Arts & Life

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Could A Mushroom Save The Honeybee?

1 hour ago

Honeybees need a healthy diet of pollen, nectar and water. But at a bee laboratory in eastern Washington state, Steve Sheppard fills their feeding tubes with murky brown liquid from the forest.

His bees are getting a healthy dose of mushroom juice.

Michael Gold / courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

It's wonderful to wax nostalgic and indulgent about the early days of Saturday Night Live and The National Lampoon, the magazine that spawned the TV show. The skits were just so wonderful, and John Belushi so terrific. Well, the skits were only wonderful some of the time; they always ran too long, and Belushi was only funny sporadically. This kind of raw humor probably has to be hit or miss, but the reality is that with both the show and the magazine, you had to endure plenty of misses before they'd hit the bull's-eye.

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of The National Lampoon shows how a rarified college humor magazine first grew into a national magazine and then to a television show that really did change the game. The story deserves a film, but maybe not this one.

Shortly after she left Northern California for Los Angeles, Andrea Crook began to experience things she'd never felt before: paranoid thoughts, delusions, erratic behavior. It was the first time she had shown symptoms of mental illness.

"Man, in New Orleans we really are fortunate — we got some of the best things in the world," Chef Paul Prudhomme once said. "And one of those things is the muffuletta sandwich."

And one of the best things about New Orleans was Prudhomme himself.

He was known for introducing blackened redfish to the rest of us, for his cooking demos and for his line of magic spices. Needless to say, Prudhomme changed the way the world saw Louisiana cooking.

He has died at the age of 75.

Public health advocates have argued that one of the best ways to fight obesity would be to tax the sugary drinks that science has implicated as a big part of the problem.

British artist Andy Goldsworthy works in the fields and forests near his home in Scotland using natural elements as his media. His pieces have a tendency to collapse, decay and melt, but, as he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "It's not about art. It's just about life and the need to understand that a lot of things in life do not last."

When comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick got the opportunity to reimagine Captain Marvel as a blond, blue-eyed fighter pilot named Carol, she made changes to the character that some fans didn't like.

Carol now wears a flight suit — not the sexy dominatrix outfit she used to wear back when she was Ms. Marvel. For that, DeConnick was accused of having a feminist agenda.

Grapes, including raisins, are the third largest crop in California grossing almost $6 billion in 2014. Harvesting the labor-intensive crop takes thousands of workers. But a new raisin grape variety bred in Central California could severely decrease that need for workers.

It takes a lot of hand labor to harvest raisins, three or more rounds of pruning, quality control and picking. And to pay those workers costs a lot of money. That's why the raisin industry is desperately searching for a way to spend less on labor creating a larger profit margin.

In Napa, Calif., a company called Free Flow Wines fills and dispenses reusable wine kegs, which are used by restaurants and bars for serving wine on draft. Every month, the company rinses and refills about 10,000 of the stainless steel casks, each of which eliminates the need for 26 clunky wine bottles.

This is a small win for the environment, since glass bottles are heavy and require energy to ship.

Ten years ago, Stephenie Meyer put a twist on the whole boy-meets-girl thing.

In her young adult novel Twilight, girl meets vampire and, later, werewolf. The supernatural romance between Bella and Edward sparked a saga that includes four best-selling books translated into more than 50 languages and five blockbuster movies.