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Ads For Nicer Living: Make Your Pitch For What Makes Life Better

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 12:36pm

In 1972, NPR invited listeners to write ads for things that brighten everyday life, like clouds and love letters. It was so nice, we're doing it twice: Submit your best ad and it might get produced.

(Image credit: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

What's A Holiday Without Lutefisk And A Little White Lye?

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 6:00am

The whitefish is famous for being repulsive — and divisive. But Scandinavian-Americans in the Midwest consider their seasonal smelly-jelly feast to be an important link to their Viking ancestors.

(Image credit: Genevieve Ross/AP)

Billy Collins On How To Become A Poet, And Why Poetry Can Be A Game

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 2:25pm

The former Poet Laureate recently joined NPR fans on Facebook Live. He talked about the inspiration for a poem imagining a Keith Richards-based mythology, and offered a tip to aspiring writers: Read.

(Image credit: Rebecca Harlan/NPR)

Post-Election Solidarity: A Woman Cooks For Her LGBTQ Community

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 12:42pm

When people feel isolated, a home-cooked meal can be a reminder they're not alone. So one New Yorker offered to cook and deliver meals for free to LGBTQ people in her area. The idea quickly caught on.

(Image credit: Maria Fabrizio for NPR)

A Critic's Year-End 'Ghost File': Books, Movies And TV Shows He Didn't Review

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 11:31am

Every year, Fresh Air critic John Powers is haunted by all the terrific things he didn't get a chance to talk about on air. As 2016 winds down, he "un-haunts" himself with these six recommendations.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Turner)

If TV Has It, Alan Thicke Probably Did It

Wed, 12/14/2016 - 9:00am

We remember Alan Thicke, who died this week after a long career as an actor, writer, host and creator of earworm theme songs you may well know by heart.

(Image credit: Andrew Chin/Getty Images)

'The Jingle King' Tracks Decline Of Original Music In Advertising

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 3:30pm

Steve Karmen wrote a number of famous jingles, including Budweiser Beer's, "When You Say Bud," the New York State song, "I Love New York", the jingle, "Here Comes the King," the Exxon Song and Wrigley Spearmint Gum's, "Carry The Big Fresh Flavor." He also composed several music scores for motion pictures during the 1960s, and performed briefly as a Calypso singer, achieving some recognition in Trinidad during that time. Karmen is the recipient of 16 Clio Awards. NPR explores how the business of writing the music for advertising has changed.

Broadway 'Master Of Ceremonies' Joel Grey Says, 'Life Seems Full'

Tue, 12/13/2016 - 12:12pm

Grey explains how he brought his decadent Cabaret character to life on both the stage and screen, and reflects on coming out as gay after years of living closeted. Originally broadcast Feb. 9, 2016.

Billy Eichner Makes A Career Out Of Love/Hating Celebrity Culture

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 3:31pm

In his Billy on the Street series, Eichner roams the sidewalks of Manhattan, asking strangers open-ended questions about the entertainment industry. If he likes their answers, he gives them a dollar.

Long Seen As Victim, 17th Century Italian Painter Emerges As Feminist Icon

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 8:43am

Much of what is known of Artemisia Gentileschi comes from her testimony in the trial of a painter who raped her. "Now we try to go back and fill in and properly understand," says a curator.

Apartheid Is Long Gone, But African Food Is Still Hard To Find In Cape Town

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 6:00am

South Africa's capital is now a global food hot spot. But the lack of restaurants serving traditional dishes of the continent speaks to larger concerns about what this post-apartheid society values.

When A Professor Laughed At Her Queens Accent, Writer Tara Clancy Doubled Down

Mon, 12/12/2016 - 3:22am

She says, "Instead of feeling mortified, I felt defiant." In The Clancys of Queens, Clancy tells stories of growing up in a working-class, New York family.

NPR Taste Test: Pastries To Sweeten Your Holiday Party

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 7:10am

Pastry chef Aggie Chin showed up at Weekend Edition with a box of scrumptious bite-sized desserts. She talks with NPR's Ailsa Chang about sweet treats to prepare for your holiday party.

Comedian Jenny Slate And Her Father Share Family Stories In 'About The House'

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 7:10am

About the House is a collection of stories, essays and poems by Ron Slate and his daughter, comedian Jenny Slate. NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to the Slates about their collaboration.

Director Martin Scorsese Gets A New York Museum Exhibit

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 7:10am

The first major U.S. exhibition about the director opens in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image, with costumes, props and storyboards from Taxi Driver, Gangs of New York and other films.

Reading The Game: No Man's Sky

Sun, 12/11/2016 - 5:32am

Some of the best, wildest, most moving storytelling right now isn't on TV or in movies — it's in video games. So we're taking a literary look at one of this year's hottest games, No Man's Sky.

After A Year On The Job, Stephen Colbert Finds His Voice On 'The Late Show'

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 4:06pm

At a taping of the show this week, during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden, Late Show writers and producers explain how they managed to turn the program around after a rough start.

Not My Job: We Quiz Sen. Bernie Sanders On KFC's Colonel Sanders

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 10:00am

This week, we welcome the world's foremost Larry David impersonator (and 2016 Democratic presidential candidate) onto the show.

Retired Stars Find Assisted Living At The Lillian Booth Home

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 7:27am

The Lillian Booth Home in Englewood, N.J., is run by the Actors Fund as both a nursing facility and assisted living. Like the residents, many of the staff come from the entertainment industry.

Taking A Crack At A New 'Nutcracker': This One's Set At The World's Fair

Sat, 12/10/2016 - 7:27am

Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon has a fresh take on the classic Christmas tale. The $4 million Joffrey Ballet production premieres Saturday, and doesn't center around a wealthy Victorian family.

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