Arts & Culture

History
12:01 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Girl Scouts: 100 Years Of Blazing New Trails

Brownies from Troop 65343 in Brookline, Mass. recite the Girl Scout pledge. Enrollment in the organization has declined since the 1980s, but a modernizing makeover and new focus on minority and immigrant communities have helped some.
Tovia Smith NPR

Originally published on Mon March 12, 2012 11:09 am

It's hard to imagine Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice and Lucille Ball as part of the same club. But they were all, at one time, Girl Scouts. Founded 100 years ago in Savannah, Ga., the Girl Scouts now count 3.2 million members.

Girl Scout cookies have become as much of an American tradition as apple pie. At a busy intersection in Brookline, Mass., a gaggle of Girl Scouts stand behind a folding table piled high with boxes of Thin Mints, Samoas and Shortbreads.

"They are really, really good," the troop collectively assures a prospective buyer.

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Books News & Features
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

'Lifespan': What Are The Limits Of Literary License?

iStockPhoto.com

When an author writes something that's supposed to be a true story and readers discover he's stretched the truth, things can get ugly fast. Recall Oprah Winfrey's famous rebuke of author James Frey for making up much of his memoir, A Million Little Pieces. "I feel duped, but more importantly, I feel that you betrayed millions of readers," she told him.

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

'Fragile Beginnings': When Babies Are Born Too Soon

Dr. Adam Wolfberg had two daughters and another on the way when his wife, Kelly, went into labor. But this joyous occasion had come much too soon — Kelly was three months away from her due date. After just 26 weeks in the womb, their baby daughter Larissa entered the world by emergency cesarean section and was whisked into the neonatal intensive care unit of a Boston hospital. It was the same hospital where Wolfberg was doing his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, and his medical background turned out to be a mixed blessing.

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Monkey See
12:01 am
Thu March 8, 2012

A Bestselling Book Becomes An HBO Movie About A 'Dynamic Moment'

Ed Harris as John McCain and Julianne Moore as Sarah Palin in the HBO film Game Change.
Phillip V. Caruso HBO

There were a lot of good stories from the 2008 presidential election, including Hillary Clinton's serious run for the Democratic nomination, not to mention the election of the first African-American president. The whole story was covered in the bestselling — and controversial — book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, Game Change.

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StoryCorps
6:21 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

A Mom Becomes A Man, And A Family Sticks Together

Les and Scott GrantSmith visited StoryCorps in San Diego to discuss how they moved on together, after a crisis point.
StoryCorps

This spring, Les and Scott GrantSmith will mark their 25th wedding anniversary. The couple raised two daughters along the way. But 15 years ago, they hit a crisis that nearly shattered their family. Les was keeping a secret, and that became a problem. But they solved it as a family, in a way that kept them together and happy.

In the weeks leading up to that day back in 1997, Les was certain of two things: She was a mother who loved her daughters — and she was also transgender, the term for someone born in a body of the wrong sex.

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Movies
5:23 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

In 'Mosquita Y Mari,' A Tale Of Self And Community

(From left) Pineda, writer-director Aurora Guerrero and Troncoso pose for a portrait during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.
Larry Busacca Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:32 pm

The film Mosquita y Mari — the first narrative feature by a Chicana director to screen at the Sundance Film Festival — is both the singular vision of writer-director Aurora Guerrero and a crowdsourced production that could not have been made without multiple communities coming together.

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Around the Nation
3:24 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

'Les Bon Temps Rouler' To The Auction Block

A 1974 Gremlin covered with Mardi Gras beads is part of the auction lot of items from the former Kenner Mardi Gras Museum. The car is expected to draw several bids.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 6:08 pm

In New Orleans, the 2012 Mardi Gras is just a memory. But for those who collect Mardi Gras memorabilia, the celebration lasts all year.

Some of those collectors will be at the Kenner Mardi Gras Museum on Thursday. It's about a half-hour drive from the French Quarter — not a convenient trip for many tourists, and declining attendance is one reason it closed after two decades. Now its collection will be auctioned.

