Arts & Culture

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

If you want healthy plants, some people say you should talk to them. If you want to make delicious cheese, try playing hip-hop music.

That's the finding of a recent experiment by researchers in Switzerland who set out to determine how soundwaves might affect the microorganisms that give cheese its flavor.

Why would a wildlife conservation organization be involved in a campaign to push people to diversify their diets? As it turns out, the way we humans eat is very much linked to preserving wildlife — and many other issues. This was the topic at a recent conference in Paris where the World Wildlife Fund and Knorr foods teamed up to launch their campaign and report, titled "Future 50 Foods: 50 Foods for Healthier People and a Healthier Planet."

Laila Lalami's new novel The Other Americans is told from the perspective of nine different narrators who have one thing in common: They've all "had the experience of dislocation," Lalami says.

The book begins with a Moroccan immigrant who is killed by a speeding driver in a hit and run. The narrators include the dead man himself, his wife, his adult daughter, a man who witnessed the crash, an Iraq war veteran, a detective, and others. The first-person accounts form a mosaic of race and class in America.

Helado Negro On 'How You Smile'

19 hours ago

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

HELADO NEGRO: Hola. Hello. I'm Helado Negro, and that means black ice cream in Spanish. It's a name that doesn't mean anything. It's a flavor that can be anything. You really don't know what to expect.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "PAIS NUBLADO")

HELADO NEGRO: (Singing in Spanish).

Bob Moore, the 90-year-old founder of Bob's Red Mill, was just a few years into the business of milling whole grains at a converted animal feed mill in a Portland, Ore., suburb when he got a visit from some gluten-free Seattlites who'd come down with a business proposition: Use his business contacts to help them buy bulk xantham gum, an ingredient used in gluten-free baking to help replicate gluten's elasticity.

toyota-tacoma-TRD-pro-awd-review
Mark Savage

A 20-something friend assures me Toyota’s Tacoma TRD Pro is a bro truck.

This Voodoo Blue TRD model, complete with 4-wheel-drive and in double cab layout is aimed directly at young guys with some coin in their pocket and a need to prove their manhood. It’s menacing looking, but shiny enough to get other folks attention. And that TRD, which stands for Toyota Racing Development, indicates it’s a mean dude that will kick butt off-road. One assumes that machismo also rubs off on its owner.

From an image standpoint, the TRD Pro rocks. It delivers.

Curious about the changing landscape at her country's borders and the people who live there, Jordanian documentary photographer Nadia Bseiso journeyed to where Jordan meets Israel for the first part of her four-part series. Bseiso was eager to find out if the area called The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East was the same lush farming area it used to be. Bseiso also plans to explore Jordan's borders with Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

When Harpo Marx met Salvador Dalí, it was kismet, as Josh Frank reports in Giraffes on Horseback Salad, his diverting graphic novel about the pair's 1937 attempt to collaborate on a movie of the same name. While it's not too surprising that the troublemaking artist and the seditious comedian would be simpatico, their bond went deeper than that. They painted each other, and Dalí sent his new friend a full-size harp strung with barbed wire. Harpo replied with a photo of himself pretending to play the lethal harp, all his fingers wrapped in bandages.

Syria Photographer Covers The Fall Of ISIS

Mar 23, 2019

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Yesterday, the Trump administration declared victory over the Islamic State in Syria, ending a long battle against militants in the region. Still, some say the fight is not over.

Chuck Close (American, b. 1940) / Chazen Museum of Art, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Gift of Richard E. Brock, 2008.2.1

Editor's note: Part one of this Radio Chipstone series originally aired on March 9, 2019.

Here's the good news: There's a lot of high-quality streaming video available right now, with great scripts and A-list actors. The bad news? Maybe there's just too much content to choose from.

It can be frustrating when viewers try to figure out which service has what they want to watch — Netflix, Prime, Hulu? It's about to get worse, as more streaming services launch this year.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Editior's note: This story contains a racial epithet.

Damon Young says he's spent much of his life waiting to be called by a name we won't repeat, even though it appears in his new memoir — What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker — a lot. His essays are pointed, ruminative, often barbed and funny reflections on how the fact of his skin color has posed particular lifelong challenges, questions, and anxieties.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Aidy Bryant may be too young to remember, but back in the 1980s, there were a lot of Brians. So we'll ask her three questions — about musician Brian Eno, director Brian De Palma and Brian Johnson of AC/DC — and see how she does.

Bryant got her start doing sketch comedy at The Second City and iO in Chicago, and then headed to New York for Saturday Night Live. She now stars in the Hulu comedy Shrill.

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