Arts & Life

2:23pm

Thu May 31, 2012
NPR's Backseat Book Club

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Originally published on Fri June 1, 2012 6:50 am

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club hits the high seas for an adventurous novel called Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus. The book begins in 1841, and is based on the sprawling true-life tale of Manjiro, whose destiny was almost determined before birth as a son in a long line of fishermen. But a storm blew his life on a new course, and he became one of the first Japanese to set foot in America.

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6:58am

Thu May 31, 2012
Monkey See

It's The Day Of The National Spelling Bee Finals, A.K.A. Know-Nothing Thursday!

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 9:39 am

Kitty Shortt spells a word correctly during the third round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee yesterday.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

The Scripps National Spelling Bee is down to the 50 semifinalists. Today at 10:00 Eastern, they'll compete in the semifinals (broadcast on ESPN2), and then tonight at 8:00, they'll hold the finals (broadcast on ESPN). You can also follow an online streaming version at ESPN online, but to be honest, it's an extremely cumbersome process that I haven't yet gotten to work for me.

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3:21am

Thu May 31, 2012
Around the Nation

Legislation Could Thwart Return Of Holocaust Art

Originally published on Thu May 31, 2012 2:20 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Many families who lost artwork during the Holocaust have spent decades trying to reclaim their treasures. Now they could face a new obstacle: proposed legislation that would protect American museums from these families' claims. David Maxon of member station WNYC has more.

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3:13pm

Wed May 30, 2012
The Salt

FDA Rules Corn Syrup Can't Change It's Name To Corn Sugar

Originally published on Wed May 30, 2012 4:41 pm

A sweetener by any other name ...
iStockphoto.com

Corn-based-sweetener manufacturers may be singing a sour tune today. The Food and Drug Administration just ruled that the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup that sweetens many of our candies, sodas and snacks cannot be called "corn sugar." But much like Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character, they'll probably be baaack.

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1:46pm

Wed May 30, 2012
History

Kafka's Final Absurdist Tale Plays Out In Tel Aviv

Originally published on Sun June 3, 2012 6:31 am

Franz Kafka (shown here circa 1905) is considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Before his death in 1924, he had published only short stories and a single novella, The Metamorphosis.
Imagno Getty Image

Franz Kafka published just a few short stories and a novella during his lifetime, yet he was considered one of the 20th century's most influential writers.

The rest of his work was largely kept secret, and literary scholars have long wondered what gems they might find among Kafka's papers.

The answer may ultimately lie on Tel Aviv's Spinoza Street, inside a small, squat apartment building covered with dirty, pinkish stucco that looks like it's seen better days.

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