Arts & Culture

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

If you really want to understand a place, writer Colin Dickey has some advice: "Ignore the boastful monuments and landmarks, and go straight to the haunted houses. Look for the darkened graveyards, the derelict hotels, the emptied and decaying old hospitals."

Dickey has spent a lot of time travelling the country searching for places that go bump in the night. The result is a new book called Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places.

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I was born to a white American mother and a Syrian-Armenian father. His family is Armenian, but lived in Kessab, Syria, before immigrating to Massachusetts. But growing up, I had little contact with his family and culture, including its rich Syrian and Armenian food traditions. His own presence in my life is limited and distorted by his history of violence towards my mother.

America has a long and storied history with marijuana. Once grown by American colonists to make hemp rope, by 1970, it was classified as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Possession of it was — and is — a federal crime, despite the fact that in recent years 25 states have legalized medical marijuana and four states and the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis for recreational use.

Coffee lovers, alert! A new report says that the world's coffee supply may be in danger due to climate change. In the world's biggest coffee-producing nation, Brazil, the effects of warming temperatures are already being felt in some communities.

Comic book fans are familiar with the idea of the multiverse: alternate worlds very similar to ours but different enough for plots to come and go without affecting long-term story arcs.

Well, on the Earth-3 where Hillary Clinton is running for president against a traditional, disciplined Republican – and not a Donald Trump, who has declared civil war on other Republican leaders – WikiLeaks' decision to post Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's private emails would be a major, major news story right now.

Time & The Mystery: Conversations With Mike Mangione /

Musician Mike Mangione has released a handful of albums over the last ten years, worked with a variety of notable names in the business and toured around the country and the world.

The Chicago native and Milwaukee area resident is still doing that, but he’s added a little something new to his resume – podcast host. Mangione’s podcast is called Time and the Mystery.

Last time I worshipped in a synagogue was Sept. 5, 2014. And I won't be going today.

That might surprise my friends, who put up with my bragging ad nauseam about how Jewish I am.

Utah has been solidly Republican at the presidential level for the past 48 years. But the leaked tape of Donald Trump bragging about groping and kissing women without their consent may have been the last straw for socially conservative voters in this heavily Mormon state.

Soon after the tape surfaced, several prominent Republicans in the state revoked their support for the GOP presidential nominee.

Gov. Gary Herbert did so on Twitter within a few hours.

Some artists seem to be in an ongoing contest with themselves. Take Australian creator Shaun Tan: In 2006's The Arrival, he built a dense black-and-white world that told a story without any words. For the 2010 short film The Lost Thing he took on animation and won an Academy Award for it. Now, in The Singing Bones, he's set yet another bar — make that bars — for himself.

If you're looking for evidence of Andrzej Wajda's filmmaking smarts, it's right there in his first, black-and-white movie, made in 1955. A trench-coated young man races through Warsaw at the height of World War II, past corpses dangling from streetlights, pursued by Nazi soldiers who chase him into a building and up a central staircase.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit


digboston / Flickr

A pretty special concert tour is rolling into Milwaukee. Steve Earle, Buddy Miller, Robert Plant and others are all on the same bill to perform and raise awareness and money for refugees around the world. The tour is called LAMPEDUSA and it benefits Jesuit Refugee Service’s Global Education Initiative.

The World Health Organization has already urged us to cut back on sugar, limiting added sugars to no more than 10 percent of our daily calories.