Arts & Culture

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

If the popularity of quinoa has taught us anything, it's that Americans are increasingly open about exploring grains besides the familiar wheat and rice. Now, researchers at Tennessee State University are hoping consumers are ready to give another ancient grain a try: amaranth.

Amaranth was revered by the Aztecs in Mexico. Today in the U.S., it's mostly grown in people's backyards or on research farms, like an experimental field at Tennessee State University.

If fashion is art, Sonia Rykiel is considered a master. Women's Wear Daily dubbed her the "queen of knitwear" — though she was the first to admit she didn't know how to knit — and her designs have been shown in museums. Rykiel, who had Parkinson's disease, died Thursday morning at her home in Paris. She was 86.

It's a hot day in the nuclear post-apocalyptic wasteland, and you've spent all afternoon fighting off mutated zombie creatures. What you probably need right now is a nice, cold soda.

Chances are, if you're playing a video game, there's some sort of soda machine right around the corner. Jess Morrissette has the evidence to prove it.

The Pain Of Police Killings Can Last Decades

Aug 25, 2016

In recent months, the nation has witnessed how questionable police shootings of African Americans can spark anger and unrest across a community. But long after the demonstrations end, the streets go quiet and the cameras leave, families of those killed have to find ways to cope with their loss. And that's a private struggle that can last for decades and across generations.

Cordero Ducksworth has lived that struggle. He was 5 years old in 1962, when his father, Army Corporal Roman Ducksworth, Jr., was shot to death by William Kelly, a white Taylorsville, Miss. police officer.

Who knew the most traditional-feeling romantic comedy this fall might show up on YouTube?

It's not that YouTube hasn't been making strides in original content; they've been pushing forward in that area for some time. But now that they've established YouTube Red, their premium streaming service, they seem to be getting a little bit more serious and direct about competing for a broader range of viewers with straight-up television, both on broadcast and cable and on services like Netflix and Amazon.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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'The Couple Next Door' Ratchets Up Parenting Paranoia

Aug 25, 2016

Novels about missing children aren't, well, novel — but there's a special terror for anyone who has loved a baby when the missing child is an infant, unable to walk or climb or otherwise toddle into danger. Shari Lapena's The Couple Next Door examines the blind fear a couple in upstate New York experience when they return from a dinner party (yes, next door) and discover their beloved daughter is no longer in her crib.

It's the summer of 1998 and I'm at the mall with my mom and my sister Anna, who has just turned 5. I'm 7. Anna and I are cranky from being too hot, then too cold, then too bored. We keep touching things we are not supposed to touch, and by the time Mom drags us to the register, the cashier seems a little on edge.

"They're mixed, aren't they?" she says. "I can tell by the hair."

Mom doesn't smile, and Mom always smiles. "I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about," she says.

Later, in the kitchen, there is a conversation.

There's no denying it: The architecture on the National Mall commands a kind of weighty reverence. From the neoclassical columns of the Capitol dome to the immense, white marble of the Lincoln Memorial, charm does not seem to have been the design goal for the nation's front lawn. Save for one standout: the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building, which, until this summer, had been chained shut for years.

Barbie at the Louvre?! Sacré bleu! But it's true — the impeccably dressed blonde bombshell has her very own exhibition in Paris. As a '70s feminist, I've always disparaged that doll — a wasp-waisted, clothes-horse, sex pot. But for all the Barbie lovers out there, I paid a visit to the lavish exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs at the Louvre Palais.

It's important to say right upfront that this isn't a story about pedophile priests.

Bridie Farrell is Roman Catholic, but she says it was an adult mentor for her sports team, not a priest, who sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

"It happened at his house, in his car, in his hotel room," Farrell says.

Farrell did what a lot of kids do when they're molested: She kept silent. But 18 years later, when she was 31 years old, she went public with her story.

The Bombay to Barcelona Library Cafe sits on one side of a noisy street in a lower-middle-class neighborhood of Mumbai, India, not far from the city's swanky new international airport.

Texas Bookseller Picks 3 Summer Reads

Aug 24, 2016

Julia Green of Front Street Books in Alpine, Texas, recommends Moonlight on Linoleum by Terry Helwig, City of Women by David R. Gillham and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly.

Maayan Silver

If you frequent a coffee shop, you probably recognize some familiar faces: people you notice every day who stop in for their coffee and who chat with other patrons and the staff.  You know, the regulars.

For Lake Effect's coffee series, we wanted to know why these people become regulars at a coffee shop and what this says about the role of coffee shops in our lives.

Canada's Mounties Say Female Officers Can Wear Hijabs

Aug 24, 2016

Canada's national police force says it is allowing women in its ranks to wear the hijab.

A spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, known as the Mounties, recently approved the headscarf for its Muslim officers.

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