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Middle East
3:18 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Christians Provide Free Labor On Jewish Settlements

Evangelical Christians from the U.S. are living and working at Jewish settlements in the West Bank for weeks at a time. The Christians see Jewish expansion in the area as fulfilling biblical prophecy, though the settlements are a contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians. Here volunteers harvest grapes.
Courtesy of Heather Meyers

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 9:09 am

It's wet and windy day in Shilo, a Jewish settlement in the central part of the West Bank that has about 10,000 residents.

In addition to the settlers, there are a few extra people staying in Shilo on this day. They are Christian volunteers from the U.S. who have spent the morning pruning the grape vines. Now, with a winter storm beating down on the hills, the volunteers are stomping with their mud-splattered boots and North Face rain gear.

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Music News
2:33 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

A Struggling City Finds Inspiration In Classical Music

An abandoned home sits behind a padlocked gate in Stockton, Calif., in 2008.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun March 11, 2012 9:09 am

The agricultural port city of Stockton, Calif., has made national and international news in recent years — for all the wrong reasons. In a new record, the city recently marked its 56th homicide in one year. And the BBC recently reported that a greater proportion of Stockton residents face the loss of their homes to foreclosure or repossession than anywhere else in America. If that's not enough, it ranked No.

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Songs We Love
12:01 am
Wed March 7, 2012

Songs We Love: Disney Songwriters The Sherman Brothers

Robert Sherman (left) and his brother Richard in a documentary of their life and songs, The Boys: The Sherman Brothers' Story.
Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 2:35 pm

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The Salt
2:56 am
Tue March 6, 2012

Most Of Us Just Can't Taste The Nuances In High-Priced Wines

Research suggests that most of us don't or can't taste the subtleties of fine wines.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed March 7, 2012 3:18 pm

Have you ever splurged on a highly rated bottle of Burgundy or pinot noir, only to wonder whether a $10 or $15 bottle of red would have been just as good? The answer may depend on your biology.

A new study by researchers at Penn State and Brock University in Canada finds that when it comes to appreciating the subtleties of wine, experts can taste things many of us can't. "What we found is that the fundamental taste ability of an expert is different," says John Hayes of Penn State.

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Music Interviews
12:01 am
Tue March 6, 2012

K'Naan: A Song 'More Beautiful Than Silence'

K'Naan's new EP, More Beautiful Than Silence, was released Jan. 31.
Courtesy of the artist

The last time Morning Edition spoke with K'naan, he had just gone back to his native Somalia for the first time in 20 years to highlight the effects of the famine there.

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Music Reviews
3:54 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Bruce Springsteen's Hard-Bitten Pop Optimism

Bruce Springsteen's 17th album, Wrecking Ball, has a little taste of almost every style he's ever played, including classic E Street rock 'n' roll.
Danny Clinch

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 6:02 pm

Ever since The Rising in 2002 — and arguably since 1984's Born in the U.S.A.Bruce Springsteen releases have functioned as State of the Union addresses as much as pop LPs. Wrecking Ball does, too, beginning with its Occupy-era lead single "We Take Care of Our Own," an anthemic bit of wishful thinking which, like "Born in the U.S.A.," seems easy to misinterpret by 180 degrees if you don't pay attention to the verses between the chorus.

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Books News & Features
3:35 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

The Unlikely Best-Seller: 'A Wrinkle In Time' Turns 50

Originally published on Mon March 5, 2012 5:40 pm

Imagine, for a moment, that you're a publisher hearing a pitch about a children's book whose tangled plot braids together quantum physics, fractions and megaparsecs (a measure for distances in intergalactic space). The book also casually tosses out phrases in French, Italian, German and ancient Greek. Sound like the next kids' best-seller to you?

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Pop Culture
12:01 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Zumba Is A Hit, But Is It Latin?

Zumba dance classes are all the rage, but some critics say the fitness craze shouldn't be considered Latin dance.
Christopher Futcher iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri March 9, 2012 10:51 am

Zumba isn't just a fitness craze; it's an international business with more than 12 million enthusiasts in its classes. You can buy Zumba CDs, a Zumba video game and Zumba clothes. For many students — who show up in spandex to body-roll, fist-pump and booty-shake — it's their first taste of Latin music and dance steps. Now, some Latin dancers are trying to make more of a distinction between their art — and what happens in a Zumba class.

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