1. A debut novel by Yelena Akhtiorskaya puts a fresh, comic spin on the age-old coming to America story. Her novel is called Panic in a Suitcase and Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan has a review: 

I can’t tell you the names of my great-grandparents, left behind in Poland and Ireland, because nobody ever mentioned them.  The break was that final.  
These days of course, it’s different.  Within the space of a few hours, people can fly across oceans; through skyping and e-mail, they can electronically commute between Old World and New.  Three cheers for The March of Progress, right?  Except, if you want to make a definitive break how can you when the Old World is always calling you on the phone, texting, and crashing on your living room couch for extended visits? That’s the crucial question Yelena Akhtiorskaya mulls over in her sharply observed and very funny debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase.  Akhtiorskaya, who was born in Odessa and emigrated to the Russian immigrant enclave of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn at the age of seven, writes of the fictional Nasmertov family, whose move from Old World to New imitates her own.  
View in High-Res

    A debut novel by Yelena Akhtiorskaya puts a fresh, comic spin on the age-old coming to America story. Her novel is called Panic in a Suitcase and Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan has a review: 

    I can’t tell you the names of my great-grandparents, left behind in Poland and Ireland, because nobody ever mentioned them.  The break was that final. 

    These days of course, it’s different.  Within the space of a few hours, people can fly across oceans; through skyping and e-mail, they can electronically commute between Old World and New.  Three cheers for The March of Progress, right?  Except, if you want to make a definitive break how can you when the Old World is always calling you on the phone, texting, and crashing on your living room couch for extended visits? That’s the crucial question Yelena Akhtiorskaya mulls over in her sharply observed and very funny debut novel, Panic in a Suitcase.  Akhtiorskaya, who was born in Odessa and emigrated to the Russian immigrant enclave of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn at the age of seven, writes of the fictional Nasmertov family, whose move from Old World to New imitates her own.  

  2. fresh air

    maureen corrigan

    panic in a suitcase

    book review

    yelena akhtiorskaya

  1. "All I want is education, and I am afraid of no one."
Malala Yousafzai as Rosie the Riveter.  View in High-Res

    "All I want is education, and I am afraid of no one."

    Malala Yousafzai as Rosie the Riveter. 

  2. malala yousafzai

    rosie the riveter

    eduction

    women

    girls

  1. As a veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Dr. Vint Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.
In the interview he discusses how zoos have changed to improve the animals’ well being:

"I think the most important things that zoos have done in the past 10, 20 years, is that they [have] focused primarily on the animal’s well-being. And, depending on their feedback and responses, looked at their behavior, looked at their overall happiness and contentment and used that as the gauge for what to do for the animal.
They’ve also applied as much [as] science knows about the animals in nature. What that looks like is providing them with a space that’s a lot more rich and full than just a place that is an exhibit. So it’s really shifting from not a cage, because most zoos don’t even have those anymore, but from an exhibit to a habitat. The environment is much richer and more complex rather than flat and uniform, so that we can see them.
[Zoos are] providing [animals with] opportunities to escape from view of the public — and that can be difficult for a zoo. … Visitors complain to the zoo if they can’t see the leopard, the bear or the lion. But on the other hand, if the lion doesn’t have any choice of getting away from the public at times, particularly if there [are] crowds or noisy visitors, then we’re taking away their sense of control over their environment.”
View in High-Res

    As a veterinarian who specializes in behavioral medicine, Dr. Vint Virga has treated many household pets in his clinic. But for the past five years he has been working mostly with leopards, wolves, bears, zebras and other animals living in zoos and wildlife parks. He deals with such issues as appetites, anxiety and obsessive behavior.

    In the interview he discusses how zoos have changed to improve the animals’ well being:

    "I think the most important things that zoos have done in the past 10, 20 years, is that they [have] focused primarily on the animal’s well-being. And, depending on their feedback and responses, looked at their behavior, looked at their overall happiness and contentment and used that as the gauge for what to do for the animal.

    They’ve also applied as much [as] science knows about the animals in nature. What that looks like is providing them with a space that’s a lot more rich and full than just a place that is an exhibit. So it’s really shifting from not a cage, because most zoos don’t even have those anymore, but from an exhibit to a habitat. The environment is much richer and more complex rather than flat and uniform, so that we can see them.

    [Zoos are] providing [animals with] opportunities to escape from view of the public — and that can be difficult for a zoo. … Visitors complain to the zoo if they can’t see the leopard, the bear or the lion. But on the other hand, if the lion doesn’t have any choice of getting away from the public at times, particularly if there [are] crowds or noisy visitors, then we’re taking away their sense of control over their environment.”

  2. animals

    zoo

    polar bear

    vint virga

    fresh air

    interview

  1. For the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles, John Powers reviews the Criterion DVD release:

"In the unmistakable alchemy of their sound – and in their authentic laughter as they run from shrieking fans during the film’s opening credits – The Beatles embodied the hope and vitality the world was looking for then and still loves to this day. Like Louis Armstrong, they created music that, even when sad, is bursting with joy. All those hard days and nights paid off, for more than any band I can think of, they captured the yeah-yeah-yeah of happiness."


Read the full review: 'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

Photo via Janus films  View in High-Res

    For the 50th anniversary of A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles, John Powers reviews the Criterion DVD release:

    "In the unmistakable alchemy of their sound – and in their authentic laughter as they run from shrieking fans during the film’s opening credits – The Beatles embodied the hope and vitality the world was looking for then and still loves to this day. Like Louis Armstrong, they created music that, even when sad, is bursting with joy. All those hard days and nights paid off, for more than any band I can think of, they captured the yeah-yeah-yeah of happiness."

    Read the full review: 'A Hard Day's Night': A Pop Artifact That Still Crackles With Energy

    Photo via Janus films 

  2. the beatles

    hard day's night

    criterion collection

    john powers

  1. Arthur Allen's book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, tells the story of two scientists—one Christian and one Jewish—who battled typhus and sabotaged the Nazis during WWII. 
Transmitted by body lice, typhus killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during the war. Today’s interview explores the labor-intensive process of making the vaccine and the way the lab sabotaged the Nazis by weakening their vaccines and sneaking doses into Jewish ghettos. 
Allen explains how the Nazis used lice imagery after they invaded Poland: 

"The Nazis … always described the Jews as "vermin" and sometimes used the word "lice." …And this was an ideology that was belittling and obviously also associating Jews with sort of filth and contamination, parasitism — all of these things that you metaphorically can link lice to.
[The Nazis] made it very concrete after they took over the first Polish cities, that there were signs that went up all over Warsaw, for example … that would have a picture of a bearded Jew with a louse that said, “Lice, Jews, typhus,” to make that association in the minds [of] Poles — the idea of keeping them from protecting Jews, [of] seeing Jews as part of this invasive, parasitic, dangerous force that they had to avoid and exterminate.”


German anti-Jewish propaganda: “Jews, lice, typhus.” Poster printed in Warsaw in 1941 and distributed throughout the GG. Courtesy of ŻIH. View in High-Res

    Arthur Allen's book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, tells the story of two scientists—one Christian and one Jewish—who battled typhus and sabotaged the Nazis during WWII. 

    Transmitted by body lice, typhus killed untold numbers of soldiers and civilians during the war. Today’s interview explores the labor-intensive process of making the vaccine and the way the lab sabotaged the Nazis by weakening their vaccines and sneaking doses into Jewish ghettos. 

    Allen explains how the Nazis used lice imagery after they invaded Poland: 

    "The Nazis … always described the Jews as "vermin" and sometimes used the word "lice." …And this was an ideology that was belittling and obviously also associating Jews with sort of filth and contamination, parasitism — all of these things that you metaphorically can link lice to.

    [The Nazis] made it very concrete after they took over the first Polish cities, that there were signs that went up all over Warsaw, for example … that would have a picture of a bearded Jew with a louse that said, “Lice, Jews, typhus,” to make that association in the minds [of] Poles — the idea of keeping them from protecting Jews, [of] seeing Jews as part of this invasive, parasitic, dangerous force that they had to avoid and exterminate.”

    German anti-Jewish propaganda: “Jews, lice, typhus.” Poster printed in Warsaw in 1941 and distributed throughout the GG. Courtesy of ŻIH.

  2. typhus

    jewish history

    WWII

    science

    history

    holocaust

    aruthur allen

    fresh air

    terry gross

  1. Today we’re playing an excerpt of Terry’s interview with Elaine Stritch, a performer lucky enough to have debuted songs by Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim, and to have been coached by each of them.  She died last Thursday at the age of 89. 
Stritch used to describe herself as “a Catholic, diabetic, alcoholic, pain in the ass.”  Her Broadway career began in 1946.  She was Ethel Merman’s understudy in the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam in the early 50s, and starred in Noel Coward’s 1961 Broadway musical Sail Away, in a role that he expanded to suit her large talent.   In 1970 she co-starred in the Sondheim musical Company, where she sang what became one of her signature songs, The Ladies Who Lunch.  In 2002, she was on Broadway in her autobiographical one woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty.   In 2010, she replaced Angela Lansbury in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.  TV audiences knew her from 30 Rock playing Alec Baldwin’s mother. 
Terry spoke with Stritch in 1999, when she was starring in a revival of Sail Away, in honor of Noel Coward’s centennial.  View in High-Res

    Today we’re playing an excerpt of Terry’s interview with Elaine Stritch, a performer lucky enough to have debuted songs by Noel Coward and Stephen Sondheim, and to have been coached by each of them.  She died last Thursday at the age of 89. 

    Stritch used to describe herself as “a Catholic, diabetic, alcoholic, pain in the ass.”  Her Broadway career began in 1946.  She was Ethel Merman’s understudy in the Irving Berlin musical Call Me Madam in the early 50s, and starred in Noel Coward’s 1961 Broadway musical Sail Away, in a role that he expanded to suit her large talent.   In 1970 she co-starred in the Sondheim musical Company, where she sang what became one of her signature songs, The Ladies Who Lunch.  In 2002, she was on Broadway in her autobiographical one woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty.   In 2010, she replaced Angela Lansbury in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music.  TV audiences knew her from 30 Rock playing Alec Baldwin’s mother. 

    Terry spoke with Stritch in 1999, when she was starring in a revival of Sail Away, in honor of Noel Coward’s centennial. 

  2. elaine stritch

    sail away

    broadway

    30 rock

    At Liberty

    noel coward

    stephen sondheim

  1. Posted on 22 July, 2014

    551 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from totalfilm

    PS. Allison Janney is recording with us this afternoon. Stay tuned!

    PS. Allison Janney is recording with us this afternoon. Stay tuned!

  2. allison janney

    masters of sex

    juno

    west wing

    the help

  1. Posted on 21 July, 2014

    1,083 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from guardian

    guardian:

Flooding from summer storms that brought parts of Britain to a halt over the weekend is gradually subsiding and forecasters say much of the country will enjoy dry weather on Monday and over the coming week. 
• Lightning strikes the UK - in pictures
Lightning illuminates Brighton pier, East Sussex. Photo: Max Langran/Apex
View in High-Res

    guardian:

    Flooding from summer storms that brought parts of Britain to a halt over the weekend is gradually subsiding and forecasters say much of the country will enjoy dry weather on Monday and over the coming week. 

    • Lightning strikes the UK - in pictures

    Lightning illuminates Brighton pier, East Sussex. Photo: Max Langran/Apex

  2. lightning

    guardian

  1. As the great, great grandson of Texas slaveholders, Chris Tomlinson wanted to find out what crimes his ancestors had committed to maintain their power and privilege.   In his new book Tomlinson Hill, he writes about the slave-owning part of his family tree.  He also writes about slaves who kept the Tomlinson name after they were freed, and traces their lineage.  
Chris Tomlinson says that he intended the book to examine America’s history of race and bigotry through the paternal lines of these two families.  Tomlinson is a journalist who spent 11 years with the associated press, reporting on wars and conflicts, mostly in Africa, including the end of apartheid and the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.  All the conflicts he covered included an element of bigotry:    


"It was inspiring to me to be in South Africa after the election [of Nelson Mandela] and to see that reckoning. Bishop Desmond Tutu established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at the time his argument was that before there can be reconciliation, you have to have a sharing of the truth and it has to be a common truth. One community can’t have one idea of what happened and the other community … a different idea. If you want them to reconcile, they have to agree about what happened. And that requires — for lack of a better word — confession and contrition.
…I don’t think that’s something that’s happened in the United States. And it certainly didn’t happen in my life. And so writing this book was my opportunity to go through that process — if, for no one else, [than] for the African-American Tomlinsons and my side of the family, that we have that truth and reconciliation.”


Photo of Tomlinson Hill plantation sign, via Chris Tomlinson/ Lisa Kaselak, Fosforo Films  View in High-Res

    As the great, great grandson of Texas slaveholders, Chris Tomlinson wanted to find out what crimes his ancestors had committed to maintain their power and privilege.   In his new book Tomlinson Hill, he writes about the slave-owning part of his family tree.  He also writes about slaves who kept the Tomlinson name after they were freed, and traces their lineage.  

    Chris Tomlinson says that he intended the book to examine America’s history of race and bigotry through the paternal lines of these two families.  Tomlinson is a journalist who spent 11 years with the associated press, reporting on wars and conflicts, mostly in Africa, including the end of apartheid and the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide.  All the conflicts he covered included an element of bigotry:    

    "It was inspiring to me to be in South Africa after the election [of Nelson Mandela] and to see that reckoning. Bishop Desmond Tutu established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and at the time his argument was that before there can be reconciliation, you have to have a sharing of the truth and it has to be a common truth. One community can’t have one idea of what happened and the other community … a different idea. If you want them to reconcile, they have to agree about what happened. And that requires — for lack of a better word — confession and contrition.

