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Updated: 58 min 38 sec ago

Pop Culture Happy Hour: 'Rogue One' And 'La La Land'

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 9:50am

It's a big week for movies, with the latest hotly anticipated Star Wars entry and a splashy musical starring Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, and a lamppost.

(Image credit: Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm)

When Mr. Coffee Was The Must-Have Christmas Gift For Java Snobs

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 6:00am

Few coffee aficionados are putting a Mr. Coffee machine on their wish list. But 40 years ago, it would've been at the top. The appliance revolutionized the quality and speed of home brewing.

(Image credit: Richard Drew/AP)

'Hidden Figures' No More: Meet The Black Women Who Helped Send America To Space

Fri, 12/16/2016 - 3:29am

A new film tells the stories of three women who made incalculable contributions to the space program: engineer Mary Jackson, mathematician Katherine Johnson and NASA supervisor Dorothy Vaughan.

(Image credit: Bob Nye /Courtesy NASA Langley)

'Rogue One': The Force Will Be With Those Who Love Battle Scenes

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:27pm

Rogue One is a movie that's part of the Star Wars firmament. But it's not a Star Wars movie — it's a Star Wars story. NPR movie critic Bob Mondello explains why.

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

U.S. Files Lawsuit Against ISIS Aimed At Recovering Looted Artifacts

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:19pm

U.S. government filed a federal case Thursday aimed at recovering antifacts looted by ISIS. It centers around an ISIS leader believed to be involved in mistreatment of American hostage Kayla Mueller.

Is Author Philip Roth's Book Collection What Newark Public Library Needs?

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:19pm

Acclaimed author Philip Roth has chosen to donate his personal book collection to the struggling Newark Public Library. But some question whether books are what make a library relevant in 2016.

'Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine'

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:19pm

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to historical gastronomist Sarah Lohman about her new book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine.

'Fences': A Major American Play Finally Makes It To Screen; It Was Worth The Wait

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:00pm

Director/star Denzel Washington faithfully adapts August Wilson's searing, Pulitzer-winning play. The brilliant result is "moviemaking as public service," says critic Andrew Lapin.

(Image credit: Photo credit: David Lee/Paramount Pictures )

In 'Collateral Beauty,' Will Smith Meets Love, Time, Death — And A Terrible Script

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:00pm

An ad exec (Will Smith) mourning the death of his daughter meets actors portraying abstract concepts in this absurd, disingenuous film which lays bare Hollywood's inability to grapple with grief.

(Image credit: Barry Wetcher/Warner Bros. Entertainment)

'Rogue One' Is 'A Star Wars Story' With Fewer Stars And A Lot More Wars

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 4:00pm

A footnote in the Star Wars saga gets its own movie — a tense, grubby, effective tale of interstellar combat that skimps on the series' mythic overtones.

(Image credit: Jonathan Olley/Lucasfilm )

'Drug Dealer, MD': Misunderstandings And Good Intentions Fueled Opioid Epidemic

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 1:35pm

Psychiatrist Anna Lembke says the medical establishment and drugmakers began telling doctors in the 1980s that opioids were effective treatment for chronic pain. "That was patently false," she says.

(Image credit: Endai Huedl/fStop/Getty Images)

Ads For Nicer Living: Frequently Asked Questions, Answered

Thu, 12/15/2016 - 12:37pm

NPR is inviting listeners to write ads for life's little joys. Find answers to frequently asked questions about the project, and submit your script for an ad here. The deadline is Jan. 15, 2017.

(Image credit: Chelsea Beck/NPR)

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.

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