Arts & Life

12:49pm

Fri December 28, 2012
Movie Interviews

Tarantino On 'Django,' Violence And Catharsis

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio), a slave owner, holds Django's wife captive.
Andrew Cooper The Weinstein Company

In Quentin Tarantino's new film, Django Unchained, Jamie Foxx plays the title character, a freed slave turned bounty hunter searching for his wife and their plantation tormentors.

As is the case with all of Tarantino's films, Django Unchained is incredibly violent. We spoke to the director before the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., and before critics had taken him to task for the film's brutality. The film also is being debated for the way it brings humor to the story of slavery.

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11:56am

Fri December 28, 2012
Best Books Of 2012

True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 4:26 pm

Nishant Choksi

It's probably not true that truth is stranger than fiction, but in the hands of a great biographer, it can be just as compelling. Novelists can create unique and unforgettable characters — there's never been anyone quite like Jane Eyre or Ignatius J. Reilly — but there's no shortage of fascinating literary protagonists who just happened to exist in real life.

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7:56am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Salt

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:41 am

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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6:08am

Fri December 28, 2012
Arts & Life

Let's Double Down On A Superstorm Of Malarkey: Picking 2012's Word Of The Year

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:26 pm

Selfie, one of the candidates for 2012's Word of the Year, means a self-portrait photograph, usually posted to a social networking site.
textsfromhillaryclinton.tumblr.com/Original image by Diana Walker for Time

There is a major decision coming up that will truly define the year 2012. Yes, it's almost time for the American Dialect Society to once again vote on the Word of the Year. Will it be selfie? Hate-watching? Superstorm? Double down? Fiscal cliff? Or (shudder) YOLO?

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4:37am

Fri December 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:56 am

Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.

Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.


Interview Highlights

On gin's medicinal origins

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