Arts & Culture

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

Courtesy of Theatre Gigante

The refugee crisis in Europe continues to dominate headlines as the European Union struggles to manage the influx and craft humane policies.  Hundreds of thousands of immigrants have been streaming towards Europe from war-torn Syria and other locations for months. 

But the refugee crisis in Europe is much older than many people realize. Until recently, it’s been Mediterranean countries such as Greece, Spain, and Italy that are hit the hardest. 

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Bonnie North

Singer/songwriter Benjamin Scheuer has had a lot happen to him in his 33 years. His father died suddenly when Scheuer was 13, his family drifted apart, Scheuer learned the guitar, and then he was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 28.

'Zeroes' Is A Superhero Story — About Teenage Losers

Sep 30, 2015

Marvel Comics elder statesman Stan Lee is widely credited as the first successful writer to understand that while superhero stories are power fantasies, they're more relatable and appealing if they come with a hefty dose of limitation as well. The characters he's credited with co-creating in the 1960s — particularly Spider-Man, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four's Thing, and the X-Men — all came with phenomenal abilities, but also with built-in angst over their inhuman bodies, the tragedies they'd failed to prevent, or their alienation from the mainstream world.

Out of 1,032 books, only 18 remain.

Judges for the Kirkus Prize have whittled a vast list of eligible entrants down to just six finalists each in three categories: fiction, nonfiction and young readers' literature. The shortlists for the literary award, now in its second year, boast a healthy mix — between Americans and writers in translation, second-timers and old hands, headline-grabbers and small presses.

And that's not to mention the picture books.

Addressing reports that Pope Francis met privately with controversial Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his U.S. visit, the Vatican acknowledges that the meeting took place. Davis, who has refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, says she met the pope at the Vatican Embassy in Washington.

"I cannot deny the meeting took place but I have no comments to add," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in Italian Wednesday.

'Gold Fame Citrus' Holds Fear In A Handful Of Dust

Sep 30, 2015

"Your people came here looking for something better. Gold, fame, citrus. Mirage. They were feckless, yeah? Schemers. That's why no one wants them now. Mojavs."

That's Ray, talking to Luz, on the day they first met, explaining the draw of California, the curse of it. What drew down generations of wanderers and seekers and, eventually, brought the world to what it is today.

Sugar and tea have a love story that goes way back.

As The Salt's Maria Godoy has written, they are a "power couple that altered the course of history. It was a marriage shaped by fashion, health fads and global economics," and, of course, the slave trade.

Tea, especially black tea, is bitter. A lot of people decided it tasted better with sugar and made a habit out of adding it.

Ralph Lauren Corporation announced that Stefan Larsson has been named CEO, starting in November. The 75-year-old founder and face of the fashion mega-house, Ralph Lauren, will continue to "actively drive the company's vision," a company statement read.

People often ask dancer and choreographer Michelle Dorrance when she knew she wanted to become a professional dancer. Her answer is simple: "I just knew I would never stop tap dancing," she tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "I knew it was possible because our masters die with their shoes on. ... You dance until your '90s."