Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Kristen Bell Entertains our Emoji Etiquette Questions

Jul 29, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Each week our listeners send in questions about how to behave (you can check out more each week by subscribing to our podcast). Answering them this time around is actress Kristen Bell.

She’s starred in series like “House Of Lies,” the cult hit “Veronica Mars,” and she was the off-screen narrator of the scandalous teen drama “Gossip Girl.” Bell also voiced the sweet princess Anna in the mega-hit Disney film “Frozen.” If you have a child, they are probably still singing songs from that.

Josh Gondelman Celebrates His Sublime Relationship

Jul 29, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Comedian Josh Gondelman is up for an Emmy for his writing on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.” His new comedy album, “Physical Whisper,” is out now. Listen to a tale from the album in the audio above about how he knew his girlfriend was the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.

How Bruce Lee’s Legacy Lives on After His Death

Jul 29, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Each week on Chattering Class, we’re schooled by an expert in some party-worthy topic. This week, the topic is the most famous martial arts fighter of all time, Bruce Lee. And our teacher is Charles Russo.

Ellis Dyson and the Shambles

  Note: This segment originally aired on Friday, February 19, 2016.

For Ellis Dyson, there is something alluring about the music from the 1920s. He sees it as dirty, raw and mysterious.

With the help of fellow musicians at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dyson has blended the sounds of Dixieland jazz with themes of standard folk ballads to create a "whiskey folk" ensemble.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Dyson about the band's origins and influences as a young group channeling another era.

Colette Heiser

CJ Suitt is a young black poet living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. And he has a simple and frightening question, "Would I be shot if I called the police?"

CJ uses his poetry to combat stereotypes and to build bridges of understanding. But he admits, in the wake of yet another series of high profile killings of black men by the police, something has changed. CJ no longer feels safe walking at night.

Frank C. Curtin / Associated Press

Note: This segment originally aired February 19, 2016.

Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt could not have come from more different backgrounds. Murray was the granddaughter of a mixed-race slave, while Roosevelt’s ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In J.J. Johnson's book, 'believarexic,' she recalls her battle with eating disorders through her diary entries as a teenager.
Jessica Arden Photography

Note: This segment originally aired January 21, 2016.

When J.J. Johnson was 15 years old, she had to force her family to admit that she needed help for her eating disorder. She spent 10 weeks in an inpatient unit, but her healing process took many more months and years.

Her new book "believarexic" (Peachtree Publishers/2015) is a ‘fictional autobiography’ that revolves around her diary entries from her teenage years.

Melyssa Rodriguez
Jason Falchook

Chrissie Graham is a nerdy girl who needs contacts and promptly loses one. Catherine Palmer tries to micromanage her son at a school concert. Constance Mudenda is a healthcare worker with a health scare of her own. Matthew Dicks has an allergic reaction to a bee sting and needs his mother. Melissa Rodriguez grew up a foster child and then has a child of her own.

Leon Capetanos

This show originally aired on May 27, 2016.

As a kid growing up in Raleigh Leon Capetanos never imagined that he’d spend most of his life out West. He was an aspiring poet and studied writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After participating in a talent program in Hollywood, he got a call from Universal Studios to join their writing department, and his career took off from there.

Diana Matthews / Algonquin Books

This program originally aired April 4, 2016

Lee Smith started writing stories when she was nine years old and sold them for a nickel a piece.

Many of them were inspired by the gossip, true stories and daily grind she observed at her father's dime store, deep in the coal mining mountains of Virginia.

Anna Meredith DJs Your Next Dinner Party/Obstacle Course

Jul 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Scottish composer Anna Meredith’s background is in classical music, but she’s acclaimed for her jubilant synth pop. The Guardian says her work, “conjures images of a jetpack through the northern lights.”

Rubik’s Cube’s Puzzling Past

Jul 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

The History Lesson

One of the most popular toys in the free world was created in the unfree world.

