On this week's show, we dive into Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Glen is an extra-extra-expert, Stephen and I are novices, and Trey is somewhere in between when it comes to Tolkien, so what happens when we all see the same movie? What about the super-crisp technical side? And what does this have to do with Les Miserables?
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:03 am
Tenor Rolando Villazon let loose during a recent Q&A with The Arts Desk: "One thing that I haven't achieved is longevity. This will come — if it comes. That said, I don't think that longevity is a necessary part of a great career." And regarding his own health problems: "[My doctor] would have told [critics] the problem was biology. I would have got it if I had sung Mozart. It had nothing to do with repertoire or technique or how much I sang.
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 8:53 am
In light of last Friday's mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, all explanations and ruminations for why Adam Lanza opened fire are on the cable-news pundits' table. Was it the lack of gun control? Untreated mental illness? Or was it an Aurora-style pop-culture revenge fantasy writ large? Did Hollywood's culture of raging, gun-slinging entertainment help fuel the mayhem? Nobody knows the shooter's motive, and yet the conversation and pontification remains incessant and unabated.
Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 5:03 am
While many are putting the final touches on their decorated Christmas trees across the country this week, photographer John Lusk Hathaway is more concerned about the trees before they were chopped down.
Hathaway, who has a background in science, always thought it was strange to see trees growing in such rigid patterns, as opposed to the natural way they grow in forests.
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 5:31 pm
It's been 80 years since Britain's royal family began broadcasting a Christmas message — and 60 years since Queen Elizabeth took up the duty. Now, the monarch will deliver her 2012 holiday address in 3-D.
Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 10:20 am
Back in March, we told you about the "cinnamon challenge" — a game of dubious origin that involves eating a tablespoon of cinnamon powder without any liquid to wash it down. Experts at the nation's network of poison centers were warning parents about the game after the number of calls related to teens ages 13 to 19 increased dramatically from 2011. Their symptoms included choking, gagging, vomiting and other respiratory problems.
Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 10:57 am
Here's a notion. It comes from Kevin Kelly, author, editor and friend. He was imagining this:
Suppose, he said, that you could count every kindness, every good deed, every smile, every caress, every act of charity, love, tenderness, every generous moment that occurred on the planet this year, and add them all up so you'd have a Total Incidence of Goodness for 2012, a grand sum.
Originally published on Mon December 24, 2012 8:08 am
Whether it's their first election cycle with NPR or their tenth, the Washington Desk reporters, producers and staffers have many opportunities to collect memorabilia and unique items from various campaign events while they are traveling across the country reporting on elections. But with all of the buttons, knick-knacks, and posters, how do they decide what to take?
Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 4:03 pm
Starring flying debris and surging walls of water, The Impossible takes the template of the old-timey disaster movie, strips it to the bone and pumps what's left up to 11.
Decades ago, perched in front of Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, audiences were rewarded with thrills that depended on fleshed-out characters (Steve McQueen as a fire chief!) and multiple interconnected storylines. How pampered we were.