Arts & Culture

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

Before Sarah Hepola got sober five years ago, she considered alcohol to be "the fuel of all adventure." These adventures included taking off her clothes in public, pouring beer on people's heads and waking up in strangers' beds. Frequently, Hepola didn't remember these incidents afterward because she had been in an alcohol-induced blackout.

Artists Transform Coffee Spills Into Masterpieces

Jul 30, 2015

Ever splashed yourself with coffee or sat a dripping cup down on a white tablecloth? Then you're well aware of the beverage's staining powers. But where some see a ruined shirt, others have found a canvas.

For artist Maria Aristidou, it all started with a latte. "I was working on another commission using watercolors, when all the sudden, I spilled all over the drawing," she says.

In the summer of 1975, Teamsters President James Riddle Hoffa — Jimmy Hoffa — was already a legendary figure in both U.S. labor history and in American pop culture.

As a teenager in Detroit, he took to union organizing early on in the grocery business. He was smart and tough. With an emphasis on tough. A master strategist, he knew how to pick his targets, organize strikes and boycotts, and he rose through the Teamster ranks earning the deep loyalty of truckers and warehouse workers in a city that was becoming an industrial powerhouse.

There's something meaningful, almost defiant, about the title of Lauren Holmes' debut, Barbara the Slut and Other People. It's not the first part, either; while the word "slut" is still frequently used as a term of abuse, it has lost some of the power to shock that it had a few decades ago. It's the final few words — "and other people," not "and other stories," which is the usual naming convention for short story collections.

Do Fish Names Encourage Fishy Business?

Jul 30, 2015

Order a rockfish at a restaurant in Maryland, and you'll likely get a striped bass. Place the same order in California, and you could end up with a vermilion rockfish, a Pacific Ocean perch or one of dozens of other fish species on your plate.

This jumble of names is perfectly legal. But it's confusing to diners — and it can hamper efforts to combat illegal fishing and seafood fraud, says the ocean conservation group Oceana.

'Baby' Is A Pretty Feat Of Misdirection

Jul 30, 2015

A novelist friend once told me she loves the TV series American Crime because it focuses on "the other people affected, the ones you never hear about, when a crime happens." You might think creators of fiction, like my friend, would be the first to consider "the other people affected," but finding a suspense novel that upends both the linearity and the nature of what constitutes "crime" occurs less than I might like.

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Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Why You Buggin'?

Jul 29, 2015

It's summertime, and you know what that means: lots of time outside, and lots of bug bites to go with it. Grab your DEET-free bug spray for this final round — every answer here is an insect, arthropod, or arachnid.

Heard in Wet Hot American Summer: Batteries Not Included

First Day Of Camp

Jul 29, 2015

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