    …I don’t think that’s something that’s happened in the United States. And it certainly didn’t happen in my life. And so writing this book was my opportunity to go through that process — if, for no one else, [than] for the African-American Tomlinsons and my side of the family, that we have that truth and reconciliation.”

    Photo of Tomlinson Hill plantation sign, via Chris Tomlinson/ Lisa Kaselak, Fosforo Films 

  2. slavery

    racism

    apartheid

    south africa

    tomlinson hill

  1. Posted on 18 July, 2014

    4,039 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from a-n-d-o-k

    (Source: a-n-d-o-k)

  2. books

  1. “I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.”
-Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here. 




Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns View in High-Res

    I think it’s very important to live in the present. One of the great things that improvising teaches you is the magic of the moment that you’re in … because when you improvise you’re in right now. You’re not in yesterday or tomorrow—you’re right in the moment. Being in that moment really gives you a perspective of life that you never get at any other time as far as learning about your ego… You have to see your unimportance before you can see your importance and your significance to the world.

    -Charlie Haden, jazz bass player 1937 - 2014 

    In remembrance of Haden we put together some of his best interview moments. He spoke to Terry five times, beginning in 1983. You can listen to the show and read more quotes here

    Photo: Charlie Haden, bass, performs at the BIM Huis on May 18, 1989 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. by Frans Schellekens/Redferns

  2. music

    jazz

    charlie haden

    fresh air

    interview

    terry gross

  1. "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."  - Nelson Mandela 
 
Today is Nelson Mandela Day, marked by his birthday. This is the first Mandela Day since his death last December.  View in High-Res

    "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear."  - Nelson Mandela 

     

    Today is Nelson Mandela Day, marked by his birthday. This is the first Mandela Day since his death last December. 

  2. nelson mandela

    courage

    fear

    south africa

  1. The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of trans people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It’s written by and for transgender and gender non-conforming people.
We speak to the editor and two contributors about the book and their experiences. 
Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote the introduction to the book. She is a trans woman. In the interview we discuss transgender surgery: 

"The question of surgery is an interesting one for a couple of other reasons. For one thing, it’s the thing that traditionally in the media always gets fixated on, the question of, "Tell us about the surgery. What happens in the surgery? Have you had the surgery?"
And transgender people have, for decades, offered up their most private selves as fodder for these kinds of interviews. …But we’re trying to get to a place now where when we talk about transgender people, it’s not a conversation about a trip to the doctor’s office. And, to some degree, what is private for everyone else ought to be private for us as well.”


Photo: Transgender author and Colby College English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, shown in Belgrade Lakes, wrote the introduction to “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.” The Associated Press View in High-Res

    The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of trans people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It’s written by and for transgender and gender non-conforming people.

    We speak to the editor and two contributors about the book and their experiences. 

    Jennifer Finney Boylan wrote the introduction to the book. She is a trans woman. In the interview we discuss transgender surgery: 

    "The question of surgery is an interesting one for a couple of other reasons. For one thing, it’s the thing that traditionally in the media always gets fixated on, the question of, "Tell us about the surgery. What happens in the surgery? Have you had the surgery?"

    And transgender people have, for decades, offered up their most private selves as fodder for these kinds of interviews. …But we’re trying to get to a place now where when we talk about transgender people, it’s not a conversation about a trip to the doctor’s office. And, to some degree, what is private for everyone else ought to be private for us as well.”

    Photo: Transgender author and Colby College English professor Jennifer Finney Boylan, shown in Belgrade Lakes, wrote the introduction to “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.” The Associated Press

  2. trans

    transgender

    LGBT

    gender

  1. Macro photograph of a hummingbird by Chris Morgan via TIC
More birds View in High-Res

    Macro photograph of a hummingbird by Chris Morgan via TIC

    More birds

  2. hummingbird

    bird

    photography

  1. The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a boxed set of one of the composers he’s most associated with: Gustav Mahler. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review. View in High-Res

    The legendary German conductor Otto Klemperer was one of the most profound musicians of the 20th Century. In the 1960s, nearing the end of his career, he overcame many physical handicaps to create an astonishing body of recorded classical music. EMI has just reissued a broad spectrum of his recordings, including a boxed set of one of the composers he’s most associated with: Gustav Mahler. Classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has a review.

  2. classical music

    otto klemperer

    lloyd schwartz

    orchestra

    gustav mahler