Today many people cannot wait to arrive home after a long day at work and exchange their work clothes for something more relaxing, comfortable, and cozy. This is not a new phenomenon. Even before the nineteenth century, men and women sometimes wore informal and less confining clothing at home and in informal social settings. These dressing gowns, as they were primarily known, allowed people to appear fashionable while remaining comfortable.
Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:31 pm
Shortening words, swapping them out, giving them different meanings â€” that's not new. Remember in Mean Girls when the queen bee character, Regina George, berated one of her underlings for trying to make the word "fetch" catch on?
For 38 years, The New Haven Advocate looked after its city with watchdog eyes. Each week, the alt-weeklyâ€™s team of reporters gave voice to local arts, politics, and fringe culture, providing New Haven residents with some of the the countryâ€™s most highly-respected pieces of long-form and investigative journalism.
Two years ago, we reported on plans to launch after-school music education programs for low-income children in several Connecticut cities. The programs are inspired by El Sistema, a music phenomenon in Venezuela thatâ€™s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids, and captured the attention of the world. WNPRâ€™s Diane Orson now reports on Bravo Waterbury!, an initiative of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.
Today's show originally aired November 18, 2013.Â Â
From Faith Middleton: Wally Lamb's books beat with a human heart.
Many people, especially Wally Lamb's fans, recall that his first novel, She's Come Undone, was selected by Oprah's book club. But what I remember is the experience of riding in the New York subway, and seeing so many people bumping along, engrossed in his story. On one occasion, these subway readers, strangers to each other, started a discussion about the bookâ€”possibly the first underground book club.Â
Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?
The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy. Â An out of work actor is so desperate for employment that he dresses up like a woman and then falls in love with a beautiful co-star whom he deceives and betrays on several levels. That doesn't sound that hilarious.Â
From Faith Middleton Cornbread, corn muffins, corn puddingâ€”if it's corn-centric, I'm all in. That's why I love to serve savory corn pancakes for supper.
I like to think of a corn pancake as a raft, a vehicle for anything wonderful that comes to mind. My new favorite topping for these savory buttermilk corn pancakes is shrimp, diced tomatoes, and crumbled bacon, served with a dollop of lime zest sour cream, all of which can be prepared ahead.
A super talent like trumpeterNicholas Payton could have easily coasted through a long, successful career by safely resting on his impressive laurels and never once rocking the boat musically or socially, thus remaining securely assured of achieving a prominent niche for himself.
NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.
Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 7:20 pm
The X-Men comic franchise has proven remarkably sturdy in the half-century since its launch. They've spawned dozens of animated series and four major Hollywood films with a fifth due out this summer. A big part of that is due to its central premise â€” a minority of superpowered humans called mutants are discriminated against by their government and fellow citizens â€” which has functioned as a sci-fi allegory for everything from the civil rights movement to the AIDS crisis.
Let us say this first: The Golden Globes are Hollywood culture at its most purely self-perpetuating. Given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of journalists so gleefully obscure that there is usually a joke about how gleefully obscure they are, the Globes lack the gravitas of the Oscars, which is really saying something, given the fact that the Oscars lack the gravitas of the Tonys and the Tonys lack the gravitas of a halfway decent episode of Law & Order: SVU.
Today is Monday. That's when we do the show on the fly. We call it The Scramble and one of the twists we're trying is the reverse of ordinary public radio guest booking. Usually, we start with a topic and try to find the best possible guests. But, for one segment of The Scramble each week, we pick a guest we want to talk to and then ask him or her what the topic should be. The idea is to pick an interesting person and then find out what's on that person's mind right now.Â
This week the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Livehired Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member. The show had come under criticism for its lack of diversity, especially its lack of black women; Zamata will be the show's first female African-American cast member in six years.
The year 2013 was not a great one for the Metro-North Commuter Railroad, with a collision, a major power outage, and, most recently a fatal derailment making the six oâ€™clock news around the country. What this series of mishaps actually points out, however, is that when one considers the number of freight, passenger and commuter trains running in this country, rail travel is still a pretty safe way to get around. This was not the case a century or more ago, when railroad accidents and disasters were frequent and deadly.
NASA astronaut and Waterbury native Rick MastracchioÂ has been tweeting some brilliant photos of his home planet while aboard the International Space Station. Today, he tweeted this photo of the Elm City.
Governor Chris Christie's administration is under fire for ordering Â lane closures Â that blocked access to the George Washington Bridge for four days last September, indulging in an egomaniacal fantasy of vengeance against a political foe who refused to recognize the Christie administration's self-professed superiority.
Fifty years after his assassination, images of President John F. Kennedy continue to resonate as an expression of American culture and self-identity. A photography exhibition called "A Great Crowd Had Gathered: JFK in the 1960s" examines the president by way of his public at the time. It'sÂ at the Yale Art Gallery and runs through the end of March.Â
My two favorite film critics, A.O. Scott and David Edelstein, appear on the show today, and we've got a longer list of topics than we can possibly get to. I'm interested in the way a lot of the recent hit movies take little bites of our recent past: "Inside Llewyn Davis" tackles 1961. "American Hustle" bestrides the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s. "The Wolf of Wall Street" started with the Crash of '87 and pans forward into the 1990s. Suddenly, for Baby Boomers, the stretch of our living memory is a series of period pieces and costume dramas.