Arts & Culture

Author Interviews
12:14 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Visible And Invisible: 'Servants' Looks At Life Downstairs

Early 20th century British maids worked long, hard days with little time off.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 4:28 pm

Many Americans were introduced to the world of early 20th century British servants through the PBS series Downton Abbey, which premieres its fourth season Sunday. The show is set in an era when domestic service was the largest single occupation in Great Britain.

"In 1900, it was calculated to comprise a third of all women who were in the workforce," writer Lucy Lethbridge tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies.

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Beauty Shop
11:07 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Apologies Needed For Beyonce's Song?

Critics are slamming Beyonce for using an audio clip from the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in her new song "XO." Was she being insensitive, or artistic? Host Michel Martin hears from the beauty shop ladies: journalists Bridget Johnson and Keli Goff, and Maria Teresa Kumar of Voto Latino.

Bonus Round: Ask Me Another
8:03 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Day 9: Ophira Eisenberg, The 1980s Girl Guide

Isn't she cute?
Astrid Eisenberg Courtesy of Ophira Eisenberg

This is the ninth day of Ask Me Another's 12 Days of Xmas series.

Yes, this is Ask Me Another host Ophira Eisenberg, circa 1980, as a Girl Guide.

What's a Girl Guide, you ask? We'll let Ophira explain:

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Favorite Sessions
7:03 am
Thu January 2, 2014

KCRW Presents: Novalima

Novalima performs on Morning Becomes Eclectic.
KCRW

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 1:56 pm

Fusing traditional Latin rhythms with Afro-Peruvian beats, Novalima is a one-of a-kind collective from Peru. During a visit to KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic the day after Nelson Mandela's death, the group brought its signature energy to "Liberta" — performed with a dedication to the late South African president.

Watch Novalima's entire Morning Becomes Eclectic session on KCRW.com.

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The Salt
4:22 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Why The Cod On Cape Cod Now Comes From Iceland

With local cod so scarce, Chef Toby Hill of Lyric Restaurant in Yarmouth Port, Mass., tries out a dogfish salad — served here with garlic aioli on toast — instead. Dogfish is still plentiful in New England waters, but wholesale fisheries say there's not much demand for it in the U.S.
Christine Hochkeppel Courtesy of Cape Cod Times

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 1:53 pm

Good luck finding local cod in Cape Cod, Mass.

The fish once sustained New England's fishing industry, but in recent years, regulators have imposed severe catch limits on cod, and the fish remain scarce.

"I've never seen cod fishing this bad," says Greg Walinsky, who has been fishing on Cape Cod for more than 30 years. "It looks to me like it's over. And I can't catch any codfish."

It's so bad, many fishermen say, that for the first time, they cannot catch enough cod to even reach shrinking government quotas.

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The Salt
2:53 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists

Lisa Brown for NPR

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 2:49 pm

In many prisons and jails across the U.S., punishment can come in the form of a bland, brownish lump. Known as nutraloaf, or simply "the loaf," it's fed day after day to inmates who throw food or, in some cases, get violent. Even though it meets nutritional guidelines, civil rights activists urge against the use of the brick-shaped meal.

Tasteless food as punishment is nothing new: Back in the 19th century, prisoners were given bread and water until they'd earned with good behavior the right to eat meat and cheese.

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The Two-Way
1:38 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Blues Musician Tabby Thomas Dies At 84

Chris Thomas King plays on the House of Blues stage with his father, Tabby Thomas, in 2001, at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Douglas Mason AP

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 7:33 am

Legendary bluesman Tabby Thomas died Wednesday at the age of 84.

He would have celebrated his 85 birthday on Sunday.

NOLA.com/The Times-Picayune reports that Thomas was probably best known for opening Tabby's Blue Box in Baton Rouge, La. He opened the club in the late 1970s, giving Louisiana blues musicians, who had lost opportunities because of the disco craze, a place to play.

Blues-lovers from around the globe flocked to Tabby's.

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The Two-Way
5:31 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

'Fresh Prince' Actor James Avery Dead At 68

Actor James Avery, known to many as "Uncle Phil" on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died. He was 68.
Mark Mainz Getty Images

James Avery, the actor who played the Honorable Philip Banks — also known as Uncle Phil — on the TV show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has died.

Avery died on Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery, publicist Cynthia Snyder told NPR. Avery was 68.

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Book Reviews
3:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Gary Shteyngart's 'Little Failure' Is An Unambivalent Success

Cover Detail
Random House

Originally published on Thu January 2, 2014 6:10 pm

Meg Wolitzer's most recent novel is The Interestings.

What's potentially more troubling than a memoirist out for revenge? One who's only out for truth. Gary Shteyngart's dazzling, highly enjoyable book is the story of his life — a story that he owns, along with all the details. Yet, as an only child who immigrated from Leningrad to Queens with his parents in 1979, with no brothers or sisters to provide narrative distraction, he not only provides an intimate look at himself, he also by necessity put his parents under a fairly strong magnifying lens.

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Music Interviews
3:02 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Athlete-Turned-Jazz Musician Gregory Porter On His Influences

Originally published on Mon January 6, 2014 7:56 am

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish. Happy New Year.

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