Arts

Author Interviews
12:58 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

One Man's Quest To Find The 'Sonic Wonders Of The World'

Why does thunder rumble? Acoustic professor Trevor Cox explains that it has to do with the way lightning is a jagged line. "Each little kink is actually generating the sound, and the reason thunder rumbles is because the sound takes different time to come from different kinks because they're all slightly different distances from you," he says.
Mariana Suarez AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:38 pm

Ever wonder why your voice sounds so much better when you sing in the shower? It has to do with an acoustic "blur" called reverberation. From classical to pop music, reverberation "makes music sound nicer," acoustic engineer Trevor Cox tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. It helps blend the sound, "but you don't want too much," he warns.

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Movie Reviews
12:58 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

For A Rabbi Who Worked With The Nazis, Is Judgment 'Unjust'?

In 1975, Shoah director Claude Lanzmann (left) interviewed Benjmain Murmelstein, the last surviving Elder of the Jews of the Czech Theresienstadt ghetto, at his home in Rome. The resulting film is The Last of the Unjust.
Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:38 pm

When you're faced with something as heinous as the Holocaust, it's tempting to turn it into a simple morality play. This isn't to say one can't pass moral judgments — Hitler and his cohort were undeniably evil. But judging can become a form of lazy evasion, a way of closing the book on the tricky realities of failure, guilt and complicity.

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Black History Month: #AfroGlobal
11:40 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Stromae's Lyrics 'Show A Different Vision Of The World'

Belgian music sensation Stromae acts as a mannequin in the music video for "Papaoutai."
Benjamin Brolet Universal Music France

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 1:42 pm

Paul Van Haver — the son of a Belgian mother and a Rwandan father — was raised by his mother in a French-speaking suburb of Brussels. He rarely saw his father, and he struggled academically. When his mother insisted he take up an instrument, he chose the drums.

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Kitchen Window
8:38 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Once Exotic, Now Ubiquitous, Bananas Deserve A Bunch More Respect

Laura B. Weiss for NPR

What's more American than apple pie? It's that familiar yellow-skinned fruit that, well, we all go bananas over.

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The Two-Way
6:12 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Book News: Mavis Gallant, Master Of The Short Story, Dies At 91

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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