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Updated: 58 min 17 sec ago

From Gladiator Duels To Caesar's Last Words: The Myths Of Ancient Rome

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 12:42pm

Historian Mary Beard says many of our popular notions about the empire are based on culture — like the play Julius Caesar or the film Gladiator — rather than fact. Her new book is called SPQR.

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' At 50

Mon, 11/30/2015 - 11:08am

The Christmas special celebrates 50 years with a retrospective on ABC, and it seems more than ever like something we wouldn't get today.

No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 6:41pm

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

A Star-Crossed 'Scientific Fact': The Story Of Vulcan, Planet That Never Was

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 4:11pm

For decades, astronomers believed there was another planet in our solar system, tucked just out of sight. Then Albert Einstein figured out it wasn't there. Author Thomas Levenson explains.

Customization Is Key: 'Star Wars: Battlefront' Makes Space For Gamers Of All Stripes

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 3:54pm

In the video game Star Wars: Battlefront, players can customize characters according to gender, race and age. Producer Sigurlina Ingvarsdottir says inclusivity was a priority "from the get-go."

'Not Without My Daughter' Subject Grows Up, Tells Her Own Story

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 6:47am

"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."

Barcelona's Women Make 'The Whispering City' Shine

Sun, 11/29/2015 - 5:33am

Two academics from Germany, writing as Sara Moliner, have recreated a sepia-toned 1950s Barcelona in this new mystery novel. Critic Bethanne Patrick says City's strength is in its variety of women.

From Trembling Teacher To Seasoned Mentor: How Tim Gunn Made It Work

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 5:13pm

Gunn, the mentor to young designers on Project Runway, has been a teacher and educator for decades. But he spent his childhood "absolutely hating, hating, hating, hating school," he says.

'Purple Rain' — As Retold In A Language Without A Word For Purple

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 4:00pm

Prince's '80s-era classic has gotten a modern update — in Niger. Directed by Christopher Kirkley, starring the nomadic Tuareg people, this Purple Rain remake drops the kissing but keeps the attitude.

How Do We Get To Love At 'First Bite'?

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 7:00am

It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."

Fictional French Bulldog At Heart Of New Children's Book 'Naughty Mabel'

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 7:00am

Mabel is a naughty French bulldog at the center of a new children's book by Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Lane about his inspiration for the fictional dog.

Slices Of Life Fill 'Our Expanding Universe'

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 6:03am

Box Office Poison artist Alex Robinson is back with a new group of likeable, everyday people, mulling over their desire (or lack thereof) for children and family in an episodic, free-floating comic.

Nonprofit Roundabout Is A Regional Theater Right On Broadway

Sat, 11/28/2015 - 5:14am

For 50 years the Roundabout has survived by presenting revivals of plays and musicals that other theaters won't. Though rates are meager, it still manages to attract major stars for its productions.

From Dream Bride To Doll For Boys: The Evolution Of The Barbie Ad

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 3:31pm

Barbie commercials have come a long way since the 1950s, when one ad encouraged girls to want to get married. Today's commercials market the doll to boys and show girls dreaming about their careers.

'Welcome To Where We From': Chicago Through The Eyes Of A Poet

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 3:31pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Chicago poet Nate Marshall, who reflects on this week in Chicago and read his poem "Out South."

Super Mutants, Killer Robots And Ghouls: Take A Tour Of Fallout 4's Massachusetts

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 3:31pm

The biggest entertainment release so far in 2015 wasn't Jurassic World or Adele's 25 ... it was a video game. Fallout 4, released earlier this month, made $750 million in 24 hours. JJ Sutherland and Chris Suellentrop of the podcast Shall We Play A Game have this review.

'Better Call Saul' And 'The Great American Dream Machine' Shine As DVD Box Sets

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 12:16pm

TV critic David Bianculli shares his enthusiasm for two newly released DVD box sets: season one of Better Call Saul and a four-DVD set of the 1970s PBS variety show, The Great American Dream Machine.

Pop Culture Happy Hour: A Conversation With Trevor Noah

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 6:03am

Our panel is on vacation, but that doesn't mean there's no show: in October, our host chatted with The Daily Show's new host about comedy, diversity, decor, visiting South Africa, and lots more.

Where's This Painting? 30 Years After Its Theft, Nobody Knows

Fri, 11/27/2015 - 2:34am

On the day after Thanksgiving, 1985, a man and a woman walked into the University of Arizona art museum and walked out with Willem de Kooning's Woman — Ochre. An empty frame still hangs in its place.

Kitchen Disasters: Top Chefs Recall Dinner Gone Wrong

Thu, 11/26/2015 - 3:01pm

Burned the turkey? You're in good company. Even accomplished chefs have suffered unsalvageable meal messes. Ruth Reichl, Jaques Pepin and Pati Jinich share their stories.

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