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Arts + Life

Arts + Life

It's just before Thanksgiving, and artist Christopher Marley is packing up items for a big exhibition outside Miami. Marley transforms poisonous snakes, tropical fish and exotic insects into works of art — and he just realized he forgot to frame a foot-long isopod that's still in the freezer.

There was a time when saying you lived in Portland, Ore., would get a response like, "That's above California, right?" Now, people not only know where the city is but also inevitably ask, "Is it just like the show?"

TV Review: 'Waco'

Jan 25, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Television viewers have a chance to relive a notorious chapter in American history. It was a 1993 standoff between the FBI and the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas. A six-part drama called "Waco" begins tonight on the Paramount Network. Here's NPR TV critic Eric Deggans.

Before we begin, a note: See how the adjective up there in that headline is "favorite," not "best?" That's intentional.

Can you go home again? What is home, anyway, when you are a Nigerian-born expat living in America?

Egoism and humility pulse like alternating current throughout Tommi Parrish's graphic novel The Lie and How We Told It — which isn't surprising. Creators who draw slice-of-life comics inevitably bounce between the highs and lows of artistic self-regard. On the one hand, they take on material that's small in scope and thoroughly familiar: emotions we've all felt before. On the other hand, they've got the chutzpah to try and make us experience those feelings in a whole new way.

Twenty-five years ago, all eyes were on Waco, Texas — where the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms was attempting to raid a compound owned by a fringe Christian group called the Branch Davidians, just outside of the city. ATF agents suspected the group was illegally stockpiling weapons.

Four agents and six Branch Davidians died in the initial raid, and for the next 51 days, we watched a siege play out on TV. But eventually, it all ended with tanks, tear gas, and flames.

You might think that long-distance partners are less happy in their relationship than couples who live near each other. But it turns out many studies have found that long-distance partners report equal or higher levels of trust and satisfaction than couples who live close to one another.

So, how do couples keep the magic alive when they're miles – and an ocean — apart?

It's New York City in 1896. Young boys are being brutally murdered, and a team of outsiders assembles to hunt down the killer. On that team is a doctor with some unconventional views, a newspaper illustrator haunted by his past, and a police secretary who upsets the status quo: Miss Sara Howard, who's played by Dakota Fanning in the new television series, The Alienist.

Winters in London can be damp and dreary. The British capital sits at 51.5 degrees latitude north – roughly equivalent to the Canadian city of Calgary – and in December, the British capital can descend into darkness by 4:30 p.m.

Copyright 2018 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVE DAVIES, HOST:

Hugh Wilson — the creator of the sitcom WKRP in Cincinnati, who was also a director and an Emmy Award-winning writerhas died at 74.

Wilson died Jan. 14 at his home in Charlottesville, Va. His wife, Charters Smith Wilson, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he had been battling lung cancer and emphysema.

Wilson began in television by writing scripts for The Bob Newhart Show and The Tony Randall Show.

Some TV genres are perennials. They've been around since the early days of television, and probably are never going away — weekly drama series featuring doctors or cops, for example.

Other TV genres are like locusts. They get buried, lying dormant, until they suddenly resurface. On prime time TV, the game show was dead for decades until Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? brought it back. And quite recently, Netflix's Godless, like HBO's Deadwood years before it, did its best to try and revive the TV Western.

It was the summer of 2016, and M was worried her ex-husband was stalking her. She would get out of town and stay with friends. But, as she noted in court documents, her ex seemed to know exactly where she was and whom she visited — down to the time of day and street.

M started to change the way she drove — slowing down, driving in circles — in case a private investigator was following her. She didn't see one. Then she went online and learned about GPS trackers — small devices you can slip into a car to monitor where it goes 24/7. She looked for one and couldn't find any.

For more than four decades, Peter Martins helped to shape the New York City Ballet — first as a dancer and then as an artistic leader.

Late Monday he informed the company's board that he would be retiring effective immediately.

Martins had been on a leave of absence since last month amid an investigation looking into sexual misconduct claims.

Martins has also served as artistic director of the School of American Ballet. He is also retiring from his role at the school.

James Okina was being a typical teenager.

Three years ago, he was hanging out on the streets of his hometown of Calabar, a port city in southern Nigeria, on his way to watch a soccer match at a secondary school.

