On this week's show, we will not spoil Breaking Bad for you while discussing its influence and place in history. We will also not spoil Grand Theft Auto V while explaining how it works on the brain of a fundamentally nonviolent person. As always, we also run down the things that are making us happy this week.
Parkland, from writer-director Peter Landesman, follows people caught up in the drama around the John F. Kennedy assassination, including hospital staff, the Secret Service and the Oswald family. Zac Efron, Marcia Gay Harden, Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti star.
The film, from Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron, stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts stranded in Earth orbit after their shuttle is demolished. NPR's Bob Mondello says it's visually astounding — and an immersive viewing experience. (Recommended)
Artisanal meat producers face a big barrier to getting into the game: They have to come up with a complex food safety plan that can take months of research and tens of thousands of dollars to craft. A new project wants to make it easier for the next charcuterie master to open shop by creating an open-source safety plan that newbies can look to.
Critic Alan Cheuse remembers Tom Clancy, hailed by many as the father of the military techno-thriller. Beginning in 1984 with The Hunt for Red October, Cheuse says Clancy created a "hero for our time" in CIA agent-turned-President Jack Ryan, and wrote "dozens of books that seem more real than reality itself."
Former IT consultant Graeme Simsion's debut novel, The Rosie Project, is a scientific romp about a probably-Asperger's-affected genetics professor who falls in love with a free-spirited woman during a search for her biological father. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says it's an "utterly winning screwball comedy."
Richard Rodriguez's autobiographical essay collection, Darling, chronicles a complex personal history and attempts to reconcile the author's sexual, religious, and cultural identities. Reviewer Cord Jefferson calls it an "eccentric mélange" — a true salvation while wandering the literary desert.
Tom Clancy built his fascination with military hardware and history into a best-selling career writing thrillers — beginning in 1984 with The Hunt for Red October. His books were turned into Hollywood blockbusters and popular video games. NPR's Lynn Neary has a remembrance of Clancy, who died this week at 66.
Since most fish contain some amount of mercury, public health officials suggest that pregnant women limit their intake to 12 ounces a week. But fresh research suggests current recommendations may be too cautious, and that fish may not be a huge source of mercury for expecting moms. Still, some ob-gyns remain cautious.
In a new memoir called Just Tell Me I Can't Moyer explains how he became a better pitcher in his 40s than his 20s. Moyer's story isn't just the tale of a talented guy who hung on a little longer than others; with the help of a sports psychologist, he managed to gain control of the mental side of his game.