The title of Molly Antopol's deft collection is a kind of pun. While the House Un-American Activities Committee makes a direct appearance in "The Unknown Soldier," a story about a movie actor who's been released from prison after serving time during the Communist witch hunt, to be "un-American" in this book often means just not being American. Antopol's characters are sometimes Israeli or Russian, and her stories are set in Tel Aviv, Prague, the Ukraine.
Paul Oyer, a professor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, has been teaching economics for almost two decades. His experience with online dating started much more recently. But when he started looking for love online, Oyer discovered that the principles he teaches in the classroom were surprisingly applicable to this new marketplace.
In a new book, Everything I Ever Needed to Know About Economics I Learned From Online Dating, Oyer explains economic concepts in terms of online profiles and dating decisions.
Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.
Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.
In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 3:59 pm
The multitalented Sid Caesar took live and complex comedy skits on the air as a pioneer in 1950s TV. Caesar, who established a new comedic tradition in America before he was 30, died in Los Angeles on Wednesday at 91.
Lake Street Dive is powered by the voice of Rachael Price; it's what hits you first when you listen to this quartet. It's a ringingly clear, strong voice, a sound that's at once beseeching and in control. Price regularly harmonizes with the other members of Lake Street Dive — bassist Bridget Kearney, drummer Mike Calabrese and Mike Olson, who also plays guitar and trumpet. But most of the songs on Bad Self Portraits are showcases for Price's surging vocals.
The music of the psychedelic Seattle band Rose Windows mixes folk, blues, Persian and Eastern European influences, as well as '60s psych and prog; the group name-checks The Doors and even Black Sabbath along the way. Its lyrics address songwriter Chris Cheveyo's Christian background, singer Rabi Shaheen Qazi's Muslim influences and much more.
Rose Windows released a debut full-length called Sun Dogs last year, and we'll hear the band perform on stage during this episode of World Cafe.
Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:32 pm
For many Americans it's been a harsh, disruptive winter, from the country's Northern edges to the Deep South.
When cold snaps and blizzards shutter schools, kids miss more than their daily lessons. Some miss out on the day's nutritious meal as well.
This recently became apparent to school administrators in rural Iowa, where extreme cold delayed openings two days in a row at Laurens-Marathon Community School, where 59 percent of students who eat school lunch qualify for free or reduced-price meals.
Unlikely collaborations can unnerve and unwind heavy and extreme music in ways we'd never before imagined. There's Painkiller, the guts-spilling grind-jazz band featuring saxophonist John Zorn, bassist Bill Laswell and Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris.
The dinosaurs were killed during the Fifth Extinction — which scientists suspect was caused by an asteroid. Now, we are living through an epoch that many scientists describe as the Sixth Extinction, and this time, human activity is the culprit. As one scientist put it: We're the asteroid.
Elizabeth Kolbert is the author of the new book The Sixth Extinction. It begins with a history of the "big five" extinctions of the past, and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating a sixth one — including our use of fossil fuels and the effects of climate change.