Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

I fell for pho in Saigon in 1974, when I was 5 years old. When my family came to America in 1975, my mom satisfied our family's cravings for the aromatic beef noodle soup with homemade batches, served on Sundays after morning Mass. As Vietnamese expatriates, we savored pho as a very special food, a gateway to our cultural roots. When we didn't have pho at home, we went out for it in Orange County, California's Little Saigon, patronizing mom-and-pop shops that welcomed us with the perfume of pho broth.

Writing science fiction that's set in the near future can be tricky. Make your predictions too specific, and they run the risk of being rendered obsolete a generation after they're published. Make them too abstract, and they might not be as impactful in the here and now. Alexander Weinstein has a firm grip on this precarious dynamic in Children of the New World, his harrowing debut collection of short stories.

The British pub is as much a part of the fabric of the United Kingdom as fish and chips and the queen, but each year hundreds close their doors for good. The reasons include the high price of beer, more people drinking at home and rising land prices.

Now — in an apparent first — the London borough of Wandsworth has designated 120 pubs for protection, requiring owners who want to transform them into apartments or supermarkets to get local government approval first.

A legendary South Asian dish has suddenly found itself in the midst of a war in India. Made up of layers of meat and rice and cooked with fragrant spices, the dish is the much-loved biryani. And the latest battlefield is in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

The 2016 Emmy Awards are 83 percent over.

Think about that next Sunday night, as some sudsy production number lumbers on or yet another powerfully unnecessary montage/tribute — "A Salute To: The Laugh Track!" — brings the proceedings to a lurching halt.

It will take host Jimmy Kimmel and company three hours and change to hand out 19 Emmy statues. If that sounds inefficient to you, consider this chilling fact: There are in fact 110 Emmy categories this year.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Gas, Electric Or Steam? Car Shopping, 100 Years Ago

Sep 12, 2016

Buying a car today means choosing among dozens of makes and models, but a century ago, drivers had a more basic choice: what powered the wheels.

"You would have had to choose between gas, steam and electric," says Susan Randolph, executive director of the Marshall Steam Museum in Yorklyn, Del.

In the 1910s, Randolph says, there was no sure winner among the three types of technology. Choosing a car often came down to how it started up.

It's 3 a.m. and Whiskers has decided it's time for breakfast. He jumps up on your bed, gently paws at your eyelids and meows to be fed. Annoyed? Cat behavior specialist Sarah Ellis says you have only yourself to blame.

Ellis says that cat owners reinforce negative behaviors when they give in to them. "Cats are not necessarily born meowing and screaming at us for food, it's a behavior that they learned," Ellis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Linda Holmes is filing dispatches from the Toronto International Film Festival. These movies will see wider release in the coming months.

Lion

If you watch chef Alamelu Vairavan on her PBS show Healthful Indian Flavors, or read from one of her three cookbooks, you may think that she was born with the ability to quickly chop vegetables and sauté with ease. 

Photo courtesy of Jessie Garcia

This piece originally aired June 2, 2016. Abe Landsman, age 102, passed away September 2, 2016, peacefully at his home in Madison. 

A couple of videos went viral in the last few weeks featuring some of America’s oldest citizens.  One was of a 92-year old World War II veteran who threw out the first pitch at a Major League Baseball game on Memorial Day. 

iconimage / Fotolia

Every time you post to Twitter or Facebook, these sites are collecting data about you. At this point you ought to expect that by participating in social media sites, you’re giving up some of your privacy. It’s just the name of the game.

Some see big data from social media sites as a god send for researchers - a perfect way to study social habits with huge numbers of people. But what happens when that data with your personal details still attached is published for a study, for the world to see?

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages