1. George Takei became famous for his role in Star Trek as Mr. Sulu, but in the last decade, he’s drawn followers who admire him because of who he is—not just who he has played. The new documentary about his life is called To Be Takei.
He joins Fresh Air to talk about growing up in a Japanese internment camp, avoiding stereotypical roles, and coming out as gay at 68. 
Here he explains why he was closeted for most of his life: 

The thing that affected me in the early part of my career was … there was a very popular box office movie star — blonde, good-looking, good actor — named Tab Hunter. He was in almost every other movie that came out. He was stunningly good-looking and all-American in looks. And then one of the scandals sheets of that time — sort of like The Inquirertoday — exposed him as gay. And suddenly and abruptly, his career came to a stop.That was, to me, chilling and stunning. I was a young no-name actor, aspiring to build this career — and I knew that [if] it were known that I was gay, then there would be no point to my pursuing that career. I desperately and passionately wanted a career as an actor, so I chose to be in the closet. I lived a double life. And that means you always have your guard up. And it’s a very, very difficult and challenging way to live a life.

Photo by Kevin Scanlon via LA Weekly  View in High-Res

    George Takei became famous for his role in Star Trek as Mr. Sulu, but in the last decade, he’s drawn followers who admire him because of who he is—not just who he has played. The new documentary about his life is called To Be Takei.

    He joins Fresh Air to talk about growing up in a Japanese internment camp, avoiding stereotypical roles, and coming out as gay at 68. 

    Here he explains why he was closeted for most of his life: 

    The thing that affected me in the early part of my career was … there was a very popular box office movie star — blonde, good-looking, good actor — named Tab Hunter. He was in almost every other movie that came out. He was stunningly good-looking and all-American in looks. And then one of the scandals sheets of that time — sort of like The Inquirertoday — exposed him as gay. And suddenly and abruptly, his career came to a stop.

    That was, to me, chilling and stunning. I was a young no-name actor, aspiring to build this career — and I knew that [if] it were known that I was gay, then there would be no point to my pursuing that career. I desperately and passionately wanted a career as an actor, so I chose to be in the closet. I lived a double life. And that means you always have your guard up. And it’s a very, very difficult and challenging way to live a life.

    Photo by Kevin Scanlon via LA Weekly 

  2. george takei

    to be takei

    star trek

    lgbt

    hollywood

    fresh air

    terry gross

    interview

  1. Project Runway’s Tim Gunn spoke to Terry Gross about being gay in the ’60s and ’70s vs. being gay today: 

"[In] the late 1960s going into the early ’70s, [being gay] was considered to be something you ‘fixed.’ This was an adolescent psychiatric hospital, so people were teens into early 20s, and there were some people there who were there to have their gayness ‘fixed.’ So for me, it was like treating a disease — you have to do something about it. … I remember thinking, ‘I have enough issues without adding this to the list.’ I thought, ‘Oh, God, but for the grace of God, there go I.’
On the one hand, I’m not envious of any young person who is going through a struggle with their sexual identity, I’m not envious at all — but on the other hand, there’s so many more and more positive role models these days. When I was kid, who were the gay people? They were the decorators in the Doris Day movies, they’re the fashion designers, they’re flitting about. I mean, I think about Paul Lynde on Bewitched, I mean, he was a caricature. And today, we recognize that every flavor of humanity comes in every possible size, and color, and shape, and we have so much more awareness of the diversity of everyone. Whenever anyone tries to stereotype gay men, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s just as many who live like slobs!’”


The premiere of season 13 of Project Runway aired last night.  View in High-Res

    Project Runway’s Tim Gunn spoke to Terry Gross about being gay in the ’60s and ’70s vs. being gay today: 

    "[In] the late 1960s going into the early ’70s, [being gay] was considered to be something you ‘fixed.’ This was an adolescent psychiatric hospital, so people were teens into early 20s, and there were some people there who were there to have their gayness ‘fixed.’ So for me, it was like treating a disease — you have to do something about it. … I remember thinking, ‘I have enough issues without adding this to the list.’ I thought, ‘Oh, God, but for the grace of God, there go I.’

    On the one hand, I’m not envious of any young person who is going through a struggle with their sexual identity, I’m not envious at all — but on the other hand, there’s so many more and more positive role models these days. When I was kid, who were the gay people? They were the decorators in the Doris Day movies, they’re the fashion designers, they’re flitting about. I mean, I think about Paul Lynde on Bewitched, I mean, he was a caricature. And today, we recognize that every flavor of humanity comes in every possible size, and color, and shape, and we have so much more awareness of the diversity of everyone. Whenever anyone tries to stereotype gay men, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s just as many who live like slobs!’”

    The premiere of season 13 of Project Runway aired last night. 

  2. tim gunn

    fashion

    LGBT

    project runway

    fresh air

    interview

  1. David Edelstein reviews A Most Wanted Man, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman: 


Part of me wishes that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final lead performance, in A Most Wanted Man, wasn’t very good. I know that sounds perverse. But if he’d been flailing as an actor at the end, it would make his loss easier to bear from an artistic—if not a human—perspective. The thing is, though, the actor we see in this movie is at his absolute peak. This might even be my favorite Hoffman performance of all, damn it. 


  View in High-Res

    David Edelstein reviews A Most Wanted Man, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman:

    Part of me wishes that Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final lead performance, in A Most Wanted Man, wasn’t very good. I know that sounds perverse. But if he’d been flailing as an actor at the end, it would make his loss easier to bear from an artistic—if not a human—perspective. The thing is, though, the actor we see in this movie is at his absolute peak. This might even be my favorite Hoffman performance of all, damn it.

     

  2. philip seymour hoffman

    a most wanted man

    david edelstein

    movie review

    fresh air

  1. Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler  just got back from Iraq where she documented tales of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) forcing mass expulsions and murders of Christians and ethnic minorities who are told to convert. Tayler explains the recent edict ISIS issued for Christians in the city of Mosul: 

"ISIS issued an edict around mid-July and it said, "You’ve got three choices: convert, pay us a jihad tax, get out of town—and if you don’t do those, you’ll face the sword."
This was, of course, an absolutely chilling message. It was disseminated throughout the city and on the Internet as well, and at that point most of the Christians had already fled Mosul, but the few remaining families, and we’re still talking several hundred, apparently, just packed up and left. Some left with nothing but the clothes on backs, others piled whatever precious possessions they could into their cars and some of them then found at ISIS checkpoints that they were robbed of those few precious possessions that they had hoped to bring out with them. So it has been an absolutely terrifying part of a broader campaign to “cleanse” … Mosul and surrounding areas, of anyone who does not espouse this strict interpretation of Sharia that ISIS espouses.” 

Propaganda image of ISIS via NBC news  View in High-Res

    Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler  just got back from Iraq where she documented tales of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) forcing mass expulsions and murders of Christians and ethnic minorities who are told to convert. Tayler explains the recent edict ISIS issued for Christians in the city of Mosul: 

    "ISIS issued an edict around mid-July and it said, "You’ve got three choices: convert, pay us a jihad tax, get out of town—and if you don’t do those, you’ll face the sword."

    This was, of course, an absolutely chilling message. It was disseminated throughout the city and on the Internet as well, and at that point most of the Christians had already fled Mosul, but the few remaining families, and we’re still talking several hundred, apparently, just packed up and left. Some left with nothing but the clothes on backs, others piled whatever precious possessions they could into their cars and some of them then found at ISIS checkpoints that they were robbed of those few precious possessions that they had hoped to bring out with them. So it has been an absolutely terrifying part of a broader campaign to “cleanse” … Mosul and surrounding areas, of anyone who does not espouse this strict interpretation of Sharia that ISIS espouses.”
     

    Propaganda image of ISIS via NBC news 

  2. ISIS

    iraq

    terrorism

    human rights watch

    letta tayler

    interview

    fresh air

  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. 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. 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. “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. Angela Ricketts' husband was deployed eight times—four of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. She joined us to talk about the culture at home on the military bases, the responsibilities of being an officer’s wife, and the relationships she formed with other infantry wives. Ricketts’ new memoir is called No Man’s War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife: 

"The "black soul" is the numbness that you reach a point after the first few deployments — it just rips your gut out when you say goodbye. And you’re just left in this puddle of tears and emotional and weepy for days. That can only happen so many times. Just like they say you can really only have your heart broken once.
…I’ve become kind of stoic in general. People cry at movies and I look at them and say, “Really? You’re really crying at this movie?” Because I just feel very unfazed by a lot of things that should faze me.”
View in High-Res

    Angela Ricketts' husband was deployed eight times—four of them to Iraq and Afghanistan. She joined us to talk about the culture at home on the military bases, the responsibilities of being an officer’s wife, and the relationships she formed with other infantry wives. Ricketts’ new memoir is called No Man’s War: Irreverent Confessions of an Infantry Wife

    "The "black soul" is the numbness that you reach a point after the first few deployments — it just rips your gut out when you say goodbye. And you’re just left in this puddle of tears and emotional and weepy for days. That can only happen so many times. Just like they say you can really only have your heart broken once.

    …I’ve become kind of stoic in general. People cry at movies and I look at them and say, “Really? You’re really crying at this movie?” Because I just feel very unfazed by a lot of things that should faze me.”

  2. army

    army wives

    interview

    fresh air

    war

    marriage

  1. Our youngest fan is keepin’ it Fresh, listening to Terry’s book, All I Did Was Ask.

Photo: Lisa O’brien and baby Ruby May Berger, from Christine Dempsey, WHYY’s Vice-President, Chief Content Officer

View in High-Res

    Our youngest fan is keepin’ it Fresh, listening to Terry’s book, All I Did Was Ask.

    Photo: Lisa O’brien and baby Ruby May Berger, from Christine Dempsey, WHYY’s Vice-President, Chief Content Officer

  2. fresh air

    terry gross

    all i did was ask

    public radio

  1. Journalist Beth Macy documents the collapse of the American furniture industry and its human cost in her new book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local, and Helped Save an American Town.
She profiles John Bassett III, a determined owner who fought back against the foreign onslaught — both by filing anti-dumping charges with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Chinese firms, and by making his own company more competitive.
When Chinese companies started manufacturing furniture, the Bassett Company, based in Virginia, watched their once vibrant Virginia town become vacant. Thousands of workers lost their jobs.  
In today’s interview Macy tells us how the Bassett family tracked down a Chinese knock-off of their product in China:

There’s a dresser that’s just come on the scene [in 2001] in the American market and it’s a Louis-Philippe [style] dresser. It’s wholesaling for $100 and [John Bassett III] can’t figure out how the heck [the Chinese company is] able to sell it. “They can’t be making money,” he says. He has his engineer take it apart and deconstruct it piece-by-piece and price out the pieces. And he knows they have to be “dumping,” which means selling it for less than the price of the materials.
So he sends his son Wyatt, who is kind of his head business guy, he sends him and a … translator, who is a family friend, to Dalian because the stick on the back only says “Dalian, China.” It doesn’t say exactly which factory it’s from. And he sends them off to do a secret spy mission. They’re pretending that they’re looking to buy — but what they’re really looking for is that one particular dresser.
They find it after days and days of searching. They finally end up in this remote section of the province, almost to the border of North Korea, and they find it there… The gentleman running [the factory] actually meets with them and he has this very chilly one-on-one dialogue with them that’s all translated. But the guy says, basically, “Close your factories.” (Bassett’s got three factories left at the time.) “Close your three factories and let me make all of your furniture for you.”
… The translated word, and John [Bassett III] remembered it very well, was “tuition”… “This is the tuition of [China] being able to capture your market share. We’re going to sell it so cheap and with government subsidies — we’re going to be able to make all of your furniture for you.”
They ended up driving them out to this furniture industrial park, out in the country and there [are] just stacks and stacks of timber… When [Wyatt] saw all that Russian timber laid out they knew [the Chinese] were serious. And they knew they were going to war.


Photo: An abandoned lumber mill in Martinsville, Virginia, 2010. via the New Yorker View in High-Res

    Journalist Beth Macy documents the collapse of the American furniture industry and its human cost in her new book Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local, and Helped Save an American Town.

    She profiles John Bassett III, a determined owner who fought back against the foreign onslaught — both by filing anti-dumping charges with the U.S. International Trade Commission against Chinese firms, and by making his own company more competitive.

    When Chinese companies started manufacturing furniture, the Bassett Company, based in Virginia, watched their once vibrant Virginia town become vacant. Thousands of workers lost their jobs.  

    In today’s interview Macy tells us how the Bassett family tracked down a Chinese knock-off of their product in China:

    There’s a dresser that’s just come on the scene [in 2001] in the American market and it’s a Louis-Philippe [style] dresser. It’s wholesaling for $100 and [John Bassett III] can’t figure out how the heck [the Chinese company is] able to sell it. “They can’t be making money,” he says. He has his engineer take it apart and deconstruct it piece-by-piece and price out the pieces. And he knows they have to be “dumping,” which means selling it for less than the price of the materials.

    So he sends his son Wyatt, who is kind of his head business guy, he sends him and a … translator, who is a family friend, to Dalian because the stick on the back only says “Dalian, China.” It doesn’t say exactly which factory it’s from. And he sends them off to do a secret spy mission. They’re pretending that they’re looking to buy — but what they’re really looking for is that one particular dresser.

    They find it after days and days of searching. They finally end up in this remote section of the province, almost to the border of North Korea, and they find it there… The gentleman running [the factory] actually meets with them and he has this very chilly one-on-one dialogue with them that’s all translated. But the guy says, basically, “Close your factories.” (Bassett’s got three factories left at the time.) “Close your three factories and let me make all of your furniture for you.”

    … The translated word, and John [Bassett III] remembered it very well, was “tuition”… “This is the tuition of [China] being able to capture your market share. We’re going to sell it so cheap and with government subsidies — we’re going to be able to make all of your furniture for you.”

    They ended up driving them out to this furniture industrial park, out in the country and there [are] just stacks and stacks of timber… When [Wyatt] saw all that Russian timber laid out they knew [the Chinese] were serious. And they knew they were going to war.

    Photo: An abandoned lumber mill in Martinsville, Virginia, 2010. via the New Yorker

  2. bassett furniture

    beth macy

    interview

    fresh air

    virginia

    manufacturing

    china

    economy

  1. We got more bounce at Fresh Air. 

Molly and Sam (Sam working a little bit harder) and staying on the ball. Phyllis, Dorothy and Terry (!) have balls on the way.  View in High-Res

    We got more bounce at Fresh Air. 

    Molly and Sam (Sam working a little bit harder) and staying on the ball. Phyllis, Dorothy and Terry (!) have balls on the way. 

  2. bounce

    fitness

    ball

    fresh air

    radio

    office

  1. The Art of Dog-Earing: Yes, Terry Reads The Books View in High-Res

    The Art of Dog-Earing: Yes, Terry Reads The Books

  2. fresh air

    terry gross

    reading

    books

    research

  1. Usually when characters age in movies, they’re covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics – or directors use different actors as the character ages. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.
The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.
Director Richard Linklater told what it was like to cast a 6 year-old boy (Ellar Coltrane) not knowing who he would become: 

"It was a huge leap. I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting. I liked the way his mind worked — he was a little mysterious and sensitive and very thoughtful. He was cut from no ordinary cloth. He was homeschooled and his parents were artists and I thought, "Well, that’s cool, there’ll be some family support for this undertaking. It will be a fun thing to do in his life."
So I think I had the family support but as far as he goes, you kind of have to admit that your main collaborator here has a really unknown future. But I would have each year to incrementally adjust and maybe go toward who he was becoming. That was sort of the design of the movie.”

Boyhood .gif of Ellar Coltrane via CBC 

    Usually when characters age in movies, they’re covered with makeup and outfitted with prosthetics – or directors use different actors as the character ages. But in the new film Boyhood, none of that is necessary.

    The film takes place over the course of 12 years, and it was shot over the course of 12 years. So we watch the actors getting older for real, which gives their characters a sense of authenticity.

    Director Richard Linklater told what it was like to cast a 6 year-old boy (Ellar Coltrane) not knowing who he would become: 

    "It was a huge leap. I just went with a kid who seemed kind of the most interesting. I liked the way his mind worked — he was a little mysterious and sensitive and very thoughtful. He was cut from no ordinary cloth. He was homeschooled and his parents were artists and I thought, "Well, that’s cool, there’ll be some family support for this undertaking. It will be a fun thing to do in his life."

    So I think I had the family support but as far as he goes, you kind of have to admit that your main collaborator here has a really unknown future. But I would have each year to incrementally adjust and maybe go toward who he was becoming. That was sort of the design of the movie.”

    Boyhood .gif of Ellar Coltrane via CBC 

  2. boyhood

    richard linklater

    ellar coltrane

    film

    interview

    fresh air

  1. Laurence Packer loves bees. "Passion is a bit of an understatement, maybe I’m obsessed," he tells us.  His book, Keeping the Bees: Why All Bees are at Risk and What We Can Do to Save Themexplores what exactly bees do and why its so important that we protect them. In today’s interview he explains how pollination can affect fruit and vegetable crops: 

    "A nice, economically valuable watermelon that’s large and quite round and not malformed requires a couple of thousand pollen grains to be deposited. And that might require seven or so different visits of a bee to the flower.

    In California, where these studies have been done in the most detail, there are 40 different species of bees that will perform that service. If not enough pollen gets onto the watermelon you get a [misshapen] one. And if you don’t get any pollen, you don’t get any watermelon at all.

    Some crops are entirely dependent upon pollination. Others don’t require pollinators at all, such as cereal grains. Others are pollinated by the wind, such as grapes. But most of the tastiest products from plants — such as most fruits and vegetables — these require pollination for the development for the fruit or the vegetable, or at least for the propagation of the vegetable plants through seeds.”

    Photos: Sam Droege/Flickr and Wayne Boo/Flickr

  2. bees

    honey

    pollen

    vegetables

    science

    fresh air

    interview