Arts & Culture

Arts & culture

It's always a good week when Audie Cornish or Barrie Hardymon sit in, but this week, with Stephen off finishing the Austin 100 (which is now available for your ears!), they both stepped into the studio with me and Glen Weldon to talk about the end of Downton Abbey, which ends its run on PBS Sunday night — and which, of course, ended its UK run at Christmas.

The wild and furry landscape of Zootopia, Disney's new self-contained world of talking animals, is a remarkable place. In this land, mammals have evolved beyond their traditional predator/prey relationship to form a fully functioning society. Their capital city, Zootropolis, is an intricate network of a dozen ecosystems, from a rainforest to a frozen tundra, and residents of all sizes and species are integrated into daily life. This, as our intrepid bunny hero Officer Judy Hopps constantly asserts, is a place "where anyone can be anything."

Based on The Taliban Shuffle, a 2011 memoir by Chicago Tribune reporter Kim Barker, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot opens many fronts on the war in Afghanistan: It's a fish-out-of-water comedy, with 30 Rock's Tina Fey fumbling through a different brand of chaos; a satirical riff on the absurdities of America's military presence in the Middle East; a feminist statement on the marginalization of women in journalism and fundamentalist pockets of Afghanistan; a love story in the heightened arena of Kabul (called "the Kabubble"); and a scathing critique of American comm

In Cemetery of Splendor, a new film by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, an older Thai woman, Jen, is led around the grounds of a ramshackle building in provincial Thailand by an ecstatic young psychic named Keng. As they move about, we see only piles of dead leaves and old or broken statues, the detritus of a hospital that was once a school attended by the older woman, which she remembers fondly. The psychic, however, sees a former palace that, it seems, is buried beneath the building. She describes it in such opulent detail that even her somewhat skeptical companion is won over.

What Makes An Idea Go Viral?

Mar 4, 2016

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Things Spread

About Seth Godin's TED Talk

Entrepreneur and blogger Seth Godin describes how the marketing of ideas has changed since the invention of sliced bread, as well as the type of ideas that stick in consumer's minds.

About Seth Godin

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode How Things Spread

About Yuval Harari's TED Talk

Historian Yuval Harari explains how human imagination powered the growth and spread of homo sapiens around the world.

About Yuval Harari

Loretta Lynn's career in country music has spanned decades. She's recorded more than 200 songs, and more than 50 albums. Her latest, out today, is Full Circle — and it's a fitting title, considering that the self-dubbed "coal miner's daughter" has lived more in her 83 years than many might live in two lifetimes.

First, it's not really black. It's not even a color or a pigment. "Vantablack" is a "material," according to Surrey NanoSystems, the British company that created it.

In 1933, an effervescent comedy called Design for Living gave us two men and a woman living cozily together as roommates, no sex. But when that boundary starts to break down, the woman, played by Miriam Hopkins, points out an inequity:

"A man can meet two, three or even four women and fall in love with all of them; and then by a process of interesting elimination, he's able to decide which one he prefers. But a woman must decide purely on instinct — guess work – if she wants to be considered nice."

I can't say I ever expected to be writing about Donald Trump, Republican frontrunner, back when I was writing about Donald Trump, reality-show guy.

By now, you might have heard that NPR Music has chosen a winner for the 2016 Tiny Desk Contest. The haunting violin strains and melody of Gaelynn Lea's song "Someday We'll Linger In The Sun" stood out as our judges viewed the roughly 6,100 video submissions.

Flint, Mich., isn't the only American city with a lead problem. Though the health crisis in Flint has highlighted the use of lead in water pipes, author David Rosner tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that lead, which is a neurotoxin, can be found throughout the U.S. on walls, in soil and in the air.

"The problem with lead is that it's now really everywhere, and we've created a terribly toxic environment in all sorts of ways," he says.

Steve Sansweet: The Force Is Right

Mar 3, 2016

Our Meet the Expert has been called the ultimate Star Wars fanboy! Steve Sansweet was a Wall Street Journal reporter when he began his collection of Star Wars relics by fishing out the film's marketing booklet from his colleague's trash. From that fateful dumpster diving display, Sansweet has since worked as Head of Relations at LucasFilms, authored 17 books on Star Wars, and now hosts the largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.

We Built This City

Mar 3, 2016

While in S.F., we enjoyed the local culture...like a little band called Starship and its hit song, "We Built This City." But we rewrote the lyrics to be about different cities from around the world.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

You Can't Please Everyone

Mar 3, 2016

This game is about that old timey antique known as a book. You must identify the classic book we are talking about, from an actual one-star review found on Amazon.com.

Heard on Sketchfest 2016: Phil Johnston, Steve Sansweet and Mo Willems

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