.

STEPHEN KENDALL: Yeah, coincidence.

Name That Candy Bar

Sep 19, 2013

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OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Let's bring up our first two contestants, and let's welcome Mike Cisneros and Sarah Sheppard.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Sarah, I understand you're a big pop culture fan, and just moved to New York from North Carolina. Welcome, nice to have you.

SARAH SHEPPARD: Thank you.

Cristin Milioti: She Came From New Jersey

Sep 19, 2013

They say you can take the Girl out of Jersey, but you can't...you know how the rest goes. Lucky for Cherry Hill, NJ native Cristin Milioti, she's full of hometown pride. But you wouldn't surmise Milioti's Garden State roots from watching her in her 2012 Tony Award-nominated role as "Girl" in the Broadway musical Once, in which she spoke and sang entirely in a convincing Czech accent.

I cannot understand how I missed the news that Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones are about to open as Beatrice and Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, but this charming list of past pairings makes me want to watch the play ... a lot. (David Tennant and Catherine Tate!

(This post was updated at 10 a.m.)

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

At the end of the Korean War — a long, bloody, and under-memorialized conflict that claimed millions of lives — no real treaty was ever signed. Although there was an armistice in 1953, the nations of North and South Korea remain, technically, still at war. The Demilitarized Zone along the 38th parallel is one of the tensest borders on earth, with thousands of men, tanks and artillery pieces pointed at each other over minefields and barbed wire fences, fingers on triggers 24 hours a day.

Back in 1993, the Food Network was the Little Network that Nobody Really Thought Could. Cable TV was still, if not in its infancy, then enduring a difficult toddlerhood — no one knew what cable audiences were interested in, and no one thought a scrappy startup dedicated to food would go anywhere. Twenty years later, the doubters have been proved wrong; the Food Network is a global powerhouse that's made the names and fortunes of stars like Emeril Lagasse, Paula Deen, Guy Fieri and Rachael Ray.

For years I have wondered, albeit vaguely, about gefilte fish, a dish that appears in various guises in novels about Jewish families, almost always at points of celebration or domestic tension. Here's how to make it: Skin a whole pike, mince the flesh, mix with vegetables and bread. Sew the minced fish back into the skin and poach for three hours. Garnish with horseradish.

Actor Dean Norris took to Twitter the other day. "Missed last night's Breaking Bad," he wrote. "Heard it was intense. Filmed several alternate versions. Can't wait to see what they used."

Please note: There's a spoiler farther down this page.

Norris plays — played? — a drug enforcement agent on the acclaimed AMC series, which wraps for good after just two more episodes. His character's brother-in-law is a chemistry teacher with cancer who, at the series' outset, gets into cooking methamphetamine to pay for his treatment.

An afternoon dress in pale blue organdie, embroidered with pink and blue forget-me-nots, was part of Dior's spring-summer 1953 haute couture collection, Tulipe line.

A revival of Harold Pinter's play Betrayal is in rehearsal now in New York. It's the story of an affair, and it unfolds backward in time, from the lovers sharing a post-romantic drink to the passion they first experienced seven years earlier. Along the way, much deception — betrayal, even — is revealed.

Daniel Craig, who stars as the jilted Robert, tells NPR's Robert Siegel that the show, first performed in 1978, still feels "surprisingly contemporary. ... When you have someone as good as Pinter, it remains timeless. And the themes are timeless. It's just good writing."

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel. Stephen King has been scaring us to death for more than four decades. And in his latest effort, he revisits one of his best, most terrifying novels, which also inspired this film classic.

Latvia is in the midst of a financial transition. The country has had "the fastest growing economy in the EU for the last two years," Pauls Raudseps, an economics commentator for the Latvian news magazine IR, said recently on Morning Edition.

The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill Thursday that would chart the course for federal nutrition programs for years to come.

The measure calls for $40 billion in cuts over a decade to the federal food stamp program, now known as SNAP. The measure's Republican backers say it attacks fraud, but advocates say it will hurt the poor.

Lots of listeners read all kinds of messages into The Beatles' White Album, but nothing compares to the album's impact on Charles Manson. He heard it as a message to him and his followers — known as "The Family" — that the world was on the verge of an apocalyptic race war in which blacks would rise up against their white oppressors and enslave them.

This battle would be set off by an event called Helter Skelter, after the eponymous Beatles song, and Manson planned to lead his followers into the desert, where they would hide until the chaos ended.

What Does 'American' Beauty Look Like?

Sep 18, 2013

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Regular Monkey See readers know that I've been a fan for some time of Rainbow Rowell, whose first book, Attachments, was a thoughtful romance that utterly charmed me. (Full disclosure: It was after I began reading her books that I got to know Rowell a bit, enough that we actually met in person for the first time Tuesday night for dinner, ahead of her Wednesday night event at Politics & Prose in Washington, where she'll be talking about her new book, Fangirl.)

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Miss New York, Nina Davuluri, took the crown in this year's Miss America beauty pageant. It was the 87th year of the competition, and Davuluri was one of two Asian-Americans in the final round. Although she's just a few days into her reign, Davuluri has already made history. She's the first Indian-American Miss America.

Her win highlights how far the U.S. has come, but also how far the country has to go: Racist tweets flooded in on Twitter right after her victory.

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