Arts & Culture

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Mike Birbiglia: Thank God for Trivia

"[Father Patterson's] not funny, I'm funny. I should be the priest!"
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:59 am

He's known for his stand-up comedy, as well as a particular sleepwalking episode, but asked to play a game on...Catholicism? Holy moly! We quiz him on the Bible and more in this VIP challenge.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Our Delicious Bodies

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:59 am

Cannibalism is gross, but admittedly, ladyfinger cakes are delicious. Try not to get too hungry as you think up various foods, all of which have a human body part in their name.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

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Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Blurred Rhymes

Originally published on Fri April 4, 2014 2:50 pm

Robin Thicke's 2013 song "Blurred Lines" asks, "What rhymes with hug me?" He should have asked guest musician Julian Velard, who sing reworked lyrical clues that answer the question with some blurred rhymes of their own.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Random Questions With: Mike Birbiglia

"I'm gonna take this conversation we're having, and then repeat that to strangers. Then that's the joke. You're the joke, later."
Josh Rogosin NPR

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 1:44 pm

  • Hear Mike play a game about Catholicism
  • Mike Birbiglia: "No Air Quotes, Man!"

Comedian Mike Birbiglia has a knack for molding his own extremely personal follies into hilarious stories. He's weaved autobiographical tales of his awkward childhood, his love life and medical mishaps into the fabric of his stand-up specials and frequent contributions to The Moth and This American Life.

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Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Insert Coin Here

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:59 am

Video game characters lead dangerous lives, so they could use our advice on how to stay out of trouble. Identify classic video games based on some helpful tips — before the ghosts get you!

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

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Ask Me Another
8:49 am
Thu April 3, 2014

What's In A Name? Another Name

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 10:59 am

What do Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. have in common? A name, obviously. In this game, identify famous people whose full names are found within the names of other celebrities.

Heard in Episode 313: This Birbiglian Life

The Two-Way
6:36 am
Thu April 3, 2014

Book News: Ted Cruz's Book Advance Said To Eclipse Sarah Palin's

News of Ted Cruz's book deal set off speculation that the Texas Republican may be planning to run for president in 2016.
Drew Angerer Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain

human heart diagram
iStockphoto

A boyfriend once called Leslie Jamison "a wound dweller." This is one of many personal morsels she shares in her virtuosic book of essays, The Empathy Exams, in which she intrepidly probes sore spots to explore how our reactions to both our own pain and that of others define us as human beings. Jamison notes with concern that ironic detachment has become the fallback in this "post-wounded" age that fears "anything too tender, too touchy-feely." The Empathy Exams presents a brainy but heartfelt case for compassion even at the risk of sentimentality.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

A Smart Spin On Alternate History In 'The Revolutions'

In his previous novels, Felix Gilman presented fantastic, mind-expanding visions of other worlds. His fifth, The Revolutions, sticks a little closer to home — at least at first. For a change, he's set a book in the real world, albeit a skewed version of it. Gilman reimagines late-19th-century London as a dark and dangerous place; along with all the political, technological, and cultural upheavals of the age, he's added an insidious dimension to the fashionable occultism that gripped the end of the Victorian Era.

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All Songs Considered
6:03 am
Thu April 3, 2014

The Sole Of A Band, April 3

Originally published on Thu April 3, 2014 7:32 am

Baggy pants make different music than skinny jeans. Cowboy hats sound different than fedoras. T-shirt-and-jeans bands make a different noise than suit-and-tie bands. You can often look at a band's clothing and have a pretty good idea what it'll sound like.

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