Arts & Culture

Television
12:18 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

The Simpsons' Secret? It's Written by Math Geeks

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 10:54 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF 'THE SIMPSONS' THEME)

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

That, of course, is the theme of the longest running sitcom in American history. "The Simpsons" kicked off its 25th season this year. And if you've ever seen the show, you know how Homer Simpson is no math genius. He's more interested in the pie of pastry than 3.14. But in the episode "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace," Homer does something extraordinary. He seems to have found a counter example to the notorious math problem Fermat's Last Theorem. What's going on here?

Read more
Movie Reviews
11:50 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Great Soundtrack Aside, 'Inside Llewyn Davis' Hits A Sour Note

In the Coen brothers' latest film, down and out Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is trying to make ends meet as a folk singer in New York in the early 1960s.
Alison Rosa Long Strange Trip/CBS Films

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 2:05 pm

The films of Joel and Ethan Coen pose a challenge: How do we reconcile their wildly disparate tones? Consider O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a burlesque of Homer's Odyssey centering on three stumblebums — but with a soundtrack assembled by T Bone Burnett of heartfelt historical gospel and country music. Ditto The Ladykillers: venal idiot characters, soaring African-American spirituals. The ridiculous and the sublime sit side by side, with no spillover.

Read more
World
10:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Mandela Suffered The Most So He Could Ask The Most, Says Ambassador

The world is reacting to news that Nelson Mandela has passed away. Ebrahim Rasool, South Africa's Ambassador to the United States, met Mandela in prison and he's been inspired by him ever since. Rasool speaks to host Michel Martin about Nelson Mandela's life and legacy.

Music
10:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Music And Mandela: Vusi Mahlasela Remembers

South African musician Vusi Mahlasela's work was born out of the struggle against apartheid. His song "When You Come Back" was performed at Mandela's 1994 inauguration and was written to the political exiles who escaped South Africa. Mahlasela shares his memories with host Michel Martin.

Africa
10:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Ghana's President: Mandela's Long Walk Became Africa's Journey

Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama
Meri Nana-Ama Danquah

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 3:17 pm

During his lifetime, Nelson Mandela inspired many to embrace his vision of a better world, including a new generation of African political leaders.

Among those leaders is Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.

Mahama was only 5 years old when Mandela was banished to Robben Island to serve out the remainder of his prison term. But he, like many young Africans, grew up idolizing Mandela as a freedom fighter.

Read more
Africa
10:49 am
Fri December 6, 2013

South Africans Mourn Loss Of 'Father' Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was an inspirational figure around the world for decades. Host Michel Martin talks with Ferial Haffajee, editor at City Press in Johannesburg, about the immediate reactions from South Africans to Mandela's passing.

Monkey See
10:36 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live Shows And The Return Of Regrettable Television

NPR
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour: Live Shows And Regrettable TV
  • Listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour: Catching Fire And Gifts

Taped in the run-up to Thursday night's Sound Of Music performance, this week's round-table podcast is not a review of it, but a consideration of the live event in general. Are we all just performance ghouls, waiting around for people to fail? What is it fair to ask from a live performance? And what happens if a horse has an unfortunate moment in a theater?

Our second segment brings back one of our favorite things (har har), the Regrettable Television Pop Quiz. Thrill to extravagantly bleeped cursing! Wonder about the appropriate and safe temperature for raw chicken!

Read more
The Two-Way
10:35 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Paneer Pizza: Domino's Sees India Becoming Second-Largest Market

An employee rides a motorcycle to deliver Domino's pizzas in New Delhi this past May. Domino's Pizza CEO J. Patrick Doyle says India is poised to become the chain's largest market outside the U.S., on the strength of a menu tailored to Indians' tastes.
Anindito Mukherjee Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 12:40 pm

In recent years, Domino's Pizza has rapidly expanded overseas — helping it open stores at a faster clip than Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts, according to Forbes. Part of that growth is in India, which company CEO J. Patrick Doyle says is poised to supplant Britain as the chain's largest market outside the U.S.

Read more
Deceptive Cadence
10:30 am
Fri December 6, 2013

A Bumper Crop Of Classical Box Sets

It was a big year for extravagant classical box sets.
Denise DeBelius NPR

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 12:05 pm

This wound up being a spectacular year for elaborate, lavishly packaged reissues. Given all the fabulous classical box sets that appeared this year, you'd think we were in some kind of boom era for music served up on compact discs. (2013? More like 1993.)

Read more
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013
9:25 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Songwriter Clegg On Mandela, South Africans' 'Bridge'

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 9:49 am

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ASIMBONANGA")

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

We're hearing a song that was popular in South Africa in the 1980s, popular even though it was banned. The song was called "Asimbonanga," which means "We Have Not Seen Him." He was Nelson Mandela, who by then had been in prison for more than two decades. This morning we reached the writer of that song, Johnny Clegg, in South Africa.

Read more

Pages