Photo of Ernő Rubik By Babak Mansouri [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It was 1974. In the Soviet-bloc country of Hungary, a design professor named Ernő Rubik — barely 30 and still living with his parents — made himself a little wooden gizmo: a cube, made up of a bunch of little cubes.

Lopez, Kristina

Each week in chattering class we’re schooled by an expert in some party-worthy topic. This week our topic is “the worst opera singer ever.” And our expert is a purveyor of fine, bad music author Darryl W. Bullock.

Emma Cline Discusses the Cult of Her Hit First Novel

Jul 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Emma Cline is author of “The Girls,” this season’s hottest literary debut. The New York Times describes it as, “A seductive and arresting coming-of-age story… told in sentences at times so finely wrought they could almost be worn as jewelry.”

Nicole Dennis-Benn Finds Trouble in Paradise

Jul 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Lately, there’s been a flowering of fiction from Caribbean writers. Jamaican-born Marlon James won last year’s Man Booker prize. Now he’s one of a chorus of voices singing the praises of his countrywoman Nicole Dennis-Benn, and her debut novel, “Here Comes The Sun.”

Image of Second Line Stompers
Gregg Gelb

Note: this program is a rebroadcast. 

Jim Gaffigan Feasts on Your Etiquette Questions

Jul 22, 2016
Lopez, Kristina

Each week you send in your questions about how to behave, and answering them this time is Jim Gaffigan.

Over the last 20 years, he’s become one of America’s most-watched stand-up comics, with self-deprecating observations about raising five kids with his wife, and especially about his love of food. In fact, a couple years back, he published the best-selling book called, “Food: A Love Story.”

Sarah Jarosz
Scott Simontacchi / All Eyes Media

Virtuoso Sarah Jarosz, 25, has released her latest project, "Undercurrent."  It's her fourth album, despite only just recently graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Listening to the Vines (painting by John Wurdeman)

John Wurdeman studied music and art before becoming a winemaker in the country of Georgia. His winery, Pheasant's Tears, has revived an 8,000-year-old Georgian winemaking tradition. He tells Melissa Clark what brought him there, the myriad varieties of Georgian wines, and the integral part they play in that country's meals.

Melissa Clark: How did this all start for you? 

Lost in translation

Jul 22, 2016
Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock

Bonnie Benwick translates chef recipes for the home cook in the Washington Post's Plate Lab column. She tells Melissa Clark about some of the challenges you'll face when attempting a restaurant meal in your own kitchen.

Photo of Yasmin Evans and her mother
Yasmin Evans

As a young Muslim-American journalist, Yasmin Bendaas pays particular attention to how Muslim women are represented in the media.

As international media coverage continues to put a spotlight on the Islamic State Group and American political rhetoric highlights religious stereotypes, Bendaas began to wonder how these representations of Islam have impacted the daily lives of Muslim-American women.

Photo from "Violet"
Jon Gardiner

In the 1960s, when a young woman named Violet has an accident that leaves her with a disfiguring scar, she sets off on a journey from her home in North Carolina to seek the help of a healing preacher in Oklahoma.

Along the way, she meets two soldiers who help in her discovery of inner beauty, and guide in her understanding of racial divides in a new era for the American South.

A brief history of tahini

Jul 21, 2016

Adeena Sussman gives Sally Swift the backstory on tahini, the suddenly ubiquitous, sesame seed-based condiment.

Sally Swift:  So, tahini. It is everywhere suddenly. So, let’s back up a little bit. Tell us exactly what tahini is.

Adeena Sussman:  Tahini is ideally nothing more than pure ground sesame seeds.

SS:  That’s it?

Nordic cuisine: Leave the herring, take the taco quiche

Jul 21, 2016
Marcus Nilsson

With almost 800 pages of recipes and striking photography, Magnus Nilsson's The Nordic Cookbook is the definitive work on the food cultures of his native land. He spoke with Melissa Clark about the impact winter has on the Nordic countries, the common source of everyone's family herring recipe, and the enduring popularity of taco quiche.