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Updated: 13 min 24 sec ago

John Avildsen, Oscar-Winning Director Of 'Rocky' And 'Karate Kid,' Dies At 81

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 8:25am

Avildsen won his Oscar in 1977 for Rocky, which was also named best picture. The director, who delivered a string of inspirational and enduring box-office successes, died Friday of pancreatic cancer.

(Image credit: Pendergrass/AP)

In 'Memory's Last Breath' An Academic Confronts Dementia

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 7:15am

Gerda Saunders was a university professor when she learned she had early-onset dementia. Now, she's struggling to define herself anew as her defining characteristic — her intellect — begins to fail.

(Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR)

'1984' Comes To Broadway And 'It's Not An Easy Evening'

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 7:15am

George Orwell's dystopia returned to bestseller lists after the inauguration. "It's quite something to bring it to New York now, in this political climate," says adaptation co-author Duncan Macmillan.

(Image credit: Julieta Cervantes/DKC/O&M)

In The Refrains Of 'Arabia Felix,' A Reminder: Often The End Is Just A Start

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:00am

Of the scholars who set out on a 1761 quest to Yemen, only one came back alive. But don't let their looming doom distract from the drama in Thorkild Hansen's hybrid of history, fiction and travelogue.

(Image credit: )

'The Changeling' Is, Itself, A Changeling Of A Book

Sat, 06/17/2017 - 6:00am

Victor LaValle's story of a rare book dealer whose life is torn apart after his wife commits an act of violence and vanishes is by turns enchanting, horrifying, infuriating and heartbreaking.

(Image credit: )

Heartbeat Music: Parents Remember Their Son Through His Song Of Life

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 6:34pm

Nate Kramer was a tall, quiet collegiate swimmer when he was diagnosed with leukemia. He died four years later. But during treatment he met a therapist, and together they played and recorded music.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Brian Schreck)

Learning The Lessons Of TV Fatherhood

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 5:03pm

After 20 years as a television critic — and many more as a simple viewer — a reflection on how a kid who mostly grew up without a father learned how to become one himself by watching dads on TV.

(Image credit: CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images)

Why 'The Mummy' Is The Most Important Bad Movie Of The Year

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 12:20pm

The lousiness of The Mummy isn't the stars' fault — it's the storytelling. Universal has announced plans to make more like it, which is scarier than anything in the movie itself.

On The DL

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

We're benched this final round, where every answer has the initials D.L. For example, if we asked, "Who hosted his final episode of 'Late Show' in May, 2015," the answer would be "David Letterman."

Mystery Guest

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

Mystery Guest Jen Glantz stops by the Bell House to tell us about her unique business. Ophira Eisenberg and Jonathan Coulton ask her yes-or-no questions to figure out what it is.

(Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR)

Mall And Oates

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

Say it isn't so...we rewrote hit Hall and Oates songs to be about stores in the mall. We understand if you can't go for that.

Reverse Reality

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

We describe reality television shows as if they were playing in reverse, and contestants tell us which show we're talking about.

Annabelle Gurwitch: 'Don't Treat Me Like Family'

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

Annabelle Gurwitch shares stories from her humorous memoir, Wherever You Go, There They Are. Then we challenge the former Dinner and a Movie co-host to guess real and fake recipes from the show.

(Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR)

Name That Sound

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

KLAXON, KLAXON, KLAXON. That's the name for the classic horn "awooga" sound. Contestants guess the official names of common sound effects and production music in this audio quiz.

I Rest My Case

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:39am

very answer in this game is be a word or phrase ending in the word "case."

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Wonder Woman' And The Tony Awards

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 10:00am

This week, we talk about the superhero smash Wonder Woman, and we talk about Dear Evan Hansen, Oslo and some of the other big winners from Sunday night's Tonys.

(Image credit: Clay Enos/Warner Bros and DC Comics)

What If Willy Wonka Was Your Dad? Roald Dahl's Magical Parenting With Food

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 7:00am

Food played a big role in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Dahl's other books. His daughter remembers fanciful "midnight feasts" and says her father used mealtime to test out new characters.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Michael Faircloth)

Atop Ancient Ruins, A Rock Opera About Emperor Nero Leaves Some Romans Unimpressed

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 4:05am

A new musical seeks to present a different side of the emperor, known best for fiddling while Rome burned. But some historians object to what they see as the commercialization of Roman heritage.

(Image credit: Stefano Montesi/Corbis via Getty Images)

What Churchill And Orwell Had In Common: Both Could Say, 'My Side Is Wrong'

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 4:05am

In his new book, journalist Tom Ricks explains how the conservative British politician and the leftist author of 1984 challenged their respective political parties.

(Image credit: AP)

WATCH: What Makes Japan No. 1 In Toilet Technology

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 4:05am

In NPR's Elise Tries series, correspondent Elise Hu tries out new experiences in East Asia. In this episode, Japanese toilets: so automated and comfortable, you might never want to leave the bathroom.

(Image credit: Illustration by CJ Riculan/NPR)

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