Arts & Culture

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

Detox diets come and go, like any other fad. In South Korea, one popular diet has staying power. It has been around for at least 1,600 years, ever since the founding of the Jinkwansa temple in the mountains outside of Seoul.

This Buddhist monastery sits at the convergence of two streams, amid twisting leafy trees and soaring peaks. It's one of many temples in the countryside outside of South Korea's capital. Each temple has its own specialty. Jinkwansa is famous for two reasons.

E.L. Doctorow used to tell a story about a journalism class he took as a high school student in the Bronx. As he told NPR back in 2003, he wrote a profile of a doorman at Carnegie Hall who was beloved by all the performers there. His teacher, apparently, loved the story so much, she wanted to publish the story in the school paper — so she told Doctorow to get a photo of the man.

There was just one problem.

"I hadn't expected that kind of enthusiasm," Doctorow recalled, "and I said, well, 'Not exactly, there is no Carl.' I made him up."

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

Strolling through the annual meeting of the Institute of Food Technologists the other day, I saw several signs offering to solve an urgent problem American bakers face. The signs advertised "egg replacement."

The University of Birmingham in the U.K. says it has discovered a portion of a Quran manuscript from about the time of the Prophet Muhammad, making it one of the earliest versions of Islam's holy book to survive.

Radiocarbon analysis conducted at Oxford University dated the parchment on which the text is written to between the years 568 and 645. Muhammad is believed to have lived between 570 and 632.

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

Eileen Flanagan / eileenflanagan.com

Midlife is loosely defined in our culture as usually sometime in your 40s. It is often a time many of us take stock of who we have become and what goals we have reached or have yet to attain.

Many people react to this existential angst by making extravagant purchases, others decide to travel around the world.

Bold Strokes Books

When it comes to mystery novels, most books center around a murder and then solve the 'whodunit.' For local author Elizabeth Ridley's mystery/thriller book, the mystery in question is one of identity.

Spanning over the course of just 24 hours, Searching for Celia follows spy novelist Dayle Salveson’s investigation into the mysterious death of her best friend and former lover.

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal knows what it feels like to take a punch. "It doesn't feel great, you know," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I don't like getting hit, but it was important for the movie. At least that's how I justify when I would get hit: 'That was good for the movie.' "

The movie in question is Southpaw, in which Gyllenhaal stars as a boxer who grew up in the foster care system and is struggling to be a father to his daughter.

The next time you pop a Popsicle in your mouth, think about this: You're enjoying the fruits of an 11-year-old entrepreneur's labor.

Back in 1905, a San Francisco Bay Area kid by the name of Frank Epperson accidentally invented the summertime treat. He had mixed some sugary soda powder with water and left it out overnight. It was a cold night, and the mixture froze. In the morning, Epperson devoured the icy concoction, licking it off the wooden stirrer. He declared it an Epsicle, a portmanteau of icicle and his name, and started selling the treat around his neighborhood.

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