Arts & Culture

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

(Be warned, intrepid reader: This story contains loads of spoilers regarding every episode from this season's run of Game of Thrones, including Sunday's season finale.)

This was the season that Game of Thrones seriously changed its game.

Nowhere was that more evident than in Sunday's season finale, the last of 10 episodes that pulled together far-flung storylines and characters spread across the show's mythical seven kingdoms — and beyond.

The Toast — funny and literary feminist website, gleeful kneecapper of high culture, omphalos of cheerful misandry, and habitat of the rare courteous and informative comments section — is closing.

Aboard a flight home from Armenia, Pope Francis fielded a pointed question from reporters: Did he agree with German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, who, in the wake of the Orlando shooting, said gays deserve an apology from the Church?

His answer was frank.

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

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

Imaginary animals dance across the panels of artist Hieronymus Bosch's paintings: There are snails with human legs, fish with human arms and at least one spider-legged peacock. Since his death in 1516, Bosch has been called "the Devil's painter" and he's been hailed as a psychedelic seer born too soon. On this 500th anniversary year, two museums have dedicated major international exhibitions to the artist, and there's a massive scholarly revamp of all that is known and thought about him.

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

For the last couple of months, we've brought you our series, Hanging On, about the increasing pressure on the middle class in 2016.

Now, we bring you Hanging On: 2029.

A Mystery Novel Is The Mystery At The Heart Of 'Blockbuster!'

Jun 26, 2016

In true Victorian style, you only need a few tantalizing details about Fergus Hume's The Mystery of a Hansom Cab to intrigue you. The 1886 murder mystery, part of an emerging genre of "shilling shockers," became a runaway hit in Australia. After Hume sold the copyright for a pittance, it was published in England to smash sales — even pirated in other languages. Over half a million copies of the novel were sold worldwide ... and Hume never saw a dime of it.

A newspaper correspondent observing Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration in March 1865 — delivered to a crowd "as far as the eye could reach" — noted that the president laid his right hand on a Bible and, facing Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon Chase, swore to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

"Then," the reporter noted, "solemnly repeating 'So help me God!' he bent forward and reverently kissed the Book."

Legendary New York Times fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, beloved for his street-style images, has died at the age of 87. Cunningham's death was reported by The Times and confirmed by Eileen Murphy, a spokeswoman for the newspaper.

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

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Jun 25, 2016

Physicists say they've discovered how to zap the fat out of chocolate.

The researchers, led by Rongjia Tao of Temple University, were able to remove up to 20 percent of fat by running liquid milk chocolate through an electrified sieve. And they say the chocolate tastes good, too.

Back in the 1990s, the Portland Trail Blazers were one of the most dominant teams in the NBA. They went to the finals twice (and might have won it all if hadn't been for that pesky Michael Jordan fellow.) Since we're in Portland this week, we've invited Terry Porter, one of the stars of the Trailblazers, to answer three questions about other people who've blazed their own trails.

Click the link above to listen.

Radio Chipstone

Walking into Mrs. M-----'s Cabinet at the Milwaukee Art Museum is more like walking into a home than an traditional museum space. Located in the Constance and Dudley Godfrey American Wing, Mrs. M----'s Cabinet is an interactive exhibit which invites viewers to create a narrative through objects collected by Mrs. M----, a character who "exists somewhere between fact and fiction."

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