Arts & Culture

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

The last time Belgium's Grimbergen Abbey brewed beer, the United States was only about 20 years old. But the abbey now plans to make beer again, and for inspiration, it will turn to the original recipes and brewing instructions in its archive of medieval texts.

After it was founded in 1128, the Norbertine abbey's monks spent centuries making beer. But they were forced to stop when the abbey was destroyed in 1798. Now they want to get back into brewing — and to do it, they're hoping to use secrets they've gleaned from ancient books the abbey managed to preserve.

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Married mothers — and mothers with live-in partners — are doing more housework than their single counterparts. That’s according to a new study, which found that married mothers do around 32 minutes more of daily housework than single mothers. But why? Researchers Joanna Pepin and Noelle Chesley say the differences may be based in gender expectations.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. There's no cure for dementia, and there's unlikely to be one in the foreseeable future, which is why my guest, Dr. Tia Powell, is focusing on questions like, how can we devise a viable strategy to pay for long-term care? How do we preserve dignity? How do we balance freedom and safety? What is a good death for someone with dementia? And how do we help people who are losing their memory find some joy?

Wildlife tourism allows visitors to enjoy animals up close, in their natural habitats. But what happens when you take an even closer look at the industry?

National Geographic’s Natasha Daly investigated it for a recent cover story.

Here’s some of what she found.

Mitch Teich

Milwaukee poet and Lake Effect contributor Jenny Benjamin, reading Closer to Sundown.

Closer to Sundown 

Are those willo-the-wisps to lead me along a new path?
Or has the water tricked my eyes to believe in myth?
These feathers, really leaves making golden pillow puddles,
take shape, and will they fade with sunset at the close of day?

When the Queen of Soul died last August, family and lawyers said publicly that they believed that Aretha Franklin did not have a will. On Monday, however, three handwritten wills that had been found in her Detroit-area home — one from 2014 and two dated 2010 — were filed in probate court in Oakland County, Mich.

Two eminent avant-garde elders, a chameleonic vocal improviser, and a pioneering community organizer and presenter will make up the 2020 class of NEA Jazz Masters, according to an announcement this morning by the National Endowment for the Arts.

The four incoming inductees — saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell, bassist Reggie Workman, vocalist Bobby McFerrin, and jazz advocate Dorthaan Kirk — will officially be recognized next April 2, during a tribute concert and ceremony at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco.

Fifty years ago, the band Nat Turner Rebellion made a funky album in Philadelphia that could have been a total classic. The band had a record deal, fans and, according to founder Joe Jefferson the members were "crowd killers." But then, it all fell apart and the album has been pretty much buried in audio archives — until now.

As Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota was wrapping up her remarks to the crowd at a Ramadan gathering on Capitol Hill late Monday, she spotted a familiar face in the front row.

It was Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who was famously mocked by then-candidate Donald Trump during the 2016 race. Omar told the audience she remembered how Trump had belittled Khan's wife by saying he wasn't sure if Muslim women were allowed to speak.

Long considered fringe, the right wing radio host Mark Levin has had a few good years: He picked up a weekly Fox News show ("Life, Liberty & Levin"); he counts conservative political commentator Sean Hannity as his best friend; and the president recently tweeted in support of his new book, "Word is out that book is GREAT!"

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The journalist Jim Sciutto of CNN has spent much of his adult life thinking about China.

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While the peninsular Russian province of Kamchatka is not exactly in Sarah Palin's sightline, its far, far Eastern and Northern coordinates make it more like Nome than Moscow. Rife with wildlife, volcanoes, and treacherous topography, it's also almost inaccessible, with no major roads connecting it to the rest of Russia — because it was a closed military zone until 1989.

Is it weird to keep asserting that Summer Movie Season starts Memorial Day weekend, when Avengers: Endgame, the ultimate summer movie, and also the year's (the decade's! the century's!) biggest blockbuster, opened last month?

Maybe. Sure. Who cares?

"Summer movie" is a term, after all, that has taken on a negative connotation, as it tends to be deployed by those looking to sniffily dismiss the whole crop of films that come out in the months without an R. See also: "popcorn movies," "comic-book movies."

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