Arts & Culture

Monkey See
3:41 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Appreciating James Garner: TV's Best Unhero

James Garner plays Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in a 1988 photo.
DPA /Landov

I didn't know, watching Isaac Hayes push James Garner around on The Rockford Files, that I was seeing a special character continue an important television legacy.

All I knew, as a devoted fan of Garner's put-upon private eye, was that Jim Rockford seemed like a kind of hero you never saw anywhere else on television.

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Code Switch
2:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 8:47 am

In the past year, my first in a prestigious Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature, I have often felt conspicuous as a writer of color. I have felt a responsibility to speak up when race is discussed, but I have also resented this responsibility. Lately, I have found myself burying my head. It bothers me to no end that the pressure is beating me, and yet it is.

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Religion
12:41 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

The Fasting 5K: No Food, No Water, No Problem For Muslim Runners

Runners form a human bridge at the finish line to cheer fellow racers. Participants completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall — without food or water since sunrise.
Rund Abdelfatah NPR

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 1:53 pm

With the sun lingering on the horizon and the Capitol in the distance, runner after runner completed a 3-mile loop around the National Mall and was met with cheers and high-fives. Standing in two parallel lines with hands outstretched, the crowd of mostly 20-somethings formed a celebratory human bridge for their fellow runners to pass under as they crossed the finish line.

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Performing Arts
10:40 am
Sun July 20, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

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The Sunday Conversation
10:13 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Astronaut Who Walked On The Moon: 'It Was Science Fiction To Us'

During the Apollo 12 mission, astronaut Alan Bean holds a container of lunar soil. The astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad, who took the photograph, is reflected in Bean's faceshield. Bean says he used to think that in his lifetime, we'd build a base on the moon and start preparing to travel to Mars.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 1:20 pm

In November of 1969, astronaut Alan Bean became the fourth man to walk on the moon. His mission, Apollo 12, arrived at the moon a few months after Apollo 11 made the first moon landing. That historic event celebrates its 45th anniversary Sunday.

Apollo 12 got off to a dramatic start: A storm rolled in as the rocket was scheduled to launch. Bean, with fellow astronauts Pete Conrad and Dick Gordon, sat inside the spacecraft while the bad weather threatened the operation.

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Television
9:48 am
Sun July 20, 2014

James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' And 'Maverick' Dies At 86

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:09 am

Garner was known for wise-cracking, tough-guy characters who were not afraid to bend the rules. NPR's Arun Rath talks with biographer Jon Winokur about the actor's prolific career.

Books
9:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

How Bad Can He Be? Only The 'Worst. Person. Ever.'

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 11:08 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Usually, when I do an interview, I'm the one asking the questions. But when I sat down with writer Douglas Coupland, he had some questions for me.

DOUG COUPLAND: Have you ever tried to get rid of a body?

RATH: Not a human body, no. Some I was unqualified to answer.

COUPLAND: Why do different parts of the body taste different? Why does liver taste like liver, and why does tongue taste like - ugh - tongue?

RATH: And for some reason, this.

COUPLAND: Have you ever done a musical?

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Movie Interviews
9:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The Secret Behind Romero's Scary Zombies: 'I Made Them The Neighbors'

George A. Romero says zombies are just the disaster in his films. "My stories are more about the humans," he explains. Romero's latest project is a comic book called Empire of the Dead.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 2:59 pm

Director George A. Romero grew up on classic movie monsters — and he says he never dreamed he'd be responsible for creating the modern zombie that now lurks alongside those monsters. "I never expected it. I really didn't," he tells NPR's Arun Rath. "... All I did was I took them out of 'exotica' and I made them the neighbors ... I thought there's nothing scarier than the neighbors!"

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Music
9:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Alternative Latin Music Conference Celebrates Its Quinceañera

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 11:24 pm

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

Every summer for the last 15 years, the Latin Alternative Music Conference gathers musicians and industry folks within the corner of the Latin music industry known as Latin alternative. This summer was no different, and Felix Contreras and Jasmine Garsd from NPR's Alt.Latino podcast were there in New York to scout bands and geek out over the music business. Felix and Jasmine, welcome.

FELIX CONTRERAS: Good morning.

JASMINE GARSD: Thank you for having us.

RATH: So 15 years. Was this a quinceanera for the conference?

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Music
9:37 am
Sun July 20, 2014

Four Simple Notes Captured Listeners Across Centuries

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:49 am

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

The diatonic phrygian tetrachord - just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it? Well, maybe you're not familiar with this expression. It's actually a sequence of four musical notes. But I can pretty much guarantee you've heard it played over and over again.

(SOUNDBITE OF COMPOSITION, "PASSAGLIA FOR SOLO VIOLIN")

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