One hundred fifty years ago today, Giuseppe Verdi first mounted his opera La Forza del Destino ("The Force of Destiny") on a stage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Today, La Forza is considered one of Verdi's masterpieces, but it wasn't always that way. The story of Don Alvaro, whose love for the aristocratic Leonora incurs the wrath of her family, is violent and chaotic, and it flopped on its first run.
Leon Mill spray paints a sign outside his Phillips 66 station in Perkasie, Pa., on June 1, 1973, to let his customers know he's out of gas. An oil crisis was the culprit, squeezing U.S. businesses and consumers who were forced to line up at gas stations for hours.
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 4:52 pm
Gas lines in America may be rare, but they're not unprecedented.
The gas shortage in the Northeast, the result of Superstorm Sandy, is inflicting plenty of pain. But it's a localized phenomenon that's not expected to last for long.
During two separate oil crises in the 1970s, Americans from coast to coast faced persistent gas shortages as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, flexed its muscles and disrupted oil supplies.
In 1973 and again in 1979, drivers frequently faced around-the-block lines when they tried to fill up.
Nickelback. The name itself is musical shorthand for everything music aficionados love to hate about modern rock.
But with more than 50 million record sales worldwide and a lead singer who earns $10 million a year, the band is laughing all the way to the bank — as reporter Ben Paynter describes in Bloomberg Businessweek Magazine.
When Katherine Marsh was a young girl, she was mesmerized by the dwarfs of Diego Velazquez's paintings. Years later, that obsession inspired Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, her latest novel for young adults.
Marsh joins NPR's Guy Raz to discuss her book, which is rooted in history, yet speckled with fantasy. It carries her readers to the Spanish Netherlands in the late 16th century to tell the coming-of-age story of Jepp of Astraveld.
In the new movie Lincoln, actor Daniel Day-Lewis is getting a lot of attention for his spot-on portrayal of the 16th president. But Ben Burtt, the sound designer, also deserves credit for the film's authenticity. You may not know his name, but you surely know his work.
Burtt is something of a legend in the movie sound world. He has won numerous Oscars, including for his work on Star Wars.
Burtt invented that iconic swoosh of the light saber, using the hum of an old projector and the buzz of a television set.
The booth at the Ritz Theater in Muncy, Pa. "I went to Saturday matinees at the Ritz from the time I was 6 or 7 years old," writes Holmes. "The Ritz has shown movies almost continuously since the 1920s but may not last much longer, since the cost of converting to digital is prohibitive on the theater's limited income."
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 2:31 pm
Post-Sandy, post-election, post-Taylor Swift, we're still here. This week we're schooled by a British dance music fan and Chad Kroeger. For further instruction, you're going to have to put in a little more work — to read an excellent interview with Ozzy Osbourne's bassist you can't just click, you have to order the print magazine in which it appears. Some things never change.
Originally published on Sat November 10, 2012 4:14 pm
A day after the story broke, the news remains stunning — CIA director and retired Gen. David Petraeus resigns in a lightning stroke, admitting he used extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair.
It's shocking because Petraeus is considered an extremely able leader who's been judged by this single word, says NPR's Tom Bowman: Iraq.