Then something happened that turned Okina into a very untypical teen.

He met a 13-year-old homeless kid named Frederick. The two struck up a conversation. The boy told Okina, then 15, that he was dancing in bars to earn tips to buy food and meet his other basic needs.

Updated at 3 p.m. ET

If you've got a burning secret about the 13 pieces of art missing from Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the clock is ticking.

Share the details in the next four days, and you'll earn a cool $10 million.

Wait until 2018, and that reward will be slashed in half.

It's time to say goodbye — and then hello again — to a TV legend. The BBC's long-running sci-fi series Doctor Who bid farewell to lead actor Peter Capaldi in the show's traditional Christmas episode, introducing a new star in the process and ushering in one of the biggest changes in the show's 54-year history.

At NPR One, we've spent all month making our podcast wish list, checking it a few times, making sure it includes the podcast episodes that have entertained, educated and delighted us and our listeners this year.

So, our gift to you this holiday season is a list full of podcasts to keep you from getting bored while you sit in traffic, on a plane (or in a sled), headed to grandma's. You can hear the whole list in order here, or listen to individual episodes on NPR One or wherever you get podcasts.

It was Christmas of 2001, and Thompson Williams' family was struggling financially. "That year we used all our money just before Christmas so that we could pay the bills and buy groceries — at least we'd have something to eat," he tells his son, Kiamichi-tet at StoryCorps.

Thompson was teaching students with special needs, and his wife was selling handmade Christmas ornaments. They lived in Edmond, Okla., with Kiamichi-tet, then 11, and their daughter AuNane, 14.

It's that time of year — road congestion, delayed flights, and the slow-burning anxiety of heading home for the holidays. More than 100 million Americans travel between Saturday and New Year's Day, AAA predicts - a number that has gone up steadily since 2005. Whether you're driving, flying, or sleighing this year, here are a few things you should know.

1. Watch out for record-breaking traffic

Sheriff's deputies in York County, Neb., stopped a pickup truck on Tuesday when they noticed it driving over the center line and the driver failing to signal.

During the traffic stop, deputies noticed a strong smell of raw marijuana, the sheriff's department says.

Patrick Jiron, 80, and Barbara Jiron, 83, said they were from northern California and were en route to Boston and Vermont.

Deputies asked the driver, Patrick Jiron, about the odor, and he admitted to having contraband in the truck and consented to a search of the vehicle.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It wasn't supposed to be this way.

Pluck just about any Christmas carol off FM radio, and you've got a decent shot it'll be lauding the merits of a tree — a glorious yuletide pine with "lovely" branches, say, or with happy campers rockin' around it. In other words, carolers typically try to avoid comparing their Christmas tree to a toilet brush.

Holocaust survivor Sam Harris has told the story of how he survived the Holocaust hundreds of times.

He's talked about his experience in the Nazis' concentration camps with school groups and in videos for oral history archives. He even wrote a children's book.

But when he sat down to tell his story in Los Angeles a couple months ago, it was different.

In a Hollywood studio, surrounded by green screens, Harris answered questions for five or six hours a day. By the time it was all done, he'd answered nearly 2,000.

Sam Harris was getting made into a hologram.

All social classes have unspoken rules.

From A-list celebrities to teachers, doctors, lawyers, and journalists — there are social norms that govern our decisions, whether we realize it or not.

Whether it's hanging lights, baking dozens of cookie variations or just enjoying the plants, holidays are full of traditions. But like with any tradition, sometimes you've been doing it so long that you don't know why.

Why do we kiss under mistletoe and toast with eggnog? Who decided we should eat jelly doughnuts for Hanukkah? And where do poinsettias come from?

As mass shootings have proliferated in this country, so has the debate over how much focus news organizations should put on the shooters versus the victims.

There is a new world record for sailing solo around the world: 42 days, 16 hours, 40 minutes and 35 seconds. If verified, it is more than 6 days faster than the previous record, set a year earlier.

In 1988, NPR canceled its nearly decade-old Spanish-language weekly newsmagazine, Enfoque Nacional, citing lack of interest and funding. A Los Angeles Times article about the decision highlighted the controversy with the headline: "NPR Slammed for Canceling Program." In 1990, about 17.3 million people in the United States spoke Spanish at home.

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