Entertainment

When We Love Our Food So Much That It Goes Extinct

2 hours ago

We humans love food to death ... literally.

From mammoths to passenger pigeons, we have driven our favorite meals to extinction through overhunting and habitat destruction. And globally, our tendency to overharvest just a narrow range of crops has limited the variety of foods we eat.

Composer Christopher Rouse, who once called himself a writer of "fast and furious" music and who taught courses in the history of rock, died Saturday of complications of renal cancer at age 70.

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

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Those throbbing, insistent strings, the ting of the bell in the servants' quarters.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "DOWNTON ABBEY")

PHYLLIS LOGAN: (As Mrs. Hughes) I want every surface to gleam and sparkle.

In the near future, resources on Earth are limited, space pirates fight for control of the moon, and travel into deep space is possible.

At least that's the future in Ad Astra, directed by James Gray and starring Brad Pitt. In the new sci-fi movie, Pitt plays astronaut Roy McBride, the son of space hero Clifford McBride, who commanded a mission called the Lima Project.

That mission disappeared somewhere in the outer reaches of the solar system many years ago. But when he learns that his father may still be alive, the younger McBride sets out to find him.

The other day, I went down to the National Mall here in Washington, D.C., and heard the sound of hope in sweet, strong, young voices.

A youth choir and chamber ensemble from Haiti are on a U.S. tour that's taken them from Maine to Manhattan to Kentucky over the past month. This stop was in a lush garden of the Smithsonian museums. The tour is meant to showcase Haiti's rich musical heritage — and to raise awareness of the country's rebuilding efforts.

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

My Signature Song: 'Defying Gravity'

Sep 21, 2019

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

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Kaley Johnson of Fort Worth, Texas, has a dramatic signature song, one so important to her, it's almost part of her identity.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DEFYING GRAVITY")

Grief can feel like a new world emerging, swallowing up the reality you once knew and expanding into something entirely all-consuming. New York rapper Kemba used that monolithic feeling to create his major label debut album, Gilda, a record that pays tribute to his mother who passed away two years ago.

Kemba's mother raised him and his two brothers in The Bronx, N.Y., a place that gave him little choice but to be immersed in hip-hop

Gang Starr is back. After 16 years of silence, the revered duo of Guru and DJ Premier has put out a surprise new single, "Family and Loyalty." The song features posthumous verses from Guru, who passed away in 2010, DJ Premier's trademark string chops and light touch, and an acrobatic verse from J. Cole.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The science fiction drama "Ad Astra" stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who sets out on a dangerous voyage to the outer reaches of the solar system. It's the latest picture from writer-director James Gray, whose earlier movies include "We Own The Night," "Two Lovers" and "The Lost City Of Z." Our film critic Justin Chang says "Ad Astra" is a space odyssey that sometimes stumbles but ultimately soars.

Next Wednesday evening, Plácido Domingo, the opera megastar who has recently been accused of sexual misconduct by 20 women, is scheduled to start a run of performances of Verdi's Macbeth at the most famous opera house in the United States: New York's Metropolitan Opera.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

YouTube

By and large, 1969 was a transformative year in the U.S.

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

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Like an unkillable horror-flick villain, Silvio Berlusconi repeatedly clawed himself back from the grave, becoming prime minister in four Italian governments. Loro depicts the media-mogul-turned-politician in the period of his 2008 comeback, but it doesn't primarily tell the story of that resurrection. Director Paolo Sorrentino's stylish but overloaded satire is less sober narrative than drunken tone poem — a buzzing, throbbing attempt to simulate the experience of living in Berlusconi-world.

Flamboyant, terrifying, and pointedly timely, Matt Tyrnauer's documentary Where's My Roy Cohn? tells the story of one of America's most notorious political fixers while grounding him in an American half-century that allowed him to seed, and thrive on, its worst impulses.

'Ad Astra' Soars

Sep 19, 2019

With its austere surfaces and jaundiced view of humanity's interplanetary destiny, James Gray's stirring sci-fi epic Ad Astra can't help but evoke Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, the paterfamilias of all "serious" space movies. But in fact it's a closer cousin to another long-delayed, wildly over-budget spectacle that initially fared better with ticket-buyers than critics, only to be revealed in time as a masterpiece: Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now.

There is nostalgia, and there is Downton Abbey.

Nostalgia bathes the past in a golden light that falls patchily, shining clear and steady on what was tidy and genteel, while leaving an era's ugliest, most brutal recesses sunk in shadow.

For many observers of modern jazz, pianist Jason Moran became a known entity 20 years ago, with the release of his debut album. For Adrienne Edwards, curator of performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art, his name first circulated more recently, as a kind of rumor.

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

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The new movie "Ad Astra" stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut traveling to Neptune in search of his missing father, who is played by Tommy Lee Jones.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM, "AD ASTRA")

Americans eat an average of 16 pounds of fish each year, and that number is growing. But how to meet our demand for fish is a controversial question, one that is entering a new chapter as the Environmental Protection Agency seeks to approve the nation's only aquaculture pen in federal waters.

As lead singer and guitarist of Alabama Shakes, Brittany Howard has earned her accolades and then some. Since 2009, the band has won four Grammys, performed at the White House and heralded some of roots rock's biggest hits this decade. Still, Howard feels the urge to try something new every few years.

For Arizona Diamondbacks fans who like to stick to the basics at home games, peanuts, popcorn, and Cracker Jack remain obvious options. But for those whose game-day taste borders on outrageous, Stephen Tilder, executive chef at Chase Field in Phoenix, has some options.

You can get 18-inch bratwursts adorned with everything from tater tots to fried eggs.

Chase Field is among the stadiums nationwide that now tout menus brimming with outrageous edible novelties.

With the ease of uploading music online, Internet sensations are made every day. But for one rising bedroom pop artist, it was truly accidental ... almost.

Until recently, mxmtoon — who otherwise prefers to go by her first name, Maia — kept her music a secret from the people in her immediate life. Now, with her debut album, the masquerade, mxmtoon is slowly peeling back the layers of her online persona.

For the first time in half a century, the U.S. government just revised the way that it inspects pork slaughterhouses. The change has been long in coming. It's been debated, and even tried out at pilot plants, for the past 20 years. It gives pork companies themselves a bigger role in the inspection process. Critics call it privatization.

John Cohen straddled two worlds: as a photographer, he immersed himself in the avant-garde visual arts scene of 1950s New York; as a musician, he was an integral part of that city's folk revival of the same era. He was a member of the seminal New Lost City Ramblers and he used every platform he could — photography, filmmaking, writing and record producing — to preserve and celebrate the music he loved. Cohen died Monday at age 87. His death was announced on social media by his son, Rufus Cohen.

Danny Brown Finds Peace On 'Best Life'

Sep 17, 2019

YouTube

In a hip-hop landscape where celebrity is suffocating and fan bases are becoming pressure cookers, it is reassuring that Dan

This year marks 300 years since the publication of Daniel Defoe's blockbuster novel Robinson Crusoe. And while its hero is rightly hailed as fiction's most famous castaway, he can just as equally stake his claim to another — more culinary — title.

Robinson Crusoe: patron saint of the kitchen hack.

This is the man who grew, ground and baked his own organic, artisanal bread from scratch — with nary a Kitchenaid mixer in sight.

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

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

MoviePass is no more. The movie ticket subscription service is shutting down. But despite its failure as a business, NPR's Vincent Acovino reports it may have succeeded in disrupting the movie theater business model.

Walking around a park near Allentown, Pa., I didn't even notice the bugs at first. Then Heather Leach arrived. She's an insect expert from Penn State University.

Pages