Arts & Culture

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

Oshun Afrique is getting her 35th tattoo.

She has come to the Pinz-N-Needlez tattoo shop in Washington, D.C., where practically every inch of wall space is covered in artwork. While Afrique lounges on the sofa at the front of the small, quaint shop, owner Christopher Mensah sits at his desk and sketches her tattoo design.

Afrique came to the store after seeing Mensah's work in her Facebook news feed. She and Mensah both agree that anyone looking to get tattooed should scour online portfolios to find the right artist.

Marcelo Montecino / Flickr

The death of Cuban leader Fidel Castro marked the end of an era in several ways. Lake Effect essayist Mark Siegrist thinks a pop song is the perfect metaphor to what Castro symbolized to his generation.

Citing Belgian beer's integral role in social and culinary life, UNESCO is putting the country's rich brewing scene (with nearly 1,500 styles) on its list representing the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Belgium's beer culture is one of 16 new additions that were announced Thursday.

Other honorees include the making of flatbread in Iran, Turkey, and elsewhere; Cuba's rumba music, Egypt's Tahteeb stick game, and long-observed festivals in Japan, France, Spain and Greece.

Calamari is a favorite on American dinner tables. But while the U.S. has a thriving squid industry, chances are the calamari you are eating made a 12,000-mile round trip before ending up on your dinner plate. That, or it wasn't caught in the U.S. at all.

More than 80 percent of U.S. squid landings are exported — most of it to China. The rare percentage of that catch that stays domestically goes to Asian fresh fish markets or is used as bait.

Ironically, the lion's share of the squid consumed in the United States is imported.

Ginger Rogers And The Case Of The Authorized Editions

Dec 1, 2016

The display cases in New York's Museum of the Moving Image are crowded with manifest nostalgia: paper dolls, lunch boxes, the Ben Casey M.D. board game. And in one corner, amid a trio of unassuming but unexpected books: Ginger Rogers and The Riddle of the Scarlet Cloak.

Zlota Kurka, or Golden Hen, sits in a central Warsaw neighborhood surrounded by telecom offices and wine bars. Inside, there's a window-sized menu offering Polish-style soups, eggs, dumplings, cabbage and potatoes, all cooked by women in flowered aprons and schoolteacher glasses.

Author Andrea Davis Pinkney used to sleep with a copy of The Snowy Day. "I loved that book — it was like a pillow to me," she says.

You can hear Harold Lopez-Nussa's training when he plays. The 33-year-old pianist is reluctant to admit the classical influence on his jazz playing, but he's quick to acknowledge that he, like many other great Cuban pianists, was classically trained. "This is the school that we have to learn music in Cuba; it's classical," he says. "I did all my stuff there from 8 years old to 25."

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says it's hard to know how many people in the U.S. actually have food allergies or whether they're on the rise.

Part of the challenge is this: Food allergies are often self-diagnosed and symptoms can be misinterpreted. Sometimes people can't distinguish a food allergy from other conditions such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, which don't fit the medical definition of an allergy.

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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

If any image haunts TV news, and perhaps our conscience, it's the seemingly ceaseless river of migrants seeking refuge from war, dictatorship and poverty. These desperate souls inspire pity, fear and election-year arguments about whether to offer them welcome or keep them out.

Penguin Random House

Winston Churchill was the prime minister of the United Kingdom during the dark days of World War II. This was during a time when Britain seemed to stand alone against Nazi Germany. Churchill’s leadership is largely credited for keeping up the spirit of the British people, especially during the German air blitz and the allied defeat at the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940.

It was in 1974 that William Christenberry found the little red house.

The photographer and painter, a vital chronicler of rural Alabama, came across the building standing alone among the pine trees, deep in the Talladega National Forest. All he had with him was his tiny, no-frills Brownie camera — a long-cherished gift that "Santa brought my sister and me."

NIAID / Wikimedia

You are currently surrounded by microbes. These single-cell organisms are the oldest life forms on earth and are by far the most abundant. And although they can’t be seen with the naked eye, microbes are the force behind all life on earth. 

It’s this hidden world all around us that inspired Animolecules, a sci-dance show conceived and created by Quasimondo Milwaukee Physical Theater and co-directors Jenny Reinke and Brian Rott. 

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