NPR Staff



Fri December 26, 2014

The Grocery Delivery Man Who Brings Joy To A Housing Complex

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 5:52 am

Herman Travis, 55, lives in Holly Courts, a low-income housing complex in San Francisco.

Every Tuesday, Travis fills a shopping cart with groceries from a local food bank and makes home deliveries to his elderly and disabled neighbors. He started doing it in 2007 and says when he first started, people were skeptical.

"When I first started doing it. People was cautious. They didn't let me in their house, but after they got to really know me they would just be happy to see me," says Travis.

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Tue December 23, 2014
Movie Reviews

A Vital Chapter Of American History On Film In 'Selma'

Originally published on Tue December 23, 2014 1:47 pm

David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King Jr. and Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King in the new movie Selma.
Paramount Pictures

It's hard to believe, but there has never been a major motion picture that centers on one of this country's most iconic figures: Martin Luther King Jr. But that's about to change, with Selma, which opens Christmas Day.

The film explores the tumult and the tactics of the civil rights movement, from King's tense relationship with President Lyndon Johnson to the battle for voting rights for black Americans — a battle that reached a climax on Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, as state police beat peaceful protesters trying to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala.

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Mon December 22, 2014
Found Recipes

Yule Have To Try This Gingerbread Buche De Noel

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

Cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says she makes a "Franco-American" buche de Noel with American flavoring and French technique.
Alan Richardson Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Sweets this time of year take on all kinds of whimsical shapes: cookies cut into stars, stockings and gingerbread men, candy canes, peanut butter balls ... or logs covered in frosting.

Yes, really — logs.

Not real logs, of course — these are holiday cakes, rolled and frosted to look like a yule log and known as buche de Noel. Sometimes the cakes are dotted with little meringue mushrooms or edible holly leaves. While the cake may not be on every American's baking list, cookbook author Dorie Greenspan says it's iconic in Europe.

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Mon December 22, 2014
Movie Interviews

We Ask A Scholar: How Does Ridley Scott's 'Exodus' Compare With The Bible's?

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 3:50 pm

In Exodus, Christian Bale's Moses is more of an action hero than a religious figure.
Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

For nearly a century, Hollywood has been turning out cinematic adaptations of the biblical book of Exodus. There have been Technicolor versions, animated versions and even a silent version. Now, filmmaker Ridley Scott has a 3-D contribution: Exodus: Gods and Kings.

NPR's Robert Siegel asks Robert Alter, a professor of Hebrew and comparative literature at the University of California, Berkeley, for his thoughts on the film. Alter has translated most of the Hebrew Bible, including the five books of Moses, and he's a leading secular scholar of Scripture.

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Mon December 22, 2014
Author Interviews

Beyond The Bird On It: 'Twee Is About Shopping'

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 12:04 pm

Twee is an almost paradoxical combination of the hypermaterialistic and artisanal and crafted, says Marc Spitz, author of Twee: The Gentle Revolution in Music, Books, Television, Fashion and Film.
Cienpies Design & Communication iStockphoto

Don't be mistaken: There's a powerful economic force behind the proliferation of cutesy, homespun goods that combine an old-fashioned and highly modern aesthetic.

Twee's hallmarks are handcrafted, anachronistic or vintage items — like albums on vinyl, sweaters from the thrift store and, as distilled in a sketch on the show Portlandia, pretty much anything with a bird on it. It's as much an aesthetic as it is a lifestyle, like punk or hip-hop.

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