He won a Pulitzer Prize for his writing, but just as influential as his print essays were his "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" movie reviews. Film critic Roger Ebert died Thursday after struggling for years with cancer. He was 70 years old.
His thumb may have made him famous on TV, but Ebert was first and foremost a print journalist. He worked on newspapers in grade school, high school and college. With his acumen for writing came a love of movies — and on July 12, 2005, proclaimed Roger Ebert Day by the city of Chicago, he told a crowd of admirers why movies matter.
Murray, we're just hearing that film critic Roger Ebert has died. The Chicago Sun Times, Ebert's paper, tweeted the news a few moments ago. Ebert, of course, an icon of film criticism, a one-time filmmaker himself, best known perhaps for his days on TV with fellow critic Gene Siskel. Their thumbs up or thumbs down rating system now a de facto review method of critics and filmgoers alike.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Some of you are sitting in traffic right now, muttering darkly about how it's possible to hit every single red light. Los Angeles, a city that suffers more congestion than most, tried to unclog traffic for years by synchronizing its lights. Earlier this year, it became the first major city to tie all its traffic lights to a computerized system that uses motion sensors and cameras to monitor flows of traffic. They report modest improvements, but do drivers notice any change?
Scientists say they have found a way to get a glimpse of people's dreams.
"Our results show that we can predict what a person's seeing during dreams," says Yukiyasu Kamitani, a researcher at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto, Japan.
Philosophers, poets and psychologists have long shared a fascination with dreams. But Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley says solving the mystery of our dreams is one tough problem.
Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 10:08 am
The Dutch band Blaudzun had its work cut out for it at the SXSW Music Festival, as it somehow wound up opening for a March 15 showcase of Turkish music. But Blaudzun's songs are so undeniably infectious that, by the time the band played "Elephants" — the song featured in this Front Row video — the folks at Austin, Texas' Cedar Street Courtyard were singing and dancing to music they'd never heard before.
Singer and violinist Emily Wells was one of our favorite discoveries at last year's South by Southwest music festival. Her 2012 album Mama was a surprising and beautiful mix of hip-hop beats and strings, with folk-flavored pop arrangements. Now Wells is back with a re-imagined, all-acoustic version of Mama, with the songs stripped bare and her voice more fragile than ever.
Today's Latin Roots co-host, Josh Norek, was given a hefty task: Define the broad swath of Argentine rock with just a few bands. But Norek, co-host of The Latin Alternative, is up to the occasion precisely because he spent time in Buenos Aires as a student during a vibrant period for music.