Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

"Science Fair"/National Geographic

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Oct. 19, 2018.

There are science fairs, and then there are science fairs. There’s the kind we all competed in — tri-fold display, baking soda-and-vinegar volcano, marshmallow-and-toothpick molecules. And then, there’s the kind that future scientists aspire to.

Resonant Pictures

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Oct. 24, 2018.

The documentary 16 Bars explores how music can bring healing and rehabilitation to people who are locked up. / Fotolia

Editor's note: This piece was originally published on Oct. 18, 2018.

As political tensions have raised throughout the U.S., there has been a shift in focus to online abuse. When Dr. Christine Blasey-Ford publicly accused Justice Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, she was inundated with death threats. Her email was hacked, her address and phone number were published online, and her family was forced to move for their safety. 

Every December, our critics look back on the books, movies, music and TV they loved — and this year, we've gathered all of those Fresh Air recommendations for you in one place.

You've donned the gay apparel and trolled the ancient Christmas Carol from Accounting, but the snow has turned to gray slush and whenever a mulled beverage is served, your uncle can't help but channel his inner Rob Thomas: "Man, it's a hot wine!" (The pun is solid, but the impression sounds more like Bill Murray's caterwauling howl in Scrooged.) You want to get in the spirit, but you're hardly dashing through the snow. What to do?

David Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" has become a tradition on NPR. Listeners first met Crumpet the un-merry department store elf in 1992 when Sedaris' reading debuted on Morning Edition, and we've heard Crumpet's story many times since.

Now, we want to hear from you: Pretend you're an elf who works at Santaland during the holidays, and in just one sentence, tell us something about your imaginary shift.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit

Disgraced former CBS CEO Les Moonves, who's been accused of sexual harassment and assault, has been denied the controversial $120 million severance package contained in his contract, the network's board of directors announced on Monday.

It's often said that we regret the things we don't do more than the ones we do. Each December, I'm haunted by all the books, movies and shows that I've loved but haven't managed to get on the air. Wailing in my ear and rattling my shelves, these neglected spirits come together to demand their rightful places on what I call my annual Ghost List.

Paddington 2 (available on DVD, HBO, and streaming on multiple platforms)

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.


Today, we're traveling back 50 years to 1968 Memphis, Tenn. to take a peek inside one of the most influential recording studios, Stax Records. Co-founded by brother and sister Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, Stax was home to the likes of Otis Redding, the Staples Singers, Booker T.

Penguin Random House

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Sept. 11, 2018.

Football is like politics. We support our leaders when we agree with them and want to throw the bums out when we don’t. The intersection between professional football and politics is pretty substantial, as Mark Leibovich learned over the past few years.

Pickleball Is A Big 'Dill' In Wisconsin

Dec 17, 2018
Ben Binversie

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Aug. 22, 2018.

Pickleball has nothing to do with pickles, but here in Wisconsin, it is a big 'dill'.  Jokes aside, the once-niche sport has surged in popularity, especially here in Southeast Wisconsin.